It's the last day of January everyone! Yes, we're officially one month into 2012. Raise your hand if you haven't given up on your New Year's Resolutions yet! Mmhmm...thought so.
So at the beginning of the year, I received quite a few emails from readers who were empowered this new year to start blogs. First of all, I'm so incredibly excited to hear that many of you are embarking on the blog journey in 2012. It's an awesome one. Not easy and not for everyone, but if you do it right, you'll love it. So here are my top 5 tips for starting a blog...
1. Start with a passion.
Finding your niche and sticking to it is one of the absolute best things you can do when starting a blog. I mentioned this one in my Ask LBS: How Do I Get My Blog Noticed post. Considering how congested it is on the internet these days, the only way to attract new followers is to somehow be different. Express your true passions and not only will you love it, but the people who read your site will come to love it as well.
The amazing thing about blogging is that you don't have to go it alone. In fact, making friends and connecting with people who have similar interests can help put your blog over the edge. Poll any successful blogger, and you'll undoubtedly find that a large source of their incoming traffic comes from...gasp...other websites! Digital friends are some of the greatest assets you can have. They'll promote your site for you, attend events with you, and even snap pics for you. So don't be shy, get social. Literally. Use social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr and more to meet new people who share interests similar to yours. You might have a broad interest like fashion, for example. But is there something specific you can drill down to? If you're true love is indie fashion under $50, that's much more specific and there are groups and communities dedicated to finding others just like you.
3. Choose the right host.
So this is the big question plaguing the blogosphere. Which blog host is best? Honestly, there are blogs hosted on Blogger that do equally as well as ones hosted on Wordpress, that do equally as well as ones hosted on Tumblr...and I can go on and on. Use whichever host suits your needs! If your primary concern is monetization of your site, you might consider Wordpress and Blogger hosting better for you. If you just want to express yourself creatively, Tumblr might work best for you. If you're better in front of the camera, consider a YouTube channel. Evaluate the pros & cons of each, then go with the flow!
If you're a foodie and you're creating a blog about your adventures sipping cappuccinos and trying the latest prime rib in your city, you might want to invest in an amazing camera to document your food journey. If your blog focuses on interviewing really cool people, you might need to have a tape recorder in your arsenal. Think long and hard about the type of content you plan to post, and what tools you'll need to make that content as engaging as possible.
Don't delay or wait for "just the right timing". Unless your blog is based around a product launch or a huge event, do it now! There are people out there waiting to hear what you have to say. Live, blog and be merry.
So there you have it! My top five recommendations for starting a new blog. Anything to add? Share with the group in the comments section!