If you have been thinking that blogging would be fun, and maybe even profitable, but you just don’t know where to start, I can help. Setting up your new blog is not difficult at all, even if you are an absolute beginner. These simple steps can be learned and completed by most people in a few hours time.
Key points you need to keep in mind before you jump into Blogging
1. What Type of blog would you like to have?
Will you be sharing information about your favorite hobbies? Are you going to use your blog as a way to keep in touch with family and friends? Or do you want to utilize your blog to build an online, home based business? This step is crucial in determining several other factors related to your blog.
For example, if you are building a blog to share your expertise or keep in touch with family, you can probably just stick with the various free blogging platforms around such as Blogger.com, WordPress.com, Squidoo.com, Hubpages.com, etc.
There is really no need for you as a ‘personal blogger’ to invest in your own domain name and hosting account, of course you can if you want, but its not really necessary.
If, on the other hand, your blog is going to be for your home business and you are setting it up with the sole purpose of making an income online, then you need to invest in a domain name which can be purchased for a small fee from places like Godaddy.com, and a hosting account; the most popular being HostGator.com. Also, be aware that for a marketing site you will want to use a self hosted platform like WordPress.org vs. Wordpres.com.
Think of it like this; you wouldn’t open a fast food franchise in someone else’s building would you? Having wordpress.com, is likened to having a contract stating that you were renting the space for your fast food joint and therefore you have little to no control. Whereas, having a self hosted platform like wordpress.org would mean that you owned the building outright and therefore could do anything you wanted with that space. When you own your domain name and you have your own hosted blog, you become the proud owner of some prime real estate online. This is important for the long term success of your business.
2. Choose a Laser focused Topic for your blog.
This topic, or niche, will largely determine whether or not you succeed online. Too many people just jump into a niche because they like it without having spent time researching whether or not it’s a viable market for them to make money in. Also, being too general about what your blog is all about can have a negative effect.
One of the best gauges of a good niche market is how many people are buying products related to that market or how many people are actively searching for that product or service? No matter how many people might like a certain niche, the real question to ask yourself is do they actually spend money on it?
You can use certain free tools to determine this, may favorite is Google Keyword Planner. Using a good keyword search tool will help you find out what people are searching for on the net. For example, if you decide to sell “doggie sweaters”, you can type in the keyword “doggie sweaters” in a search tool program to see if people are actually searching for that item. If it turns out to be a populare keyword, then you could probably make money on it. Keyword analysis is kind of a complicated strategy, and much to complex to get into here, but it can be very profitable if you are willing to take the time to learn how it works.
3. Pick a theme that you would like for your blog.
You can find hundreds of nice themes for free that come with both WordPress versions. Just pick a style that works for the subject of your blog. Choose something that expresses your individual style.
If you are building a business blog you may also want to install some plugins that will increase the functionality of your blog. A plugin is similar in concept to an app for a smart phone, it’s just a small software program that will enable you do to more awesome things with your blog. There are thousands of plugins available that can make the blogging process easier during your set up process, and most of them are free.
These tips will help to get you started in creating a blog you can be proud of.
No matter what type of blog you are putting together remember to enjoy yourself, blogging really is fun!