So You 
Want to 
Start a Blog? 2

Professional Blogger Arkeedah 
McCormick Tells How

When Atlanta-born author, and former model Arkeedah McCormick stepped away from the world of fashion, she was not yet ready to forgo her passion for haute couture. Hence, the Vinings transplant has swapped her modeling career for one of today’s trendiest entrepreneurial gigs— blogging with a style-centered twist— which has kept the door open for her to stay linked to her passion. She has been able to meet, mingle with and interview hundreds of celebrities and work with a variety of top-tier brands.

While McCormick is among the ranks of more than 31 million U.S. bloggers, according to a 2012 survey by blogging.org, fewer than 10 percent of these bloggers were earning enough income from their internet-driven ventures to support their households. Arkeedah McCormick is the exception.

Before you take the leap from your 9-to-5 to the wonderland of writing, do ample research to understand how to get started and find prosperity as a blogger.

“I started my first blog in 2009,” says McCormick, the editor-in-chief of two popular blogs, ItsArkeedah.com, which focuses on fashion and lifestyle news, and ChickAutoTips.com, a resource for women that offers car-related advice. “And I purchased a lot of books to gain knowledge and to get an insight into the blogging world.”

Here’s a round-up of time-tested know-how from McCormick and other experts to help you to build a foundation for your new blogging experience:

Stay Content-Focused

Determining your chief focus is paramount, so, first, brainstorm what you’re good at and what drives you, according to McCormick. “Follow your heart, not just your reason. You seldom go wrong when you listen to your own inner voice,” she says. Raj Subramanyam, author of How to Build a Blog That Counts, advises bloggers to make sure that every post always adds a unique spin to the topic and highlights your own expertise, insights, recommendations, or opinion, which keeps reader retention high.

Set Up Shop on the Web

Next, choose a provider (WordPress, Blogger, Joomla!). The provider houses your blog’s behind-the-scenes information, including files, web pages, images, and plug-ins. Register a domain name and purchase a web hosting service (HostGator.com, 
GoDaddy.comSuite369.com) for a more professional look. Finally, set up a Google Analytics account, which helps you to track the online popularity of your blog.

Maintain Consistency

Post every day to garner five times more traffic than posting weekly or less, according to Mitt Ray’s research for SocialMarketingWriting.com
ProBlogger authors, Darren Rowse and Chris Garrett, agree that a blog that is updated daily, even multiple times a day, gets a substantial amount of visibility on search engines. McCormick advises new bloggers to just stay consistent.

Spread the Word

Increase exposure for your blog among those who are looking for your topic. Social media is the most effective way to get more readers for your blog. Create social media accounts for your blog and have the icons displayed prominently at the top of your blog.

Want more tips? Buy the book How to Start A Blog: 10 Essential Steps You Need To Know from Amazon.com or other leading retailers.($12.99)