Starting a Career in Blogging

by Shenron on November 1, 2009

Since most people don’t even know about this still that means that there is plenty of opportunity to get into this career and still have a good chance of being successful.

Choosing Your Blogging Platform

There are plenty of different blogging platforms that you can use to get started. The two most popular options are Blogger and WordPress. With these two websites you can register and get a blog for free. If you are just starting out in blogging and want to give it a try without spending any money at all then these are the choice for you. The biggest downside for these is you do not get complete control over the look and feel for these.

Career in Blogging Starting a Career in Blogging

If you are looking into a blogging platform that you can have complete control over then you will need to register your own domain and get a web server for hosting. The two largest companies that offer these services is Godaddy for domains and Hostgator for web hosting. The domain will run around $8 a year, and the hosting will be around $60 a year. So for around $70 a year you can have your own website with complete control.

The most popular software that you can use for your own blogging platform on your own server is WordPress. It is highly recommended that you use this due to the enormous amount of templates, plugins, and tutorials that are available for free to help get you started.

Choosing Your Niche

The best advice that can be given is to choose a topic for your website that you have extensive knowledge on. You need to be passionate on your subject because the quality of your work will directly affect the success of your blog. If you don’t have any subject that you can consider yourself as a subject matter expert then choose a subject that you are interested in and willing to learn. You need to remember that your site needs to contain information that can’t be found anywhere else on the internet so research is a necessity and if you are not interested in the subject then it will make it very difficult.

Along with chosing your niche to write about you need to think about competition. For instance, if you wanted to write about loans then that is a very competitive niche and getting people to your website could be an impossible task. But if you chose something like building picture frames then that is not competitive at all.

No website can be successful if people are not interested in seeing your content. To get an idea on what people are searching for on the internet in order to chose your niche you can use Googles Keyword Tool to get an estimated monthly search for each term. Just enter in the keyword and it will return the amount of monthly searches.

After you found a niche or keyword that has a good amount of searches you need to see how competitive that niche is. The easiest way is to enter a search query in Google like below.

allintitle:”your keyword”
allinanchor:”your keyword”

These searches will return the amount of webpages on the internet that have the title or anchor text for that page. The lower the number is better and I would aim for something around 10,000. Anything over that will be too competitive your just starting out your first website.

Setting Up Your Blog

If you are going the paid route with your own domain and server then you will need to set it all up yourself. Doing this is fairly simple but here is a quick list on what you will need to do. (These steps start after you purchase your domain name and web hosting).

1. Change your DNS settings from your domain control panel to point to your server. Every computer has an IP address and what DNS does is match your domain name to that IP. When you enter in your site in your web browser it needs to know what IP address is matched to that name in order to find the site and files. That is what DNS does. This process can take a few days but most of the time it is done in hours. (The DNS settings will come in an email when you buy the hosting or you can see it in your cPanel).

2. After you can access your website in your web browser then you are ready to go to the next step. Most likely what you will see is a blank page with some filenames on there, which is what will tell you that you are ready to go.

3. Now there are two options to get WordPress installed on your server. You can either do it manually or if your host has Fantastico you can install it with the touch of a button. If you are a beginner then I would just install it in your cPanel. To do this go to your /cpanel and login. Then find an icon called Fantastico and click it. After that you will see an option for WordPress. All you need to do is run that and it will install everything you need and then supply you with your admin login and password.

Customizing Your Blog

After your blog is all setup it is time to customize the way it looks. WordPress offers over 1,000 free themes that you can use on your website. Depending on what your site is going to be about there are plenty of options that you can choose from to find the perfect one. If you would like to get a custom theme made for your site, there are plenty of freelance web designers out there just waiting for you to place your order.

The next part of customizing is choosing what plugins you would like to install. Plugins are additional features that can be added that include items such as spam protection, search engine optimization, stat counter, ect. There are so many plugins available that you can turn your WordPress site into anything that you wish. For example you can sell products with a shopping cart, turn it into a photo gallery, or even make an auction house. The possibilities are endless.

Career in Blogging 5 Starting a Career in Blogging

Now What?

By this time you will have your own website ready to go for you to start writing. The key with blogging is to be consistent. As your readers start to follow your website they will expect new information at certain intervals. If you are blogging daily then you need to continue that trend because if you don’t then you can lose your readers.

Right now you should be focusing on creating and publishing great content. Do not worry about how to convert that content and web traffic into money yet. Personally I would not include advertisements on your site until your site is at least 6 months old. The reason being is visitors are more likely to come back if you are providing them the information they need without flashing a bunch of advertisements at them. A great example of this would be Youtube. They went years with no advertisements and then when Google acquired them and started placing ads then it did not affect the users at all because it already became a site that people need and won’t leave.

The last and best advice I can give is do not give up. You may feel like you’re writing and no one is listening for a long time but if you are patient then it will eventually change. If it was easy then everyone would be doing it and be retired already.

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