Guest Post – Our host is Alyse Ainsworth, Alyse shows us how to Jumpstart Your New Blog in 4 Steps.See How To Become a guest author on Spice Up Your Blog.
Starting a new blog is exciting and scary. On the one hand, you could be embarking on a new journey that will lead to increased exposure for your brand, on the other, you’re about to crash and burn–unnoticed, no less–in some dark corner of the Internet. Realistically, you will probably do a fair amount of both. Blogging, like anything, is a process of experimentation. You are you going to try many new things, and some of them will give you runaway success. Others will not, but here are 4 things that you can do right out of the gate to ensure you have more successes than failures.
Master Your Site’s Design on the first try
Many first-time bloggers spent lots of time writing and thinking about writing, and not very much time considering the layout of their website, but you really need to— especially in the early stages. Your site design will make or break you as a blogger. If your prospective readers cannot stand to look at your blog, or they cannot find your content easily, you may alienate lots of what could have become loyal subscribers and raving fans. You need to get your site design right on the first try.
If you are using WordPress to power your blog there are tons of options for you in the way of WordPress blog themes and templates. Spend $100-$200 on a premium theme that has a proven track record of good SEO and good aesthetics. There are a lot of free themes out there, but if you’re a serious blogger, you want a serious theme. The money you spend up-front will be paid back a hundred fold by the quick accumulation of traffic on your blog. While a lot of your blogging process is going to be a matter of trial and error, you do not want to experiment too much with your websites design. Make sure you get it right before you release your blog to the world.
Focus Your Writing
Blogging is addicting. I think you are going to love it, but you will be tempted to write a little bit about everything and not very much about anything. That is a mistake. You need to keep your writing focused if you want to have any success.
Pick 2-3 but no more than 4 topics on which to focus. It’s best to select topics that you already have a base of knowledge, and that the world seems to care about. Look for the intersection between your experience and the market’s demands. Then write deep instead of wide. Get really focused on a handful of subjects and cover them from every conceivable angle. Focused writing means more keywords in your articles, and better page rankings for your website.
One of the easiest writing techniques to master is the list. It just so happens that lists work very well on the internet because they are naturally scan-able, have a built-in hierarchy and afford you easy subheadings and small paragraphs. Lists will allow you to write about the same subject from many different angles. For example:
– Four Ways to Be a Better Blogger
– Four Reasons You Aren’t Good at Blogging
These two posts could contain the same 4 points, but the change in perspective makes them independent posts. If you have written one of them, writing the other would be a very easy process. Use lists to crank out lots of content on the same subject in a short period of time.
Be a Guest Blogger
This might seem counter intuitive, but one of the best ways to grow your own blog is to contribute to someone else’s. Writing for another blog with an established readership will give you the chance to put your writing in front of an entirely new audience. It will extend your reach and, if your writing is any good, draw new readers to your website. Virtually all bloggers are open to guest appearances. Doing a few will help you jumpstart a new blog by drawing readers from similar blogs.