Welcome to Dear Blogger. This is Part I of our three part guide to starting your blog, first try, on the right foot.
What’s inside this article?
You’ll learn how to:
- Identify your passion
Choosing from your interests a good topic to blog about.
- Pick your niche
Research to see who’s blogging about your topic,
- Think up a domain name
This is your address on the web and you can’t change it – make it good!
- 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:
- What do you really enjoy doing?
- What is your expertise?
- 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:
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.
This term refers to tiny segments within a niche. Here are some examples:
Microniches: Passive income, home loans, college savings, mortgages, retirement investments
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!