Are you thinking about starting a blog? Want to know the ins and outs of how to be successful in this business?
Welcome to the world of blogging, my friend! For many, blogging started out as a hobby, a way to vocalize your inner thoughts. Back in the early 2000’s, blogs were the online diaries that many kept. They ranged from sharing Grandma’s pie crust recipe to advice on what to do to keep your house clean. Blogs were also a way to meet new people, and form an online community.
Times changed a bit, and many have turned their once hobby into a thriving business. A 6 figure income from a blog is no longer a fantasy, it’s a reality for many of them. Here are some of the best tips I can share to help you on that path to your own success.
1. Use WordPress
While there is inherently nothing “wrong” with Blogger, Squarespace, or Wix, WordPress is preferred for many reasons. It can be better for SEO (search engine optomized), and it has a wide range of “plug ins” that can help you run your blog easier. WordPress can also be easily updated to keep your site’s security at it’s best.
Your host can help you with the installation of wordpress, and you will set a user name and password to sign in. Please remember to use a unique password and do not set your user name to “admin”. This can be easily hacked, and a hacked website can be a nightmare. Use your first and last name, a pet name, or even a family members name spelled backwards for your user name. For best security, use at least a 10-12 digit password that contains capitals, special symbols, and numbers.
WordPress also has a lot of themes for it that can be purchased, to make your site your own. They can range from $25-$200 in price, depending on your budget. Which brings us to the next tip.
2. If you can, spend money to have someone design the site or purchase a theme that matches your branding.
While spending $200-$2000 on a website may be out of your budget, it’s worth saving for that investment. Having someone who is knowledgeable in website design and branding will help you make your best first impression with the online world.
Ask to see samples of their work, and pay attention to how much they listen to what you want. You will want to have a contract that is signed by both parties explaining the terms of service, when the work is expected to be done, what to do if troubles arise with the site after, and what happens if you are not fully satisfied.
3. Stay consistent- set a schedule and stick to it
Once you have a blog started, now you need to add content to it. You will want to gain a following, and have people come back to read your blog often. Setting a schedule of when you will post will help you reach that goal, as well as letting your readers know when to expect new content.
If you want to post only once a week, that is fine. Choose a day of the week to make your posts “live”. For example, if you write 4 posts for your blog at once, schedule them out to be live on Wednesdays at 10 AM. Your readers will come to expect new content at that time, and head to your blog automatically to see it.
If you choose to post more often, you will want to stay consistent with that. It’s actually better to only do 1 post a week consistently, than it is to do 5 posts one week, 1 post the next, then skip a week. Consistency will win this race.
4. Find a host that offers support.
You will want a host that can help you manage your site. I recommend Bluehost for this reason. Bluehost is widely popular with many bloggers, and they have quick and friendly service. You will be able to reach someone on their tech team to help you quickly.
Their rates are among the most competitive in the industry, and you can find specials that will only cost you $4 a month to start out! As a beginner or hobby blogger, I understand that the costs can quickly get out of hand, which is why I recommend checking out Bluehost- fast and friendly service at a great price!
Bluehost also offers a variety of services from SEO services to website migration.
5. Use social media to promote your posts.
Social media is where you will find your community in many instances. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and even Tumblr are all great resources to share your content so others can see it. Pinterest is vital for your blog as well, as it reaches millions of users who are looking for YOUR kind of content.
It’s a good idea to get a Facebook page and other social media accounts that match your blog’s name. This will help with branding and allow others to search for you easily.
What other questions do you have about blogging? How can I help you succeed? Check out some of our services here.