Whether you want to start a blog as a hobby to document something you love or you want to blog to eventually bring in an income, launching it the right way will give you a solid foundation for future growth. When you’re just getting started, you’ll need to make a lot of important decisions to make your blog the best it can be. What does your blog need to really stand out above the rest? How can you create a blog that will bring visitors back again and again? These six steps can help you create a professional, distinguished and valuable blog where visitors want to spend time on a daily basis.
1. Choose your niche. Having an “all-purpose” blog is rarely the best approach to blogging. The more specific the subject of your blog, the better. Narrow down your focus as much as possible. The narrower your focus, the more targeted audience you’ll acquire. Finding your target audience means that you’ll find intelligent readers who want to come back every day. Even if your subject of interest is peculiar, you’ll still find plenty of readers who are interested in the same thing. Know your niche and stick to it.
2. Establish your domain, design and brand. The overall appearance of your blog will have a big effect on how much time visitors spend there and whether they continue to come back. The appearance of your blog includes everything from the domain, to the design to consistent visual branding across all your pages. If possible, buy and register your domain. Choosing one company for design, web hosting and domain registration will make upkeep, maintenance and future troubleshooting much easier. A professional can also suggest the best domain type, help you design a user-friendly page and help establish a personal brand.
3. Make your blog’s purpose clear. Visitors to your blog should be able to know its purpose and function within minutes of arriving. Have an easy-to-find about me, purpose or vision page that’s reachable from your main landing page. On that page, explain your blog’s main subject, area of focus and overall purpose. Be sure to keep it fairly brief – something a visitor could read and digest in a few minutes.
4. Know your opinion, stance and voice. No matter what your blog’s subject is, you need an established voice, stance and opinion on the matter. Make sure they are all your own. You’re the only blogger with your unique perspective, and it’s wise to use your personal stance to the fullest. Don’t try to replicate another opinion or be a copycat of another blog.
5. Know your audience. Understanding the types of visitors your blog is likely to attract and knowing what they want to read is important for writing focused content relevant to your visitor’s interests. Creating content that your ideal target audience wants to read is important for maintaining readers and attracting new visitors.
6. Consistent posting schedule. Once your blog is set up, keeping it updated regularly is your number one priority. Creating a content posting calendar and sticking to it can help you plan to keep your blog updated. On your calendar, be sure to consider holidays and weekends. You’ll still want to update your blog on weekends, but you may be able to skip a few major holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas.
These six tips can help you create a professional-level blog that will keep visitors coming back for new, fresh content on a regular basis. A specific niche, beautiful appearance, clear purpose, unique stance and great content will help you create a blog that’s worth reading.