The blogging community is full of entrepreneurs from all walks of life who have been able to turn their passions into profits within the online space. The best part about being a blogger is that there are seemingly no prerequisites or qualifications needed to be successful, but that can also be the most misleading part.
It can be easy to visit your favorite blog or read monthly income reports from those who have come before you, and just assume that slipping into their shoes will be easy. But what you are not seeing is all the steps that come before going live as well as all the pieces of maintenance that are essential for sustainability.
Before you hit the ground running with your own ideas and blog space, dive deep into the process and steps involved in doing so. It will be of great benefit to you in the long run to have invested time in learning how to build a solid foundation as your first step. This research can also help you learn from other peoples’ mistakes and save you from potentially making them yourself.
Choose a Platform
Your first challenge will be deciding which platform you want to use for your blog. Consider all your options and learn about what each platform can offer you, especially as a first timer. For example, some will come with free design themes which will make it quite easy for you as a first timer to customize your blog to match your aesthetic.
Be on the lookout also for options that provide online video tutorials, help desks, or checklists to help you get started and stay on track.
Honor the Commitment
The success of a blog is heavily influenced by its level of activity and engagement. It is important that you understand the time commitment that starting a blog will demand. Especially for those who aim to have their blog become their paycheck it is essential to understand the self-sacrifice involved in getting started. If your current job or lifestyle does not financially allow for you to be dedicated to this then consider what you can do to change that fact.
Starting a blog is not especially expensive however, time is money. As your business picks up you may find that you need to leave your traditional income/job to dedicate yourself full time to nurturing this seed before you are financially ready to do so. Look at your budget and personal finances to see where you can create cash from your existing situation.
Selling a life insurance policy is a good example of how to find new money within your existing money. Before you make any decisions use an online calculator to determine not just the value of selling your policy but if you even qualify for this option in the first place.
Find a Niche
Finding a niche for your blog involves a combination of considerations including a topic you are passionate about and interested in, something that is specific and will please both the search engines and your readers, and something that opens the doors for you to bring in advertising dollars when the time comes.
All these elements are mutually exclusive, however start your niche search by selecting a topic that you are passionate about and branch out from there.
If you pick something for any other reason other than you are interested in it and enjoy it, you are not setting your blog up for success. If your content and writing show no passion, then that will negatively affect your presence and your readers will certainly be able to tell.
Blogging is like cooking in a way. You can follow a recipe to make a meal, but if you do not genuinely care about the ingredients, presentation, and flavors, your meal will just be average, same goes for your niche and your blog.
Focus on Marketing
Your blog is a business, and you need to market it as such to be able to create profitability. Simply launching your page without putting any effort into marketing is akin to the adage of a you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink.
People must know your page exists to be able to visit it. A good way to start it by engaging at high levels with the bloggers that you already know and love. By leaving comments on their pages, you can create a traffic flow back to your own page.
It should really go without saying but including social media in your marketing plan is a must. Many, if not all, social media platforms are free, and the outreach that you can take advantage of is huge. These platforms allow you to market your product and drive sales in a way that no other paid advertising can.
Learn about SEO marketing, and how to use certain keywords and hashtags on your page and social media accounts to get noticed and gain followers. Once you begin to trend, or go viral, your followers will do a significant portion of marketing your blog for you simply by engaging your accounts.
Prioritize Your Pace
It is a good idea to build up an inventory of posts before you go live. This will ensure that once you launch your blog, you have enough material stocked up to be able to post at a pace that is both aggressive and sustainable. The industry standard for beginners is to shoot for two new posts a week but if SEO is one of your key priorities, then increasing that volume to daily posts is smart.
Take advantage of online scheduling tools so that you can still prioritize you pace when you are away from your desk. This will also help you to enjoy an element of work life balance during the demanding beginning stages of your new venture.
Pull Back the Curtain
As a blogger you must be ready to expose yourself in a new way. Depending on your niche and your post topics, your readers are ultimately visiting your space to hear about your opinion and your experiences. To create relatability and build credibility with your followers, having a personal slant worked into your page and posts is essential.
One way to do this initially is to have an ‘about me’ section on your main page. Telling visitors who you are, what you are about, and what to expect from your content is like opening the front door to your home and saying, ‘come on in!’ If you are comfortable with including a photograph of yourself that is a great way to create an additional layer of personality into your blog.