10 Steps for Starting a Blog
Today I want to talk about the tools needed to start a blog. Setting up your own site for blogging with or without affiliate marketing isn’t hard, it’s just about knowing what you’ll need. I’m going to give a brief outline here, and over the coming days I’ll dive into some of the steps in a little more detail, so that you have a deeper understanding of what you’ll need to get started.
Step 1: Decide What Kind of Blog or Website You Want
Your goals for your website will determine what kind of look and feel your website will have. If you’re planning on doing some affiliate marketing, you’ll want to have a focus on list building. If your main focus is a to have an informational website, you’ll want to make sure the look and feel of your blog matches your topic. For example, if your niche is in the pet area, you could include photos of dogs or cats, along with a color scheme that enhances what pet owners might like. Take plenty of time to map out what your goals are for your website before getting started on any of the other items.
Step 2: Choose a Domain Name
You’ll need a domain name for your website and it should absolutely be tied in with the purpose of your blog. For example, if you want to start a blog for stay-at-home moms, you would want to choose something that speaks to moms, the group of people you are trying to target. Your domain name should be easy to remember and as catchy as possible.
Step 3: Purchase a Hosting Plan
In order to have a blog, you will need a hosting company that will host your site. There are plenty to choose from, and most offer a basic cPanel, which gives you access to your website and helps you set it up. Most hosting plans have a monthly subscription, and you’ll usually get the best deal by purchasing a year or two at once.
Step 4: Install WordPress
Once you have a domain name and a hosting plan, you should easily be able to install WordPress. Most hosting companies offer a quick installation of WordPress through your cPanel. There are tons of how-to videos on installation if you get stuck, but for the most part, it’s pretty simple.
Step 5: Get an Auto-Responder Subscription
If you plan to do any kind of affiliate marketing, you’ll need a list. Building your list will be critical, as it provides a method to reach out to your subscribers. When you want to let your customers know about special offers, new products, or just offer them useful tips and information, you can send out an email to your list for easy communication. There are several well-known autoresponder vendors you can use.
Step 6: Set up WordPress
Once WordPress is installed, you’ll need to customize it to fit the interests of your blog. There are hundreds of themes, both free and premium (not free) to choose from. Here you will have the ability to create the website of your dreams. Choose a theme that suits your niche, while allowing you the functionality you need. WordPress also has both free and paid Plugins, which allow you to add functionality to your WordPress site as needed.
Step 7: Add Content
So you’ve got your domain name, hosting, and blog set up, and it looks fabulous. Now you need content! You’ll need to write your content to suit your niche and to fulfill the purpose of your website. If you don’t like to write, or need a little help, there are many freelance writers who you can hire, usually at a reasonable price. Alternatively, you can use PLR articles and content, to beef up your content. Keep in mind, it’s never an all or nothing situation. You can do any combination of these strategies to keep fresh content on your site and keep your visitors coming back.
Step 8: Maximize Social Media
I personally don’t do an excessive amount of SEO for my articles, but I do post to Twitter and I do try to do write the articles with keywords that my visitors might search for to find my content.
Step 9: Keyword Research
While writing for your blog, it can be helpful to use a keyword tool to make sure that the words and phrases you are using, are the ones that your visitors pop in Google to find you. There are lots of keyword tools, again free and paid and you can choose depending on what you feel comfortable with and what your budget is. Some people swear by keyword research and spend a lot of time on it. Others, just write good, clean content and eventually build up a list of loyal customers. No matter what you choose, do what you are most comfortable with and can sustain over the long term.
Step 10. Monitor Your Traffic
It’s important to see who is coming to your blog, and how they got there once you’re up and running. It could be that you discover many of your visitors are finding you through a referral link from another website. Or maybe a particular keyword is attracting visitors. It’s also nice to know which of your posts are garnering the most traffic. This can tell you something about your viewers. And as almost everything in the Internet Marketing world, there are both free and paid versions of traffic tools you can choose from.
As I mentioned, I’ll be breaking down each of these steps a bit more over the coming days and giving you some resources for each of these steps.
Have a great day and happy internet marketing!