In part one we learned how to go about setting up a new blog using a Word Press platform. By now you should have your own domain name, hosting set up, and Word Press installed and be ready to post your very first blog. Go ahead and congratulate yourself as you have now mastered some blogging basics. Your blog will not be very pretty yet but don’t worry about that at this point. You can view a sample of one of my early blogs here, as you can see it is a pretty basic blog and only has one post; yours may look different depending on default theme. If you are not at this point yet and need additional assistance let me know in the comments below so we can get you up to speed. Many of you may already have an idea of what niche you want to start your blog in but if not don’t worry. I am going to discuss niche selection, blogging topics within your niche, and some mistakes you may want to avoid and don’t panic we are still talking basic blogging strategies nothing complicated here.
We will start by going over a few things you need to consider when selecting a niche if you don’t have your mind set on one yet. First off you need to make sure you select a niche/topic where you can expect to have an audience especially if at some point you want to make money from your blog. Keep in mind that a blog caters to a mass media market and narrowing your focus simply because you are passionate about a specific topic is not going to serve you well. On the surface it seems like the less competition in a niche the easier it will be to dominate the niche while that may be the case, the fact is you will not have the readership required to be successful. Main problem being that it will be difficult for you to find places to get back links to your blog to drive traffic and you may not attract many visitors. I am not saying you will not succeed only that it will be difficult and you may have to invest in advertising to even get readers to your blog. You are much better off blogging in a niche that already exists and has a huge following.
Top Niches You May Want To Consider When Setting Up A New Blog
I have included a sample of some top niches for your consideration below. You may also create a sub-niches in one of these topics for example under “parenting or relationships” you could create a sub-niche like “single parenting” or “dealing with adoptions”. Do not be afraid to get creative just try to stick with an established niche. This is not an all inclusive niche so here is a technique you can use to find out if the niche you have in mind would be a viable one. Go to Google.com and in the search box enter “niche + Blog” just substitute your particular niche for “niche” and see what type of results you get. If you find a plethora of popular blogs in that niche you are where you should be.
1. Profession or Career
3.Parenting or relationships
5. Technology especially latest gadgets
6. Do It Yourself (DIY) or personal development
7. Creative arts for example knitting, scrapbooking, etc…
8. Blogging (my personal choice)
After you select a niche the next logical step is to find topics within your niche to blog about after all you will need plenty of food for thought if your are going to be consistent in your blogging efforts. A good way to accomplish this is to put on your brain storming hat. Start by writing down as many top level ideas as you can about your topic and then break each one of those down into sub-levels. I did my brain storming using power point to create a mind map don’t panic it is not difficult. If you want to see an example of the process I used you can click here. This is only an example and by no means complete. It should serve to at least give you and idea of where to start and how to do a simple mind map.
When Setting Up Your New Blog Avoid These Potential Mistakes
1. Avoid niches with a very narrow scope; we discussed that a bit earlier under selecting a niche. Remember even if you publish the greatest content in the world odds are no one will find it. It would be analogous to opening a restaurant in the middle of a jungle where the quality of the food can be awesome but actual guests will be few to none. I really hope you understand this point as it can really affect you in the long term.
2. Along the same lines as the one above try not to target an audience by a particular location or particular age group. This will severely limit the reach of your blog and impact your traffic to your blog. The bigger your potential audience pool the better.
3. Refrain from making your blog about yourself or about your business. In either of these cases unless you are already a huge celebrity you will more than likely lose your audience if you even get an audience. People really are not interested in reading about you or how you are doing in your business. In most cases they are looking for information that will help “them” in some way.
Remember that your main objective in starting a blog is to at some point make a profit from it. Keep in mind that the greater your audience the greater the possibility of you meeting that objective. Focus on writing for the benefit of your audience and regardless of what your niche/topic may be, the majority of your content should be of some value to your readers. Your blog should have a very wide reach so don’t write about “best places to visit in Montana”; write about “best places to visit”. Don’t blog about what is in it for you; write about what is in it for your readers. Stay tuned in the next part of this series we will get into publishing basics for your new blog post.