Are you passionate about something and want to learn more about it? Blogging is a perfect venue to take what you learn and spread the word through writing about it.
Take my blog, I wanted to learn more about finances – specifically how to get out of debt. I started reading more, finding blogs to gain different perspectives on strategies to get out of debt, and ultimately I developed a plan to get out of debt. I engineered a blog – I created The Grounded Engineer.
I started The Grounded Engineer to write in areas I am passionate about personal finance, technology/entrepreneurship, and sales. Check out my About Me page to learn more.
Blogging provides an avenue for you to express your thoughts and reach an audience of like-minded people. You can connect with people and develop relationships through blogging. I recently met up with some fellow personal finance bloggers and I had a blast. We got to know each other and since the meetup we’ve engaged more on each other’s blog to grow traffic.
How to Start a Blog
So what are the steps you need to take to start a blog?
Pick a topic (a.k.a. Engineer a blog)
Find a host – Bluehost has been rock solid for me.
Pick a domain name
I would also recommend checking out these blogs that have excellent step by step guides.
Next, I’ll elaborate on a few of the steps to get your blog started. I’ll end by discussing some strategies to grow your block traffic.
Picking a topic – Engineer a blog
This is the most important step. You want to have a clear topic that you are going to blog about. Admittedly, this is something that I struggled with at first. I wanted to write about three topics – personal finance, technology, and sales/marketing. However, The Grounded Engineer has been focused solely on personal finance. I may create a technology page at some point, but for now, I focus on personal finance.
Having a clear blog topic will help you target a specific audience that will value your content. If you don’t have a clear topic, you won’t develop an audience that will consistently come to your website. The goal is to find new readers and keep them!
I use Bluehost. They’ve been great. Their customer support has been rock solid the one time I needed to use it. The speed on my site is excellent. Bluehost makes it easy to get up and running safely and securely.
Pick a domain
Please use my link when you sign up to get a free domain name and save $15.
Choosing a domain name can be tricky. You want to think of something creative and unique. But you don’t want to spend forever trying to find the perfect domain or you will never get started! Elicit help from your friends – that is what I did to come up with my domain name!
The next step is to sign into your account and go to hosting -> cpanel.
After you navigate to this page, scroll down to website builders and find the Install WordPress icon.
Create Valuable Content and Market Your Blog
First, make sure you are writing valuable content that others will want to read. From a tactical standpoint, here a few tools I use:
- Grammarly is a nice tool to use to check your grammar. I use the paid version which does a good job of finding sentences that don’t make sense. It’s like having your own proofreader.
- Yoast SEO not only helps boost your search ranking, but it has a readability feature to help you create content that is clear and easy-to-read.
Read other, similar bloggers content and comment. In any business, relationships are key. Begin developing relationships with your fellow bloggers.
Pick one social media platform to start with. Yes, you can use Facebook to get your friends and family connected to your blog – although be careful with this depending on what your blog topic is. But only go “all in” on one platform. I suggest starting with Twitter because you can grow your audience rather quickly. Follow other bloggers – look at their follower list and follow those folks too!
I had an excellent coaching session with Millennail Money Man. To grow your Twitter list, find bloggers that have similar interests that are more established than you are. Go to their page and follow the people that follow them. When you first start out, you can follow up to 1k people before Twitter will stop you from following more people for 24 hours. After a day or two, use an app, I use Unfollow, to unfollow anyone that hasn’t followed you back.
I grew my Twitter follower list to over 5k within a few months. If you are extremely diligent following and unfollowing everday, you can grow your list more quickly than I did.
I used Facebook early on to get my Family and Friends to visit my blog. When you first start your blog, you want to get some traffic and this will help you get some traffic to keep you motivated.
This is the latest app I’ve used to help bolster my traffic. I don’t know much about it to be honest. However, I share one article per day on Stumbleupon and I attract a few hundred pageviews each day. I’ll update this section once I “master” Stumbleupon.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions!