Blogging has become a popular trend among people from different background and age groups. You must have even heard of people quitting their job to make full-time career into blogging.
Do you think every blog can make money for a living?
Facts say No.
Research shows that more than 90% of blogs fail in doing so.
The reasons for this are many and the top most one is lack of traffic/visitors to a blog. A blog can only be monetized if it has a decent number of readers following up. But driving visitors to a blog has been the toughest job for bloggers.
Assuming that they write amazing content, it’s in the Marketing game they are losing. Simply because it’s Marketing which drives visitors to a blog consistently and Marketing is not just about doing some On-page and Off-page SEO.
It’s first about understanding the overall blog idea, the market (type of audience) it would serve, researching where this group of audience hang out, and then carrying out a suitable plan to reach them.
Sadly, most beginners fail to understand this.
Good writing skill is not the only requisite to create a successful blog. Blogging is a vast subject that again has many chapters in it and they all need to be learnt and applied to create a blog that brings visitors.
Well, I’m not going to write everything about marketing or everything that you’ll need to know to create a successful blog. Because there’s nothing such a thing called “Blueprint for Blogging Success” which many Gurus claim to offer. Every blog’s requirement is unique and you’ll have to discover your own learning and applying curve throughout your blogging journey.
I’m going to share some simple but solid tips and ideas with which anyone can kick-start a blog that will have the power to perform and achieve its goals.
How to Start a Blog that Rocks
Read between the lines and you’ll also be able to understand the marketing part of your blog which will help you in driving visitors consistently.
First, Getting a Unique Blog Idea
The first step in starting a blog is all about deciding – the blog idea, the blog topic, the blog subject, or whatever you call it. It is that part of blogging which you’ll keep digging into in order to create your blog content.
So, how will you find your blog idea?
Well, you can start with a topic you are familiar with. If you love any subject, you can think of building a blog around it. If you are into a certain profession, that too can give way to a blog idea.
A blog idea can spark up from any sphere of your life. But to ensure that the idea is viable for you to move with, keep in mind the following three simple parameters:
- You like the topic/subject/niche.
- You want to study it further.
- You know it can help or entertain someone.
You should also check that your blog niche is not too broad. The simplest way to find an ideal niche is by categorizing the topic into its various parts.
Any niche can be broken down into many sub-categories and these sub-categories into various topics.
You should select only one such specific category for your whole blog.
Say, you are a Marketing Graduate and you want to start a blog on Marketing. But marketing is a huge subject and there are numerous blogs on marketing and the competition is very stiff. So, it’s better to break marketing into its different aspects and choose only one for blogging.
Now you may have options such as advertising, online marketing, offline marketing, branding, direct sales, etc. Each of them can again be sliced into different categories. For example, under online marketing, you have email marketing, social media marketing, affiliate marketing, SEO (search engine optimization), etc.
To find your niche, follow the above example by replacing ‘Marketing’ with your favorite subject. That is, analyze your subject of interest, break it down with its important parts and select one for your blog.
This is all about finding a NICHE for your blog.
The main reasons for doing this are to minimize competition and target a specific audience group. This will later help in marketing and promotion of your blog. Because, when you exactly know what you write and whom you write for, it’s easier to reach your target audience.
One reason why many blogs can’t attract readers is because they don’t define a specific niche. They post anything they find interesting without focusing on a particular group of audience.
Gone are the days when there was less competition in the blogging world and people successfully started blogging on broad range of subjects. But now, it’s the time to choose a very specific niche and dig deep into it. It’s the time of niche blogging especially if you are doing it solo.
Don’t forget to check 3 Niche Blog Ideas at the end of this post!
Once your niche is decided it’s time to concentrate fully on it without getting diverted to unrelated topics.
Blogging has many interesting stuffs for you to learn and apply. And assuming that you are serious about blogging I must, at this point, at least, introduce you to this thing called KEYWORD.
Actually, you need KEYWORDS.
Well, don’t get scared. I already told you that this post will help in understanding the marketing needs of a blog. Keywords are its starting point. It’s a simple concept.
Keywords are the words/terms that people type while searching in search engines like Google. So, if you want your blog posts to be available on Google, you’ll need to make sure that people search the kind of topics you write.
Google’s Keyword Planner is a popular tool that bloggers use to get insights on what people are looking for on Google in any specific niche. Just type your term/word or phrase in their interface and it will show you the variety of keywords and phrases in your niche that people are typing while doing their search.
A blog needs to have a set of keywords and it’s no science to find your blog’s keywords. It’s all in your niche itself. In fact, the name of your niche is your blog’s primary keyword. Thus, if your blog is all about dog training, your primary keyword is ‘Dog Training’ itself.
Your keywords are the topics you are going to write about mostly. Going by this, the categories of your blog are your next set of keywords. Sub-categorize them and you get more keywords.
