So, you want to write a blog. Before you put fingers to keyboard, there are five important questions you need to ask yourself. Consider the following questions and then check out our Branding Tips for Bloggers for great tips on names, design, and hosting options.
Are you only thinking of dollar signs?
It is possible to make money from blogging, but that shouldn’t be your only reason for doing it. There needs to be some passion behind it as well. For me, I have a passion for writing and sharing information. You might have a passion for coupons, cooking, or parenting tips. You won’t get many readers if you don’t, as your lack of passion will come across in your writing. So, consider money-making opportunities by all means, but for your sake, and the sake of your readership, ensure you choose something to write about that is worth reading. Remember blogging is rarely some overnight money maker. Most people blog for several years before they see any return on investment.
What are you going to write about?
For money and for passion, you need to find a niche you are comfortable with. It doesn’t matter if you choose something other bloggers are writing about, provided you have something interesting to say in what you write. In short, if you’re bored, your readers will be too! If you’re stuck for ideas, consider these niches to get you started, and then look deep inside of yourself. What motivates you? What makes you excited? What are you passionate about? If you can find a niche that fits you perfectly, your readers will benefit from your love and enthusiasm. Sometimes you have to experiment with niches or like me, your niche can be the all-encompassing Lifestyle. But even in Lifestyle, there are sub niches like women over 40, single millennials, urban living, etc. Think about what you are interested in and have something to tell people about.It's okay to change your niche. As you evolve your blog will evolve.Click To Tweet
How will your blog stand out from the rest?
We aren’t contradicting ourselves after the last point – it really doesn’t matter if your blog has similar content to others. It’s very hard to be completely original, after all. However, need to stand out from the competition. If you want to build a following so you can monetize and get sponsors, you need to offer something that is unique. Rather than offering something generic, be creative in the way you present your ideas. Use images, videos, infographics, and different writing styles. Check out our branding tips to give your blog a unique identity. Look at other blogs in your chosen niche and think about what can make your blog different.
How much time do you have to spend on your blog?
A blog lives or dies on the content produced. If you don’t have the time to regularly post something new, your readers will soon get bored and move on. To be truly successful, you need to post something new at least three times a week. You also need to make time to market your blog, ensuring people actually know it exists. This aspect takes up at least twice as much time as the writing. If you want to make money with your blog then you need to treat it like a job. If you don’t have enough time to devote to your blog, you may want to put things on hold. Alternatively, you might want to acquire a copywriter, a guest blogger, or a friend who wants to work on your blog with you.
Do you have the skills needed?
Finally, but most importantly, do you have the skills to create and maintain a blog? You do need some semblance of writing skill – you will put your readers off if your content is littered with spelling and grammatical mistakes – and there are other skills you need to pick up, such as marketing, SEO, and web design. It’s a big benefit if you are tech savvy and can write CSS or HTML. Being social media proficient and knowing how to edit photos is also a big plus. Don’t get frightened if you don’t have all these skills, bloggers are really great about helping out each other. You can pick up tips online or watch a youtube on it. There are even courses you can take on or offline to help you brush up on areas you feel weakest in.
Blogging is a lot of fun, whether it’s a simple past time or a money-making opportunity. I hope you find success, whatever your motivation, but remember you’re probably not going to get rich overnight and your definitely going to spend more time than you though on this endeavor.
What advice do you have for new bloggers?
What questions do you have for established bloggers?