If you want to blog a book, you need a blog. Not only that, but you also need a successful blog. To help you move in that direction, today, Beth Bauer (@JourneyofBethB), freelance writer, travel blogger, yoga instructor, and entrepreneur, provides you with a simple-but-essential checklist to follow. Check off the tasks and you’ll be on your way to becoming a blogger and a blogged-book author.
You’ve been dreaming of starting your own blog where you can share your thoughts, knowledge, and experiences with the world—and that you might later turn into a book. Or maybe you want to start a blog so you can blog your book. Congratulations on making the decision to move forward and become a blogger!
Although you can find tons of information online about how to begin blogging, it can feel overwhelming and confusing. If you don’t know how to get started as a blogger, the following new-blogger checklist should help you get a little bit more focused and organized. (And don’t forget, you can get a ton of great info in an easy-to-understand format in How to Blog a Book.)
Generate Ideas and Set Goals
Before you do anything else, think about why you want to start blogging and set some goals. Will it be a hobby, or do you want to generate income? Do you want to build expert status or get a book deal? How much time are you willing to invest in your blog? What is your budget? What do you want to accomplish?
Turn your vision into goals. Once you have goals, you have a roadmap to success.
Identify Your Audience
Identify your niche. What will your readers have in common? Try to narrow their demographics and lifestyle until you have a list of common characteristics.
Do they all like to golf? Do they golf at high-end resorts or budget courses? Do they travel? How old are they? Where do they live? Are they conservative? Are they mostly male or female?
The more specific you can get, the better.
Buy a Domain Name
You need to buy a domain name before you can start your blog. There are a few essential things to remember before hitting that “Buy Now” button on GoDaddy or some other domain name provider.
Try to keep the domain name short. It will be easier to remember and type. Also, watch for copyright infringement. For example, many years ago, I was involved with a company called B Strong Bread. We had to be extremely careful to avoid any affiliation or confusion with Lance Armstrong’s Foundation, LiveStrong.
Design Your Blog
The design of your website is crucial to its success. Choose a theme for your blog carefully.
Some things are difficult to change once you start. For example, the theme you choose will impact the font styles, colors, and layout of your blog. You want a blog that is easy to navigate with a logical menu. Most blog menus include “Home,” “About,” “Contact,” and more. There is usually a search area, so readers can search for keywords.
Spend some time reviewing the blogs of other successful bloggers and apply what you like from their website to your own.
Create Incredible Content
Now it’s time to create some content—but not just average content. There’s nothing worse than posting something that no one reads. It’s an incredible waste of time!
Your words need to engage your readers! You want to make them laugh, cry, think, and learn, and want more. Your content should make readers love your blog so much that they share it with others. Your story and topics need to be compelling enough to keep their attention and bring them back time and time again.
If you struggle in this area, take some writing workshops to enhance your skills. Also, make sure you use strong keywords and follow some proven blog formats, such as list posts and pillar content. You can learn a ton about how to write effective blog posts right here on this site.
Post Your Content in Smart Places
Once you click that “Publish” button, your blog is out there for the world to see, and you want to help the world see it! Share your site and individual blog posts anywhere that will attract your audience.
Think about posting the URL to your site or a post on your Facebook page, in Facebook groups, and on Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Medium, Reddit, and so on. Spread your blog like a virus.
Also, repost each blog post several times, maybe a couple of weeks apart. Encourage your friends to share it and watch your platform grow.
Build Your Social Media Presence
Speaking of social media, you’ll need to build your social media presence. That means, if you don’t have social media accounts, create them, and start using them.
Be prepared at first to spend a good deal of time on your social media sites building your audience. You should post on Facebook and Instagram regularly—some say several times per day—and on other sites at least once per day. You will also need to respond to comments or inquiries.
This new-blogger checklist will get you started on the road to blogging success, but remember that blogging is a process. Just when you think you figure something out, it will change, and you’ll need to adjust. Technology continually evolves, as do SEO tactics and the ways we use social media. That means you need to stay on top of trends and continuously learn and apply what you learn. Don’t allow yourself to get too comfortable, or you’ll never reach the goals you set at the beginning of your blogging journey.
Are you just starting out as a blogger? Share your blogging goals in a comment below—and please share this post with anyone starting a blog.
About the Author
Beth Bauer is a freelance writer, travel blogger, yoga instructor, and entrepreneur currently working on her third novel. She has traveled to over 20 countries in just the last two years and enjoys life as a digital nomad. She is originally from the Pacific Northwest of the U.S.A., and when she’s home lives on the Long Beach Peninsula with her dog, Ozzie.