Important Things to Know Before Starting a Blog in 2023

Planning to start a blog? To help you start blogging with confidence, here is a list of a few important things to know before starting a blog.

Blogging is a powerful marketing tool that if you put your thoughts strategically behind the planning, there is high potential for it to replace your primary source of income.

You might have heard that starting a blog is so easy and it is just a few clicks away. Yes, literally it is, but it takes a bit of pre-planning before you actually go ahead and click those few buttons!

If you are planning to start a blog, it is given that you know how to write convincingly if not persuasively, but rather, the technicalities of setting up and maintaining your own self-hosted blog are daunting?

When you are venturing into the land of the unknown, it is common for everyone to have an inner fear or self-doubt.

You would want to see yourself on the successful side of blogging by avoiding the common pitfalls through acquiring helpful knowledge from others and making informed decisions throughout your journey.

Here are 10 essential things to know and understand before starting your way towards a successful blogging journey.

🎯Pro Tip: The following factors are strategically arranged to give you the most value. Feel free to bookmark this article and figure out one step at a time, and by the end of this article, you would have a solid understanding of what it takes to start blogging the right way!

1. Develop a blogger’s mindset

Blogging is not a rat race.

The prime purpose of having a blog is to share one’s life experiences or knowledge with the world.

Things to know before starting a blog - Develop a blogger's mindset

It is over the due course of time that seasoned bloggers have figured out a way to successfully monetize the process of blogging to make it sustainable for them through advertising, marketing and selling products.

So, Forget the money part at least for the first year or so. If at all your blogger friend beats you to the first income from the blog, don’t get frustrated.

Keep saying to yourselves that you are on a journey of your own and you do not give a damn about what others do. Just take a positive inspiration out of it and move on, your success will be right around the corner and it will be bigger and better.

Yes, you will face criticism, negativity and in the worst case, you may even fail, miserably. Chin up and turn your failures into lessons and remember the fact that nobody else can teach you the values like your failure does for you. So, don’t be afraid to fail, not just in blogging but in life!

If you are a sole person blogging as a side hustle, prepare yourself for the task well in advance. Because blogging is a complex process that takes a toll on your mental health more than your physical well being. Invest in your personal health, both physically and mentally.

Does that still motivate you to start blogging?

If you ask me, I’d say, Oh yeah! the results will be rewarding if you put in your 100%.

If nothing can shatter you if you happen to have self-motivation and the ability to ignore the negativity and develop a blogger’s mindset.

2. Choosing the right Niche to blog about

Choosing the right niche for you to blog about is probably the roller coaster of a process to arrive at a solid decision.

Things to know before starting a blog - Choosing a niche

Because, when you are researching about any particular thing you will end up piggybacking on a completely new thing and get lost in the process. On the internet, there’s a lot of things to be distracted by. Be careful to not develop a shiny object syndrome in the process of choosing your niche.

Even if you are to take multiple attempts to decide on your niche, ensure that you do not get overwhelmed by the competitors in the niche that you are so interested in and passionate about.

Oftentimes, you will be able to give more value and expertise than what the competition has to offer.

If you are genuinely interested in a niche and can give the readers with more perspectives and insights through your expertise in the niche, nobody can stop you.

Oh! wait. But first…

What is a Niche?

A Niche is a specific part of a market that has its bespoke requirements and/or customers for whom you are developing a product or service.

Next, you might ask, Why does a blogger need to care about the Market, Customers, Products and so much more; and why not randomly blog about anything and everything that he/she wants to?

Why choosing a niche is important for blogging?

Quite simply, if you focus on one particular niche and create content for the audience who are interested in that niche, you are going to attract loyal readers called “Targeted Traffic” in marketing terms.

You know what…ppssshhhtt! 🤫Keep this to yourselves! It is for the reason that you are attracting targeted & qualified traffic to your blog in the given niche, multi-million dollar companies focusing on developing products or services for your niche will want to work with you to promote their product or service to your loyal audience and pay you for that, how juicy?!

If you need proper guidance on how to choose the right niche, you may be interested in our 5W2H action plan for choosing your blog niche.

3. Research the competition before you start

Things to know before starting a blog -research the competition in your niche

With the increasing accessibility to the web, more people are discovering the power of blogging and the potential to turn it into a business.

That means, there is fierce competition in almost every field or niche.

Oh, wait…do you think that all the niche(s) are already taken by someone else already and you do not have anything left with?

Look for the successful bloggers out there, possibly in your niche. Explore what they are doing and how they are doing it.

Wait…What?! Successful bloggers? in your niche?! Technically, aren’t they, your competitors?

Change your perspective to see things from a different light.

Instead of the number of competitors you are going to compete with, what you should be looking at is the quality of the competition in your niche of choice.

Why? Because not all of them might be the experts and even if they are, they may not have your expertise. And you might have something unique to offer that they haven’t already.

Put your efforts into identifying the gaps that you can fill with your expertise.

If you can plan to use your expertise wisely against your competition, you will definitely be successful.

