So, you have made the decision. You want to start blogging. You have something interesting to say, a different perspective to present, a voice of your own and more likely than not, you want it to be heard.
But, you feel overwhelmed by the amount of information available out there, some of which is contradictory, other parts require you to weigh the pros and cons of your choices. Here are 5 systematic, articulate and more or less exhaustive resources that can help you wade through the web of ways in which you can go about your new hobby, your think-pad, your space, your blog.
So, assuming you have found your niche, zero-ed in on your target audience, have understood the basics of writing content that people want to read, you want to get your hands dirty. Here’s a great list of sources that will give you an overall view of what you need to know. Be warned, it is indeed a list of lists – very useful lists though.
This is the perfect start. From the very typical but necessary “pick a good name, appropriate theme, etc” to a section on how to go about video blogging and how to understand your readership to how to address specific niches, this guide has it all. The two things that sealed the deal for me are –
List of experts: firstguide.com on the outset has a great list of experts. That they have contributed to making the guide itself is a bonus. To me just the list is invaluable. At the outset this site lets you hover over their name/photo and gives you a snapshot of what the said expert is all about. Depending on what your blog is going to be about, this is a good way to get easy access to the experts in your field.
Free professional advice: With the wealth of information they have on the site, it is unlikely that you question hasn’t been answered already, but you can seek online advice through their contacts page or chat widget, if you find yourself stuck.
Elite Blog Academy
While I don’t have personal experience using this one, it has raving reviews and one recommendation from none other than Darren Rowse, who himself runs one of the oldest and most valuable blog for bloggers, problogger.net. The academy promises an intense and in-depth look into blogging. Something meant for serious bloggers. I assume if you are looking at being a casual blogger, you wouldn’t be reading this.
Using Google Analytics
Almost as soon as you set up your blog, you will want to know, “how many readers?” And you will be surprised to know how much more than just that information you can get about your readers. In the near future, you might actually want to use that information to get more readers making it a lovely virtuous cycle. It is a good idea to equip yourself on how to use Google Analytics, the tool you are most likely going to end up using to keep track of your readership. This article takes you to 50 resources that talk about analytics and how to make most of it. Depending on what your specific need is, you can browse through to the most relevant link.
And then you will develop a healthy greed for more and more readers. There are scores of good resources telling you how to go about handling your social media needs to get a good readership. This one is one of the most comprehensive, step-by-step guidelines out there. Social media by itself is a topic that is huge and deep and deserves a lot of attention.
While I wouldn’t suggest that you should start a blog with the sole intention of making money out of it, because that would be more marketing than blogging, it doesn’t hurt to know if you are doing the right thing if that is one of your targets. In that case, problogger’s feed is what you certainly want to be subscribed to. The winner is that it has a lot of valuable posts from guest bloggers, each of whom is an expert in their own right.