How To Start A Blog

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About a year ago when I discovered that I was an Introvert and I’d rather spend my time alone, reading and reflecting on my thoughts the thought came to me that I should start my own blog and share with others the many things that I enjoy doing while hiding from the world.

At that time, I was knee deep into building several online businesses that involved spending countless hours sitting behind my computer.

To a lot of other people that doesn’t seem like a very exciting life but to us Introverts that’s the equivalent of being on paradise island.

I found that not only Introverts like me enjoy making extra income while working a full time job but Extroverts need to supplement their incomes too.

So I went online and quickly set one up just for fun and hoped I would get maybe a couple hundreds of readers over time. I must admit I played around with it here and there until I dialed back some of my online ventures that eventually became another job opposed to a passive income source.

I decided that I wanted to share what little knowledge that I had at the time about the businesses that I was involved in and I also did some research and wanted to share other ways to make money that I didn’t actually try but that would be of value to others.

So I thought that I should probably take creating my own blog a bit more seriously. I started to read a lot more than I had already done. I set up a weekly posting schedule and I started to work more the technical side and on how to get good results on social media and in search engines.

So in this article I’d like to share the answer to one of the most common questions I get in my inbox:

How do I create a successful blog or website?

Here are [] of the best tips that I have learned during the past year about just that.

Note: Some of the recommend services in this article are linked to via affiliate links which means I’ll earn a commission if you purchase that particular tool or product. If you do, I thank you for supporting me and this website.

1. Find a good name and domain name.

Your domain name is what you type into the address bar to go to a website. In my case it’s for example: www.msiguy.com

But how do you find a good domain name and name for your website?

Well, here’s how I did it:

  • I figured out a topic for my blog. In my case it was making extra money from home & personal development.
  • I brainstormed names. After finding the topic I took maybe 15-20 minutes with a pad and paper and brainstormed possible names.
  • I trashed a handful of names. Some because they felt too generic and boring to me. Others because they didn’t describe what the website was about that accurately.
    In the end my choice narrowed down to the one I found to be simple to remember and that captured the spirit and topics of what I wanted to write about.

The easiest best domain name company I’ve found with the easiest user interface is Godaddy.

2. Get web hosting.

After you have found your own name or best candidate you need to go and register it online. You can do that at a web host where you’ll also get hosting space so you can store the blog posts, files, images, videos etc. that all together is your website.

One of the most popular (it’s used by over 2 million websites) and most often recommended web hosts – by for example WordPress, Problogger.com and Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income – is Bluehost.

And Bluehost has been kind enough to give all MSIGUY Blog/Newsletter readers a limited time offer.

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3. Find a good look for your website.

After you have registered your domain name, setup your hosting account and created your website by using the one-click install of WordPress it’s time to find a look for it.

You do that by choosing a theme. There many free ones to choose from in your WordPress control panel.

There are also premium themes that tend to be more professional and include more useful functions.

I’ve used the premium theme called Thesis since launching my blog and I am very happy about how it has:

  • Helped me to create the clean and quick loading look of my website.
  • Made it easy to publish articles with great and easy-to-read typography.

A really good premium theme alternative to Thesis is the Genesis Framework. It’s very popular and is used by many top blogs.

4. Start creating the content you are passionate about and share it with the world.

Now, after you have set up the basic technical stuff it is time to ask yourself: what do people want from a website?

If you ask me the answer is simply value.

From a website like mine they want the best and most practical personal development advice that can help them to improve their lives.

From a humor website they might want the funniest videos or comic strips. From a history website they probably want history told in an engrossing and entertaining way.

So value can come in many forms based on what niche your website is in.

The key to creating a lot of value no matter what your website is about is to write, podcast or record videos around one of your passions or biggest interests in life.

By doing so you’ll automatically do a better job and you’ll keep creating better and better content over time. And you won’t get tired or bored and quit so easily before your website takes off.

5. Find powerful topics to write about.

No matter if you write, podcast or create videos you want to do it around topics that are important not only to you but to other people too.

But how do you create content that is more likely to help a lot of people and take off on social media for example?

Two things that have worked for me are:

  • What do readers and the people you met in real life ask you about? Answer common questions you get from the people you met online and in real life in your content. If a few people have asked you about the same thing then there are likely a whole lot more in your readership that would like to know the answer.
  • Share your solutions to the biggest problems or challenges you have faced. People are often quite similar. So if you can share what has helped you to overcome one of your biggest problems or challenges in life then there is a pretty big chance that it will resonate with a whole lot of other people too.

6. Go the extra mile.

Write a longer blog post than most people may do. Or do a more in-depth podcast.

My most popular articles are mostly the ones I have poured a lot of time into and that are quite long. These articles also tend to do the best on Google because they are simply some of the most in-depth sources on the topic you can find online.

So do the work most people won’t do. I could for example have written just 10 quick tips for this article but decided to go much further than that.

Doing my best and going the extra mile that many simply won’t has – not every time but quite often – brought me many, many readers over the years.

7. Spread the word about your website.

OK, so you got your website up. You got some valuable content published. Some readers may start to trickle in.

But how do you spread the word about your website to really start building your audience?

Well, I got lucky with a couple of social media mentions early on (although the articles that got mentioned were very useful and I did go the extra mile with them).

But what can you do to spread the word if that doesn’t happen early on?

One of the best way I have found to get readers that very likely to enjoy your content and stick with you for quite a while is to guest post on other blogs in your niche.

How do you do it?

  • Make contact. Do some googling and simply contact other people in your niche that say that they are looking for guest posts.
  • Write something that fits the website owner’s wishes. And you think is a good match for his or her audience.
  • Make it easy for the person you are guest posting for. Don’t forget to edit and proof-read and perhaps even format the post before you send it to the website. Make it as easy as it can be for the website owner to just cut and paste the article and hit publish.
  • Go the extra mile here too. Write a long and in-depth article if possible, don’t just do the minimum amount of work required. You’ll make the person you are guest posting for happy. And the post will likely rank better in search engines and get more social media mentions.
  • Make it easy to become a regular reader. When readers want to check out your site after reading the guest post then make it easy for them to become a regular reader. You can do that by setting up an email newsletter…

re good or great ideas for new posts or podcasts then you will start creating some true hits with readers or listeners (even if not all of those ideas will resonate as much with your audience as they may do with you).

If you have started to create a product of your own start adding time to work on that too to your 3-month schedule (and see how later parts of it can fit in into your rough 1 year plan).

And be prepared to revise both your 3 month and 1 year plan several time because, in my experience, you’ll discover things along the way that will either force you or inspire you to make new decisions.

I hope this short post helps you in getting started with your blog. If you would like more in depth training on how to start a blog please leave a comment and I’ll provide a advance post if I get enough request….