After my last post on How to start a blog, I think it’ll be appropriate to share with new bloggers some necessary steps to take before creating a blog. I see a lot of new bloggers get excited about blogging, create a blog the next day and complain about how difficult it is to get people on their blog or worse still how difficult it’s become to make money through Google adsense. It wouldn’t make my day to watch you go through that route of frustration. I made similar mistake when I started blogging; had about 6 blogs on blogger/blogspot in few weeks (some of which has only three posts on it). In a few months I was out of blogging. It wasn’t what I expected. All those mouth watering adverts; those promises of making $2000 monthly working for Google from home (if only I could make like $300 in 3 months) turned out to be fantasy. I had a wrong perspective about blogging and I learnt. It’ll be pointless if you’ll have to go through similar route after reading this, which is why laying a good foundation from start will keep you longer than you normally could. Making money online blogging is serious business for a lot of bloggers. And like every other business, you need to give it your best. A friend of mine after seeing my several checks from Google and other incentives from my online activities ask me how he could start blogging. Here is what I told him.
Come up with an idea
Do you really want to create a nice blog or just another blog to get clicks on Google ads? Even in a crowded, highly spammed niche, you can still create a blog people will love. On my student blog – on scholarships, studying abroad and tips for students – I made up my mind to not copy and paste my contents. I always took the time to rewrite every announcement before it is published, except in cases of articles submitted by guests. I do this for several reasons, one of which is for the search engines to not see my blog as a spam site. Your idea, whatever it is, should be long term focused. Do you want to promote an existing business with a blog? How do you intend to do that? How do you intend to approach your potential customers? Do you want to build a blog on a particular topic and turn it into a business? How would you relate your start with where you are heading? What should be your main income source should your blog start getting a reasonable amount of traffic? Do you want to promote an existing skill? There are probably hundreds others who can do better than you can. How do you intend to pre-sell your skill and stand out? Do you want to learn a new skill? What exactly do you want to offer on your blog? Take all the time you can to give it some serious thought. It’ll be well worth it. Do you want to give a face to your blog or do you want it to appear like some company site? You have to decide if you want a corporate or personal voice on your blog. Your decision will determine if you will be using pronouns like I, me, my or we, us, our, in your posts.
Thoroughly Research your idea- Plan
The word plan shouldn’t be that scary. It’s as simple as planning a send-forth party. Ok may be not that simple but it’s not that difficult either. With an idea in mind, you have to define your concepts and analyze the potential. You need to know your target audience, where and how to find them. Find out the top blogs in your potential niche. I use Google blog search for this purpose. Research your niche for hot topics with keyword tools. There are several keyword research tools online you can use to identify the go and no-go areas in your niche. Google Keyword Research Tool is a nice place to start. What you need may not be to identify a less crowded niche but a nice research-based strategy. As I decided to start this blog, I’m quite aware of the high level of competition in the blogging niche. There are hundreds of thousands of blogs about blogging and making money online. A good number, of which I wouldn’t dare compete with due to their age and authority in the business. However, I took time and did my homework before starting this blog. What I need is not to have this blog overflowing with visitors in a few months, but a strategy to attract likeminded people who are willing to grow. A blog with 50 likeminded/ targeted readers is several time better than a one with hundreds of uninterested visitors. Informed confidence will always outperform one that is baseless. First, you need to do your home work.
Set a goal for your unborn blog
After getting realistic on your research, even if you find an untapped niche to go with, you’ll need to set small and big goals for your unborn blog. Before creating this blog, my small goal has been to publish as much useful, self-written contents as I can within two months, that will help my potential readers get started with taking small smart steps on their blogs while my big goals is to write guest posts for large blogs in my niche. To achieve my goal I need to attract the right set of people. Not people who expects to get rich in one week but who are willing to take gradual steps and get results. My goal is not anything like to make $100,000 in 6months. I want to make money from this blog but I know that will be a lot easier if I could achieve my small and big goals.
Research your first few posts
Before I started this blog, I searched and read articles on how to start a new blog. Some advised that you set up your blog then start with an introductory message. But there were few that made more sense to me. And those are the ones that advise you prepare at list 10 posts and have them published on your new blog before ever making it public. I applied this idea while setting up this blog and it proved to be effective. Though I’m yet to really promote this blog, I already have a handful of subscribers who are likely to read my post. So there’s no feeling of writing without anyone to read.
Research for key sub topics on your niche. If you can come up with hard-to-find ideas that will be useful to your readers, that’s even better. Write out 10 or more post ideas that are likely to attract visitors to your new site.
Write your key posts and have them ready
This is similar to the above step but now you have to sit back and “Kill” the sub-topics. By killing I mean, do justice to it. Write each post to almost cover your title. If you think this is too much work, then welcome to blogging. Blogging is about writing. This exercise will help you strengthen your writing ability and turn your mind towards you new found hobby. However, if you already love writing, this should be a fun then.
Lastly, there are no rules to blogging but the one you make for yourself. While it helps to learn from the experience of other, you don’t have to follow any rigid pattern to start your blog. Just go on an be creative.
That’s it on five things I told my friend to do before creating a blog. What steps did you take before creating your blog? How did it help or not help your blog? I’ll love to hear about it on comment.