You want to start a blog that everyone in your genre will know by name. You have probably read at least a dozen articles on how to do this, but the whole thing sounds daunting.
It doesn’t have to be that way. There are several basic steps you can take to make sure your blog is found, read, and followed by people who share your interests.
1. Choose Your Niche Wisely
When choosing what your blog will be about, stick with something that interests you. You will be spending the next few years, at the least, writing about what you choose.
Choose an interest over something that is trending at the moment. Don’t fall into the trap of choosing a popular subject that does not interest you. You will quickly get bored writing about it and will probably abandon the blog before it ever takes off.
Yes, you should consider what other people are interested in. For example, let’s say that you love growing houseplants and are thinking about creating a blog about growing and caring for plants inside an apartment. A quick search on Google shows that apartment houseplants are a very popular subject and one that is definitely worth creating a blog about.
Don’t make your niche too broad, such as “plants.” Instead, choose something easier to focus on, like “apartment houseplants,” “tropical houseplants,” or “cactus plants.”
2. Name It Right
After you have chosen your niche, you will need to come up with a name for your blog. The name and domain name of your blog should be the same and should contain at least one of your niche’s keywords.
Do a domain name search to find available domain names related to your topic and be prepared to get creative.
Avoid using numbers or hyphens in your domain name. These are difficult for readers to remember. Also, try to stick with the .com extension. It is the most popular extension and most easily remembered address that people use regularly.
3. Write Interesting Titles
Think about the types of articles you want on your blog and begin crafting titles. “Click-bait” titles are popular because they often intrigue writers to click on them. As long as your article delivers what the title promises, don’t be afraid to use them.
Lists are very popular articles and they are fun to write.
Examples of list titles:
- Top 10 Ways To _____
- These 5 Tricks Will Help You _____
- 6 Incredible ____ That Will Make You ____
- 4 Methods To Help You ____
How-to blog posts are also popular and very easy to write.
Examples of how-to titles:
- How To Start A ____
- How To ____ Like A Pro
- How To ____ With ____
- How To Turn ____ Into ____
4. Learn How To Format Your Posts
After you have chosen your titles, it is time to plan out and format your articles. Each type of article has a unique layout.
A list article, also known as a listicle, begins with a title and is followed by a one- to two-paragraph introduction. Each item on the list is a sub-heading that is followed by an explanation. After each list item is explained, the article is often followed by a conclusion.
A how-to article begins with the title and introduction. It is then followed with a list of supplies needed and the instructions.
Other article formats, or templates, can be found online.
5. Write Unique Content
When deciding what to write about, choose content that will be unique to your blog. If you choose to write about a topic that has already been covered by numerous other bloggers, give the post your unique perspective to make it stand out from the crowd.
6. Correct Spelling And Punctuation
It is not enough to just write a blog post. It has to be readable.
Always read through your post after you finish writing it. Read it out loud to make sure it flows.
Check punctuation and spelling. If these are not a strong point, use a word processor to check for errors.
7. Choose An Interesting And Compelling Cover Photo
The cover photo is the deal-breaker. It is the first thing that your readers see, which means choose a photo that will make your readers stop scrolling the browsers and pause right at your article.
If you can’t decide if your cover photo is attention-calling enough? Do a test-drive. Publish an article with your chosen image. Post it on your own social media account and try these:
- Scroll your own social media account and see if your own cover photo stands out across all the other photos.
- Wait for about a day after sharing and check your page views. If the pageviews are good enough for you, then congratulations. If not, change the photo. We call this A/B Testing where you check what is effective by changing stuff on your content and checking how it affects your readership numbers.
8. Keep A List Of Ideas
Keep a running list of ideas. It can be a list jotted down in a notebook or on a computer file.
As you research your content, you will come across new ideas. You may think you will remember them all, but that is often not the case. Instead, save yourself the trouble of trying to remember your ideas and keep a list of them to turn to when you need new content.
9. Share On Social Media
You have posted your articles to your blog. Now what? You can wait and see if anyone shows up or you can actively seek new readers.
The best way to drive traffic to your blog is to post links on your social media accounts.
Create a Twitter feed, a Facebook page, and an Instagram account for your blog. Keep these up to date with your latest blog posts. Create images and memes specifically for sharing on your social media accounts.
The more you expose your blog, the more likely readers will click on your links to read what you have to say.
10. Don’t Stray From Your Niche
Finally, stay on topic. If you created a blog about raising iguanas, people expect to read posts about iguanas. What readers don’t want to see is articles about knitting winter hats or swimming in the Bahamas.
Give readers what they expect to see on your blog, open their eyes to new ideas, but always stay true to your niche.