In this series of lessons for new bloggers I am going to try and teach you what to do, when to do it and where to do it.
I am going to show you the real-life struggles that you will face and the sheer enjoyment you can get out of blogging.
I am going to show you how you can make a living from your blog – if you work hard and do all the necessary things to make it happen.
Like anything else in life, successful blogging isn’t something that just happens. it takes work. It takes time, and it can take some investment of money too.
But let’s start at the beginning and see where it takes us, and whether or not you decide that blogging is actually for you because a lot of people decide it’s not, but it’s better to find that out BEFORE you spend a load of time and effort on it.
Oh, by the way, I better also mention that this blog post may contain affiliate links which means that if you make a purchase from this page using any of these links then I get paid a small commission. It is one of the ways that I monetise my blog and I will be showing you how to do this in future lessons.
So without further ado, let’s get cracking with the first lesson.
Step 1. Decide what you want to blog about
This might sound like an obvious thing to say but you would be surprised how many people start a blog and then decide it doesn’t reach the people they intended, or it doesn’t have enough scope to be more than one or two posts.
Things to consider:
1. Who is your audience?
What niche are they in? Are they stay at home moms, business men, fishing enthusiasts, bird watchers or kids entertainers? It doesn’t matter who they are as long as you know who they are.
2. What niche are they in?
To be a successful blogger you will need to choose a niche. This will determine what you talk about and how you talk about it. The more niched you can be, the more effectively you will be able to engage with your readers.
For example, if you are aiming your blog at small businesses, like I do, then you need to think about what sort of problems small businesses have. What are their pain points? What questions are they looking for answers to?
3. What problems, pain or questions do they have?
By knowing how to alleviate a pain point, answer a question or provide a solution to a problem you will be helping them and giving value. It is this perceived value that will make your blog successful – or not.
The better you are at providing a solution to their problem and the more effective you are at promoting that solution, the more people will get to see your solution and share it and recommend it to others. This is how you build up a following of fans and how you grow and develop your blog.
Do you know now what you are going to blog about?
Good. This is the first step and a really important one because if you get this wrong it is going to cost you dearly in the long run as you might have to start over with your blog and this is a huge waste of time and effort.
Step 2. Do your research
Okay, so now you have decided what you want to blog about because you think you have a niche that you can help.
First you need to make sure that you are offering the right sort of help. It’s no good spending your valuable time trying to answer a question that no one is asking or solving a problem that no one has.
You need to research your niche. You need to find out what is bothering them and why. But how could you possibly know this I hear you grumbling…
Good news! it’s really easy and you don’t even have to get off your bum to do it. Go to Google and enter your niche ie “stay at home moms” and then forum. You will have a choice of a few usually, so have a look in about 6 – 8 of them and make sure you choose ones that are up to date.
There are forums for just about anything online; and you need to get on them for a couple of excellent reasons.
Reason 1. A forum is created especially for people to ask questions and find solutions to problems they are having. Good news for you because now you can find out EXACTLY what problems people are facing.
Reason 2. The questions being asked in the forums will provide the content for your first blog posts, so it means you don’t have to guess what to write about to start making and impact right away.
Make a note of the top 5 or 10 questions or problems that are being aired on the forums and keep them safe for later.
You could also do some research on LinkedIn or Facebook. Find some associated Facebook groups and join them. Watch what people post – what are they asking for help with? What are they concerned about? What difficulties are they having?
Look at some of the advice being offered too. Is it useful? Is it relevant? Is it up to date? You might want to use this advice on your blog if it is all the above, so make sure you are also jotting down some of these good ideas and responses.
Okay, that’s your homework for now:
- Think of a niche that will keep you motivated to blog
- Find 6 – 8 forums to have a look into
- List top 5 – 10 problems or questions and keep them safe for next time.
- Join Facebook groups for associated topic and watch what people post
- Make a note of good advice that you come across in the groups and check it out yourself
Go and do it and then come back for lesson 2.
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See you soon