Starting a blog is an amazing way to share knowledge with a wide audience. There’s a lot of information spread across the internet about how to create a blog that will have an impact on others. However, our goal here is to condense the most important bits into one blog post. There are a number of steps that need to be taken. This can be daunting, but stick with the process and you will find success.
Pick a Niche
So you love to blog. However, it isn’t advisable that you blog about every topic under the sun. This may sound cheesy, but you should blog about what you’re passionate about. There are a lot of different things that you need to do to publish a successful blog that take a lot of effort to accomplish. However, if you choose a niche that you’re passionate about, you’re less likely to give up on it and to develop your blog to its fullest potential.
With that being said, there are some other things that you need to take into consideration when choosing your niche. If your niche is too overcrowded, it may not be worth pursuing that niche.
In many cases, there will be competitors even if your niche isn’t overcrowded. You should explore the competition out there and see what they are doing. You can try to emulate some of the things they are doing to help grow your blog. In some cases, you may even be able to improve on these things. However, be sure to only use techniques and tips that you think are useful.
Finally, you should also see how feasible it is to try to monetize your blog’s niche. While we did say that you should blog about something that you’re passionate about, you should always think about the monetization potential of your niche. You will have to put in some hard work to push your blog to the level that it needs to get to. For this reason, it would be great if you could also generate some income from it.
Find a Suitable CMS
A content management system (CMS) is a tool that helps you to manage website content such as web pages, the storage of images, and other functions like changing the look of your website. With a CMS, you don’t have to worry about coding everything for your website from scratch, since it will have the infrastructure in place to accommodate commonly carried out tasks such as creating blog posts.
WordPress is an excellent CMS solution for blogs. WordPress has tons of plugins that let you do everything from creating web pages, to compress images. It is one of the most widely used content management systems out there and is used even for purposes other than blogging. A staggering 35% of the internet is powered by WordPress. This statistic just goes to show the dominance of this CMS. It’s easy to use and effective.
However, there are some other really great CMS platforms available. A few of them are:
- Magento (great for eCommerce)
You should look into at least a few of these platforms before you make a final decision. WordPress comes in 2 flavors. There is WordPress.com and WordPress.org. WordPress.com makes your set up process a little easier since you don’t have to worry about things like finding a hosting provider. With WordPress.org, you will have more control over the customization of your website, and you will also be able to choose your own hosting provider.
With that being said, website builder solutions like Squarespace and Wix are far easier to use and still give your website a polished look. You will however be limited in your customization options. These options are probably best reserved for those who don’t have a technical background.
Set Up Your Website
The first thing that you will need to have in place is a hosting provider when you’re setting up your website. Some services such as WordPress.com, Squarespace, and Wix will come with their own hosting. However, if you choose to use a more complex CMS such as WordPress.org, you will need to look for a hosting provider.
You will need to ensure that you select a reliable web host to ensure that your website runs well at all times. You want to make sure that your website is available to your readers 24/7 after all.
The most important thing to look at when picking out a web hosting provider is its uptime statistics. You will want to choose a provider that has stats as close to 100 % uptime as possible. You should also pick a provider that provides room for growth. As your audience increases in size, you might need a more substantial hosting package and it should be easy to make this transition. A good hosting provider will let you upgrade packages seamlessly.
Most CMS platforms will let you choose between a variety of themes. Configure your website to your preference, making sure that everything is laid out clearly. Remember that sometimes simple is better.
Make sure that you have at least the following pages before launching your website:
- Homepage: This will probably give a brief introduction about what your website is about and show your readers some of your most recent content as well as some featured content.
- About Us: This tells new website visitors what your website is about.
- Contact: This lets others get into a contract with you.
Write Great Content
After setting up your website, you will need to populate it with content. We already talked about niches, but remember to target your content towards a particular audience.
Make sure to layout your content well too. You should have lots of paragraphs. Breaking up big blocks of words and having plenty of white spaces helps to make content more readable.
In addition, while you’re probably hoping to generate some income from your blog, you shouldn’t make your content sound too sales-driven. Always create your content with the intention of creating value for your users.
Promoting Your Blog
You will need to promote your blog for it to reach a wide audience. You can start by sharing it with friends. You should also ensure that your blog is being indexed by search engines. You can use Google’s webmaster tools to submit your website’s URL to Google.
Sharing your website through sites such as Reddit can also be helpful. Being active on relevant forums, blogs, and social pages also helps to spread the word about your blog. You should also share your work on social media.
Guest blogging is another great way to promote your blog. Remember to create valuable guest blogs. It’s much more effective to write a valuable guest post which mentions that your blog is related to what you’re guest posting about, than to just write a purely promotional one.
You should also gather a mailing list in order to connect with your readers. You can send them updates about your website among other things. By creating this connection with your readers, you will build a loyal audience.
You can also advertise your website. Using paid ads from Facebook and Google are effective means of getting the word about your blog out there.
Making Money From Your Blog
Now, with promotion discussed, it’s time to think about monetization. There are a number of ways to do this.
For instance, you can sell products based on what your information is about. These might include t-shirts and posters. This really depends on what’s best suited for the type of content that you produce.
You can also enroll in affiliate programs. For instance, you can advertise Amazon products within posts. If you’re enrolled in an affiliate program and a reader buys a product through your website, you will receive a commission for your role in the sale.
You can also sell ad space on your blog. You can set this up where people would have to contact you to buy ad slots and/or you can run Google Ads which you will get paid for depending on the number of people who viewed and clicked on it.
Sponsored posts are another option. With this option, a company that wants to advertise a product in your niche can pay you for publishing a post on your website. These types of posts should add value for the readers while advertising a product. We can’t stress enough that this type of post shouldn’t come across as being pure sales-driven. If this is the case, it will come across to your readers as inauthentic and you could lose some of your following.
Blogging is an excellent way to share your knowledge with the world. It can be a daunting task to put everything in place that’s needed for a blog. However, we have thought of the most important things that you will need to take care of in order to build a blog that matters.
Find a niche, pick a suitable CMS, set up your website, write great content, promote your blog, and put monetization strategies in place.
Remember to start off with passion, and then follow the technical tips in this article. Doing this will eventually lead you to make money from your passion.
“I’m Mohammad Abid – I live in Karachi and love exploring the city, business, books, and the Internet. I work in marketing and more specifically SEO, have done quite a few things in my short career, have an incredible family, and prefer running my own website over a social media profile.”