Are you thinking about starting a blog but have no idea how to do it?
Have you heard of the importance of a blog for your business but you’re not sure what’s involved, so you keep procrastinating? You know, one of those “One day I will…” things?
You’re not alone and you can definitely start a blog quickly and easily.
You just need to have an overall plan and to break it down in smaller pieces so you can manage them one task at a time.
Here’s a step-by-step guide with the tasks you need to do.
1. Get your own domain and hosting plan.
Your own domain is your website name, for example, yourname.com or yourbusinessname.com and your hosting plan is the service of a hosting company to store your website or blog on the Internet.
Securing your own domain and having a reliable hosting service is an added cost, yes, but I recommend doing this rather than going with a free service because this way you will have real control and support from the service provider.
2. Install your blogging platform and set up your theme.
The blogging platform is the foundation on which your blog sits. I recommend self-hosted WordPress (wordpress.org), the only platform that gives you complete control over the content, setup, and format of your blog.
Once you installed WordPress (some hosting companies will even install it for you), choose and install a WordPress theme, which is the frame of your blog. You can go with a free theme or a paid one. Again, we recommend a paid theme because paid themes are much more customizable, plus you’ll have support if anything goes wrong.
3. Install WordPress plugins.
There are lots of plugins available, free or paid.
There are 3 (free) plugins that I consider must-have: Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin (GASP) to deal with spam, Subscribe to Comments to allow readers to get notified when comments are answered, and CommentLuv to give readers a nice way of adding their blog link when they comment on your blog.
Or you can get CommentLuv Premium and have all 3 of the above included, together with other goodies.
4. Create your blogging plan.
Use a blogging calendar to plan out all your posts. Nothing fancy, just a regular notebook will do to jot down ideas and themes for the the future. Start with a new page for each month and fill it in with what you’d blog about.
For ideas what to write about, see Conquering “I cannot blog”: I have not found my writing voice yet and Conquering “I cannot blog”: I never know what to say.
Or download our free training: How to plan your blog content in 6 easy steps.
5. Write and schedule blog posts.
Get busy writing!
Depending on how many posts you want to write per week, just a few uninterrupted, perfectly focused, hours of writing per week may do the trick.
For ideas how to fit blogging in your schedule, see Conquering “I cannot blog”: I cannot be consistent so why bother? and Conquering “I cannot blog”: I don’t have time.
6. Share your blog posts on social media.
No, you don’t need to be all over the place.
Just share on the social media channel that works best for you: be it Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.
Share a post when you publish it for the first time and also continue to share it from time to time, as you are getting new fans or followers.
For my blog sharing secrets checklist, go to: 15 ways to grow your reach on social media.
7. Answer to blog comments
Blogging is a continuing conversation, so answer to comments that you get on your blog. Even if it’s to simply say Thank you!
8. Lather, rinse, repeat from step #5
Yep, it never stops… But the good news is that it gets easier and less time-consuming every time.
There you go, you’re now all ready to make blogging work for you! What advice do you have for someone who just started blogging? Please leave us a comment and share this post so others can benefit!
Would you like us to get your blog or website set up and running? Check out our blog design services and let’s chat!