Chances are if you’re reading this post, you have a blog or are seriously considering creating one. First, I want to tell you congratulations! Blogging can be a lot of fun, but there is a lot of work that goes into creating and maintaining a blog, and many new bloggers don’t know where to start.
In this post, I will walk you through 5 essential steps every blogger should take before you launch your blog. By taking time to work through these steps, your blog will help you become more focused and organized. Better yet these steps will give you the confidence you need to hit publish on your first post!
5 Questions to Ask When Starting a Blog
1. What Will You Write for Your Blog?
This question may seem obvious, but it’s an important one to answer. If you’re unsure on what you’d like to write about, ask yourself the following questions:
- What are you passionate about in life?
- Do friends and family ask your advice or feedback on a specific hobby or skill set?
- Is there a topic or category that you have a desire to research?
When I started my blog, I asked myself those questions, and I found them to be extremely helpful when I needed to narrow down my blog categories. For example, I don’t currently blog about food. Why? Even though I enjoy cooking, I don’t find myself experimenting with recipes. So for me, it didn’t make sense to create a food category at this time.
It’s important to keep in mind that your content may change as your blog grows and you gain readers. Remember that is OK! Over time, you will work on finding what content you love to write about and what content resonates best with your readers.
2. What Platform and Hosting Provider Will You Use?
There are SO many options when it comes to blogging platforms. Depending on who you ask, you’ll hear different reasons why you should pick one platform over another. For my blog, I decided to use WordPress. Why? WordPress is the #1 blogging platform on the market. The platform is easy to use, and I love that I can find resources/support when I have questions. Another reason I decided to build my blog on WordPress is that I have a lot of experience with this platform. As a digital marketer, I have optimized and improved the user experience on dozens of WordPress sites.
After you select what platform you will use, you’ll need to choose a hosting provider. In this blog post, I break down the top hosting providers for bloggers and explain why I went with SiteGround.
3. How Will Your Blog Look?
Having a clean, simple and easy to navigate website is important. Websites that are cluttered can distract readers and discourage them from coming back to your site. The way you format your content on your blog is also important. As you write copy, configure it in a way that allows readers with an option to skim your content. You can accomplish this by breaking up your content with helpful headers, bulleted lists, and photos.
If you need help selecting a design for your blog, read my WordPress Theme selection tips post.
4. How Much Content Should You Create Ahead of Time?
Before you publish your site live, I recommend uploading 15-20 blog posts so you can launch them with your blog. When you first start out, this may seem like a ton of content, but having it at launch will give you content you can share on social media.
One tip that helps keep me organized when blogging is to create and maintain a content strategy. Do you need help creating your content strategy? Sign up for my online course today.
5. Where Will You Get Social?
Making connections online is so important and social media plays a huge role. (and is one of the best marketing tools out there for bloggers!) Create social profiles on platforms that make sense for the content you share on your blog. i.e. Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter
Becoming active on social media platforms allows you to connect with your followers and other bloggers in your niche.
Good luck and congrats on wanting to start a blog! Before you begin, make sure to check out my e-course and learn how to create great blog posts. In this course, you will learn how to complete keyword research and you will also learn how to create a strategy for blogging!
If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments.