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

Comments


  1. Twitter: webmaisterpro
    In general treat your blog as you will treat your business. I think majority of bloggers fail mainly because there aren’t any goals, nor there is any planning involved.


  2. Twitter: timbo1973
    I think if I were starting over Brian, I’d definitely not use my name as the domain name of my blog.

    It made sense at the time but it’s much harder to define what my blog’s about, other than with a tagline.

    I agree that narrowing your message is also important. I’ve been doing that over the past few weeks and it has helped with traffic generation – bounce rate is still an issue though!

    Since I’ve been combining my blog posts with email marketing though rather than treating them as a separate entity, my affiliate sales have improved.


    • Twitter: HotBlogTips
      There’s a lot there to look at Tim. I have a blog with my name as well but I rarely do anything with it. The idea was that I would be the brand. That takes a lot of extra work that I don’t have time for right now but a lot of bloggers do very well branding themselves with both personal and business blogs. You’ve done a lot of work to build a great community and that community will never forget your name so it’s certainly something that can be overcome.

      Narrowing our message and being able to convey that to our visitors seems more important right now than ever before. Broad topics have a lot of competition in most niches but the biggest reason, in my opinion, is targeted traffic can generate more passionate and dedicated brand advocates, for lack of better words. This is something a lot of bloggers, including myself, wish they had the foresight to narrow that focus in the beginning.

      I’m glad you’re seeing improved affiliate sales, blogging and email marketing go very well together. I’m finding our VIP List to be the most active part of our community and I’m really enjoying the connections.


  3. Twitter: veron1395v
    That you mentioned all right things that should be considered when creating a new blog but when i started creating mine i had many mistake because that time i didn’t know about what point i have to consider it would help many newbie bloggers


  4. Twitter: BloggingLovers
    When any bloggers enters in blogosphere then there are many things to learn. It is necessary to have a good domain name, reliable web hosting. A theme with great appearance and other stuffs. If bloggers have a good approach towards HTML and PHP then there wouldn’t be any difficulty in customization of a theme.
    For a blogger choosing a proper niche matters a lot. He/she should learn about SEO. SEO has a great role to think about.

    Thanks for reminding me these things.


    • Twitter: HotBlogTips
      My pleasure Ravi, I hope it helps new bloggers a little. The thought of customizing a theme is a scary proposition to many people just getting started. We’re fortunate to have so many themes choices available, not to mention the internal options within most good themes. Starting with a fantastic looking blog has never been easier. We live in a great time. 😉


  5. Twitter: schleprock1016
    I learned to make sites on SBI so I knew all of that stuff. But I did not practice it. I left out the key step of making a commitment. My blog is still languishing in the SERPS but I believe if I keep after it everyday. I will find success.

  6. I’m guilty of having made at least 10 different blogs but maintained only one. It’s true that you need to be blogging about your passion. If I may add, although it’s important to know who your audience is, a blogger should always keep himself a priority when it comes to creating a content, writing about his interests, not only what his audiences would like to see.

    I think the top thing to consider should be: find out the topics that interest you and those you know by heart, then you can start blogging about them.:)

  7. Hey Brian, these are really some necessary steps that one must follow before going about to start a blog. You must decide what the blog’s gonna be based on, and ask yourself “Do I really have interest in that?”. Also, researching about the ways to monetize it is important if you want to make money out of it. Thanks a lot for sharing these useful tips anyways 🙂


  8. Twitter: techmitra_blog
    Whenever I start a new blog I just need to follow all my basic things which I’ve did for previous blogs. Choosing a domain is the main aspect for starting a blog or website because name is the main thing which define the blog.

    Thanks

  9. I think people really get stuck on first 2 of your steps. Crazy I know. But people just don’t know what topics to pick for their blog.

    Nice outline you hit all the big points


    • Twitter: HotBlogTips
      I think a lot of that is from everyone saying to narrow the niche and research keywords & competition Wajid. It’s a tough challenge when focusing on that rather than what we know and love.


  10. Twitter: BeAMoneyBlogger
    It is very necessary to objective analyze two important points before starting a blog; 1) what you need to do and 2) what you can invest in terms of money and time. Obviously to know the answer of these two questions one must have clear picture of all the tasks to do before starting a blog and their pricing and the amount of time to spend for their management.
    In this post you covered all important points in a simple and easy to understand way for the benefit of newbie bloggers. Thanks a lot for sharing this wonderful info

  11. When I first checked the title I thought it has common steps tips. But its totally different here and lot of things to learn and implement.

    Thanks


  12. Twitter: toptrends
    There are lot of things to be cared while starting a blog. Starting a blog can be considered as a job nowadays, because you could earn a lot from a blog itself. I still remember the day when i started my first blog and things i had done during that. Good article bro, freshbies are very much unaware of doing these kind of things they just sign up for blogspot and start copying content from others. Thanks howdy for sharing the information with us 🙂


  13. Twitter: villstech
    Nice post….and yes a lots of things to do in beginning. And keep safe from mistake just as dont change or modify any permalink ever…

  14. Nicely explained but i think writing a unique article is always a challenge for new bloggers as there is too much competition in the blogging arena.


  15. Twitter: CraigheadPro
    It’s very important to note that when you start a blog you better prepare yourself for one heck of grind with tons of complexity’s and problems. Google will become your worst enemy and your greatest friend. Don’t do anything spammy. Just blog and promote! – Scott Craighead

  16. Thank you brian,for giving the depth information about how to create a good blog,while creating mine i have not considered many guidelines you have mentioned.It would have been great if i would have come across this post a little earlier..Anyways this post will definitely help newbie blogger’s…Thank’s a lot for sharing the information with us.. 🙂


  17. Twitter: hireresultsltd
    I wish I had have known about your site before I started my first blog. This would have been a tremendous help. Oh well, now I know!

  18. Competitor research is important to see what keywords to focus on. Also, relevant content to your audience is key.


  19. Twitter: Manojlive
    Right URL, keywords, deep knowledge on the topic, targetted people etc are very essential and we should consider them from the very begining. good points you have mentioned here, Brian.
    Manoj recently posted..30+ Awesome Blogging Apps for AndroidMy Profile

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