The most important part of blogging is finding your “what” and your “why”. People blog for a variety of reasons. Some find it refreshing to share their thoughts. Others have a skill they want to share. Many hope to earn money from their blogs. Finding your blog niche is one of the most important planning steps in setting up a blog. What will people look to you for? How will you help them?
Finding your blog niche
Simply put, a blog niche is a description of your content. There are all sorts of blogs ranging from home decor, to fashion, crafts and more. By defining a niche, it is easier to build a following and deliver the content that your readers expect and value. For example, if your blog is about frugal living, a post about your new $100 rain boots is not likely to resonate. But perhaps a post about budget options that look like popular expensive boots will. Finally, there are very successful “everything bloggers”. They have the ability to blog about a variety of topics and draw a wide range of followers. While I don’t discourage “everything” blogging, it is much easier to find your place in a niche and branch out than it is to stuff everything you have in a niche.
Why are you blogging?
Considering why you are blogging is also important. If you are looking to share updates with family and friends, your niche isn’t as important. Maybe you are starting a blog to compliment a business that you already have, and you will be looking to drive more customers to your business. But if your goal is to monetize and earn income from a blog, then you will need to be sure that your niche and content are appealing enough to a broad audience. Nearly any blog has the ability to make money. The hardest part is getting enough people to see your content and then engage with it.
How do blogs earn money?
There are a wide variety of ways that blogs earn money. Display advertising and affiliate marketing are the easiest and often the first way that blogs earn money. Display ads through Google AdSense, Amazon CPM, or Media.Net will pay out a small amount for ads displayed on your site. The amount typically varies by whether or not people actually click on the ads. Joining affiliate programs will allow you to place links and/or ads on your site. You earn a small commission when items are purchased through your links. As you grow, you may be offered more opportunities. Companies will often sponsor posts or partner on campaigns. Most established bloggers make money through a combination of these income streams.
Naming your blog
Once you have established what you will blog about, you will need a name. Most hosting plans actually include a domain for FREE when you sign up for hosting! We love and recommend bluehost, a leading host for bloggers. The basic plan is enough to get you started and is under $150 when you purchase a 3 year plan (this is typical of most hosts). Once you select a plan here, you will be directed to choosing a name for your site. Generally you want to have a name with a .com ending that people can remember as you establish your brand. Once you find your name, you are good to go! Bluehost will walk you through setting up WordPress with the click of a button! GoDaddy.com is another hosting company you have probably seen plenty of ads for. It will also allow you to search for site names here.