Do you need extra money? Are you thinking about a career change? Are you unemployed? Or are you just sick and tired of your current JOB?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then starting an online business by creating a blog might just be the answer you have been looking for.
You should have heard of some aspect of blogs and blogging by now. You may not understand exactly what is a blog and why you need one. But creating a blog is the easiest way to start an online business. Here are 7 basic steps on how to start your own blog for the complete beginner.
1. Make a decision to create a blog
This is one of the most important steps to online blogging success. It is easy to talk about what you want to do. But sometimes the fear of not knowing all the steps prevents you from making the decision to start. Don’t worry about the “how”. You must first make the decision to start your online business by creating a blog. The “how” will come once the decision is made.
2. Choose your niche
Decide what your blog will be about. What kind of business do you want to start? What are your passions and interest? What are you good at? What do people come to you for all the time?
At this point, it is necessary to conduct keyword research. Take the answers to the above questions and determine if and how many people are searching for these keywords online. Create a running list of keywords that have high demand (lots of searches) and low supply (small number of competing websites). Use your keyword research to narrow your blog niche.
3. Determine your ideal client
Who do you want to reach when creating your blog? Your message and information should resonate with a particular group people. Determining who your ideal client is will help you create a blog that speaks to them. You must speak their language if you want them to listen to what you are saying.
Conduct research to find your ideal client’s pain points. What keeps them awake at night? What questions are they seeking answers for? Your blog should become the solution to their biggest problems in your niche.
4. Choose and buy a domain name and hosting
Based on the name of your business, your keywords and your niche, choose a domain name for your blog. This is the URL people will type in to find your blog online. It would be ideal to use keywords in your domain name. But it is not mandatory. However, you do want to choose a domain that is short, easy to remember and easy to spell.
Write down several possibilities and go to GoDaddy.com to see if your domain choices are available. Don’t get discouraged if your first choice is not available. Keep trying until you find a domain that accurately depicts you, your business and your niche. Also make sure to use the.com extension if possible.
A hosting account is where your blog lives online. There are several options to choose from. Do your research. Determine what features you will need. Do a Google search on “How to Find the Best Website Hosting Provider”. You should find an article that will offer you several important things to look for when choosing your hosting provider. Two of which are the amount of data space and bandwidth they offer.
5. Choose and install your blogging software
There are lots of other blogging platforms out there. But the only one I recommend is WordPress.org. Both Blogger.com and WordPress.org have advantages and disadvantages. One of the most important differences between the two, is the level of control you have with WordPress.org. Do a Google search on “Comparing WordPress vs. Blogger”. You will find articles that will give you many details about why WordPress is the preferred choice for most bloggers. Two of those reasons are its ease of use and ability to easily customize your blog.
6. Customize your blog with themes and plug-ins
When you first install WordPress, you are given the default theme. You can use this theme and customize it. But there are 1000s more free and paid themes you can choose from. However, there are certain factors to keep in mind when choosing a theme. Your theme should:
- be SEO friendly
- widget ready
- have customizable features such as colors, header, sidebar, plug-ins
- have the # of columns you prefer – 1, 2, or 3
Before choosing your theme, decide how you want your WordPress website or blog to look. And how you plan to use it. Now you’re ready to choose your theme. Upload it and start customizing.
Don’t worry about whether you chose the right theme or not. You can test different themes until you find the right one for you and your business. But conduct your testing in the beginning. Clients and potential clients want consistency. So don’t constantly change your theme. Find the theme that works and customize it to your liking.
7. Create a blogging schedule and start blogging
How often do you plan to blog? You want to create a realistic blogging schedule that you can stick to. Even if its only one day per week in the beginning. You can always add more. But you don’t want to cut the number of post from what you started with. However, it isn’t recommended that you blog any less than once per week.
You want your blog to become an active site that people visit often. People will come to expect frequent updates. So being consistent in the beginning is more important than frequency. Once you get the hang of it, increase your frequency to at least twice a week.
Now that you have a blogging schedule, its time to start blogging. But what do I blog about, is the question I’m sure you are asking. Pull out your keyword list from step 2 above. Do additional keyword research if necessary.
Then develop your keyword blueprint. To start, find 5 keywords on your list that are a little broad. These keywords will become the categories in your blog. Then find 5 subtopics (keywords) of each of your 5 categories. You know have 25 keywords.
Start writing blog posts, each focused on one of these keywords. If you’re posting once per week, you now have enough blog post for 6 months. If you’re posting twice per week, you will have enough blog posts for 3 months. You may also want to write different types of blog posts for some of these keywords to spice up your blog from time to time. Add more subtopics or new categories as needed.
Your keyword blueprint will give you everything you need to create great content for your new blog. You will start increasing your expertise in your niche as you start and grow your online business. So start creating your blog and before long you will have a successful online blog and business.