Who doesn’t want to start blogging? Be it to express your thought or be it to earn money online, blogging is one of the hottest professions these days. But seldom know how to actually make it a profession. And I am here to help in whatever way I can.
As the third post in the Blogging Series on Finix Post, today I am going to discuss about some basic things you need to start blogging. There are some things which deserve longer discussions and that we will do in upcoming posts.
So, here they’re:
First and foremost, you would need to set up your blog. There are three main things you would require for the setup – domain name, hosting and CMS.
Domain Name: Domain is basically what your blog would be called. What will people type in the address bar of the browser to visit your blog. Though it is entirely your choice, but some domain names are certainly better than others.
Here are some things you must keep in mind while choosing a domain name:
- Avoid names with numbers or hyphens.
- Avoid long domain names.
- If you’re sure about the niche of your blog, include the main keyword in the domain name.
- Make sure your domain name can be easily spelled and there are as less chances of misinterpretation as possible. For example, in my case domain name is Finix Post which kinda rhymes with Phoenix. Now a lot of people expect the domain name to be phoenixpost.com which is not true. This might lead to loss of customers. If I had known about this before, I could have made a better choice. Make sure you make the right choice.
There are more tips that I have which we will discuss in the upcoming posts. For now, just start making a list of number of possible domain names you may want and check the availability using site like godaddy.com etc.
Hosting: After buying a domain name, you need to get hosting. I believe non-techie people seldom understand what hosting actually is (no offence intended). So, whatever websites run over internet actually is stored in some computer just like you would store your music collection in a folder named ‘music’ in your PC. Similarly, a website like www.finixpost.com is stored in some computer. Such computers are commonly called servers. Getting a hosting plan involves getting space in some server computer.
Here are some things you must keep in mind while choosing your hosting plan:
- How big plan you need depends upon the traffic you get your blog.
- Most of the hosting are shared hosting where the same server is shared by many other websites. This certainly affects your blog performance.
- Hosting isn’t important just for the sake having your website live but it also affects the user experience and your site’s reputation.
- Hosting can affect the speed of your website too.
- Be very careful while choosing a hosting provider. Choose someone who provides 24 hour uptime and support. I recommend wp engine hosting plan which is being used by many bloggers in my network. I would definitely want to review more hosting plans and share but for now, this is the only one I trust and recommend.
CMS: Unless you’re a web developer and want an extremely customized design, you would want to choose some good content management system that would the back end of your blog. I use WordPress. WordPress is one of the best CMS I have used and it is extremely easy and customizable.
Note that I didn’t mention the difference between self hosted sites and sites hosted on platforms like wordpress and blogger for this is series is more focused on how to start blogging as a career, not hobby. For that, self hosted domains do pose some limitations. Still, if you want to know more about this, check out my post on this.
2. Niche of your blog
Second most important thing you would need to decide is the niche. Though it would go parallel with finding your domain for the domain name would greatly depend upon the niche you choose.
Niche refers to the main topic of your blogging. As a beginner, you must stick to a particular topic on your blog. For example, you can talk about fashion or lifestyle or food or health and so on. I would advise you not to choose blogging as your niche for it is extremely overcrowded and come on! As a beginner how can you pose yourself as an expert? This is what I have discussed in my post why you should not read blogs about blogging. Check it out!
I am going to do another post where I will enlist different niches that are highly recommended and that tend to bring a lot of business. Check out the blogging series for all the posts related to this.
One important thing you should remember is that you must choose a topic based on what you personally like. Weight loss maybe a highly popular niche but if you don’t even think of health or anything related to weight loss, there are very less chances of your success. So, choose something you’re passionate about.
Once you have domain, hosting, CMS and niche decided, you would need content, a lot of content. You would need to write, write and write. The more content you would have on your blog, the more would be your authority and popularity.
It is a fact that blogs with greater number blog posts are more successful. Write as much as you can. Brainstorm the topics you want to write about.
Writing articles isn’t as simple as it sounds now. Here are some things you must know about creating content. We will discuss all of this in detail in upcoming posts.
- Articles must be high quality.
- If you go for longer articles in beginning, it would help.
- Make sure your articles aren’t copied from anywhere on the internet. Not even one line should be copied.
- Write SEO optimized content.
- Do some keyword research to find what keywords are popular and choose topics revolving around those keywords.
- Make them interesting. Add your personal touch to whatever you write.
4. Make a business plan
If you want to start blogging so as to switch your career to full time blogging, you would need a plan, a business plan to be precise. Though we would be discussed in detail in future posts in this blogging series but here are a few things you must know about making a business plan for your blog.
Following are the things that must be discussed or planned in the business plan for your blog.
- What do you want to achieve through your blog? Is it recognition? Is it earning good amount of money? Is it boosting your business?
- In what time do you plan to achieve that?
- How would you get traffic for your blog? Because without traffic, your blog is nothing.
- What would be your promotion strategy?
- What kind of monetization strategies would you use?
These are the 5 most important things that must be talked of in your business plan.
What are you waiting for? Do you want to start blogging? Recall whatever I said in this post and start thinking about each topic. Make notes. Pen down every thought you’re having and start blogging.