First, quit your job. Not really, that’s probably the last thing that you’d want to do. Maintaining a blog requires a lot of effort. Since I started my new job just two days ago, I feel as though it has become more difficult to maintain a blog. Especially trying to maintain one that provides timely information has proven challenging. Either way, after spending the past few months blogging, I have come to realize what is most important to making your blog successful. Below are 5 steps to get you started. I will provide more in the future.
- Pick a niche - This is the most important step in starting your blog. The more specific a niche, the better. This blog has a very broad niche (primarily, what’s new in internet technology). As a result I will have to post more frequently, for a longer duration before my blog catches on.
- Pick a domain - You need to have a memorable domain for users to return. Pick a domain that is preferably related to the topic you are blogging about.
- Create a design - In order to be considered a unique blog, you need a unique design. Try to design the site yourself to save some money. Otherwise, you might need to find a designer. In reality, this step can arguably be skipped depending on the content you are providing. There are plenty of highly successful blogs that are using common templates. I tend to think that having a unique design is good for branding so I like to include this step.
- Start blogging - It’s time to get going. You need to make a habit out of blogging if you want any chance of success. Blogging is like working out. You won’t see any results unless you do it frequently and consistently.
- Find new content - Finding things to write about can be challenging. Just like writer’s block, there is blogger’s block. The best way to find new content is from other blogs. That’s the best part about blogging. You can elaborate on other people’s content to make it your own. A few good places to start finding blogs is Technorati and Google Blogsearch. Additionally, bloggers link to other bloggers, so you can more often than not find great links on each blog. As you find new blogs, remember to subscribe to their RSS feeds so you don’t need to keep coming back to their site. This is critical. The best bloggers read the most blogs. Robert Scoble claims to read over 1,000 blog entries a day. I tend to read at least 400. The more content you have filling your mind, the more you have to write about.
This is obviously a starting point for bloggers. As I learn more about blogging I will share new lessons with my readers. If you have anything to share, please leave a comment so we can learn from each other. The most important thing to remember when blogging is that it takes time. There is a great quote from Paul Allen that I got from Darren Rowse’s article “Overnight Blogging Success”:
My brother Curt, founder of Folio Corp, former CEO of MyFamily.com, and current CEO of Agilix, a venture-backed company, is fond of saying telling how his company was going to be an overnight success‚Ä¶after 10 years of hard work.
I believe that the single most important key to success in an online venture is doing the little things day after day for years and years until you magically reach the tipping point and everyone seems to have heard of you. In other words, persistence is required for most successful ventures.‚Äô