Beginning Blog Tips

Simple Steps Before Starting A Blog


Whether you’re one of the thousands of people thinking about starting a blog or you just want to see if you’re on the right path, I think you’ll find value in the following tips on beginning a blog. There are a ton of beginning a blog tips out there but I want to offer some solid advice to consider before writing a single word. That’s not to say this post isn’t for you if you’ve already started, it absolutely is. With that said, veteran bloggers might find these tips to be a little too basic. If that’s you, I invite you to join us in the discussion and add your valuable advice in the comment section below.

Define Your Avatar

Your Avatar IS NOT the blockbuster movie and not your social media pic.

What do we mean by “Avatar”? Your avatar is simply your audience/customer. The narrower the better when isolating that perfect avatar. Is it a man or a woman? What country are they from? Better yet, what state or province? How old are they? Are they married? What’s their income level? Education? What do they read, watch, enjoy? You get the idea, right?

Leslie Samuel’s Avatar – Leslie Samuel from Become A Blogger was kind enough to allow me to share this short clip where he defines his avatar. I encourage you to listen to the entire podcast here (Don’t forget to subscribe, I never miss a show.)

Define and Narrow Your Message

What’s the overall message you want to relay? This message should be apparent at a quick glance within exactly 1.2 seconds… I actually just made that up but your blog visitors should know EXACTLY what your blog in about the moment they arrive. If they have to look around wondering, “What’s this blog about?” you lose.

Choose Descriptive URL

Your URL (Web address) is part of your message. Ours is HotBlogTips.com and anyone that sees that URL knows exactly what to expect before ever clicking the link. If it was BriansCoolBlog4U.com, few people would bother clicking over and those that did wouldn’t be looking for blogging tips. Can you say “High Bounce Rate”? Not to mention almost no traffic, certainly not targeted traffic. In the past I’ve always recommended a .com URL, and I still do although that is quickly becoming less important. With the new TLD’s (Top-Level Domains) coming online all the time, the possibilities are truly exciting. You can now register .photo, .repair, .education, .today, .solutions, .support, .training, .systems, .careers, .recipes, .photography, .sexy, .technology, .contractors, .gallery, .construction, .enterprises, .tips and dozens of others. In fact, I recently secured HotBlog.Tips from my domain registrar of choice, NameCheap$. Have you chosen your niche yet? I recommend it be your passion, along with the monetization possibility (see below) See Domain Registration Tips From Experience for more domain tips.

Research Monetization Possibilities

I was big into niche domains not long ago and I learned a lot in that trend, including what easily monetizes and what does not. For example, remember President Obama’s Government Appliance Rebates here in the US? I jumped in quick and that niche (With GovernmentApplianceRebates.com – now expired along with the program) earned me thousands of dollars with AdSense alone. The reason was there was a product people were search for associated with that niche. On the other side of the spectrum, I own HighSpeedRailNetwork.com. How many products do you think are available or what the potential of product creation is for High Speed Rail? Not very many so monetizing that URL will be difficult; short of building a high-authority site.

Commit To The Time And Resources Needed

I mention this because over the years I’ve helped dozens of excited potential bloggers setup and get their blogs started just to watch them wither away in a pool of virtual dust. Blogging takes work, just as any business, online or off. Blogging, even though it can have very low overhead, does take an investment. You need to commit to both the time and capital required to start and run your blog. Payoff is often a process and most bloggers should be prepared to put in the work and investment before any profits are enjoyed. That’s simply the truth. How much time and money is required? I’m afraid you are the only one that can answer that. I would recommend to most bloggers that it’s probably not a good idea to go nuts and invest a bunch of money into things like expensive hosting, high-end themes, plugins and advertising; at least until you understand exactly how to get the most from your investments.

Research And Choose Resources

Do you still need to choose services like hosting, domain registration and list management services? These third party services are vital but jumping into one before researching them can be costly later, or at the very least, become a headache. I started my first list years ago with a free list management/autoresponder service before finally moving to AWeber$. I spent a lot of time building that list just to watch the company close shop – all because I wanted a free solution. Free isn’t always the best option and I found myself scrambling to move as many people on my list as possible over to AWeber before the doors shut. Since everyone had to opt-in and verify all over again, I was only able to salvage a small fraction of the list I had spent so much time building and cultivating. That was a huge lesson learned – always research when so much is at stake. I’ve had similar issues with hosting and domain registration, although those were just a matter of time for the most part. I recently moved all of my domains from GoDaddy and Enom to NameCheap$ and even though NameCheap makes that process as painless as possible, it would have been much easier to start there to begin with.

Lessons/Recap

  1. Know your audience. (Action Step: Research your avatar)
  2. Define your overall message. (Action Step: Start with a descriptive tagline)
  3. Find the right domain(Action Step: Think message and register)
  4. Understand how you might profit from your blog. (Action Step: Start by searching for other products within your niche)
  5. Make a commitment to yourself. (Action Step: Block out a dedicated schedule and budget for your blog)
  6. Be selective on services and purchases. (Action Step: Research and inquire about reliable and honest services)

There’s So Much More…

This post is by no means meant to deter anyone from blogging. My hopes are to prevent headaches later on and help make the blogging experience as smooth as possible for you. Blogging is very fun, and addictive, when we make the right choices. I could over enough tips on choices here to fill a book but I wanted to keep things simple and avoid overwhelming new bloggers. If you have other tips and advice to add, feel free to leave them in the comments below; I’d love to hear them and I’m sure our readers will find value in your expertise. Leave your comments, questions and advice below, I’m here for you. Blog on, Brian

Image Credit: My bad ass Galaxy 5S