Well, I hear ya’ because when I first started blogging I read everything I could get my hands on and when I wasn’t reading I watched hours and hours of Youtube, listening to all the experts pitch their products.
Of course, I didn’t know they were pitching products back then because I was all shiny and new to the blogosphere and it seemed like great advice at the time. You could say I was a total noob when it came to blogging.
Sure I’d spent plenty of my earlier years playing online, developing software, exploring ideas and generally failing to make an impact on the Internet but blogging was for writers or so I thought.
And perhaps it was when I first looked into blogging, but now blogs aren’t just the domain of writers or people wishing to share their life online, they’re the domain of content marketers and that piqued my interest.
You see I had a fairly boring life, mainly because I’d been caught up in the wheel of life and was doing the 9-5 thing, day in and day out. There wasn’t a lot of time for excitement and I wasn’t suddenly going to become a daddy blogger anytime soon. Then I discovered content marketing and was hooked.
I love content marketing because I get to learn about new things and then curate that information into manageable chunks for my readers. Then hopefully I can sell a few of my own related products or products created by other people.
It’s a long game so I keep planting the seeds until Google finally decides to bless me with its traffic. Sure I could work my ass off hitting up social media and working on getting one person to the site at a time but I’ve decided that’s isn’t me and prefer to spin Google’s Wheel of Fortune instead.
I think I do alright at keyword research so I focus on that area when writing my blog posts. But hey that’s enough about me, I’m guessing you’re here because you wanted to start your own blog so I better get back on track. Without further adieu…
10 Essential Steps to Start Your Own Blog or Website
#1 – Find Your Passion
Unless you love writing and couldn’t think of anything better to do in your day, you better find your passion before you get started with a blog. You’ll be needing to write a lot of blog posts before you’ll squeeze some traffic out of Google and traffic from Bing is at an all time low.
Of course, finding your passion isn’t as easy as it sounds because you’ve probably been busy or distracted with life. I believe we all have a passion inside of us however, it’s sometimes masked and doesn’t easily reveal itself. If this is you then take a holiday and focus on working out your passion.
Tip: You may need to step back in time to find the things you loved to do before you got too busy to pursue it further. This exercise may even take you as far back as childhood so don’t be surprised.
#2 – Choose Your Niche
Your perfect niche should be related to your passion but maybe not as broad as you’re probably thinking. Hey, you might not even know there is a niche within your chosen topic.
A great place to explore niches is by using an old fashioned web directory like DMOZ.
Just start at the top level and slowly work your way down through the categories. I bet you’ll be surprised at how many sub-categories there are. When you reach the bottom of a category step back one sub-category and that should be a reasonable niche to work within.
Let’s say you had a passion for Healthy Living, so maybe your search might look like this.
Health -> Fitness
Health -> Fitness -> Yoga
Health -> Fitness -> Yoga -> Practices
Health -> Fitness -> Yoga -> Practices -> Breathing
Now we’ve reached the end of the sub-categories so step back one sub-category and we are left with the following sub-categories which fall under
This variety of topics in this niche should keep you interested enough, whilst providing a focus for your readers to prevent them from being overwhelmed.
#3 – Find a Name
Next you need to choose a suitable Blog Name and find a corresponding Domain Name.
Now you’ll need a bit of luck with this because there isn’t a lot of choice left in the dot-com world but you should be able to find something suitable using alternative domain extensions.
I’ve written about finding Good Blog Names before so just have a read of this blog post for some inspiration – How to Use Blog Name Generator
#4 – Start Your Own Blog
Finally, you’re ready to start your own blog but be wary of starting a blog with a free hosting company because that’s going to make finding traffic much harder than a self-hosted blog and also you won’t have the Authority when you write from a free blog. I call those free blogs, hobby blogs because it’s likely they’ll never be much more than a hobby.
Even if you just want to blog as a hobby now, you should consider buying a domain and some blog hosting because you’ll eventually want to make money from it and this is best achieved using your own trusted Internet Domain. Plus it doesn’t look as SPAMMY.
You can start a blog and get a free domain from as low as $24USD per year so why would you waste your time on a free blog.
But if you can spare a few more dollars and are in the blogging game to make money then here’s my full guide on setting up a WordPress Blog.
Either way you should stay away from free blogging platforms, because you’ll be restricted in creativity and earning potential. You have been warned.
#5 – Start Writing
Once you’ve got your blog started, then you’ll want to start writing and developing your writing habit. It’s much more important to post regularly rather than frequently, so work within the time frame you have so you aren’t stretched for time and eventually decide it’s too hard, then give up.
Even a single 500-word blog post every week for a year is better than a daily blog that only lasts for a few months. Both will result in a similar amount of content, but the one you do over the year will most likely have more traffic and certainly have active readers by the end of the year.
Writing is a habit and you are best to find your own style of writing.
If you don’t know your style then just experiment until you find something that works for you. There are all kinds of people in this world and some might like your writing whereas others don’t, but that’s OK.
Get comfortable writing in the style that suits you and you’ll soon attract the sorts or people that enjoy it.
#6 – Promote Your Blog
Use social media and try to build a following that way. You’ll likely spend 80% of your time promoting your work and only 20% creating it.
With any luck, you’ll create a viral post and will soon be discovered.
But playing the lottery online isn’t a sure thing so it’s best you grind it out in the early months of your blog like the rest of us, and build a following on social media.
Come find me on Twitter @DIYBLOGGUY if you have a social media account and I’ll follow back.
However, the picture does get brighter the longer you have your blog because you’ll start to get search engine traffic and possibly build up enough Authority in your niche to get cited in other people blog posts.
So there you have it, Six Essential Steps to Start Your Own Blog.
Of course, once you dive into this rabbit hole it soon resembles a scene from Alice in Wonderland and you’ll be wondering which turn to take next. But my advice is to stay the course and keep moving forward and you’ll soon reach your destination.
Good Luck and please share with your friends if you found this useful.