Starting a Blog: Nailing Down the Basics

Posted on 03/14/2011

Blogs. Vlogs. Hyperlinking. SEO content. If you're not blog-savvy, those terms might just make your head spin, but you can't deny the social, career, and monetary rewards that a blog can bring. Where to start? Our tips guru, Alison Storm, is here to help with a three part series on starting your own blog. Take it away, Alison!

According to, there are more than 157 million blogs with nearly 80,000 popping up in the last 24 hours. Wow. That’s practically one new blog for every resident of my hometown of Sioux City, Iowa! But if you’re thinking about starting a new blog don’t let those numbers intimidate you. In this three-part series I’ll help you nail down the basics of starting a blog, figure out how to create great content, and explain how to promote and monetize your new site.

Pinpoint Your Topic - For a blog to be successful, new content needs to be added regularly. That means you’re going to have to write about this topic quite a bit. So choosing the focus of your blog is an extremely important first step. You want it to be broad enough to capture a crowd, but narrow enough to not get lost in the shuffle.

Select a Domain - Go ahead and accept the fact that most of the great URLs have been snatched up. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find a really good one. Try to keep it short and memorable. Use separators like a dash if you have to and consider a “.co” domain. These are gaining popularity especially since paid $350,000 for

Choose a Platform - When you start your blog you’ll need a platform to use. Some of the most popular blogging platforms are Squarespace, Blogger, Typepad and WordPress. Many newbies choose to have their blog hosted on the platform’s server because it is often free and simple to get going. While Squarespace will cost you a minimum of $12 a month it has some features the other guys don’t have including freedom to include advertising, integrated search engine optimization, detailed web analytics and more.

Create a Design - You may not want to invest in hiring a design pro to make your blog look like a million bucks. But you can still have a well-designed blog using free templates provided by your blog platform. Get inspired by perusing some creative and cool Squarespace blog examples.

Stay tuned because next time we’ll be talking about how to fill your new blog with great content!

By Alison Storm

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