I’m Neonalton and I’m very excited to get you started with your blog. I am a Business Internet Marketer, Blogging Strategist and a Freelancer. I have been freelancing, building websites since 2010.
From experience, I have learned to successfully start business websites. Business Myriad is a place for Bloggers, I have crafted this guide, packed with style and strategies on how to start a blog professionally.
Blogging is fun and exciting, you get to share your thoughts with people all around the world, interacting with all kinds, who share the same passion for the subjects that interest you. But more important, making money online.
There are no limitations on what your blog can be about. Anything that interests you, there’s already an entire community of people who have the same interests and will look forward to your next article. As you shall shortly see, getting started blogging is super easy, I will walk you through the whole process of choosing a Niche to setting up WordPress and turning your passion into a steady reliable revenue stream. Ready to get started? Let’s dive right in…
- 1 What is Blogging
- 2 The Benefits of Starting a Professional Blog
- 3 Examples of Successful Professional Blogs
- 4 Choosing Your Niche
- 5 Choosing A Domain Name
- 6 Choosing a Blogging Platform
- 7 Web Hosting & Domain Name
- 8 Choosing A WordPress Theme
- 9 Important Pages For Your Blog
- 10 Content Creation Ideas
- 11 How To Write Engaging Blog Posts
- 12 Finalizing How To Start a Blog Process
What is Blogging
A blog, an abbreviation of the term weblog, is a frequently updated online personal diary or journal. A place to share information and express yourself, your passion to the world.
Blog sites have improved to the point where readers leave comments on other people’s blogs, and even include links to other web pages. Search engine technology has made it simple for anybody to find blogs of interest to them.
Blog Platforms, like Blogger, Tumblr, and WordPress, offer free software that any user can use to create and publish blogs quickly and easily.
Today, there are millions of blog posts being written every day and on every topic imaginable. Whether you are interested in cooking, movies or sports, with just a few clicks, you can be connected with thousands of freshly written blogs on the topics you love. You get to interact with the writers and engage in an entire community devoted to whatever subject you are into.
The Benefits of Starting a Professional Blog
A successful blog requires time and dedication, but it can be extremely rewarding and profitable. If you’re willing to invest in a little work, you will make more out of your blog than you expect. Keep reading to find out some of the reasons you may want to start a blog.
Making Money Blogging
Professional bloggers earn money, whether that’s directly or indirectly. There are many ways of making money blogging, and how much money your blog can bring in will depend on a number of factors, including how much traffic your website gets and how you monetize it.
Effective marketing, an established following, and high quality content will help a blog to generate more earnings. Some people earn thousands per month from a single blog, and a number of successful bloggers have made blogging their full-time job.
A blog can be monetized in a number of ways, you can sell advertising space on your blog to other businesses and brands. You can promote your own products and services on your blog, and you can also promote other people’s products to earn commission on sales, that is affiliate marketing. You can also use a blog to build up an email list, which you can then use as an additional means of marketing, exciting right?!
A high quality blog is an excellent way to establish yourself as an expert with authority in your niche. This is especially important if you run a business or a professional looking for more clients.
A professional blog helps to apply your brand more recognition, and it can assist you getting more customers and connections. Every time someone look after a topic you’ve written about, they might find your content, blog. In turn, they possibly will end up purchasing your services.
Writing high quality content, blog posts, also shows that you are knowledgeable and confident about the topic you’re writing about. A blog of high quality can place you at the top of your niche.
Develop Valuable Skills
Blogging can also help you to acquire valued skills. The first and most obvious one is writing. Even if you don’t think of yourself as a great writer, yet, blogging will definitely improve your writing skills.
The more you write, the more you’ll find yourself able to organize your thoughts and ideas and develop an engaging story. Being capable of writing well will come in handy in many ways, from sending emails, to project proposals, to holiday greeting cards. You will most definitely see yourself benefiting from writing skills in both your professional and personal life.
Starting a blog will also help you to become a better communicator in general, expressing yourself more effectively orally in addition to in writing. You’ll also probably see yourself getting more organized and observant in everyday life. All of these skills can assist you in a number of ways.
Examples of Successful Professional Blogs
There are countless bloggers started out writing a simple blog and were able to turn that into an exciting business or success story.
