Guide Part I: How to Plan Your New Blog Perfectly

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Welcome to Dear Blogger. This is Part I of our three part guide to starting your blog, first try, on the right foot.

After you read this, make sure to read Part II and Part III.

What’s inside this article?

You’ll learn how to:

  1. Identify your passion
    Choosing from your interests a good topic to blog about.
  2. Pick your niche
    Research to see who’s blogging about your topic,
  3. Think up a domain name
    This is your address on the web and you can’t change it – make it good!
  4. Setup your blog
    In Part II we’ll take care of this

That’s what we’ll cover here. Got your coffee ready?

Identify Your Passion

Passion is essential to successful blogging. Without, and your blog will struggle right away.

So, when planning your new blog, ask yourself:

  1. What do you really enjoy doing?
  2. What is your expertise?
  3. Can you write about this?

If you are passionate about coffee, yoga, and tennis, it would not be smart to blog about all three.

The reason is you will confuse your readers if you write blog posts about very different things. You need instead to pick one topic – ideally your expertise – and start writing articles about that.

If you write well, you’ll start to position yourself as an expert in your field, and that’s when the fun aspects of blogging really kick in. As an expert you can convince people to subscribe, comment, share your work, and maybe even buy from you.

Pick Your Niche

A niche is a group of people with the same interests. In blogging, niches form around a topic, like financial advice, travel, and cooking.

Here are some common niche characteristics:

Competitive niches

A competitive niche is one where a lot of blogs are competing for our attention.

Examples are mobile phones, finance, credit cards, gaming, and digital cameras.

Such niches are also profitable – which explains why a lot of people want in – because they are the ones where blog readers typical spend money or seek advice before buying an item.

Some niches will always be more open than others.

You have to research the trends within your niche to understand what is missing and what angles you could cover.

Micro-niches

This term refers to tiny segments within a niche. Here are some examples:

Niche: Finance
Microniches: Passive income, home loans, college savings, mortgages, retirement investments

Niche: Travel
Microniches: Destinations in Asia, travel equipment, airfare, lifestyle blogs

Micro-niches show where bloggers have highly specific skill sets.

Your ideal blogging niche?

Your niche exists at the intersection of what you love and what people want. At this crosspoint, you’ll be able to create lots of content for highly interested consumers.

Think up a domain name

A domain name is your address on the web – what people type in to find you.

My domain name is http://www.dearblogger.org.

You ideally want a .com, a .net, or a .org for your domain name. Others just look funny.

You can search domains on GoDaddy, but don’t buy one just yet. You will learn how to register your domain name at HostGator at the same time we install our blog. That’s in Part II.

Keywords

A great domain name contains keywords. Not a lot, but a couple.

If you blog about finance, you might want to get “money” into your domain name, for example.

DearBlogger.org is a blog about blogging, it benefits from having “blog” and “blogger” in the domain name.

Branding

Domains can also be quite brandable.

Think of domains like Twitter.com and YouTube.com.

These domains sound odd at first, but after you hear them a few times, they are actually quite catchy.

Sustainable

A sustainable domain is one you can look at 1 or even 5 years from now and still love.

Don’t pick a domain you think is childish or silly or funny. Professionalism nearly always wins here.

Registration

Registering a domain name means making the payment and claiming your own web address.

At this point you don’t have a blog yet, you just have a domain. Every website on the web has a domain name.

As mentioned above, we’ll be registering your domain at the same time you get hosting space and install your new blog.

Install your blog

I thing we’ll actually head over to Part II now. That’s where we’ll setup a blog in 10 easy steps. Make sure to post any questions you have now in the comments, then see you at Part II!

13 Responses to "Guide Part I: How to Plan Your New Blog Perfectly"

  1. Greg great work here,am really intrested because am looking forward to creating a blog but i have not been into blogging before so am a novice in the area.Am a radio presenter so i want to take my show on line fully through blogging so i will really need your mentorship.

    Reply
  2. Hello Greg,

    My good friend Chioma mentioned you in one of her posts at simply quintessential dot com, and I had to rush over immediately to see things for myself, and frankly, I was not disappointed.

    Though I have started a blog already, i will still share this post because the information embedded in this post is timeless, and will be very helpful for other friends of mine who are interested in starting their own blogs.

    Thanks for sharing Greg

    Reply
  3. I think keyword in domain matters only for listening purpose but it is not necessary and also not going to affect search ranking anymore. If I am writing fresh and useful content I can rank better than a keyword domain.

    By the way nice points, I could learn something new. Thank You.

    Reply
  4. I think a lot of people just want to start a blog without really knowing what they are interested about, so thats a good point you make there. Always know what you are passionate about 🙂 also that the domainname – as a brand – is soooo important. Great post!

    Reply
    1. Yeah, domain name seems to stop EVERYONE, they wonder:

      what is it? why do you need it? and more….

      As an avid reader, what do you think of the organization of this guide Saskia 🙂 changes?

      Reply
      1. Firstly I think its wonderful, that you do an introduction post before you explain the part where people actually create their blog. It is so important (i can’t stress it enough) to know what gets you going in the morning so that you can talk about it. For the organization part: Its really well structured, so I found it really pleasing to read. Did you consider, that sometimes people don’t know what they love but want to blog so badly, they just start? I see a gap there, that you could also cover. (And Im really humbled that you seek out my opinion :))

        Reply
        1. This is a great post with good information. Finding the niche that one is interested in, that is the toughest part I believe. In India, as per the education system, we study school, college and then land up in jobs and some point of time, we look back and think, are we really interested in the daily stuff that we are pursuing. So the point is we forget what inspires us and what is that particular niche up on which one can create an impact. Any exercises or steps to develop the vision?

          Reply
    1. Working on it now.

      Should be thorough, talk about plugins, how to brand yourself, how to really make the most of the WordPress platform, and more.

      Keep the suggestions coming 🙂

      Reply

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