Have you ever thought of starting your own blog?
The idea of blogging must have crossed your mind every now and then. Being a new blogger myself, I can tell you, from my first hand experience, that starting a blog is probably easier than you thought. The key, however, is to get everything right beforehand.
Tip: The more research and preparation you do before starting your blog, the smoother the whole process is going to be. Insufficient planning and skimpy research cost me time, money and wasted effort. All these can be avoided by performing extensive research, or at the very least, read an article or two about ‘starting a blog’.
Here are 3 steps that you need to take before starting your own blog.
Step 1: Find a purpose for your blog
To run a successful blog, you need to find a clear purpose – why do you want to create a blog in the first place? A blog is a platform that allows you to share with others your thoughts, your experience, a piece of your mind.
You probably know this but I will just say it out loud: write about something that you are passionate about. If you are not 100% sure about the topic that you came up with, it is not the topic that you want to write about. Imagine yourself in the middle of a long-haul train ride, and started a casual conversation with a stranger sitting next to you. What kind of topics can you two possibly talk about for 2, 5, or even 10 hours? What kind of topics turns you on Otherwise, it is highly likely that you are going to abandon your blog in a few weeks’ time.
Step 2: Identify your UVP to define your blog’s positioning
However, it takes more than sharing your own thoughts to create a successful blog. There are plenty of blogs out there, what makes yours different? You need to differentiate your blog from the rest.
And the prerequisites of differentiation are segmentation and targeting. You need to first understand the market – what kind of readers are there in the market – then you can select certain groups, or segments, as your ‘ideal readers’.
When I started 10-hats, I wanted to share my (good and bad) experience in digital marketing to everyone who is new to this arena. So naturally, my reader profile will be people who are new to the digital marketing industry.
Start differentiating your blog by defining your unique value proposition (UVP). In simple words, identify the benefits that only your blog can offer to address certain needs. You have to give people a strong reason to read and revisit your blog. At the end of the day, your blog is only as strong as your readers, both in breadth (number of readers) and in depth (loyalty).
There are plenty of blogs about digital marketing, no matter what keywords you Google. So how can 10-hats stand out? When I was struggling with this question that would define the direction of my blog, something came to my mind: if there were a blog that collected and analyzed all the basics information required for digital marketing, it would have saved me hours of research. 10-hats will be positioned as a all-in-one blog that covers an array of digital marketing topics targeting beginners. This is not easy. But try putting yourself in your readers’ shoes. That is often a good starting point in developing your unique value proposition.
Step 3: Choose a name for your blog
This is one of the most difficult decisions I have ever made. It’s almost like naming your own baby. The worst part? For people who are not prepared to break the bank in starting a blog, finding the perfect domain name that is not already taken or too expensive is like finding needle in a haystack.
I originally wanted to name this blog ‘The Flying Pig’, which was inspired by the idiom ‘when pigs fly’. Obviously, such a good name is already taken by a Japanese grocery shopping brand The Flying Pigs. Then I thought of a more literal name Digital Newb, which was registered but not used. My ding moment came when I stumbled upon the idiom ‘Wear Many Hats’ during my research. After identifying the key element, the only thing left to do is to play around the words.
Now that you have everything planned, it’s time to create a blog of your own! I will soon be publishing a new post about how to actually start a blog on WordPress, so stay tuned!
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