If you noticed on my blog, I don’t actually blog about blogging because my advice is to simply, ‘just do it’. Not wanting to steal Nike’s slogan… Jon who is behind Totally Blogging and The Money Shed (Or in front of it, or even inside) has 10 tips for starting a blog. I’ve provided a few comments in red for contrast too…
It only takes a few simple steps to create a blog – which is why they’re so popular. It’s a great marketing tool and a good way to make some money. If you want to build your own blog and make sure that it’s successful then there are some things that you should know beforehand.
Time and Effort
Blogging takes a lot of time – especially to begin with and you will need to make sure that you can put in as much effort as you have to make it work.
Don’t expect results immediately. So you post a few posts and nobody reads them – you should expect this at first. Successful bloggers are those who can wait patiently for the results to come in without giving up at the first hurdle.
Consistency is key. Find your voice, comment on other blogs and share. Its not all about YOU.
As well as your time, you should also consider the cost of blogging. WordPress and Blogger (among others) are free to use, but remember that you don’t own these blogs.
If you want complete control, more flexibility and the ability to make more money then hosting your own site is the way to go. Prices start from £2.99 a month depending on what package you go for. Owning your site is a much better way to go – but consider this cost too.
All you need is words and and a few photos. I would also recommend you purchase your domain name but you don’t have to spend your life saving’s on fancy layouts or tools. Simplicity is key.
You may have a thousand great ideas but the best blogs are those with a true niche. You need to figure out what you know a lot about and try and stick to it.
The best blogs are those with a focus – that way you know what your audience is and what their interests are. Knowing your audience will help you come up with lots of topics to write about instead of jumping from one to another.
While we’re on the subject – your content is what will bring people back to your blog, and what will bring more new people.
There is an argument about quality versus quantity and the benefits each of these bring. Quantity will help bring more traffic to your site, but quality should be your main priority. Having great quality content will cement your place as a blog of high standard and bring people back again and again.
Social media is arguably the most important tool in your blogging arsenal. There are millions of social media users and you should use this tool to get more people to visit your blog.
You can create pages for your blog on social media which is a great way to reach out to more people. But you can also promote posts and create ads on social media without having your own page. Try not to spam social media feeds with your content but post enough so that people see you.
Social media is about being social!
Thanks to sites like WordPress, you no longer need to have a full understanding of HTML. But you may want to brush up on some basics to ensure that your blog reaches its full potential.
Understanding HTML and even CSS means that you can fix smaller bugs with your site and edit it by hand when you need to. Consider this option instead of hiring a site manager as this will save you a lot of money.
You’ll be able to add some skills to your CV too, it demonstrates tenacity and passion.
Search Engine Optimisation is one of the most important tools to getting noticed. This is the thing that will get your page featured on search engine results pages, above others.
Learning the basics of SEO will help you be able to create great content that meets the requirements to get your blog noticed above the competition. The whole process is complicated, but having a small knowledge will help massively.
Unfortunately, people can steal your content without permission. It’s not great but it’s a sad fact about posting stuff on the internet.
Imitation is the highest form of flattery after all…
Learn about copyright laws to ensure that you’re protecting your content and your images from theft. But also make sure that you understand enough so that you’re not stealing content unintentionally.
Having a great looking site is a must have and making sure your site is also mobile friendly is something that every professional blog should have. If your site is clunky or not professional looking then you will lose visitors.
I always prefer the minimalistic route. Plus, you need to make sure its optimised for mobile and tablet viewing too.
By being you and being real, you can build trust and good relationships with your audience. You will also ensure that your content is 100% you and you won’t struggle as much with producing high quality stuff. If you try and be somebody else then you won’t last as long because you won’t be able to keep it up.
Authenticity is KEY. Check out The Money Shed for more tips and tricks to smash the blogging realm.
Please note, this is a guest post from Jon at The Money Shed. My quips have been added in red.