If you are going to start a blog there are some things that you need to consider before you take the plunge.
1.) What type of hosting service should you use – I am not talking about specific hosting services I am referring to whether you should be using a free service like WordPress.com or whether you should purchase your own domain name and hosting. The simple rule of thumb that I use is if your blog is for your business or for profit have it set up on its own [p2p type=”slug” value=”choosing-memorable-domain-name”]domain name[/p2p]. If it isn’t for either of these purposes then you should be fine on a free blogging service. Having your own domain name and your own site makes it so that you can add features like plugins that will optimize your site for better performance in the search engines which should bring more targeted prospects to your site.
2.) Choose the right blogging software – There are a number of different software programs you can use to create a blog such as Joomla, TypePad, Concrete and WordPress. I recommend WordPress because it is the most highly supported when it comes to plugins, themes and even support. There are a number of sites that will help you with your WordPress blog besides the support that you will find at WordPress.org.
3.) Stay in your niche – when you create a blog you should know what niche you are going to be working in. Make sure you stay in this niche. If you stray too far you will loose readers because no one wants to go to a blog about fitness and read about the new triple chocolate supreme delight being offered around the corner. By keeping your blog on target you will build a following of loyal readers that will regard you as the expert in that field. This will help you when you are selling your product and when you recommend an affiliate product. Stay in your niche to succeed. Your niche should be something that you have an interest in. Even if you aren’t the expert you should still be able to tell if a post is good or if it sucks and only put good ones on.
4.) Do some keyword research – Keywords are the heart and soul of your blog. If you are relying on the search engines to get traffic to your site you need make sure you are using [p2p type=”slug” value=”5-effective-tools-discover-long-tail-keywords”]keywords[/p2p] that are being searched and are targeted to your niche. You can do some quick keyword research using the Google Keyword tool. This will at least tell you if you are working with keywords that get searched.
5.) You should be the star of your blog – let the readers know who you are, put your picture on the blog and a short biography. This will help the reader relate to you and will end up getting you more loyal reader then trying to be an anonymous expert.
These steps will get you started with blogging, review them before you start your blog or if you already have a blog going see if they apply to your blog. They are the backbone of almost all successful blogs.