Starting a blog seems to be on every business owner’s mind. I’ve been blogging for years now and it’s one of my favorite ways to share tips and tricks and share about my business, but it was no easy task when I was just starting out. Just like any other blogger out there, I’ve learned a lot of things along the way about what to do and what not to do. Here are 5 things that I wish I knew more about before starting my blog.
1. Learning SEO
You’ve probably heard a lot about SEO (short for search engine optimization) at one point or another. SEO is huge for getting your blog noticed on the Internet. Take some time when you are first starting out to really learn about SEO. There are so many great resources that will talk you through the process and how it will help you, like this comprehensive Moz Guide.
Learning all of ins and outs of SEO before you start blogging will help you write and plan out your content ahead of time! There are tools out there like Google’s Free Keyword Planner to help you see and plan future content ideas. But remember, it is more important to write great quality content then to write for keywords. You want to make sure that your audience is going to love what you are writing. When creating your blog post, make sure that you are including a post URL, a title, image ALT descriptions and that you are adding titles to your images as well. All of these things with help your SEO and grow your blog over time.
2. Knowing when to Invest
Knowing what to invest in and when is so important. When you are just starting out, you don’t want to be overspending on things that you don’t have to be. Start with just some of the basics, like a domain and a hosting service.
One of the first decisions to make is what your blog will be called and what you will be blogging about! Take some time to think about your brand and what you can offer your readers. Once you have decided on a name, double check to make sure that the name and domain are not already taken. One of my favorite places to purchase domains is Namecheap. Like the name says, they have domain names for really cheap and they even started offering WhoIs guard for free! (You’ll want the WhoIs guard, unless of course you enjoy spam mail and phone calls)
When it comes to site hosting, there are so many different choices that it can be overwhelming. Do your research on which platform fits your budget and your needs the best. My personal favorite for new bloggers is SiteGround, simply because they have an amazing support team. When you’re starting out, having them by your side is priceless.
You don’t have to hire someone right away to build your website. There are so many resources online that will answer any questions and walk you through just about anything! Instead of designing from scratch, you can always pick out a premium theme (and we have a handful of them here for you to look at!) to make the design process quick and easy!
Once you have created your name and figured out your host, the fun part starts! Decide on colors, styles, and the overall feeling of your blog. You want to make sure that everything stays consistent from your blog to your social media platforms. There are different themes that you can find online to go with your brand and well, I do have a few favorites here.
You could also invest in a logo for your website, but since you’re just starting out, I would recommend picking a pretty font you like and using that as your header for now. Once you’ve figured out the direction of your blog and what it’ll be about, you can start looking at premade ones on Etsy or hire a graphic designer!
Blogging takes a lot of time! From planning out your content, writing, designing graphics, to even promoting your content, there are so many unexpected things when it comes to having your own blog! When you are not doing any of those tasks you may be trying to connect with other bloggers, responding to comments or brainstorming your next great idea. If you want to create quality content, it is going to take a lot of time and effort to make it great. Think about how many posts per week can realistically fit into your schedule and try to stay consistent with that. It is definitely not easy but if you can stay consistent and keep creating great content, you will notice that your blog will grow over time!
5. Affiliate Marketing
Ever see a blog post that has links to different products and websites? That is called affiliate marketing! It’s a great way to share some of your favorite tools, websites, and products and make a little bit of money on the side. I don’t recommend being an affiliate for just anything and everything. You want to support the products and companies that you actually use and love! Creating genuine posts that include the links will come off more natural to your readers and they will be thankful that you are sharing your secret tools with them!
There is so much to learn about blogging and the best way to learn is to just start! Over time, you will learn what your audience loves to read and what they don’t. You will learn more about what makes your writing process easier and you can even start to automate things to cut down on time.
Now, I want to hear from you! Are you thinking about starting a blog? Feel free to leave your questions and comments down below!