Regardless of the platform you blog on – free or paid, or what you decide to do with your blog, there are a couple of things you must do to make your blog a success. Blogging is fun, but it is also a lot of work – and responsibility.
There are many types of blogs – some start them just to share photos and information about their family with other family members, some do review or giveaway blogs, some write expertise content – make a choice of what you want to write about and consider that in the name of your blog. You want this information decided on first so you don’t need to change everything later on and risk losing followers.
Start right by following these five essential steps to building a blog site from scratch. There are also links to products I recommend from companies I have a referral relationship with. I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.
Make sure you’ve configured everything. There’s nothing worse than having done 99% of the work, only to be let down by the 1% you did not do – or worse having to go back over hundreds or thousands of posts to add in additional information. To ensure you’ve got the best chance to get attention for your blog, fill in everything that you can. For those like me who have been blogging for years go back and fill in that extra information. Yes, it is a lot of work – and who knows what the future will bring – but it does get your older posts noticed again.
Be sure to include complete information in any profile settings, and in the case of WordPress, any plugins or other information that needs to be completed – many plugins and themes require some additional information about your blog or social media to make them usable.
Pick a theme and stick with it. You need to pick a theme that you like and upload it. Making your blog stand out from the rest is a major step in retaining traffic. More importantly, if you make it yours, the you’re more likely to work on it more often. Adding a theme also makes you appear LESS like a spammer – most spammers don’t personalize their blogs – they stick with a couple of default themes and don’t add much personal information. I know a lot of bloggers start out updating their theme frequently or adding in cutesy holiday themes. This does not help with your branding. It is a good idea to choose your theme, your colors, etc. then stick with them. I recently had to choose a new theme – and was not able to keep the overall look the same but I did get to keep my old header photos and added the pink color to the header to try to keep as much of my branding as I could – so my advice to you is if you let someone custom make you a theme as I did, learn to code. You might just be glad you knew how someday if your blog code breaks like mine did.
Write some content. When you’re ready to upload the content think about the category belongs in. This is going to be your archive for all the posts that belong in that catagory. Create at least five posts and upload them to your site then be sure you have a blogging schedule – I post a minimum of once per day, every day including holidays. I do not suggest beginners do that. Try once a week, then increase the frequency as time allows.
Promote that content – once you’ve posted content, start promoting your blog. Consider using your posts on article sites, exchanges and more – you’ll get more traffic if you diversify, so remember to add your site to bookmarking sites – and, encourage your readers to do so too. Share on social media as well. Share the day you post, the day after you post, a week later, a month later and so on.
Have fun! Blogging, ultimately, is about connecting with others – but it will also allow you to express yourself, make friends, and spread your expertise over the web. But most of all, blogging is enjoyable.
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Questions? Leave them in the comments below!