When you are new to blogging, the task of setting up and running a blog can seem to be either extremely easy or extremely difficult.
If it seems extremely easy, you are probably in for a really rude awakening.
If it seems extremely difficult, then you are ready to make an educated decision about setting up, running, and maintaining a quality blog.
Regardless of where you, the fact that you are thinking of starting a blog has probably lead you here to this page. There are a lot of things to do to get ready for a quality blog. While this is not a comprehensive list and there are probably things that I have missed, I hope that this provides you with a good list of things to at least thing about when you are setting up your blog.
- Pick your niche area. Write about what you know and love.
- Research your niche.
- Discover similar blogs.
- Know your audience and what they want to read about.
- Pick a great domain name and register it.
- Decide whether you want to host your own blog or go on a blogging site.
- Select a blog host.
- Decide if you want to monetize your blog or not.
- Know when to monetize your blog.
- Find ways to monetize your blog:
- Select appropriate channels for generating income.
- Select ways to receive money
- Select blogging software (server and client side) to standardize on.
- Movable Type
- Community Server
Client Side (Thanks to WordPress for the list)
- Blog Writer
- Deepest Sender
- Gnome Blog
- Post2Blog Express
- WB Editor
- Windows Live Writer
- Zoundry Blog Writer
- Become familiar with the software and how to customize it.
- Become familiar with basics of web design such as PHP, SQL, Java, HTML, etc.
- Select an appropriate theme for your blog.
- Customize your theme to make it your own or make your own.
- Add a favicon or make your own.
- Decide on other services your blog will supply:
Getting the Word Out
- Make sure your blog has an RSS feed that is easy to find and subscribe to.
- E-mail your friends about your new blog.
- Write appropriate comments in other blogs that you have relevant content in your blog.
- Set up to ping Technorati and other blog cataloging sites. Make sure you claim your blog.
- Make a free business cards and hand them out.
- Sign up for Google Webmaster Tools.
- Have a number of posts ready to launch as soon as your blog goes live.
- Resist temptation to blast all of the posts out at once.
- Plan series and weekly features for your blog.
Monitor Your Blog
- Decide on a proper tracking system.
- Watch specific information about visitors to your site:
- Daily visits
- Daily pageviews
- Average pageviews per visit
- Daily RSS readers
- Inbound sources
- Popular content
- Entry pages
- New vs. returning readers
- Countries readers from
- Web browsers readers using
Maintain Your Blog
- Make appropriate changes to better suite your audience.
- Keep content fresh so that readers keep coming back. Update at least a few times a week.
- Respond to comments on your posts.
Tips from Blogging Experts
- Kaitlan Whitteberry, Social Media Manager, and Tiffany Rivers, Director of Marketing of iOFFICE, Inc. offer this. “We have found that while understanding your audience is the ultimate key to success, ensuring the conversation revolves around them shifts the focus back where it belongs. Your job as a blogger is to enlighten your audience with information they haven’t been previously exposed to, but also to ask what they want to learn. You should want to be their ultimate guide. Where they look first when seeking information. If you start by focusing on providing relevant content, that speaks to their needs – your list will grow itself.”
- Teresa Matich, Copywriter at Clio, says: “When growing an email list, we’ve found it’s most important to keep quality top of mind. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel—we get the best results by consistently delivering quality, on-topic content, as this respects list members by staying in line with what they expect to find. Flooding their inbox with mediocre content simply doesn’t work. Whatever other tactics you use to grow your email list, always put the quality of your content first.”
- Dana Baardsen is the founder of Agile Trend Media. She shares with us her unique strategy for DynaPro Direct and lets in on her insight: “Growing a brand’s blog is fun, and if it’s not, you’re not doing it right. It’s crucial to be savvy with SEO, feature catchy (not click-bait) headlines, and provide serviceable and accurate information regularly — but it’s even more important to ditch your personal itch to micromanage every piece of content. Here’s why: By allocating energy to public relations and opening up your site to editorial collaborations, you’ll feed new energy into an otherwise one-sided stream of content. What happens when you schedule collaborative blog content regularly? An increase in engagement, views, shares, likes, sales, and fun!”