You want to start a business, website or blog! That is awesome! I love building websites and love helping others build websites. There are things to do before even getting started writing or marketing to make sure your bog is the most successful, promotable and engaging site that will bring followers, readers and even profit if you are looking for that. Five small but huge things that will set you on the path to success.
1. Find Your Niche
Finding your niche is probably one of the most important things because it will lead the way to name, networking, etc. When thinking about a niche you want to make sure you are not too limited but also possibly not too broad. There are many bloggers that are just lifestyle bloggers and do a little of everything. That is fine and I personally like to see a site with some broad topics. Even Techie Mamma, tech is my focus but I want to be able to share a recipe or two or talk about toddler issues or organizing. The key is that I try to incorporate some tech in all of it. For recipes, I make sure there is a gadget involved, like my lovely Instant Pot, before I share something. For a toddler or mom stuff, I try to incorporate some kind of app or website feature. For example, my recent Spring Wardrobe post includes a lot of information about Prime Wardrobe that you can do from the Amazon website or Amazon app and its a cool techie way to buy clothes online. I think a niche or your focus can be a blog as long as you have a twist that you add to it. For me, I do everything tech and so it makes sense for it that to be incorporated into everything I do. Your passion may be health or fitness or crafts. I could see incorporating kids’ activities that are healthy or recipes that are healthy or crafty things for both adults and children. See my worksheet to find your focus or niche!
Find a Name
Finding a name may be one of the most important things you do. Your name should embody who you are and what you want your site to do. If you are too focused on your name you might find that you have to do a new name in the future or if your name is too broad it might mean that you can’t get traction for your brand. Your name will likely influence your logo and design choices. I have a very talented friend who does graphic design. The name of her company is called Firefly Graphic Design. She has a gorgeous logo that incorporates firefly and the design she is doing for the website is going to be bright and incorporate and play with light that will make it memorable. For other businesses or blogs, you might want to brand yourself so you may want to use your name for your name. I luckily have a unique name – Cousett – but find that it is hard to remember and spell, so I decided to go with a brand naming instead of my name.
Once you have a name picked out you will want to go online and see if it is available as a domain. A domain is an address that people will find your website. Usually, the domain has the format www.yourname.com but there are a lot of endings that you can play with. I have a domain that is momte.ch it is for my shortened URLs but it is nice to play around with some of the different endings. Recently, the availability of a lot of endings has become available so it has become easier to find the nice short names if you are flexible with the ending. If you are working on a blog there is even a .blog ending or a .biz ending. Are you a traveling family you could have a .travel or .family. The new generic endings are opening up a lot of options for sites and becoming more and more popular. No longer are the days when everyone wants a .com. Wikipedia has a full list that can be a little overwhelming but has a lot of information. The international ICANN organization also has a list of all the domains It is important to remember that not all registrars will have all the endings but once you find a name that you love you can look into who has that name available. Check out Domainr: fast, free, domain name search, short URLs, new gTLDs, whois to search for all kinds of URLs and find out where you can register them. You do not have to register at the same place you purchase hosting. I would even discourage it. I recommend highly Google Domains for registering your address. Unfortunately, Google does not offer all the endings so I recommend looking for your options with Domainr and then registering with Google if possible.
TIP — If you love reading and getting the whole picture on a topic check out this guide on the history of domain names.
Another thing to think about with names is that you will have the same name on social media. You want consistency across the board. Even if you don’t use all the social media outlets right away you might want to check if the names are available and maybe even register with ones that you think you might use in the future to reserve your name. Namechk | Username, Domain, and Trademark Search is a cool service that checks your name across many social media websites and even domain and trademark. If there are certain social media or sites that you will for sure be building up your brand, it may be a show-stopper if the name is already taken. I found Techie Mom taken on a lot so I changed it to Techie Mamma. This might be tricky too though because they are so similar your users may be confused and go to possibly your competitor website. I did a little research and found that the other sites like techiemom were not really being used and decided I could run with techiemamma.
Define Your Goals
You want to build a business or a blog, what are you going to do with it. Is this just your creative outlet or do you have specific goals that will help you stick with your focus? For example, do you want to reach a specific number of subscribers within 12 months? Brainstorm a strategy for your blog with potential products and your ongoing goal. Perfectionists!?! It doesn’t have to be perfect or even finalized just have some ideas about where you want to end up what your path is and do this every several months when you reach some milestones come up with new goals to reach. Having goals and a strategy will make the whole blog or business thing more attainable. When I started Techie Mamma as a blog, it was just a hobby, I did it in my free time as a creative outlet. Life takes over though really quickly and often our luxurious items are the first to go. Techie Mamma was often forgotten about and soon it was months and months without any writing. When I came back I had more of a strategy. I wanted to offer services as well. I also want to do products. This keeps the focus of the blog and business in line and I know that every time I write something it is to get closer to attaining my goals.
Research, research, research. There is so much research when it comes to working on a blog or business. Research to improve your skills and help you do the task you need to do. Research to know other blogs in your area and see their style to see what you may be able to contribute or improve on. Adapted from the adorable song in Finding Nemo, “just keep learning, just keep learning”. I think hand with research comes networking. Network with others in your niche and others that are not in your niche. I know I am not crafty but I may come up with something simple that I want to show on my blog and then also link to other mamas that are more crafty and have more things. It is important to go both ways when researching. There is so much we can add in our own area and others as well.
Probably the last thing before really getting set up to start your blog is to find a hosting provider. Earlier you found your domain and a registrar for your domain. Your domain is your unique address on the World Wide Web, just like a street address, it will lead everyone right to your website. The hosting is your space at that address. So your house, igloo, apartment, flat, whatever it looks like, you have to purchase or pay somehow for that space. There are a whole lot of hosting providers that will give you space. Some are super-specialized in WordPress others are more generic. They will also range from a few dollars a month to several hundred depending on your needs. To just get started you are fairly safe with a simpler one but choosing one that will work well with WordPress and has a track record of uptime and customer support will save you headaches in the future.
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