Things You Need To Know Before Launching A Blog

Recently I  launched this website and it got me to thinking that a great article would be to explain all the things you need to know before launching a blog.  I have had other WordPress based websites before this one, though this was a unique, “from the ground up” experience.  If I can point you in the right direction based on my experience, then I’m glad to share my experience with you and hope it helps.  Here is a list of tips which may keep you from hitting any walls or coming up against any deal-breakers that end your blogging career early.

 Things You Need To Know Before Launching A Blog – Tip # 1:  Do Your Research Before Selecting A Website Host

If you have never run your own website before, then you will be in for a steep learning curve.  Especially when it comes to back-end operations with your website host.  I can tell you that in my personal experience, having somebody reliable to talk to without delay is worth it’s weight in gold when you are doing the initial website setup.  When selecting a website host, do a search of the company, read reviews (though take them with a grain of salt, one unfavorable review does not a poor company make) and look for forums.  Start to gauge what the costs are and break down what services are covered in the costs.  Very quickly you will begin to see what separates one host from another, with some companies charging without delay for “extra” services, which take very little service to actually complete.  The company I went with had excellent reviews and more importantly was somewhat local.  What I realized early on was that if I had a problem with my site, I didn’t want to be trying to call or chat with someone on another continent and adding a whole other list of variables to contend with.  Plus, I like to support local economy, though that’s my own preference.  I experienced several issues right out of the gate, mostly due to my inexperience.  The company I went with had an array of plugins to choose from for WordPress installations, as well as many video tutorials for initial start-up.  I found this very helpful.  Still, I ran into problems on occasion that required personalized assistance.  The company offered live chat for assistance(with immediate response time).  One of the things you need to know before launching a blog is that at some point, you are going to need hands-on assistance in real-time, unless you want to bump around in the darkness for days at a time.

 Things You Need To Know Before Launching A Blog – Tip # 2:  Domain Names Are Not As Important As They Used To Be

In what I like to think of as the “Wild West” era of the .com days, names really mattered.  This was also before search engines such as Google made life easier by providing the best information to you in a quick search.  With the sheer number of websites today, it is much more likely that a person will end up at your site the first time through a Google search, or a link from another site, than through a direct entry into the address bar.  Obviously, a domain name does still count.  When picking a domain name, try and keep it focused on the topic your site will cover.  Also don’t over-think the name and come up with something maybe just a little “too hip”, as you may find it goes over your reader’s heads and you can potentially miss viewers.  Don’t make the name too long either (I believe I’m pushing the maximum with this site’s domain name).  You can go out and spend a fortune to purchase a domain name you want, though nowadays branding for a blogger is as much about content (if not more) as it is about a domain name.

Things You Need To Know Before Launching A Blog

 Things You Need To Know Before Launching A Blog – Tip # 3: Your Contentment Management System Choice Matters

If you are new to blogging, you are going to understand the importance of picking the right content management system for your own personal needs very quickly.  I will have to say that my bias is to WordPress.  As a result, I also believe my own knowledge and actual exposure to other content management systems is too limited to fairly comment on them.  Instead, I will offer up a link to this article and let you decide for yourself and in the meantime discuss some of the universal needs you may have, regardless of the content management system you choose to go with.  One of the needs you will have if a first time blogger is ease of use.  Why I recommend WordPress is for this reason alone (I will say no more to sway you, as everyone has their own feelings on WordPress).  You should consider that any site builder which compliments with simple plugins, creating an overall automated effect and general ease of use is definitely a choice you want to make.  As a budding blogger, you will have enough to contend with in reaching your goal of getting the site up and running.  Don’t make your life more difficult by trying to learn more at once than you have to.  Other considerations will be styling and increased functionality.  The key to success as a new blogger is to balance customization and responsiveness with ease of use.  If you are not someone who knows how to code and doesn’t know what HTML is, then the more basic your site is, the better.  At least initially.  You can always make tweaks, or even overhaul your site once you’ve managed to build an audience.  Crawl before you walk.

Things You Need To Know Before Launching A Blog – Tip # 4: Understanding SEO Is The Key To Traffic

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is where a website success can be won or lost.  If you are going to spend your time learning something, it will be this.  If you are going to spend a lot of time creating new posts, you better know how to present them in a way that will get them ranked as high as possible by Google and other search engines.  Search engine optimization is a bit of an art, though once you have the fundamentals in place, you will begin to understand how you can tweak your articles for better results.  File this idea under the “work smarter, not harder” category.  Done right, you will eventually have consistent solid numbers in the way of daily traffic to your site.

Things You Need To Know Before Launching A Blog – Tip # 5:  Content Is King

You can have the prettiest looking website in the world and it won’t make any difference to your traffic stats, if you don’t add consistent quality content at regular intervals.  The only way to do so is by making a habit  of writing everyday, at scheduled times.  The main reason why most new blogs fail is that they simply lack the draw of regular, quality content that will attract loyal visitors.  The other critical piece of information regarding content that I will offer is understanding the difference between writing an article that has very little traffic, or perhaps spikes initially, then fades as opposed to writing an article filled with evergreen content.  Writing articles about timeless, fundamental ideas, as well as writing for the beginner or from the point of view of an expert on a topic will allow your article to gain traction and have the popularity of the article only build over time.

These are few tips that I believe to be critical takeaways for anyone considering a future in blogging.  Please consider this article as a jumping off point to do even more research of your own, as knowledge is power and having autonomy is a wonderful thing.

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