So you are thinking of becoming a blogger. It is a great way to work for yourself and have fun while doing it. It might be part your company’s website that they want to start getting into.

There are some do’s and don’t’s when it comes to starting out, so take your time to plan before you launch a blog. If making money is the priority, and why shouldn’t it be? Then there are certain things that you need to think about.

Blogging platform

First of all, you need to think about which platform you will use for your blog. Will you use Blogger, WordPress? These are the most popular. There are other options like Tumblr, SquareSpace and Wix, though.

They all have good things about them, so it does depend on what you want to get out of your blog. As I have just stated, one of the most important things to think about is if you are wanting to make money out of the blog. This decision could affect which platform you use.

If you just want to write and have a space online, it doesn’t matter as much. Did you know, for example, that you can’t earn money using the free WordPress.com? You can use this just to write, but it isn’t in the terms of service to advertise or make money. So that is something to consider.

WordPress is one of the best-looking platforms, though, compared to Blogger. So you might still want to use WordPress as it is a little more professional looking. How can you use WordPress and make money then? Well, then answer to that is that you need to be using a self-hosted WordPress.org blog.

Web hosting

You need to buy a domain through a hosting provider. Then you buy a web hosting plan, ideally through the same provider. The next step is using the WordPress.org platform for the actual writing and changing the look of the site.

You will own everything this way, and it will be all copyrighted to you. There are much more things that you can do with a WordPress.org, rather than a WordPress.com. So explore and get yourself use to using it all.

Where do you start with web hosting? There are lots of brands that do web hosting. Site Ground, TSO Host, and Arvixe, just to name a few. Before you decide which host to go with, the best thing to do is look around for reviews to see which one will suit your best.

All hosts have different packages, and there are different costs associated with both. Do you want more than one email address for your blog? Perhaps a personal one and then one for work inquiries. If so, something like that needs to be considered before you decide which host to choose.

It all changes the price, depending on what you need. The amount of storage is something that affects the cost, as well as what security and backup settings you choose. There are plenty of choices, though, and hosting can cost from only four or five dollars a month.

When you have decided and know the cost, it is a good idea to have a shop around for a coupon code. Why not save a little on something you are planning to buy anyway? So look around for something like an Arvixe coupon here.

Creating back links

To start off with, you will need to get writing, in order to be able to build up an audience. So think of some great content and get sharing. For your blog to be successful and to grow, you need to think about creating back links.

So when you write the next post, do an internal link to an older but relevant post of yours (do you see what I did there)? The more backlinks a website has, the higher it will rank in search engine searches.

So if you have a food blog, for example, you will want those recipes to rank highly. Recipes are things that people often search for online. You want to be up there to get plenty of hits on your site and then hopefully get returning readers.

When you are starting out, it is a good idea to guest post on fellow bloggers sites. It helps you both. They will have some fresh new content for their site, that they haven’t had to think about. You get to be broadcast to a wider audience and get a backlink to your blog. So reading lots of other blogs will help you to know where your post might fit best.

If you visit other self-hosted blogs, and there is the chance to leave a comment, make sure that you do. If you leave your blog address in the space that is available near your name and email, it will leave a backlink. This is one of the easy things that you can do to build up your backlinks in the early days.

Related: The Complete Guide To Blogging (Tips on Content, Design, SEO and Social Promotion)

Domain authority

Creating a lot of backlinks helps with where you rank on a search engine, but it also helps your domain authority. Your domain authority is a metric that a lot of brands and companies look at before they consider working with you. It is a score that goes from one to a hundred.

The higher the score; the better. So it goes back to the point that if you are starting a blog as a way to generate income, you need to think about this. A lot of brands only want to work with blogs that have a domain authority of 20 or higher. So it is a good idea to have this a priority. Then you can get working on improving it straight away.

Social media

Being active on social media is key to being a blogger. It helps to share your content and to attract new readers. The most obvious choices are Twitter and Facebook. It is easy to share posts and tag brands or companies in your posts.

It is always a good idea to tag them, even if it is a review of something that you bought yourself. The chances are that they will retweet your post or follow you. Then you have started to build up a relationship with a brand. Perfect for making money as a blogger.

There are a lot of different ways to use social media and lots of different forms of social media. It is important to think about your content and the type of audience it would be suited for. If your blog is business related or perhaps it is about employment.

Then using the network LinkedIn would be vital for sharing your content and connecting with others. The people that are on there are interested in what you are going to be talking about.

If you are a photography blogger, or perhaps a craft or food blogger, then using Pinterest would be the most important one for you. People browsing on Pinterest will want to be able to see visual things and then will ‘pin’ if it looks good.

So make your recipe photos or craft photos look good. Then share them with a great title on Pinterest. You would get much more traffic from there than you would sharing elsewhere. A fashion store or fashion blog will have a lot of teenagers for the audience. So Snapchat might be the best thing for them to use.

So take the time to think about who your readers are and which social media you should be using. Google plus is vital to help with your search engine rankings, so make sure that posts are shared on there. Social media isn’t going anywhere, so make sure that you are involved in it.

Professionalism

If your blog is just for you to use as an online diary, then you might want to skim past this section. If you want the blog to be part of employment for you, then you need to think about being professional. Having a smart looking ‘about’ section will be a go-to place for people to learn about you.

A contact me page is also a great idea. If you have web hosting, then take advantage of the email that comes with it. So you can have info@myblogsname.com for them to get in touch with. It looks so much better than having written down something like crazydiscogirl@hotmail.com.

Along these lines, it is a good idea to streamline your social media accounts. Whichever ones you have chosen to use, try to get the same handle for all of them. If people are on your blog and want to send you a tweet, it helps if it is related to your blog’s name.

The same goes for other forms of social media too. Make it easy for people to get in touch with you. If it is hard for them to do so, they might just give up. Not good if you want to make this into a business.

Do you have any experience of the topics that have been covered?