SKIP AHEAD TO:
GET STARTED NOW
Starting a blog can be a great way to express yourself, hone your writing skills, and even make a profit. But, what will you write about? To get started, consider the following three questions:
- What are your interests?
- What are your goals?
- What do people want to read?
What Are Your Interests?
The most important thing to consider when choosing a blog topic is what you are interested in writing about. While you need not be an expert in a particular field, you should at least care about the subject you choose to explore on your blog. If you are not passionate about your blog’s topic, your readers won’t be either.
To get started, you can look for inspiration in a number of places:
- Your job
- Your hobbies
- The media you consume
- Your personal experiences
- Your local area
- The communities you belong to
What Are Your Blogging Goals?
Many people blog for their own enjoyment, simply looking to share their thoughts with whoever is interested in reading them. If your blog is your own personal passion project, there is more flexibility when it comes to choosing your topic.
However, if you’re interested in profiting from your blog, you will need to consider what topic has the best chance of garnering a large audience and a high volume of page views.
What Are Potential Readers Interested In?
While your personal interests are the best place to start, the most successful and profitable blogs also manage to shape their ideas to maximize appeal and readership. To do so you’ll need to consider not only what you like to write, but what other people like to read. No matter how talented you are when it comes to writing, without the right subject and strategy it will be very difficult to attract an audience.
There are a number of factors to consider when gauging reader interest. These include:
- Your target demographic
- Popular keyword searches
- Popular blog formats
Find Your Niche
While you may have a topic in mind that interests you, fits your long-term goals, and appeals to a large number of readers, you also need to consider your competition. If your topic is too broad, you are likely to become lost in a sea of competing content.
Once you’ve got your broad topic in mind, think about how you can put your own unique spin on it. If you can create your own niche or offer a new perspective, you will be much more likely to attract and keep readers.
When it comes to selecting the perfect name for your blog, the best approach is to start simple. The purpose of your blog’s title is to inform and attract. While a catchy title can be extremely effective when done properly, your blog name must first and foremost tell readers what to expect when they arrive at your site.
Since a blog is a web-based publication, it is also critical to consider that the name of your blog will also become your URL. This is how people will reach you, so you need to be sure that your blog’s name still makes sense when the words are strung together into your web address.
To get started you’ll need to answer three important questions:
- What is your blog about?
- Who are you writing for?
- What is your tone?
What Is Your Blog About?
Understanding what your blog is truly about - raising a family of adopted children, fantasy football expertise, rebuilding classic cars - is a vital step when choosing the right name. The name of your blog is the first indication of what readers can expect to find when they visit your page. A name that accurately reflects the topics within will help bring the right people to your site.
Who Are You Writing For?
Once you’ve narrowed down your topic and determined what you hope to accomplish with your blog, it should be fairly easy to identify your target audience. Knowing your audience will help you choose a name that is most appealing to them. If your target audience is part of your own social or professional circles, running some ideas past your friends and colleagues can help narrow down your list.
What Is Your Tone?
The tone of your blog is the voice or personality you bring to your writing. Your tone should be based on your subject matter, your audience, and your purpose.
If you plan to provide serious, professional advice, your writing style should reflect this. Similarly, a blog meant to entertain should have a tone appropriate to that goal. The name of your blog sets the tone and lets readers know what to expect from your content.
Other Things to Consider
While considerations like topic, audience, and tone are essential to choosing a great name for your blog, there are also several more practical things to consider before finalizing your selection.
- Availability of the URL
- Trademark infringement
- How it sounds when spoken
- How it looks in URL form
Check to see if your name is available with the search box below.
To get your blog up and running you will need to choose a hosting service and page builder. We recommend using GoDaddy Website Builder. Getting your blog set up with GoDaddy Website Builder is easy and straightforward. Their website offers an informative and intuitive step by step process to get you started.
This service is free to start, with a 1-month trial. After the first month, you can purchase the personal plan for just $5.99 per month or the standard business plan for $9.99 per month. If you want to sell things right from your site, the ecommerce plan is $19.99 per month.
For this course, we recommend the Business Plan.
When you start your blog with GoDaddy Website Builder, you will not be billed for your first month of service. This gives you the opportunity to try out the service and be sure you’re happy with the results before you commit. You will not need to enter your credit card and can cancel any time within the first month at no cost.
