There are many reasons why people choose to start a blog. It is the perfect platform for marketing, promoting a message or even just recording your personal thoughts. Whatever the reason, it’s undeniable that the trend has exploded and taken over the internet. In fact, the phenomenon has given way to a whole new type of career opportunity – now many aim to be a prolific blogger as an end goal.
That being said, creating a successful blog isn’t quite as simple as it sounds. It requires hard work, dedication and a clear vision. If you’re thinking of sharing your writing with the world, here are a few questions to consider before you sign up and make the commitment.
Why Do You Want To Blog?
Before you account, it’s important to spend some time considering the purpose of your blog. While it’s possible to create great content no matter your intention, defining a clear aim significantly helps when making decisions regarding style and design.
Establishing your objective in a succinct manner is the best way to start your blog off on a good footing. Here are some examples of potential goals:
- Marketing Your Small Business. Blogging has been continuously proven to attract more customers to your company. Posting regular articles relating to the products and services you offer not only ensure you’re attracting the right sort of people, but it can also improve your visibility on the web.
- To Start a Career. “The Digital Nomad’ is becoming an increasingly attractive career choice for many people. Blogging allows you to work remotely and manage your time however you want!
- Promoting a Cause. If you have a particular message that you’re passionate about, blogging is a fantastic tool to share your opinion, meet up with like-minded people and even change a few perspectives along the way.
- Recording an Experience. Many people start blogs for particularly poignant periods in your life. Whether it’s a long-term trip, welcoming a new baby to the family or starting a new job, posting can be a great way to keep your loved ones up-to-date and create an incredible souvenir in the process.
- Sharing Your Thoughts. Blogging doesn’t have to be for an audience; it can also be a great platform to journal your thoughts and feelings.
Have You Found Your Niche?
‘Niche’ is a word that comes up regularly when discussing blogging.It refers to the category of expertise in which your articles will fit. For example, documenting a globetrotting trip would be considered a travel niche blog; posting reviews of apps and games would be both tech and entertainment.
However, it’s worth making your niche as specific as possible. Choosing a definition of ‘travel around Australia’ or ‘video games in Japan’ will attract a much more focused audience and increase the likelihood of visitors returning on a regular basis. Think of it this way:
The wider your niche, the more blogs you will have to compete with for prevalence.
It’s also important to note the difference between ‘niche’ and ‘target audience.’ While the former refers to the topic of your post, the latter focuses on defining who will read your articles. Both are useful to have in mind before you begin creating your blog.
Do You Want To Make/Spend Money?
Perhaps the most important decision you make when creating your first blog is establishing finances. It’s possible to create your site with no cost involved, but if you’re hoping to make money then often an initial investment is required – as with most businesses.
Turning a profit from your blog can be done in many ways, but one of the simplest options is using Google AdSense. Easily compatible with Blogger, it pays you revenue for hosting adverts on your site. You don’t need to pay for a fancy theme or personal domain to turn a profit; AdSense can be used no matter your online authority.
However, there is a catch: making a decent wage from your blog is very much dependent on traffic. Depending on your niche, the more visitors you get, the more money you can earn – no matter what monetization strategy you use. This point also extends to ensuring you are attracting the right kind of visitors – those who will invest their time and money, instead of one-time readers.
While it is possible to achieve this goal without cost, it will most definitely take time and effort. Investments you can make to speed up to process include:
- Personal domain address.
- A professionally designed theme
- Promotion for your social media posts
- Other team members to help with the workload
It’s impossible to say how long it will take to monetize your site; every case is different. However, prolific bloggerAmy Lynn Andrews provides the incredibly helpful resource of her profit timeline alongside links to the income reports of other site owners so that you can compare.
How Good Is Your Marketing Prowess?
Unfortunately, unless you have the capital to pay for a marketing team, if you want your blog to be a success, then it’s down to you. Although good content is the first and foremost priority to attract visitors, extra promotional strategies are often needed to give your site an extra boost.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is often mentioned in blogging circles. Referring to the practice of creating content to improve your search engine ranking, it uses keywords, anchor text and link building campaigns to increase your domain authority. However, perfecting good SEO is an art, and some claim that quality content outranks its worth anyway. If you are interested in optimizing your blog, then there are many online guides to help you along the way.
- Email Subscription
It cannot be reiterated enough that securing repeat visitors is your quickest path to success. Installing an email subscription widget is simple and will ensure all fans are updated when new content is released.
- Guest Posting
Guest posting on other people’s sites is a great way to increase traffic and search engine ranking. Not only will your posts direct niche readers to your blog, but the opportunity to link back from another site will also improve your authority in Google.
- Social Media
Social media marketing is such a vast topic that it really deserves a whole article to itself. In the simplest terms, creating a personable reputation and interacting with fans on different networks will help to instigate loyalty and a genuine human connection between your brand and your readers. Doing this increases the likelihood they’ll pass on your posts to others.
Reputation and Security
Good marketing is all about creating a good reputation. This means that effort also has to be put into maintaining it. Cybersecurity is becoming ever-prevalent, and most internet users are on high alert for suspicious activity. Considering this, if you allow your blog to contract a virus or invite a hacker, then it will quickly revert the effort you put into growing your readership.
Here are some simple security practices that will give you a baseline level of protection:
- Unique and complex passwords that change regularly
- A comprehensive security suite on you devices – antivirus, firewall, etc.
- Utilization of available security plugins for your chosen platform
- A Proxy Software Serviceto promote remote security.
Blogging is a fantastic opportunity for anyone with a voice and ideas to share. However, whether you’re trying to make money or not, there is a significant amount of skill and thought that goes into creating a successful blog. By asking yourself the above questions, you can start blogging with purpose and confidence.
Do you have plans to start your own blog soon? How do you plan on doing so? Do you have a strategy laid out? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
About the Author: Caroline is a veteran blogger user who is currently working as a technology and health writer. She has owned and managed numerous blogs and loves sharing tips and tricks with like-minded people.