It’s no secret that the blogging community is growing and more people in the world are blogging than ever before.
I mean, is this really all that surprising?
In addition to providing a journalistic platform where individuals can share thoughts, knowledge and expertise, there’s also an abundance of benefits of blogging for business purposes.
Personally, I love it and I’ll never go back to my pre-blogging days.
Whether you’re a budding freelance writer looking for a place where you can showcase your work, a small business trying to drive traffic to your website or just a Regular Joe with something interesting to say, there’s room for everyone in the blogging industry.
Struggling to get going? Don’t worry – I’ve got you covered. Read on to find out how to start a blog.
1. Find a Niche You Love to Write About
How to start a blog 101: choose your niche.
Perhaps it’s an industry you’d like to learn about or you’re currently studying in. Maybe it’s a burning passion of yours that you’ve had since you were a wee kid. Alternatively, it could be a subject that you class yourself as an expert in.
Either way, there’s no right or wrong when it comes to picking your niche – and who says you have to even stick to one? (For example, my other blog KatieKat focuses on my two main passions of fashion and travel.)
That said, whichever subject(s) you choose, make sure you will still enjoy writing about it (or them) for years to come. Otherwise, you’ll lose that blogging bug faster than you can say Jack Robinson.
2. Brainstorm Ideas for Posts
Finding your niche might be half the battle when it comes to how to start a blog. However, alongside your niche, you need to be able to continuously come up with blog post topics.
You might find yourself simply rolling with it in the beginning and writing about the first thing that pops into your head.
Having said that, what you want to write about isn’t always what your reader wants to read about.Consider your target audience and what they are searching on Google. Try and solve a problem with every blog post you write or address topics that you know they'll find useful.Click To Tweet
Originally, I used to sit down with a pen, paper and a huge spider diagram – and then just let those spidey legs keep a-comin’. Nowadays, I just use the notes section on my phone.
Either way, the principle is the same: always write down ideas for future posts as and when they come to you. Otherwise, you WILL forget them. Trust me.
Pro tip: Struggling to come up with ideas? Use a keyword research tool like UberSuggest or Answer The Public to help you build your content schedule.
3. Invest in Good Photography
As well as amazing copy, you’re going to want to include photographs in your blog post – right? After all, visuals can really help your blog content come to life (as well as break up big chunks of text).
In this case, it’s a good idea to invest in good photography equipment if you’re a niche blogger working with brands on sponsored posts. Alternatively, if you’re not required to produce your own imagery, consider investing in some shiny stock photos instead of using the same ones as everybody else from websites like Unsplash and Pexels.
Pro tip: Try Styled Stock Society for affordable yet dreamy stock images.
Let me be clear, I don’t really own anything too fancy for my niche blog (camera-wise). I have a Canon 400D DSLR, which is pretty nice, but it’s also getting on a bit like a mouldy block of cheese.
Note that you don’t necessarily need the latest technology – just something that takes good quality photos. I enjoy taking photos on my DSLR, but I also like whipping out my iPhone whenever there’s a relevant opportunity. It’s handy like that.
Then there’s the little matter of editing your photos. Of course, you don’t have to do this. But if you want them to pop and stand out amongst the competition, then it’s a good idea to give them a little bit of a nip and tuck.
Ultimately, it makes your blog visuals look more professional and improves the quality of your content. Win-win!
Pro tip: There are plenty of photo editing programs out there, but I swear by Adobe’s Lightroom.
4. Choose Your Platform Wisely
The age-old question when it comes to how to start a blog: do I choose WordPress? Or do I choose another platform, like Wix, Squarespace or Weebly?
It’s really up to you to decide which one best suits your needs. Nevertheless, if you want to blog for business purposes and have a set goal in mind to monetize your blog or use it as a portfolio for your chosen career path, then I highly recommend self-hosting via WordPress.
Sure, WordPress might be a little tricky to get your head around to start with. However, it’s super worth the aggro as it means you completely own and control your blog.
You don’t have to worry about your platform suddenly shutting down and losing all your content – and you can customise just about anything you want. Another plus is that you can have constant, on-hand help from your platform’s readily available team of experts.
Pro tip: I own and run two blogs via self-hosting platform SiteGround because the customer service team is amazing and they make the transition process so easy!
You could always get started using a free platform and then switch to self-hosting later on in the game. That said, when you do switch over, make sure you choose SiteGround. Trust me, you won’t regret it.
5. Buy Your Own Domain Name
Once you’ve got into the hang of how to start a blog, you might find yourself wanting to purchase your own domain name.
This means that you’d have your own customised URL as opposed to having to feature your hostname within the URL (i.e. http://www.katiekat.co.uk instead of http://www.katiekat.blogspot.com).
To change your domain name, merely visit a web hosting website (again, I recommend SiteGround‘s self-hosting package) and purchase the variation that you want.
Usually, this purchase is in the form of an annual subscription that automatically renews each year, and it’s certainly worth doing if you’re blogging for business purposes.
Why? Well, it conveys your professionalism and sincerity – and SHOWS that you mean business. (Sorry.)
6. Devise a Content Schedule
As time passes by, you’ll continue to learn more about how to start a blog and successfully manage it.
You’ll want to hit “publish” more frequently, reach a wider audience and grow the following of your blog. And to do this, you need to plan out when exactly you’re going to post alongside and what you’re going to post – in advance.Your readers will start returning to your blog for new content regularly. And if you don’t deliver then they might not bother visiting your blog again. Click To Tweet
The best thing to do is to devise a content schedule for your blog. Are you going to post once a week, once a month, twice a week, twice a month? And what day of the week are you going to post on? Friday, just in time for the weekend? Sunday, because everyone will be off work?
Make these decisions early on and try to stick to them to be classed as consistent and reliable in your readers’ eyes.
After all, if your readers know exactly when to expect new content, this will help you to build relationships and establish trust, which will ensure that they keep returning to your blog. Happy days.
7. Promote Your Posts Religiously
Now you’re almost fully clued up on how to start your blog, let’s talk about blog promotion.
Sure, nobody’s saying that you HAVE to do this. But if you’re taking the time to write and publish blog posts continuously on the internet, don’t you want the maximum amount of people to read them?
A good way to get the maximum amount of traffic to your blog is to promote each post through social media. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, in particular, are great tools for getting the word out when it comes to new content.
For every blog post that you publish, you should create at least three pieces of content to promote it on each social media channel during the seven days that follow.
Limited promotion equals limited readers and page views, so taking the time to promote each blog post really is a no-brainer.
Pro tip: use appropriate hashtags at the end of a promotional post on each channel to reach a wider audience and generate further engagement.
How to Start a Blog You Love
It’s challenging figuring out how to start a blog so that it stands out in today’s competitive digital landscape.
The act of blogging itself is often time-consuming and you need to be extremely driven to keep it going – even on days where you feel like you’d rather tear out your own hair than write another blog post. (Hey, it happens!)
Yes, it’s hard work. It’s draining. And it takes time to start seeing growth.
But when you do start seeing growth, it’s also incredibly rewarding. It has the feel-good factor and it’s a great validation of your blogging ability.
Personally, now I’ve got the blogging bug, I don’t think I’ll ever look back – and I bet there are plenty of other bloggers out there who would say the same. However, always remember: you get out of it what you choose to put in.
Have my tips provided you with clarity when it comes to how to start a blog? Or do you need help with something else? Let me know in the comments!
(Please note that this post contains affiliate links, which help me to run this blog at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support!)