GoDaddy Website Builder has a few different levels of service, with features including:
- Editing tools
- Mobile functionality
- SSL security
- 24/7 support
- PayPal button
- Search engine optimization
- Email marketing
- Google My Business service
- Yelp listing
- Social media account integration
- Online appointments
Customizing Your Website
Even if you’re a novice designer, the tools are straightforward and easy to use, giving your blog a well-designed, professional appearance. These features and tools include:
- Drag and drop page building
- Customizable themes
- Image editing
- Page backup and restore
- Drop-down menus
- Promo banners
- Contact forms
- Image library
- Password-protected pages
After you’ve designed your site and written your first blog post, you can publish it with just a few clicks. GoDaddy Website Builder makes it easy to add new content and features as your blog grows. You can edit your blog at any time from anywhere. Over time you may want to add additional features, such as an online store, custom menus, and more. This can be done easily at any time.
While there is no doubt that the quality of your blog’s content is paramount to your success, many underestimate the importance of design when it comes to attracting readers. An attractive and easy-to-navigate blog is much more likely to succeed than one that is sloppy and unprofessional.
Consider Your Content and Style
The subject of your blog and your writing style should both be taken into consideration when making design decisions. Certain topics lend themselves better to particular layouts, colors, and other style choices.
Pick a Premade Theme or Design Your Own
Unless you have strong web design and coding skills, it is advisable to use a premade theme or design to create your blog. Theme and design options will vary depending on your web host or page builder, but there are thousands of options out there to choose from.
Using a Website Builder
Even if you have no experience putting together websites or blogging, starting and designing a blog can be quite simple. There are a number of page building services out there, including the GoDaddy Website Builder covered in the previous step, that can guide you through the process.
Page builders make it possible to design a professional looking site with no coding experience. They often provide drag-and-drop capabilities, allowing you to easily move text, images, and other features around your blog post. Page builders also make it easy to add and edit things like menus, sidebars, and various widgets to customize your blog.
Other Things to Consider
Aside from the big pictures choices you’ll be making, such as overall design and color scheme, there are several more micro-level factors to consider that can have a big effect on the quality of your blog. These include:
- Mobile device optimization
- Clear navigation options
- Fast loading times
- Incorporating social media
Now that you’ve chosen your topic, named your blog, and created your site it’s time to start filling it with content. To begin, you’ll need to write your first post.
The first thing to decide is whether or not to write an introductory post about yourself and why you’ve started a blog. Some people believe that your first post should serve as an introduction to your readers, letting them know a bit about who you are and what they can expect from your blog. Others strongly recommend against this, instead suggesting this information belongs in a separate “About Me” section.
No matter which option you choose, it is important to include this biographical information somewhere on your blog to help readers get to know you.
Picking a Topic for Your First Post
You’ll need to choose a topic that will grab readers’ attention and give them a good first impression of your blog. There are a few things to consider when trying to narrow down your options;
- Keyword searching - A keyword search shows the popularity of various words and phrases that people search for online. Knowing the most popular searches can tell you what topics will draw in most readers. However, it is not as simple as just looking for the most popular keywords and then crafting a blog post around them. Keywords should only be used as a jumping off point or inspiration for your posts. You should not focus on popular keywords at the expense of your own voice and the quality of your writing.
- Researching your topic and reading other blogs - Once you’ve decided what to write about, it’s a good idea to do some research on the topic. Even if you’re already familiar with it, the more information you have, the better equipped you are to write engaging posts. Seeing how other writers approach your topic can also give you some good ideas about how to shape your own post. You may see an angle that you hadn’t previously thought of or notice that no one seems to be covering the topic in a particular way.
Writing and Editing
There is no one right way to write a blog. The topic and your own style will play a big role in what each post actually looks like. But there are some general tips you can follow to improve your chances of attracting and keeping readers:
- Craft a catchy and informative title
- Be yourself
- Use bullet points where appropriate
- Utilize images effectively
- Include relevant links
Before publishing any post, always read through your work for grammar mistakes, typos, and punctuation as well as content clarity. Having a friend or family member read your post can help identify any mistakes you missed or areas that can be changed or improved.
The end goal is to have a streamlined, error-free post. Readers will be turned off by unnecessary fluff or errors. Taking the time to edit your blog posts is well worth it.
Sharing on Social Media
Once you’ve published your first post, one way to increase readership is to share it on social media. Using sites like Twitter and Facebook is a great and cost-free way to drive traffic to your blog. Come up with a short, compelling blurb to advertise your latest post and link it to your social media accounts.