Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Starting a Blog
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So you want to create a blog, but you don't know where to start. It's not as easy as it seems, but with these tips (painstakingly acquired after running several blogs) you can avoid the obstacles that blogging newbies run into and take the first steps to online fame.
Do your homework
- What's your blog about? This is the first thing you need to think about. Is it a food blog? Travel? Politics? Whatever it is, figure it out and stick to it.
- Research and brainstorm. Do not jump into the blogging world without some planning. Look up popular blogs writing about topics similar to yours. What seems to be working for them?
Figure out who you're talking to. The web is a big place, so make sure you aren't just adding to the noise. Find your niche.
- Think about the audience. Always think about the audience. When you're designing your blog, think about how they're going to navigate through it and make it as easy as possible for them. When you're writing, think about who you're writing for and make sure your posts cater to them.
- Get stats on your blog. At first, analytics aren't going to be super helpful (they actually might be kind of depressing), but once your blog catches on it is extremely important to have them, so put Google Analytics on your website to track your blog's performance.
It's a conversation
So write conversationally. No jargon, no formal writing.
- Make sure it's a two-way conversation. Listen to what your audience has to say. Ask them what they want you to post about and engage with them on social media. Keep the conversation going!
- Ask and ye shall receive. Research has shown that social media users are much more likely to retweet/share something if the post specifically asks them to do that. Ask people to like, retweet, and share your content!
- "Like" and "follow." Make connections with other bloggers and influencers who are relevant to your blog. It's good to be a part of the community, and you never know when you might need a helping hand.
Love what you're blogging about. Trust me, people can tell if you don't like what you're writing about.
Don't ramble. Keep your posts short and to the point, shoot for a 2-3 minute read.
Make sure you have a point. Seems simple enough, but you'd be surprised at how often you go to write something and realise you're not really making a point.
Mix it up... But not too much
Keep it fresh. Your posts should not be exactly the same. Include visuals – photos, maps, videos – to keep your posts from feeling stale. A big block of text every week just doesn't cut it anymore.
- Find your voice. Though your posts should be varied, they should also have a consistent voice. Keep your audience and the blog topic in mind as you cultivate that voice – good blogs have a unique voice that sets them apart.
- Be consistent. If you say you're going to post weekly, post weekly. If new content isn't coming out of your blog, your stats will suffer.
Don't give up
Starting a blog isn't easy, but keep at it. It takes a long time to reach large audiences and to make a name for yourself. It will take a lot of time, hard work, and dedication, but don't quit! Your persistence will pay off in the long run.
Did I miss anything? Add your thoughts in the comments and feel free to post a link to your blog!