Do you have an amazing talent for writing? Are you passionate about a specific topic? Or do you just like sharing your life with complete strangers? A blog is probably a great outlet for you. Of course you probably already know that if you’re reading this article. When you’re starting a blog, there’s a lot you need to know. I’ve started several blogs over the years and through trial and error have found what to do and what NOT to do when starting a blog.
Starting Your Blog
If you’ve already started your blog, feel free to skip this section and skip down to the “Do’s” section. If you haven’t started your blog, keep reading. I highly recommend that you start your blog on WordPress on your own domain, not through WordPress.com. It costs under $10 per month if you host through Bluehost. You can set your blog up quickly and easily using their 1 click WordPress set up. It takes about 10 minutes and you have your very own hosted website. Why do I suggest this? Because if you’re serious about blogging and you’re interested in earning any money through your blog, you’ll want this at some point. You might as well do it right out of the gate. This way, you don’t lose visitors if you switch to your own domain name. You also don’t have to learn all the code for redirecting traffic or all that nonsense. Take it from me, you WANT your own domain name right away.
These managed WordPress hosting providers will take the stress out of configuring your blog.
If you just can’t afford the $10 start up and $10 per month ongoing, create your blog on WordPress.com. Why? There are many more ways to customize your blog and it’s easier to move to self-hosted later. Lots of people say Blogger is better because you can add AdSense but I personally think the Blogger templates aren’t as nice, you have to share advertising revenue with Google and the Blogger bar at the top of the screen looks unprofessional to me. If you like Blogger, go ahead and use it but I only use WordPress so this lens might not be for you.
How to Build a WordPress Website with BlueHost
Things you SHOULD do as a new blogger
- Write what you know, in other words, write about what YOU are passionate about, not what you think will make you money. If you only write about topics that “make money”, you’ll get burned out and quit blogging;
- Post great content – your blog will never be read if there’s not good content;
- Post often – you don’t need to post hourly or daily but 2-3 times per week is a good minimum;
- Connect with bloggers in the same niche (specific topic) as your blog – you can do this by commenting on their blog or joining forums in your niche;
- Read about blogging and watch video tutorials of how to do things in WordPress – these aren’t 100% necessary but learning how to do things will make you confident and probably keep you interested in blogging;
- Make sure you follow copyright laws and always disclose if you receive a product in exchange for a review or if you received payment for a post.
Things you should NOT do as a new blogger
- Don’t write just for money – write because you are passionate about your topic. Money can be a motivator, but it shouldn’t be the only reason you blog;
- Don’t get discouraged – blogging can be difficult at first;
- Don’t clutter your blog with badges – just select the ones you’re really proud of;
- Take it easy on the ads – make sure you have at least 2-3 times as much content as advertisements;
- Don’t use “black hat” techniques like keyword stuffing or redirects – this can get your site banned from Google!