There are a hell of a lot of posts out there on how to start a blog. But if you’re still in the brainstorming phase or just now getting ready to execute, this blogging for beginners post is for you.
Here, you’ll find everything you need to know BEFORE you start your blog. Yup, this is the pre-planning process and it’s just as important as actually getting going!
But First Thing’s First…
WHY do you want to start a blog? To promote a service/store? To cultivate community? To make money working from home in your PJs?
Blogging isn’t easy. No matter what some of the gurus out there are claiming, it takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears. And a ton of DIY’ing, unless you’re being bankrolled. So go ahead and really think about the reason behind why you want to start a blog and write it down! Whenever you’re feeling stuck—and you will—you can look back on this and encourage yourself to keep going.
Now, Pick a Niche
What is your blog about and who is it for? This is arguably one of the most important things you need to decide when starting a blog.
One of the biggest mistakes beginning bloggers make is not deciding on a blog niche and writing about, well, everything.
So what are the best money-making niches out there? Here are a few to consider:
- Personal Finance
- Parenting/Mommy Blogs
Get Clear On Who You’re Helping
Solve someone’s problem, and do it well. That’s one of the most basic principles about starting and growing a blog.
To do so, you need to be crystal clear on who this person is, what their problem is and how YOU can help.
- GOOD: I help busy moms overcome dinnertime overwhelm with quick and easy dinner ideas.
- BAD: I blog about gardening, budgeting, beauty products and pet reviews.
Be specific, solve a problem. Then, you’re good to go.
Consider Your Strengths and Weaknesses
You won’t be able to outsource everything from the outset, but it’s still a good idea to see where your strengths and weaknesses lie. This way, when you do start making money from your blog you’ll know exactly what help you’ll need.
Set (Realistic) Blogging Goals
Before you start your blog, sit down and set realistic goals for your launch and the first quarter.
Some questions to answer may include:
- When will you launch your blog?
- How often will you write new posts?
- What methods will you use to promote your blog posts?
- Who will you use for growing your email list?
Answering these questions will make sure you’re organized from the get-go! And you won’t be as overwhelmed with the to-do list.
RELATED: How to Set Realistic Blogging Goals
What is Your Plan for Growth/Monetization?
If you’re looking to make money blogging, there are a lot of ways to do so. But it’s a good idea to have a rough plan of how exactly you’ll achieve that.
A combination of affiliate income, banner ads, sponsored content or even your own services/products are just some of the ways most bloggers make money.
This varies widely by niche, and your plan!
If your plan is to kill it on banner ads, you’ll want to focus heavily on traffic growth strategies. But if your plan is to roll out digital products or an e-course, you may want to focus more on list building strategies.
This is why it’s great to brainstorm some ideas before you start your blog, so you can get clear on the path your blog will take!
Make Wise Investments
You don’t need a ton of money to start a blog, but there are a few investments that you should make from the get-go that are well worth your while.
The first is a good host. This is something I grossly overlooked my first few years of blogging. In fact, I was convinced there was nothing wrong with my host and everyone else was making a fuss just because.
I was wrong. I switched to Siteground and my website speed dramatically increased!
Why does this matter? Speed is a big factor in how well Google will rank you, and how well your reader experience is.
If your site is slow to load, people may bounce off. You NEED a speedy site. And one of the ways to get that is with a good host.
Their customer service is also outstanding. They moved both of my websites over for free and are always quick to help whenever I have a question. Learn more about Siteground here.
The next two things I recommend investing in are a good WordPress theme and some stock photography.
I’ve rounded up the Best Feminine WordPress Themes for bloggers in this post. But the quick rundown is that my favorites include:
And for stock photography, I recommend checking out:
My last blogging for beginners tip is to simply find a system and get organized. You’ll want to create an editorial calendar and have a process for managing all of your blog tasks.
That might mean a paper planner (see the best free blog planners here), or a digital system like Trello. I use a combination of both and purchased Kate Doster’s Trello-ing for Traffic templates which totally rocked my world.
What other blogging for beginners tips do you have? Let me know in the comments below!