Starting a successful blog is a combination of business and art. Here are my top ten tips for creating a lasting (and lucrative) blog. A small amount of research and prep work can increase the odds of making your blog a success.
1. List your goals
Are you creating this blog to earn money? Voice opinions? Keep in touch with friends? Know why you are starting a blog before
2. Choose a topic
What do you love? What are you passionate about? What do you think you can write about on a regular basis? Choose a topic that you can build upon as you grow your reader base. If you run out of things to post
3. Read the competition
Read other blogs to discover what's out there and to learn what your likes and dislikes are in a blog. What can you bring to your subject that is new and different?
4. Decide on a host
There are a variety of blog hosts out there, including Livejournal, Blogger, WordPress, and MySpace. Browse several and study their features. Some are more customizable than others, and your goals will determine what features you need.
5. Choose revenue programs
Google AdSense is one of the most common advertising programs, but there are a variety of other paid links and affiliate programs that you can choose from. Compare several with your goals for the blog and find the ones that best suit your topic. For example, I have a blog that frequently discusses books, so I joined the Amazon affiliate program and link the book names to their Amazon page. If someone makes a purchase, I earn a commission.
6. Find a proofreader
Do you have a close friend who is willing to take a look at your posts for you? It can be easy to miss your own typos, so find a good pair of eyes to double check for you.
7. Start writing!
8. Find your unique voice
Everyone has a particular style of their writing. Comedic, serious, sarcastic, compassionate - try to keep your voice consistent so that your readers know what to expect. That will keep them coming back for more!
9. Find appropriate places to advertise
Never spam your link, but consider targeted locations to make your web presence know. Are you active in any message boards where there might be an interest? If they allow links in your signature, add your blog. Link to blogs on related topics that might be of interest to your readers, and let those bloggers know.
10. Have patience
It can take time to build a following and start earning revenue from your blog. Continue to add new posts and network with other bloggers.
Keep writing and good luck!