Right now someone is considering starting a blog. Chances are if you’re reading this post, you’re that person.
There’s a lot of things that you will have to deal with when becoming a blogger. Things like domain names, hosting and blogging platforms automatically spring to mind. But there are some other things that I believe future bloggers should consider before they start this journey.
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1. what is your niche?
When you decide to become a blogger one of the first questions you should ask is what should I blog about? The topic of a blog niche is a tricky one. Some bloggers think it’s important and some don’t. What do I think?
write what you know
This is the best place to start when deciding your niche. If the topics you know are related (eg fashion, hair and makeup) then yay – you just did the electric slide into your niche. When topics are so closely related I personally don’t think you have to narrow it down but I think it helps.
If you’re having difficulty deciding or the topics you’ve chosen are not related at all, ask what are the top three topics that you:
- Know inside and out,
- Don’t mind writing about every week
- Can reasonably afford to write about
If the topics are not related which one of the three are you drawn to the most? Use that as a starting point. Here’s how I applied this same trick to my lifestyle blog, Olliviette.
My original topics were travel, fashion, and budgeting. Out of all three, having a stand-alone travel blog seemed the most feasible and exciting.
- Do I know it? I could easily start a travel blog because I love to travel and I used to work in the travel industry.
- Would I want to write about it? I get a rush talking about luggage, open jaw tickets and solo travel. Yasssss!
- Could I afford to write about it? Nope. My ass ain’t been anywhere in over 2 years. Even though I can put together some of the articles needed, I knew I couldn’t piece together the exciting content people want (and deserve) to read.
The key thing about niches (or topics) that everyone preaches is once you’ve figured out your main topic you should narrow that topic down.
what if I don’t want to narrow it down?
Find a way to tie it together. Do you like gaming, hair and baking? Talk about the latest games, do hair tutorials based on game characters and bake an epic cake that looks like the Mario.
Having a niche gives you and your reader direction. It can get super overwheling for your reader to bounce between 10 random topics.
Hey, thinking about starting a blog? Of course you are! You should start it the right way; read why it’s critical for you to start a self-hosted blog.
2. do i want to monetize my blog?
A lot of bloggers will tell you it’s wrong to make money off your blog. I firmly disagree. I don’t care if you only make £/$1 a month, you have every right to make that.
The reason why I think people have a problem with bloggers, especially newbie bloggers, making money from blogging is there are some bloggers who think this is a get rich quick scheme.
Blogging is hard work and most don’t start making money immediately. You might be a person that starts getting sponsorships, paid opportunities and lots of affiliate sales right away but that is not always the case.
In my opinion bloggers don’t want to see people who are here for “influencer status only” strip blogging of its beauty. It can be especially frustrating if a get rich quick blogger isn’t producing good content or misrepresenting the blogging community yet they’re sailing towards big opportunities.
Be the type of blogger who is into blogging and isn’t only chasing clout. It doesn’t hurt to research the ways you can make money from blogging. It’s okay to want to make money from your blog, however big or small that amount is, but be realistic and authentic about it.
3. do i need pre-launch hype?
So many bloggers miss this opportunity to grow and connect with the community!
If you’re blogging for fun this might not apply to you but if you’ve decided you want to make money from your blog or pursue blog opportunities, use hype to start building your following and establishing your voice.
Some of my fav ways to create hype include:
- Promote your blog on social media (coming soon type stuff)
- Join in Twitter chats
- In-person networking with business cards
- Build up a newsletter/contact list following by offering freebies
4. who is my authentic true self as a blogger?
When it comes to having an authentic voice one of my fav examples is Bretman Rock. I love how he says all the curse words, he is extra as hell, super funny, reps for his people and seems so…him.
Years ago companies would not want to work with someone as “vocal” as Bretman Rock but we’re living in a time where the tone has changed and I am here for it. Do not try to censor yourself in the hopes of attracting more brands. At the same time, if you’re a sweet, censored type of person – be that! Be who you are!
Sometimes I see small bloggers realizing they’re not coming through as their real selves. I spoke about being jealous as one of top mistakes I made when I started blogging; my jealousy pushed me to write like other bloggers because I thought it would make me more popular. I was so wrong.
It pays to be yourself; everyone won’t like it but those who do will appreciate you took the time to be you.
5. branding, branding, branding
As a designer I can talk all day about branding because I am convinced a lot of bloggers jump into blogging and give zero thought about their brand. This is a huge mistake. You end up looking like a no0b. Yes I just wrote n0ob. Yes I just wrote it differently each time.
PSSSTTT…I have an entire post dedicated to branding if you want to learn why I think it’s so important.
If you can’t read that in-depth post (you really should) here are some things to consider about branding:
- What will your blog or company stand for?
- What exactly is the point of this new journey?
- What do you want your readers to feel when they look at your blog?
- What are the three words that define you in relation to your blog?
Answering questions like these will help you shape the look and feel of your blog and determine your brand. If your blog exists to talk about minimalism but your branding is cluttered and heavy, I will not take you seriously.
And thinking about branding is FUN. It’s probably one of the first things that will pop into your head when you think about starting a blog. Give it respect because your brand will play a crucial part to your journey.
ready to start blogging?
There are a lot of other questions you can ask before you start a blog but I believe these five are a great starting point. Anytime someone tweets I want to start a blog but I don’t know…I always bring up one or two of these points.
Answering these questions make becoming a blogger much easier than it appears. Anything that makes the process less daunting is welcome!