STARTING A BLOG – 10 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF FIRST
Today we’ll be talking about 10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting A Blog. As much as you may want to jump right in (and maybe have been told there’s no reason not to), going over these questions before you hit publish will help you better prepare starting a blog and decide on which direction to go for increased success.
1. WHY DO I WANT TO START A BLOG?
There’s no wrong reason for starting a blog: teach, share, be creative, explore writing, and even just for fun. Many people also blog to earn a profit. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, but it comes with a few disclaimers.
There is no such thing as “free stuff” – everything requires work. You may not be paying with money, but you are always paying with your time and efforts. Products require photos, writing, editing, social media, emails, and more. Travel events often require constant work from sunrise to sunset.
Blogging Isn’t An Instant Cashflow – I’m sure you’ve seen at least 50 articles telling you that blogging is the way to get rich and stay home while you do it. “How I Made $20,000 my First 6 Months of Blogging!” Some people do. But they aren’t the norm. It doesn’t happen for everyone and, for others, it can take years.
I blogged for almost a year before getting my first sponsor, and 3 years before I could quit my day job. Think about it: if all you had to do was buy a $400 course and you’d become a rich blogger in a year… wouldn’t everyone be doing it? It’s not that simple.
You need to find a blogging motivation that can sustain you while you wait for everything else to fall into place.
2. WHAT WILL I BLOG ABOUT and WHY?
Now is the time to decide what your blog will be about. Parenting? Recipes? Crafts? Your dog? No matter the topic – just pick one before you start. “I’ll just write whatever” ensures you will take years to reach your goals, if at all. Ask yourself: What do I love? What are my hobbies? What am I knowledgeable about?
Do you need a blogging niche? Bloggers disagree about this topic all the time because there is no right or wrong answer. I’ll write more in depth about this in a later article, but for now: Is it a requirement for success? Absolutely not. Does a niche give you a better chance of becoming a trusted voice which results in more work and a dedicated audience? Yes.
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3. HOW MUCH TIME DO I HAVE TO BLOG?
A typical blog post can take hours, while crafts or recipes can be an entire day from start to finish. To build your audience, you really should be posting at least three times per week. Add in building your social media networks and emails.
Consider how much free time you have available and how much of that free time will be dedicated to blogging. Will you only blog on the weekends? After the kids are in bed? Whenever you can? Do you need to set up a “do not disturb” schedule with your partner or spouse so that you can concentrate?
4. HOW MUCH MONEY CAN I INVEST?
Running a website is also a monetary investment. Setting up a professional website comes with several costs: domain, hosting, design, domain email, etc.
Aren’t there free websites? Yes. A lot of people start a blog on a free website such as Blogger or WordPress.com. But, most of them eventually switch over to paid hosting due to several concerns such as increase in traffic, ownership, ad restriction, etc.
Much like your time investment, money is also a “get what you give” aspect. As with any business, you must eventually invest to earn. Planning a budget will help you see exactly what you have to work with and what your limitations are at each step.
5. WHERE WILL I WORK?
Where you work has a lot of impact on how well you work. Do you have a dedicated office space? Maybe you’ll work at the kitchen table, or on the couch. What happens when you have a deadline and the kids just won’t leave you alone? You don’t need a fancy office, but you do need a plan.