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Writing a blog is a very exciting experience for many. Writing down your thoughts and feelings and sharing your opinion while having people read it, what’s more even share it! All of this is extremely exhilarating.
However, you have to be aware that starting a blog is not a walk in the park. It involves quite a bit of hard work and smoothing a lot of rough edges, especially if you are a beginner.
Here are a few things you need to know before you start out with blogging.
Contents & Quick Navigation
- 1. Why Do You Want To Blog
- 2. How Will You Host Your Blog
- 3. Select a Theme and Stick to It
- 4. Research Your Audience For Topics
- 5. Choose Keywords
- 6. Create Content Relating to Your Topic
- 7. Keep Your Blog Loading Time Low
- 8. Make an Effort to Promote your Content
- 9. Convert Traffic by Using Social Media
- 10. Add High Visual Quality Images
- 11. Using Linking to Navigate
- 12. Include Call to Actions
- 13. Keep Your Site Secure
- 14. Keep Only the Required Plugins
- 15. Make Sure to Have a Mailing List
1. Why Do You Want To Blog
Before you start blogging you need to determine why you actually want to start it. Making money can be the objective for many. But if that is your sole purpose then you might want to rethink your decision.
It takes a lot of time and patience to build a successful blog, not to mention all the persistence and hard work that goes into it. So it’s wise to not expect results right away, instead, wait and keep at it to get fruitful results.
2. How Will You Host Your Blog
One of the first things you need to decide is how you will host your blog. This is a very important decision as hosting is how your blog will be made live to the whole world. This is where your blog’s assets such as data and images are stored.
There are two ways you can host your blog:
In exchange for a monetary fee, you can host your blog in an environment that is already established. This type of paid hosting environment is really beneficial for first-time bloggers.
You can get a wide range of support from them that will help you to get the ball rolling for your blog, such as providing a domain name that is easy-to-remember customization and monetization features, larger bandwidth, securing your site and providing customer support.
Free Hosted Blogs
Bloggers can host their blogs for free at many platforms. WordPress is one of them. These options make it easier for first-time bloggers to create and edit posts.
You can also make use of some pre-developed templates that these platforms offer so you won’t need to have too much expertise in coding, programming or HTML designing. But it will pay for you to know some HTML coding, as it will help you to fix some of the errors or change the appearance of your blog.
Keep in mind, free hosting also has some limitations. The number and size of the photos you include will be limited. Enhanced activities like including plug-ins will be free initially but you will need to upgrade from free to paid if you want to continue using them.
You will also be limited to not having any sponsored content.
3. Select a Theme and Stick to It
One of the initial things you need to do is select an overall theme for your site. You have to decide on what the majority of the content on your site is going to be about and steer the content mostly that way.
This is required to target the right groups of readers. It’s also important for SEO purposes as Google prefers sites that have a single topic as a theme. This also makes it easier to monetize your blog as targeted traffic draws more money.
4. Research Your Audience For Topics
It’s a good idea to let your audience choose what topics you should include in your blog, instead of picking topics randomly. You can interact with your readers regarding this by emailing them or reaching out on social media.
You can also check out what they are discussing in the forums of your niche or read the comments made by people reading your blog.
5. Choose Keywords
You need to research and select keywords that are well suited to your niche that has a low ranking difficulty. Ahrefs, SEMrush or Moz are a few tools that can be used to check the difficulty and volume of a keyword.
Choose keywords that will help you increase your ranking while being popular with the readers. Some keywords will have a high level of difficulty that you won’t be able to use in your first few years; so choose wisely.
6. Create Content Relating to Your Topic
After you are done with choosing a keyword, you need to write appropriate content around it. You can look up similar topics on Google and write towards making a better post. You can achieve this by providing more in-depth reviews or explanations, give better links to resources and include better quality pictures.
7. Keep Your Blog Loading Time Low
It’s important for your readers to have the page load fast. Page load times are also used as a ranking factor to determine its search results. A higher page load time means a higher bounce rate. So it’s imperative to keep your page loading fast.
Here are a few ways you can optimize page loading speed:
- You can resize and shrink the images on your page which will enable faster loading.
- You can use a caching plugin that loads a page serving static HTML instead of PHP, ultimately speeding up your blog.
- You can pick a faster hosting which has more responsive servers and will effectively reduce the page loading time.
8. Make an Effort to Promote your Content
You need to reach your article out to the readers. The only way to do that is not just by sharing it on social media. You can also mail outreach to influencers or write guest posts on other sites. You can use paid promotion methods as well such as Facebook ads.
9. Convert Traffic by Using Social Media
Social Media is integrally related to Blogging. But it’s important for you to get it right. Instead of using social media to just publish your blogs, use it to be more social and do effective networking.
It’s important to build social relations by being present in Facebook groups, tagging people in your Facebook posts that link back to your blog. This can get shared, liked and commented by the friends of the people you tag bringing in immense exposure to your blog.
10. Add High Visual Quality Images
It’s very important to use high-quality images nowadays to enhance the look and feel of your blog. A proper image will keep a reader engaged to your blog, and also be able to relate to and digest the content of your blog.
You can also add graphs and charts to represent any factual data. This helps readers to process the data quickly and also gives a nice look to your post.
As a first time blogger, you have to understand the purpose of links and why they exist inside the article. Generally, links fall in 2 categories:
Outbound Links: These links take the visitors from your site to another site outside of your domain. These are mostly used for linking references, other reliable authority sites and other resources those don’t exist in your website.
Internal Linking: Internal linking comes in handy by making it easier for people to get around your site. Internal linking inside a content allows a reader to check out similar and related content from your site.
Pro tip: The longer a visitor stays in your site, it lowers the bounce rate. And guess what, Internal linking is great for this!
12. Include Call to Actions
A first-time blogger should definitely include a call to actions on their posts. This can be in the form of a link to read another post, request to share the post, making a purchase or subscribing to a newsletter.
This gives the reader an option to take the next step. It potentially means more traffic being generated and possible increased sales and leads. This is just making your post having an outcome.
13. Keep Your Site Secure
It’s a no-brainer that you need to stay on top of your site’s security. You can’t risk losing a heap of precious work just because you didn’t keep your site updated and it got hacked by an old vulnerability as a result.
It’s imperative to get a security solution/plugin that will protect your site. Be sure to pay attention to all the notifications it sends you.
14. Keep Only the Required Plugins
It’s easy to get carried away and have a lot of plugins that you don’t really require. All plugins don’t really work well together so it will hamper performance. Your site performance will deteriorate or even crash when multiple plugins start interfering with each other.
Multiple plugins trying to do the same thing can also hamper performance. So it’s better to just get rid of unnecessary plugins that are just shiny objects that aren’t useful at all.
15. Make Sure to Have a Mailing List
For any blogger, it’s crucial to stay in touch with their readers. And every person on the internet has an email address so for an online blogger that is your most valuable list. This can be a valuable source of income and site traffic.
You need to email them newsletters about offers and gifts that will keep them coming back and stay loyal to your page. The mailing list can also be a list of your prospects, people who you are likely to do business in the future so keep it updated periodically.
As a blogger who is just beginning there are a lot of things that will be occupying your mind. Writing the blog, editing it to perfection and finally getting it out to the readers by publishing it.
To make this process perfect you need to ensure a smooth blogging experience. By following the above mentioned tips you can ensure to smooth out most of the edges. So happy blogging to you!
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