There are many reasons to consider starting a blog.
Maybe you love to write and think blogging could be an excellent creative outlet.
Maybe you’re trying to build a like-minded community that connects over similar interests and beliefs.
Or maybe you’re hoping to turn your blog into a moneymaker, either by creating a personal brand or boosting a business you already run.
Whatever the reason, here are a few things to consider before you get started.
Determine the Goals of Your Blog
The first thing you need to consider is this: Is blogging a hobby or a career path for you?
Most people blog to connect with a community and to express themselves. If you’re happy with this end goal, there’s nothing wrong with that.
But some writers do make a living from their blog. The average blogger makes more than $32,800 each year. Some even make six figures.
You’re not going to get rich quick, though. When you first launch your blog, you’ll likely see less than $100 coming in from revenue each month. You might even ask yourself: Is doing a blog worth it?
If you regularly write strategic content, though, you’ll build a stable readership and your traffic will increase. More traffic means more money.
Blogging Takes Work
Many people mistakenly think that maintaining a blog is easy work, but it takes time and effort to do it right.
The average blog post takes about four hours to write, and this is a number that consistently increases each year.
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And the larger and more active your following, the more frequently you’ll need to post. Some bloggers publish a post every day.
Can you commit to putting the time into writing blog posts? If you’re hoping to make money as a blogger, you need to.
Blogging Will Cost You Money
There are plenty of free platforms to host your blog. These are great if you’re looking to share stories from your recent vacations or favorite recipes with friends and family.
But if you’re trying to reach a bigger audience, a professional-looking website will cost you money. To initially develop and launch your blog, it could cost you anywhere from $100 to $250. And blog maintenance, hosting, and other services cost between $50 and $100 monthly.
You could make that money back down the road, but are you willing to invest in your blog upfront?
Use Social Media to Build an Audience
Social networking is key to your blog’s success.
If you’re trying to monetize your blog and attract more readers, you’ll need to use social media to build your brand.
You need to identify your target audience and determine which social media platform they’ll be on. Then, you’ll set up an account for your blog. Most likely you’ll use several different platforms to increase your following.
In addition to linking to your current blog posts on these sites, you also need to share unique content. And it’s important to engage with your social media followers to keep them coming back for more.
Find a Niche
It’s important to find a topic that you’ll enjoy writing about regularly. But it’s just as important to find the right niche topic to blog about.
There are a lot of blogs out there. If you find a unique topic that not many people are covering, your blog is more likely to stand out and build an audience.
An easy way to find the right niche for you is to start with a broad topic you enjoy. Let’s say, soccer.
That’s a fairly broad topic, as it’s the most popular sport in the world and millions of people play it each year. If you narrow your scope a bit, to say, the U.S. Women’s National Team, you have an interesting niche topic with a broader appeal and plenty to write about.
Let Your Voice Be Heard
Every blogger wants to be a great writer, but it’s more important that you find your unique voice.
You want your writing to have personality and reflect who you are. Your readers will respond to this more than if you know where to properly place your punctuation marks and know your grammar rules.
Your voice is what will keep them coming back to hear what you have to say.
Learn Some New Skills
Even if you’re not the most tech-oriented person in the world, there are a handful of essential skills you should learn to create a successful blog.
The first is search engine optimization. You’ve probably heard of SEO before, but maybe didn’t fully know what it was.
SEO focuses on optimizing content to improve your search engine rankings, but it’s not as technical as it sounds. All the choices you make when creating content—the words you use, the structure of your posts, the links you include—affects how your blog turns up in online searches.
It’s also important to understand HTML and CSS, programming languages used to create websites. You don’t need to be an expert at either but knowing basic tags and tips will make it easier for you to tweak your posts and improve the look of your blog.
Learning to navigate Google Analytics, a free service, lets you track and review your web traffic so you can learn what content works and what doesn’t
Photo editing and video production are also useful skills to add to your toolbox. Many blogs use images and videos to enhance posts.
Find Income Streams for Your Blog
There are a variety of ways you can monetize your blog.
The easiest is to use Google AdSense, which matches ads to your content. Some platforms also allow you to directly sell ads on your website.
There’s also affiliate marketing, where you earn passive income by promoting other’s products, and you might consider selling sponsored blog posts.
Other possible income streams include creating a paid membership portal, selling merch based on your brand, creating courses and books based on your expertise, and offering consulting services.
Still Thinking About Starting a Blog?
If you’re still thinking about starting a blog, let us help you find your voice.
We offer a step-by-step guide on how to start a blog and build your brand. Our resources provide guidance on everything from selecting a blogging platform to choosing a domain to customize your website.