This post is part of the Blogging Tips 101 Contest.
Dear Future Blogger,
I have been in your shoes, nearly two years ago I was contemplating all of things that there are to consider in starting a blog.
Like you, I had done my research before jumping into it. I had read about the benefits of blogging and what it takes to run a successful blog.
I was both excited and nervous: Did I have what it would take to create a successful blog? Would people really be interested in what I have to say? Did I have the time to put into a blog? Did I have the money?
Even though I had researched what it would take it still felt like a leap of faith because I had yet to take the actual action steps of starting my own blog.
There were many things to decide before even starting a blog.
What is the blog’s topic? Not much else could be decided until this was squared away. I wasn’t going to be able to come up with a catchy title to attract my target audience if I didn’t even know what I was going to write about.
Once I had decided on the topic of success through personal development I was able to name my blog Grow With Stacy. Though some people choose to simply name their blog after themselves I didn’t want to go that route.
Using my name would have been an easy way to have a blog name that could easily go with any niche should I change my mind later but I thought that the name that I chose was also easily adaptable if I wanted to change my niche later.
Domain and Hosting
Next I needed to make sure that Grow With Stacy was available as a .com before I could move forward and have my self-hosted blog. I knew that I could go with blogger and have a free blog but I wanted to make sure that *I* was the one who owned my content.
I had heard about blogger shutting down some marketers blogs without notice and they lost everything. I knew that I did not want to risk that and the low cost of running a blog was definitely worth that!
Design and Set Up
Once I had my domain name secured and hosted I was ready to set my blog up. It wasn’t a simple thing to do, I needed to decide on the look of my blog. People are very visual creatures and the look of a blog has the power to attract or repel first time visitors.
I wanted something that was attractive to others while at the same time reflecting my personality.
I decided to do everything myself to save money at the time though later I did hire someone to design my header and she did a great job! You can set up and design it all yourself or you can hire someone to do the work for you.
It really was very time consuming doing it all myself and if you can afford it I do recommend hiring someone! You can find people to do small jobs for you for $5 at fiverr.com.
Once my blog was set up I got to work getting my blog posts up. I knew that nobody was going to be interested in a blog that only had a post that said, “Hi, this is my blog! Come back to see more!” Later I learned that there was a way to make my blog unavailable until I was ready with several posts.
Since I have always been a writer I had plenty of writings that I had written (and owned all rights to) that I used in those very early days so that I could get content up as fast as possible. I knew that it was important to have a lot of posts on your blog before the search engines will give you any kind of authority.
This was big and I knew that I was going to have to work hard on this because not one person knew me as a blogger. I had joined a blog syndication tribe before I had even started my blog so I was able to jump in and get my posts noticed and shared by others.
I was thrilled to see that my first real post received 14 tweets!
Since then I have been involved with various different types of tribes to share my content. The best kind of tribes that I have found are commenting tribes. Every tribe is different but you exchange comments for comments. These work so well because they are a great way of not only gaining exposure for my blog but I get to meet many other bloggers and be a part of a community.
Aside from joining tribes I have found other ways to promote my posts which have been very successful:
- Sharing the links on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, etc.
- Creating a Facebook page to interact with fans and share content.
- Leaving quality comments on other similar blogs.
- Joining blog challenges.
- Supporting “big” bloggers who are leaders in my niches.
- Creating an email list.
- Writing ebooks to both give away to my readers and to sell.
- PROVIDING QUALITY CONTENT for my readers and gaining their trust.
- BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS with my readers and fans.
Now that you know what I did to bring my blog to where it’s at I hope that you have the confidence to move forward from a blogging want-to-be to a full fledged actual blogger! You CAN do it!
If you would like to read more tips on blogging I invite you to check out my Blogging Tips for bloggers of all levels.
To Your Success,
This post is part of the Blogging Tips 101 Contest. Please help Stacy win the contest by promoting the post and leaving comments that generate discussion. If you want to become a participant, check out the contest page for more information.