Do you feel confused about how to start a blog?
Blogging feels exciting but overwhelming in the beginning.
Learning how to begin blogging the right way not only makes your journey easier but helps you to avoid headaches in the future.
Most bloggers never build a successful blogging foundation because they do not start a blog effectively. I struggled horribly for years because I did not begin blogging properly. Someone told me to buy a domain and hosting and begin blogging. I had no idea what he meant or how to blog.
After year’s worth of headaches, struggles and failure I finally learned how to blog successfully from established pros.
I want to share this guide to cut through your confusion. I intend to give you clarity by offering a simple, no frills blueprint for completing the most important blogging tasks in order to write and publish your first post.
After blogging for the past 14 years I can assure you that blogging is simply doing basic things intelligently for a long time. Follow each step below closely. Avoid straying into complex strategies. Complex blogging strategies lead to failure. Simple blogging actions executed generously, patiently and persistently lead to success.
Follow these tips to start your blog.
1: Choose Your Blog Name
Pick a blog name as the first step toward starting your blog.
Pick an Easy to Visualize Name
Consider an easy to visualize name. People think in images. Do some picturing legwork for readers. If you can see it easily in your mind your readers can also see it easily. Seeing an image clearly in mind tends to make blog names memorable.
However, if you do not choose an easy to picture name just keep the blog domain as simple as possible. Do not try to impress readers with a clever domain. Simple wins.
Aim for a short name to be memorable. Long domain names 20 letters or longer may be tough to remember.
Think about what message you intend to convey. I picked Blogging From Paradise because I want to help bloggers retire to a life of island hopping through smart blogging.
Avoid spending days agonizing over picking a blog name. Names are not nearly as important as publishing in-depth, detailed content that solves reader problems. Pick a name and move on.
Decide on Your Niche
Concentrate on your ideal reader. Who do you want to appeal to with your blog?
Who do you want to blog for every time out?
Decide on your blogging niche.
Picking a single niche sends a clear message to readers. Covering one topic positions you to be an authority in the niche.
The world love specialists. The world does not love generalists. Doctors devote all professional attention and energy to being doctors. Lawyers give all professional attention and energy to being lawyers.
Where your attention and energy goes, grows. Give your attention and energy to a single niche. Be a specialist. Gain trust by doing one thing persistently so you do it well.
Before picking a niche make sure demand seems to be high. I recall speaking to a travel blogger at the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu in 2013. She fretted losing all sponsored post and advertising revenue after dramatic Google algorithm shifts. I heard other travel bloggers bemoan similar income droughts. I also discovered how most travel bloggers work full time jobs to supplement their travels because they made little money through their blogs..
Blogging From Paradise made sense to me because I observed a need for travel bloggers to learn how to become professionals in order to break free from their jobs. Most bloggers want to do this full time but do not know how to go pro. Seeing this demand goaded me to start this blog.
2: Buy Your Domain and Hosting
Purchase your domain and hosting.
Own your blogging real estate. Customize your blog to create a one of a kind brand. Stand out in a crowded blogging niche. Insulate yourself against the chaotic winds of change on sites like Facebook and Twitter. Google-proof your blog to nasty algorithm shifts.
Owning your blog and building a loyal community around your blog frees you from any change on sites outside of your blog. I could close my Facebook and Twitter accounts today but my loyal readers will visit Blogging From Paradise daily or weekly to keep things humming along on our site. Google could vanish overnight but since I own my blog and built up my community primarily through my blog, guest blogging and genuine blog commenting, our community would be unaffected by dramatic changes at the Big G.
Set the rules. Brand yourself powerfully. Be free of politics plaguing exterior websites.
As for specific hosting companies the easiest way to pick the right one for you is to assess your needs and to pay up in order to play up. Invest in premium hosting to all but guarantee that your site loads quickly and stays up virtually 24-7, 365.
Pay a Premium for Reputable Hosting
Invest at least $20 USD a month or more to access premium web hosting.
In terms of web hosting, you get what you pay for. Cheap hosting is cheap for a reason. Big box hosting companies squeeze as many sites as possible onto a single server to make hosting dirt cheap.
Perhaps you enjoy spending $4 per month on hosting but you will not enjoy 30 second load times or your blog crashing 40 times daily because 200 other sites share your server.
As you become more successful your web host cannot handle traffic surges based on your cheap hosting plan. Pay up to play up. Invest money in your domain and hosting.
Be less concerned with specific hosting companies. Focus on paying a premium to get the best web hosting.
Quicksprout published a helpful guide here:
3: Buy a Theme and Design Your Blog
Invest money in a premium theme.
Design your blog to align with your brand.
