Let me take a second before continuing. Some close friends are asking me if blogging is as easy as it seems, it’s not quite that easy. It requires extreme organization, motivation, patience, writing skills, consistency, and being really passionate about what you’re going to share. Also understanding that there is a non-stop learning curve.
Starting a blog is a good way to share your talents, express your thoughts, and eventually gain profit. I’m a newbie I launched BlogbyJoa just a month ago and the learning process has been very interesting. Before launching my blog I spent a whole year learning from the best bloggers and taking courses about Hosting, SEO, WordPress, best plugins to use, Google tools, you name it!
Deciding to start a blog is easy. Setting up the actual blog is when the real work begins! So for all of you beginner bloggers out there who are looking for recent tips about starting a blog. I’ll like to share what I have learned in my first month.
First and foremost… If you are really serious about blogging start BIG, and be ready to invest a little bit (At the beginning). I DO NOT recommend to set-up a free Blog. Why?
- You won’t be able to get your OWN domain name. It can be very ugly like: blogbyjoa.tumblr.com or www.blogbyjoa.blogspot.com …No way.
- You will have limits and more limits, and also won’t be able to fully monetize it.
- You won’t have access to numerous free themes offered by WordPress.
- Finally and the worst part! You don’t OWN your blog because it’s hosted on someone else’s web property and they can delete it if they want so. Scary huh?
So going back to go BIG, lets divide this guide in three parts: Website-Blog configuration, Quality-Worthy Content and Boosting your Blog.
- Think of a CATCHY name, of course considering what is your blog going to be about and who is going to be your target audience. FIND first your niche considering your expertise and interests. If it’s getting difficult don’t get frustrated, patience is key. Here are some useful methods:
- Grab a thesaurus
- Look at competitors Blog Names
- Take inspirations from books related. For example: Travel books or magazines if is about travel.
- Consider a different language. If you’re from Spanish native country it doesn’t have to be in Spanish.
- Use your own name. Many bloggers have become hugely successful with self-named blogs- Joa!
- You have the name? Buy the domain! I personally use Banahosting (Link Below) I suggest to buy a .com because is the Top-level-domain in the world. ALSO at the same time and before buying your Domain check if the same name is available in Facebook, Instagram and Twitter -Social Media will boost traffic to your Blog-
- Choose web hosting for your blog. I also use Banahosting hosting services. Their support team is awesome! I tried with other 2 and they were not easy especially for me that didn’t knew anything about creating a Website. Monthly rate depends on your needs, and they offer discount if you choose to pay by semester or annually. Bana-Professional Deluxe suits me very well.
- Choose your blogging platform (Content management system). I assume you’ve heard of WordPress! This is the platform I advocate. It’s by far one of the biggest blogging platforms in the world, with countless plugins and add-ons and almost infinite ways to design and layout your blog.
- Design your blog. Here is the best part –at least for me – choosing the theme, trying the layouts, creating the menu, etc.
- Very important and my last advice: Read and watch all the videos about your theme configuration (Demos) and plugins. YouTUBE was really helpful! There was moments where I was coding my headings and layouts. One of the first plugins you should Install and activate while configuring is an “Under Construction” plugin. Maybe audience wont look your page, but still do all your configuration “Behind the scenes”
Content is key! Doesn’t matter if you have an amazing design, the best photos ever or amazing videos. Without well-written and engaging content, your blog isn’t going to success.
Let me share tips that helped me when I started: Write like you talk! The more conversational your writing is, the more people will enjoy reading it.
Don’t think when you start out blogging, your audience will be very interested in your stories and your interests … Sorry I have to be realistic – True and harsh! But what I have seen is that people care way more about what you can teach them so try to teach something in every post you create and share.
Important! Many beginner bloggers think they can get away with the old copy-paste technique. Of course you will do some research and will get a lot of ideas from other posts but DON’T do it! Instead learn how to cite others.
Now, after creating at least your first 3 post, I recommend to launch your blog! It will give your audience material to read, to know about you and will give you time to schedule and create future content.
Boosting your Blog
This is the consistency part. Let me share the techniques I have being implementing to boost my blog.
- Post at least 3 times per week. It has to be a commitment with your audience. Sooner or later they will spread the word and it will keep traffic coming to your blog.
- Social Media is key to boost your blog and here you have to be an octopus – Literally! – As soon as you post new content to your Website, post it on Instagram, link the account so it goes to your Fan page, and Twitter – All the accounts created.
- Be ready to install SEO plugin, Google analytics, Google Search, Google AdWords, Anti-Spam, also Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram feeds. It will give you a better idea of your audience and numbers. Find below the ones I’m using (All of them with demos and easy configuration):
- Yoast SEO (Mandatory)
- Akismet Anti-Spam
- Social Media: Social Media and Share Icons (Ultimate Social Media) / Easy Facebook Likebox / Add Pinterest Follow Button / Instagram Feed
- GA Google Analytics
- Google XML Sitemaps
Do NOT get frustrated if your blog posts and social media are not generating a lot of traffic or likes. You are not failing! This is normal and instead of focusing on this, focus on the cumulative potential of organic traffic.
Eventually you will start to have traffic and lots of likes – Of course you have to do the homework to get there. Be consistent with all the previous techniques and give it a while. Average time is 3 months minimum.
4. Create a Business Pinterest Account. I’m on the validation process right now so this will be a completely new post based on my results. According to all the last research I made, Pinterest is the top traffic driver today. Is not a social media is a search engine, and there are over 150 million Pinterest users seeking information, and inspiration so it’s a number you can’t ignore.
There are other interesting topics that I know beginners like me will appreciate. I’ll be sharing them very soon!
“Balancing Blogging with my 8-5pm Job”
Some of us still don’t blog for a living, we need a full-part time job. I don’t agree with the term “real job” because serious blogging can generate more than any of us make in a year. If this is your case too. I bet you wish you had more time so I’ll be sharing techniques I’m using to work on a schedule and post at least 3 times per week.
“Useful Gadgets for Blog Photos and Short-Videos”
Right now I’m just doing blogging with photos and short videos. I’m still not doing Vlogging which is more expensive than blogging because it requires sophisticated equipment and I still don’t have a professional camera. In the meantime I found some amazing lens, apps and gadgets that transforms my Iphone7 in a perfect camera. I’ll be sharing them soon!
Influencer, Affiliate Programs…Lets monetize!
Remember I said patience is required? Don’t ever think you will start generating money as soon as you start blogging. Monetizing your blog requires time and applying different strategies. Traffic and followers will be key to monetize it. I have a friend that after 6 months – YES 6! – Started to see “good” balance in her account. Again patience and not losing focus is key.
I hope sharing this information helps you to start and/or set up-shape your blog. If you are having any issues using Banahosting / WordPress / Plugins / Themes Customization let me know on comments and Ill share the links I used to learn all of it.
And remember It’s likewise important that you don’t get overwhelmed in the process!