I’m really not into giving people lot’s of options.
It’s my job as a thinker and tech geek to filter OUT the options and recommend something that is easy and that will also allow you to expand later should the need arise.
If you’re a blogger just getting started on the interwebs, the general strategy outlined below will serve you well in the short, and long-term.
Want more guidance and easy to understand tips like the ones below?
The best strategy for new bloggers
If I was just getting started as a new blogger this is exactly what I would do:
1. Decide what your blog is about and what you have to offer that is unique.
Focus on what really gets you excited naturally.
If you’re going to be publishing regularly you’re just creating trouble for yourself and you’ll only be adding to the noise on the internet if you don’t find something you’re passionate about.
Do not be tempted to focus on too many things as a way of attracting more visitors.
If you sell to everybody you sell to no-one.
If you’re passionate about fountain pens, or raising Pigeons then by god, make that your primary focus.
If you love Soccer, make your blog about that only.
By making your focus too general you commit some major marketing mistakes:
- Not being true to yourself
- Needing to be liked
- Trying to appeal to everyone
Once you have your focus clear you could jot out some headlines for posts.
Make it fun and let the title do a lot of the work.
- 10 things I hate about lists
- 58 places to go skiing in Poland
- How to take photos that your friends will be jealous of
- How to rear rainbow fish as therapy
And other serious topics. Next…
2. Decide on a domain name
This decision is very much driven by the first section but generally speaking you have two options:
- A brand or keyword domain name like coolsoccer.com or freakypies.org or madgenius.net etc.
- Your own name such as daveweckl.com or razalguel.com or gaymickeymouse.org. (Don’t choose that last one, Disney will sue your ass)
You can use this awesome fast domain search tool to find which ones are available.
3. Get a free WordPress.com account here
Login to your WordPress dashboard, go to Appearance >> Themes and activate a theme that is nice and simple.
I recommend a traditional blog style format with the article summaries on the home page. Just like this site!
4. Create an about me page
Go to Pages >> Add New and create a new page called “About”. Upload an image of yourself and share some of your story and what you’re passionate about.
Learn more about writing a great about page here.
5. Create your navigation Menus
From your dashboard, go to Appearance >> Menus and make your about page one of the main links at the top of your site.
More on how to control WordPress menus here.
6. Create a title and tagline
Go to Settings >> General and enter a title and tagline into the fields.
The title can be different to the domain name but the tagline is worth spending some time on as it does a lot more work than the title in many ways.
Your tagline should ideally make it instantly clear both what you are about and who your site is for.
Some great examples (off the top of my head):
- Helping engineers from the state of Texas find love
- Soccer seen through the eyes of an immature janitor
- A hippie mom creating watercolor art from the tears of her children
You can also fill out more of your personal details on the general settings and profile pages.
7. Add your domain to your WordPress.com website.
After you first sign-up for a free account, the URL of your website will be something like yourusername.wordpress.com
Adding a domain to your site will mean your site will be accessible from http://yourdomain.com.
Why is this a good thing?
- It gives you an extra boost of cred power
- If and when you decide to upgrade to a self-hosted WordPress site (due to massive popularity hopefully) you won’t need to muck around with redirecting your pages. The transition will be smooth.
To do this, go to Store >> Store and in the Add a Domain area, click Buy Now.
Then enter your domain and click Add Domain to Blog.
Fill out all your details on the following page and pay the fees. It will be $18 per year from then on.
8. Start publishing!
From here you should refer to some of your inspired headlines and start writing your first post.
Keep it brief and fun and remember to write the way you speak.
For help with writing your first post, including uploading images, and adding video, check out this post.
For a more detailed look at WordPress publishing go to:
9. Share with your friends
Once you have some content you are happy with, the first thing you should do is share your new site with your friends and family.
When you’re first starting it’s vitally important to get feedback from a warm crowd.
People you know personally are more invested in you and will most likely leave comments as well. This gives you a good feeling about your project and gets you off to a strong start.
From there you can expand to Twitter or whatever other social networks take your fancy.
Have you just started blogging?
Post your new site below with any questions you might have and we will check it out.