A blog is a great platform for reaching out to the masses. Blogging seems easy (and it is), but launching a blog in the first place can be overwhelming. However, it doesn’t have to be as long as you know how to go about it.
Here are 12 tips to get you started.
Choose a Blogging Platform
Choosing a platform on which to build your blog should be your first step. There are many blogging platforms – the most popular are WordPress, Blogger, and Tumblr. Choose the platform that suits you best depending on what it has to offer.
Tip: WordPressis preferred for its powerful and advanced add-ons and plugins.
Choose Your Preferred Host
Unless you plan to host your blog yourself (which will likely break your bank), you need to choose a hosting platform. Your preferred web hosting company will open up its servers to your blog to ensure it is always running. Consider factors such as services offered and pricing when choosing a hosting company.
Come Up with a Domain Name
How people will refer to your blog will be determined by the domain name you choose. Your domain name should reflect your blog’s title. It is important to note that free hosting platforms oblige you to use generic domain names that are often long and incoherent – this is why it is recommended to go with paid hosting services.
Study and Understand Your Audience
What does your audience want to hear? What characteristics do your future visitors have in common? Understanding your audience will guide all your future posts and activities on your blog – this, in turn, will determine your success as a blogger.
Choose a Theme
The theme you choose will determine the blog’s layout and appearance. There are thousands of themes to choose from, and many are free. However, your choice should be determined by your audience’s personalities.
Brand Your Blog
How will your audience identify with your blog? This will be determined by your brand. To most people, a brand is simply a logo. However, an expert will tell you that it is much more than that – it involves numerous factors including your choice of colors, fonts, and graphics, among others.
Create an Editorial Calendar
How often will you post on your blog? What do you intend to post? Remember, you will need to keep your blog active to keep your audience interested. The best way to do this in an organized manner is by creating an editorial calendar – an editorial calendar is like a timetable that determines when and what you will post on your blog in the future.
Prepare Your Posts
Your audience will be looking forward to something to read when your blog is eventually launched. As such, you need to prepare posts in advance. It is advisable to prepare enough posts for days or weeks to come as this will help you stay organized.
Integrate with Social Media
Social media can make or break your blogging endeavors, depending on how you use it. Your blog will be exposed to more people on social media as compared to the web. As such, it is advisable to integrate social media channels for major platforms such as Facebook, Google, and Instagram, among others. Be sure to learn the secrets of blogging on social media to avoid making costly mistakes.
Integrate with Email Software
Your audience will be looking forward to the occasional newsletter. You will need email software for this. As such, choose your preferred email software, integrate it with your blog, and give it a test run before settling on it.
Integrate with Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a set of tools that help you study and manage your blog’s performance – it is Google’s way of making you a master of your blog’s fate.These tools give you an insight into important data such as how many people have visited your blog, the pages they accessed, the period of time spent on each page, links clicked, and so much more. Studying this data will help you understand how your audience relates to your blog and respond appropriately.
Incentivize Your Audience
Besides making money, the other goal of every blogger is to get visitors to sign up. This is tricky, but it is possible when you offer the right incentives. Incentives should be promotional and related to what you have to offer. For instance, you can offer free samples of the products and/or services you sell.
A blog will expand your online presence and open up more opportunities to your cause. This, however, will depend on how good your blog is. As such, make sure that your launching process is flawless as mistakes at this phase can compromise your blog’s entire future.
This post is a guest post written by Brandon Stapper a Chief Executive Officer of Nonstop Signs & Graphics, a Los Angeles Printing Company. At 20 years old, with no formal education and only a few hundred dollars, Stapper turned a $400 custom decal machine in a garage into a printing powerhouse. Nonstop Signs & Graphics has made the Forbes Fastest Growing Companies Award 4 years in a row and services 10,000 clients yearly.