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Starting a Blog: a Quick Guide

Starting a blog is a great way to share your experiences with the world, promote your business, and potentially make a profit. It provides opportunities for you to write for an audience and improve that writing, as well as learn new skills or even promote your brand. 

Here’s how you can get started on your very own blog: 

A woman sitting on the floor with a laptop on her lap, writing, next to the title "The Making of a Blog"

Find Your Niche

Your first step in starting a blog should be to consider what you want to write about and tie it into a blog format. If you go into your blog without a plan, it can become a disorganized jumble without direction, making it unattractive to potential readers.

Ask yourself the following questions

  • What am I passionate about?
  • What do I want to learn more about?
  • What am I knowledgeable about?
  • What do I enjoy writing about?

These questions can also help you narrow down your field of focus so that the sometimes overwhelming amount of topical options is manageable. 

Do you follow fashion trends and believe you have something unique to contribute? Start a blog about your fashion favorites. 

Are you a fitness enthusiast with some experience as a personal trainer? Channel that experience into a down-to-earth blog to help others on their fitness journey.

Find something for which you have a strong passion and dedicate yourself to staying in a particular niche, at least for a while. Accurate, relevant information always performs better in search engine algorithms. 

If you establish yourself as a highly relevant, authoritative source on a particular topic, you are on the path to success.


Share Your Creativity

It’s not enough to be knowledgeable about a particular topic; you also need a unique perspective that engages your audience. Many fields of interest foster creativity, and standing out is paramount to your success in starting a blog.

If you are a fashion enthusiast, then a blog gives you the perfect outlet to share your takes on the fashion industry, where it’s headed, and how it’s changed over the years. 

Bringing your creativity to bear to make content that’s both interesting and engaging to readers is a significant part of building a reputation with a blog. No one else is exactly like you, which makes the world wide web the perfect place to bring your creative mindset to the forefront. 

Having a unique perspective isn’t the only growth metric, but it’s certainly a relevant factor in retaining and growing your audience.

To that end, you’ll want to do the following:

  • Create a blog name that no one else is using 
  • Develop creative branding elements distinct from other blogs 
  • Get a domain name
  • Select a hosting site
  • Create a personalized website
  • Promote your blog

There’s certainly a lot to do, but thankfully, the creative aspect of building a job is what most bloggers enjoy doing the most. Seeing your passion project come to life with an energy that’s distinctly yours is one of the best feelings in the world.


Consider Your Target Demographic

Another compelling part of a blog-building strategy is to consider your target demographic. Who’s browsing your blog, and how can you cater the blog to reader interests? 

For example, being a fashion guru doesn’t immediately make you aware of your target audience—let alone allow you to connect with them—which can leave you behind the competition if you don’t consider what your demographic is interested in learning.

Consider the following questions and conduct your research on your niche, both through independent sources and competitor blogs, asking yourself the following questions:

  • What age is my audience?
  • Where does my demographic live?
  • What other forms of media do they consume?
  • Do they read my competitors’ blogs?
  • What are they seeking to learn?

Knowing who your audience is and anticipating their hunger for content sets you apart from the competition and can establish you as their one-stop shop whenever they want to learn more from a blog in your niche.


Research Your Competitors

One important step when getting started is to research your competition through competitor analysis. To do that, you’ll need a solid idea of what niche you want to compete in. 

If you’re getting into the fitness industry, for example, you might want to consider what subdiscipline you will compete for. 

Are you focusing mainly on at-home workouts? Is your blog geared toward the best exercise for each muscle group? Are you giving your audience tips and tricks to increase strength? 

Do your best to define a precise focus when planning your blog. Once you do, you’ll better understand your competition and how to stand out.

Each of these niches has dominant players you’ll need to contend with if you want to run a successful blog. 

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • How saturated is my niche market?
  • How are other competitors monetizing their blogs?
  • What are my competitors doing that I’m not?
  • Which blog is the most successful in my niche and why?
  • How effective are my competitors’ marketing strategies?

Keeping in touch with the latest trends gives you the edge, especially in hotly contested topics. Collect data, follow up on leads, and research across the web to compete effectively in your niche.


The Bottom Line

A blog is an excellent way to express your creativity on a topic about which you are passionate. However, suppose you want to draw a solid audience to share your vision. 

In that case, you need to narrow down your niche interests, express your creativity with memorable content and branding, cater to your target audience, and research your competition.

If you are willing to put in the required work, you can see your blog grow and establish itself as the place for readers who share your interests and enjoy your writing voice and personality.

Further reading: Ideas For Blog Posts

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By Susan Barlow

Dr. Susan Barlow is retired from academia after teaching business administration, project management, and business writing courses for over 20 years.

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