Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of questions and requests along the lines of where to start with blogging.
There seems to be this huge stereotype that blogging is easy, and doesn’t require much work besides writing several posts. But that is the farthest from the truth!
Before starting a blog, there are several things you need to think carefully about.
Are you willing to maintain your blog?
When I started out with blogging, I always had this problem with keeping up a consistent blog post schedule. Thinking back, I believe I started around 10 different blogs prior to this current one, and each one failed, simply because I didn’t contribute anymore posts to those blogs.
One of the biggest factor was lost of interest. Make sure you decide on the topic you will always be interested in writing posts for. Something “you think” you might be interested doesn’t cut it.
Start a blog not because you need it to make money (which I will tell you straight up, blogging will be the hardest way to make money online). Start a blog not because you need to prove someone else or showcase on some resume (because honestly, who cares?).
Begin one because you’ll post interesting and special content, that readers will care about. Just take a look at the top bloggers in the niche of your choice, and find out what others enjoy reading on. And then keep at it and don’t give up!
Are you willing to deal with blog platform issues that go wrong?
Doesn’t matter which blogging platform you use (Blogger, WordPress, etc.) … you will encounter many headaches along the lines of: “Why doesn’t my header fit correctly?”, ”Why can’t I remove a certain piece of coding”, or “Why can’t I _______”. Fill in the blank with your blog design and coding problems.
There have been a fair share of issues I’ve encountered where I wanted to throw my laptop on the ground, which of course I wouldn’t do in real life
Be ready to troubleshoot your issues. A simple Google search yields so many blog posts that address how to solve your blog issue. If you pay for certain themes (such as Thesis Theme), those will provide a support forum where you can post your problem.
I will mention that I first started out using Blogger, well because it was free. When I used the free WordPress version, it didn’t allow me the ability to customize as much as I wanted. But at the end of the day, paying for my own host (I recommend Bluehost), and switching to WordPress was definitely worth it! The biggest advantage, is the ease of customization utilizing plug-ins! Can’t tell you how much plug-ins have made my life easier.
Are you willing to put in work to grow a readership?
So now you finished up your first blog post, and many more to come. Great! Readers should be filtering in, right?
Nope. You can write the best blog post ever, but if your potential readers, friends, and followers can’t get to it, then its like you never wrote it.
Building your social media presence takes time. There aren’t short cuts to achieving quick fame (unless your Kim Kardashian, but who really wants that type of fame?).
Once you have your blog up and running, make sure you have Twitter and Facebook. Other social media sharing tools that have proven useful include Pinterest, Google Plus, and Stumble Upon.
Learn the basics of SEO to understand how search engines index your content. A good beginner’s resource I recommend is SEOmoz. In the beginning, don’t obsess if your content isn’t SEO friendly, as that isn’t the whole point. Make sure your content is worth reading!
And lastly, build up an email list. I’ll admit, I haven’t been really great at learning the in’s and out’s with email lists, but from speaking to many successful bloggers, the email list is one of the most important part with building your readership, since it is the closest interaction with your fellow readers (heck, you have their email addresses). I’ll be working on this goal, alongside you!
For current bloggers, what you do you think sucks about blogging?
For new bloggers, what struggles are you dealing with in building up your blog?
Stoked about this post?