For the past fifteen years, digital platforms and technologies have exploded at an unprecedented rate never seen before in human history. In a relatively concentrated period of time, Facebook, YouTube, and other social platforms all launched, and completely changed the way we interact with the world.
In addition to the way we communicate, the digital age has completely shifted how we manage our daily lives, from banking, and shopping, to planning and journalist. This last point, in particular, has seen the rise of the blogger, and blogging has evolved into more than a digital method to record our thoughts and feelings. For some, it has become a career that has made them millions.
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[Step-By-Step] Guide to Starting Your Own Successful Blog
Blogging is incredibly simple to start, but very competitive to excel in. 99% of new blogs will fail before 2018 is over, and while there’s a myriad of reasons for this, the biggest one seems to be that new bloggers don’t really know what they’re doing, become discouraged, and give up.
To help you get started on the right foot, the following guide will explain the steps you need to get your blog started, create meaningful content that will engage your readers, and expand your blog to make a healthy profit for you.
1. Pick a Specific Niche to Focus on
The very first thing you’ll need to do is decide what you’re going to blog about. There’s a blog out there for every topic you could image, and that’s a plus because you’re not limited in topics to choose from; however, it also means that you’re going to have competition no matter what you choose.
To help your blog stand out, focus on a specific niche, that you know very well, to blog about. By specific, I mean focus in on a particular aspect of a theme and cover it extensively. You may love video games, but don’t blog about games in general – write specifically about first-person shooters. Even better, take it a step further – the blog about the eSports community within FPS’s.
Focusing on a specific niche will help you stand out because you’re not only writing about something you already know well but also you’re distinguishing yourself as a very focused and relevant resource within a broad field. You can expand later after your blog has grown.
2. Set Up Your Blog
Once you’ve decided on your specific niche, before you can start writing, you’ll have to set up your blog. There are three main considerations that you need to focus on initially before you launch your site: hosting, domain, and design.
There are two types of hosting that you can choose from: shared and dedicated hosting. Shared hosting means that server space to upload content to your blog will be shared with others blogs and sites, while dedicated hosting entails server space dedicated completely to your blog. Shared hosting is cheaper, and will probably be the way to go starting off, but as you grow and take up more space, your blog will slow down, and you may want to consider moving to dedicated hosting.
Your unique domain selection will play a key role in both communicating your blog’s intent and helping people find you. Try to incorporate a keyword to your specific niche in your name, and keep it simple. Using the example of FPS’s from above, a domain like, “mikeplaysFPS.com” is simple to spell, easy to remember, and speaks directly to what your blog is all about. A solid domain name like that will also help you rank higher in search engines, meaning people will have an easier time finding you.
Finally, you’ll need to choose and implement a design template for your blog or build your own. Most bloggers aren’t expert coders, and even if you are, it can take weeks work of effort to build your page from scratch, the time you could be spending blogging.
Instead, I’d recommend using pre-made design templates, with a diverse selection of plugins, to build your site. WordPress has excellent templates to help get you started for free and can offer more (with a paid premium), as you grow if you need them.
At a minimum, make sure your design incorporates links to your other social media platforms, a subscription form so people can join your mailing list, the ability to comment on your posts, and a search function so that, as you post new content, your readers don’t have to click-through multiple archive pages to find one post.
3. Make your Introductory Post
Now that your site’s setup, it’s time to make your first post. Congratulations! You’re officially a blogger!
You’ll probably struggle to make the perfect first post and may even struggle with what to write about first. I have a suggestion to help you – do an introductory post that talks about who you are, what you’re writing about, what makes you an expert in your niche, and, most importantly, how often you plan to post. This important to start establishing your credibility, and it’s key for your readers because, if you’ve made it clear you’re only posting about twice a week, to begin with, they’re not checking daily and growing frustrated when there’s no new content. Establish your expectations right from the get-go, and your readers will have a great first impression of you.
4. Follow your Schedule
Now that you’ve established what you’re all about, it’s time to start following through with your schedule. You’ll probably have a good idea about what the first dozen or so posts will be about, so you’ll have little trouble in meeting your posting schedule.
As you go along, you may start to feel fatigue set in, or struggle to come up with topics to blog about. This is the time to turn to your readers. You can’t follow every single suggestion or take every negative troll’s words to heart, but where you can foster conversation and interactions with your readers, do so.
Ask them about a topic in your niche you haven’t covered, and actively participate in the comments section on your own posts. What your readers are saying is a very healthy way to generate new ideas for content that will keep them engaged.
5. Start Expanding
I can’t tell you how long it will take you to grow a healthy readership – that’s based on a myriad of factors including the size of the audience for your specific niche, how good your content is, how well you keep to your schedule, how well you promote your blog, and a multitude of other factors. In the beginning, you shouldn’t worry about it too much. Keep a reasonable number, like 1,000 subscribers as an initial goal, and focus on getting there first.
Once you get near that initial goal, say you’re up to 750 subscribers, it’s time to think about the future. There’s a myriad of ways you can not only expand but start to generate revenue.
This is the point where you can start broadening the focus of your blog to attract a bigger readership. You’ve covered eSports in the FPS genre, and now you can talk about other genres in eSports or FPS cultures in other countries outside of eSports.
Invite other established bloggers in your niche, that you respect, to submit a guest post on your site, opening your readership to them – they’ll be inclined to reciprocate and invite you to do the same with their readers! That will not only grow your credibility and promote you further, but it may also even lead into the same business partnerships those bloggers enjoy.
In that same vein, reach out to businesses that are looking to advertise; the closer to your niche, the better. You can post ads within your blog, allow them to submit sponsored content that they’ll pay you for, or pay you to post a review of one of their products on your blog.
The sky’s the limit at this point, but you have to keep creating the high quality that drew your readers to you in the first place, and always, always, keep your readers informed.