Why do you want to start a blog? (This post has homework!)
There are many bloggers out there making a living by BLOGGING! I love the idea of making money from writing about whatever I want on a blog, writing books and selling them to my blog readers, and creating podcasts that my audience will love! After I finish that fantasy thinking, I will need to truly THINK about why do I want to blog? Why do you want to blog?
What are your true motives? There are no right or wrong reasons, but you need to know your WHY. Do you want to . . .
- help people?
- create a passive income stream?
- become a writer?
- become well known in your subject area?
- blog because blogging is cool!
Your reason for blogging will help you make the difficult choices about how you’ll set up and run your blog. Your motivation will help you write content when you don’t FEEL like writing. Your blogging purpose must be important enough to sustain your blog through the tough times.
Take a moment and jot down at least 3 reasons you want to blog. The more reasons you have, the more motivated you’ll be to start!
Who will read your blog?
This is a much bigger question than I thought when I decided to start my blog. Who wants to read the things you’ll write in your blog? For my blog, I thought new moms or frustrated moms would be glad to benefit from my 22 years of experience in parenting and managing a home. These moms could use my blog as a cheat sheet to help them manage their homes and family responsibilities more efficiently. They could use my blog to help them get through difficult situations.
Analyzing my blog metrics, I’ve learned some of my posts are relevant for college students, single adults with no children, and men involved in fitness activities. It is positive that I’m reaching a broader audience, but they are leaving as quickly as they arrive, because my blog is obviously geared toward moms.
Think about who your readers will be. Jot down a description of your ideal reader. Think about describing them by age range, gender, and interests.
What will you write about?
In my early days of blogging (2003 – 2005), I used my blog as a journal to record my feelings and the happenings in my life. It was a creative outlet where I could post images, thoughts, and even silly, sarcastic rants. My current blog has a specific purpose and a targeted range of topics, and my writings need to fit those needs.
My initial list of topics was very broad – frugal living, meal planning, DIY projects, parenting, marriage, fitness, blogging, etc. My topics will continue to evolve as the blog continues, and I use analytics to see who is reading and how to serve them better.
What do you want to write about? Take a moment and jot down 4 or 5 possible topics for your blog.
When and how often will you post?
Having an idea about how often you’ll be posting may help you guage the reality of the time commitment you’ll need to make to maintain your blog. Do you think you need to post weekly? Monthly? Daily?
Think about how much time you want to spend writing, and see it that looks like a good fit with the answers of the other questions. If you want to post weekly, and you only want to spend a couple of hours on the weekends, you may want to rethink. Weekly posts require planning time, writing time, and time for the many activities surrounding the posting of content that must be considered.
If you have a busy home or small children, you may want to give yourself some grace and start small. Writing a really good blog post every other week or so is a GREAT idea, especially in the beginning when there are so many pieces and parts to learn about blogging.
Quick question: how often to you think you’ll want to post in your blog?
Where will your reader learn about your blog?
Marketing your blog will be necessary. “If you build it, they will come” is fiction from a movie, and it doesn’t apply to blogs. You may build and build and build, and “they” may never know about your blog. You’ll need to think of ways to reach out and find readers to let them know what you have for them in your blog.
Are you active on Facebook or Pinterest? Is that how you’ll begin promoting your blog? Be sure your target readers are well-represented in your current social media groups. If not through social media, how will you reach your intended readers?
I’m a very active Facebook and Pinterest person. I’ve never used Instagram, SnapChat, Twitter, Google +, or other social media platforms. I decided to start with Facebook, because my group of around 400 “friends” includes many who fit my “ideal reader” description. I love Pinterest, so I knew I wanted to use that platform, too. That’s where I decided to focus my efforts for the first year of my blog, and I can expand into other platforms later.
Where will you find your readers? List a couple of ideas.
Now that you’ve thought about who, what, when, where, and why, START YOUR BLOG!
Start your blog! Yes, there are many things to consider about your blog, but don’t be paralyzed by these decisions. If you start blogging on a free platform and decide to move to your own domain later, that’s fine! If you begin by thinking you’re blogging ONLY to help people, but later decide to monetize your blog – it’s completely OK! Your blog may need to start small and evolve as you learn. So, just JUMP in and get started.
I have used information from some VERY successful bloggers to help me get started, and I’m an affiliate for Suzi. She has SO many resources to make it easy to get started. I recommend “Blog by Number” as a great starting point. See Suzi’s ad with link in my sidebar on the right or use this link to check out Suzi’s course and ebook.