If you’re thinking about starting a blog, but have no experience, then these blogging tips for beginners are for you! Blogging might seem overcrowded for newbies in 2019 and therefore intimidating, but it’s incredibly rewarding and still possible – trust me, I started just 7 months ago.
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Seeing this blog progress and grow in such a short time fills me with so much pride and joy. It’s one of the reasons I wake up at 5 am, even if I’m still (kinda) tired. That hard work, that commitment is finally paying off.
Blogging is an exciting topic for me right now and I really want to talk about it all the time. Haha. I feel like such a dork right now.
Well, I decided to share some beginner tips today and I really hope they help you if you’ve been planning on starting a blog for a while.
Specifically, I want to share 12 things you should do before launching your blog (especially if you don’t have any experience). Some of these things are tasks I actually did before the launch of this blog and some are things I definitely wish I had done earlier, but didn’t know of or didn’t make time for.
12 Things To Do Before Launching Your Blog
1. Define Your Goals And Your Why. Have a clear goal in mind when you’re launching your blog. Ask yourself: “Why do I actually want to start a blog?”
To share your passion with the world? To have a creative outlet? Raise awareness? Make money and be free? To make something out of nothing and see where it takes you?
A blog can help you achieve all of these things, but having a clear goal will pull you through hard times and keep you on track.
The main reason I write this blog is it gives me the opportunity to share my passion for cooking, fitness and productivity in a creative way. This is something I always wanted to do, but never had time for. Funny enough, I started finding time once I had a kid and things got crazy busy. If you want something done – give it to a busy person (preferably a person with a toddler).
Another goal for me, and I’m not quite there yet, is to soon be able to make a full-time income from this blog. I want to fully transition to working from home, so I can actually spend quality time with my kid. Making an income with this blog would also allow me to travel internationally more often, something I’ve always dreamed of.
2. Determine the topics you want to write about. You don’t need to pick a super-specific niche for your blog, but having 2-3 topics you’re passionate about is important in the long run.
When you’re writing a blog you’re creating content on a regular basis – it’s not a book you write once and you’re done with it. Best case, you write every week, at least once a week. This makes being passionate or at least interested in the topics you write about absolutely necessary.
- What would you want to write about even if nobody read it?
- What are the things you know that you feel the world needs to know about as well?
Then, if one of your goals is to grow your blog traffic – do some research. Out of those passion topics, which ones are popular? Not just right now, but have been in the past and will be in the future.
Usually, successful blog topics are the ones that hit a pain point (for example being in debt or overweight). Here are some examples for popular niches:
- making money
- fitness and weight loss
- cooking and recipes
- home organization
When your content helps someone solve a common, daily pain – you’ve got a winner.
3. Decide on a name. Name your blog something that is easy to remember and pronounce. You don’t need to be super original, but make sure the name of your blog is somewhat short and easy to write out.
4. Create your Blog. I 100% recommend going self-hosted for this. If you’re serious about blogging and want to potentially, one day, make a career out of it, don’t invest your time into creating a blog on a free platform like WordPress.com or Blogger.
The best way to launch your blog is to choose the right tools from the start, so you spend more time creating high-quality content and less time being frustrated with fixing issues around your blog.
If you’re just starting out – their Basic plan is all you need. With automatic WordPress installation and a FREE domain name (your address on the internet), this plan is perfect for beginners.
Now if you’re already done with step 3 and have chosen your blog name, you can check the domain availability using the form below.
Again, keep it short and sweet.
5. Design Your Blog. Chose a WordPress theme, colors and fonts for your blog. Remember, less is more here.
For a WordPress theme, I personally use Genesis and Divine Theme by Studiopress and could not be happier with the speed and versatility they offer. You can check out all of their other SEO-friendly WordPress themes here or look for a free theme in your WordPress dashboard under Appearance.
Once you have a WordPress theme you like, it’s time to choose 1-2 colors and 1-2 fonts (use Google fonts) for your blog. Keep it simple! Trust me, once you start adding images and graphics – your blog will look “complete”.
6. Create a Google Account. You probably have some Google account already, but create a separate for your blog.
It is useful for everything. You can get your emails there, use Google docs and Google sheets, create a Youtube channel and install Google Analytics which you need in order to see how well your blog is doing, so you can sooner or later monetize your blog (if that’s one of your goals).
7. Get started on social media. Get an account on Pinterest and Instagram and start being active there before you actually launch your blog. You can get some initial followers and “earn the platform’s trust” when you stay consistent there.
On Pinterest, make sure to pin, like and comment on posts that are in the niche you’ve selected. Same on Instagram: like and comment on accounts that use similar hashtags.
8. Brainstorm blog post ideas. Now that you’ve got all the basics covered – it’s time to start thinking about that content. Remember #2 – Determine the topics you want to write about?
Research what is popular right now, decide what you want to write about and what problems you can help solve. Check the Pinterest shares on different pins, research competitors on Buzzsumo or check which Youtube videos in your niche have done well so far.
Come up with 40-50 blog post ideas, trust me more will come once you actually launch your blog.
Now, remember: you’ll need to experiment with what type of posts work for your blog as you go. Just because a certain post went viral for X or Y doesn’t mean it will for you too. It means that people are probably interested in that very topic and you have a higher chance of going viral if you write about something similar.
9. Invest some time doing keyword research. Another way to find blog post ideas that people want to read and actually look for is through keyword research.
A keyword is a phrase or a word you put into a search engine like Google and then Google spills out the results.
There are multiple different tools out there that can help you research keywords – here’s a very helpful list.
In addition to using these tools, I like to do my keyword research by simply typing the word I want to blog about into the Google search bar and then note down the suggestions that come up.
10. Create an Editorial Calendar. Once you’ve chosen the blog posts you want to write, it’s time to prioritize them and to create an editorial calendar. An editorial calendar is simply a calendar that allows you to put a date on each blog post you’ll write or have written.
You can use the calendar template in Google Sheets and create your very own editorial calendar in no time. Once you have brainstormed all the blog post ideas, decide how often you want to post on the blog and select the blog post topics you want to start out with.
11. Write and Pre-Schedule Your Blog Posts. Now that you have some plan for your content, it’s a good idea to write 10-15 blog posts in WordPress.
Edit them, add pictures, create the pins in Canva and schedule them in WordPress according to your Editorial calendar.
This will be so useful in the future, trust me. It will allow you to create future content with confidence, not from a place of stress (nobody wants to read that!).
Do the work and prepare, because some more work is coming.
12. Create a Schedule For Your Blog. The key to creating a successful blog is persistence. To stay consistent, build a schedule and structure for your blog.
Plan how many hours you want and can work, which days you want to work on what task – creating content, promotion, shooting photos, social media, admin…Think of everything and track!
It’s crucial that you set priorities, create a structure for your blog and keep it. Stick to that schedule as much as it makes sense and adjust when it doesn’t. You really can’t do everything.
To keep my blog organized, I like to use something like a bullet journal to keep my planning in one place – I create my Editorial calendar there, keep my blog post ideas, keep track of my to-do’s, analytics, working hours, goals and social media there.
But everyone’s different – you might like Google sheets or something like Trello a better option.
Well, I hope you now feel ready to launch your blog and show it to the whole world!