TIPS ON SUCCESSFUL BLOGGING | Getting Started
Now that you’ve finally decided to own a blog, how do you get started? What and what do you need to kick start your blogging career. I have highlighted all that you need to get started with blogging in the 5(five) points outlined below:
SELECTING A NICHE:
It is key that you decide who your target audience is. Finding your niche is key to starting a blog. What is a niche? A niche is a term used to describe or denote products, services, or interests that appeal to a small, specialized section of the population. When choosing a niche, you mustn’t be too broad to avoid targeting a large subset without necessarily reaching any one particularly. In the same vein, your niche mustn’t be too narrow so that you don’t end up being so specific that you target a relatively small or seemingly non-existent part of the population. This is the most important step to consider as you are about to start blogging.
CHOOSING A DOMAIN:
Choosing a name for your blog? This is pretty crucial. The domain name for your blog is its identity. If you are blogging about personal stuff, experiences, opinions etc. , the name of the blog could be your name., Other than that, the name of a blog should be first of all topical(ideally the name of the blog itself), then short and sweet.
I currently use and recommend the following domain providers: Namecheap and Godaddy.
FINDING A WEBHOST:
Before choosing a host, consider what kind of site you are running. Ruby on Rails?
The technology you’re using can affect the host you go with. For instance, if you’re using
Ruby on Rails, you wouldn’t want to use a service like hostgator. (But instead something like
Digital Ocean or Heroku.)
SELF-HOSTING VERSUS FREE ALTERNATIVES
You may be tempted to take the easy route and use a free host for your blog. There’s the
obvious pro to this (it’s free), but in my experience there are downsides as well. With free
blogging options, you:
• can’t customize your domain name
• can’t fully monetize your blog
• have limits to video and image uploads
• have less theme options
Ultimately, you are not the true owner of a blog unless you self-host with your own domain
name. It only costs $5-10/month for self-hosting, which in my opinion is well worth it.
If you choose to self-host, create a domain name and find a hosting company.
I currently recommend the following web hosting providers for WordPress: Hostgator and Mochahost.
PICKING A PLATFORM(CMS):
When it comes to blogging, I suggest people use a CMS, or content management system. A content management system makes it easy to add new blog posts and update old one. Here are a few of the most common blogging CMS’s.
1. WordPress (what I use and my favorite) has two options:
a. WordPress.com: Open-source software, no ads, limited space and limits on custizing your blog, web hosting provided, hosting is free, very few plugins available
b. WordPress.org: Requires more tech knowledge, no cost to remove 3rd party adscustomizable, web host is not free, and renewal of domain name is not free
a. Open source and free
b. Simple; blogging only, not as feature-rich as WordPress
c. Easy to install, customize, and use
a. Simple, blogging only(not as rich as wordpress).
b. Easy to use etc.
DESIGNING YOUR WEBSITE:
When designing your blog, the most important thing is that your blog is easy to use. That
essentially means five things:
1. Mobile responsiveness: The site needs to work across device sizes—phone, tablet,
computer. People will be accessing it from all three.
2. Clear navigation: Avoid tons of menu items and make the flow logical.
3. Legible font: Make sure your font is not some crazy curly font, and is large enough to
4. Color: Use colors that balance one another.
5. Simplicity: Simplicity conquers all. Less is more.
It’s all about usability. If people can’t use your site, how will they be able to read your posts?
When first starting out, do NOT get too caught up in the details. Use a pre-designed theme if
possible—you can always customize it later.
KEY COMPONENTS ANY BLOG SHOULD HAVE
1. Contact information: your email address, phone number/address if a business, and
social media links should all be present
2. About page: a place where readers can find out about you—include a picture!
FEEL FREE TO SHARE YOUR DECISIONS AND INTEREST IN THE COMMENT SECTION BELOW SO THAT I CAN ADVICE YOU AS APPROPRIATE.
NEXT ON THE SERIES: TIPS ON SUCCESSFUL BLOGGING: Writing Great Articles For Your Niche