Guide Table of Contents
- Why You SHOULDN’T Create a Blog
- 3 Reasons to Start Blogging
- How to Pick Your Blog’s Subject
- How to Find Your Niches
Hey, Sascha here. Confession. I’ve been blogging for 15 years, so writing from my personal experience, I’d love to share the best reasons to start blogging. Back when I was a teenager (and the internet was fresh and new), there was this platform called Xanga. A bunch of my friends had Xanga pages- essentially, your own easy to use blog. You’d follow your friends and you’d each read and comment on each other’s new blog posts.
I sort of wish that would come back. How neat would that be to watch all your friends actually sharing longer-form thought and content- poems to random thoughts to blogs? I suppose that’s what Tumblr is kind of like now, but, I’m pretty sure I’m too old for Tumblr, so there’s that.
Anyway, I’ve clearly digressed.
My point is that I’ve been blogging for a long time, and not making any money from it. That’s important to share because anyone can create a blog. But a blog doesn’t guarantee money.
Blogging can be super fun, which is why I started doing it, but, to actually make money from it requires a strategy. So, let’s dive into the various reasons why anyone would want to start blogging (and why anyone SHOULDN’T start a blog). Then, we’ll talk about the different ways to actually make money from, or monetize your blog.
Why You SHOULDN’T Create a Blog
Instead of focusing on the reasons to start blogging, let’s first discuss the reasons why you shouldn’t create one.
Here’s what happens if you don’t have anything to say or share: you create something no one wants or needs. You don’t get any traffic. You make no money.
You can blog about anything at all, but it has to be about SOMETHING. You can start blogging about your attempts to make money online. You can start a blog about being chubby and all the delicious things you eat. It doesn’t matter. Just pick something specific. The more specific, the better. People want to read specific things. Think about how you find blogs: you’re googling something specific.
Things I googled this morning: whole chicken instant pot tomato, whole chicken instant pot onion. I’m cooking a chicken in my instant pot for dinner and wanted to try a new recipe using ingredients I already have in the house. Both of those searches yielded different recipes- but I happened to click on two from the same blog. So, that blog clearly has a lot of whole chicken instant pot recipes, and I’ll bookmark it and use it in the future since I make a whole chicken at least twice a month in the instant pot.
Based on the fact that I found the recipes on the first page of Google, there are a whole lot of other people searching for and doing exactly the same thing. This blogger is likely someone just like me, a mom who’s experimented a lot, found what works, and wants to share it.
I’m not saying you need to do a whole chicken instant pot blog. What I AM saying is that you have to have something specific to say.
2. You hate or are afraid of writing.
This one sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how many entrepreneurial types I meet who want to start blogging, but either hate or are deathly afraid of writing. Yet… They consider doing it, anyway. Do you know what happens when you attempt something you hate or are afraid of? You spend so much time dealing with the fear/hatred that you don’t actually get the work done. It’s pointless.
I’m all about overcoming fears, but not in the name of making money. Get over your fears separately. Don’t let your livelihood depend on you getting over fears, because 99% of people go broke before they get over their fears. It’s just the truth, something I’ve seen happen so many times. I used to tell people things like, “You have to be willing to get uncomfortable,” and that sort of thing, because I’m okay with getting uncomfortable. Most people are not. So, while they may shell out the money to start the blog (or business, etc), that’s as far as they’ll go.
So, save your time. Save your money. Do something else. If, for some diabolical reason, you still want to start a blog in spite of your fear or hatred of writing. Get over that before you attempt it. There isn’t a single successful blogger out there who blogs with fear or hatred of writing in their heart.
3. You need to make money quickly.
Entrepreneurship is awesome. Making money is awesome. But making money via a blog is awesome. But not quickly. You could monetize it in as little as a few months, even faster if you have money to spend on it, but if you’re looking to make money right this second, you’re better off selling your belongings on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, Offer Up, or Depop.
I know women who’ve sold their sofa and bed (the one with the bed got an air mattress) to get quick funds. There’s always a way to make quick cash. Blogging… Not it.
So, why should you start a blog?
3 Reasons to Start Blogging
1. You have a specific hobby, area of expertise, or just plain interest and a lot to say on the subject.
Some blogs are hobby centered. Those range from fashion to Crossfit, to sewing. Others are centered around areas of expertise, like specific jobs or careers. Still, others follow interests. An interest-based blog would develop with the blog author. Say you decide to begin a new hobby or job. In the beginning, you don’t know much about it, though you can talk about why it interests you. Then, as you do it longer, your expertise grows. Your blog posts reflect that.
You don’t have to know everything about a subject to start blogging about it. It just has to interest you enough for you to share what interests you. Done correctly, that will interest other people.
2. You like to write.
Any writer knows that the desire to write ebbs and flows. Just because something interests you does not mean that you’ll always want to write about it. That’s where liking to write comes in.
If you like to write, it’s much easier to have the follow-through to continue to create blog posts.
3. You’re ready to put the time and effort in over a longer-term time frame to build a blogging income.
Blogging is a long term process. SEO takes a while to pick up. Once you write your blog articles, you’ll have to do the SEO on the back end, and you’ll want to share them via social media platforms.
There are things you can do to get your blog traffic while the organic search traffic begins to grow. All of these things take time. Beyond writing, you have to be ready to do some pretty boring work in order to get your blog seen. If you can accept that some of the blog work will be boring and still need to get done, you’re ready!
How to Pick Your Blog’s Subject
If you already have your subject niched down, skip this section. If you need to know how to pick a blog subject or if it needs a little fine-tuning, stick with me.
What do I mean exactly? Long story short, “mommy blog” is not a specific niche. Not one that’ll get you traffic (readers), anyway. Travel blog isn’t specific either.
You need to niche down. Maybe you’re a vegan traveler, maybe you’re a keto traveler, maybe you travel with kids, maybe you’re an RV traveler or an RV traveler with kids. Make sense?
You want to find the subset within your subject. What makes you different?
The easiest way to do this is to find your niches. You can have up to five.
Let’s say you’re creating a mommy blog. Well, what other aspects of your life or mommyhood are you going to blog about? A blog written by a married mommy with a full-time career office job who breastfeeds pumps milk for her infant, and eats paleo is a different blog from a single woman who has elementary-aged kids, works full time with a side gig from home, who loves minimalist interior design, and traveling with her kids to resorts each summer. Can you spot the 5 niches for each?
We can run this same model in a different niche.
Let’s say you’re interested in starting a fitness blog. A 40-year-old married man with dad-bod, who enjoys Crossfit, who dislikes counting calories or macros, who wants to compete in Spartan Races, but is completely out of shape, will write a different blog from a 20 something woman who gained 10 pounds due working 80 hours a week, needs to find workouts that fit with working extensive hours, and wants to experiment with different ways of eating (keto, paleo, IIFYM, Dukan, fasting) to lose the weight.
How to Find Your Niches
The easiest way to find your niche is to write a list of the thirty (or even fifty, if you want to really stretch yourself) articles you can see yourself writing to start your blog.
You’ll have to put those blogs within categories on your blog. Those categories are your niches. They may not have the same title on your blog, though. For example, on our family blog/channel, our niches are Family, Travel, Minimalism, Fitness, Lifestyle. Our blog categories are slightly different, though, but when we write new blogs or create new Youtube videos, they always fall under one of those five niches.
So, make your list of blogs, break them into categories, and you’ll have your niches.
Now, you’ll have the beginnings of a blog in place, and you can begin writing and saving your blog posts into the word, notepad or text document of your preference while you get the rest of your blog in place.
Next, we’ll talk about actually starting your blog and creating your monetization strategy.