4. Choosing a domain name that goes well with your niche

Things to know before starting a blog - Choose a good domain name

The very first thing you would do when you are starting off with building your blog is to choose an awesome domain name.

You might have some domain names that you want to have for your blog. Search for its availability by visiting a domain name registrar of your choice and grab them quickly before someone takes it.

When it comes to domain names, the domain name you wanted and dreamt of is probably taken by somebody else already.

In such a case, it’s a bummer!

What should you do then? Get rid of your idea and start looking for some other niche?

Actually, Nope!

Get creative and come up with something clever that still matches your idea or niche.

While there isn’t anything that holds you back from getting the domain names of your choice, it is always a good thing to consider the factors listed below to make sure that you do not end up with a weird domain name.

  • Simple: Choose a name that is simple so that people can remember it for the next time they want to visit your site.
  • Length: The length of a domain name is also a factor to consider and when it comes to domain names, shorter is sweeter. Ideally, up to 3 words in a domain name are considered good.
  • Brand: Be sure to pick a domain name that is brandable. Be sure to make your brand name unique.
  • Extension: A .com domain name extension is most popular and about 35% of the websites use it. But that doesn’t mean you should only get a .com domain extension you shall choose to go with any of the other common extensions like .org, .co, or something of that sort. Just don’t go crazy by choosing something like .space or .xyz.

Still can’t figure out your domain name? You might be interested in our detailed guidance on choosing a good domain name for your blog.

5. Choosing a web host that does not let you down

Things to know before starting a blog - Choose a suitable web host

What’s in a web host you ask?

We have come a long way from just having non-interactive one-way websites that just served information to the user to interactive websites with lots of visual media content. And, we are talking about Web 3.0 already!

With lots of visual media and interactive components, the size of a website goes up. Meaning that the host server of the website has to transfer a large amount of data every time the user interacts with it.

To handle this large amount of data transfers to and fro from the server, it has to be technologically sound, efficient and fast.

Just look for the following factors in any web host to decide who will be the best choice for you.

  • Compare the prices of multiple web hosts against the list of features it has to offer. Choose the one that offers the features you need at an attractive price. But ensure that you do not
  • Decide what type of server is ideal for you. Choose wisely, start with a shared hosting plan from a reputable company and then switch to cloud hosting when you grow.
  • And, when signing up for a hosting plan, look out for the initial signup price and the renewal prices.
  • Are the essential features included in the plan or to be availed as an add-on? Look for the availability of essential features and decide on your hosting provider.
  • Security is another thing to look for, check the security records for the web host, how their infrastructure is safeguarded from attackers? Look out for the answers to questions like these to get an idea.
  • Reviews are the social proof that a product or a service is actually good. You can find the reviews for the web hosts and choose one that ticks the right boxes.

Need a hand in choosing a web host for your blog? We have a detailed guide on choosing your web host.

Now that you have a domain and web hosting, are you ready to become the blogger you always wanted to be?!

Well, literally you are good to go. But we have a few points to brainstorm that will help you blog effectively.

6. Learning from the experts to blog effectively

Things to know before starting a blog - learn from the experts

When planning to start a blog, It is always the best thing to hunt for some inspiration before starting off with something. It is particularly very helpful and pushes you to put your best into what you do.

The awesomeness of the web is that there’s a lot of inspiration that you can take out of it. But, Remember… No blatant copying.

It is not that you have to take courses to know all the expert-level tips they have to share. Follow the expert’s blog and their social media posts to know if they have shared any of their experiences or useful tips.

Take a leaf out of their book and use it to your advantage. By doing so you will save yourself a lot of time and effort.

Well, on the flip side, if you are a complete beginner who just happen to catch the blogging bug and if you feel you might need an expert to hold your hand from the start, check out Income School’s Project 24 where you will have a solid roadmap and a community of fellow bloggers to answer your questions promptly.

7. Equip yourselves with the basic SEO knowledge

Things to know before starting a blog - Learn SEO

You have probably read this gazillion times before, Here it comes again, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is unavoidable when you choose to enter the world of websites.

As a beginner blogger, you probably will entirely be dependent on the organic traffic from the search engines and a few of your friends who come to your blog by typing your address directly.

There’s a popular saying in the SEO community, “The best place to hide a dead body is page 2 of the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs)“.

Here is what you need to get hold of, to do the basic SEO stuff for your blog.

Keyword Research

Keywords are nothing but the “Queries” that people enter into the search box of the search engines like Google, Bing etc.,

The very fundamental thing is that you need to understand how the search engines work so that you will be able to pick the correct “Intent” keywords.

Take, for example, someone searching for the price of the product or the best deals for a product is looking to buy that product if they find something convincing. The search terms entered by that category of people is called “Buyer Intent Keywords”. And, these types of keywords drive the most revenue among the others.

So it is safe to say that keyword research is the starting point that determines what will be a good topic to write about in your niche. Let’s get this straight, choosing a keyword to write about is a difficult decision for many, at least initially.

SEO Content Writing

Now that you have the list of keywords, how do you start to write content for your blog?

