Keep in mind that, throughout your blogging journey, there's a good chance that you'll want to adjust your site’s functionality as your traffic grows and your brand matures. For that reason, many bloggers opt for platforms that boast a wide variety of apps and plugins that can be used to improve your site’s performance, simplify mundane tasks, market your blog, and run site backups.
Pick a domain and blog name
Once you’ve determined your niche and picked a platform, you want to choose and purchase a domain name. Many platforms, like WordPress or Shopify, make it easy to search for and register a domain name directly through their portal.
When shopping for a domain name, also consider the name of your blog itself. Unless your goal is to create a portfolio site or personal blog, don’t use your name as a custom domain. While you can continue to be the face of the blog, it’s easier to build a brand when inventing a creative name that reflects your products and goals. Choose a domain name that’s unique, easy to spell, fun to say, and memorable.
Plan your posting strategy
Every blogger needs a regular supply of ideas, and planning ahead will help keep you on track—and ensure that you don't run out of content to create. As you're getting started, consider creating a simple spreadsheet that includes the posts you're planning, the target audience, the publish dates, and, if applicable, the channels you'll use to promote each new post.
Build your audience—and keep them coming back
You've probably already thought about how you can grow your audience after you begin publishing content, but establishing an audience (and brainstorming ways to engage them) before your first post goes live can help you build positive momentum right away.
Get a head start by gathering email addresses from potential blog visitors as soon as possible; offer new audience members a few examples of the content you'll be providing and and give them a chance to be the first to know when your new blog officially launches.
Give careful consideration to your social media strategy, too. Think about ways you can engage with your followers in the future and get more eyes on your content. Some bloggers like to create polls to see what content their audience wants to see. Others choose to create short summaries of their posts to share socially, inviting folks to join the conversation on the channel of their choice.
Then, as you move forward, be sure to pay close attention to the reporting tools and analytics data provided by your blogging platform and all of your audience and marketing touchpoints. Notice what works (and what doesn't), so you can be sure that you're always providing content that your target audience wants to read, interact with, and share with their peers.