15 Essential Things to Know Before Starting Your 1st Blog

This is the first post of this blog and I want you to know that for a beginner starting a blog is easy.

But running it??

May be not.

There are many things you’ll need to consider to run it without throwing yourself into troubled waters.

You should never forget the old saying – “Precaution is better than cure.”

Although, the main goal of this Blog is to come up with Blog Ideas, I felt important to share a few things that exist in the professional blogging world so that you can decide if it’s your cup of tea.

This post is prepared considering those who want to start a blog professionally. If you are not one of them, this post is not for you and you should better read What is Blogging.

15 things to know before you make your entry into the blogging world.

before starting your 1st blog

1. Planning

Running a professional blog is just like managing your own business project and as such, planning is something you cannot ignore in blogging. Starting a blog without a proper plan will lead you to nowhere. You’ll be lost somewhere in the blogging world and find no best way to move ahead.

You’ll have to plan and decide what you are going to blog about, whom you are going to write for and how you will reach your readers. You’ll have to set targets and plan how to achieve them.

That’s not all. You’ll need to plan your own future courses of action too.

If you haven’t made a proper plan for your blog yet, start planning from now. Planning will give you steps to move ahead smoothly!

2. Expense & Earning

Who says there’s no money involved in blogging? Let me share one truth. Although you can start a free blog with Blogspot, Tumblr or any other free blogging platform, a time will come when you’ll want more features and functions, good design and interface, etc. which are not readily available with the free platforms. This is when you’ll want to move to a professional platform like a self-hosted WordPress blog. There starts paying for hosting and domain name which are affordable but recurring expenses. More expenses will follow in case your blog grows and you want premium tools and software to automate various tasks.

Blogging is equal to a job without a fixed salary. Earning with a blog depends on the overall quality of the blog, the revenue model, marketing and promotion, etc. A blog is just like any other business when it comes to income and earnings. You may lose or you may gain. Only time will tell.

3. Research

Do you think you can blog professionally without research? You are wrong if you think so. Research is an inherent part of professional blogging. Not just for your topics, research is also required to know your audience, know your competitors and to keep track of the happenings in your blogging niche.

Your readers want to see new and unique content in your blog and not the ones that are already available in bulk quantity. Think how you are going to provide them what they want, without any research. Is that possible? Most probably not.

4. Competition

The blogging world has become competitive and you are definitely going to feel the heat. But the good thing about blogging is that you do not have to hammer your competitors to rise up the ladder.

This is one of the best things about blogging that I like. Your competitors are your colleagues and you should understand this from now itself. Bloggers can help each other to move ahead!

Perhaps, promoting your blog in your competitors’ blogs is one of the best marketing promotions that can ever make!

5. Niche Driven

Blogging is driven by your niche. A niche is that group of people which your blog is meant for.

Why is this so important? Simply because, you cannot write for everyone in this world. You have to decide whom you are going to blog for.

It’s better to select your niche wisely before you start your blog. This is something you must decide before you start the planning process of your blog.

Of course, you may start a general blog with a variety of categories and topics. But most blogs fail with that. Having a niche blog will help you build an authority in your subject and become an expert in the field. And this is what most bloggers dream to become after a while!

6. Content Is King

I’m not saying this. The content has been elected as the King of Blogging by bloggers. If you cannot give respect to your king, sooner or later, he is definitely going to punish you and your blog.

The blog posts are the basic needs of a blog. Hence, bloggers need to be consistent with writing and providing great content. Your content has more power than anything else in urging a reader to come back to your blog again and again!

It might not be easy for everyone to create great content in the beginning. But as we know that practice makes a man perfect, you only need to focus on it.

But that doesn’t mean that you should rule out the Queen, the Minister, and all other warriors for smooth running of the kingdom. Blogging is an all-round game where you’ll be taking care of many other aspects apart from just the king (content).

7. Marketing

If you hate the subject ‘marketing’, start loving it from now. Marketing is what you need to reach out to your niche – your readers, and you cannot avoid it in blogging.

If it takes 4 hours for you to create a blog post, then add the same duration in marketing and promoting the post.  (Unless you have thousands of followers already).

8. Plagiarism

Plagiarism is the act of copying someone else’s content, work or idea. Do you want to be accused of such an act?

Avoid plagiarism at all cost. The simplest way to do is to always create original content. It simply means that you should be the owner of whatever you show on your blog. In case you use copyrighted works, make sure you have proper permission from the owner/author.

Try to be well versed with copyright laws and their implications before you start your first blog!

9. Relationship

Be it life, business, or blogging, relationship matters. Internet Gurus from their first lesson itself will tell you to start building a never ending relationship with your fans/readers/customers. This is true. But the circle of relationships in blogging doesn’t end with readers only. What about fellow bloggers and all those individuals we seek support from at different times for different reasons?

Building relationship with other bloggers is as important as it is with your readers. They are guide, friends and your well-wishers. Blogging would have been a lonely world without them.

So, embrace everyone who reaches out to you and vice-versa.

Wanna be friends?

10. Continuous Learning

This is another thing I like about blogging. Learning does not stop in blogging. There will always be something new to learn about blogging, about technology and about your niche/subject.

If you are somebody who is always reluctant to update yourself with new skills and knowledge and only like to work with what you already know, blogging is not for you.

11. Technology

Technology plays a great role in blogging and you cannot avoid it too. Technology is the Real Estate of blogging, without which your blog doesn’t exist.

You should at least make yourself familiar with your blogging software which generally would be WordPress. But for the long-run, you’ll have to keep adapting yourself with any technology that will come your way.

12. Experiment

There are thousands of bloggers who give their own suggestions (like I’m doing here) for many aspects of your blog. But the best ones are those you come up after your own experiments.

Never settle down with what others are shouting. Do your own experiments with them and find out what’s best for you. It’s your duty towards your blogging career.

Nobody knows you better than yourself!

13. Time & Patience

Don’t ever think that you can build a successful blog within a few months unless you already have experience in building successful blogs. Exceptions are there but normally blogging needs time. It needs time to get a decent number of visitors and to see a buzz about your blog

Patience is another thing that you will surely need for a blogging career. But sadly, it doesn’t come bundled with domain name and hosting!

Blogging might become a tedious job for you after a while and your downward-sloping blog statistics might frustrate you. In such circumstances, only patience can be of help.

14. Hard Work

Blogging is not a sit and relax kind of job. It looks easy but involves hard work. All the success stories about blogging you find around are the results of hard work of the respective bloggers.

It’s not just about writing great content. Things like SEO (Search Engine Optimization), marketing, keeping updated with technology and industry, etc. all involve hard work to keep up the rhythm with them.

As you cannot overcome every obstacle easily in blogging, you also cannot forego hard work!

15. Criticism

Last but not the least, learn to welcome criticisms. If you are shy to accept criticisms, you will lose the chances to improve yourself.

At times, you might be bombarded with questions against your opinions. Take them as opportunities rather than setbacks.

Last Minute Takeaway

No matter how much I shout about blogging, in the end, it is your own experience with blogging which will matter to you. What you learn yourself practically will help you to move ahead.

So, find your idea and start a blog.

If you already have some experience in blogging, would you like to add some more on this post? Kindly share your views in comments.

And yes, criticisms are also welcome!

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