What is a blog?
"Blog" is an abbreviation for "weblog", a term used to describe web sites that maintain an ongoing chronicle of information. A blog features diary-type commentary and links to articles on other web sites, usually presented as a list of entries in reverse chronological order. Blogs range from the personal to the political and can focus on one narrow subject or a whole range of subjects.
Here's another good Definition of a Blog
Before you start
It is very important to ask yourself a few simple questions before you start your new blog:
What niche should I choose?
It is very important that you choose a niche with income potential. Some niches offer little or no money making potential and should be avoided.
Read the Finding a Profitable Niche article carefully to understand how you should go about choosing the perfect niche.
Am I interested in the niche?
If you want to grow a popular and well respected blog, it will take considerable time and effort, and you'll definitely have to take a long term approach to building it up. It is not a get-rich-quick scheme. Ask yourself, "Can I see myself still writing on this topic in 12 months time?" If you can't, I'd suggest finding another niche.
If you have a personal interest in a topic, it won't feel like work when you’re maintaining your blog. You will find yourself 'working' on it on a daily basis and when you're away from your PC you will actually look forward to making your next post.
If you do not have a high level of interest in your chosen niche, you will find it difficult to update the site on a regular basis and soon enough your rankings on Google will drop, and eventually your blog will die a slow death.
Is the niche popular?
While your interest in the niche is important, it is not enough to make a success of your venture. Another crucial aspect to consider is that people must WANT to read information on the topic you are writing about. The law of supply and demand comes into play here also. You might be interested in your topic, but unless others are also interested, you'll always have an uphill battle in building a successful blog.
For example: It would be pointless to create a blog about the "brown howler monkey" of Venezuela, as the Google Keyword Tool shows there are less than 10 searches on this topic per month in the entire world. That means that people are not particularly interested in the brown howler monkey.
Keep in mind that popular niches change over time. Obviously it’s great to get on a niche before it becomes big rather than when it's on the decline. This is not easy to do, of course but predict the next big thing that people will be searching for, and you could be onto a winner.
Get in the habit of being on the lookout for what people are into. I constantly ask myself "What will people be searching the web for in 6 to 12 months?"
Keep an eye on what people are talking about and what the latest trends are. Do this online but also keep an eye on TV, magazines, the papers and even the conversations you have with friends.
Will I have enough Content?
One of the key features of successful blogs is that you have the ability to continue to come up with fresh content for long periods of time. One of the things that kills many blogs is that their authors run out of things to say.
Ask yourself this:
- Do I have enough content within me as an author?
- Do I have such an extended knowledge about the subject to continue writing about it for a long time to come?
- Are there enough resources available on the subject where I can find more ideas and inspiration?
NOTE: Pro content writers also offer blog post writing and editing services! They have the uncanny ability to source and write interesting posts about anything you can imagine.
I've only covered the most important aspects related to blogging. The Finding a Profitable Niche section describes many more aspects which you should also consider.
I am ready, where do I start?
The quickest, cheapest and easiest way to setup a new blog is to visit http://www.blogger.com or http://www.wordpress.com and setup a free blog. Follow the instructions given on these websites and you can submit your first blog post in a matter of minutes.
If you do not wish to use any of these free platforms and wish to setup your own website, with your own domain and professional hosting package, then read more about setting up a professional website here...