Starting a new blog can be overwhelming for many people, but it need not be so. Follow the checklist below, it’ll help you understand and know what to do before launching your new blog.
* What do I know about blogging? – Starting a blog without learning how it operates is like a soldier going to the war without weapons. Improve your knowledge of blogs and blogging by reading relevant books, watching relevant videos and listening to useful audio programs. Even after launching out, commit to continuous learning and personal improvement in your blogging. It will help you stay ahead of the blogging game. Also learn about keyword research as it’s the key to search engine optimization (SEO).
* Why do I want to blog? – Ask yourself this question because it helps to set out an agenda for your blog. Do you want to blog for money, popularity, or charity? You must answer this question to enable you get a clear idea for your blog. Once this agenda is clear, it helps to achieve your goals.
* What should I blog about? – Once you have a clear idea of why you’re blogging, choose a blog topic. The topic can be what you’re passionate about or what you want to know more about. But, if you want to make money from your blog, you have to choose a profitable topic.
* Who are my readers? – Also get a clear idea of who your readers are and where they hibernate. Are your readers young, sassy and restless? Are they middle-aged, self-employed or career people? Where do they hibernate online or offline? Knowing this helps to promote your blog when it’s eventually launched. What impression do I want my readers to have after visiting my blog? What do I want them to do after visiting my blog? Answer these questions before you launch out, it helps to keep you focused on the task at hand.
* How many hours can I dedicate to blogging? – Content, they say, is king and knowing this before you start your blog is key. Fresh and original content posted twice or 3 times a week, wins the day, so, you must decide how many hours you want to dedicate to your blog before you start.
* Do I want a self-hosted blog or free blog? – Do you want to start on a self-hosted blog or on one of the free blogs available like blogger.com, squidoo.com, hubpages.com, wordpress.com, and a host of others? The difference between the two is that a self-hosted blog will require registering a domain name of your choice and hosting it, while a free blog will be a sub-domain of one of the popular blogs I earlier listed. If you ask me, I’d say you should go for a self-hosted domain if you want to commit to blogging as a business.
* What’s my niche content plan? – It helps to have an editorial calendar upfront. This helps to eradicate a situation where you’re clueless about what to write. Every week, you can draw up a niche content plan and map out articles you plan to do for the week, month and probably, the entire year. If you ask me, I’d say you have a niche content plan before you launch your blog. This helps to have a clear idea of what you’re writing about at every point in time. You can even plan a series of how-to articles or any sort of series that will interest your readers and keep them following your blog. If you ask me, I’d say you should launch your blog with 10 or more initial articles (and continue updating after launch).
* How do I build my blog? – If you decide to do a self-hosted blog, you should register a domain name and host it. Any of these domain registrars can help you do that for less than 20 dollars. After registering a domain and hosting it, you should build your blog. If you’re not sure of your blog set-up skills, get a professional to help out. But you can personally set up a free blog, just go to blogger, wordpress, squidoo or hub pages. Click the sign up button and fill the required form to get a blog.
* How can I promote my blog? –Learn all you should about blog promotion before launching out. It’s one thing to have a blog and another thing to have a blog that visitors frequent. You must know how to attract people to visit your blog. Learn all you can about social media traffic, search engine traffic, offline traffic and the likes. Learn the various ways you can draw people to your site and convert them into life time customers, readers, and what have you. Open all the social media accounts (twitter, pinterest, facebook, google plus, youtube, etc) for your blog before launch.
* How can I make money from my blog? – If you decide to start a blog from which you’ll make money, you have to decide the various ways through which you’ll make money. Do you want to do amazon, adsense, cost per action (cpa) or other affiliate programs? You have to decide that and read about them on their sites. Learn about their terms of service, do’s and don’ts and how exactly you stand to make money from them.
Like I said at the beginning of this article, starting a new blog need not be a big deal. Just follow this checklist, it would help you stay focused and achieve the goals of your new blog.