So you have decided to start a blog – that’s great! Now, with all your new ideas and fresh excitement that’s still sinking in, you might be tempted to immediately go live with your first post. Before rushing to get started, make sure that you have done all your research and preparation in order to get it right.
It’s easy to become a blogger, but to become a successful blogger takes more than just being a blogger. Here are questions to ask before you start a blog, and once you have convincing answers for these questions and you have implemented them, it would be time for you to launch your blog.
By taking these important steps you will enable yourself to turn blogging into a career with potential to be full-time.
Why do you want to start a blog?
Before you start a blog, you have to find out what your true motivation behind it is. If your intention is to try to imitate other successful bloggers or begin making tons of money out of it, rather leave blogging and don’t go ahead with it. If you are starting a blog, you need to have more passionate reasons as to why you’re starting it rather than just trying to follow the rest of the crowd and being in it just for the money. Remember, what you put in, is what you’ll get out.
What will you be blogging about?
You should decide what you will be blogging about and about the topics that you would cover. A blog can be general of course, but it’s helpful in terms of competition if you can be specific when it comes to the scope of your blog. The best way to go about this is by finding a niche that works well for you and sticking to that particular niche. In order to choose the right niche for your blog, you need to focus on what you’re an expert in and what inspires and interests you.
What makes your blog stand out from the rest?
No matter how specific your niche is, or how specific your topics are- either way, you’ll still experience stiff competition in the blogging world. In order to stand out from the rest, you need to make your blog and content unique. This could be by incorporating graphs and interactive maps, your writing style, or making use of creative images to express your ideas in a way that’s different from other bloggers.
Who is your blog’s target audience?
Once you have figured out what niche your blog will be, it won’t be difficult to figure out your blog’s target audience. You can easily find out what your target audience would be expecting from your blog with little research. Based on your research, you can then decide what writing style to use and what to post in order to appeal to your target audience.
How often should you be posting on your blog?
If you’ve done your research, you will notice that popular websites and blogs make a minimum of one post on a daily basis. However, with limited time and resources, it might seem close to impossible to accomplish. At the end of the day, it’s not about how much you post, it’s about the quality and relevance of your post. So, to start, 2-3 posts on a weekly basis is good.
How long should your posts be?
When you first start with blogging, longer posts are preferable. Longer posts as in posts that are a minimum of 1500 words and more. With posts that are longer, readers spend more time on your blog, and the chances of your post being shared are highly likely. Longer posts also help with your search rankings, as Google favour posts that are longer. The key to writing long posts is to make sure you don’t compromise the quality while focusing on making the post lengthy. Avoid being repetitive or appearing to be trying to increase your word count.
How much time should you be spending on your blog?
Your posts need to be longer than 700 words and you have to incorporate basic SEO techniques in each post. This should be done 2-3 times a week so that the content remains of quality and isn’t compromised. Maintaining your blog will definitely be a process that is time-consuming, so before starting your blog make sure that you have the resources and time to start your blog in the first place.
Do you have a strategy to promote your blog?
Your blog can’t be termed successful unless it regularly attracts readers, and most importantly, retains them so that they keep coming back. You should have some ideas when it comes to promoting your blog. This could be social media posting with Pay-Per-Click, or highly targeted Ads on Facebook. Whatever form of promotion you decide to do, make sure that it matches with your target audience.
Have you decided on a blog name?
Your blog name is the first impression you make on your readers. You should choose a blog name that’s catchy and clear, without limiting your scope of topics in the future. It’s best to avoid using a blog name that’s too niche-specific because if you eventually decide to change your niche you’ll have a hard time. When deciding on a domain, check the availability first. Also, do your best to avoid using a domain with a similar name to an existing blog.
Have you decided which platform your blog will be on?
The main question here is whether you will use a platform that’s paid for or free. A blog that’s self-hosted would be a better long-term option. There are better designs when a blog is self-hosted, there’s also more convenient to monetise your blog. Most bloggers use WordPress as it has powerful convenience, features, ease-of-use, and scalability. If you don’t want to invest money into your blog before seeing how it kicks off first, the best free options are WordPress and Blogger.