Before you start a blog, you need to make sure that you properly plan. When learning how to start a blog, you are going to see a lot of different schools of thought.
Some people will tell you to just get something out there. This is not usually effective since it can cause challenges with your site structure and quality later.
In this article, we are going to talk about 4 questions to ask yourself before starting a blog.
1. What Am I Going to Blog About?
Imagine that. You need to blog on your blog! Of course, you understand this, but what you might not know fully, in the beginning, is what topics you want to write blog posts on.
You could have an overarching theme or niche that you are working in, but what are the specific topics?
If you have a weight loss blog, are you going to be blogging about keto? Keeping calories low? Maybe a juice diet? See the infographic below for ideas.
Knowing what you are going to blog about will help you have a sense of stability and control when you are starting your blog.
Planning out your blog content is also helpful because you will be able to create categories and subcategories that will keep you organized and allow the reader to easily find what they are seeking.
Creating categories and subcategories also helps you with the structure of your blog. Having a good blog structure means that you are going to make your user’s overall experience much more enjoyable.
Besides for your main topic and the categories and subcategories under that main topic, you can also write “shoulder content” which is content that is closely related to but not exactly on topic.
This will give you more content options when you feel like you might be running low.
2. How Much Time Do I Have to Commit to My Blog?
When you are starting a blog, you need to remember that this is a long-term commitment.
If you think you are going to set up your blog, let it sit there and it is going to perform for you, you are a little off course.
Having a blog requires a time commitment for content creation, promoting, fixing site errors, reading blog comments and more.
Figuring out how much time you have for each of these activities before you start your blog will allow you to decrease the feeling of overwhelm you might experience whenever you get started.
I highly recommend that you put your blogging duties down on your calendar so they don’t get swept to the side.
While your blog might not be a “must do” right now, if you plan to build your blog as an online asset, it is going to require that you continue to groom and grow it.
Even if you only have a small amount of time each week to work on your blog, that is enough to get started. Putting it on your calendar will make sure that it happens.
3. Do I Want to Self-Host My Blog or Use a Blogging Platform
If you aren’t familiar with what self-hosting is, this means that you are going to pay for hosting and have your content on your own hosting.
If your blog is hosted on a blogging platform like Blogger, you get to use their hosting for free, but you do not have as much flexibility as you would if you were self-hosting.
One of the benefits to using a blogging platform instead of hosting your site yourself is obviously that you do not have to pay for it.
You are driving traffic to this platform so they are allowing you to blog for free. If you are on Blogger, you can even allow ads and get paid for blogging. That’s always fun.
The biggest downside is that you aren’t able to brand yourself or your content very well when you are on another site’s platform.
It is mainly about their brand and you are just living in their world. This is why many people opt for self-hosting on WordPress.org.
It is easy to customize so that you can show off your brand and you can also put in any features that you need for the functions you want on your site.
4. Where Do I Get Images for My Blog?
Every good blog is going to need images. If you aren’t taking your own images, you need to have good sources for those images.
You can get a subscription for stock photos but that can be pricey at times. You can use free photo sites, but other bloggers might be using those as well.
This can be a challenge, but if you have the ability to edit the photos, you shouldn’t have a lot of trouble finding and editing photos that will match your blog theme and content.
Make sure you use images that are clear and high quality. But they also need to be resized and compressed so they load quickly and don’t fill up your database as quickly.
People can’t be bothered with less than attractive images and your analytics will suffer from bounces if you don’t deliver.
Ready to Get Going Starting a Blog?
Having a clear understanding of how you and your blog are going to work together is a good way to start your blogging career.
Any good relationship should have an understanding before getting started and that doesn’t exclude your blog.
As long as both of you are keeping up with what is expected, you can keep moving forward happily.
Was this article helpful and informative? Leave us a comment with your thoughts in the section below.
Originally published 7/19/18; updated 1/6/22 to improve readability, SEO and add the infographic.
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