You’re a creative person, but you’re also a knowledgeable individual. You have a lot to share on a specific topic and people come to you for your expertise constantly. That could mean you’re ready for a blog. A blog is a great way to have a thought leadership and personal brand but also document your experiences and advice. Before you dive into blogging, let’s review where it all began and how you can get yours off the ground quickly.
The concept of blogging has been around since the 1990s, growing in popularity each year since its inception. The term weblog was born in 1997 from the phrase web logging and later in 1999 shortened to blog. In 2003, WordPress was launched by co-founders Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little for people who wanted to have basic online blogs. On November 16 2016, the company behind WordPress, Automattic Inc., launched the .BLOG domain name to the public. With .BLOG operated by the experts in blogging, you know this domain name is perfect for your blog. But more on that later.
How to Start a Blog
Think of Your Goals
When coming up with a blog idea, you often have a goal in mind surrounding why you’re starting this. Maybe you want to become a go-to knowledge expert on a certain topic. Maybe you want to teach people a skill that you have learned over the course of your career. Beyond that, what will this provide you? Maybe you want to amplify your online presence to create a personal brand, secure speaking roles, or teach courses online for some extra cash. Keep your goals in mind as you build this blog and regularly check in with yourself to confirm that your blog is helping you achieve these goals.
Think of Your Audience & Topics
Circling back to what your goals are will help you determine your audience and proper topics for that audience. If your goal is to be the go-to expert in app development for beginners, then you need to discover who that audience is and what they’re looking for online. You may conduct some research and discover your audience is curious about using Xcode to build an app. Researching keywords surrounding the topic “xcode,” “app development,” “apple app development,” and similar in Google Keyword Planner will help you find popular search queries surrounding that topic. Build content around these keywords or phrases in your blogs to attract your audience.
Create a Content Calendar
Creating a content calendar keeps you on track for regular posting and helps remind you of key events and trends happening so that your content is relevant. If there’s a holiday you want to acknowledge on your blog, an event in your city you want to feature, or anything important worth highlight, make a note of it on your content calendar. This will also help you plan accompanying social posts and other marketing, as well. Part of a good content strategy requires regularly updating your blog so that your website content is new. You don’t need anything concrete in your calendar, just reminders of important things you want to touch on.
Design Your Blog’s Website
Once you’ve determined the content you’ll be working with, as well as the overall goals of the blog, you can design your website. Design the site with your goals in mind. If you want to be a speaker, look up other speakers’ websites. If you want to teach, look up other online course teachers’ websites. Keep in mind the call-to-actions (CTAs) that matter most. Do you want people to sign up for your mailing list? Or contact you through a form? Keep these CTAs present throughout your blog and keep track of how and if people who land on your website are using them so you can optimize them over time.
Publish Your Content!
It’s time to publish your first blog! Get your content out there and remember to publish content consistently to make an impact. There are a ton of best practices to follow when blogging, so be sure to keep them in mind so that your blog will succeed. Don’t forget to share your content on social, in email marketing, and through other channels.
You are ready to take on the blogging world by storm! Remember to continually update your blog and keep the content fresh and exciting. Listen to your audience’s feedback (either direct or indirect) to give you ideas on what to write, if your CTAs are working, and on your brand. It’s a lot of work to maintain a blog but you can do it! Keep your goals front of mind and achieve what you aim to with website. The .BLOG domain name is on sale for October 2019, so it’s the perfect time to get this up and running!