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Wondering how to start a blog? I get it. Long before I started blogging, everything about publishing words on the web seemed like a distant concept, reserved for the technically savvy. And because I wasn’t very technical, I really had no idea how to start a blog.
Just like you, I started reading all sorts of websites, where I picked up a few tips. When I decided to start a blog, it wasn’t pretty. Because I went into blogging without a solid plan, my initial articles were all over the place. (I want to help you avoid these mistakes when you start a blog.)
Like most things in life, you get better with experience. And when you start a blog, this is the rule. So as a very rough game-plan, you will have to write at least a dozen articles before you develop your flow. You will have to write at least fifty articles before Google starts sending you traffic. And you will have to keep on writing if you plan to make money.
All of this gets easier if you remember one key point. The best blog articles solve problems. So when you start a blog, you should always answer this question: “What problems do you hope to solve?”
Defining your niche is an essential first step on how to start a blog. After that, the real challenge is creating content that will serve your audience for the long haul. Here are 15 steps on how to start a blog:
1. Pick Your Niche Topic: Many people start a blog to chase overnight riches. Don’t do this. While it is important to set high business expectations, it is important to view your blogging business with a long term perspective. So when you start a blog, realize it may take you months to grow your blogging business, you must find a topic that you are passionate about.
2. Break Your Topic Into Smaller Categories: Once you find your niche, your next step is to break your topic into smaller chunks. For example, filmmaking consists of writing, producing, directing, marketing and distribution. By breaking your own niche topic into smaller categories, you will define a framework for your topic. When you start a blog, take a moment to create at least five main categories.
3. Create 10 Articles For Each Category: After breaking your niche into smaller categories, create at least ten article ideas for each category. This simple exercise will allow you to start a blog with at least fifty article ideas. And as a new blogger, discipline yourself to write a new article, a new audio and a video at least once a week. Fifty article ideas will get you close to one year’s worth of content.
4. Choose Blog Platform: Your next step is to decide which kind of blog platform you want to set up. When you start a blog, there are two ways to do this. Firstly, you can utilize a blogging network, like www.Tumblr.com or www.WordPress.com or you can choose to host your own blog. If you are serious, I suggest you forgo the blogging networks and host your own blog via www.wordpress.org
5. Set Up Traffic Tools: One of the most comprehensive traffic tools is called Google Analytics. The software is free, easy to install and allows you to monitor who’s coming to your website, how long they stay in where visitors exit. You will want to start tracking as soon as you start a blog.
6. Create Your Facebook Page: In order to provide community, at the very least you will want to set up a Facebook page that links to your blog. This page will allow you to interact and build relationships with your audience. To set up a Facebook page, click this link.
7. Create A Twitter Account: When you start a blog, every visit counts. One of the easiest ways to get visitors on your website is to set up a twitter account. Once set up, you will be able to tweet about any new articles on your website. In this sense, your twitter followers will click the link and visit your site. To set up a twitter account, click this link.
8. Link Your Blog to Facebook and Twitter: The Internet is nothing more than a series of links. Your goal is to make it easy for someone to find your website. Once your Facebook page and Twitter account is established, you can then set up automatic updates on each page. Any time you publish a new article your Facebook fans and Twitter followers will know.
9. Set Up Email Opt-In: There is an expression Internet marketing that says your money is your list. When you start a blog, one common mistake is relying solely on social networks to engage your audience. But as you know, social networks often go out of vogue. So you will want to set up a system whereby you can manage your own email list. Visit our friends at Aweber to get started.
10. Create Content: It will take search engines a few months to start taking you and your blog seriously. So when you start a blog, your primary goal is to continually add content to your blog. You will find this very challenging at first. Keep going! Think of it like a game. If you can write 50 articles over the next two months, you will begin to gain traffic.
11. Sell Ad Space: After you start a blog, you will start thinking about ways to make money. So as your blog gains popularity, one of the easiest ways to generate income is to sell ad space on your blog. With this model, more traffic increases the likelihood that someone will click on an ad. And since most ads are based on Pay-Per-Click, this can generate significant revenue. The downside of selling ad space is you may send targeted visitors away from your blog.
12. Create Affiliate Relationships: If you consistently produce great content, your efforts will result in a massive traffic and a robust mailing list. At this point, you may want to start referring your visitors to products and services that complement your niche. This is called affiliate marketing. One of the easiest places to find affiliate products is clickbank.
13. Create Your Own Products: One of the most profitable steps you can take involves leveraging and re-purposing your content to create your own information products and services. While this is a lot more time consuming than promoting affiliate products, the upside is higher profit margins and creative control. Additionally, affiliates start working for you!
14. Increase Your Traffic: There are several ways to drive traffic to your website, including online and offline. You can choose to pay for advertising or look for ways to create free traffic. Some examples include press releases, pay-per-click, search engine optimization, banner ads, newsletters, advertising in magazines, guest posting on blogs and sharing ideas on social platforms.
15. Partner With Other Bloggers: Nothing can help you get noticed in the noise faster than a vote of confidence from a blogger already established in your niche. I suggest taking a moment to send an intro email to these folks and ask for an interview. Because you are thinking about ways to promote other bloggers, this will help you get on their radar.
Simply put, when you start a blog, you will need to set up a site, capture traffic, sell products and then scale up! If you would like to find out more about how to start a blog, you might enjoy my free blogging eCourse.