It’s stupid simple to set up a blog in 2016. It takes minutes. This means people throw up blogs all over the internet without giving it much thought, which is a shame. A blog (any blog) has potential. It can be the beginning of a business, a profitable side hustle, or a base for a community.
So it’s important to have a few things in place before you start a blog. I’ve come up with four. Just four. That’s not many. So take a little time to get them in place. Right now. Then go start your blog.
Some people would say you need a plan, or (even loftier) a strategy before you start a blog. They may be right, but at the very least, you need an objective. Why do you want to start a blog? Do you want to make money? Spread a message? Inform or educate people? Showcase your writing skills? Your objective can be any of the above, or a combination of them. Just make sure you have one. It will make the process of starting and running your blog easier, more fun and more worthwhile.
Your niche can be broad (fashion, beauty, health, travel, business or parenting) or narrow (organic skincare, upcycled fashion, or productivity) or even narrower (making your own stuffed animals). Just please don’t start a blog about nothing. It worked for Seinfeld. You are not Seinfeld. Your blog should be about a specific topic, and your visitors should be able to spot what that topic is fairly quickly.
What is your blog called? Hint: It really helps if your blog name is one of the things that allows your visitors to spot what your topic is fairly quickly. Again, there are exceptions (anyone heard of BoingBoing?) but most blogs have a name (and tag line) that helps rather than hinders new visitors, who will be trying to ascertain if the subject matter of this blog interests them.
You may or may not have a domain name (that’s your actual web address or URL: Eg www.TheSavvySolopreneur.net) picked out and purchased. If you go with a good hosting site like Bluehost (and I suggest you do) you will get a free domain name included in your hosting package, so you may want to finalize that as you set your blog up. Check the domain name you want is available, and (if you’re not buying it straight away) have a few variations you’re prepared to use, in case someone else snaps up the one you want.
Some people start their blog with a boring, wishy-washy ‘welcome to my blog’ type of post. Perhaps they say what they’re going to blog about. Or worse, if they haven’t niched it down, they admit they don’t know what they’re going to blog about, but tell their readers they ‘hope you’ll stick around and enjoy what I have to say anyway’. (Guess what? They won’t, unless they’re a personal friend or relative).As Henry Ford once said ‘You can’t build a reputation on what you’re going to do’. Click To Tweet
So don’t tell people what you’re going to do. Start doing it. Create some content before you launch your blog. At the very minimum you need some content for your about page, your contact page and five high-quality, entertaining, relevant-to-your-niche blog posts.
Make those first five blog posts answer or address five specific questions or problems people interested in your niche may have. Post them within the first week of getting your blog live, interlink them, and THEN start promoting your blog. Then visitors will have some stuff to browse through when they get there.
So now you have what you need. Four things. No more. Got them all lined up? Go set up a blog.