Starting a blog is a great way to connect to other people, explore a new hobby, and generate an extra income. No matter whether you are thinking about starting a blog as a fun hobby or a serious entrepreneurial endeavor, there are some important things you should know before you get started.
A blogging platform is what you will use to build your website. There are a lot of options out there like Blogger, Medium, or WordPress. These platforms, and others, have free versions that you can use if you are just trying it out for fun.
If you are serious about starting a real blog as a business opportunity, then you should invest in the paid version of the platform. Paying for the platform gives you more control and means you can export it if you switch platforms. This is not always the case in the free version which can make things tricky down the road.
Most of the free versions also have very limited features that will keep you from making money from blogging. Paying for the platform opens up many more features that will make running your blog easier.
Choosing a domain name is important because it is what your website will be known for forever. It is hard to change, so you want to choose something that represents what your website is about and can be easily understood. You also don’t want to choose something that will be very limiting for what you can do with your blog.
The best domain names are easy to pronounce, easy to spell, and as short as possible. You also want to use keywords or your brand name in the domain name to make it more search engine friendly.
Finding the right hosting is one of the most important decisions you will make because it will be where all the files for your website are stored. There are ways to get free hosting, but this can be a dangerous decision to make. If the hosting site closes down, then you will lose all the hard work you spent on your website.
When choosing a reputable hosting site, there are many things you should consider. The kind of hosting is important to think about before deciding. Shared hosting, managed hosting, VPS, and other options suite different people best.
You should also read reviews and find out how good their customer support is before choosing. If you are a beginner, you are going to want as much support as you can get at the beginning. There are many options to choose from, including Hosting.co.uk, that you can start to research.
Backing up your website is something most people don’t think about until it is too late. Don’t let all your hard work go to waste before you learn the value of keeping all your files backed up. Some hosting companies will offer limited backups as a part of the hosting you pay for, but this is often just the bare minimum. Their backups are not guaranteed, and you could still lose everything.
Don’t put your website’s security in someone else’s hands. You should be on the front lines when it comes to backing up your files. You can install plug-ins or other software that will do it automatically so you never forget.
Analytics are important, but most new bloggers overlook setting it up at the beginning. You may think that if you don’t have much data to track, that it won’t matter, but that is wrong. The data you start accumulating at the very beginning can help your blog take off and takes all the guesswork out of your marketing strategy.
It will help you to see where your traffic is coming from as well as the user engagement on your site. The most popular way to track this is using Google Analytics which is free to set up and easy to use. If you have an online store, you can also use it to track customers.
If you really want to blog, then you should set up an email address for your blog that has your professional brand in it. This will help you look more professional to customers and advertisers. It will also help you when you send emails to an email list.
Yes, and email list. This may seem like an outdated way of marketing, but it is effective. People who leave a website usually do not return. Prompting them to join an email list before they leave will help you to retain a customer.
Email marketing is a platform that you are in charge of, unlike social media sites. There is no algorithm to figure out, your emails go to people who are interested. You do not need to be sending out emails in order to start collecting them. Starting to acquire the emails for your list before you have a plan to use it is actually a good idea.
Search Engine Optimization
Learning a little about SEO and how to implement it from day one will help save you work down the road because you will not have to update all your posts. SEO applies to your website as a whole and each individual post on your website.
Adjusting your SEO doesn’t usually require huge changes to your website if you focus on it from the start. There will just need to be little tweaks and habits to get yourself into when you post. There are a lot of tools and plug-ins to help you navigate through these aspects.
You should make sure your website speed isn’t too slow, and you can do this with online testing. You should also learn how to incorporate keywords into your post titles and posts naturally. You should also backlink all posts to other places on your website as well as linking them to places outside your website. Each post should have at least one of each. Doing these small things will help you to get noticed when your target audience performs searches online.