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6 Things to Do Before Starting a Blog
This post is all about the most important things to do before starting a blog!
One of the most popular posts on this blog is my guide on how to start a blog.
But recently I realized that many aspiring bloggers still aren’t sure exactly where to start. There’s so much information out there about blogging, but very little that covers what to do before starting your blog.
Blogging is an amazing way to start your own business, make money, and inspire others. But it can also be a daunting task and figuring out where to start is tough! That’s why I’m writing this post: to show you exactly where to start and what steps you need to take to be successful.
Here are the most important things you need to do before starting a blog:
1. Choose a blogging niche.
The first thing you’ll need to do before starting your blog is choosing a niche. Basically what this means is deciding what you’ll write about on your blog. There are many popular niches out there, such as fashion, travel, parenting, lifestyle, finance, fitness, business, and more.
You can put your own personal spin on a certain niche, for example a travel blog about traveling with kids or a fitness blog focused on helping new moms get fit.
Having a niche is important for platforms like Google and Pinterest, who like to see that your website has defined focus. It can also help you establish authority and make more money with your blog.
However, if you can’t decide on a single niche right away, that is okay! Don’t worry too much about letting a niche limit you. If you aren’t sure what to focus on, you can always start off writing about multiple topics until you figure out a) what you like best and b) what resonates with your audience.
Related: 7 Blog Niches That Make Money and Get Traffic
2. Define your target audience and how you can help them.
The key to starting a profitable blog is by writing helpful content that solves a problem for your readers.
In order to accomplish this, you will first need to define who your target audience is. Let’s expand on one of my examples from above: starting a blog that focuses on helping new moms get fit.
Obviously, your target readers for this blog are new moms. But you will want to go further than that. You could define your target audience as busy and overworked new moms who need easy, practical tips on getting fit.
Now think about what kind of content you can create to help your audience. Going with the same example, you might write about easy at-home workouts, simple and healthy recipes, and time-saving tips for new moms.
If I were you I would get out a piece of paper and write this information down! It will help guide you as you start your blog so can make sure your content is helpful, valuable, and aligned with your target audience.
3. Pick a domain name.
Choosing a domain name is the next step in your blogging journey. It’s also a really important one, because this is the name your blog will be known by.
You should choose a domain name that is relevant to your blog, easy to spell and remember, and available as a .com. While there are other endings out there like .net or .blog, the .com ending is still the most standard and it
Continuing with the example from above, you might choose a name like “Fit Mom Tips” or “Happy Healthy Mom” for your blog.
To see if your desired name is available, you can use this domain name checker:
You can go ahead and purchase your domain name and web hosting at this point if you’d like. Be sure to refer to my start a blog guide for step-by-step instructions on how to get your blog set up in under an hour!
Note: You can get your domain name for free if you sign up for web hosting through Bluehost. My readers are also able to get discounted hosting for just $3.95 a month through Bluehost. Click here for the full guide.
While you’re at it, you will want to go ahead and claim your blog name as a handle on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.)
4. Develop a plan for monetization.
In order to make money from your blog, you need to treat it like a business from the start. I would take some time to sit down and write down a rough plan for how you will monetize your blog.
There are SO many ways to make money with a blog, but I am going to talk about just a few of the most popular ways to help you decide what’s right for you.
Affiliate marketing: This is one of the easiest ways to start making money as a new blogger in any niche. Essentially, you promote a product on your blog and earn a commission every time someone makes a purchase through your unique affiliate link. Read my full affiliate marketing guide for more info!
Advertising: Advertising is a great way to make money blogging once you start getting a good amount of traffic to your blog. I use Mediavine as my ad network on some of my other blogs. Monumetric ads are another option.
Digital products: Many bloggers create their own products to sell such as ebooks or online courses. This is personally my favorite way to make money a a blogger. Here are 10 ideas of digital products that you can sell.
Sponsored posts: Bloggers can work with brands on sponsored blog posts and sponsored social media posts. Sponsored posts are common in blogging niches like fashion, beauty, lifestyle, travel, cooking, and parenting but you can find opportunities in any blogging niche if you look hard enough!
Services: Using your blog to get clients for a service-based business is a great way to make money, especially as a new blogger! I personally make money working as a virtual assistant in addition to blogging.
5. Study bloggers in your niche.
One great thing you can do is to make a list of successful and popular bloggers in your niche and analyze their success. Studying these established bloggers can often help you out when you are in the beginning stages of your own blog.
Here are a few questions you can ask yourself while looking at the successful bloggers in your niche:
- What sets them apart from other bloggers? Laugh-out-loud funny writing? Amazing photography? Their kind and helpful personality?
- How are they making money from their blog? Ads? Affiliate links? Sponsored blog posts? Selling their own products?
- What kind of blog posts do they write? What are their most popular posts? (Use a tool like BuzzSumo to find this out.)
- What is their presence like on social media? Are they active on Instagram? Do they have a large following on YouTube? Or are they mainly on Pinterest?
While every blogging success story is different, you will start to notice some trends by examining successful bloggers in your niche.
This will help you a lot so that you won’t be starting off totally blind as a new blogger… I’m not suggesting that you should copy or imitate other bloggers – just that you can have an idea of what already works and keep that in mind as you’re starting your own blogging journey.
6. Learn the basics of Pinterest and SEO.
After you start your blog and as you begin writing your first few blog posts, I really recommend learning the basics of SEO and Pinterest.
In order to earn any money from blogging, you need traffic. You don’t need a ton of traffic, but you do need some if you want to make a decent amount of money from any of the methods I talked about earlier.
SEO, or search engine optimization, is optimizing your blog posts and website in a way that will allow you to start ranking at the top of the Google search results for certain queries. The higher your blog ranks, the more traffic you will get.
Pinterest is a social media platform that is really more of a visual search engine. It’s also a great way to get traffic to your blog, and the results from Pinterest are often faster than that of SEO. (Which can take up to a year to start working.)
In my opinion, these are the two BEST strategies to focus on as a new blogger. Forget about other everything else until you master Pinterest and SEO first.
The best way to learn everything you need to know about Pinterest is through Pinteresting Strategies. This is an online course that’s helpful, easy to follow, and packed with valuable information. Pinteresting Strategies was created by Carly, a mom blogger who gets 400,000+ page views a month from Pinterest and earns six figures from her blog. Best of all, the course is incredibly affordable at only $47, while many other similar courses cost 10x as much.
Note: Carly was kind enough to provide a discount code for Blogging Her Way readers. You can use the code PINNING5 at checkout for $5 off your purchase.
For SEO, I recommend reading the Stupid Simple SEO blog. Mike is a successful blogger who has made over six figures from his hiking blog, and almost all of his traffic came from organic Google search. Now he’s teaching other bloggers how to achieve the same results. There’s a lot of great free information on his blog.
Ready to start your blog?
If you’ve made it to the end of this post, then congratulations! You now know the six most important things to do before starting a blog.
Once you are ready to start your own blog, head on over to this post.
It covers the technical side of setting up your blog, including how to set up your domain name, web hosting, and blog design. Starting a blog is not expensive and in fact only costs $3.95 a month!
Click here to get started and set everything up in under an hour.
The guide also covers the next steps you should take to grow your blog and how to start making money from your blog!
You can also enroll in my free Blogging Bootcamp email course:
This will give you five daily lessons sent directly to your inbox covering everything you need to do to start your own blog.
Any questions? Leave me a comment below!