Earlier this week I got an email from someone along the lines of:
“Just saw your website amongst the top blogger sites and would like to inform you that your website is one of the cleanest that I have seen.
I want to know what to keep in mind when you create a blog and simultaneously earn money with it.”
I thought I would share the answer on my blog:
Thank you for your email, when creating a blog there are many factors to look into and take into consideration. Its just like setting up a business, you need to have a plan of action, of what your looking to achieve, and how you will be doing this.
Purpose of Your Blog
Firstly have a look into the purpose of your blog, why you are setting up this blog?
- Is it for business: are you looking to promote your services, products…etc
- Knowledge: are you looking to put out information for others related to your niche.
- Personal: are you looking to setup your blog as a personal diary, writing about your experience, and more of just a casual scrapbook?
This is one of the first things you need to establish, just like my self, I have setup this site to give out useful information to business looking to setup an online presence, giving advise and tips, along with inspiration and motivation quotations for business owners.
Name of Your Blog
Give your site a good name, a name that others will remember, it’s just like naming your business. The name needs to be catchy, and also at the same time related to your business and what you would be writing about. The name of my blog is Wasim Ismail Dot, the reason for that is, because I wanted to be related to me, and what I have learnt in business, and what I can teach other, so that others don’t make the same mistakes that I have. The choosing of the name would go hand in hand with the above point “Purpose of your blog”.
Hosting Your Blog
This is something users will take very lightly and not do much research and purchase any hosting package, when choosing a hosting package you need to make sure it will be suitable for what you are looking to achieve. It has to be reliable, secure, at the same time will be able to cope with the traffic that you would be getting. You don’t want your website to run slow due to server problems. Investing into a good hosting company is a wise choice. You can read more on my article “Which Hosting Service Suites You”
Your Blog Platform
One of the main things to take into consideration is which blog platform will you be using, as there’s a wide choice from Google Blogger, WordPress, TypePad, and many other CMS platforms that you can use to run your blog. The platform that you choose should be something that you can work with, user friendly, so that you can publish your articles with ease. You can read more on “Choosing your blog Platform”
I have chosen WordPress as the platform for my blog, as I find it gives me flexibility I need, in setting out my content the way I want, also being a designer and developer, gives me control of the way I want my site too look.
Content on your Blog
This is the most important factor of your blog, and this is what will attract your readers, and also helps in positioning your site in search engine results. The number one thing that you need to focus on is the content that you would be putting out on your site. The articles that you publish need to be Unique, Good, and Relevant to your industry that your blog is about.
Once you have setup your blog, you need to make a schedule, that you will be publishing articles frequently, aim to write at least once a day if possible, or every other day, depending on your other commitments. Main thing is to be consistent. You see so many blogs come and go, or are left alone without any updates for months and months. If you don’t publish articles regularly, you will not attract readers, and also you as the writer you can lose the momentum, and start to get lazy.
I have set up a schedule in my Google Calendar, for all the blog tasks that I need to do, such as writing new articles, managing comments, updating old articles…etc that automatically sends me a text message on my mobile phone to remind me of the task.
Marketing Your Blog
Once you have setup your blog, how would you be marketing your site, this should be something on your mind from day one, its just like running a business, without any marketing, others will not know about it, and they will not come to your site.
I market my blog by doing:
- Commenting on other blogs in my industry
- Networking with other bloggers
- Speaking to business owners, and mentioning my blog
- Networking on Twitter & Facebook, along with sharing useful links
- Search Engine Optimization
- Guest Blogging
Design Your Blog
Design is one of the first things that generally users would see when they come to your site, but to be honest with you, it’s not the most important thing. Design is something that you can change as your site grows, and as you go along, I wouldn’t recommend you to spend hour and hours doing the design of your blog. The important thing is what is on your blog, the content are the articles that you write.
A reader of your blog is not going to say “you have a good design, so I’m going to subscribe to your blog”. They will subscribe and come back to your blog because of your articles, the content that you put out.
When designing your blog, keep it simple, straight forward, and user friendly. There are many good templates you can which you can install and customize within minutes. This will save you time. I have used WooThemes despite running a web design and development firm, solely for the reason to show others that you can run a blog by using a ready made template, and you don’t need to spend hours in designing your blog, you can buy a theme and customize it to suite your needs. If you are looking for a more custom made design, I would let the specialist designers do this, and I would focus on the content of the blog. There is no need for me to pull up any design tools and start to design, hire a specialist to do so, and I focus on building my site.
Making Money with Your Blog
I am not an expert in making money and monetizing blogs, as this is not what I am focusing on, I do have couple of adverts on the side, which are of products that I have used, and would recommend others to use. Its not there to make me fortunes, but they’re a point of reference for my readers. I would only advertise what I have used and I know it is of a good quality and service.
If you setup your blog to make money on it, than you can get frustrated very easily, as its not as simple as it seems, it takes time, consistency and patience. Yes you will make money over time, but the key focus should be your content, the articles that you write on your blog. Your number one focus and priority should be to publish valuable articles that would attract readership.
I hope this has helped you in setting up your blog, feel free to share your thoughts below.