Keyword Research is a part of your blog’s SEO and it’s mostly required while creating search-friendly blog articles. Thus, everytime you decide to write on a topic, keyword research will come in front.
Second, Setting-up Your Blog Professionally
When you are ready with your blog idea and its keywords, before throwing articles onto your blog, you’ll need your blog set-up, right?
Follow this Blog Set-up Guide to take care of everything step by step. It has been created to make you aware of and protect your blog from certain complications in future including SEO. The guide will also make your set-up process fun and easy. Promise!
Third, Creating Quality Blog Posts
It is the belief of many that until and unless you are an expert in a particular field you can’t start blogging professionally. According to me, this is only partially true. You need not be an expert but you need to select a subject which you would like to keep on exploring.
The idea I want to share is simple – Start exploring your selected niche and start blogging about it. I like to call this technique “Research and Blog”.
This is the simplest way to come up with new blog posts around your niche and also to write quality blog posts.
Not all promising bloggers you see out there are experts. They are people like me and you, who focus on a particular topic, do research, practically apply them, learn, and then present them in their blog. The basic idea is to grow your blog by learning.
It’s great if you can discover unique blog post ideas yourself with your own imagination. But to research and come up with blog post ideas, here’s what you can do –
It’s important. You can’t explore a niche if you do not study. As a beginner, make a habit of reading other blogs in your niche regularly, read magazines if available, check discussion forums, comments, etc. You’ll need to track what’s going on in your niche to understand what’s missing and what you can present in your blog.
Good news is that there are online tools which you can use to get blog post ideas. Although these tools are not so accurate, yet you can get lots of ideas to fit them in your niche.
Try the following:
- Hubspot’s Blog Post Generator
- Google Keyword Planner
- Content Idea Generator – Portent
- Kill Writers Block – Inbound Now
- BuzzSumo: Find the Most Shared Content and Key Influencers
Other Bloggers’ Suggestions:
There are many bloggers out there to help you get inspirations and ideas for blog post topics. Here I’m sharing a few. You may Google for more.
- The Ultimate List of Blog Post Ideas
- 101 Blog Post Ideas
- The Ultimate List of 95 Blogpost Ideas for Creating Craveable Content to Share on Social Media
When it comes to writing a great blog post, it’s all about creating quality content. Because, in the end, it’s your content that will decide your blog’s survival. No matter how big the number of visitors you drive, they won’t come back if your content can’t satisfy them. That’s why, researching is important while creating any blog post.
A blog post may consist of text, images, videos and any other content type. This is a good news because you are not restricted to writing only to run your blog.
Moreover, there are certain things related to SEO which you’ll need to take care of while creating a blog post. These will make your post searchable in search engines.
Read the following articles for creating quality posts that are search engine friendly.
- 10 tips for an awesome and SEO-friendly blog post
- How to Structure a Perfect SEO Optimized Page – (Infographic)
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a vast chapter and the best place to start learning is Moz’s Beginner’s Guide to SEO.
If you can go through all of them and understand the requirements of an ideal blog post, you will be more than a beginner in blogging.
Thus, after deciding your niche, apply the idea – Research and Blog. Explore your niche, find problems and solutions, research every blog topic you decide to write and then present informative articles.
You need not be an expert to do this. But continuing with it would certainly make you an expert in that niche.
Fourth, Marketing and Promoting Your Blog
In order to plan an effective marketing strategy for your blog, the first thing you should clearly know and understand is your Target Audience. The more you know about them, more effective your marketing plan will be.
Veteran marketers for their analysis consider a number of factors of their audience data like location, age group, their nature, lifestyle, their habits, needs and wants, etc. and many minute details of their visitors.
But as a beginner, you should at least be clear about whom you write for or who will be most benefited by your blog.
When you are decided whom to target, it’s time to research where they hang out and plan your own strategy to reach them.
You’ll find hundreds of tips and tricks in the internet to promote your blog. But it’s recommended that you come up with your own plan. This is simply because you know your niche and your audience better than the others. Others can only tell you what they have done.
Take inspirations from the internet and create your own plan.
By the way, to start off with your blog’s marketing and promotion, here are a few things that you must do and keep on doing:
Search Engine Optimization, as already mentioned, is a must for serious bloggers. Start learning SEO and apply them whenever required. Over time this will give your blog natural/organic flow of visitors via search engines. Best thing about SEO is that if your blog content is focused and targeted, your target audience naturally land in your blog through search engines.
Start with learning keyword research and how to create optimized articles. Build backlinks to your blog and blog posts in popular sites and blogs in your niche by engaging in meaningful discussions.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Google Plus, Pinterest or any other social platform is a great place to promote your blog. But you have to decide which one or two would be best for your blog based on your niche and target audience.
Keep building fans and followers on social media and keep them engaged by sharing interesting content.
