Ever since the birth of the Internet, blogging has been around, and it has no plans of going away. It has made it through all the changes and innovations, such as YouTube, Facebook, mobile expansions, and it will continue to do so. If blogging is what you’re planning to get involved in, go for it. There’s room for everyone, but in order to be successful, survive the competition and actually earn something, there are things to consider and work to be done.
Step 1: The why
This is the first thing you need to ask yourself: why do I want to start a blog? Surely, many people would say it’s for the love of writing, for fun, to turn a hobby into a career, etc. But in reality, the real reason is to make money. It may sound greedy initially, but essentially, that is the final aim. If you’re in it just for fun and passion, if your desire is not strong enough, when things get tough (and they will), you won’t be able to overcome the hardships.
When you have this clear, there are several ways you can make money, once you’ve set up: sponsored content, guest posts, AdWords, affiliates, etc. Virtually, there are countless ways to make money from your blog. Just dive in and choose.
Step 2: Learn how to blog
Blogging is more than just writing interesting stories. The Internet is full of them. You need to find a way to make your passionate views stand out from the crowd and inspire, so you can create a following. You have to endure the whole process and it takes time and dedication. Plus, it’s not just about writing.
You have to develop all your skills, and that includes identifying and working on your strengths and weaknesses and learning new things such as technical know-how, design and photography. When you develop your skills and talent and expand your knowledge, it becomes much easier to market your blog and make it noticeable.
You also need a clearly defined and effective business strategy. Besides assessing your strong and weak points, you need to determine who you are writing for, what is the best way to present your content to your target audience and finally, a proper marketing and financial plan.
Step 3: Promoting your blog
It’s definitely not easy to stand out in the vast blogosphere. Having a good product means nothing if no one ever finds out about it. So, invest in promoting your blog. Luckily, there are so many ways to do it: participating in social networks and forums, boosting interactions with you audience and engaging in online collaborations, networking with other bloggers, attending events in your own industry and conferences.
Step 4: Build and maintain your online presence
At the very beginning, choosing your domain and hosting is extremely important, as this will define your blog and determine its success or failure online. Don’t rush into this and take time to make decisions. Your domain needs to be catchy, memorable and relevant and possibly contain a useful phrase or a keyword. When looking to buy a domain name you should consider your options carefully. The price range is wide and if you opt for cheap domains to cut costs as much as possible, ensure you’re at least dealing with a reputable company.
Just like domain names, hosting can be bought cheaply. However, beware of shared hosting. As the name suggests, this means you’ll be sharing a server with countless other websites and users and this may significantly shrink your space, speed, and bandwidth. Do the research and find what other options are available at what cost, and decide on the one which best suits your needs.
When you have these aspects covered, invest time in building and growing your online presence. That is your image, brand, and portfolio. Create profiles on major social networks such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. This will give you a valuable opportunity to promote your blog and reach wide audiences.
The whole process of starting a blog from a mere idea and a passion that guides you, to turn it into a business that brings revenue, certainly is overwhelming and intimidating. You have to keep in mind your motives, principles, and aims. Although it’s difficult initially, with dedication, hard work, and persistence, it’s possible to turn it into a successful professional career.
| About the Guest Author:
Nate Vickery – Executive Editor at http://bizzmarkblog.com/ Consultant & Author