Starting a blog is the easy part. Learning how to start a blog that rocks everyone’s socks off is something else entirely. (Learn how to blog a book.) It takes focus, consistency, and a few other secrets tricks and strategies.
How to Start a Blog: The Basics
If you’re completely clueless on starting a blog, that’s OK. Click one of the following links to create a blog account:
Each site leads you through the process of creating a basic blog, and you can usually set up a basic account and draft an introductory blog post in less than an hour.
Best Blogging Platform
Many bloggers get caught up on what the best blogging platform is, and I don’t have a definitive answer. There are several bloggers who are huge proponents for each of the three listed above. This blog uses WordPress, but I use Blogger for my personal blog. The more important thing is to get started.
Starting a Blog: Choosing a Topic
To drive the most traffic to your blog, you’ll need to choose a main subject. For instance, the main subject of this blog is to cover the business of writing. That is a very focused topic, but it’s broad enough that I can cover a range of subjects in individual blog posts.
When you’re choosing your topic, I’d suggest looking at what you know and what drives you. Also, make sure your topic is related to your writing specialties. Having a blog about parenting will not help expand your platform as a science fiction novelist.
How to Make a Blog That Rocks
Once you’ve chosen your topic and started blogging, it’s time to start optimizing your efforts. Here are my top 10 tips to make a blog that rocks:
- Post consistently. When getting started, I recommend a weekly posting schedule–always on the same day of the week around the same time of day. The more consistent you make your posts the easier it will be for your readers to anticipate your content.
- Use SEO. Sure, social media has changed the game for blogging, but it only helps bloggers reach people they know (or that their friends and followers know). SEO (or search engine optimization) provides a way for bloggers to find new leads through search engines.
- Use social media. Speaking of social media, be sure to link your blog posts to your social media accounts. This is a great way to make your content available to your connections.
- Share. Share links. Share content. Share credit. The reason is that what goes around comes around–in life and in blogging.
- Include share buttons. Make it easy for your blog audience to share your posts with social share buttons. (Click here to learn more.)
- Employ basic design. Use headers, lists (bullet points and numbers), images, and other basics of design. When a reader encounters a big block of text without visual breaks, it makes the blog look unprofessional.
- Follow your blog stats. Some blogging sites include statistics; others may require that you use Google Analytics. However you access your stats, be sure to pay attention to which posts are driving the most traffic as well as the most comments.
- Give readers e-mail option. Once I included an e-mail feed on my personal blog, I noticed that my traffic started to skyrocket. How it works is that your audience is given the ability to receive e-mail notifications any time you share a new blog post. These notifications drive traffic to your blog and help your engaged audience keep up with what you’re doing. Win-win situation.
- Think readers first. If you want to get personal, that’s cool–but try to think about what your readers are getting out of each blog post. As part of this, it’s probably common sense that a new blog should be light on advertising and crazy marketing. You can gradually monetize your blog, but you need traffic first.
- Have fun. In most cases, a new blog is not going to be a money maker right out of the gate–even with an amazing content plan. So whatever you do, keep it fun for you and your readers. This will help you circle around to step number one, which is to stay consistent.
Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer
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