Starting a website used to be limited to individuals with computer science degrees or technical backgrounds. Fortunately, as the internet has changed over the years, so too has the simplicity of blogging. Nowadays, setting up a blog is merely a 15 minute endeavor. However, the increased availability of blogging software has significantly increased competition, and now, the real challenge is earning online traffic via search engine marketing and social platforms.
So, you may be asking yourself “how do I start a blog?” While there are great step-by-step guides available online, here are a few tips and factors to keep in mind.
Picking A Blog Name
Branding is a vital element of a successful blog, and the name is part of it. What is your blog about? What is the core message of your blog? Focus on these concepts as you brainstorm a blog name.
- Make it short and memorable. Avoid names that are prone to typos.
- Make the URL as similar to the blog name as possible. If the URL and blog name are different, readers might get confused and have difficulty finding the blog.
Blogging is all about the content, right? Yes and no.
You need great content to offer your readers, but presentation matters. Ask packaging specialists who spend time developing the perfect packaging for something as mundane as laundry detergent.
For your blog’s design, you need to consider these elements:
- Theme. A theme can make or break your blog because people may judge your professionalism, credibility and value by your website’s design. Choose a theme that suits your blog’s message and tone. Use a theme that looks clean and professional. If you’re using WordPress, there are a lot of free themes, but if you want extended support, invest in a premium design.
- Color scheme. This often goes with the theme that you choose, but for most themes, you can customize the colors.
- Go for a clean look. Discard all the clutter. Remove sidebar elements from the theme if they don’t add value.
- Readability. Choose fonts that are easy on the eyes and use a size or two larger if necessary.
Bearing in mind that visitors like to have a good user experience, not only should you focus on the theme, color scheme, and fonts, but you should also consider how your posts are formatted.
Attention spans are getting shorter by the day, and big chunks of text don’t work well. Break up your text into short paragraphs.
Other tips include:
- Use headings and subheadings. This makes the flow smoother, resulting in a better reading experience.
- Highlight important points using bold, italicized, or underlined options.
- If you’re quoting someone else, use the quote format.
- Use bullet points or numbered lists.
To further entice your readers with the formatting of your posts, use visuals. Images are always a good way to break up text and encourage social sharing. When created or chosen appropriately, images, photos, charts, and infographics can even help deliver content more effectively.
You can also use videos as visuals. They present a more vivid experience and can convey more information. Just remember to use videos that are short – generally 3 to 5 minutes – so that you don’t bore your readers.
Optimize For Mobile Devices
The majority of Internet users today use phones and tablets to go online; and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that the displays on a computer and mobile devices are different. Optimize your blog to display correctly on all devices.
Build Relationships and Be Active on Social Media
Social media is where the action is, and it’s another way of building relationships with your readers and audience. That intimate connection can help you create a loyal following.
Social media is also a great venue for you to get the attention of influencers in your niche. Follow them, and read what they share. Just as you interact with your followers, interact with the people you follow. You never know what might come of it – a chance to guest contribute to their high traffic blog or even a shout out to their own followers to start following you because of your insightful content.
It may seem that there is a lot to do to achieve blogging success, and the journey may even feel overwhelming at times. But it’s all a matter of focus and determination. Just ask Paul or Mark whether their blogging adventure has been worth it and they’ll likely tell you that blogging has absolutely changed their lives.