Overview: There are three essential questions you should ask before starting a blog. Four if you want to earn a living from your blog.
- What am I going to blog about?
- Who do I want to read my blog?
- Why will they read my blog?
The fourth question is for those wanting to make money from the blog
- How to I make money from my visitors or my visitors actions.
What am I going to write about?
In brief you are going to blog:
- to promote a product or yourself
- whatever comes into your head, a personal blog
- build your blog in a particular subject area, niche
There will be articles about each approach in linked posts that will be written this week.
Who do I want to read my blog?
This is an important consideration as you will have to make the decision between building up a large number of visitors or targeting a clearly defined group of people.
A business using a blog to help sell a specific, expensive, technical product would want their blog to be seen by people in their industry. The blog would be a mixture of brochure, public publicity, basic support centre and news about the product, other products the business makes and news of interest to the industry. Attracting thousands of general interest visitors would not be one of their goals.
On the other hand a blog making money through adverts and affiliate schemes would want to attract as many people interested in their particular niche as possible. Every visitor would be a potential business opportunity, as they may click on an advertiser’s link, or buy a product from an affiliate.
The personal blogger may want to build a large audience, or to seek a few individuals who are interested in similar subjects, or even to find a small group of people to discuss or even argue about their interest.
Note: It is very important that you have a good idea who you are writing for before you start blogging as it affects your style of writing in your content.
Why will they read my blog?
So you know what you are going to write about and you know who your target audience.
… you need to think why they come to your blog and why they will keep coming back to your blog.
Your blog will be competing with billions of other websites and blogs. Even in your niche or business area you will find hundreds, and in most cases thousands, of potential rivals. Some of the sites will be strong competitors and hopefully others will become part of your network.
But, and I repeat but, you will have to offer something that is interesting, important, newsworthy or entertaining. People are busy and most are easily distracted. It is therefore up to you to make your visitor welcome and wanting to read your material. More importantly you want your visitor to interact by leaving a comment, by buying a product, signing up to a newsletter, clicking on a link or bookmarking your site with the intention of coming back.
Note: Thinking how your visitors will react to your site is important. It will put you in front of many other bloggers. Your visitor’s reactions to your blog will affect your style of writing, your content, your navigation and how you blog in a very productive manner.
How to I make money from my visitors or my visitors actions
As they say — this is the “$64 million question”. It is useful for you to have a reasonable idea where your money is going to be earned. Is it going to come from adverts, affiliate links, products, subscriptions or are you going to offer training, consultancy or other service.
If you are planning to make your income from say advertisements then building up a lot of traffic is important. On the other hand if you’re going to be rich running a paid for training membership site the focus will be on finding potential trainees. The blog’s objective will be to be one of the dominant blogs in that particular training niche, it will try and try and pre-sell the training and will try to counter any objections a particular buyer may have as well, of course, guiding the visitor to the buying page.
Over to you
So are you clear:
- on what are you going to write about in your blog?
- who do you want as visitors to your blog?
- why are your visitors going to come to your blog?
- If relevant, I want them to make money from your visitors?