The perfect time to have a Baby is never. If you wait until you are really ready to launch your blog, there will no longer be a thing called a blog.
You can start a blog and simply keep the posts ‘private’ for now meaning nobody but you can see them. Get your blog up and running with a few posts and a basic setup now, the ‘exposed for all the world to see‘ part can come later.
That beings said, I did a ton of lurking in the shadows of the blogosphere before I realized I did know what I was doing. I once paid a ‘financial adviser’ only to realize I had already surpassed him in financial know how.
The First thing you need to do is establish the gameplan for WHAT your blog is going to be about. There are lots of blogs out there.
The Big Personal Question is; Why are you doing this?
If you are going to start a blog with the ultimate goal of making money then you need to think about a theme that is both wide in its appeal and one you are either knowledgeable of or at least passionate about.
If your blog is for you and some like minded people with an emphasis on collectively listening to the beat of your own drummer, then your topic choice is literally whatever you want it to be.
This difference strikes me as a lot like Tattoos, some people get them for themselves and don’t care that you might never see them while other people seem to only wear shirts with strategic gaps in the material so all may marvel at their ink.
I find myself more towards the first camp. I blog about what I want to blog about and will therefore never make the Big Bucks, that is not my goal, but to each his own.
The Second thing you need to do is go to WordPress.com. There are other platforms, but this is the predominant one and the one I feel qualified to talk about. The simple version of a blog is free, later on your can upgrade, but there is no need to do that right out of the gate.
The Third thing you need to do is to get a domain name. This is very important. My blog is personal so I chose OthalaFehu. This makes me unique but hard to pronounce and the average Joe will likely keep on surfing without ever really getting to the bottom of what makes OthalaFehu tick.
If I wanted to have a popular blog I would have gone with MoneyViking.
The point is, keep it catchy, keep it short, keep it yours.
If you are a teenage boy seeking dating advice, do you click on PantiesBeDroppin or TheFlacidToad? Domain names matter. Go ahead and stay on WordPress dot com until you know you are serious, but eventually you will need to ‘step-up’ and pay for your own domain name.
When you are ready, check out SiteGround(affiliate link). I like them so much they are my one and only affiliate link.
The Fourth thing you do to start a blog is pick a Theme for your WordPress blog. There are a lot of fancy ones are only available upon a paid upgrade, but there are plenty of suitable free ones. Try one or two out until you find a Theme that works for you. I blindly chose Hemingway rewritten and have never felt the need to change up.
The Fifth thing you need to do is to pick a tone for your blog. A consistent attitude goes along way towards establishing your internet personality. Are you going to be a wisecracking smart-ass, or a dry ‘Just the Facts Mam‘ writer?
Giving a Voice to your writing establishes a certain predictability that makes your readers connect with you, they can almost predict what you have to say on a particular topic and it is this underlying relationship with your readers that makes for a strong blog.
The way you tell your stories is as important as the actual stories.
The Sixth thing you need to do is write posts. Here is the meat and potatoes of your blog, strong writing makes for a strong blog. I don’t know how many of ME there are out there, but I write for them none-the-less.
There are way TOO MANY articles like ‘The Top 10 Most Common Currency Denominations‘. I don’t click on these articles, they seem like filler to me. Try to write an original article which actually either gives practical advice or relates an actual experience.
One post that really connects with a potential loyal reader is worth 10 dime a dozen PF articles, IMHO.
The Seventh thing you need to do is edit/decorate your posts. Posts featuring text only are boring and line after line of text without any breaks is mind numbing. Make sure when you start a blog to inject colorful or at least relevant images or charts into your posts.
Humans are visual creatures, give the People what they want.
Pictures can also go a long way to infusing your writing with humor and coolness.
Charts make you seem like you know what you are talking about.
If you use an actual piece of Art, credit the source.
Editing is Crucial.
Coherent, logical thought progression peppered with breaks and topic sentences.
The Eighth thing you need to do is pile up your content. You need to always write more posts. I keep a stable of unpublished posts that are 97% ready to go. An incubator list of semi roughed out ideas for future posts is also a good idea.
I save images that I figure I will use someday because they struck my fancy. I fairly often get the idea for a whole post from looking at pictures. You should also continue to read everybody else’s blog to stay on top of our little corner of the internet.
If you can come up with a type of post that you do periodically with updated info, this is a good foundation upon which you can build your blog. Mine is about my Net Worth, I update it monthly.
The Ninth thing you need to do is make sure your blog is mobile friendly. Tons of people will look at your blog on their phones. This means that while it looks awesome to you on your GIANT screen, it may not work so well on the small scale. Use this site to check your page’s mobile friendliness. Thanks to Do You Even Blog? for this link.
The Last thing you need to do is get the word out. If you start a blog and nobody reads it, do you have a voice? There are some many ways to do this I made a separate set of bullet points;
- Post on other people’s blogs
- Post in forums like; MMM, RockStar, reddit (financial independence), Early Retirement & Financial Independence Community, and Boggleheads to name a few.
- Write a guest post if you think you are up to it
- Try to reply to any comments your blog gets
- Get on twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram
- Be open and friendly, other people will help you
I also have created a list of Common Newbie Mistakes that you should check out before you make the Leap of Faith and start a blog.