Are you thinking about starting a blog? Definitely, a blog is one of the effective ways to start earning a splendid income. Besides this, blogging is a great hobby too.
However, starting a blog is easier but achieving success and monetization isn’t the same. It’s a business that needs plans, efforts, the right actions at the right time as well as determination and smart work.
Before you start a blog, there should be a clear purpose, interest as well as planning for success. This is essential to achieve the goals through your blogging journey.
In this post, I will tell you 15 things that you should know and consider before starting a blog. After reading the article, you will have better decisions for starting a blog. Also, you will be well prepared and confident to start your awesome and successful blog.
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1. What is Blogging?
In the simplest term, blogging is like writing an essay, on a new topic each time within the picked niche. Through, the content of the blog can be audios, videos, pictures as well as other media too.
So a blog is a collection of those topics. A blog is also a type of website that usually presents information in reverse chronological order (newer content appears first). Although, video blogs are also another form of blogging.
2. How do Blogs Make Money?
Having a blog even with pretty traffic doesn’t mean you will have apt money as well. You must know how blogs make money as well as how would you bring business from traffic.
Generally, blogs make money using the following major ways:
- Affiliate Marketing (Most profitable)
- Selling your own services/products
- Sponsored Reviews
- Ad Networks (Not enough alone)
Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to make money via blogs. It means writing about products/services and encouraging readers to buy them if you believe products are worth it.
All that you have to do is:
- Write about the product or service.
- Make your blog posts interesting.
- Add value to your words for visitors.
- Help them choose the right thing.
- And put affiliate links for them to click.
If visitors trust you and find your words credible, they will be inspired to click links. And if they buy, the seller will pay you a commission.
Selling Own Services or Products
If selling your own services or products, list them in the primary viewable area of the blog. Also, your plan should include how you would convince visitors about your products.
Putting use cases, success stories, testimonials, and case studies in blog posts could help you gain potential clients.
Sponsored or Paid Reviews
Sponsored or paid reviews are also ways to earn attractive dollars in 3 or 4 digits. Businesses pay you money to review their products. And you publish your generous opinion as well as the good and the bad about the product in your blog posts.
However, it’s not a service that you can straight offer. Once the blog gets high credibility as well as a large community, companies reach to you themselves for paid reviews.
Ad Networks are quite easy to start even with lower traffic. However, they don’t give a substantial monetary value. Additionally, ads also tragically slow down website speed. So they are good only at beginner and medium levels.
3. Questions before Starting a Blog
Ok, so the idea of starting a blog is flashing into your mind. But ask yourself why do you want a blog? You want to just share the knowledge you have, or earn money? It’s to sell your services or even seeking it as a future alternative to your current job.
Will you do it part-time or have the full time available? In the latter case, have you enough money or alternative source of income to fulfill living expenses for an adequate time? Additionally, what is the expected time you hope for the minimum return?
Why am I saying to consider? It’s because, in reality, a blog takes time to get recognized. A blog has to be certain months old, minimum traffic as well as quality content before you could even place ads for monetization. So I suggest you to reserve almost a year of time to let the blog reach good standings.
That being said, the first ladder of success is always arduous. Blogging is not an exception too. Initially, you won’t get huge traffic but you would feel the potentials. If you continuously work hard and do the right things, the success of the blog is certain.
I suggest you take a pen a diary that you won’t lose. Further, write the questions and your answers with the date. It will help you to identify the goals and challenges with granularity. Also, when you will review them in the future, you will be able to easily elucidate how ahead or far you are from the target.
4. Do I have Adequate Interest and Time?
Ask yourself if you enjoy learning and writing about chosen niches? If you either don’t enjoy or treat them as a burden, you shouldn’t even start a blog. Otherwise, you won’t be able to consistently create content that could build your audience.
Success in blogging takes time. Additionally, patience, determination as well as continue working are equally important. It doesn’t matter how much time you invest. Keeping it regular like 5 or 6 hours each week is more indispensable.
You will use this time in various tasks like reading other blogs, writing awesome content, interaction, marketing, affiliation, as well as many others. Are you ready to get involved in them for years? Are you mentally prepared for all these?
So if you’re happy with the challenges, possibilities, and answers, it’s the right time for starting a blog. Now plan to pick either a free blogging platform or a self-hosted blog.
5. Are Free Blogging Platforms for Me?
There are a few free blogging platforms where you can start writing in almost no time. Even you don’t need to spend a single penny for that. Below are some conditions when these publishing platforms are better suitable.
Free platforms are appropriate when you:
- Want to start at zero cost.
- Have a quite lesser time available.
- Just wish to share your knowledge and experience.
- Are taking blogging as a light hobby or giving it a try.
- Don’t want a monetary return or are happy with just a little income.
- Are happy with the limitations and restrictions these platforms apply.
- Stay away from the complexity behind maintaining your own website.
