Want to start a blog? Great! Blogging helps you share your ideas, connect with other like-minded individuals, and, if you’re really determined, even make some cash. Maintaining a blog isn’t easy, though. Check out this article for a few insights on what it’s like to start a blogging career and you’re going to be off to a great start.
So you heard about this blog thing and you want one for yourself. You’ll get a chance to improve your writing and interact with others interested in the same things as you. You’ll get all those warm and fuzzy feelings inside as your readership grows. You might even make some money with it.
Before you start searching for a web hosting service though, take a deep breath. Maintaining a successful blog is hard work. You need to constantly update it, keep in touch with your readers, and develop a marketing strategy. You’ll have to make some sacrifices as well, since it will require a lot of your free time. Last, but not least, you’ll have to grow a thicker skin, as feedback to your posts may not always be positive. The Internet can be a truly harsh place sometimes.
Still up for the challenge? We’ve gathered some useful advice to consider before the big launch. Take it into consideration and you’ll be off to a great start.
Choose a Catchy URL
Your URL is part of your brand, so choose a catchy and memorable one. Even in 2014, a self-hosted WordPress blog is still your best bet. Keep in mind that the URL is part of your blog identity, so don’t change it as you move forward. If you do, you’ll have to popularize your blog all over again, and all the good work you’ve been doing to that point would have been in vain. Plus, you’ll have to update all your internal links, which takes a considerable amount of time and patience. Better pick a URL you’re sure you’re still going to like two years from now and stick with it.
Select Your Niche
This is another important aspect you should consider carefully. You could try your luck with a personal blog, but there are so many of them out there; so you’ll have to try even harder if you want to stand out from the crowd. Ideally, your niche should be something you’re truly passionate about. That way, your posts will reflect your passion and manage to draw the reader in.
There are certain subjects that will always be search engine friendly, like technology or money making. However, if you’re not particularly knowledgeable about the subject and you don’t bring a fresh perspective to the table, starting a tech or finance blog doesn’t make much sense. Your chances of getting noticed are pretty low. Instead, opt for a niche you know you’d really enjoy writing about.
Don’t Quit Your Job Just Yet
There are plenty of ways in which your blog can help you make some cash, but quitting your job to become a full-time blogger isn’t a viable plan just yet. Start by blogging on the side and see how it goes. Give it a few months for your blog to grow, and only then revisit the issue.
Unfortunately, not everyone who decides to start a blog ends up rich and famous. If it’s been six months and the only ones who read your posts are your mom and your best friend, you’re going to be thankful you kept your day job. Having a safety net is ideal.
You Need Some Technical Knowledge…
People rarely mention this aspect, but you need at least some basic knowledge about how the Internet works in order to run a successful blog. It’s fairly simple, but technical knowledge is a plus. If you’re not particularly good with this part, maybe you have a more knowledgeable friend who can assist you with setting up the blog – from buying the domain and choosing a theme to more complicated issues like hiring someone to work on the design, and so on.
Additionally, you’ll have to familiarize yourself with some basic search engine optimization techniques. This will help you better promote your content and allow others to find you via search engines.
Quality Content Doesn’t Come Easy
Sure, you might have some ideas for a few blog posts now, but what about later? Successful bloggers have editorial calendars and brainstorm post ideas in advance, to make sure they’ll be able to provide the reader with quality content on a regular basis. This should be your goal as well. Start by deciding how often you’re going to update the website and take it from there. As we’ve stated before, running a successful blog ain’t easy.
You’ll Need a Marketing Strategy
How are you going to promote your content and steadily increase your readership? You need a strategy for that as well. E-mails, social media, forums, comments on other blogs – this should become part of your daily routine. For more ideas on the subject, take a look here.
It Won’t Be All Rainbows and Butterflies
Owning a blog can be lots of fun, yes, but it also comes with certain challenges. You’re allowing the whole world to criticize your content, so prepare from some nasty comments to come your way. As long as you grow a thicker skin, consider constructive feedback, and ignore mean-spirited comments, you should be fine.
Additionally, you’ll have to keep your motivation levels up, which can be difficult. You might feel excited about blogging now, but you’re going to have some bad days as you go down this road. Blogger’s block is real, and you’ll have to develop some tactics to overcome in.
Blogging can be a highly rewarding activity, but it also requires a lot of your energy. Make sure you have the time and dedication needed to keep it up before making a long-time commitment to your readers. As long as you’re passionate enough, you’ll surely make it work.