You may have never heard of Arianna Huffington. This Greek-American ex-wife of US Rep. Michael Huffington (R-Mich.) already had a successful career as a political candidate, television personality and writer when she launched her blog, HuffingtonPost.com, in 2005.
In it, she wrote opinion pieces, shared articles and featured a stable of regular columnists writing mostly on politics and business. In 2011, Huffington sold her blog to AOL for $315 million, making her one of the most financially successful bloggers in history.
And then there is Mario Armando Lavandeira, Jr., you probably have heard of his blog, PerezHilton.com. He began his blog about celebrities and gossip in 2004 and within six months it was one of the most read blogs in Internet history.
Hilton soon became a celebrity in his own right, appearing on countless television programs and even serving as a celebrity judge for the Miss USA pageant in 2009, in an episode of The Sopranos, and as the star of his own reality TV series.
Plus, many more…
Choosing Your Niche
Niche basically means a theme or a topic. This is the area of interest that your blog will be focusing on and it’s what you’ll be writing about on a daily basis for your blog posts.
You will hear a lot about choosing a niche when starting a blog. Choosing the right niche will help make writing your blog more enjoyable and profitable, so the question remains – how do you choose the right niche? There’s no single recipe for finding the perfect niche, but the following guidelines will help you choose a solid niche for successful blogging.
Choose a Topic You Enjoy
Taking a topic that you are passionate about is certainly an important consideration when selecting a niche. You want a successful blog, and you will be writing regularly (at least once a week) for a long time. Your content will become dry and boring very quickly if you are not personally interested in your subject. Your audience will absolutely notice if you are not excited about your topic.
There will be days when writing content for your blog isn’t your favorite activity, but overall, a professional blog needs to send out a sense of expertise and enthusiasm. When you know and care about a topic, the better you can write about it, and the more readers will want to spend time on your blog content. Selecting a niche you’re passionate will also help motivate you and keep you writing in the long term.
Choose a Profitable Niche
If you want to make money blogging, you need to choose a topic that has some selling potential, income. This means deciding on a niche with a great number of people interested.
One way you can figure this out is by using a keyword research tool like Google AdWords Keyword Planner. Find out keywords related to your subject and see how many searches people are doing for those keyword terms. You want to choose a keyword that is getting at least a few hundred monthly searches to ensure that some traffic comes to your website.
To choose a profitable niche, you’ll also want to consider the potential for advertising. In order to effectively monetize your blog, you’ll need to find advertisers who want to reach your target audience.
Can you think of at least five Brands who could be interested in advertising on posts about your niche topic? If not, you might not have much potential for advertising revenue, and you might need to look into a different niche.
Popularity of A Niche
One of the trickiest things about choosing a niche for your blog is picking something that’s the right size. If you choose something too general, you risk being lost in a sea of search results. If you choose something too specific, your target audience may be too small.
When you’re coming up with an idea, try creating a list of variants of the same niches, ranging from the most general to the most specific. Then you’ll want to pick something around the middle.
Niches like Internet Marketing and Fitness are too broad. There’re thousands of other big websites and bloggers already competing for broad niches and it will take a lot of time and effort to rank for those topics, resulting in you missing out on readers who are searching for something more specific.
Something like “Small Business SEO” or “How to be Productive” are more specific yet still have a large targeted audience.
Going for a specific niche means having less competition and you are more likely to draw in readers from Search Engines to your blog. Just be careful not to go too specific, as you will be writing hundreds of blog posts on this subject.
You can always tweak your website niche a bit when building your blog. You can decide on making your topic more specific if you think it’s too wide to focus on, make it more specific and write posts within a smaller area of interest. If you realize your niche is too small, you can expand it with different kinds of posts to broaden your subject. This is easy to do if you choose a flexible niche to start with.
If you do your research and pick a topic that you’re passionate about, your niche is likely to help make your blogging a success. Now let’s look at choosing a blogging platform.
Choosing A Domain Name
A domain name is what your website is going to be called. Examples include Match.com, CBS.org, Amazon.com, and so on, a .com is the most professional looking one.
The importance of choosing the right domain name for your blog should not be overlooked. A blog name should immediately convey the main purpose of your blog.
If someone is looking for a blog about luxury handbags, they expect to see a blog with a name that includes something like:
Not all of your potential followers will be able to identify the focus of your blog if it was to be based on something like arm candy. Take time to consider the blog name. Try to choose a name that will strike a chord with your target market. Often less is more and simple is best.