You have to write for SEO a.k.a SEO writing.

Okay, but…

What’s the primary difference between content writing and SEO content writing?

SEO writing is the process of writing the online content, for your audience and for the search engines, that are intended to comply with the SEO tactics from the ground up to help you rank higher in the Search Engine Results Page.

Whereas, Content Writing is just about putting together the information for the people to read.

Technical & On-page SEO

Technical SEO is the process of optimizing your site’s technical side of things like security, speed, load times, and other technicalities.

Whereas, On-page SEO is the process of optimizing the page elements such as Meta Titles, Meta Descriptions, Headings, Paragraphs, Images, and anything that is part of the page.

After you press Publish, you need to bring in traffic to your website. There are a lot of ways that you can bring traffic to your site, but, the most effective way is through search engines.

To do that, you need to establish yourself to search engines as an expert or authority in your niche. So that search engines can show your content to their visitors when a relevant query is passed.

Technically, in the SEO community, it is referred to as E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness).

The main signal that tells the search engines that you have E-A-T is the links pointing to your blog from other relevant websites in your niche, called Backlinks.

You need to have backlinks to improve your E-A-T which in turn increases your visibility in the search engines.

Where can you start learning SEO?

If even seeing the term SEO throws you off and you feel completely alien towards it. You can learn from the experts.

Don’t go hunting for the courses, unless you are looking to do some rocket science, which you are not.

The best information is always free, you just have to find them.

Here are a few places to give you a headstart to understand SEO better.

There’s no better place to get yourself familiar than Google’s Search Central Documentations.

Other great places to start if the Search Central documentation feels a bit technical for you.

  1. Beginner’s guide to SEO by Ahrefs.
  2. Beginner’s guide to SEO by Moz.

Can I just Outsource the SEO?

If you just can’t wrap your head around all the crazy SEO stuff to take care of, is there an option to outsource it?

The answer is Yes, you can choose to outsource the SEO work for your blog.

Remember that the prices for a reliable SEO service will be higher. If you can afford to pay and manage them appropriately to extract the work needed out of them, you have the option to hire a freelance SEO pro from Upwork to help you out, just remember to vet the person carefully before hiring.

8. Content quality is more important than quantity

Things to know before starting a Blog - Write quality content

Content is always the king and quality content is the crown of it all.

When it comes to content on the web including blogs, it is not always the quantity of content present on a website that matters but rather the quality of the contents that you have.

Just because you’ve read something or heard someone say that a large quantity of content helps you get better rankings in search engines, it is not wise to follow it blindly.

Search engines and/or people do not look at the number of content that you have on your blog instead if you focus on the quality of content, search engines will favour your site over the others.

The ideal choice is to look for a balance between quality and quantity of content, based on the niche you are in.

9. Create a content calendar

Things to know before starting a blog - Have a content calendar

You are into blogging because you like to write and hope to make money at some point.

When you get into blogging, you cannot post stuff randomly and expect to climb the SERPs. It doesn’t work that way.

People and search engines, in particular, will reward you only if you show them that you are engaged and committed to solving the problems in your niche.

How do you keep track of the content creation and the posting frequency?

The answer to that is to have a content planner or editorial calendar that helps you organize your time and make the most out of it.

Where and how do you create a content calendar for yourself?

Nothing beats the pen and the paper. But for ease of use and mobility having a digital content planner is always handy.

For individuals, Google Sheets would be sufficient as it gives you the freedom to have notes and have the information as you want. Most importantly you have the ability to pair it to your calendar, if you are into Google’s ecosystem, to make it much more effective.

A content planner is an important tool that you should make for yourself when planning to start blogging.

Alternatively, you can make use of project management tools like Monday.com, Asana or Trello on their free tier to make things a bit easier for you.

10. Do not go on a shopping spree

Things to know before starting a blog - Do not go on a shopping spree

Nobody can guarantee you success when you are just starting off with something. It holds very well for blogging, you do not know whether you will have the opportunity to get the return on your investment until you try and test the waters.

When planning to start a blog, it is advisable to have a financial tracker to keep a check on the spending. As a rule of thumb, allocate monthly budgets that you can afford and use them towards your blogging journey.

Make sure to have a well-sorted bucket list for blogging that you can fulfil one by one as you progress. Purchasing them all at once, in the beginning, would be a financial burden as you would eat into your savings.

🎯Bonus Tip

Why not go for free blogging platforms?

“I am on a tight budget and is the free blogging platforms a good way to start with?” is the most common question that most to-be bloggers have.

In all cases, Avoid free blogging platforms if you want to take blogging seriously and eventually plan to make money out of it. The so-called free blogging platforms have so many limitations on Storage, Bandwidth, Performance etc., that even the hobby bloggers would complain about.

A self-hosted blog is always a good choice to go with.

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San
San

San is crazy good at only one thing, taming the search engines to help businesses generate a bucket load of ROI through targeted organic traffic. He shares his learnings through this site to help people enter the world of the blog-o-sphere 📝 with confidence. Contact San for your bespoke technical SEO or javascript SEO needs.

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