With more and more people wanting to be able to work from home and work flexibly around their commitments, it is no wonder that the blogging industry is booming. It is a business that can be set up with little initial outlay and can become financially successful relatively quickly. You also need no qualifications to start one and you need not even leave your house to give this one a go. But where do you actually begin, and then what comes next? Well, help is at hand as we share with you 5 steps to building a blog.
What will you blog about
The first thing that you will need to do is think about your blog content.
There are those that claim that you should be specific and narrow down your niche, and then other bloggers who blog about a wide range of topics to suit them. There are pros and cons to both, so we would suggest that you first think about what you know about and then think about what you are passionate about. If one or two things spring to mind, go specific, if loads of things jump out at you, then feel free to go wider ranging.
Do also think through the possibilities for longevity. If you are blogging about a one year challenge you are embarking on, will this end in a year? If you are only blogging pregnancy updates and tips, what will happen when baby arrives? Think about the here and now, and where the blog might take you over the longer term.
Once you have decided, you need to think up a name that conveys what you are about. Ensure the domain is available, along with the social media handles.
Create some quality content
However much people talk about blogging tips and tricks, hacks to get you more readers, shortcuts to more followers and so on, the truth of it is, there are no cutting corners here. If your blog lacks quality content, it will not succeed.
Now that you know what you are blogging about, start blogging. This does not need to be live for people to read yet. Get several posts written and ready before you invite people to visit you, so that they can get a real sense of what you are about and hopefully choose to stick around.
Most bloggers work hard on their social media platforms. They tend to be visible on several of them, so you will need to think about which ones will work best for you.
The blogging community is a busy and vibrant place to be, so it is worth getting up and running on platforms such as Twitter early on and getting involved in blog chats and threads there. You can quickly find like minded bloggers to collaborate with and be inspired by and people often promote one another's content.
Pinterest is a brilliant tool for bloggers, and if used correctly, can generate huge amounts of traffic. Pinterest works as a search engine so there will be less engagement here, but potentially more page views so it is certainly worth exploring.
Be consistent and professional
This is now your business, so it must be treated as such. Aim to blog consistently, ideally to a schedule so that your readers know what to expect from you. It also serves to hold you accountable and drive you to create content regularly.
When working with brands, keep the lines of communication open and always seek to deliver to expectations and deadlines. You will start to build a reputation for doing so and get repeat custom and recommendations this way.
Look at outsourcing
There will come a point where you can only really do so much more. You are just you, and your blog has now grown so you are going to need help. At this point, it is worth looking at outsourcing.
Have a think about all the tasks that need doing each month to keep you ticking over, and then make another list covering all of the tasks that you would like to get done each month, if you had the time. Now look back over your lists and be realistic about those that you feel add real value and are necessary and those that might be time wasters.
If you now have a list that clearly indicates that you need some extra help, then now is the time to outsource. You might want to hire an answering service, take on a virtual assistant, get some help from SEO experts or hire a social media manager. Take a look at where your strengths and passions lie and then outsource those tasks that you feel comfortable delegating.