You need a domain name and a hosting provider for your blog. WordPress.com and Blogger.com provide a good introduction to blogging without costing money. But I would recommend investing – buying a domain name for a professional blog. (We will go through Buying a Domain in the next Two Chapters)
You need your own paid hosting services so you can be assured that the hosting provider will not shut down your blog if you ever violate their policies.
You will also enjoy more features and flexibility with the paid hosting services, so you can use special scripts and other features for your blog. Most important, a domain name of your own will boost your credibility as a blogger when working with other Bloggers and Businesses.
NameMesh.com is great for suggesting Domain Names, type in your Keywords and they will list available Domain Names containing your keywords or topic. Next we look at what platform to choose and buying your domain name!
Choosing a Blogging Platform
Got your Niche and Domain Name in mind? That’s great! The next thing then is to think about actually setting up your new website and getting started with your blog content.
When starting a professional blog, one of the things you must decide on is to where to host your blog. Both Blogger and WordPress can be good platforms for blogging, but if you plan on blogging professionally, WordPress is probably the best choice for you.
You will have far more control and possibilities of customizing, which helps a lot when making money from your blog. You will also own all of your own content, without concern that your site might be taken down. For these reasons, WordPress is usually the choice of professional blogging.
Web Hosting & Domain Name
You can choose to host both your website and domain name with one company, making it easier setting things and managing. They can also be bought from various providers, but we recommend Bluehost and for the purpose of this guide I will be using Bluehost but the process should be similar when using other providers.
- Free Domain Name!
- Reliable, high-performance web hosting
- Popular choice for many Professional Bloggers
- Good customer support service
Purchase Bluehost Web Hosting
Note: The images may look different but the process will be the same. Click on the Purchase Now button, then the green Get Started Now button when the pages opens in the new window.
1. Choose a Plan: I recommend The Basic plan since you’re starting out.
2. Provide them with the Domain Name you have in mind and then Click Next.
3. Now fill in the required information, and then choose your Hosting Package
4. Set up a strong password that you will be using to log into your account. You will then simply press on the “install WordPress option” to get your WordPress installed.
5. The login details will be sent to the email address you provided, follow the link to login to your Newly installed WordPress account! To access your Admin login page, type in your browser: http://YourDomainName.com/wp-admin and log in
Choosing A WordPress Theme
Themes are pre-made templates that you can use to change the design-style of your blog. WordPress offers thousands of free and paid themes that you use. I highly recommend that you go for a paid theme for a quality blog, unless you’re on a tight budget.
Why Paid Themes
- Great Support
- SEO optimized
- Elegant Design
- More customization Options
You will most certainly come across Elegant Themes when looking for a high Quality Premium Easy to use WordPress Theme. They have lots of themes to pick from, and plugins you can use along side.
Click the Image below to browse through the Premium themes for your Need/Niche.
If you going to use a free Theme, WordPress come pre-loaded with some. In the left column of your dashboard, clicking on the “Appearance” button, then click on the “Themes” button from the drop down menu will take you a page where you can search thousands of different themes for the one that is right for your blog. .
You can search according to the most popular, the newest, the most commonly used and other categories. You also can change your theme anytime you want, keep testing until you find your style.
Installing Plugins and Widgets
The good thing with WordPress is an endless possibility of customizing your website. You can add buttons that make it easy for the audience to “Like” your posts, share on Facebook, re-Tweet your blog on their Twitter feeds, add a +1 button on Google+, and all kinds of other things. You can add plugins by clicking on the “Plugins” button in the left column of your dashboard.
Widgets can be dragged and dropped on to your blog page Sidebar and include settings like customized archive menus, calendars, grids of author avatar images, calendars and a wide variety of other free tools. Press the “Appearance” button and then click on the “Widgets” button on the drop down menu to access the Widget set ups.
While many of these tools can make your blog unique and encourage your readers to interact with your blog, too much can be distracting. So be careful not to over customize your blog page with a bunch of them, that will only distract readers from your content. A good idea is to look at other people’s blogs and pay attention to the widgets they use, then add only those you like and think are cool to your blog page.
Important Pages For Your Blog
WordPress lets you write either Pages or Posts. A regular blog entry is a post. These blog posts will appear in reverse chronological order on your website home page.
