How to Start a Successful Blog: 10 Tips and Tricks for Beginners
Have you ever read a blog and thought to yourself – hey I could do this; I could write a blog! You have stories and knowledge to share, and a blog is the perfect way to get that knowledge out to the world. It’s also a great outlet for self-expression and can increase your online visibility, allowing you to connect directly with your audience. But starting a blog can be intimidating for people who aren’t professional writers. And if you don’t know the exact steps to take, you may be hesitant to even get started.
However, once you know the process, it’s relatively straightforward and simple. There are millions of blogs and bloggers on the web today, and you could easily become one of them! By taking the process step-by-step and following our 10 tips, you can quickly grow your audience and share your knowledge and ideas with the world.
1) Choose a niche for your blog
A niche is a specific topic or content area that your blog will focus on. Choosing your niche will also determine your target audience. If you’re writing a blog for your small business, then your niche will be the industry of your business.
Knowing your niche can also help you choose the name for your blog as well as provide you with a focus for your blogging strategy. Some niche ideas include writing about books, fashion, travel, photography, and food. Choosing a niche will help you build a dedicated following which will in turn bring your blog a steady stream of traffic.
Pick a niche that you’re passionate about, so that writing your blog will come easily and the tone of your blog will be natural. It will also ensure you have plenty of ideas for your blog.
2) Choose a domain name and web host
Once you’ve chosen your niche, you need to choose a domain name for your blog and a place to host it. A domain name is what users type into the address bar to get to your website. Essentially, it’s the home address for your blog.
Your domain name doesn’t have to be flashy, funny, or exciting. Your domain name is the first impression for your blog, so you want to make sure it’s both memorable and easy to remember. You may also want to choose one that is as close as possible to your blog name. To secure a custom domain name, purchase it from a domain registrar of your choice. Once you’ve chosen your domain name, then it’s time to look at hosting.
Web hosting is a service that allows you to publish a website and all of its files online, making it possible for people to visit your site. Basically, it’s like renting a space on a server, giving you access to all that is required to build and run a blog.
The most important things to look for when choosing a host are convenience, speed, and great support. At Trilogy Solutions, we offer web hosting services which include SSL certificate and installation, nightly backups, malware scans, and 24/7/365 support.
3) Set-up a platform for your blog
Once you’ve chosen your domain name, and hosting provider, it’s time to decide on the blogging platform that your blog will run on. You can choose a hosted platform like WordPress or a content management system that allows you to build your own website.
A platform like WordPress is a good choice for beginner bloggers as it is user-friendly, requires little to no maintenance and is quick to set-up. However, it can be limiting so your options for differentiation and customization may be limited. It can also be difficult to scale, so if you have any plans to grow your site, a self-hosted platform may be the way to go.
4) Design and customize your blog
This is where the fun begins! Let your inner graphic designer loose and start to design your blog to your tastes and brand. Choose a layout, colour scheme and style elements that fit your brand, and speak to your audience. The process of selecting the right theme for your blog can be overwhelming, but remember you aren’t necessarily tied to the first blog theme you choose. You can always change it up if it doesn’t quite feel right.
When you start designing your blog, the rule of thumb is to aim for simplicity. The point of your blog is not graphics, images, and design – it’s the content found within. So, make sure the reading and browsing experience is a good fit for your audience.
5) Create necessary pages
Website pages are a vital component of your blog, even if you only plan on writing blog posts. Unlike posts, web pages require little to no edits or updates. The most common types of pages on a website include:
The introductory page of your website, the homepage acts as the first impression of your site. Your homepage should include your best and latest pieces of content.
• About page
The section of your page where visitors can learn more about your website, your brand, and its objectives. Including an about page on your site gives it credibility and shows your audience you’re a real person and not a robot behind a screen.
• Contact page
This page contains information on how to get in touch with the website administrator or creator. A contact page usually includes an email address, phone number, links to social media profiles, or contact form.
6) Publish content
This might seem like an obvious one, but you will need to publish some content to your site! No matter what you choose to write about, keep in mind there are going to be other blogs out there with the same information and topics. It’s important to remember to try and be unique in your blog posts so that your readers keep coming back for more.
One way to do that is to simply write about what you love, and your passion for the topic will come through in your writing. Blogs aren’t mean to be A+ English papers, they’re meant to be casual, with an easy-to-read tone so the reader feels as though they’re reading a message from a friend. If there’s no passion in your writing, your content will not come across well, so find a topic you are comfortable with and know a lot about.
7) The importance of headlines
When it comes to blog posts, the headline is the first impression for your reader. If your headline isn’t compelling or attention grabbing, no one will even start reading your post! Your headline is your one chance at enticing the reader into clicking on your post and reading through your content.
The best headlines tend to promise readers an answer to their problem or the latest information on a topic. Once you’ve decided on the topic for your blog post, you’ll want to focus on creating a headline with oomph. The key to a great headline is using active, dynamic verbs. Use less adjectives and more verbs as adjectives will weigh down your headline. You’ll also want to tease your readers without giving the whole post away. Pique their curiosity to draw your readers in but don’t satisfy it just yet.
8) Attention grabbing content
Once your headline pulls the reader in, keep their interest piqued with attention grabbing content. Remember not everyone wants to read an academic piece full of facts. They’re looking for meaningful content that can help answer their questions and solve their problems.
The best way to do this is to follow through on the promise that your headline made and provide the solutions/advice you said you would. You want to make sure that your solution or advice to whatever problem you’re trying to solve for your reader is clear, simple, and hard to ignore.
9) Format scanning friendly posts
When reading a blog post, most readers don’t actually read through each and every word. For the most part, they scan the blog posts for the information most relevant to their question/wonder.
So, to make it easier for your readers. Set up your blog posts so that the information is easy to read and simple to scan through. There are two ways you can do this: subheadings and bullet points. Subheadings help your reader skip any unnecessary background information to get to what’s new and important. Bullet points help to hold the attention of your reader, and work to break up the text.
10) Promote and grow your following
Once your blog is up and running, the next step is to find people to read it. Even if you have high quality content, it won’t matter if no one knows it’s out there. That’s why promoting your blog, whether through social media channels, email marketing or SEO practices, is so important.
Promoting your blog on social media and online forums is a great way to find your audience and connect with them. Focus on communities that will appreciate what you’re writing about and who will be interested in what you have to say. Many bloggers use social media to share their posts and drive traffic to their sites.
Email marketing is also a great way to create interest around your blog and create an audience. Make sure that your email isn’t just about your blog, rather offer real value in each email you send. Create engaging subject lines and call to actions that link to your blog.
There are so many advantages to starting a blog, for both personal and professional development. A blog can even help you make some extra money! Don’t let the idea of a blog overwhelm you, take a deep breath, slow down and just start writing. You never know where it may take you! And if things don’t work out for you right away, be patient and know that you can always make adjustments and continue to grow.