As a blogging early adopter, I’ve been super excited to see the growth of the blogging industry. When I was 17 I knew that I wanted to start an online magazine for women at some point but I didn’t have much knowledge about html, coding, etc and there weren’t many options to get me started. After years of research and a good push from my older brother in 2007 took the time to start my first blog and business! It was an exciting journey but I was truly a novice in the blogging industry. I remembered struggling with what exactly I wanted my blog to be about and how I wanted to get it out to the masses, the biggest issue back then is people outside of the tech or online world didn’t really know what blogs were so we were all learning together. There were so many things I wish people would have shared with me about starting a blog, now I’m here to share a few with you. And we also have a 30% HostGator discount to get you started on the right track!
5 Things You Need To Consider When Starting A Blog!
When you’re starting a blog, if you have plans to monetize, you should think about this like any other business venture. Even for my first blog, I took the time to decide what topics I wanted to cover and who I wanted my audience to be. This will help with how you would like to setup the blog structure and help you come up with content.
2. GET THE RIGHT HOSTING:
You have no idea how important the right hosting is. I’m a firm believer of having your own hosting for your blog so you won’t be restricted on your blogging platform. When it comes to hosting, I’m happy that HostGator has a cost effective option for bloggers of all experiences and audience sizes. I also love that they have 24/7 live support via chat, phone, and email… which was super important for me as a newbie and is still important to me after almost 8 years of blogging. They also offer one-click WordPress installs and website design services… so you can get started all in one place! Makes things sound less scary right? Your hosting choice is such a big deal, the last thing you want is people not being able to access your site and I always recommend a hosting company that your audience can grow with.
It’s important to brand your blog, that means you should have a name that is easy to remember and a logo so people can easily recognize your brand when they see it. Another component to think about is social media. ALWAYS pick a social media tag (ie. @YourLifeAfter25) that you can use consistently across all social media platforms. That should be a factor in choosing your blog name and blog url or domain name. HostGator allows you to purchase your domain and search for available domains on their site also. Another branding component to consider is having custom email addresses, it’s okay to have gmail, yahoo, etc for your personal life but when you have a branded blog it looks more professional to have something like firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
4. BLOG DESIGN:
Choosing a blog design can be a daunting process for many blogger, usually because of inexperience or price. Knowing what type of blog you want to do can help narrow your options down, if you’re doing a magazine style blog you want a blog design that can accommodate that heavy flow of content. If you’re doing a traditional blog that scrolls, you want something clean, organized and easy to navigate for your readers. Always choose blog designs that are inviting, will be easy for readers to read the font colors and font size, that are easy to customize and make look less generic and make sharing your content easy! Last but not least make sure you have a blog design that accommodates advertising options easily. Some of the standard ad sizes are 300×250, 728×90, 160×600, 300×600.
5. MAKE A CONTENT CALENDAR/SCHEDULE:
Being organized and publishing quality content constantly is key to the success of a blog. I always recommend posting at least 3 times per week to let search engines crawl your site on a regular basis and to keep your readers coming back for more. Making a content calendar of what you would like to post each day is helpful for keeping you organized and helping you not become overwhelmed with the blogging process. Another tip I have for bloggers is to pre-post at least 2-4 weeks worth of content before you launch your blog and then have at least 1 month of content scheduled and ready to go live.
Last but not least, remember to have fun with your blog and enjoy the learning process as well as your growing brand.
I hope these 5 things have given you a lot to think about and the tools to get you started on your blogging journey. In 2013 I did an online blog conference to help my fellow bloggers, below is a video that other bloggers may find helpful.
Day 1 of The Blog Workshop online conference
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.