How to Start a Professional Blog in 6 Steps
If you’ve ever browsed around cool blogs and wondered about creating your own, but you’re not sure where to start, this guide is for you.
Before you choose a specific field or topic that really interests you. You don't need to be an expert but you should at least be somewhat passionate about it - after all, you will be spending a lot of time with the niche moving forward.
If you’ve got an area of interest nailed down, but you still need a small push, here are some reasons why you should start blogging:
- Writing enhances your communication skills. The process involves turning thoughts into understandable words and structured ideas.
- You can become an expert on a topic and always stay up-to-date on it.
- Blogging will help to grow your network. You can build new connections with other collaborators, who are both interesting and useful.
- You can make money. If you write on a regular basis and your content is valuable, you can find sponsors that are willing to pay you to mention their brand.
- You will help your audience. By sharing your knowledge others can learn new things or be entertained.
The most important is that you focus on the ideas, let us help with the rest. These next 6 steps will introduce you to the blogging world smoothly.
1. Find the perfect niche for your blog
You might have heard the sweet spot concept before. In blogging this refers to the intersection between your passion, your audience´s needs, and your skills. Identify this sweet spot, and you’ve found your niche. ´
Don´t worry if you are still working on your skills, as we mentioned before: blogging will actually help you build know-how along the way.
Meeting your audience’s needs with useful content can be translated into money in the future.
Unless you’re writing “for your own health” as it were, you should make sure that the content you put out is relevant to your audience. If you still have a broad topic you can use BuzzSumo to find trends around it, so that you can base your blog on in-demand topics.
We can’t reiterate enough to make sure that you enjoy writing about the topic you’ve chosen. Your audience will be waiting for more content, and even if you aren't in the mood you will need to make space to work on it.
Once you find your sweet spot, continue on with the next step of setting up.
2. Setup your blog
Don´t worry if you are not a coding expert, setting up your blog is a matter of choosing a user-friendly blogging platform and a domain. Some examples of platforms are Wordpress, Tumblr, Blogger, Intellyo and Medium.
If you aren’t familiar with the concept of a blogging platform, think of it as a website or software where you publish your content online. For instance, Intellyo’s Creator Engine is a workspace to store your content and publish it.
A domain is the name of your blog, and the address where others can find it. It looks like this: www.yourblog.com
We suggest building your blog on Wordpress. It is the most common platform for bloggers thanks to its easy usability and its professional themes.
To get started, go to BlueHost or GoDaddy and start your registration. You can pick the basic pack for $2.75. After you pay, the site will suggest some themes, choose the one that you consider the best fit for your blog.
After selecting your favorite theme, you can customize your site with your own images, subpages, and descriptions.
I bet you’re really jazzed to start. But before writing your first post, continue reading our further recommendations.
3. Know your audience and competitors
If you want to create valuable content, first you should check what your audience demands. Running a quick search on Quora can provide you with some ideas. To find the queries of a specific topic just type www.quora.com/topic/yourtopic
After understanding your audience’s needs, you can take a look at what have others had written to get inspired.
SEMrush is a great research tool to check on your competitors. Just copy the top 10 results on Google, paste each link into the SEMrush browser and look for the domain. Check their keywords and use them to compose your article.
Make the content unique and original, by giving the information a twist and adding value with a different approach or with your own style.
If you want to differentiate your blog and position yourself to beat your competitors, check our post How to write a better blog post than your competitor.
4. Make a content calendar
Once you've gathered ideas from the audience and competitors, you should be able to write down a draft of potential topics. To organize future contents try to make a content calendar with the following fields:
- Potential topics
- Competitors’ blog posts
- Deadlines and responsible
- Status (in progress, in revision or published)
To avoid doing it manually in a Google Drive file you can try our automatic and free Creator Engine tool.
5. Use social media and join blogger groups
As your blog is brand-new, it’s not likely that people will find it out of the blue. You can use social media for driving traffic to your new blog.
First, update your blog link in your personal accounts, such as Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin. Second, collaboration is key to building a network and learning from other bloggers.
Here are some helpful Facebook groups you can join to get started:
- Bloggers Promotion
- Boost your blog
- Bloggers hub
- Bloggers insights
- Blogging network
These spaces are designed to share your blog and ask for tips or to drive traffic. Normally, users are willing to help but don’´t forget to return the favor! You give what you get, so maintaining relationships to collaborate on future occasions is crucial.
6. Use analytics tools to build a better performing blog
After posting a few articles you can run a performance analysis. Google Analytics is a good tool to track the number of visitors to your blog, demographics, and traffic sources.
As you are getting started, we suggest using the data given by the analytics tools to refine your strategy. In other words, to better define your audience and check which topics had more visitors.
Google Analytics also helps to track traffic sources. Identify the best performing channel and invest more time on building your media output here.
Building a quality blog is a continuous process. Every new post means new topic research, creation, distribution and analytics. That takes time and effort, so we strongly recommend above everything else, that you focus on a topic you are passionate about.
Good news is that you are already on board! Now, remember that higher traffic means greater opportunities to monetize your blog. To learn about strategies to drive traffic, check out our article on How to Increase Website Traffic - The Beginner's Guide To Off-Page SEO.