Starting a blog can seem like a daunting task, but it really doesn’t have to be. If you have a good idea, go ahead and start writing. Don’t cramp your creative style! But there is so much more to a blog than a great idea, although that is what it takes to start.
Here we have broken down the high-level steps to creating a successful personal brand and blog:
Step One: Develop a Domain
No pressure, but coming up with a domain name is pretty important. You want to brainstorm A LOT because this really will be the center of your self-branding.
Your domain the first impression you will give people of what is to come with your writing. For example, if you’re starting a food/cooking blog, a domain name related to sports probably doesn’t make the most sense.
This seems like common thought, but people can get wrapped up in an idea and can really benefit from an outside perspective. Ask other people who know you well or don’t know you at all what they think about your domain concepts.
Additionally, ask others what other words the domain name makes them think about. You’ll find that there can be negative connotations to almost any word, theme or concept. Lemon, for instance, has both positive (lemons into lemonade) and negative (that car is a total lemon!) connotations.
Research and strategy will help you land on the perfect domain name. Keep in mind, the one you choose may not be available, which is why a final list will really help you out.
Once you have your final list of domain names, it’s time to start exploring WordPress!
Step Two: Answering the question – what the heck is WordPress and Why does Citrus exclusively use it?
I must say, WordPress is a personal favorite. At times, it can be a love-hate relationship – but overall WordPress is easy to use and can make for a successful blog that pairs perfectly with content marketing. While it’s not super user-friendly for amateurs, if you have a great developer on hard, like we do, it’s the obvious choice for inbound marketing.
Let me just say, I am not a web developer and (probably) never will be. I write in English, not code! If this sounds like you too, have no fear.
WordPress allows you to work in the back end of a website with ease, it’s actually similar to Microsoft Word. Once you learn a few tricks, the management of your blog is extremely easy.
WordPress allows literary minds to show off their stuff and has free (truly free) options. WordPress is a one-stop-shop for your blog. You can create your domain right in WordPress, and continue setting up by choosing a general layout and style for your website. These steps are pretty self-explanatory while going through them – and WordPress has a pretty good support system if you find that you need help!
#ProTip: According to our friend, Nick Borelli, from Borelli Strategies: “WordPress has earned a reputation as being one of the most hacked Content Management Software Platforms.” Make sure to use an extremely intricate user name/password combo and change them regularly.
With WordPress, bloggers can add in capabilities such as WooCommerce, an e-commerce plugin to your site for free as well. This allows maximum flexibility with what you can do with your site. The possibilities are endless!
Step Three: Adding Content
#ProTip: you can never have too much content. It all just matters how you organize it.
A constant goal of your blog is to generate traffic. If it isn’t, you should reconsider starting a blog! You want people to go to your website to read and explore what you have to say. Wow them right away. Let your audience know that when they are on your page, they you deliver content that they actually want to read. This applies to your blog if your main purpose is blogging or e-commerce.
Something to think about before creating your blog in WordPress is how much content you have and how you’d like to categorize all of your thoughts. You should take the time to get a substantial amount of content in order before launching.
We like to simultaneously produce a massive amount of blog content while our clients’ websites are being developed… why? so that we have a large collection of content to choose from upon launching.
Think about categories you want your blog to cover and how they represent and reinforce what your company offers. Before the site even exists, identify your content categories and come up with ideas that fit your vision.
Step Four: Get your word out there!
Think about how you want to promote your blog. The easiest, and also most effective way, is social media. It takes some effort and time to get your social media pages off the ground, but once you do, it is totally worth it. It might make sense for you to promote some of your posts on Facebook.
Asking friends and family to follow you on social media is great, but promoting posts is a low cost way to directly reach your target audience.
You can choose some demographics that you want to target, depending on age, location, interests, etc. Something we like to do is ask our clients to tell us of a specific individual who fits their demo. We use this data to boost blog content to like-minded people. This is something you could commit to strongly at the start and then adjust depending on the performance of the page.
Step Five: Launch Time
There’s a lot that goes into launching a blog. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Identify successful bloggers and resources that you can reach out to. Keep all of these steps in mind, and dedicate time to each of them for maximum success.
And if you ever need help producing content… you can always reach out to us!