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How-to: Plan A Blog The Right Way (planner Included)

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Hundreds and even thousands of new blogs being set up every day.

Most of the time, this is because of how some “bloggers” think that launching a blog is easy and that maintaining it doesn't take much time and resources.

Well, you cannot blame them.

After all, setting up a blog is easy, especially if you go for free hosting services.

But the truth about making a blog successful is that it takes time, effort and a whole lot of planning.

You have to plan for the layout, the content, if you're going to allow guest posts or not, or if you're going to be the one to maintain it all the time, etc.

Put it simply, IT IS not easy.

If you plan to create a new blog, these steps below should be more than enough to help you do it the right way.

Guide To Planning A New Blog

Step 1: Gather Information

1. What is it all about? What is the purpose of your blog? Is it about technology, sports, news, DIY, etc?

2. What is your area of expertise? Remember, you can only offer “quality” and share-worthy information if you run a blog that is in line with your expertise. Plus, it will be easier for you to plan out your content if you’re knowledgeable and passionate about the type of topics you will discuss in your blog.

3. Who is your target audience? What are their problems? Who do they follow? Picture your ideal readers, what sort of people they will be, what their interests are, how old they are and other important demographical information. Once you clearly define these, it will be easier for you to decide what type of content you will create to meet your target audience needs or goals. The more specific, the better.

4. Who are your competitors? List down 5 to 10 high-ranking blogs in your niche. Write down what makes them like that, what sort of information they provide. Think of them as a template that you will try to improve upon for your blog. Look for other relevant blogs as well. Always draw inspiration from your competitors as this will help you get a different perspective of your whole niche.

5. How often will you post content? You must make it to a point to update your blog with content regularly. In the beginning, produce quality posts almost every day to give your readers something to read. Once you established yourself as an authority in your niche, you may update few times a week (or on any schedule you prefer). This way you can carefully plan out your content strategy to keep your readers hooked. You can use Google Calendar to schedule your blog posts.

Step 2: Do Your Research

1. Think up of a proper domain name. While there is no right or wrong domain name, you need to make sure that your blog’s domain name speaks a lot about its content. People must be able to remember it easily. Think of a few things related to the content of your blog, look for ways to turn it into an anagram or if you want, you can coin a new term or word. Yes, you can invent a word and make it a domain name if you want. The important thing is that it’s catchy. Remember, domain names are not exactly that cheap, so make it count.

2. Look for a reliable web host. A decade ago, looking for a reliable web host was hard as each web host claimed that they were the best. However, these days, many web hosts out there provide quality services and have the stats to prove. Look for a web host that has an affordable package and everything that you need. Make sure to read reviews about their services to see if they are reliable or not. I recommend you to start off with Bluehost* especially if you're a non-tech person.

3. Choose your platform. Go for a platform that will suit your blog. But I recommend Wordpress as this is a no-brainer when it comes to blogs, especially if you plan on taking things seriously or monetizing it. Wordpress has plenty of third-party support and plugins that will make your blog better.

4. Select your social channels. Determine which social channels you will use to share your posts. Since you're just starting out, you can go on and choose only 3 to 5 so you won't have a hard time managing it all together. Ask yourself this: which social media networks are used the most by your audience?

Step 3: Plan Out Your Blog Concept

1. Choose the right theme. While content and SEO are both very important, the right design plays a key role in the overall scheme of things. You can hire someone to make a logo for you on 99designs and buy premade themes at Themeforest*. Your blog design must be easy on the eyes, and most important of all, contributes to improving the overall browsing experience of the blog. Make sure it’s responsive. That means, the layout should work on any screens sizes (mobile size, tablet, desktop, etc.).

2. Inject CTAs. E-newsletters, lead forms, surveys, contacts and other forms of CTAs are important in establishing brand awareness and reader loyalty. You need to have a way to make your readers take action based on what they have read, and a CTA or Call to Action will make them do just that. I use Aweber for sending out newsletters!

3. Include essential tools. RSS feeds will help you and your readers know about what is new in your niche and other particular fields of interest. Google Analytics is also important because this will help you and potential advertisers know how well your blog is doing. The better your numbers are, the better your ranking will be and the more advertisers will be willing to shell out money to advertise on your site. Check out the tools I am currently using to improve my blog.

Yes, running and maintaining a blog is not as easy at it seems. It will take time, effort and money. However, with these steps above, everything just got a whole lot easier.

Don't allow yourself to become one of those bloggers that simply just faded away months after launching their own blogs.

Take control of how your blog will fare for years to come and start planning the right way!

Do you have any other tips to add on? Please leave your thoughts on the comment box below!

pauline c
By Pauline Cabrera

A twenty-something savvy web designer / social media manager / SEO strategist based in Toronto, Ontario. Passionate about web design, HTML/CSS, beautifying things and internet marketing. Follow me on social media and say hello! Follow me on Facebook Follow me on Instagram Follow me on Pinterest Follow me on Twitter

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