So you’ve decided to start a blog… that’s awesome! You know that it will help improve your SEO and lead others to find your business. It will also help establish you as a thought leader and trusted source in your field. But once you decide that you need a blog, what do you do? How do you go about getting started? It can be easy to get lost in all the advice out there, but this guide will help you get started the right way and set you up for success.
Make a Commitment
We already dedicated an entire post to this topic, but the first thing you need before starting your blog is commitment. You can’t start a blog with good intentions alone. You need to commit to making it work and develop a plan.
What are your business goals? Hopefully, your website helps directly advance them. Your blog should do the same. How can you structure your blog to drive that goal further down the road? Identify your goals and ask yourself how you can blog and what you can blog about to work on them. If you have a team, this is worth meeting about.
Next, you need to develop a way to measure those goals to evaluate your progress. If your goal states that you want more followers or site visitors, you can measure that pretty easily. The bottom line? Don’t just blog for the sake of blogging. Before you start a blog, understand exactly WHY you want to do this.
Start a Blog with Consistency
How often (realistically) will you post on your blog? I highly recommend starting with fewer posts than you think you need and increasing the frequency as you are able. Whatever you decide, be consistent. You stand a much better chance of success with simple, attainable goals.
Most people can handle blogging once a month, so that’s a great place to start. If you find that you can sustain that with little difficulty, try adding a post and blogging twice a month. You wouldn’t try running five miles on your first workout. Similarly, don’t try blogging more often than you can realistically sustain. You’ll just set yourself up for failure as a result. Believe me, nothing loses credibility more than an abandoned blog.
The best way to accomplish this is to use a content planner. Personally, I use CoShedule, but you can find tons of free options out there. If nothing else, schedule posts on your Google calendar or other free tool. Whatever you choose, just make sure you use it consistently.
Choose a Blogging Platform
Now that you have made a commitment, set your goals, and set a posting schedule, you need to choose what platform you will use. You can’t start a blog without one! Most people recommend using WordPress, which is the most popular one by far. In fact, 500+ sites are built each day using WordPress.
I could write a whole post on setting up WordPress, but you can find those instructions all over the place. Even if you decide to use a different platform, find something reliable that is used widely enough to have reliable support and documentation.
Start a Blog with Solid Research
You have everything set up and are well on your way. Now comes perhaps the hardest part. What are your blog topics? You can do lots of things to generate ideas, but among the most important is conducting keyword research. SEO experts buzz about this term all the time, but bloggers should familiarize themselves with it, as well. Simply put, keyword research is learning what search terms people are using in your specific industry. Even a beginner can do this with little effort. A successful blogger identifies the most used keywords in an industry and capitalizes on them.
When you start a blog, you have to have the right foundation in place before you write even one post. Using the above strategies will help set you up for success and allow you to become a trusted source in your field. So get started the right way, and keep swimming along!