How to start up a blog, and why? Are you starting a blog hopping to become a 6 figure blogger, or are you just doing it for the fun of it? Many a successful online entrepreneur started out just wanting to have fun, work on their writing skills, or just feel like they had a voice. We all of have our different motivations. What’s yours?
How to start up a blog: the mental side
Starting up a blog is both a mental, and a technical exercise. First, let’s deal with the mental.
What is the purpose of your blog?
Is your blogging purposeful or a leisurely exercise? If you just want to blog about random things going on in your life, and use blogging as a personal diary, then figuring out what you want to blog about is relatively easy. Just set your blog up, and have fun doing some self expression.
If your blog is purposeful and you want to make a living from blogging, then the topic you choose is extremely important. Building a blogging career requires a little more thought up front. Sit down and think about some income, and traffic goals you have for you blog. What does the road ahead look like?
What to blog about?
There are many different approaches to blogging, and each approach has implications on your traffic and income potential.
The majority of the most popular blogs in the world are news outlets. Celebrity gossip, politics, and tech news reign supreme. This path is not for the faint of heart. Do you want your whole life to be about keeping up with the latest scoops? News blogging requires long hours, and churning out 3-10 posts every single week day, and maybe on the weekend too. All of that content is great for traffic, making news sites popular for a reason. Some extremely successful news blogs shut down because the founder simply ran out of steam.
Blogging about a topic that doesn’t revolve around an always on news cycle allows you to post on a more sane schedule, but your traffic numbers will never add up to those of news sites. Some blogs only post once a week up to six or seven times a week. You have a lot more flexibility, but here comes the really hard question, what should you blog about? I hope you already have an idea? Hopefully, something is already a hobby, or you have a favorite interest.
If you don’t already have a topic picked out, it is time to do some brainstorming. Brainstorm until you have some good choices, then narrow it down, and come up with a finalist. Don’t overextend yourself trying to manage multiple blogs starting out. Newbies should stick to one idea at a time. Check out How to find your passion for ideas on picking a topic you will really enjoy.
Is your topic in demand?
Google Adwords provide a free keyword research tool that allows you to research how many times people around the globe search for your topic, or related keywords each month. Why blog for a year to only find out that no one is interested in your topic, or that it is too small of a niche. Here is a tutorial on how how to get started with Google Adwords keyword research:
Found an interesting topic with good demand, then lets get into the technical side of how to start up a blog.
How to start up a blog: the technical side
Pick a name
Naming your blog is like naming a child; it requires work to find the perfect name. Opinions vary on what makes a great name for a website. Short names, or long names? Indicative names, or cool sounding names? At the end of the day, we all have our own creative sensibilities. I prefer short indicative names that are easy to spell, easy to remember, and I always go with the .com, but that is just me. Think about the blogs with names you like, and try to figure out why you like their names.
Get a notebook and start brainstorming names. Give yourself some time to come up with a creative name. If you want some tools to help you out, check out:
These sites do word combinations with multiple words and suffixes. Some really cool options can come out of these tools. Give them a try.
An added benefit is that they only show you available domain names. No point getting all excited about a domain name when it is not available.
Got a cool name? There is one last step before we are confident we can build an online brand: Make sure that you can register all of the matching social media accounts. My tool of choice is NameCheckr.
Once you have a great brand name, it is time to own it.
Purchase domain names
Great, we have a name now. It is time to purchase your domain names. I always go with the .com, .net, and .org at the very least. You are building a brand so you have to protect it. There are a lot of copycats out there waiting to ride on your success.
I recommend NameCheap for purchasing domains.
Next, make sure to go and register your matching social media accounts. Start with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
Let’s move on to website hosting.
Get website hosting
Next you need somewhere to store the files and data for your website. You want a good, reliable host that has a good reputation. The speed of your site, and uptime are factors that Google uses to evaluate where your site shows up in their searches. Having a slow website hurts your search engine rankings.
I can vouch for the following hosting companies:
WordPress in the defacto standard for blogging platforms. WordPress is a content management system that stores all of you articles, and makes it easy for you to just focus on blogging instead of trying to code your website. WordPress needs to be installed, and setup before you can start blogging.
If you are somewhat technical, here are a couple tutorials on how to setup WordPress:
If you are not technical, you will need to enlist some help getting your blog setup.
Once WordPress is setup, I suggest you head on over to themeforest.net and pick out a theme for your website. Theme Forest provides premium WordPress themes that give your website a professional feel. For a really low price, you get a great modern design for your blog. Invest a little in a professional theme.
Everything is setup now. It is time to…
Get going blogging
This has been a journey on how to start up a blog. The blog is setup, and you are ready to go. Go create some great content, network with other bloggers, and who knows, you might just end up among the ranks of famous bloggers. Have some fun!