Before you even start to create your own blog, it is necessary to know what a blog really is. The term blog is actually derived from the word Weblog or Web log. Back in the days, around the late 1990’s, these Web logs were utilized by individuals to track updates and references to other resources online. They served as journals, which made them useful as a publishing tool for the user’s stream of consciousness. Of course, the readers can still comment and share their thoughts on just about anything under the sun. Technically, blogs are also known as CMS or Content Management Systems. Being a CMS, blogs allow the writers to easily publish to a specific Web site and manage the content without the need of having to deal with the program code. Publishing software also provides users with a GUI or Graphical User Interface for easy pointing and clicking of their articles. Through the use of easy-to-do procedures, you can perform configurations and set up, which can ease your job as a blogger since the tool can automatically organize your published articles the next time you publish.
The Advantage of Blogging
The main question is; why should you start blogging? The first thing you need to know is that blogging can enhance and support your online communications. However, you must first understand the outcome of your blog that you desire in order to attain success. The main reason why you should start blogging, is that it can be both an excellent outlet for your frustrations or excitement. What you are passionate about and profitable at the same time. It does not mean that if you are not into blogging, you should not blog. Being in a business, especially those with dealings on the Internet, requires you to establish a clientele that are actually interested in your products or services. Blogs can do this easily due to its accessibility and being an excellent medium for marketing that it is, blogs are essential for businesses. More so, if you are handling a business, there is a good chance that your competition is blogging about their products and services. This is an easy method for you to examine the competition and what their clients’ preferences are. Additionally, blogs can create strong customer relationships since your target market can easily and directly communicate with the authority within your business. This kind of opportunity is hard to resist since a strong customer relationship can eventually lead to lasting trust to your product and services; hence, eventual increase in your revenue.
How to start a blog as a business — here are 7 steps to get you started on your journey to creating a blog for profit. Follow this step-by-step guide that shows you how to be a blogger who provides value to your readers.
1. Find a Blog Idea (Business Idea) Which “Fits” YOU!
In order to determine how to start a blog, we’ve still got to go back to the basics of determining a terrific blog idea.
We’re back to “fit” again – blogs are just like business ideas — they need to be a “fit” for you, your personality, interests, and expertise.
2. Check-Out Your Competition
Another important factor for how to start a blog is to take a look at your competition to determine what they might be doing? This is good market research! Spend some time on their blogs…
What is the competition doing well – can you incorporate this into your blog? What ideas do you have to improve your blog compared to the competition? How can you write your blog to incorporate information which you don’t readily see available? What will be your internet voice – witty, humorous, serious, challenging, etc.?
3. Brainstorm Some Domain Name Ideas
Sit down with a notebook when you’re learning how to start a blog and start jotting down a variety of names which get at the intent of your main topic idea and/or your spin. This will give you and your business a head start determining a terrific domain URL and providing you with the most flexibility and traffic at the beginning for your business blog.
4. Find Your Domain Name
When you’re first figuring out how to start a blog, it is easy to fall into the trap of trying to do this as cheaply as possible. Don’t do it with your domain name!!!
You’re domain name will cost you around $10 – do this step! It’s important and will save you problems down the road. Remember that this is like any other business and do the right steps!
Find a domain that has your specific topic in the domain name – this will help you with the search engines and building your traffic organically over time. Maybe you can even get your “spin” in the name to give your domain some character.
Try to purchase a .com or .net URL — this will serve your business best since these are the most recognized tags on the internet (this may change over time, but for now these remain the standards). Avoid “cutesy” or “weird” domain names – while they’re fun in the moment, others may totally miss your point if they find you at all on the internet.
One of the free tools which I find particularly helpful is at http://www.NameCheap.com.
5. Decide On A Software/Hosting
When you are learning how to start a blog, one of the major decisions you’ll make is deciding on blogging software and hosting sites, make sure you are comparing apples to apples (and not oranges). Many sites which claim to be “free” are anything but free. There are some perceived cheap options in the hosting world (or so it seems when you’re just getting started!)
However, these options may cost you more in the long run since they do not actually provide you with a business building system (BBS) and the support you need and deserve to make your life easier and to help grow your business. As you compare options, make sure you consider both your short-term and long-term needs for your business blog. Ask yourself what tools will be important to your business blog over time.
You’ll want to read the fine-print and check out any site restrictions to determine if they will work or may negatively impact your future business plans.
Does your host offer you training (you’ll need it for whatever type of business and software you’re using)? Look for a system that includes everything you need to build a business — this includes built-ins which offer keyword searches, software built-ins so everything works together, e-zines, quality monetization models, constant upgrades as the internet and Google become smarter, and support forums to help you grow your business.
Beware of hosting systems requiring you to pay extra for every little plug-in you’ll need to build a successful business. With this type of hosting model, you’re charged for each individual piece of business software including a separate fee for your domain name, domain hosting, blogging software, keyword searches plug-in, new business plug-ins, premium templates, e-zine support, traffic analytics, even extra charges for additional traffic as your blog followers grow, etc. This can cost your business a fortune!
And as you are learning how to start a blog, make sure to take advantage of any tutorials offered. These will be a tremendous value and benefit for you and your business — remember you’re learning a whole new industry and language. There will be specific nuances you’ll need to learn at each step along the way. Keep learning and building your blog so it looks professional to your visitors.
6. Create Good Quality Content for Your Visitors
This is VERY Important step when you are starting a blog! You want to provide your readers with good quality information – and you’ll want to have a minimum of 30 pages, but 50+ is much better to get started with. Each of your pages should be between 350 – 500+ words (<350 are not enough to provide valuable information to your readers).
If you plan to make your blog a business, you will need to write proficiently for several hours each day… That’s why it’s so important to LOVE your topics and write about what you know and are interested in. Many bloggers will quit because this is work and it’s a business! This requires dedication just like starting any other business.
When we’re talking about how to start a blog, we’d be remiss if we didn’t discuss the need for good quality original content. Your content needs to be interesting, honest, and you must be yourself when you’re writing. This means you can be witty, charming, motivating, or rugged depending upon your personality. Just keep it real! This will keep your readers engaged, interested, and coming back for more of your terrific featured articles.
Write your blog content for folks with a short attention span – this is not a novel where folks will stick around until the end of the plot. They will be looking to gain their information in quick short bursts.
7. How To Start A Blog & Promote It
One of the best ways to promote your blog is to gain traffic organically through the use of specific keywords being searched for by your visitors. When you use the right keywords, the search engines will reward you by delivering your blog site to readers throughout the world. Get comfortable identifying specific words being searched within your niche.
Make sure to tell your family and friends about your blog – ask them to visit and give you constructive feedback. Make any necessary changes you think will help your blog.
Get your blog link published on your social media websites to encourage your social friends to visit your blog. Look for other media opportunities to get the word out about your blog. You can also advertise in hard copy magazines, online websites, or share links with other bloggers to encourage their traffic to visit your blog.
Who knows… maybe your friends will ask you how to start a blog and you can send them here!
Thanks for reading my article, hope that it was helpful and that you enjoyed.