In the 21st century, traditional forms of publishing have been brought to their knees by blogging. The wonderful thing about blogging is that anyone can do it, but not everyone can do it successfully.
Before you start putting your thoughts into the blogosphere, however, there is a method to blogging that will help you organize your posts, attract and maintain advertisers and track your site’s financial progress.
Register a Domain and Host your site
How it works: First you need a domain name. This works by selecting a domain registrar and essentially paying a fee for the name of your site and the space you will be occupying online. Think of it like paying a parking meter.
What you need to do: You may have a perfect name for your blog. Chances are that if it’s too perfect, it could be taken. Even if the name of your blog does not appear in a search, it’s possibly someone could be squatting (paying to keep the name off the market) just waiting for someone who wants that space to pay a premium. This is especially risky if the domain name you selected is straightforward, i.e. AtlantaBusinessBlogger or MomSays.
What you can do: Try different extensions. The most typical extension is “.com.” Check to see if “.net,” “.info” and “.org” are available before brainstorming a new domain name.
Once you’ve got your domain name, you will need a web hosting. Finding a good web hosting is not an easy job, maybe take a look to this article about the top 25 web hosting companies.
Design your Website
How it works:
Unless you’re a professional website designer, it’s best to use an open source blogging platform like WordPress. This content management system (CMS) has more than 1,500 themes plus scores of plugins and widgets that can help you increase readership, improve your site’s search engine performance and simplify interaction with readers.
What you need to do: Sign up. WordPress is mostly free. Certain premium tools and upgrades are fee-based.
Benefits: There is a theme for almost any kind of blog and WordPress is easy for even the most novice blogger to operate. If you have a question, you can typically find an answer in their online knowledgebase or by contacting the helpdesk.
You will have a blast updating your blog for the first two or three months. Then it will become work – like anything else. One way to keep yourself motivated to constantly post useful content that attracts new and dedicated readers is by earning money for your labor.
What to do: Be sure the right businesses are seeing your blog by emailing a link to anyone who could possibly want to advertise. Put an “Advertise here” link on your website.
WP152 is a WordPress plug-in that show advertisers you are interested in working with them while also helping to manage your ads so you can spend more time populating your site with useful content.
Content is King
One thing you will notice about top read blogs is that they update frequently and have a stable of knowledgeable writers. Unless the purpose of your blog is primarily to showcase your art or publicize a project like a novel, you will want to assign stories to reporters who are experts in your field.
What to do: Once you have a staff of writers, you’ll want to streamline your incoming and outgoing invoices. Failure to keep your financials organized will make tax time more difficult.
The software can also help you keep track of advertising dollars and operating costs, from materials and supplies to conference fees, all of which can help you stay up to date on running a small online business and informed of changes in your field. And the more your blog grows, Xero has add-ons that can help you stay on top of your rapidly expanding enterprise.