No matter if you are a business owner, enthusiastic about a certain topic or just bored senseless, at one point in your life you probably considered starting a blog. Still, the greatest problem with making the first step is not in finding inspiration or even a theme to write about, but gathering enough courage to actually start learning. Luckily, this isn’t exactly rocket science, otherwise, you wouldn’t see so many blogs out there.
First, you’ll need to choose a blogging platform. When it comes to popularity, WordPress is towering above its competition. Namely this CMS (content management system) is responsible for 28 percent of all content on the Internet, making it a predominant force in the digital world. With this in mind, here are several tips on what to do when starting a WordPress blog for the first time.
1. Keyword research and choosing a topic
Whether it’s for business or not, your blog needs to have an outstanding SEO and for this, you need to make sure you are using the right keywords. For this to work, however, you first need to determine who your target audience is and what your topic is going to be. Based on this, you can do an extensive keyword research. This will also help you with your choice of themes, even if you already know what you will be writing about. Keep in mind that you are but a single person and keywords that might seem logical or intuitive to you don’t have to be so popular with other people.
2. The right domain name
The next thing you should do is choose the right domain name for your blog. In order to boost your SEO efforts even more, you may even do this simultaneously with the first step and include some niche keywords in your domain name. Also, your name should reflect the general vibe of your website.
You would be surprised to find out just how easy it is to make a mistake while choosing a domain name. For instance, the use of numerals can be quite confusing seeing how a large portion of your audience won’t be able to remember whether they were written in letters or not. A similar thing goes for hyphens because not everyone will be able to remember to use them when looking for you.
Things can get even worse and a lot of people were known to use unintentionally inappropriate names in their blog names simply because they failed to read them out loud. This is how Les Bocages became lesbocages.com and therapist in a box became therapistinabox.com. Needless to say, these are just some of the things you should look out for.
3. The right platform
In the introduction, we’ve stated that as a first-time blogger you should probably go with WordPress. Reasons behind this are quite numerous. First of all, it is extremely cost-effective and beginner-friendly, which makes it ideal for the niche newcomers. Furthermore, it’s scalable, which means that you’ll have a chance to expand without having to switch to another platform as your business grows.
Moreover, there are even some companies, which outsource WordPress maintenance, support and managed hosting. This can save you a lot of effort down the road. Still, it doesn’t mean that you can simply forsake the care of your platform entirely. Your blog still requires your full and undivided attention, which means that you should regularly check it from your HP laptop, even while you are on a vacation.
4. Install WordPress
Once and if you decide to use WordPress it is finally time to install it. First of all, you should download the latest version from WordPress.org (not WordPress.com). Next, you need to upload those files to your server and create a MySQL database. Once you are done with this, you need to configure your WordPress and connect it to this database. This sums up the very process of the installation, but this is where the real work begins, seeing how you have to start personalizing your blog and actually begin writing some content.
As for the customization, there are several things that can make your life much easier. For instance, you might want to start by setting a correct permalink structure, making your website available to the world. Next, make sure that backups are enabled and adequate backup plugins installed before you even start writing your content. This way, you can make sure that nothing gets lost in case of an unexpected crash. Next, you should add some traffic analytics tools and definitely look for the best security plugin. Once this is done, feel free to dedicate yourself to various aesthetic updates such as customizing your theme and adding images.
5. Write your content
Finally, when all these technical issues are out of the way, you can start creating some content for your blog. Here, you need to keep one thing in mind, which is the fact that you are not the only one with the agenda, your visitors want something from you, as well. You see, they will spend some time and effort on your blog and they want something in return. What they want is content that brings some value to them, be it practical, didactic or entertainment-based. In other words, look for something your audience will find interesting and then look for a fresh way to approach it. While this is definitely a lot harder than it may seem, it is the only way to succeed in the blogosphere.
One of the things you need to keep in mind before you even begin is the amount of blogs out there. If this was something incredibly difficult, it would be highly improbable for so many people without any previous training in coding, web hosting or digital marketing to have successful blogs all over the internet. In other words, if they can do it – so can you, but keep in mind that every beginning is difficult and it takes quite a bit of time to become comfortable enough in this field to start experimenting. On the other hand, when this moment does arrive, nothing will be able to stand in your way.