There are more than 150 million blogs on the internet right now. This number is growing, and you want to add another one?
The ‘why’ is the most important question to answer if you’re serious about this endeavour. But there are other questions to ask that are also crucial to the success of your blog.
Let’s not waste any more time on this intro. If you really want to start a blog that has an impact on the web, this is what you need to know.
#1: What is the Purpose of My Blog?
There are lots of different reasons to start a blog. If you don’t know what yours is, it’s time to get some education.
Blogging has the potential to make you a lot of money. That’s the main reason people start blogs. But how this is done varies.
Here’s a quick list of reasons why people start blogs:
- Blogging for an existing business creates awareness. It’s a very effective way of advertizing online.
- Blogging is also a way to improve SEO. Guest blogging creates the opportunity to perform link building. Home blogging creates the opportunity to add keyword-rich content to a website.
- Blogging can also be done for the purpose of entertainment. Popular blogs attract advertizers who then add banners or pop-ups to those blogs.
- Blogging is sometimes descriptive. It’s designed specifically to introduce, describe and sell a product. These are often reviews or product descriptions that have been written in a blog form.
Ask yourself what your purpose is. Understand the concept of blogging within the boundaries of what you want to achieve. Your objective must match up with the what works.
#2: Who Will Read My Blog?
A target audience must be established before your first article is even conceived of.
Categorizing your preferred demographic really depends on your niche. A pool company may decide to target men over thirty who are home owners. A fitness blog on the other hand will target a wider demographic of people between the ages of 16 and 60, who are men & women and who live healthily.
Your demographic must be determined before writing begins. Why? Because you must take these writing characteristics into consideration:
- The tone (vibrant, formal, comedic, etc)
- The format (paragraph length, number of bullet points, number of subheadings, etc)
- The language (easy to read, level of detail, highly technical, etc)
When you know who you’re writing for, it makes it that much easier to determine what you must write. It also helps you write content that’s interesting to that particular audience.
#3 How Will People Find My Blogs?
What’s the most difficult part of starting a blog? Creating awareness. As I mentioned, there are millions of blogs out there, and now one knows or cares about yours…
How do you create awareness? You now know what your audience looks like, but where do they hang out?
The quickest and easiest way to create awareness for your blog is through direct advertizing through AdWords. But this is expensive. Believe it or not, it’s also ineffective.
It doesn’t allow you to gauge the success of your blog, because it forces your blog at the top of Google whether it’s good or not.
Another method is Facebook advertizing. This is significantly cheaper. It’s a great way to kickstart your blog and gain some readers, but ultimately you want to take a more organic approach.
The inevitability of good content is that it will be found. But it takes time, consistency, quality and several other factors. We’ll discuss some of these in further sections below, but for now I want to focus on three important points:
The title of your blog will make a huge difference to how easily people find it. Remember to always put yourself in your readers’ shoes.
Example: Let’s say you have a blog. It’s an article about how to keep a swimming pool clean during fall & winter. It’s full of helpful advice on how to do this.
Your target has a problem. He cannot seem to keep up with all the dead leaves, algae and grime collecting in his pool. As many people do nowadays, he decides to Google the solution. (Yes, Google is a verb).
This is where you need to put yourself in his shoes. What would you Google if you had his problem?
- How to keep pool clean in winter
- Get rid of leaves and algae in pool
- Pool cleaning tips
You can use these terms to construct your title. Here are some derivatives:
- “7 Winter Pool Cleaning Tips”
- “7 Ways to Keep Your Pool Clean When It’s Not in Use”
- “7 Winter Pool Woes—and How to Deal with Them”
Using words like “tips”, “winter”, “pool cleaning” will help Google show your article to people searching for the solution you’re providing.
Important note: Remember that the title isn’t the only part of your blog post that should contain keywords. Make sure the content itself also contains relevant terms that match the user’s search.
When you post an article, it’s going to take a while for Google to push it up the ranks. Obviously you want this to be quick, right?
There is a way to speed up this process that many people ignore. Google’s algorithm responds to continual editing on a site—and more importantly—individual posts.
A good habit to adopt if you own a blog is to take 10 minutes every morning to edit past blogs that have already been published. Do a quick spellcheck, add or remove a line, update a subheading or simply swop a word for its synonym.
Continual editing will give Google the impression that your post is being updated, which makes it more relevant.
The Google algorithm is all about relevance.
People find your blog through other people. This is why blogs must be written well, or they will simply join the billions (yes, billions) of stagnant blog posts online that never get read.
Blogs that bring value to a reader will possibly get shared through social media. When your blog gets lots of clicks and reads, Google immediately sees it as relevant.
Within weeks your blog will climb the ladder to page one.
#4: What Will Distinguish My Blog from Others?
Here’s a tough question: What makes your blog stand out from the rest?
There are billions of blogs on the internet that have never—and will never—be read by anyone other than the people who wrote them. How are you going to ensure your blogs don’t join them?
Let me share something with you. People are tired of BS! And the internet is full of BS.
Human beings respond to the authentic. If you’re planning to write content for the sake of writing content, you’re adding more fluff to the web—and the web has enough fluff already.
If you’re really passionate about what you write, people will pick up on it in your content.
In cases where the reader is passionate but the writer is not, the reader will often lose interest. People respond to passion. Don’t compromise on that.
It takes months—sometimes years—to build up credibility. But you can lose your credibility within a day.
If you want people to trust what you’re writing, be honest with them. Don’t write with an agenda. Write to bring authentic value to their lives.
#5: Who Will Write My Blogs?
This brings us to an important question: Will you be writing your own blogs, or will you outsource your writing to someone else?
Chances are no one knows your niche as well as you do. But then again you may not be a writer.
Quality is just as important as passion. Find a writer who understands your niche. This is not always easy, but it is possible.
Hiring a Writer
Many professional writers had jobs before they started writing. Some professional writers work in other industries and simply do writing on the side.
If possible, find someone that has the necessary writing skills to write great quality, but also has some experience with your niche.
Hiring a Niche Writer
You may also come across a writer who has written on your topic before. If this is the case, ask them to show you samples of that writing. If it’s passionate, informative and relevant you’ve found yourself a writer you can work with.
Hiring a Proofreader
A third option is to write the blogs yourself and have a professional go over the syntax. Remember to take format, style and SEO into consideration when having your articles edited.
Are you ready to start a blog? If you can make it count, you’re in for a fabulous journey that will have more than monetary rewards along the way.
Ignite your passion and contribute to the online community in a way that no one else can. Happy blogging!