There are over 350 million domains registered on the internet. That’s a lot of websites but it’s never too late to add your voice to the mix.
Getting started as a beginner blogger can be intimidating but it’s not as hard as you might think. Let’s look at some tips for getting your blog up and running.
Choose the Right Topic
The first of our success tips for blogging is to pick a topic you enjoy writing about. This might seem obvious but too many bloggers pick a topic because they think it’s going to be able to make a lot of money. That might be motivating when you first start but it won’t take long before writing for your blog become a chore that you dread.
When you choose a topic you enjoy, you’ll look forward to researching new posts, your readers will be able to tell that you’re more sincere, and you’ll be more likely to continue for the long-term.
Register a Good Domain
Your domain name will become part of your blog’s brand. Ideally, it will be the same as the name of your blog. Don’t limit your options by choosing a restrictive domain name. For example, if you choose a domain like “top10lists.com” you’re not going to be able to write anything with the top five or top twenty.
You should try and find a .com domain that suits you as well. There are lots of other domains available and it will be harder to find a .com name you like but most people still assume a site is at the .com address.
Choose the Right Blogging Platform
There are several free blogging platforms like WordPress.com, Blogger, Medium, and Tumblr. While the idea of a free blog is attractive when you’re starting out, make sure you’re aware of the trade-offs. When you set up your site on a free service you’re at the mercy of another company.
If they change their policies or decide they don’t like your site for some reason, you could find your blog shutdown without warning, losing all your hard work.
The best choice is to use a self-hosted blogging platform on your own domain. WordPress.org (not .com) and SquareSpace are both good choices but WordPress is the most widely-supported platform. You’ll get more choices for themes, plugins, etc.
Go With a Reliable Hosting Company
When you set up a self-hosted blog, you’ll need to get a hosting plan for it. This is another place to avoid free options. While free hosting is available, it has the same drawbacks as the free blogging services – you’re at the mercy of another company and your blog could get shut down anytime.
You don’t have to spend a lot on hosting but when you buy it from a reputable company with a good track record, you’ll have a faster, more reliable blog. And you’ll be able to get technical support for any questions or problems that pop up. They’ll be able to help with technical tips for a beginner blogger too.
Install Analytics from the Beginning
Don’t wait until you start getting visitors to install a tracking system like Google Analytics. Install it when you first set up your blog. Or if you need a more robust analytics system and are considering something like Epicor ERP, Epicor Consultants might be worth considering.
There might not be much for it to track at the beginning but as you start getting more visitors, you’ll have information about how they found you, their demographics, and other useful data. Leaving it until you already have traffic means you’ll miss out on the early data and you might forget to install it at that point.
Build Your Email List
Start building your email list from day one as well. Again, you may not have a lot of visitors right away but you want to start building your list as soon as people start reading your posts.
An email list gives you more control over your own destiny. If the search engines change their algorithms or a social media site changes who sees your posts, you can generate your own traffic by sending an email to your list.
Don’t Break Any Copyright Laws
It’s easy to find images and other media on Google but it’s not always clear what kind of copyright is on them. Using these images on your website can lead to serious problems down the road. If you use an image that you don’t have a license for, you could face fines, lawsuits, or even having your blog shut down.
Use images that are free to use under Creative Commons licensing or pay for stock images. Make sure you keep records of the license in case anyone ever accuses you of using unlicensed images.
It’s important that you post on a consistent schedule, especially when you’re first starting out. You don’t want your readers to forget who you are between posts.
This doesn’t mean you have to post daily. You might only want to post a couple of times a week or even weekly or bi-weekly. The key is to stick to a consistent schedule so people get used to seeing your posts at a regular time.
Network with Influencers
Networking with influencers in your niche will help get new visitors to your blog. It will expose you to their audience, and some of those people will be curious about what you have to say.
Like and comment on social media posts. Comment on their blog posts. Email them with feedback or to ask them to collaborate in some way. But always approach it with the perspective of how can you help them, not what you want them to do for you.
Don’t Be a Perfectionist
Write the best content you can on your blog but don’t be too much of a perfectionist. You can always go back and fix mistakes after a post goes live but if you wait until it’s “perfect” before posting it, you may never get it out in the world.
Your readers will likely find mistakes anyway, no matter how long you spend tweaking your post. When someone points out an error, you can fix it.
A Beginner Blogger Needs to be Realistic
Perhaps most important of all, be realistic about the time it’s going to take to get your blog off the ground. Traffic to your blog won’t come overnight, it takes some time to build. You’ll need to put in time and effort up front to get some momentum started.
Focus on one thing at a time and don’t let yourself get taken off track by some new idea or another shiny object. Starting a project like being a beginner blogger is fun but making them successful takes work.
Check back often for more helpful articles like this.