In addition to the common “About” and “Contact” Pages, other examples include Legal Information, Company Information, Disclosure, Copyright, Reprint Permissions and the Accessibility Statement.
In general, Pages and Posts are similar in a way that they both have Titles and Content and can use your WordPress Theme template files to maintain a consistent look your site website.
To create a new page, hover your cursor over the Pages button on the left side of the dashboard, then Press on the “Add New” on the drop down menu. This will create a template that you can use to create a page. Just like a blog post, you can include text, images, links, videos or whatever you want on your pages.
You can delete a page by accessing your Dashboard and clicking on the “All Pages” button on the Pages drop down menu, checking the page you want to get rid of and then clicking on the delete button, make sure to Permanently delete them if you wish to completely get rid of them
Content Creation Ideas
On your journey to starting a professional blog, you’re probably full of exciting ideas of blog posts you can’t wait to write about, and if you’re not, I have some great suggestions on how to come up with great ideas to create content.
Content is a problem that every blogger faces, we just seem to run out of ideas sometimes. If you ever find yourself in these moments, try the following tips to come up with blog post ideas for your new website.
Keep a Running List
The best way I found to keep ideas coming your way is to keep a list going. You may think of an idea while reading something somewhere, having a conversion, or out walking.
Catch those ideas before they fly away! Write them down and regularly keep all your ideas in one place, could be a Google Doc, Spreadsheet or whatever works for you, do this and you will never run out of ideas.
Read Others’ Content
Reading other peoples’ content is a great way of coming up with your own ideas. Professional bloggers inspire each other to come up with blog posts. You will be coming up with related posts or even coming up with a question that leads to a blog post. You should never stop learning, the more you read, the more informed you will be, resulting in more content creation.
Look for Questions
Questions usually produce the best ideas for blog posts. As you browse some of your niche communities, they will be filled with questions, write a blog post answering them.
If someone leaves a question in the comment section, probably a lot more people wondering the same thing, write a post for them! There’re people asking questions everywhere, Reddit, Quora, Facebook Groups etc. Etc., It’s your opportunity to come up with the solutions and promote your content to them.
Update an Old Post
Go back in time and check your popular posts, could you add some to them? You may be posted about a news item and there have been more recent developments.
Could also have been a tips and strategy post and you have come up with even more tips to add to it. It’s perfectly fine to update your posts, which is good for SEO too!
Ask Your Readers
When you have landed some followers on Social Media or your Email Listing, try reaching out to them, ask them what they struggle with the most. They will provide you will great insights for your content creation plan.
How To Write Engaging Blog Posts
An engaging post is one that connects and keeps the reader on your blog. Good writing will make the reader come back to your blog and share your content with others. This is what will differentiate you from your competitions. Writing high quality, engaging posts, therefore, should be one of your top goals, this will immensely attract more followers.
Use Emotion Triggers
Try and engage with the readers’ emotions when creating your content. Emotions, more than statistics and facts, will help your readers remember the information you’re provided.
Think of the emotions you want your reader to have while reading the post, could be: Excitement, happiness, hope, inspiring or even fear. Connecting with the reader on an emotional level will help engage with them easily.
Be a Storyteller
Another way of engaging with the reader is by Storytelling in your blog posts. Everyone loves a good narrative, it makes your writing easy to follow by helping readers to picture themselves in the same particular situation and makes remembering easy.
Keep Things Short and Simple
We all love easy and on point solutions. Your goal is to make it easy for your readers to read through the text easily by keeping things short and simple. Your sentences should be short and try to not use complex vocabulary.
If you have a sentence that goes over three lines, that’s a good sign it’s too long. Short sentences are easier to read and are likely to keep your audience on the page.
The same goes for your paragraphs. Long paragraphs look intimidating on the page and can make your readers skip your content. Try and break your writing up into short paragraphs. Try using headings and sub-headings to break things up. This will make your writing more easily read and helps keep the visitors engaged.
Finalizing How To Start a Blog Process
Well done! – You’ve now learned how to start a blog. You will start realizing how fun and entertaining the journey is once you start blogging. Blogging is getting popular now and that means more bloggers competing for readers, but if you help your readers by creating high quality content and solutions to their struggles, you will grow in no time and start profiting.
I also recommend you start connecting with other Bloggers and readers once you get your blog going. Blogging is all about having fun writing what you love and making money from it, let that be your goal and it will be all enjoyable.