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It seems like every blogger out there has a post on how to start a blog, but not many bloggers talk about what you should do BEFORE starting on your blogging journey.

If your goal is to make money blogging, you need to have a good foundation to start with.

This not only helps you earn money quicker, but also helps you to create that full-time, passive income that you want.

So, that’s what I’m sharing with you today! These are 5 things that I think are ESSENTIAL to do before starting a successful blog so you can be prepared before you even publish your first post!

1. HAVE THE RIGHT MINDSET

Before we get too far into the process, let’s talk about your mindset.

Because honestly, this is the difference between sticking with blogging when things get hard versus just giving up.

We’ve all seen those income reports from bloggers making thousands of dollars a month from their blog, but what those reports don’t always show is the blood, sweat, and tears it took to get to that point.

There’s so much more that goes into blogging than just writing a great post, especially if you want to make money from your blog someday.

Affiliate marketing and SEO are just a couple of the mammoths you’ve got to tackle as a blogger. And, if you’re doing it all by yourself, it can be a lot of late nights and early mornings working.

So, here’s a few key things I think you should know before starting a successful blog:

  • Your blog is a business. If you’re just blogging for fun and don’t want to make any money from it, great! But if your goal is to earn any sort of income from your blog, you need to treat your blog like a business, not a hobby. This means you’ve got to invest in yourself and have a plan on how you’re going to monetize.
  • Blogging is NOT a get-rich-quick scheme. There are plenty of bloggers out there who sell this fantasy that you can earn thousands of dollars a day from your blog after just a few weeks of blogging. And this just isn’t true. If it was, EVERYONE would start a blog. So just remember, when starting a successful blog, it’s going to take time. But if you’re patient (and persistent) you’ll be able to reap the benefits of your work and it’ll be SO worth it!
  • Don’t compare yourself to others. Girl, I KNOW it’s easy to compare yourself to other bloggers and feel discouraged because they’re way ahead of you in their blogging journey. But I promise you, if you just keep pushing you will reach your goals. So focus on you and what you can do to improve, and try not to worry about another blogger’s journey!

Ultimately, the biggest takeaway is to not get discouraged!

To reach your dreams, you’ve got to be in it for the long haul and you can’t let the tough times get you down!

2. KNOW YOUR NICHE + TARGET AUDIENCE

Before starting a successful blog, you need to know what topic you’re going to write about (AKA your niche) and who you’re going to be writing for (AKA your target audience.)

When you know your target audience, things get MUCH easier.

This helps you figure out your blog’s brand design, how to market to your readers, and how to create content that your audience will LOVE.

When you create foundational content, your visitors begin to turn into followers who are willing to return again and again!

If you’re confused on how to pick a niche and define your target audience, I’ve gotcha covered.

3. SET SOME GOALS FOR YOUR BLOG

By now you probably know that I LOVE setting goals for my blog.

I truly believe this is one of the biggest keys to success because, when you don’t have goals it’s hard to know what steps you’re supposed to take to become successful.

So, set some long-term goals! Dream big here and think about what success looks like to you, and what accomplishments would help you see your blog as a success.

And make sure you’re setting the RIGHT kind of goals that’ll actually help your blog grow (more on that here.)

4. HAVE POSTS READY TO GO BEFORE YOU LAUNCH

Once your blog goes live, your readers (and search engines) have a certain expectation.

Whether you plan to post every day or once a week, you need to be consistent to have good SEO and keep your readers coming back for more.

(For more on SEO, check out this post by Branded Bucks!)

Of course, we’re all (hopefully) human and life can get busy. It’s not always possible to write a new blog post every day.

So, before you launch your blog you should have at least a few blog posts written, ready-to-publish-but-not-published-yet.

These are the posts that you can keep in your back pocket for when you don’t have anything ready to publish and need something quick.

I’d also recommend having at least 5 blog posts published the day your blog goes live.

This gives your first visitors plenty of content to read, and also gives them an idea of the kind of content you’ll be providing in the future!

5. GO SELF-HOSTED

My absolute, #1 tip for starting a successful blog is to get started with a self-hosted platform.

There’s a lot of benefits to it, but the most important one being that you own all of your content.

There are plenty of horror stories online of bloggers who lost ALL of their posts because the blogging platform they were using took them all down. Which they could do because the blogger didn’t actually own the content.

So, save yourself the worry and headache and just go self-hosted from the start.

Siteground is my all-time favorite hosting platform, especially for beginners.

Not only are they super affordable, but their customer service has been ah-mazing for me.

When I started my first blog, I was having a hard time learning how to set up my SSL certificate (which actually came free with my subscription) and their customer service was super helpful in walking me through setting it up.

Siteground also includes one-click WordPress installation, so it’s great if you’re less tech-advanced like me.

They also offer a money-back guarantee for the first 30 days, so if you want to just try them out, you can do so without worrying about the money! Click here to sign up!

I hope you find these tips useful! If you’ve already started your blog, is there something you wish you’d done before you started? Let me know in the comments!

Also be sure to save this post on Pinterest so others can find it!

5 Things to do Before Starting a Blog