Probably the most common question asked in the blogosphere is “how to I start a blog?” With thousands of new blogs popping up a day, it is pretty obvious why that question is asked. Recently, I started a new blog over at CoffeeObsessed.net, so I thought I would use this opportunity to show you how easy it is to setup a new blog and be successful starting in the first month of operation.
There is no secret to success…just some fundamentals that give you a head start on everyone else out there staring at a “Add New Post” screen. Warning…once you read this…you are going to say…”Wow. It is really that easy.”
How To Start A New Blog – The RIGHT WAY!
So I had this idea to start a coffee blog for quite some time. Let me just warn you…I am literally obsessed with coffee. I don’t drink beer or any other alcoholic beverage (drank myself silly and college so that was enough for me) so coffee is my liquid outlet. I wanted to share this passion obsession online and a blog is a natural progression into this arena.
So what did I do first? – Domain Selection
I picked a domain name! Typically, I would tell you to research your niche, really think about what you want to blog about, etc., but I already had all of that covered so I needed a URL I could call home. I headed over to GoDaddy and started looking for domain names that fit what I was trying to accomplish. CoffeeObsessed.net was open so I snatched it up and it was off to the races.
What did I do next? – Hosting Setup
After I had the domain name I wanted, I hit up my boy Alex at Sliqua and told him I had just bought a domain at GoDaddy and I needed to get it hosted. He set me up and I was ready to start the install process. If you are not ready for high end hosting, I recommend using HostGator for their price and ease of use. When you are ready to step up to the big boys, hit up Sliqua for your hosting needs.
Let’s Get to Blogging! – WordPress Setup
Forget Blogger, Typepad or any other blogging engine. If you really want to have a successful blog off the bat, you need to drop the 20 bucks it cost to have your own WordPress install self hosted. Anything else is going to cripple you from day one. I installed WordPress, setup my plugins and was ready to blog. I am not going to go into that entire process here. If you want to know how to do that, download Ramped Blogging. There are step by step instructions.
Getting Everything Looking Good – Design
I know what you are thinking. Robb has a successful blog off the bat because he has a team of designers behind him that make everything look perfect. It takes a ton of money to do that and I don’t have a wad of cash to drop on blog design. Guess what? You are wrong. Here is what I did with Coffee Obsessed.
I went to WooThemes and bought the Therapy theme. I took the stock background included with the theme and added a coffee cup. Once uploaded…it is the theme you see live on the site as we speak. That was all the customization I did. Easy right?
Then I must have had a pro jump in and design the logo right? Wrong again. I headed over to IconFinder.net and looked for a coffee cup icon I liked and matched that up against the logo written in a font I liked. Logo complete and the site is up and running. See? It really doesn’t get much simpler than that for a professional looking blog.
Beginning Article Setup – The Writing Process
Now…I have a pretty good Twitter base to pull from, so I knew I needed to spark conversation right off the bat if I wanted the blog to do well in the first 30 days. I wrote 3 articles that all asked questions and then hit up my social media circles (specifically Facebook and Twitter) asking them to check out the new site and comment on the articles. While not everyone did…a pretty good number chimed in and I had double digit comments on each of the brand new articles.
I Need Coffee! – Product Reviews
A large part of a coffee blog is writing reviews of different coffees and coffee equipment. I started off with the coffee I already had on hand and got to writing. I included pictures, my honest opinion and hit publish. After a couple of reviews hit and people commented…I had a new blog off the ground and rolling along smoothly. So…I used that success to contact some specialty coffee roasters for review coffee.
After a couple of emails back and forth, I was sent coffee from some of the top roasters in the country. I published their “first look” articles and later the reviews. Everyone is stoked about the publicity and honest reviews and now coffee roasters are contacting Coffee Obsessed directly for reviews on coffee and high end coffee equipment.
Rinse and Repeat – The Ongoing Process
From here…I just rinse and repeat. Everything is sipping up smoothly and I know have a great blog that I really enjoy. I get to form relationships with private coffee roasters which is a true pleasure in its own right (I have met some really cool, passionate coffee people) and I get to taste coffees from all over the world.
What You Need To Take Away From This Process
So…looks easy right? It really is that easy. So what do you need to take away from this process to insure your success in your blogging whether you are starting up today, starting another blog or trying to squeeze more success out of your current blog?
Setup Your Blog Correctly From The Beginning
I hear so many beginning bloggers say, “I use Blogger now and then switch to WordPress if it catches on.” Be ready for disappointment if you are going to go that direction. If your blog does catch on, you are going to have a hell of a time converting it over and…worse yet…if you start your blogging with that mentality you are going to fail anyway. Your blog is going to be successful and that is why you are going to set it up correctly from the beginning.
Download Ramped Blogging…go to GoDaddy and get a domain name…go to HostGator and get a hosting account…get a good looking theme like the ones from WooThemes…make a quick logo and start off on the right foot instead of one step backwards.
Mindset Is Everything
How you start your blogging mindset is everything. If you start blogging wondering…doubting…or doing it half-assed. It is never going to work. You need to have the right positive mindset going into the whole process before you even write the first word in your first article. If you do not, you are just setting yourself up for failure.
Leverage Your Strengths
If you have Facebook friends or Twitter followers that would be interested in your blog, ask them for help in the beginning. Blogging is a collaborative effort and can not be done on your own. Your friends and family are going to be a massive resource for help in spreading the word and commenting. Do not spam them, but ask them to help in building your community.
Review Product Is Possible In The First 30 Days
Yes…you can get in review product in the first 30 days. No one in the coffee industry knew who I was before Coffee Obsessed but through a professional looking blog and a passion for all things coffee, I was able to bring in more coffee than I can drink and form really cool relationships with other members of the industry. Dealing with other passionate people in coffee has been the biggest reward of this entire process.
If you want to know how…check out Ramped Reviews.
Do not over complicate things…do not talk yourself out of success…believe that it is really that easy to start a successful blog and go after it. If you do things the right way from the beginning…you set yourself up for incredible success. If you go into it half cocked “just seeing how it goes”, you will get back exactly what you put into it…nothing!