So, you’ve decided that you want to become a blogger!
However, there’s a long way to go before you can make it and call yourself a professional blogger, especially for those who have little or no experience from before.
So, to make it easier for you to kickstart your dream to become a full-time blogger, I’ve made a list of 14 things you should know before starting a blog.
14 things to know before starting a blog (with no BS)
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1. Determine what you want to blog about
Once you have a niche, try to see if you can really blog about it by writing down at least 50 blog post ideas for your blog.
They don’t have to be concrete but should be detailed enough so that you’ll see how well you know the topic and how far your creativity can take you to.
Keep it for the future since it’ll save you time brainstorming for new ideas.
2. Choose your domain with care
I used to see a beauty blog named Fresh Orange (in Vietnamese) when I tried to Google about some beauty product reviews.
First I ignored that site because the URL didn’t make any sense to me. But since Google ranked it among the top five, I gave it a hit and figure out it’s a beauty blog!
Lesson: Don’t name your (travel/beauty/fashion/lifestyle/whatever) blog Parsley Sage Rosemary and Thyme unless you blog about gardening or herbs or even food. It’s really confusing. Really.
Your domain should somehow reflect the topic of your blog, and the only place I trust to buy all domains is Namecheap.com.
3. Secure that name on all the important SoMe platforms
By important, I mean Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. It will make you look more professional and cause no confusion to your readers.
4. Go self-hosting your blog
If you’re on a tight budget, head to Bluehost for a good deal of less than $100 for three years of hosting plus free domain registration for one year.
I know it’s tempting to opt for a free version instead of paying for it, especially in the very beginning when you don’t know anything about the future.
But if you want to make money from your blog (hello, nice to have you here, reading this article), keep it in mind: To earn money, you first have to spend money (wisely).
5. Understand your reader
If you’re within marketing, you’ll get my point here. Knowing who your readers are (age, gender, education, location, interest…) will help you create content that can serve them well, make them interested in what you share, and turn them into loyal readers.
For example, if your readers are female in their 30s, using teen language will not work and may turn them down (since they don’t understand what you’re talking about).
6. Find your reason, your WHY, to blog
You don’t need a bunch of them but just one reason, THE reason that makes you wake up every day, turn on your laptop and blog, even when you just earn peanuts from your blog.
That reason is your motivation when the world is against you. Bear it in mind, because you’ll need it. A lot.
7. Have clear targets for your blog
For example, 5.000 page views after three months, earn your first $1.000 after one year, etc. The more specific, the better.
8. Have a plan to achieve these targets
You don’t just set targets for fun, do you? For example, to gain more traffic, share your work on SoMe. To make money, learn about MMO (Making Money Online) first, find relevant courses that can provide you with the knowledge to thrive.
9. Have at least from five to ten articles ready before you launch your blog
Of course the more the better, but at least you should have something there to make readers keep exploring your site instead of drop off after just two blog posts.
For this very blog, for example, I have around 700 articles (seven. hundreds. articles) ready in the backend, waiting to be posted regularly every few days, all year round!
10. Buy a licensed theme
Again, why pay when you can use for free, right? But a licensed theme comes with good visual, customisable features, and customer support.
You can change the font (that’s the pain in the arse for those who need a special font, like me using Vietnamese, for example), the colour, the order of homepage widgets, and so on.
Currently, I’m using a theme called Kylee More from Studio Mommy, which cost $25 and you can use it for as many blogs as you want, provided that they are your own blogs.
ThemeForest.net is where you should head to and have a look. There you can find all kinds of themes ranging from $20 to $200. Have a look at all the beautiful themes from SoloPine, also.
11. Figure out how you’d like to make money from your blog
Do you want to make money by showing ads, affiliate marketing, drop-shopping, opening your Etsy shop, or becoming a KOL/influencer? There are many ways to monetise your blog, as long as you’re determined to do it.
12. And again, have a concrete plan on how to achieve it
Let’s say you want to become an influencer, what must you know about it? Maybe you should learn how to master SoMe.
What if you want to do affiliate marketing? Do you have any knowledge about it?
13. Learn SEO!
From the moment you decide you want to become a blogger, SEO will be your best friend. The one you can count on, and the one you have to keep closest.
You don’t have to learn to become an expert, but basic SEO will help in the beginning.
14. Read other blogs within the same segment/niche
Of course, you should not and cannot copy other people’s content, but to have an idea about what’s hot (and what’s not) in this field, how they design their blog, etc. Learn and get some inspiration!
So, 14 things you should know before starting a blog. I hope you find them useful and doable!