Whether you want to start a new blog to support your business or you just want to blog about a particular topic that interests you, it’s important that you go into the industry aware of the best procedures and Internet safety practices. To get you started, here are a few tips and recommendations for starting your blog on the best footing possible.
Invest in Security and Adaptability
Just as you should always be concerned with protecting yourself on the web as an individual, you should also be concerned about protecting your website. You can spend hours and hours making your website look good to you, but if you aren’t planning ahead to ensure that your website is secure, safe, and stable, all of your hard work can quickly be gone thanks to one piece of malware.
Start by choosing a secure and credentialed web host. Some companies or individuals may offer you extremely cheap web hosting using servers they manage themselves, sometimes out of their own homes. When it comes to web security, you get what you pay for! If you are just interested in starting up your own personal small blog, there’s no reason to avoid the major web hosting companies. They will offer you the best website security software and protection for a small and relatively uncomplicated website.
Next, consider adaptability. Once you’ve chosen a company to provide web hosting and security measures, you will want to look into building a sustainable website.
Choose a good domain name and buy it right away. If you plan things carefully, this will be your domain name for the duration, so make it a good one! The prices on domain names vary by demand so something like “hello.com” is going to be more expensive than “hellomichael.com.” This means you will need to strike the balance between something that is good, memorable, and adequately describes your blog, but is also within your price range.
Now that you have your domain name and your website picked out, it’s time to choose your theme. If you’re using a host like WordPress, you will have lots of themes to choose from, some that are free and some that have a cost. If you use other websites that do not come with themes, you may be able to import a theme from a web designer. There are lots of companies that offer both free and for-sale themes for different website types.
The biggest thing here is to pick a theme that looks good and suits your purpose, but that will also be easy for you to update and customize as web trends change. This is where the adaptability comes in. You will want to build a website that is suitable for changes and upgrades as you need to make them.
Personalizing Your New Website
Once you’ve picked a theme, you will want to begin the customization process. Depending on your web fluency, you will be able to adjust your new website to fit your parameters and to look the way you want it to look. Next, you will need to add plug-ins. Read up on which plug-ins are offered and which ones will suit you, but you will probably want plug-ins that connect your blog to Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools, depending on the size of your blog, so you can monitor its health, and connect to social media platforms for easy sharing.
Here’s the part you came for, probably the whole reason you started your blog! When thinking about content for your website, you will want to consider a few questions:
- What will make my blog unique? What can I talk about that no one else can talk about? Does the world need another style blog with ideas stolen from Pinterest? Or do I have enough of my own ideas to make a blog just about style? Do I need to narrow my subject matter to fit a particular niche?
- What is my viewpoint? What particular perspective am I trying to show to my audience? What are my consistent policies in regards to the subject matter? For example, if you are starting a home blog, do you think it’s okay to buy new furniture, or do you think people should always buy used furniture to be environmentally responsible?
- Am I confident enough in my skills as a writer, self-promoter, and photographer? If I am not confident in one or more of these areas, do I have friends or family who can help me? Do I have the budget to hire someone to help me produce or edit this content?
- What is my policy for guest blogging? Will I let just anyone guest blog or do I only want to target specific interest groups for content?
- Who is my target audience? How do I reach them? How do I keep from trying to satisfy too many readers and so lose track of my target audience? Consider joining a blogging network to help your website reach more people and to find partnerships.
This is probably the whole reason you started a blog, so spend a lot of time considering these questions, and most importantly, have fun! Blogs should provide you with a fun means to express yourself and communicate with others, so don’t forget about that part!