How to Start a Blog - 5 Simple But Essential Steps For Starting a Blog
By Mike Goitein
You've done your research, and you may think that you know everything you need to know to start your blog. I can almost bet you that you may be missing the most important steps. If you read the first part of this two-part series covering the first five essential of beginner blog steps, you may discover some critical essentials that could mean the difference between long-term success, and short-lived failure...
- Identify Your Niche & How You're Going to Be Different - This is probably the most important step of all. If you just jump in and start writing blog posts, with no idea of what you're doing, you'll soon lose interest and focus, and your blog will quickly fade away. The key is simple: Identify something that you're passionate about, and want to share with the world. Something that excites you, and a long-term passion that you can grow with, and that will grow with you. And don't forget - you'll also need to add the special twist that will make it different from most of the other blogs you there. If you can honestly say to yourself that your care enough about this subject matter to do whatever it takes to make this blog a success, then you're already on your way. (If you haven't seen Julie & Julia yet, rent it now. You'll get the idea.)
- Research the Keywords that Drive People to Your Subject - Find out what people are looking for in your niche by going to the Google AdWords Keyword Suggestion Tool, and putting in a key phrase relating to your area of interest. You'll see how many searches people have done based on different key words. You'll need to focus on the keywords that run closest to your specific area of interest, noting the ones that get the most traffic on a monthly basis.
- Brainstorm Your First Ten Post Titles - One of the best tools for brainstorming and getting creative ideas is mind mapping. You really don't need anything to do it - just a pen or pencil and some paper. Write your subject in the center of the paper, and draw a circle around it. Now, draw lines coming out from the center, and put related words on those lines. Use the ideas and concepts generated by the related words, and let those take you in new directions. Work quickly, and don't limit yourself - write whatever comes into your head. If you've chosen your subject well, you should be able to focus on areas that people have asked for your help with.
- Write Your First Ten Posts - Now, using the list that you created, you will create a list of your first ten blog post titles. You can add to your research by visiting other blogs in your niche, and seeing what posts are closest to your subject matter, and what people are saying in the comments for those posts. Armed with that research, you're ready to sit down and write your first ten posts. Take your time and make sure they deliver strongly on the keyword phrases that you researched above. When you write, keep a specific person in mind. Perhaps it's someone who just asked you a question about something earlier, or someone you know who once asked you a question. Keep them clearly in mind, and speak directly to them in your writing. Take your time with this part. Some writers can write five posts a day. Others need five days for a single post. Whatever you need, take the time now to do it right. It will make a difference to your readers. And once your finished, read them out loud, and continue to try to simplify and focus your message. When your ten posts are done, you're now ready to set up your blog, but first, you'll need to do some organization...
- Organize the Ten Posts into a Logical Order - You're now going to take your reader by the hand, and lead them gradually through the steps, from your first post, through the second, and on, through the entire ten posts. As you go forward, you will have more flexibility to add posts as you see ideas come up. It's a good idea to create a file for ideas, and put snippets of ideas and thoughts that you can mind map into full posts.
There it is - your first steps in setting up your first blog. Take the time to read and re-read each paragraph. In the future, we'll be expanding on each of these areas, so stay tuned...
Everyone tells you to use the Web for your business, but it's easy to get overwhelmed with the amount of information online. If you need concrete, easy-to-follow recipes for getting things done, sign up for Mike Goitein's free Insider Web Tips newsletter for answers, tips, tricks, and strategies. Go to http://www.insiderwebtips.com.
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