If a few of these conditions suits you then free publishing platforms are appropriate for you. Millions of visitors read every day on these platforms. So you would have a great potential to spread your words to the maximum. WordPress.com, Medium, and Blogger are such a few free blogging platforms.
6. Plan to have Your Own Blog if
We also call it a self-hosted blog. Having your own blog has its own potentials. You can build a dedicated audience as well as run it for a business. The following characteristic will help you to decide if a self-hosted blog is for you. Opt a self-owned blog if you:
- Have a considerable time.
- Are ready to pay a minor cost.
- Want to become more professional.
- Wish to earn an ample amount of money.
- Want full authority and credit over the content.
- Willing to handle the blog yourself or hire someone.
- Want full control of each and every aspect of the website.
Professionalism, full control as well as better opportunities to monetize are the main reasons to invest in a self-hosted blog. If you’re planning to make decent money from blogging then buying a domain and hosting a website to run the blog is your way.
7. Considerations while Choosing Blogging Niche
In short, the niche is the topics you will cover in the blog. You need to wisely choose a niche as explained. Choosing a niche is the most difficult task. But don’t worry. We’re here to assist.
If you’re starting a blog to make money then choose a niche that can bring significant traffic as well as has monetary value. Additionally, it should definitely have your interest and at least a little familiarization with the subject as well.
If you write about free resources like free wallpapers, greeting makers, or movies download links, you will get a lot of traffic. But probably won’t get very much earning. Why? Because you’re promoting free content. Further, no business will pay you for promoting free stuff.
If you’re blogging only for passion then the niche becomes less important. But to let the blog generate revenue for you, the niche should have a mix of demand (searches on the internet), your interest, as well as the scope for the future.
There is another important thing to consider while choosing the niche. You can combine several related niches but set boundaries. It means don’t blog for a topic outside of them.
You write about fashion today, tomorrow you talk about current affairs, and the next day there is a post about movies. This will make you fail to attract a targeted audience. Remember that you’re not creating Amazon that sells everything.
Like, niches of Fellow Tuts blog are blogging, hosting, as well as programming. So it covers SEO, WordPress, affiliate marketing as well. But you won’t find posts about movies here, because it’s a quite distinct niche.
Another example, if you choose fashion as the niche, related blogging niches could be life-style, beauty products as well as apparel. But avoid writing about sports activities when fashion is your niche.
8. Brainstorming to Pick the Blog Niche
The first key to building a successful blog is finding a profitable niche. And the second key is you love and enjoy talking about the niche. I want to ensure you don’t leave blogging after a couple of months due to zero return or losing interest.
So how to pick a good niche? Brainstorming is the answer. Brainstorming can generate some wonderful ideas. Begin it by picking the pen and the diary again to select the right niche. First, write down all the niches you feel interesting. The list can be as long as your mind speaks.
9. Checking the Demand of the Niche
Thereafter, let us first check how many people have searched for a specific niche. Open Google and type the first niche. It will return the number of results as well as links to pages containing relevant information. Repeat the same with the rest of your niches. The higher the number, the more demanding the niche is.
Wow! Look at the screenshot. The search for “gaming device” has returned above 8.8 billion results.
Well! Don’t run into a rush. You have found the hottest niche doesn’t mean you start blogging about it. There is tough competition as well. Too much competition will let your blog beaten by high authority websites.
On the other hand, a lesser-known niche with no demand will push the blog to barely make an impact. The key is, the niche must have a balance among your interest, popular trends, and the level of competition.
So doing a Google search will help you find popular niches. A popular niche with middle competition can also be monetized easily.
10. Picking More Targeted Blogging Niche
Many often the chosen niche could be too broad to target the audience. Additionally, it can be too competitive. So in the beginning, it’s necessary to be more specific about the niche.
Luckily, there is a simple solution to deal with it. Scroll to the bottom of the Google search result page. There you will find related, similar, and more targeted niches for your blog. Also, these smaller niches will save you from competing with big authority websites.
I see that there are suggestions about gaming consoles. So I decided to check its popularity.
Surprising! The search for “gaming console” drastically reduced to 580 million results. That is almost just 6.5% of the “gaming device” search. Still, it’s a pretty high number. Now you can see, I have a demanding and quite a lesser competitive niche.
11. Checking the Profitability of Niches
If you’re planning on earning money through affiliate marketing or ad networks then make sure that your niches are profitable enough to monetize the blog. Also, it should help you earn a good income like a higher commission.
By checking if any brands and businesses introduce products related to your niches or keywords, you can easily make sure that the niche is profitable enough.
Search on Google for “Affiliate program for (your chosen niche or related keywords)”. It will show pages that have lists of related affiliates. Open a few pages and visit listed affiliate programs. Then check how much commission they offer as well as important terms.
So using this simple tip, you can have a better idea of the profitability of niches. Further, you can shortlist the most lucrative niches.
