Just when I thought everyone in the world had one, I’ve discovered that are still people who don’t, simply because they don’t know where to start.
Rather than keep repeating myself, with each new email inquiry, I’m going to answer the question here – as briefly, yet as thoroughly as I can.
How to start a blog: The Technical Aspect
1. Secure web hosting. If you’re planning on being viewed as an authority, then you’ll need to get serious about blogging, skip the free platforms and host it yourself. You’ll thank yourself for this later.
If you’re not ready to pay full price for a year’s worth of hosting – you can try shared WordPress hosting for a fraction of the cost while your blog is in the developmental stages. You’ll need to upgrade once your site grows and gains higher levels of traffic.
2. Register your domain name. You should be able to do that through your hosting company.
3. Install WordPress – some hosting companies will do this for you, so ask around to save yourself a step. Then be sure to choose a professional-looking theme, or get someone to customize a Thesis theme for you. Feel free to contact me for help with this.
4. Install the necessary plugins – don’t go crazy, install the ones that are most important to you. Too many can slow down your site. Read 25 WordPress Plugins to Keep Blog Visitors Engaged.
I highly suggest getting the Scribed SEO plugin – it simplifies SEO unlike anything else. It analyzes your content and tells you what to do to ensure you rank for specific keywords. I’ve found that posts that are 100% optimize often rank highly even when the competition is high.
5. Make sure you set up the 5 Essential Pages.
How to start a blog: The Writing Aspect
6. Decide on what you will blog about.
7. Decide on your categories. Read 5 Tips on Using Categories and Category Pages Effectiviely
8. Focus on producing 10-20 posts before launching. Make sure you have at least 1-2 posts for each category. Write blog content that is engaging. Use vivid details and remember that people learn better when they are engaged and entertained.
9. Try to publish at least 3-5 posts per week.
How to start a blog: The Social Aspect
10. Make sure you have accounts at all of the following sites:
- Facebook – be sure to start a fan page for your new site.
- Blog Engage
- Blog Interact
11. Make sure you get out an comment. Make sure they are authentic comments that demonstrate that you have read the entire post. Try to add something new to the discussion. Try to stand out from all the other commentators. Be sure to address the author by name.
Check out this list of 400 Do-Follow CommentLuv Blogs
12. Continue to educate yourself on blogging. I recommend:
- ProBlogger‘s 31 Days to Build a Better Blog.
- For step by step guidance for set up, you may want to get A Step by Step Guide to a Better Blog.
- For more in-depth tips on promotion, get The Ultimate Blog Promotion Guide by Kristi Hines.
- See my list of Blogging Resources for more tools and useful links.
Of course this list has been organized by steps, however, this doesn’t mean this steps have to be completed in this exact order, but they will help you start a blog and create a good foundation for your blogging activities. I highly suggest subscribing to our feed via email, if you haven’t already, so that you’ll receive more blogging tips to help you continue to develop your site.