Guest Post By Andi Croft
The beauty of blogging is that it lets you share your passion and knowledge about a particular topic. Being an expert about it is not necessary, but it must be something you want to explore.
However, starting a blog is more than just buying a domain name and registering for a web host.
There are various factors to consider, like your target audience, competition, and process. This is integral if you want to monetize your blog in the future.
That said, let us share with you the eight things you should do before starting a blog.
Identify What You Want to Blog About
These days, it is imperative that your blog revolves around a particular topic. That’s because it allows you to streamline the content that you produce. It also allows you to be one of the key opinion leaders on this topic.
There are two basic ways to determine your preferred blog topic:
- It should be your expertise. Say you have been a registered financial adviser for more than a decade. You can choose to start a personal finance blog since talking about money management can be second nature.
- It can be your passion. Say you want to learn about mindfulness. A blog about mindfulness practice is an excellent way to share your experience. It also lets you make your readers your accountability partners.
Choose Your Preferred Hosting
While contemplating what topics to write about, you should also consider whether you want a shared or dedicated web host for your blog.
According to WPHost, a company that provides web hosting in NZ, your blog is your home while the host is the plot of land where your house stands on the Web. As such, shared hosting is like sharing a plot of land with other people, while dedicated hosting means you have the entire lot for yourself.
It is recommended that you opt for dedicated hosting for your blog for security purposes. But if you have a tight budget, shared hosting is not a bad option, either.
In addition, you should think of a name for your blog and buy a relevant domain name. Often, web hosts provide such services so you can purchase and register a domain and connect it with a host hassle-free.
Just keep in mind that a domain name should be easy to remember and spell. And if possible, always go for the .com extension.
Know Your Competition
Here’s the thing: You are not the only finance or mindfulness blogger on the Web. However, no one can tell your story or share your knowledge the way you do. So, the competition should not stop you from blogging.
In relation to this, look at the top blogs in your chosen niche. See how they present their content and what other elements they include in their posts.
You would also want to get an idea of what is covered and not in your niche. That way, you would know how to make your blog stand out from the rest of the competition.
Structure Your Blog
Blogging is more than just writing a post and hitting the Publish button.
Humans and search engines alike love structure. And by “structure,” we mean how you will break down your topics into categories.
If you are going to blog about personal finance, that would mean using the following categories:
- Debt management
- Multiple income streams
The key here is to make it easier for readers and search engine bots to navigate your blog.
Start Ideating for Blog Topics
Now that you have determined what to blog about and how to present your content, the next step is to collect topic ideas. Doing so ensures that you start blogging as soon as your website is up and ready.
How can you start generating blog topic ideas? Neil Patel shares three common content types that you can use:
- Roundup posts. These refer to blog posts that list down the latest news in your niche.
- Ego bait posts. These are blog posts wherein you ask a key opinion leader for a quote about a relevant topic.
- “Poster boy” posts. These refer to blog posts wherein you build a case study based on their strategy, technique, or advice.
Build a Content Schedule
Once you have a long list of topics and have broken them down into categories, you can start building your content schedule.
You can start with your calendar, wherein you identify when to publish what post. To make blogging sustainable, we suggest that you follow a once-per-week publishing schedule.
In addition, you should also build your editorial guideline and publishing process early on. Once your blog starts growing and accepting guest posts, you can quickly implement your content process.
Learn About SEO
Search Engine Optimization is ensuring that your blog ranks for a relevant keyword. Using our previous example, your relevant keyword can be “personal finance blog” or “building a financial plan.”
You do not have to go up and above for SEO since you can hire a professional to optimize your blog. However, knowing the basics can help expand your blog’s audience reach.
This includes the following:
- Learning and understanding your keywords
- Optimizing your content and its meta-information
- Practicing ethical link building
- Incorporating social media marketing
When you optimize your blog, it can help build your authority and thought leadership in your niche. And SEO can come in handy for the next tip.
Not all blogs were created with money in mind, and we would recommend that you do so. However, wouldn’t it be nice to generate income from something you love to do?
This is where monetization comes in. Luckily, there are five common ways to earn through your blog:
- Advertisement banners
- Affiliate links
- Sponsored posts
- Digital products
What’s excellent about monetizing your blog is that you can have residual income, provided you have an established readership. This means that even if you stop blogging today, you would still generate passive income through your blog monetization efforts.
When done correctly, starting a blog can let you work for yourself. If you want to make that happen, be sure to refer to this post before starting your blog.
Guest Post By Andi Croft
Andi Croft is a freelance writer whose main interests are topics related to travel, technology, and gadget. This is brought about by her passion for going around the world, meeting people from all walks of life, and bringing along with her the latest tech to enhance her adventures.