So you want to be a blogger. You have the passion, the gift of gab, and probably a lot of opinions about all sorts of things. But how do you turn that blog into something more than just an online diary?
How do you build a readership and get people excited about what you have to say? I’m going to tell you how!
Consider your motives
Are you just looking for a way to show off your writing skills? Or do you want to make a living from blogging? Are you hoping that your blog will help build your audience and perhaps lead to more traditional writing jobs? Do you want to do this as something fun, or do nothing but work on it full-time?
It’s important that before jumping into blogging, you really think about what kind of blogger you want to be and whether it’s right for you.
Choose a theme or topic
Now you’re ready to choose a theme or topic for your blog. And here’s where I have a secret for you.
You don't need to pick something as broad as “travel” or “fashion." You can narrow down the scope of your blog by picking one specific category within that field (like “budget travel” or “men's fashion"). The narrower your niche is, the more targeted your readers will be and therefore, the easier it will be to attract them.
I won't sugarcoat things: narrowing down can be hard! It takes time and effort to find a subject that encompasses everything that interests or excites you enough so you're able to write about it consistently over time. But there are several ways of narrowing down on a topic:
Choose a topic based on what people ask you questions about frequently (if someone regularly asks me how they can grow their Twitter following, then I know my audience cares about social media marketing).
Do some research on Google Trends (type in keywords related to what interests/excites you and look at trends over time)
Decide the blog’s purpose
The first step to setting up a blog is deciding what you want to achieve with it. This is easy to say, but tricky to do. It’s important that you be specific and realistic—if your aim is “to share my experiences as a teacher,” that’s great; but if your real goal is “to become the next Bill Gates and retire at 25,” then maybe blogging isn't for you just yet!
Think about what makes sense for your personal needs and interests. What do other people in similar positions have blogs about? You don't need to ask around or research the subject online (although both of those things can certainly help); instead, just sit down with yourself and write down anything that comes into mind. If none of these ideas seems right for now, don't worry—you'll probably get another idea soon enough!
Set realistic goals
Setting goals is the first step to achieving anything great in life. You need to set realistic and achievable goals, or else you’ll get discouraged along the way.
Achievable: Is it possible for you? Do you have the resources and skills required? If not, start working on them!
Measurable: How will you know when your goal has been achieved? Are there milestones that can help measure progress along the way (e.g., “I want to gain 20 pounds this year by doing X work outs a week”)?
Specific: Make sure each goal is easily understood by everyone involved with its execution (and yourself). Also, try not to make more than two or three major long-term goals at once—you may not be able to handle all of them!
Timebound: Set deadlines for yourself so that when people ask about your progress later on down the road, they can look back and see how far along in your journey towards success has gotten thus far.
Choose your domain name and web host
You'll want to pick a domain name that is catchy, easy to spell and remember. Don’t use your personal name unless it’s a personal blog, but if you do use your name, make sure you also include an additional word or phrase that can be used as an acronym for your blog.
The other part of choosing the right domain is picking something memorable and direct. Avoid using hyphens at all costs! My #1 rule when it comes to picking up web hosting providers: don't skimp on quality just because you're paying less money!
Also keep in mind that not all hosts are created equal. Some offer great services while others seem like they're about to go out of business any day now.
Install self-hosted WordPress (optional)
If you’re serious about blogging, and don’t mind spending a bit of time learning how to use software, then the best option is to self-host WordPress. One of the reasons that this platform is so popular is because it’s free to install and use (although if you want premium features like security updates and backups, then costs may apply). If you choose self-hosted WordPress, it will also give you a bit more control over your identity as a blogger—you can choose your own domain name instead of having one assigned by wordpress.com or blogspot.com
Create great content
The most important thing when writing blog posts is to write in a conversational style. This means that you should use language that's easy to understand, not overly complicated or technical, and not too wordy or long-winded.
The best way to do this is by using simple words and avoiding jargon at all costs. If there are certain words that you feel are absolutely necessary for your post (and there may be), make sure they're defined in the first paragraph of your piece so that readers can understand them from context.
Promote your blog posts on social media.
Social media is a great place to promote your blog posts.
The best way to do this is by sharing the link on your social media profiles and tagging the people or brands you mention in it. This will help bring them some extra attention, which can be very useful if they're trying to grow their own following.
If you have a newsletter, consider sending out an email about your blog post. You can also use this opportunity to promote any other content you're working on or have published recently.
You can also use this opportunity to promote any other content you're working on or have published recently.
If you don't have a newsletter, consider creating one. This is a great way to keep people up-to-date on what's happening with your blog and build an audience.
You can also use social media to:
connect with other bloggers (more on this below).
connect with your audience and find new readers.
get ideas for future blog posts.
Connect with other bloggers.
One of the best ways to get your blog off the ground is to reach out to other bloggers who write about similar topics.
You can find these blogs by searching for your niche on Google or by searching for hashtags on Instagram and Twitter. Once you've found some blogs that are in the same industry as yours, reach out to them.
Find a few people you would like to connect with and then send them an email introducing yourself and explaining why you'd like their help.
And remember: it's important not just to let other people know who you are, but also that they know where they can find your content!
Another way to connect with other bloggers is by joining a community. There are many communities online where bloggers can share tips, advice and information about their business. These can be really helpful for getting your blog off the ground since they'll allow you to meet new people who may be able to help you out down the line!
These steps will help you create a successful, engaging blog.
No matter how you choose to monetize your blog, you need to know that the best way to achieve success as a blogger is by creating a blog that is relevant to your audience. If you don't deliver what people are looking for, they'll stop coming back for more and may not even follow your social channels anymore.
The next step in creating a successful blog is making sure that it's relevant to your topic. You'll want to research topics related to yours and see if there are any gaps in coverage; then use this knowledge when choosing niche keywords and topics for posts on future blogs so that they're better optimized for search engine visibility (and thus more likely to attract readers).
Once you've picked out a niche and started writing content, make sure everything has been edited thoroughly before hitting publish—even if it's only been published on Medium or another blogging platform instead of being live on its own website! This way there won't be any embarrassing spelling errors or typos (like "their" instead of "there") ruining everything else about this awesome new creation of yours...
If you want to be a blogger, the first thing you need to do is start writing. But, as with everything else that may lead to a fruitful business venture...you have to do it with intent. Learning how to write blogs that convert into sales is an art (which I teach) that comes seamlessly with practice.
And now that you’ve learned all these things about blogging, why not dive right in?