Starting a blog a complete guide for serious beginners in 2018 gas 78 industries

####

As I’ve said before, the one prediction I have for people using a free blog host is that one day you will want to migrate it to your own host. And that can be a really annoying process. It’s much better to set yourself up the right way from the beginning.

Visual content has been growing for years and it appears to be speeding up, not slowing down. We now have retina display tablets and our smartphones are getting bigger. Social networking sites like Facebook are favoring images and videos over text – never mind sites like Pinterest which are totally based around photos! If you’re not working with visual content yet it’s time to start.

It’s also vital to remember that YouTube is a search engine just like Google and we shouldn’t ignore it. If you create some simple video content to supplement your blog posts you will find that you attract a lot more views and, generally speaking, the stuff you make will appeal to a wider audience.

But the main reason that you want to grow an email list is because you just can’t trust Google for traffic. And you can’t trust social networking sites that constantly change their policies. It’s only the mailing list that gives you a constant source of traffic, should something go wrong.

Long content has been working for years. One of the first posts I ever wrote on this site was several thousand words on how to sell a blog which, thanks to it’s length as opposed to any particular quality, went viral and helped to kick start this blog.

I feel really fortunate to get that attention, but also kind of know that if I’d just written a little 500-word update on the topic nothing would have happened. The whole thing would have fizzled out. Unfortunately, that is what happens to a lot of bloggers.

For some reason, bloggers hate the idea of spending money on advertising. But if you look at the latest structure of Google, for example, you’ll notice how much of it is weighted towards ads. On my laptop they take up the whole screen before I scroll.

Set aside $20 a week for a test and try to learn as much as you can about what gets shared, what your audience likes, where they are located, etc. This data can be super valuable for helping you decide what to write about next which, in turn, leads to more shares over time.

The bad news is that going for a run or to the gym at the end of the day does not undo the damage. This means we need to start moving regularly, working while standing up and taking regular short breaks to stretch the muscles and get the blood flowing.

This might be as simple as injecting your own personal story in to your content, or it might be the development of a more consistent and focused brand that is aimed at a very targeted portion of your niche. Have a look how Nerd Fitness made a fitness blog that is just for geeks as the perfect example.

This is another one of those tips that have been around for a while but become more and more relevant with every passing year. If you start a blog in 2018 you should expect your income streams to change. That can be a really scary thing if you aren’t prepared.

For example, if you rely on Google AdWords from organic search traffic and your blog suddenly gets pinged in some update you might wind up with zero income for a while. The same goes with an affiliate product that you might be promoting with natural traffic vs paid traffic. That can dry up in an instant.

This is not a bad strategy if you want to get straight in to things and you have a few thousand to spare. There is, however, a LOT to consider before you buy a blog so please do not rush into it. If you’d like to learn more about this idea please leave a comment and I’ll consider doing an article on it.

Something I’ve been noticing is that blogging SEO is changing, but only in some ways. It’s almost like a car in that the design, colors and minor features change each year but the core remains the same. In this case the core is back links and the features are things like freshness, authorship, mobile-friendliness and so on.

The major thing to remember here, however, is that we will see more competition for organic links because more and more people are moving away from the old “link building” methods of the past in favor of a “quality content” approach to to SEO that sites like MOZ. tell us to follow.

At the very top of this blog post on the things you need to know to start a blog I mentioned that I still think a self-hosted WordPress blog is the best bet for serious, professional bloggers. Well, that doesn’t mean that we should totally ignore the other platforms.

Take the Tumblr “Follow” button that slides out of the right hand corner as you scroll down the page. That feature is very hard to ignore and has played a big part in Tumblr being so “viral” among users of that platform. It has since been copied by a lot of non-Tumblr bloggers who have found it converts quite well.