These days setting up a blog is as easy as getting a domain name, buying a WordPress template (or even getting a free one) and organising a web hosting service for your blog – and you’re good to go. That’s as far as it goes with the technical side of things as you’ll be adding content via its CMS (Content Management System) portal, but then what your attention should naturally turn to is how to distinguish yourself as a blogger in a super competitive market that has many bloggers. How do you go about making your blog meaningful, and most importantly, how do you make sure you’ll keep the fire burning within you to keep working on your blog?
Here are some top tips from a fellow blogger, keeping in mind that this isn’t my first and only blog, so I do indeed have a few years of experience, albeit there are many blogs I worked on as a ghostwriter and correspondent.
It’s not really all about passion
Okay, so most of the advice around blogging which is doing the rounds is that of how you should (I paraphrase, of course) drill one inch wide and many inches deep! In other words, you should narrow the focus of your blog to the most specific niche you can manage, an example of which would be something like a hobby you might have. If you’re into pellet guns for example, that would be an example of a niche you would ordinarily be advised to focus your blog on.
Things have changed though – that’s not how it is nowadays, unless you’re going to be creating multiple blogs and you’re going to have many ghostwriters contributing the content. Rather, what you should do is look beyond the general fixation on a specific niche which is highly targeted. In fact, if you’re going to blog about something you’re passionate about at all, then the whole blog shouldn’t be about that passion. Rather incorporate that passion into a blog with a theme that encompasses a broader niche or a selection of niches which come together to make up what would be more of a lifestyle.
Things don’t work in isolation – they’re interconnected, so why would you want to limit yourself to a topic which granted probably has an infinite amount of information to discuss,is inevitably one which can be a source of boredom and even pain for you?
Speak from the heart and share problem-solving experiences
This concerns the content which you’re going to be publishing and it goes back to the reason why you shouldn’t explicitly focus on a highly targeted niche which makes up your passion. The most valuable blogs are those on which information about real-world experiences can be found, which readers can actually apply in their own lives. Your style of writing is nothing but an added bonus.
This is what grows any blog.
Be open to submissions
You don’t necessarily have to publish entire posts from guest bloggers as they are, but you can use some of the contributions of your readers mostly in order to add more value to your blog. You can quote them via the comments they send in or by just mentioning them along with the feedback or input they give on certain topics you may have already discussed, or future topics you plan to cover.
Promoting your blog
The absolute best way to promote your blog is through your social media platforms, but not just sharing links back to the blog, but by giving prospective readers a taste of what they will get if they do indeed want to find out more – something they can subsequently do by following the link. Create social media “pages” for your blog and share some “teaser” content on them to send traffic back to the blog itself.
Monetising your blog
This topic will require the dedication of an entire post, but to cover it as just an overview, everything which was discussed above essentially sets your blog up for monetisation. The best way to monetise your blog is to sell advertising space, which can be done in a number of different ways, including direct sales of banners, links, etc, the embedding of affiliate links (you’ll then earn money per sale made via your link), and through Pay-Per-Click advertising such as Google’s PPC programme, but that is perhaps the lowest paying of all these available options.