Hello and welcome back to my Intro to Blogging Series! If you missed the first parts and want to catch up you can find them here:
All caught up? Great! Now that you know what blogging is and what to expect from it, it’s time to start thinking about your blog. This is the fun part! Before you start creating your blog you’ll want to have a good idea of what type of blog you want and what you want to achieve with your blog. With that in mind let’s get right to it!
FIRST STEP, BRAINSTORMING
It’s time to put your thinking cap on. The first thing to do that will help you figure out what type of blog you should create is to brainstorm. There are many ways to brainstorm so if you have a method that you like to use that’s perfect. If not, to get things started ask yourself “what do I spend most of my spare time doing?” Write down these activities somewhere and then rank them according to the amount of time you spend on each activity. Make another list for your current interests and also one for things you would like to do or try.
A lists might look something like this:
Spend most time:
- Working at my job
- Exercising at the gym
- Playing basketball
- Watching Movies
- Reading Novels
Things I want to try:
- Running a marathon
- Writing a novel
These lists are pretty short examples but you could have as many or as little items as you like. The goal is to create a catalog of topics that you might want to base your blog on. Rankings will help you determine your interest. It will be easier to start a blog based on things you really enjoy or things you already do. This doesn’t mean you can’t start a blog on things you haven’t done yet though. Those blogs can start as journal type blogs and then transition into resource blogs once you have some experience doing the activity.
After you have a list of topics, you’ll want to narrow it down to your top 3-5 choices. It can be hard to narrow down you list but once you do you’ll be that much closer to starting your blog. To help narrow down you list you’ll need to consider a few more things regarding your blog.
SINGLE OR MULTI-TOPIC?
Blogs can be either single or multi-topic. When picking your blog topic, you’ll want to keep this in mind. Lets quickly go over some of the pros and cons of each.
- Keeps blog focused. You won’t have to worry about what to write because your blog deals specifically with one subject.
- Easier to keep your readers happy. Your readers won’t lose interest waiting for something they are interested in to post on your blog. They will follow you because they know what they get every post.
- Can be easier to monetize in the long run.
- Limits the topics you can write about. You might get tired from writing about the same thing from time to time.
- Can be harder to come up with new material after doing it for a while.
A single topic blog can still have plenty of variety depending on the topic. Take the topic of fitness for example. A fitness blog still has an enormous amount of subtopics that can stem from it. You will want to drill down a broad subject such as fitness to an even more specialized area to really get the most out of a single topic blog. A good example for a specialized fitness blog would be a blog all about training your arms. It’s specific, caters to a target audience, and sets you apart from a lot of other blogs in the fitness realm.
- Allows for variety so you won’t get bored writing.
- Your blog will appeal to a broader audience.
- New material should be easier to come by as you have more options.
- Will be harder to please your readers. If you take weeks to post about the same topic again, some of your readers may lose interest.
- Harder to monetize as your blog doesn’t target a niche market.
One example of a multi-topic blogs is a lifestyle blog. These type of blogs deal with various topics not necessarily related to each other. You could get a post about fashion one day and a post about a recipe the next day.
Which is better?
In my opinion, neither one is really better than the other. It really just boils down to which one is better suited to your needs. You can be successful doing either, just keep in mind the strengths and weaknesses of each.
PERSONAL OR PROFESSIONAL BLOG
Depending on you goal for your blog, you’ll need to determine if you want to make a personal or professional type blog. Do you want to eventually try to do blogging as a full-time gig and make money from it? Or do you want to just create a blog as a hobby?
If you decide to create a personal blog as a hobby then you will have a lot of freedom to do what you want. You can post anytime you want to, aren’t tied to one subject, and don’t really need to worry about promoting your blog too much. It’s likely that the blog will only be seen by a handful of people whom you direct to the site, or by a few people who come across it by chance. Personal blogs can be as simple or complicated as you want it to be, it just depends on your personal preference. The downside of creating a personal blog is that it likely won’t generate you any income in the long run. If that isn’t your goal then a personal blog could be right for you.
However if you eventually want to make income from your blog, then a professional blog is probably more suited to you. Maybe you already have a business and you want to increase your online presence, or maybe you just want a blog that you can make your business. Whatever the case, you will want to create a more professional type blog.
A professional business type blog will take more time to create than a personal blog. This is mainly because the goal is to develop high readership, and that requires a little bit more work. One notable difference is that you will want to host your own blog. Hosting your own blog may take a little bit of time to understand if computers and such aren’t your strength.
On top of hosting the blog yourself, your professional blog will need to be optimized to attract potential readers and customers. This includes taking the time to do proper search engine optimization (SEO), creating an appealing blog theme and advertising and marketing your blog. Then after all that you will need determine how you want to monetize your blog. Will you sell products or services? Sell advertisements? Make sponsor posts or do affiliate marketing?
This all might seem a little overwhelming to you right now but don’t worry. You don’t have to do everything at once. As the saying goes “Rome wasn’t built in a day” and your blog will be no different. Piece by piece you’ll create your blog, slowly but surely but you’ll have lots of help! For starters be sure to check out my next series on blogging where I’ll help take you through the process of creating a blog from start to finish.
TAKING EVERYTHING INTO CONSIDERATION
After brainstorming, thinking about niche or multi-topic options and considering whether or not you want a personal or professional blog, you should be very close to knowing what type of blog you want to create.
You might not be 100% sure about your decision yet, but don’t let that stop you from creating your blog. Nothing is ever set in stone. You can always change your mind and create a different blog later on if the one you originally made doesn’t turn out to be what you had in mind. Blogging is a journey and a process like anything else. You will make mistakes, you will have your up and downs, but eventually you will learn what works for you.
That just about wraps up the Intro to Blogging Series. I hope you enjoyed it and learned a few things! I plan to continue this blogging series soon so stay tuned the next series where I’ll help guide you step by step as you create your blog. Thanks for reading!
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