Blogging can be fun but it can also be somewhat stressful if you don’t know how to get started or don’t know how to progress once you do have a blog up and running. This article is by no means a detailed guide on how to build a blog and grow an audience from the ground up. It is more just a brief overview with some thought provoking points of the process to consider or reconsider depending on what stage you’re at in your blogging journey. So, without further adieu, let’s crack on.
The niche of your blog is either going to be something which comes naturally given you’re building on a topic of interest which you’re well versed in or it’s going to be something you consciously research with the sole intention of making money. Whichever route you’re intending to go down, it’s important to realise what you want to become from the outset. Building a blog on something you love whilst technically is the right thing to do in reality it’s going to lead to disappointment – unless you just happen to be knowledgeable in an extremely lucrative niche. Choose your niche wisely and choose it based on the specific goals of your blog.
The right (or wrong) domain can make or break your site. Fortunately, these days domain names are cheap and there are so many extensions and choices available that you can no doubt find something that suits your agenda. My advice on this front, if possible, go for a .com. The new fangled extensions are nothing more than a gimmick in my opinion and for the time being, lack credibility. That’s not to say that they don’t have a place in the future scheme of things but for now, .com still rules the roost.
In terms of the name itself, you have two options. You can choose something brandable or something descriptive in relation to your blog. You can technically combine the two if you’re the creative type. Choose something short, memorable and easy to spell. Something that can be promoted via word of mouth as well as online would be my preference.
Promotion is a tough cookie to crack. Do it wrong you’ll be wasting a lot of time and money but do it right and the rewards can be substantial. There are simply too many promotional techniques to go into but there are lots of articles out there discussing exactly that. For now, I’ll just give a brief overview.
Firstly, do not neglect your social profiles. You may choose to do so because you think nobody wants to hear what you’re saying. Perhaps they don’t, but it’s a great way to get your blog out there. Interact with other blogs or individuals or online publications who are well known in your given sector and by doing so you’ll grow a following and readership in your own right.
You may also want to consider guest posting. In short, find blogs within your niche or sector and offer to write a content piece for their blog. In return, they’ll give you an authorship link to your own blog. This is great for two reasons. The first being it generates a link back to your website and secondly if the blog you’re posting on has a large audience and your article is a “good read” then the chances are people will click through to your blog because of it. One simple guest post on a large related blog could lead to hundreds of new readers of your personal blog.
If, on the off chance you’re one of those extremely lucky individuals who don’t have a care in the world when it comes to money then this section probably isn’t for you. If, on the other hand you’re one of those people who have developed a blog with the intention of making a living from it you’re probably going to want to know how to do just that.
Typically, there are 3 options with each consisting of various money making opportunities.
1. Banner Ads – This form of media is somewhat falling out of favour but they’re still fairly popular. If nothing else they seem to make a site appear more active even if the click through rate is falling as time goes on due to the ever talked about “banner blindness”. Banners can consist of anything and everything where you can earn a few pennies each time someone clicks it to the affiliate angle where you can advertise a product or service and get paid a commission if the visitor buys the item.
2. Affiliate Links – Affiliate links can come in the form of banners or text links or any other way you can think of sending your visitor off to someone else’s site to buy something. Selling other peoples products and services if you have a blog with an audience to suit is a fantastic way of making money. Particularly if you choose the right product or service to promote.
3. Sponsored Post Sales – Somewhat frowned upon by the upper echelons of the blogging fraternity but a solid income source if done right nonetheless. Sponsored posts is literally just putting someone else’s post on your blog which contains a link to their website. This isn’t to be confused with guest posts which is something different entirely.
So there you have it. Hopefully this article gives you some food for thought when it comes to blogging, promotion and monetisation. There is obviously a lot to cover and each of these sections can be expanded on but for now I’ll leave you with this. Good luck in your blogging endeavours!