Having a blog is great: it’s essentially the online equivalent of a podium, an audience, and the chance to say whatever’s on your mind. You can entertain, teach, solve problems, encourage discussion, or simply provoke thought.
This is your blog, and you can do whatever you want with it. But first, you’ll have to ask yourself many questions prior to getting carried away with the excitement of getting your blog started.
What is my blog about?
Ultimately no one but you can provide the answer to this, so think long and hard about it before committing. The main thing to consider is choosing something that makes you happy to write about, and that you believe others will find interesting too. Do you have a fascination with collecting Star Wars memorabilia? Do you think you have solid gardening advice? Do you wish to document the life of a single mother?
Whatever you choose, do it from the heart. When it gets to blog post #250, you’ll be glad you’re not scraping the barrel because you don’t believe in what you’re writing.
Do I realistically have the time to update my blog?
This is perhaps why most blogs fail over time, because once the content starts becoming more and more infrequent, then readers will likely lose interest and stop visiting the blog.
Give yourself motivational, but realistic targets to reach. If you’re studying or working full-time, or even simply too busy being a parent, then maybe don’t tell your readers to expect a new blog post every day. It might be more reasonable to tell yourself that you’ll upload one quality blog post every Sunday night, if that’s more realistic for your schedule.
What will the domain name be?
Once you’ve taken into consideration free blogging platforms vs. a self-hosted blog, then it’s be time to think about choosing a domain name. This part can actually be quite fun, as you can write up a list of your favorite domain names, then slowly whittle them down to your top five, let’s say. Afterward, you can check this page to see which ones are actually available to be registered.
Hopefully the one you want is free, as it can be annoying that all the best names we think of have already been snapped up! Your domain ending doesn’t have to be .com either, even if that is the most common, as new domain endings such as .blog, .club, .photography are also available.
Do I want to monetize the site?
There is definitely money to be made when owning a blog, particularly through sponsored posts, affiliate links, and banner adverts, among other methods. However, getting to the point at which you can make money from a blog requires a lot of effort and perhaps several years before advertisers are interested in teaming up with your blog.
Keep in mind that there is no reason why you can’t still deliver content that is meaningful to you and your readers whilst monetizing your blog; don’t worry about being chastised for “selling out.” If your aim isn’t to make money from blogging, but simply have an online diary of sorts, then by all means, continue to do that.
What if my blog isn’t successful?
It really depends on what you deem a “success”. If you achieve your goal of writing interesting blog posts once a week, and you don’t care about making money or how many people read your words, then who’s to say you’re not successful?
Success doesn’t have to be monetary-based, so if you’ve chosen not to monetize your blog, slowly but surely seeing good traffic directed to your site, and having a good time writing the posts, then that can easily be called a success.