Last Updated on May 13, 2020 by Henry Ibeleme
Almost every tom and dick want to blog, probably because they heard about an insignificant person that made it big through blogging. Let’s face it; the reason the majority of people start a blog these days is to make money and fame. Some lack focus, while some know nothing about what they are doing. If you’re a newbie blogger, here are five things you need to know before starting a blog.
Table of Contents
1. Blog Purpose
There are millions of blogs on the internet. Each of these blogs has its unique focus on the blogosphere. I have met numerous stay-at-home moms who love to share their daily lives, recipes, and even some home improvement tips.
Some professionals are also into blogging, maybe to properly position themselves in the industry as an expert and leader.
Further down the drain are blogs that focus mainly on brand awareness, building a brand, and reaching potential customers.
Like I’ve already said, some are into blogging to make some real money and live a financially free life. However, you need to discover your purpose, as that would help your blogging journey.
One of the most common ways to make money blogging is through the placement of advert spaces. There are also numerous ad programs like AdSense by Google that bloggers utilize to make an extra buck. The amount you earn as a blogger depends on multiple factors. However, take note that receiving your payment is easy peasy. But first, you need to put in the work to reap the rewards.
2. Domain Name
The name of your blog is very delicate, and you must not make a mistake in that regard. Remember, you’re not just building a blog, but a brand that might blow up. In that case, you need to give it a lot of thought before deciding on a domain name. You already know your industry, take the domain name of your co-players as a sample. It would guide you into creating something unique.
When deciding on your blog name, you have to make sure it is:
- Very short
- Memorable and,
If the name is unavailable, avoid using variations. Let’s say, for instance, you wanted to use Bloghomies.com, and you find out its unavailable, don’t be tempted to use something like blog-homies.com. By the end of the day, you will end up sending traffic to your competitor’s site by accident.
Numbers and punctuations are confusing and, please, try as much as possible to avoid it. Your blog name should stand out; it should be able to portray your business or industry. When you hear Bloghomies, what comes to your mind? When I thought of this domain name, I envisioned a group of bloggers who are homies – friends.
Finally, ensure you use the .com domain extension. Most newbies often use other extensions if their proposed domain name is unavailable. If you go that route, you will be losing tons of potential customers or readers.
3. Self-hosted vs. free blogs hosting
I started with free hosting on WordPress.com, and it gave me tons of experience in the industry. I was able to blog from within, from the very depth of inspiration. It was more like a personal diary, and the experience helped in my
But if you want to get serious with blogging and possibly, make money doing so, then you need to opt for a self-hosted. It isn’t free, and I am yet to see something valuable that goes for free.
Free Blog Hosting
Only go for a free blog hosting platform like blogpost or WordPress.com if you want to just blog about your life. It comes with tons of restrictions and headaches. When I was experimenting with a free hosted blog, I discovered that I couldn’t even change the theme to something exceptional. I couldn’t also install some plugins, except jetpack.
One of the things you should know before starting a blog is never to blog on a free hosted blog if your aim to make money or promote your business or skills. That would be a mistake.
A hosted blog comes with tons of goodies and functionalities. With a self-hosted blog, the things you can do are endless. My favorite blogging platform is WordPress, and that is because of the control it gives as a blogger. There are numerous hosting companies where you can purchase a domain and host for less than $30.
I am currently hosting Bloghomies on Namecheap.com, and so far, the experience with this hosting company has been so pleasant. Customer support is excellent, and I am yet to experience downtime. If you’re looking for a cheap hosting company where you can host and possibly get a domain, Namecheap will do well in that regard.
4. Blog Design
Another factor you need to have in mind when it comes to blogging is your blog interface. If you don’t have enough knowledge on web development or design, you can simply hire a developer to create something exceptional.
Before you start blogging, you need to pay attention to the responsiveness of your blog, both on desktop, tablet, and mobile. Also, stick to a color palette and build everything around it.
