Setting up your own blog isn't the easiest thing out there. In fact, it's easily one of the hardest tasks to do on the web for many reasons. There are many blog out there failing to get noticed, we were one of them, are going downhill quickly despite all of their hard work.
The thing is, the number of your blog posts you have isn't going to work in this game. Basically what I mean is, you're not going to get suddenly popular even if you have 1,000 blog posts.
When I first created Tech Cores back in 2008, I had no idea on how to run a blog and get popular. There are tutorials on the web on how to do such a thing, but all of them are extremely scattered and not organized at all.
To start up your own blog from scratch, you need a variety of different people and services/applications:
- You need to have a smart web-guru
- You need to have an unique site
- So many bloggers think they can use a theme that they found off the internet. Now I have to admit, some themes are great, but the thing is, they're far from unique! Anyone can download that theme and once you have the same theme as another popular blog out there, your blog will not look as good. In the long run, learn how to create you own theme for WordPress, Movable Type, Drupal, Joomla, or whatever CMS system you may choose to use. Creating themes from scratch is not an easy task once so ever, but if you have a smart web-guru, they can do anything on the web. As for myself, Tech Cores was created all from scratch and it started on a piece of paper that lead to a Photoshop design and eventually, a final website. Every CMS system, for the most part, has amazing documentation so your smart web-guru will be able to create that custom theme. Tech Cores was my first WordPress theme that I've ever made and it was actually very easy creating the theme because of all that documentation and my knowledge that I had already in web-development. As a side note, when you design the website, lay out all the colors your going to use and stick with them. Like Marc Billow has said, you don't want a website that looks like it just barfed up the rainbow (cough... Engadget).
- You need to have a person who knows SEO
- Commonly refereed as SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, it helps those major search engines like Google, Yahoo, and even Bing find your site. There are many ways to do SEO and it can relate to the server aspects of things and even to the way you code your website. SEO is one of the most important parts of a website, and if you don't do it right, you'll rarely be seen by those search engines. And sadly enough, SEO isn't something you can learn easily... you need books. Fortunately, there are many books teaching you SEO. It's shouldn't be too hard to pick up tips by yourself, but if you hire someone to do the SEO for you, it can come a long way. SEO isn't something you need to maintain either; you just set it up once, and it'll do its own thing for you.
- You need the right software/hardware
- There are many parts that run a website. You have the web server itself like Apache, LightTPD, or even NginX, PHP to do the server-side programming, MySQL to store the data, and the server itself. Getting all this is quite easy because like many shared hosts, it's all set up for you even with a control panel installed for your ease of use! If you're using a VPS or a dedicated server, it may be managed or unmanaged, and if it's unmanaged, you'll need a server-guru to set all this stuff up for you. And of course, you need the blogging software itself that was briefly in the theme section above.
- You need the writer(s), target audience, and the blog posts
- Whether it's a blog ran by run person or multiple people, you'll need the writers to get all those blog posts out. Whether these posts will be personal for a personal blog or for a blog talking about a certain subject, you need to figure out who you're target audience is. And along with that target audience, you need to figure out what you want them to read, or a certain topic of blog posts. To get those blog posts, it would be beneficial if you knew proper English, but I've seen some blogs with awful grammar.
- You need to expand
- Like one of my good friends has once said, if something isn't going well, change it! Okay, he might of not said that exact phrase, but it was very much like it. In other words, if you're not getting at least 300 different visitors a month (which can be determined by using many of the statistical programs out there and often refereed as unique visitors), you might want to think about doing something about it. Whether that's canceling what you're doing now because owning a blog costs good money, or even giving your blog a complete design lift, do something to help get more visitors! Review some products, contact your friends to start writing for the blog, or even start doing some popular tutorials found on the web. What ever you may do, plan it out in the beginning. I have a list filled with 300+ ideas I can write about, and by doing that, if I ever have writers block, I can simply look at my list and have some idea what to write about.
- And lastly, have fun with it!
- You may think blogging may such a awful thing to do, but actually, if you love what you're writing about, it's extremely easy to blabber on. If you show that you had fun writing it in your blog posts, your readers will have a fun time reading it. Have fun at what you may be writing and this blog of yours will turn into a hobby and quite possibly, a career.
Those are all of my thoughts of starting up your own blog. I know, there's a lot to a blog and running the entire thing, but once you get past that, it's just as easy logging into the admin interface of your blog and writing that post!
Hopefully this blog post helped you understand on how to start up and run your blog. It's not the easiest of tasks, but once you get past it, it's a lot of fun... trust me on that one. :)
If you're thinking about starting up your own blog whether it'll be personal blog or even one dedicated to a certain topic, leave a comment and let's hear your thoughts! And we hope, that this post has helped you out in any way!
Let @tjasko know on Twitter!