Welcome to my new series of articles on the start of a new blog.
I have recently published a few articles here that are aimed specifically at blog beginners. But there was always the desire to publish step-by-step instructions.
Of course, I am happy to fulfill this wish and off we go with the first part “Planning and preparation”.
[This is the overview page with all articles in this blog start series ]
You might want to skip this first step and read on straight to the installation, etc., but you shouldn’t do that.
Because the preliminary considerations and preparations mentioned in this article are extremely important for the future success of your blog.
Many bloggers, but also developers, writers, etc. tend not to plan but to get started immediately. Of course, you shouldn’t plan too long and postpone implementation forever. But good preparation and planning increases the chances of success of your blog and reduces the risk of missing something important and running into problems later.
So take your time. 🙂
The first thing to think about is your main and basic goals.
You should ask yourself the following questions and of course answer them:
- What do I want to achieve with my blog? How should the blog look in 1, 2 or 3 years?
- How intensely do I want to blog? How much time do I want / can I invest?
- What are my success criteria? Just wanna have fun Do I want to reach as many readers as possible? Do i want to earn money?
Only when you have answered these basic questions yourself can you start planning your new blog more specifically.
Because these main goals that you set for yourself have a very strong influence on the structure, design and concept of your new blog. And concrete goals for implementation can be derived from this later.
Choose a topic
Once you have considered the basic goals of your blog, then it’s time to choose a content topic for your blog.
There are a wide variety of starting points. Some have an exact picture of their own dream blog including the topic in front of their eyes, others have dozens of ideas and the third just wants to start writing.
However, you should carefully consider the topic of your blog. Of course, course corrections later are not only possible, but also likely. Nevertheless, the choice of topic has a huge impact on the impression your blog leaves on readers.
There are always discussions about whether to start a blog with a single topic or rather a blog with many topics.
One topic or a mix of topics?
On the one hand, this is of course a matter of taste, but I have some arguments for the restriction to one topic:
- It’s easier to be successful in a well-defined niche.
- Advertisers often prefer clearly defined target groups. This is not the case in a mish-mash blog.
- Google tends to have thematically clearly defined websites / blogs, even if they are small, higher up on these topics. Cabbage and beet blogs have a harder time.
- It is easier to start with one topic and then add a second than if you want to / have to throw out topics later.
- Marketing is also easier with a focused blog, as you can concentrate on a specific target group.
- If you limit yourself to one topic, it is much easier and better to present yourself as a specialist on this topic. This has many advantages.
As you can see, I’m a huge fan of specialized blogs that revolve around one topic.
Of course it’s your choice, but I’d recommend a focus topic to start with.
Choosing a topic / niche
Think about which topics might be suitable for you? What are you interested in, what hobbies do you have, what do you find exciting?
In order to choose a topic or a specific niche, you should ask yourself the following questions:
- How well do I know the subject?
- Do I want to write about months and years on the subject?
- Can I achieve my main goals in this niche / topic?
All 3 questions are very important.
You should not only answer the third question from your gut, but also do proper research and compare your assumptions with concrete figures.
In my article “ Finding the perfect blog niche ” I presented some analysis tools with which you can analyze both visitor interest (ie how often is this topic searched for in Google, for example) and the competitive situation.
The relationship between demand and supply is very important. There are topics where there is an extremely high demand, i.e. potential visitors, but also an extremely large number of blogs.
It is often worthwhile to choose a topic that does not offer so many potential visitors, but does not yet offer many blogs.
A “small” topic can be very rewarding (from all possible angles). Of course, the market shouldn’t be too small either.
If you want to earn money, you should of course also analyze what opportunities there are. You can use the Google AdWords Keyword Tool to look at the click prices of certain search terms. That already gives a good impression of what the income options are like. The number and scope of affiliate programs * on a topic are also a good indicator.
Too small or too big?
I started a blog years ago that was about college football. I’m a big fan, but otherwise only a handful of other people in Germany, as I discovered. 🙁
If the target group is too small, there is of course no potential despite all the effort.
But not only the number of competitors, but also their quality is important. There can be many blogs. But if these are badly done, then there is still potential.
If there are already a number of high-quality and extensive blogs in a small niche, it can be difficult.
As you can see, there are no easy answers to the “topic / niche” point. You have to look closely at the market, read along with other blogs, analyze and weigh up.
further preliminary considerations
In addition to the goals and the topic, there are of course other things that you should think about before the first post.
So it is often worth starting a blog with someone. A good friend who also enjoys the topic can make “work” a lot easier.
You should not underestimate the time burden already mentioned above. As the blog gets better known, so does your administrative burden. I’ve seen a few blogs that got off to a strong start, but then went down a lot.
You definitely shouldn’t just copy a successful blog. Nobody needs a second IKEA. But a modified IKEA with a few other approaches might find its market.
This is where the Mash Up approach comes into play. Possibly. there are blog topics that can be combined. At the time , I combined the topics of “self-employment” and “Internet” on self-employed in the net . This combination did not exist in this form before and that was certainly one of the reasons for the success.
Technical matters and other preparation, like choosing the domain, follow in the next articles in this series.
Summary and ToDo
So today it was not about the technology or concrete measures in implementation. Today was about the preliminary considerations, the basics.
Only those who set themselves goals can achieve them. Or as the saying goes: “If you don’t know the destination, no path is the right one?”
Therefore, you should have worked through the following points before you continue with the next article in the series.
- Set your main goals.
- Collect topic ideas that you can and want to write about in the long term.
- Analyze the market and assess the topics according to potential and competition.
- Pick a topic for your new blog.
The second part of the series of articles about the start of a new blog will be about “choosing a name and domain” in a few days.
Until then. I look forward to requests and criticism in the comments.