Setting up a blog is a fairly easy thing to get started. However, there are so many resources available to you that it can be overwhelming. Before beginning writing, or building, you should ask yourself some questions and do some pre-work.

1.    Before you do anything else, what are your reasons WHY for publishing a blog. What is the purpose for the blog?  Is it going to be just for fun or a business blog?

2.  What objectives or outcomes or goals do you want from your blog? Many don’t necessarily start their blog as a business, but if you are hoping to earn ANYTHING at all from your blog, you need to treat it as a business.

3.    Who is your ideal reader? Who are you writing for? It’s important to know your audience so you can meet their needs and address their concerns, challenges and what they’re looking for to improve their lives. Have a “reader” in mind when you are writing.

4.    How do you want your readers to feel when they read your blog? Do you want your reader to be inspired, motivated, and moved to action? Again, tapping into this will help you focus your content on serving your reader.

5. What do you want your readers to DO when they read your blog? This has to do with the goals you set for your blog. Do you want them to subscribe? To click on as many pages as possible? To buy your products?

6.     How much time do you have to devote to your blog each week? This is getting to the heart of blogging. Be honest. The most effective and successful blogs are those with fresh, new content posted at least two to three times per week. Is that reasonable for you to manage?  The biggest key is to be consistent.

7.  What’s your blog’s core message? This relates to the topic of your blog and the niche you are focused on. What do you want your readers to learn? Why should anyone read your blog and more importantly why should they subscribe and follow your blog? This is another key piece to get in place before you start your blog. Create a series of key posts that bring people back to your blog, such as “how-to” posts.

8.  Use an editorial calendar. It’s no secret that content rules on a blog so it’s helpful to have a content plan going in to the game. A key element of a good blog is having a list of 7-10 keyword rich categories. Once you determine the categories, you can plan your content calendar. If you plan on posting three times per week, then plot out post ideas for each of your categories. Make a list of 5 topics for each category. Then, fill in your calendar.

9.  Do your homework. Critical to your blog’s success is knowing your competition. Who is already blogging in your niche? What are they writing about? Spend some time doing research to see what is out there already in your niche. This will help you tweak your niche even further.

10. Build your blog. Now that the research is done, you know your message and have a content ready to go, it’s time to get down to business and build the blog. This is where the fun begins! Are you going to build in blogger? In WordPress? A self-hosted wordpress site? Once you do these first 10 things, there are MANY more questions to answer!

What advice do you have for someone who is looking to begin a blog?

If you would like more in-depth help on beginning a blog, the book below is written by ProBlogger himself. A great resource!

I am linking this post up over at Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday!