I am starting a new series on how to start a blog. Being a full-time blogger myself, I notice that still, more and more people are trying to get into a Blogging World. Some people think that blogs are dying nowadays, but I disagree. I believe that blog should be your base platform if you are trying to become an influencer in your field. Still, numerous blogs are set up every day. But do we know about all of them? Do we read them all? I have set up my blog and developed it from the beginning to today’s point on my own. I spend many hours every day on creating and promoting the content I produce. After 2 years of blogging experience in total, after many mistakes that I have done, I decided to start sharing my experience and tools with readers.
If you want to succeed, before starting a new blog, please read everything below, I hope it helps!
Why do you want to create a blog?
I think it is necessary to know what is a reason you are starting a blog. The biggest mistake the majority of bloggers do is that they don’t set clear goals in the beginning. I understand, that it is difficult to know where you are going initially. But, in 2016, with a lot of competition and the blogging sphere being over saturated, you have to start a blog with planning. Otherwise, you will fail, – and quick! Two general reasons to create a blog – personal and commercial. Blog is a great outlet to:
- Practice your writing and become better in it
- Running your personal journal online
- Develop your idea and make your voice heard
- Make a difference to somebody’s life/society
- Become a full-time blogger and make money.
If you are after developing your writing skills and running your journal online, you just want to have an outlet to come back every night to capture your day, – you don’t have to plan and think too much. Therefore, you should only be worried about the technical part of the blog set up. In all other cases, the strategy is essential. Especially nowadays! So, your first task is to define, why do you want to create a blog. Decide and write it down in your notebook.
What your blog is going to be about?
You are free to blog about anything. But think about the topic of your blog. Whether it is fashion, beauty, travel, animals, cooking, spiritual stones, flowers, children etc. It is beneficial to define your niche from the very beginning. You must choose a niche of your biggest interest, something you are passionate about and can talk about for ages. If you are confused and can’t decide, think about the topics you like to discuss with your friends. What are your hobbies? Maybe, there is something they always asking your advice about? From the very beginning, you have to have a clear idea of what your blog is going to be about and what kind of value you can provide for your readers.
Today value is everything and almost equals success. People will not stick around for a long time if you don’t help them to solve their problems or being useful for them in any other aspect. Also, if your blog’s niche is very broad, you will struggle with engagement and build a genuine audience.
A side note: Today my blog is experiencing some changes. I am trying to re-think my niche and see what I am most excited to talk about as well as defining what my audience is mostly interested in. Even though the niche seemed to be quite narrow a year ago – fashion and beauty, I think it is quite broad for today’s rules of surviving in a blogging word. So there will be some changes to Yukova Blog coming gradually.
The lesson: You need to constantly keep your hand on the pulse, see what your readers like and what kind of content they engage the most with. This will come with time. In the beginning, try to stick to the narrow niche and develop your influence in it.
The lesson 2: If you are starting a blog to monetise it, you need to find the niche which is in demand. In addition to this, think about connections you have already. It will be beneficial for your blog if you have some connections in the industry. I am not going to lie, if you want to become a full-time blogger and make money, connections are essential. You can either have them from the beginning and develop over the time. Or dive in the blogging bravely and build them as you go. This is what I did. But the important part is, – you need connections within the industry.
Who is the person behind your blog and is there one?
It is very important to understand from the beginning that there is NOTHING new or unique on the Planet Earth left that you can write about. Unless you are a scientist or some sort of genius, who develops new things, technologies or ideas. You almost can’t contribute anything unique. I know this sounds very sad. But this is why I said almost.
In 2016, the unique value that you can provide to the readers is you, the person behind your blog. Click To Tweet
That is why,you have to concentrate on developing yourself as a personality even more than concentrating on the technical parts of blogging. The way you treat your blog technically is very important, trust me. But developing your own voice, becoming a better and more interesting person, having a charisma – is way more important.
How much time can you invest in your blog?
Before starting a blog, think how much time a day/week you will be able to invest in your blog. This is very important. Some people are lucky to do it every day all day, some people have full-time jobs and only have about 3 hours a week. The less time you have, the more organised you have to be. In the beginning, while you are learning how to make a blog, you will have to invest a lot of time. Most of the times, it will be night hours, if you have a full-time job. But this is ok.
A Determination is a key! Once the blog is up and running, the essential part is to define how much time you have a week to produce a high-quality content. Nowadays, don’t even bother to start a blog, if you can not deliver long articles and high-quality images. I am sure this sounds sad for lazy people, but it is true. Your content will not be ranked or well received by search engines and audience if you do not deliver QUALITY and VALUE. Therefore, #Hustle. It is better to produce 1 high-quality piece of content a week than 5x 100 words articles with no real value. Quality over quantity. #HardWorker.
Plan your budget
I would be very glad to say that you don’t need a budget to start a blog. But you do. Think about the equipment you need to purchase to run a blog as well as all the technical expenses, such as buying a domain, hosting, plugins etc. But I will talk more about it in the second part of How To Start a Blog soon.
I hope you liked my first blog post on how to create a blog in 2016 and have found it useful. Remember, as the time goes and search engines develop, as well as the priorities of people changes, we need to always stay in the know of the things!
Read related: An Interview with Steph Elswood.
QUESTION OF THE DAY:
I’d really like to know what you guys think about starting (or running) a blog in 2016. Do you think there will be any big changes? Do you disagree with any of the points I’ve made above?
[Photo credit: Alexander Filonchik, Tatiana Lapina]