To learn to create a social media strategy, read this: How to Create a Social Media Marketing Plan from Scratch.
Share interesting content from your niche. Images and videos work best in social media. Apart from sharing your own blog content, also share content from other blogs that you think is engaging and helpful.
Build Email List:
You can’t ignore this. You should start building your email list by offering your blog visitors an option to subscribe to your blog so that whenever there is an update they get notified.
In the long run, your list will play an important role in monetizing from your blog.
List building has become so important that bloggers even offer giveaways like eBooks, software, exclusive discount or any other valuable stuff for free if one subscribes to their blog/email list.
Read this: How to Build an Email List from Scratch – Step by Step Tutorial
Use email marketing software like Getresponse, Aweber or Mailchimp. Offer something unique to your visitors that they cannot resist subscribing to your blog. Use social media to bring visitors to your subscription page.
The universe itself is a cause and effect of relationships and therefore even blogging can’t go without it.
In fact, relationship building has remained a major factor for many successful bloggers out there.
So, start building relationships from the beginning itself with your blog visitors, other bloggers and people under your niche and even your friends and colleagues.
Comment on other blogs, reply to every comment and email you receive, write and contribute articles to other blogs, give links to others’ blog posts on your write-ups if they are valuable to your readers, etc.
So, those being the foundation of your marketing plan, you should create a daily plan for your marketing activities. And you should stick to your plan for a decent time period before making any change.
- Concentrate on promoting every post you write and your blog will be automatically promoted. Share your content in online communities like Kingged, Tribber or any other social platform with like-minded people.
- Over a period of time, you should also analyze the trend of your niche and consider where it is moving. It will help you to fit your content and marketing plan with the current trend.
Also read: How to Develop an Effective Content Marketing Promotion Strategy
So, roughly that’s all you need to understand to start a meaningful blog. You’ll learn many other interesting stuffs as you move ahead.
Before you take the ride, check out some niche ideas to kick-start your blog:
Three Niche Blog Ideas to Help You Think
The internet is big and there are many things in it which people want to know and learn. Based on this, I want to share 3 niche blog ideas so that it helps you to think and come up with your own.
To carry on with these ideas, you’ll need to put your efforts into research and learning and the zeal to continue.
1. The Safety Blog:
There are different situations in life when people think of safety. Start a blog that shows how to be safe.
Research and find at what point of time humans prepare themselves to be safe.
The situations may vary. For example, while driving, during a certain injury, while playing, at work, and sometimes when getting married ;), etc. The whole idea is to help people prevent the unwanted.
Don’t forget to promote Safety related products available online.
2. A Blog for Smokers:
Only those who are addicted to smoking know how impossible it is to quit. This is another field of study which seems to have no end.
Why not blog about it?
You can present various articles on medical and technological developments happening in this field, tips and tricks to quit smoking, alternatives to smoking, health hazards, etc.
Go out and see what’s happening with the existing forums made for people who want to quit smoking and become an active person in helping such people.
Once you dive in, you are sure to come up with more ideas to add to your blog. For example, you might start taking interviews with people who successfully quit smoking. Reaching out to doctors and requesting them to share their personal advice is also not a bad idea.
Finally, promote products and services that help people quit smoking. It can even be a book!
3. Fruits Blog:
Do you know that there are 7500 types of apples and 1600 types of bananas?
There are thousands of fruits existing in this world and again every fruit has hundreds and thousands of varieties.
Moreover, due to cross-breeding, new fruits are being developed regularly.
No, the blog idea is not about writing details of each and every fruit.
Rather, it is about focusing on creating valuable and interesting posts and articles related to fruits.
You see, people love fruits and fruits are used for many purposes – health and beauty, fruit art, food products, naming, etc.
Your fruit blog may include unique reviews of fruit based products, serious articles on health and the role of fruits, as well as lighter posts such as – “List of top ten companies named after fruits.”
You are only limited to your imagination. Apart from promoting third-party products, you may even think of selling merchandise with designs based on fruits right from your blog.
The above ideas are only a glimpse. You should be able to generate your own idea. I just wanted to bring out some niche blog ideas which anybody can start by applying the technique, Research and Blog.
The niche idea that you come across by your own might seem very small at first, but when you dig into it, things get interesting and you’ll find that there is a lot more to it.
Remember, people search for useful information and solutions to their problems. Your aim should be to help them through your blog.
Word of Caution
It’s not always easy to come up with a perfect marketing plan or a blog idea. In that case, it’s better to take action rather than wasting time over time and finally quitting everything. Have faith in your ideas and start off to test them. It’s always better done than perfect.
I hope this article helps somebody who is struggling to find a blog idea or how to go about starting a blog if he/she already has an idea.
If you think this post might help your friends, please do share it.
Also, don’t forget to put your views in comments!
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