Professional Blogging involves a lot more commitment and planning, when compared to casual blogging. So how to start your Professional Blogging journey with a Bang? This post will give you all the essentials.
What is Professional Blogging?
By Professional (or Pro) Blogging, I mean running a Blog that has a dedicated niche and targeted group of audience. Also such a Blog would eventually become a platform for selling related services, products and ultimately start making money.
Tip #1 : Choose your Brand Name wisely
Brand name will ultimately distinguish your Blog from the rest, in the same niche. So choose it wisely! Make the following checks before you decide on a Brand name for your Blog
- Does it communicate to a stranger what the Blog is all about?
- Is a Domain Name with the Brand name available? (.com, .net etc.) You can check this easily with http://whois.net/
- Do a simple Google Search for the Brand Name and take a while to analyze the results. Check if your Brand name is already taken and popular
- Check if your Brand name is available as username on Social media tools like Twitter, Facebook etc.
Choose a Brand name and be prepared to stick with it, till the lifetime of your Blog.
Tip #2 : Choose your Blogging Platform
There are numerous Blogging Platforms available, all outstanding in their own respects. Choose a platform that you are comfortable working with. If everything is new to you, I would strongly recommend to go for Wordpress. Sometime back Seth at Blogussion has written a wonderful post on How To Start A Blog: Blog Platform. Make sure you read this!
Tip #3 : Choose your Blog Host
Once you decide on the Blogging Platform, the next logical thing to do is to choose a reliable host for your Blog. This makes sure that the Blog is available at all times to all people, who might need it. I read a nice post at Daily Blog Tips, on How to choose a Web host. This is a handy post to start with. If you are extremely serious at Blogging, be ready to spend some money on Web Hosting, to get quality solutions.
Tip #4 : Learn Basics of SEO
Though you may not be a techie and have enough money to hire the best-in-class SEO consultants, I would strongly recommend understanding the basics of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Experience shows much of Blog traffic and its revenues come from Search Engines. So it is imperative that your Blog behaves well with all popular Search Engines out there. Again, Web is never short of resources. These are some Blogs I strongly recommend to get started with SEO:
- Daily SEO Blog
- Matt Cutts
Tip #5 : Nail down the Design and Appearance of your Blog
I am sure you got hold of a Blogging Platform, that would eventually host your wonderful Blog. Now think about the Design and Appearance of your Blog. Also consider hiring a Web Designer who can do the job for you, provided the exact specifications.
If you know the basics of HTML, CSS and some PHP, I would recommend designing the Blog by yourself. Wordpress users are lucky to have a wonderful theme called Thesis, that has an unmatched level of customization. Contact me if you want to know more about Thesis.
Tip #6 : Resist your Temptation for Advertising and Affiliate Marketing
Many Bloggers start their Blog, with numerous advertising banners and empty slots for prospective merchants. Though some Blogs make the best of it, more often this strategy fails. A Blog stands for its Content and only Quality Content brings in money.
So at the inception, concentrate on the content. Have minimal advertising set up on the Blog but never spend too much time on it. Once your Blog becomes popular and starts attracting traffic, you will have enough time and the need to ramp up on advertising and affiliate marketing.
Tip #7 : Write some Pillar Content before making the Blog Public
I get pissed off when I see some Professional Blog with the default Wordpress "Hello World" post as the only content in it! Make sure you have at least 5 high-quality-and-ready-to-shoot posts that go Public along with your Blog. This will help your first time visitors guess what they can get from your Blog and start visiting often.
Tip #8 : Think about the Content Pushing Strategies
Popular Blogs never need to try hard, to push content to its readers. Because readers visit these Blogs often, to pull content. But the new Blogs must have strategies to push content to its (prospective) readers. Some of the common ways of doing it are:
- Setting up a Newsletter
- Sharing your Blog Posts on Social Media (Twitter etc.)
- Taking help from your Popular Friends to do some marketing for you
- Joining some Blog Communities and Networks like MyBlogLog, Blog Catalog etc.
Tip #9 : Write Often and Write Quality Content
This is the most essential step, that is sometimes forgotten among the other activities. Choose a Schedule for the Blog Posts and stick to it. Also make sure to write Quality Content, which will ultimately be the difference between the winner and the next one in the line.
Happy Blogging, keep visiting Thoughts Unlimited often for more such tips and share with us more success ideas from your side!