You know that you want to blog and you have something specific you want to blog about. But you simply don’t know how to start. This post will help you on the way by describing the necessary steps you need to take.
From Blogging Idea to Action
To make it easier to understand, I’ll use an example. Let’s say that you have been pretty heavy once, maybe 200 kg. But then you found your way back to healthy weight and you want to help others do the same. You decide you’ll blog about it. So here you have the very first step: you’ve decided to create a blog and have found your major topic.
The next step is to figure out what you want to say and to whom. You have to choose your target group as it’s a universal truth that you can’t write general stuff and be relevant to all. You can only talk to somebody in specific, focus on their needs, and deliver what they expect in order to create something of interest.
Therefore you have to decide, if using the example above, whom you want to address: heavy people in search of a diet, heavy people in search of healthier lifestyle, heavy people in search of a training plan, or heavy people who need a self-esteem boost. Let’s focus on those trying to get healthier.
Knowing whom you’ll be writing for, you can start by breaking down your major topic into relevant subtopics. They will guide you when writing your blog posts and help you avoid working on posts that are too far from your target group’s needs.
Let’s say that our subtopics will be: healthy food & drinks, healthy partying, healthy exercising, healthy weight loss, and healthy self-esteem. Now we have covered more or less the everyday life of a heavy person trying to get healthy.
The next step is to check what’s already available online and what brings success. The reason is that you don’t want to write the same as everybody else if you want to succeed as a blogger. You have to find your own point of view that is unique in a way. But you do want to get tips for success from the best ones about form of writing, blog design, etc. – without copying though!
Now you have your topic, your subtopics, your angle, and your tips. You’re ready to start creating your blog.
Having taken the first steps, now you have to figure out how your blog will be structured. You can have a site with many pages and no posts, a site with some pages and a blog, and a blog with not so many pages – or just one – but many posts.
The plus of having pages instead of blog posts is that pages tend to rank higher than posts. However, blogging platforms as WordPress are designed to allow for greater organizing possibilities for posts than for pages. So you have to decide what matters more to you.
Organization is of primal importance in blogging as content must be easy to find and navigate within. Sites with complicated structures or poor navigation/content discovery options often make visitors leave and search for information elsewhere.
Ranking, on the other hand, is extremely important if you only expect to get traffic from organic search. Be aware though, that such expectations aren’t realistic. Especially when starting out, you’ll need to boost your traffic with the use of social media, linking, or simply telling people where they can find your content. If you have the budget for it, some careful advertising might help a bit as well.
I, personally, am a fan of structure and prefer to have my content divided into topics. This gives me also the opportunity to create pages for each topic presenting the content in the posts. So, using the example with blogging for heavy people, I’d create a blog with 6-7 pages: a home page, an about page, and a page for each category.
The Home Page
The home page should make it easy for visitors to find their way to the content they are interested in. In order to do this, you might want to add a short presentation of the different topics and links to the pages where you display the topics at hand. An example of a description of the page displaying posts on healthy exercise could sound like this:
“See which exercises help you get rid of the dangerous fat and how you can train without risking your health.”
It’s important to learn to write short, true, and enticing descriptions if you want to make people click on your links. In addition, a good image helps also a lot.
It’s also a good idea to write a short text, somewhere not that visible on the page, covering your intention with the blog and feeding search engines with the right keywords. An example would be:
“Over 50 % of the population of England under 20 years is overweight. The number for those above 20 is 45 %. Overweight is a serious health problem and should be tackled with all measures. Here you’ll learn about the healthy way to normal weight, tested in the real world – and working. No unhealthy diets and training destructing your body! You can start your new healthy lifestyle by following the simple advice on preparing food, exercising, and even more importantly – on finding the healthy you and starting to enjoy who you are. Last but not least, here you can find the unique guide to healthy partying – no more holidays or nights out where you feel that you don’t belong – or surrender to bad habits. Start losing weight and find the way to a healthier lifestyle today!”
You can, of course, also use the simplest blog form where your posts appear at the home page in chronological order. You’ll, however, miss on great opportunities to rank better in search and to communicate your mission to visitors by doing so.
The About Page
If you’re serious about blogging, you must have an About page. The reason is that internet users aren’t satisfied by simply finding some information online. They want to know where the information comes from and whether it can be trusted. Use therefore the About page smart.
Be honest and tell people who you are and why you are blogging. Tell them how you’ve gained your expertise and why they should trust you. It’s not necessary that one is a university professor. In many cases experience from the real world is valued much higher.
So, in the case with the formally-heavy blogger, tell honestly your story – how you gained weight, what thoughts ran through your head, what made you start looking for a change, what you tried on the way, and finally – how you succeeded. Even better, display a before and after picture.
This kind of honestly will help people relate to you and trust you.
Avoid pompous words and don’t try to sound too smart. Genius ideas are usually the simplest ones.
The Subtopic Pages
Your subtopic pages should ideally include a short description of the subtopic covering all that the blog posts in this category will be about. An example of a description of the subtopic page on healthy food and drinks can be:
“Healthy food and drinks are the core of a healthy lifestyle. Preparing and consuming the right meals from the right raw products is crucial for success. Here you can find advice gathered over the years from specialists and doctors on diets and healthy food in general. You can, furthermore, read about the results I got when trying out the different options. Last but not least, I’ve included a delicious guide to healthy eating by giving to you my favorite recipes that are as tasty as good for you.”
NB! Page text, including descriptions, should be at least 300 words in order to meet one of SEO’s requirements. I couldn’t write so long texts in this post as it would become endless but you can see examples of a page description by clicking on any of the pages on WP Blogging Nerd, including the About page.
The Blog Made Real
So now, when you have your structure, you have to actually create the blog. You can start by learning more about your blogging options and following these guidelines about creating a free blog or starting a self-hosted blog. You should probably also take a look at these free blog services before making any decisions.
After you have an up-and-running WordPress platform, you have to choose a theme fitting your chosen blog structure. Install the theme.
Now you can start creating the structure of your blog and finally – start blogging.