Many new bloggers begin to blog without any clear understanding what determines the success of a blog. If you are just blogging for fun, that is OK. If however, you want to become a successful blogger, get a lot of visitors to your blog and perhaps eventually earn money with your blog you need to learn how to start blogging for success, in other words, how to start blogging to become successful blogger.
In this article I will provide you with a starting checklist to help you understand the requirements, both on technical and personal levels, you will need to fulfill in order for your blog to flourish. I presume that you already know how to choose a blogging platform for your blog. If you have not done so yet please read the article on how to choose the best blogging platform for your blog here….
Today’s article relates to the most popular blog platform, WordPress.
How To Start Blogging For Success – First 3 Most Important Technical Requirements
When you decide to start blogging there are 3 preliminary but crucial steps you will need to take.
1. Choosing Your Blogging Topic
This is more serious than it sounds. Make sure to select a blogging topic that you are passionate about. Blogging is a continuous and a long term process. You will need to be sure that the topic of your discussion will interest you for a long time to come and that you will be able to blog on regular basis.
Surf the net for blogs with similar interests. See what is out there and then decide if in the long-term the competition out there is a serious threat to your blog’s success. With hard work and perseverance many new bloggers are capable of out-ranking blogs even on the most competitive subjects. If you feel, this is not exactly your cup of tea, then narrow your topic down to have less competition.
For example, you may be passionate about weight loss. It is such a vast and broad topic. Narrow it down to a more manageable and less competitive topic such as natural weight loss, diets to lose weight and so on. Concentrate on the narrower topic at first and then you can eventually broaden your discussion.
2. Selecting a Domain Name
After you choose the topic of your blog you will need to select a domain name for your blog and register the domain name of your choice. If you decide to run your blog on a hosted platform it is not as complex because there you will only select a name and you will link it to your hosted blog platform provider, for example: www.yourdomain.platformprovider.com. Here, I will concentrate on a WordPress blog that is self-hosted (just like a typical website).
Note: some web-hosting providers offer a free domain name registration for their first time clients. One of my preferred providers, Bluehost offers such an incentive.
In really simple terms a domain name is a unique address that can be used online. Domain names are used in URL (Uniform Resource Locator) which is a string of specific characters that references (leads to) a specific online resource.
When you click on any website, in your browser’s address bar, you will see the address of the webpage you are looking at. The URL of this page is http://www.bloggingspree.com/how-to-start-blogging and the domain name is bloggingspree.com, highlighted in yellow. If you are not seeing the same as described in the previous sentence, it is because some browsers omit some of the common elements like www. If, however you would copy the address from the address bar you would copy the exact replica of what I mentioned here.
You should select a domain name that is relatively short, no more than 3 words and one that either reflects the topic of your site, your name or a brand you choose.
There are many extension options available for a domain name. The most sought after is .com. If at all possible choose the .com extension. If it is not available the .net is the next best choice. Sometimes, when your topic is popular, it will take you several tries to find a domain name you like. Take your time! Once you choose and purchase a domain name you will not be able to return it. You will be stuck with it.
Why Do You Have To Register A Domain Name
You need to register a domain name in order to:
- Ensure the uniqueness of the name of your website or a business online
- Build credibility
- Gain visibility online
- Provide the professional look to your blog, website or an internet business
- Ensure portability of your online business
As a domain name holder you can set up a website using the domain name as your website address or even an email address. Placing www. in front of the domain name denotes a website, for example www.bloggingspree.com. By placing an @ sign in front of the domain name, it will become an email address, for example: email@example.com. You can actually reach me through this email address.
3. Selecting A Hosting Provider For Your Blog
Your hosting provider is a company that allows you access to their servers that are permanently connected to the Internet.
For a fee, a hosting company “hosts” the files of your website on their servers so that your website can be viewed 24/7 online. The hosting company allows you access to your “rented” portion of their servers. Briefly, through a control panel (Cpanel) you can access your website files, upload files and perform many more other activities that place you in charge of the way your website looks and functions (please do not be intimidated by some of the terminology I am using, believe me the “bark is worse than the bite”).
There are many web hosting providers online. The monthly cost of this service is very inexpensive and ranges anywhere from $3.95 and up. Bluehost is one of the companies I use for my hosting needs and it’s charge is as low as $3.95 per month.
Make sure to select a reputable hosting company, that offers a simple to use control panel (cPanel), that has live (phone) or chatline support service 24/7 and offers security and backup for your files.
Of course there are other technical requirements essential to the vitality of your blog. You will be able to find various articles that discuss different aspects of blog health on Blogging Spree blog. Just click on any category that is of interest to you and you will reach a list of topics with summaries.
How To Start Blogging – 3 Most Important Personal Requirements For Success
1. Have passion
When you are passionate about a topic you can talk about it ad nauseum. You’ll have so much to say and that way you can continue to dazzle your readers forever.
2. Choose your voice
Each blogger has a unique personality and that will definitely show when they are writing. But, you still need to choose your voice depending on your topic and depending what you want the tone of your blog to be. You also have to consider your target audience and you may have to pattern your blog to cater to the specific audience.
Suppose your blog revolves around seniors, your language and style will be very different from the one directed at teenagers. Likewise, if your passion is war games and your target audience is males, make sure that the writing, as well as the overall blog-look, targets males.
Whatever style you choose for your blog stick with it. Your audience will identify with you through your blog and you do not want to create a feeling of confusion among your readers.
3. Stay consistent and persevere
Publish posts on regular basis. It does not have to be as regular as a clock but you should stick to a schedule. If, for example you promise your readers a “Tuesday Tips” section, make sure you will deliver. You can easily schedule a release of your posts. If you know that you will not be able to deliver at a certain time (perhaps you are on vacation), either announce to your readers that you are not delivering at that time or have a post written and ad have it scheduled for release at the time you will not be available.
When people will get to know your blog they will be coming back to see what is new. If nothing is new they will abandon you very quickly. You don’t want that. Trust me, you really want to nurture your readers. When want to grow your blog, attract readership and become successful you will need to publish frequently and consistently.
When you start blogging remember that your blogging success is directly proportional to your goals and fulfillment of these simple yet important requirements. When your blog will be set up make sure to write great content at all times. Also, make an effort to write in your own voice consistently and make sure that your content is always fresh.
Now that you are familiar with the simple yet important requirements you are ready to start blogging and you can actually start you own blog. In the linked article I will show you step by step how to install and set up a WordPress blog in minutes. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. If you enjoyed the article, please leave a comment.
Once you have started your blog, you likely will want to make money with it. Most bloggers do. It took me some time to succeed, so if you want bypass the long and winding road, do what I finally did.