When starting a blog there are two main types of people. Those that just jump in and just write and those think a little, plan a little before setting up their blog. this article considers those that want to do a little planning. There’s another post for those that just want to jump in and start writing.
Things to consider before starting to blog
I advise anyone starting to blog to consider where the blog’s going to be in 6 month’s time, one year’s time and five year’s time.
Are you going to write for a long stretch of time?
Are you happy writing for these long periods of time? Will you be happy writing your posts – once a day, three times a week, once a week or just when the feeling takes you over these periods.
Who is going to read your blog?
Who is going to read your blog? Just friends and family, peo4ple with a particular interest, say the same music, interested in the same gadgets, follow the same football team, go to the same church, collect the same stuff as you or hate the same set, or all, politicians etc.
Do you want people to just read, comment, interact, argue, do something specific, join your club, go to your organisation’s events, buy something or vote a certain way.
What are going to write about?
Your life, your interests, your business, your services, your club, politics, news, celebs, your favourite soap, great places to visit, gadgets, cars, health, software, photography, jokes and many more.
You have to be sure that you are able to keep writing about the subject over the days, weeks, months and years. So if the subject area is narrow be sure that there is enough material to keep on writing post after post.
If you want to make money from your blog then you should also be picking a niche that has some value in it. But be careful a friend of mine, Philip, started writing about cars
A personal blog or something more?
Do you want to just want a low level personal blog? Or are you prepared to work on developing the blog: are you prepared to network with other bloggers? are you prepared to spend time promoting?
You’re going to have to work reasonably hard if you want to build up significant traffic to your blog. Can be quite good fun though and you’ll communicate with quite a few interesting people.
How geeky are you?
Do you want to just use one of the free services and let them do the hard technical work? Are you going to use an easy install WordPress system and maybe load a theme – but no more, (fairly easy)? are you prepared to learn how to use widgets and plugins, (fairly simple and straight forward)? are you prepared to learn how to customise a theme, (needs a little to a lot of skill)?
Or are you wanting to buy in a freelancer to sort out the technical issues? Can be relatively cheap to very expensive. Or if you can find an enthusiastic blogger they’ll often do it for free – my consultancy charges are often tea and biscuits or a pint.
and the $64 million question
Do you plan to make money: selling your stuff, selling other people’s stuff, selling your services; promoting your services, advertising on your blog, being an affiliate, producing your own ebooks, software or reports.
If you want to make money – well how much? To pay for the costs of running the blog, a little pin money, happy to get the occasional bonus from your advertisers or Amazon, want to build a part time income or do you plan to leave your job and live off your blogging income, (don’t quit the day job unless you’re sure of the income).
Phew that’s a lot to think about
And when you’ve thought through all of this you can then start planning. Dependent on your thoughts you can:
- Define the niche you want to work in
- Do you need a professional looking blog, or can I use a free service or free themes
- It will help you decide your hosting
- What sort of technical knowledge and support you need
- Give you a realistic implication of the amount of work involved
Wow – so please don’t get put off by the hard work – you’ve got the rudiments of a plan
follow your plan
refine your plan
follow your plan
and in a few months time you will have a great blog, with great posts and a clear direction.
Over to you
Well get on with it – get your notebook out and start planning.
So what do you think? Do you do any planning? What are the plans for your blog? Any hints for other bloggers?