Start your blog with confidence! Suitable for veteran bloggers and complete newbies alike, this guide covers the basic building blocks of creating a blog, from niche and target audience to design and hosting.
Find Your Niche
The first step to creating a blog is simple: finding your niche. This may change over time, but a solid, well-defined starting point is essential. A great resource is How To Choose A Niche For Your Blog, which covers a long list of profitable niches. Most important, though, is picking a niche you have a genuine interest in – an interest you can sustain in the weeks, months and years it takes to build a successful blog.
Your niche should be based on a topic you:
- have a natural interest in
- have an authority to speak on, some degree of expertise, or even a professional/educational interest in
- want to learn more about
Research Your Target Audience
So, you know what you’re writing about – now you need to know who you’re writing for. Your target audience is your ideal reader. It may help to create a mental picture of your reader.
Ask these questions to clarify your target audience:
- How old are they?
- Where do they live?
- What are their likes and dislikes? What is their biggest concern? What problems do they face? Identify a few pain points – and, when you are writing your blog, consider ways you can provide them with valuable solutions.
- What level of education do they have? What is their occupation? What are their career goals and ambitions for the future? Will it be appropriate to use jargon, or formal language, or write as you speak?
- What are their political beliefs? Are they open minded to different opinions? Are they looking for a balanced world view, or information that supports their perspective?
- What other blogs do they read, if any? Analyse your competitors, from successful blogs to other newcomers, and identify ways you can provide a unique variety of content.
Aesthetics & Design
The design of your website will have a huge impact on your success. Your blog doesn’t need to do everything at once – if anything, it is better to start small and expand as you gain experience – but it should be easy to read, navigate, and be visually appealing to your readers. These 6 Tips For A Great Blog Layout are helpful points for consideration.
When it comes to blog design, you should ask yourself:
- Which colours represent your blog?
- How will you categorise your content?
- Will you use stock images, personal photography, or create your own graphics? How will you ensure your graphics and photographs are high-quality?
- Will you include an about page, FAQ, homepage, contact page, and product pages?
- How will you ensure your blog is optimised for search engines and sharing? This is related to your content writing as well as your website design. Google prioritises websites with a great user experience!
Hosting & Domain Name
The most important step involved in creating a blog is picking a site name, domain, and website host. If you’re new to blogging and taking it up as a hobby, you’re probably going to want to opt for a simpler deal with a free blog.
When considering your hosting options, you might like to consider:
- your budget
- the time commitment you can make
- your level of IT/technological literacy
I personally use WordPress with the premium theme, which makes the whole process relatively simple on my side and allows me to focus on the front end of the blog. Considering WordPress? Help support Copy&Bake by signing up through my referral link.
If you are looking to have more control, you might want to consider setting up hosting and domains yourself. A Total Beginner’s Guide To Website Hosting is a great guide for learning the basics of website hosting.