Blogging, Business

How to become a blogger

how to become a blogger

How to become a blogger? When I first started out in blogging I was not even sure if I would enjoy the blogging, or writing process. Could I even write?  It really was just an exercise to see how it would go.  I took solace in the fact that numerous bloggers I admire that have built tremendous online brands could not write very well when they first started. Blogging allows anyone to practice their writing skills on a daily basis, and to continually improve. I’ve found that it is better to think of blogging as an ongoing process or evolution. You just have to begin.

Without any further ado, let me guide you through the fairly simple steps of becoming a blogger.

How to become a blogger: Pick a topic

how to become a bloggerFirst things first, you have choose your topic or niche. If a subject has not made itself readily apparent, then this can become a very difficult process.  Hopefully, you already have something in mind.  It took me years, and hundreds of ideas before I found a topic that I could really enjoy. Throughout my life I’ve had numerous interests, but few of these things are the types of topics that I want to blog or write about on a daily basis. I love photography, but I would much rather plan a fashion photo shoot than walk someone else through the process.

After all of the ideas it boiled down to something really simple. What do I enjoy reading about online the most, and what are most of my thoughts about on a daily basis. Which subjects do you get really excited about when they come up? What things are you super passionate about? You will have to live with this topic for years and years so you have to find the absolute best fit. Living a laptop lifestyle is truly my passion. I really enjoy talking about, and sharing stories about people that are doing really well online.

Another major consideration is whether the topic is profitable or not. Often friends will bring up blog topics that don’t have a sizeable market or that don’t offer good opportunities to promote related products or services. Creating a personal online diary is different than creating a thriving profitable online business.

Is there a big enough audience?  Are their opportunities to monetize the audience?  Evaluate your idea to make sure it will make long term success.  Look at other blogs in the niche and figure out how they make money.

How to become a blogger: Come up with a great domain name

It is far too easy to say that all of the good domain names are already taken. You can still find good or great domain names, but it definitely has become a little more difficult in the last few years. As different ideas cross my mind, I try to find appropriate domain names, and the process takes quite a bit longer now than it did a few years back. You have be able to think laterally and not look for names that are completely obvious. All of those are already gone.  The obvious words associated with you niche will have already been combined with suffixes and other words to make up cool domain names.

Pull out your thesaurus and start finding words that are related to your topic. Try word combinations, try suffixes, or try to find an interesting phrase that could represent your brand. Bustaname.com is a great tool for combining thing together and showing you which domains are not registered. This tool is not infallible so you will sometimes get false positives. Don’t let that frustrate you. Just go back to the drawing board, and sooner or later you will come up with something creative and appropriate.

Visit Bustaname

 

Most of the blogs whose names I remember can be categorized as the following types:

  • Word combinations i.e. problogger.com
  • A cool phrase i.e. pinchofyum.com
  • The person’s name i.e. johnchow.com
  • A made up word i.e clickible.com

Use these naming strategies to come up with a remarkable name. It does take work. Take your time and try to enjoy the creative process. Along with your domain name you need to ensure that you can reserve the same name on the majority of social media platforms such as facebook, instagram and others.

Here are a few guidelines for good domain names:

  1. Indicative of what the blog is about
  2. Easy to remember
  3. Easy to spell
  4. Easy to pronounce
  5. The shorter the better
  6. Does not need an explanation for people to get it.

How to become a blogger: Build your brand on a strong foundation

You have to build your website and yourself into a social media brand. To ensure that you start the journey in the best possible way, you have to emulate what brands do. The first step is to make sure you have all of the domain extensions you can possibly buy. Get the .net, and .org to match your domain at the very least. You can use namecheckr.com to make sure that all of the domain extensions you want are available before you register any domain names.

Another critical step is to register your brand on all of the social media platforms. That means getting a facebook page, setting up instagram, pinterest, snapchat, among others. You should strive to use the same username or page name across all of the platforms. This ensures that you come across as a brand. I like to make sure all of these things are available before I make any purchases. Once again you can use namecheckr.com to see what is available before making any moves. If all of the social media usernames and domain extensions are not available, I look for another name. This can take a lot of patience.

How to become a blogger: Buy your domain name

Now that you have done your due diligence, it is time to start buying what you need. The first thing is registering your domain names. From the steps above you should be registering .com as well as other domain extensions that you can afford. My website registrar of choice is namecheap.com. I have found them extremely reliable and keep all of my domains with them.

Buy your Domain

How to become a blogger: Purchase web hosting

After you have your domain, now you need a place to actually host your website. The host is where all of the files and content for your website will be stored. Don’t get domain names and hosting confused. Domain names are like a title to land while hosting is like having somewhere to store your things. I prefer to keep my hosting and domain names with different companies. I recommend hostmonster.com or bluehost.com for hosting. Both of these companies host thousands of websites and are reliable. Their pricing is around the same.

Visit Bluehost Now

 

Starting out you should be fine going with shared hosting which is the most affordable. Be sure to choose the option where you can host multiple websites on one account, and where you can create a lot of email accounts. It does not cost that much more to include these options.

Here is the first step to signing up for hosting with Bluehost:

The plus option in the middle should be fine starting out.  The next step is entering the main domain name you purchased in the previous step of this article.

Enter the you domain with the .com on the end in the box on the right.  Next you will select your plan, and make your payment:

Make sure that you click on the “Account Plan” options and select how you want your plan billed.  You can select monthly, yearly, or multiple years.  This often defaults to paying for 36 months up front which can be expensive.  The longer you pay for up front the cheaper the average monthly cost.  If you choose a monthly option, you will pay more per month.  Select the option you prefer, then move on the entering your payment information.

Visit Bluehost Now

How to become a blogger: Install WordPress

The majority of bloggers use WordPress as their blogging platform of choice. WordPress is the platform I would recommend any blogger use.  The blogging platform stores all of your articles, pictures, and files. If you would like to see what you need to do to install WordPress, please watch the video below:

To really learn the ins and outs of WordPress you can use Lynda.com to take an online course that will give you a comprehensive understanding of WordPress.

Visit Lynda.com

How to become a blogger: Choose a WordPress theme

A theme is what determines how your website looks. It is much more cost effective way to buy a prepackaged theme than to pay a designer to create one just for you. Another option are free WordPress themes but free theme can open your site up to security holes that could make your site much easier to hack. One of the most popular places to find WordPress themes is themeforest.com. This is my favorite place for themes.  When you visit the site, click on the WordPress menu option.  From there you can select subcategories of themes based on your needs.  I would start with the blog / magazine category.

Visit Themeforest

 

Once you have selected and purchased a theme, you will have to install it to your site. Here is a tutorial that shows you how to install a theme:

How to become a blogger: Create a logo for your website

The name and logo of your site sets the tone for how your website is perceived. You should strive to have a logo that comes across in professional way. If you have the appropriate software and design skills you can design your logo yourself. If you do not have design skills, you can use freelancer.com to find someone with expertise to design a logo for you.

Visit Freelancer

How to become a blogger: Get started

Now that you have got everything setup it is time to start blogging. It is a good idea to create a content plan. Figure out what you love talking and writing about. A good way to gauge what your audience is interested in is through keyword research tools like Google Adwords. Google recently changed its tool for free users where it no longer shows detailed estimates of the interest in individual keyword phrases. An alternative is to use the free keyword tool offered by seobook.com which does provide detailed estimates of how many times a month a keyword phrase is actually used in searches.

I think that using Lynda.com will really be useful to you to get a great understanding of how to use WordPress.

Visit Lynda.com

If you are starting a blog, please leave comments below about your blog.

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