12. Exercise to Test Your Passion and Writing Capability
You have shortlisted niches. But have you really tested if they match your taste? So let us do a quick exercise to ensure that the selected niche is a good fit for you.
I recommend you to pick 3 -5 blogging niches. Then for each of the niches, write down 5 blog post ideas and paragraphs that appear in your head. This exercise will ensure that you are passionate and can write about the final niches you picked.
13. Consideration while Choosing Domain Name and Website Hosting
Starting a blog is a business if you want a monetary return from it. Further, every business demands an investment of money. The same is true for blogging. First of all, you need a domain name and website hosting to start a blog.
We believe that the expenses should be as minimum as possible. So you can acquire both for just under $35 a year with the help of our recommended link.
Domain Name for Starting a Blog
For domain, I strongly recommend you pick a domain name that consists of your main niche keyword in itself. Like, if you’re planning to write on health then try that the world “health” appears in the domain name. This will give you long-term SEO benefits.
Second, it’s a general matter that short names feel catchy. So pick a short domain name if it is available, generally within 15-20 characters or less. Although, it has become quite trivial to obtain such names with popular extensions like “.com”.
However, there are many business-specific domain extensions available nowadays, like “.academy” or “.blog”. Also, plenty more are coming in the future. You should take advantage of them. The only downside is, these business-specific extensions are a bit costlier.
Start the Blog with Economical Website Hosting
A zero traffic website does not require heavy server resources or advance hosting plans. So do not waste your money. Buy only what is required and adequate for the next 2-3 years of your blog.
Also, we have no hesitation in saying, saving money is earning money. Even if you have enough budget, you can invest that in other valuable services I’m going to tell you in a while. Initially, you’re paying for everything from your pocket so it’s essential to value it.
I suggest you check the list of best hosts that offer economical hosting for new websites. These are the top hosting providers with quality, speed, pretty resources as well as good support. While we recommend Bluehost (India/International), you can pick the one you feel the most desirable.
14. You can Set up the Blog in a Day, BUT
Many blogs will tell you that you can set up the site in almost no time. Or at least in a day or two. In fact, with a great CMS like WordPress, having installed a theme and few plugins, and minor configuration, you’re ready to go.
Well! That is true too. But my friend let me share a real fact with you. Undoubtedly content is the king. The more the blog will have quality content, the higher the traffic would have.
But how visitors come? Through a Search Engine like Google or a Social Media network like Facebook. These engines are bots that crawl your website. No matter how smarter or human alike they are, the root of their understanding is not the same as how a human reads blogs.
These are markup and SEO features they parse. HTML tags, Metadata, Structured Data, Breadcrumb are such a few names. If engines can analyze your content better, they will rank your page higher. It means visitors will see your pages earlier than pages from competitors.
You are ready to produce awesome blog posts. But they’re not enough alone. A blog with a well-structured design, proper schema, and syntactically correct markup, attracts Search Engines more.
Unfortunately, only rare themes and plugins take care of such features and only to the basic extent. And those are available to every WordPress blog. Else most of those programs have poor coding style, heavy scripts with additional features you really won’t need.
Rather than ruining your blog with an unchecked theme and a bunch of messy plugins, I suggest you approach a professional WP developer to create a well-structured, high-performance blog. This will surely help your blog to get caught earlier in the eyes of Search Engines.
15. Learn Best Practices for Content Writing
If you’re already from the tech field, most probably you’re aware of how should you organize content. However, for non-technical users, it is a must to learn things.
You have a topic title and awesome words to write. But you’re making a mistake if you’re writing without any proper heading, visual content, and section organization.
You should gain some basic knowledge of using headings, paragraphs, incorporating keywords, and most importantly, a little HTML. For example, avoid using the H1 tag in the post content since it already surrounds the post title.
Additionally, learning the uses of tools and plugins like Yoast SEO is also recommended. You would definitely come to know about them after starting the blog. However, the earlier you learn, the better is it for the growth of the blog.
So it is advisable to reserve a small fraction of the time if you already don’t know about them. It will make you capable of using best practices while writing to create SEO friendly as well as user-friendly content.
Starting a Blog? Stay Persistent and Consistent
Steady and smart efforts are essential for the success of any task. you have wisely picked your niche. The blog is ready too. Schedule your routine to dedicate a decent portion of time to the blogging work each week.
Start blogging along with researching content, picking ideas, writing posts, commenting, affiliation, and improving the blog to grow the audience. Additionally, keep eye on traffic and performance. These are your continuous task.
Even after extreme efforts, most probably there will be low visits to your blog for the first few months. Here the terms persistent and consistent come in. Don’t lose hope. Just keep working on the blog despite the initial low response.
It takes time to see hundreds of visitors coming to your site and buying your affiliate products. So, be patient. Eventually, you’ll see the successful results of your hard work.