Setting up a blog sounds difficult, but it really isn’t. It Is impressive though – so it’s an easy way to amaze everyone with your skill, intelligence and all round marvellousness. Sound tempting? Never miss an opportunity to impress others – especially when it’s easy, costs peanuts, and gives the impression you are a little bit geeky, and yet seriously cool – a winning combination in today’s world….relationship advice is an added free bonus.
How To Set Up a Blog
So you’ve decided You Want to Set Up a Blog – Good idea! Everyone’s doing it! Which just proves that anyone can do it. I mean, I’ve done it, so it must be easy. Where do you start? Well, let’s start at the very beginning…of course. Assuming that you know nothing, I’ll briefly outline the first baby steps you need to take.
How to Start a Blog
Question 1. Why do you want to set up a blog? Only you can answer this.
- Do you want it to be a personal diary where you write down all the interesting things you do and think?
- Do you want a place where you can post all your photos so your friends can see them all in one place?
- Do you want to load up all your recipes and share them with your friends?
- Do you want to show your family and friends how clever you are? Hey, don’t knock it – it’s a perfectly good reason – sometimes you need to impress people, right?
- Do you want to become a famous writer? To dazzle people with your skill with words? And why not? It’s a valid reason.
- Do you want to build an online empire, make a fortune, and retire to a tropical island? Hands up! I know you’re out there!
By the way, a ‘blog’ is a website that’s organized with posts that are arranged one above the other, with usually, the latest post appearing at the top of the main page, with older posts appearing below the latest post. A website has a slightly different format, but for the sake of simplicity, I’ll use the two words inter-changeably to mean the same thing – a place online, where you strut your stuff.
Question 2. What Type of Blogging Platform Should I Choose?
By the platform, I mean, the different types of blog support websites that are available for Bloggers to use. Which type you choose, will depend on your answer to Question 1.
Question 3. What types of Blog Platforms are there?
- Free blogs–websites such as Google, Blogger, and others provide free blogging software, and easy setup processes, where beginners can set up their blogs inside the promoter’s online network.
- This is like renting a room in a huge mansion, except you don’t pay rent. The furniture is provided for you, and they are very easy to use. But there are some limitations with what you can do with this sort of blog.
- Examples of this type of blog are the free blogs available at the www.wordpress.com website. These blogs have the words ‘wordpress blog’ added to your blog’s title name. This won’t matter at all if all you want to do is start a blog for personal use only.
- That’s why this sort of blog is ideal for personal diary blogs, and similar. But if you want to build your Internet empire, you need to ‘own’ your own place – a place where you are the boss, you can choose your own furniture and arrange it how you please. To do that, there are more steps involved.
- Don’t get confused, WordPress has several different websites. The site that runs the free in-house blogs, has the internet address ending in .com. The other WordPress site, that deals with the independent type of blog, has the internet address ending in .org.
- Independent Blogs – This is the ‘own your own home’ sort of blog, and the one most people use if you want flexibility and the ability to grow your blog, or business, or empire. Which is us, right?
- We don’t want to tell our readers that we are amateurs. Or that we are so mean, and disinterested in our business, that we aren’t willing to invest a few dollars on buying our own Domain Name.
From now on, in this post, I’ll talk about these independent types of blogs.
Independent Blogging Stage 1 – Thinking and Planning
Assuming you are interested in making your blog successful online – lots of visitors, the opportunity to make money, and retire to the Caribbean, you need to do some heavy-duty thinking.
- How do you plan to make money with your website?
- What is your ‘plan’ or business model, that you will try to implement?
- Do you have any skills or products that someone will desire so much, they are prepared to give you money to get them?
- Are you interested in Affiliate Marketing, Viral Marketing (aaaah!) or other types of marketing?
Independent Blogging Stage 2 – Find a Niche Market
If you plan to set up an online media empire (and who doesn’t?) you will need to sell something. Whatever you sell is called ‘your product’. A product can be almost anything that someone, somewhere, is willing to buy from you. It could be an e-book, a CD, a DVD, a marketing course, a coaching course, someone else’s product (Affiliate Marketing), or even a ‘real’ physical product – it does happen.
In order to sell something, you need to have a ‘market’ to sell to – a market is a group of people who are prepared to pay for what you offer. In order to target a market where you are likely to make any money, you need to find what is called a Niche Market. Why?
You will never make any money if you choose to target exactly the same market that say, Apple, targets. It’s certainly a market, but it’s not a Niche Market – it’s a huge market, but one where you will never get a look-in. Apple is such a strong brand that you have no hope of competing with them for their customers. In order to find a market where you have a good chance of competing with/against other marketers, you need to find a smaller, focused, tightly targeted market – a Niche Market. And to do this, you need to find out the answer to the all important question:
What is a ‘niche’ market that I could target with my ‘product’?
A niche market is a small section of a big market that is specific, focused, but still has enough people interested in that market to make it into a potentially Profitable niche market. For example, you might have invented a brilliant way to rig up a light bulb to your toaster so you can see, as well as hear, when your toaster goes ‘Ping’, but is anyone else interested in that? And, more to the point, will they give you money to find out how to do it for themselves? It’s certainly a niche, and the competition would be low, but is it a market? And is it a potentially profitable market? I could be wrong, but I don’t think so. Basically to find a niche market, you need to do research, in particular, you need to do keyword research.
Research is Insurance Against Failure
How to find a niche market, and keyword research, are topics that are too big to explain in detail here – more on that in future posts. Once you’ve decided on all the above, it’s time to go searching for a name for your lovely new blog, or website – a Domain Name to call your own.
Want to find a whole swag of Articles on How to Set Up a Blog? See Category: How to Set Up a Blog.