After reading all the posts about blogging and preparing yourself, you’ve decided you want to start a blog. That’s awesome. Let me be the first to roll out the welcome mat. By now, you understand this race is not for the swift but for those who can endure. And endurance you will need. Whatever the approach you take, this is for certain. Readers, subscribers in particular like fresh content. The fresher it is, the more relevant it is likely to be, so keeping up is important.
As someone who rides the mill, I can tell you that sometimes, you may not hit your target numbers every single time, but it is important to try. Now that you have decided, and that’s out of the way, there are a couple of things you need to do to get you out of the gate. So let’s build you a ‘To Do List’.
Start a Blog To Do List
1. Pick a Topic
Choosing what you want to write about is important for a number of reasons, including longevity of interest. You don’t have to immediately know a lot about the topic, but if you don’t you will need to know that you will need to do lots of research to talk about the topic you choose.
How much research you need to do each time you write, will impact your turnaround time for a post and ultimately your schedule. For example, typically, my blog posts are about my own feelings or experiences, so I think my turnaround time for posts is pretty quick and can range anywhere from one hour to a few days when ita a longer post. I typically keep my post between 700 and 1500 words. Rare is the longer post on my blog, though they are highly encouraged for google ranking. I have my own reason for this.
They are simple, I’m not reading a 4000-word article that is not in a storytelling format at the very least, unless I’m doing research or I’m overly invested in a topic (sometimes not even then.) longer articles lead to skimming. Which I don’t want.
Google is constantly changing its algorithms to give the searcher the best result. So long posts that are heavily padded and bury information will have a higher bounce rate (seconds) will become undesirable.
2. Pick a Name
Deciding on your blog’s name can be very personal, especially if it is in fact a personal blog. Some people have their name ready years beforehand, and some people dive in and then change it a few times before coming to rest. Whatever your story is, you will need to search the internet to see whether the domain name you want is available and if not, choose an alternate name.
Bear in mind that if you start with a free blog, that doesn’t reserve the actual domain name. So if you have bought it (on subscription), it will be up for grabs. For example, if you want to name your blog ‘Let’s Talk About It!’. The domain on a free hosting website will let you register as http://www.letstalkblogs.wordpress.com but until you register for letstalkabouytit.com, anyone anywhere can buy it and you will need to get an alternative, like say http://www.lets-talk-blogs.com, http://www.letstalkblogs.blog or http://www.letstalkblogs.net.
3. Pick a Plan
If you’re starting out with free, you can skip on over this part. Unless you want to know beforehand what it will cost.
If you’re not going with the free option, you will need to pick a plan that is within your budget or allows the flexibility and/or freedom you want. For example, WordPress.com has four plans that are billed annually; Personal, Premium, Business and E-Commerce. The price range from $48/Year (Personal) to $540/Year (E-Commerce). If you want to Self Host, WordPress.org is open-source software. All you need to be able to use it is your domain name and web hosting. For this reason, it is referred to as self-hosted WordPress.
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Now, there are cheaper options, especially if you are versed in coding, website building that kind thing. But as a non-techy person, I prefer WordPress myself. Shop around.
4. Pick a BloggingSchedule
If you intend to produce longer content that is not in the form of a story or fiction related, budget the time for that. Unless you are a full-time blogger, realistically you aren’t going t be able to write and edit 4000 word long posts multiple times a week.
Factor in the update frequency, depth and breadth of topics, length, SEO, etc.
5. Write Your first Post, or Two… or Three
The next thing you want to do is make sure you have a blog post or two, posted. So that when you begin to share it, readers will not just be on a blank site. that way they can read your first couple of posts, get a feel of it and decide if they want to stick around for your future posts. You don’t have to do this, but it helps.
6. Market for Dear Life
The thing about the internet is, it’s vast. And your brand spanking new blog can easily get lost in the sea of millions. it will take time and consistency to get traffic to your blog, so you will have to tell people about it by sharing it. Telling others about it. Social media is a good tool to market your blog, just find a space where there are likely to be people looking for what you are talking about. For example, if you have a cooking blog, the best social platform to market on would be YouTube or Pinterest.
If you’ve gotten this far, you’re well on your way. If you like the blog post and found it useful, share it with a friend or two.
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