Although at this age, you don’t need to be a badass programmer to design a blog. There are lots of drop and drag tools that would help you create something outstanding, like Elementor. There are also amazing themes that you can install on your blog, and everything will be ready with just a few tweaks.
I have been using WordPress for years, and I doubt if I would ever dump it for any other content management platform. WordPress is a flexible arena, and it comes with thousands of themes and plugins that can help you get started.
When I started as a blogger, my blog appearance was an eyesore. It was like a playground where kids play with paints. I knew nothing about color management nor the best practice when it comes to blog design. Gladly, there are lots of responsive WordPress themes today that you can easily use, and you’re ready to go.
5. Blog Promotion
Another thing I wished I knew before starting a blog is promotion. There are lots of blog niches that focus on techniques and methods used to get new readers and customers. I have been an ardent reader of these blogs, like backlinko.com, and honestly, I’ve been able to learn quite a lot. After you’ve launched your blog and published a few posts, readers are supposed to come and devour the contents, right?
Hmmm. Blogging entails much more than that. First, you need to grab a megaphone and let your potential audience known that you exist. There are numerous ways to go about that, and I am going to mention a few of them in detail. Are you ready?
Before you start a blog, you must map out your promotion strategies. As they say, traffic is king and would always determine your level of success as a blogger. Here are a few ways you can leverage on into promoting your blog. Know this before starting a blog, or you will find yourself struggling to get readers.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO doesn’t have to sound scary. If you can understand how search engines work with keywords, then it is effortless to implement. The only downside with SEO is that it takes time and effort. It is not something that happens overnight, but with consistent effort.
Before you write your first blog post, make sure you know a great deal of “on-page SEO” before you start a blog. Doing Keyword research with tools like “Google Keyword Planner” would be something you will never regret.
- Social Media Marketing
There are billions of people on social media, and you can leverage this to connect to your potential audience. Before starting a blog, I made sure to follow every Facebook group where my potential customers could be. Thanks to the Facebook new algorithm, Facebook groups now get more attention than before
- Email Marketing
I have to be pretty honest with you. I am not a guru when it comes to email marketing. The fact is, I found it challenging implementing “MailChimp” on my blog because it looked so complicated. I had to watch tons of YouTube videos to be able to integrate it on my blog finally. If it were possible, I would have dumped this promotional strategy, but it would be foolish. Don’t you think so?
Why it makes sense is because the majority of your readers might not return, especially visitors from organic traffic. Once they devour the content they came for, they use the back button, never to return. But by having something like a Newsletter, you will be able to get them to subscribe and notify them of future posts. That makes sense, right?
5. Guest blogging
Another thing I wish I knew before starting a blog is guest blogging. Many might see it as a waste of time, or an old aged tactic. But the fact remains that it’s one of the ways to gain new readers or customers for your blog or business. However, guest blog only to related blogs in your niche, with high domain authority and fellowship.
Not only would you be able to get tons of new readers from the blog, but you will also be able to get some juice and quality backlink to your blog. In case you don’t know, a backlink is one of the significant factors Google considers before ranking a site. If you were about to strike off this strategy from your book, think again.
Bonus Tip: Paid Advert
If you’re serious about blogging, then spending a few bucks on promotion shouldn’t be a bad thing. Not spending some pennies in an advert was one of the mistakes I made as a blogger. There are lots of platforms where you can advertise your new blog, and it won’t cost you a hand and a leg. You just have to be smart about it. Sites like Outbrain.com can help you advertise your content at the bottom of articles on high traffic sites like Fast Company and Rollingstone.com. The price, on the other hand, it CHEAP!
Starting a new blog is a thrilling and exciting journey, and the fulfillment that comes with it is indescribable. As you blog, be open to learning new things every day because they abound. Never stop developing your content or learning new ways to promote your blog. If there is one thing, I wish I know before starting a blog, it is that I should never stop learning. What do you think everyone should know before starting a blog?