THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE YOU START A BLOG: Having been blogging for a while now over at deemiddleton.com, I thought I’d offer my insight and experience for anyone considering starting a new blog. Before you start a blog, one of the biggest and costliest decisions you need to make is which blog host and platform you’ll be using. I also have 5 other specific things you should consider before you start a blog.
(If you need to sign up for a new blog, try a Bigscoots managed wordpress.org plan for the best options and the most attentive customer service.)
I personally used Godaddy Website Builder at the beginning. However, having to pay the monthly cost was adding up quickly. They just recently had a price increase. Yikes! While a few dollars doesn’t matter that much, it can add up over the long-term.
2020 Update: I no longer use Go Daddy but use a WordPress.org blog and use Bigscoots. Take my advice and START ON WORDPRESS.org before anything else. Otherwise, when you qualify for the big ad companies, you will have to change everything over to WordPress.org (ad company preferences) which is extremely time-consuming. Notice there is a wordpress.com. You need the wordpress.org version (self-hosted version).This is important, so don’t get them confused.
So, my advice is to shop around BEFORE you decide on a platform and make a purchase to have hosting. I personally like the ease of use I get with Bigscoots managed wordpress.org hosting, so I am committed to continuing to use them. I have not found better customer service anywhere. They usually solve my issues in under an hour. They are easy to reach and quick to find solutions. You can easily find reviews online and hear from experienced users. Some more things to consider are as follows: Here are 5 things to consider before you start a blog:
THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE YOU START A BLOG
1. Does the site look and sound professional?
If you decide to go with a free option, you will usually be stuck with a lengthy web address. Mine is deemiddleton.com, while it could be deemiddleton.whatever.com. Why does that matter? I mean, we are trying to save money and we’ve yet to earn anything with a brand new blog, right? If you are trying to buy a brand new domain(website) and haven’t decided what to even call it, you go to Bigscoots and search to see what domains are available to buy.
I just think it’s worth it, in the long haul to make the decision to go “.com” from the very start. It gives you immediate credibility and professionalism, that you don’t have to work as hard to earn.
What does that mean? It simply means this. If I want to read a topic you’ve blogged about, I will usually believe you are a more credible source on that topic if your web address reflects that. After all, you want your readers to have a good experience and not be turned off by you site address. Short and sweet is best. Plus, it’s much easier to remember for returning users.
2. Does your site have a good reader experience? Is it easy to navigate? Look professional?
If a new reader comes to your blog to read a post, you don’t want them to be turned off by a sloppy design. Usually a good blogging platform like wordpress.org will offer you multiple free professional templates/themes for your website.
Some themes offer you professional images you can use for free, as well. If your new reader comes to your site, you don’t want them to be turned off by pictures you uploaded from your smartphone. Unless you are a great photo editor, it’s going to show. I personally use Canva for all of my blog images. They have a free version, as well. The free version will do fine until you start to earn money with your blog. Once you start earning money, you can upgrade to the professional version, if you choose, and gain access to more photos.
2020 Update: I use Canva’s free version for photos. Here is my tutorial to use Canva to create photos and pins for Pinterest.
A second important matter on design is this…Most readers are visiting your site from smartphones. My website platform shows me exactly what a desktop visitor will see and what a smartphone user will see. Again, you want your reader to have a great experience on your blog, and you definitely want them to read that post you worked so hard to write. They should be able to do so from any device.
3. How long does your page take to load?
Let’s face it, we are impatient. We like things to move quickly, and we’ve been conditioned to expect that. For your reader, it is no different. They should not have to wait very long at all for your pages to load. Many times, new bloggers make the mistake of adding too many ads which slows that page from loading. Avoid doing that, because your potential reader will grow impatient and leave your site.
4. Avoid redirect ads at all costs!
What are “redirect ads”? These are ads that immediately redirect your readers to an ad without their consent. I personally NEVER use these types of ads. After all, you want your blog to be read, right? Why would anyone want to give their website address to their blog posts only to have that reader stolen away?
If you do this, you will likely not get a second chance to capture that reader again. They will just assume that the link you provided is spam. If you post these types of ads to Pinterest, you can also run into trouble. It’s just bad practice, so please take my advice and don’t do it.
5. Do you have so many ads that your content is lost?
Speaking of ads, there is a balance. Look at the photo above. Does anyone notice the smaller ads? Probably not. The largest and brightest ones overpower the smaller ads. A new reader should be able to locate the information quickly once they arrive to your site. If there are annoying pop-up ads and huge ad banners, your content can suffer. Most ad companies allow you to select the type of ads that display on your site.
If I am reading a piece of content on a website, I do NOT want to be marketed to the point of becoming a nuisance. Consider that before posting multiple ads. Also, routinely examine which ads are useful, and if they aren’t being clicked and earning you revenue, consider tossing them. They are taking up precious real estate on your site, and you want them to actually bring you profit.
One of my favorite ad sources is Google adsense. They have been profitable from the start, and they only post ads that are relevant to my readers. You can read another blog post I have on how to monetize your site using Google adsense. I’ll walk you though the process. Google Adsense is a beginner ad source.
My only caution I have with using Google adsense is that it is easy to accidentally click on your own ads. When you do that, even accidentally, they will suspend your account for 30 days which means you can’t display ads or earn money from during that time. Because of their ad placement (which you have no control over) it is easy to accidentally click and get penalized. Many blog owners have had that happen to them as well, so many people avoid Adsense because of it. When you have more page views, you’ll want to monetize your site with a better paying ad company. Ezoic is an excellent option, but you must meet the pageview requirements. I use Mediavine.
So there you have it. These are my top 5 things I think you should consider before you start a blog. There are many ways to be successful blogging, and I frequently post on this topic. If you want to learn more, subscribe to my blog and you’ll get updates on more blogging topics I believe you’ll find useful.
Bloggers, stay tuned, as I’ll do my best to send more helpful information like this post on THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE YOU START A BLOG your way! If you have already started a blog and want to increase traffic quickly, check out this post. Check out this post on how I use Pinterest to get page views.
Confused about how Pinterest works? Want to grow a larger, targeted audience? Then, let me teach you how to use Pinterest to do the work for you. Read more here.
Need to learn more about Blogging for Income?
Check out these related blogging posts I’ve written.
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Need blog post and social media ideas to promote your blog? Check out my review of 366 Days of Social Media Posts.
Want to Maximize Your Pinterest Reach? Read more here on this post I wrote: Blogging for Beginners: Using Pinterest Group Boards
Need help creating content? Check out my post here on HOW TO PLAN A YEAR’S WORTH OF BLOG POSTS IN ONE AFTERNOON
Wondering what bloggers do all day? Read my BLOGGING DAILY TO DO LIST
Need help creating Pinterest Pins to promote your blog? Read this post on HOW TO USE CANVA
(Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase anything through my links, I’ll be compensated at no additional cost to you.)