Stand out to begin blogging the right way.
Or invest money in a custom theme to stand out from the blogging crowd in a major league way.
Premium themes add credibility to your blog. Readers appreciate seeing high quality themes improving the user experience.
Buying a premium theme makes your blog appear to be professional compared to bloggers who use cheap-looking, chintzy free themes.
Take your blog to the next level by investing money in a custom theme.
Paying for a bespoke theme makes a powerful first impression on readers.
Be prepared to make a significant financial investment to purchase a custom theme. But also be prepared to attract a more targeted, higher quality reader who trusts more deeply in your blog and brand based on your eye-popping, top-flight theme.
Template Monster published this helpful list of themes:
Invest in a theme that aligns with your blog, brand and core message. Picture a theme pleasing to your ideal reader.
Make your blog user friendly.
Give readers what they want quickly.
Consider placing a simple, clear header image, a top menu pointing to an about page, the home page and your blog page and a clean sidebar with your email opt-in form to make your blog easy to get around.
4: Write and Publish a Post
Write and publish your first blog post.
Solve Reader Problems
If you are a new blogger simply listen to reader problems shared on top blogs related to your niche.
But if you grew a following before starting your blog just listen to reader problems for blog post ideas.
For example, most aspiring bloggers feel confused about how to start a blog. I wrote and published this post to give my blogging tips readers a helpful guide for starting a blog.
However, if you have no readers on a blogging tips niche themed blog just visit a blog like Blogging Tips to scan possible blog post topics. Established bloggers from your niche publish post topics solving reader pain points. Follow their lead by solving similar problems to drive targeted blog traffic.
Reach 600-1000 Words
Publish 600-1000 word or longer posts to give readers enough content for consumption.
Publish 1500-2500 word posts to appeal to Google.
Add as many helpful details to your blog post as possible to hit the mark.
Do not try to reach some word count for the sake of writing words. Share as many practical, usable, helpful tips as you can within the word count. Share 600 words of practical tips versus 1000 words of bloated content. Readers want content they can digest and use immediately.
Publish at least one post weekly to gain visibility. But if publishing weekly seems too challenging just make a strong impact with a 1500-2000 word, SEO-optimized post every 2 weeks to build a granite-like foundation for your blog.
Consider optimizing some posts for SEO but do not pressure yourself to optimize all posts for search engines.
No blogger needs all blog posts to drive Google traffic in order to go pro.
But optimizing some posts for SEO drives targeted, passive, highly-qualified traffic to your blog.
Read this helpful guide on Blogging From Paradise for optimizing blog posts for search engines:
5: Promote the Blog Post
Promote your blog posts to amplify your reach.
Build an Email List
Build an email list to create web traffic on demand.
Building a targeted list promotes your post at the click on a publish button.
After you publish a new blog post simply send the link along with a brief introduction of the post to your email list.
Embed an opt-in form on your blog sidebar or consider using a pop-up form to capture subscribers.
Adam Connell at Blogging Wizard wrote this helpful guide for getting more subscribers:
Promote through Social Media
Promote your posts through social media by sharing links through Twitter and Facebook.
However, this is only the first step of your social media promotional campaign.
The easiest way to get social media traffic is to promote other blogger’s posts on Facebook and Twitter. Generously promoting fellow bloggers from your niche builds strong friendships. Blogging buddies promote your blog on social media to amplify your reach far and wide.
For example, I have retweeted bloggers from my niche patiently over the years. 10-20 bloggers usually retweet Blogging From Paradise blog posts during my 8 sleeping hours each evening. I see a much higher number of retweets and @replies during day time hours in the Eastern time zone of the USA.
Promote bloggers from your niche on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Ask for nothing in return. Release expectations. Promote your blog indirectly by building blogging relationships. Observe as your blogging buddies promote your blog posts through Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
6: Monetize Your Blog
Monetize your blog to position yourself to go pro.
Add Multiple Income Channels
Add multiple income streams to boost your profit potential.
Never rely on a single income channel. Avoid becoming attached to one channel that could disappear overnight to completely evaporate your blogging income.
New bloggers can consider engaging in affiliate marketing or placing ads from day 1 of your blogging career. Embedding advertisements is technically an advanced income strategy but gives new bloggers confidence in mining an easy way to open an income channel.
Selling products or services as an affiliate allows you to prosper without creating anything yourself.
Focus most of your attention and energy on helping people with your detailed content. Profits grow slowly. Concentrate on the process for a long time to grow your blogging income.
Now you have a better idea of how to start a blog the right way.
Starting a blog is not a difficult process.
Follow the prior steps to begin your blogging career with confidence.
What tips can you add to this list?
How did you begin blogging?