How to Start a Blog in 5 Steps
Eureka! You’ve got a brilliant idea for a blog whose time has come–except you’re not quite sure where to begin. You’ve come to the right place: the Mighty Networks How to Start a Blog mini-course begins here! In this article, we’ll walk you step-by-step through the process of launching a blog.
Whether you want to start a blog in order to build your brand, create a thriving community, gain exposure for your work, or find an outlet for your creative expression, political passions or hobby, a blog enables you to connect with those who share your interests.
In fact, a lot of people make a good living through blogs, as in seven figures a month-good. Perhaps the blog you start will be the next million-dollar-a-month mega-hit.
1. Location. Location. Location.
Everyone knows the three most important matters in real estate are location, location, location. This principle applies to digital real estate, too. When starting a blog, you need to choose a platform. A platform is where you’ll build your blog, and in most cases, it’s also the host or place where your blog will live and be found by hordes of avid fans.
There are a lot of blog platforms to choose from, so to help you make the best decision, we’ll take you through three options: Blogger, WordPress and Mighty Networks.
As one of the oldest blogging platforms on the Internet, Blogger has been in the game since 1999. It was acquired by Google in 2003, which this makes it a relatively secure platform. However, it has not been updated in a long time and its tools are not as intuitive and user-friendly as you would expect from a Google product.
A lot of beginning bloggers are drawn to Blogger because of its promise to host your blog for free. However, this is also something you should think very carefully about because the blogs and content you create on Blogger are not owned by you. They are owned by Google.
According to Blogger’s terms of service, you give Google “a worldwide license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works (such as those resulting from translations, adaptations or other changes we make so that your content works better with our Services), communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content.”
That’s a lot of rights to surrender in exchange for publishing a blog.
A refreshingly intuitive blog platform, Mighty Networks is becoming a major contender in the blogosphere. Whatever you post on your Mighty Network, you own 100%. In addition, Mighty Networks offers a secure environment, and you can access support via email, chat with insiders and other bloggers in the Mighty Hosts community, or find answers fast in the robust resource center.
More importantly, Mighty Networks are designed to connect people with shared interests using the ease and familiarity of an exclusive social network, so building a following is a much easier than using old-school blog platforms, like Blogger and WordPress.
The Mighty Networks platform also appeals to modern bloggers because it empowers you to monetize your blog with speed through subscriptions, events, courses and other engaging activities that allow followers to interact more with your blog and connect on a deeper level. In addition to a free blog plan, Mighty Networks offers the option to choose from two different levels of monthly subscription plans.
WordPress is one of the most widely-used blogging platforms and doesn’t try to lay claim to your content. You can start a blog for free, but it will be extremely limited, so most people opt for one of three monthly subscription plans.
One of the biggest problems with WordPress is that to get the most out of the platform you have to rely heavily on third-party plugins, which opens your site up to vulnerabilities. Although a lot of first-time bloggers may be tempted to go with WordPress because it’s popular, it’s also extremely popular with hackers.
Moreover, because of its perpetual attraction to internet bad guys, it is constantly publishing updates you need to install. If you’re not regularly performing these updates because they are complicated or they slow your blog traffic to a crawl, then you put your blog and users at risk.
In addition, WordPress is notorious for having non-existent customer service. Like Blogger, they force you to search for answers to issues on their user forums. Most people that become frustrated with this process end up paying a third party for premium support, which can get expensive quickly.
2. Name That Blog
Once you’ve chosen a platform, it’s time to choose your blog’s domain name. Ideally, you want a name that is simple for followers to spell, type, and recall. It’s also essential that you choose a name that aligns with the overall values, story, and persona of your blog. For example, Rolling Solo is for women who enjoy solo road trips in their RVs. Of course, if you’re having trouble thinking of a name for your new blog, it’s fun to use a name generator to help spark your creativity.
Once you’ve created a short list of names you love, you will want to check to see if the domain name is available for purchase using a search service like Google Domains, which will tell you if your name is taken, available, or for sale or rent. The cost to purchase a domain name is typically free the first year and around $12 per year afterward. Upon registering and securing your name, you can go to the platform you chose in Step 1 and list it as the official new name for your blog.
3. Build an Eye-Catching Blog
Creating a blog that’s visually compelling is fairly easy to do when you use a blog-building platform like Mighty Networks. Signing up takes less than a minute and once you do, the site walks you through the entire process of setting up and customizing your blog’s look and feel with point-and-click simplicity. Flexible and fun to play with, you can build brand recognition for your blog by incorporating a logo and color scheme throughout your layout.
Mighty Networks enables you to add an array of visuals to your blog posts. The platform accepts all types of files, so you don’t have to worry about spending hours converting images in order to upload and use them.
Adding photos and files and embedding videos and links are as simple as clicking on the corresponding icon. Depending on your budget and brand, there are plenty of places to find both free and stock images for purchase that you can use on your blog.
Additionally, content can be organized, filtered, and categorized by topics. This allows readers to easily search, find and follow posts that speak to their specific areas of interest.
4. Include Engaging Content
Content is the cornerstone upon which all successful blogs are built. It’s critical that you spend the time needed to create high-quality content that not only brings value to your target audience but is written in such a way that people enjoy reading and interacting with your blog on a regular basis.
Here again, Mighty Networks shines because it comes with a Mighty Launch Checklist that goes over all of the different types of content you will want to include, from articles, topics, and member guidelines, to polls, surveys, event invitations, and beyond.
Once you’ve chosen the topics your blog will cover, plan to write a couple of blog posts for each topic in preparation for a soft launch. While it’s tempting to write a single brilliant post and invite folks to come, you run the risk of disappointing people who are on-site and ready to read more but can’t find anything. You never want to appear to be a one-hit wonder.
On that note, you also need to decide how often your blog will publish content. Large corporate blogs with readerships in the millions may publish several posts a day, whereas a smaller business with a few thousand readers may only need to publish once or twice a week.
Your audience will play a major role in determining how often you should be publishing blogs, and their questions and comments are often a goldmine for inspiring future blogs. Lastly, it’s always a good idea to run your content through spellcheck and Grammarly before you publish it.
5. Tell the World About Your Blog
Often before a business hosts a big grand opening event, it will quietly open for a week or two, so that it can check and correct for any issues that might prove harmful to its success during a high-traffic event. We recommend you do the same with your blog. Before you introduce your entire social network to your blog, invite a few trusted friends to visit and give it a good once-over, informing you of any issues they encounter or content they feel misses the mark or an opportunity.
Once you have received their input and made all necessary changes, you’re ready for the big launch. Mighty Networks makes the process of inviting people to your blog a quick and painless affair by allowing you to import contacts and CSV files and send invitations with links that allow people to instantly follow your blog.
In addition to sending personal invitations, you’ll want to post about your big launch across all social networks that are pertinent to your audience, like LinkedIn, Twitter, Nextdoor, Facebook, Instagram, etc.
Start Your Blog, Today
Now that you know how to start a blog, you can click here and begin taking steps toward fulfilling your big blog dreams with Mighty Networks.
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