This is my first post in â€œULTIMATEâ€ blogging and I’m excited. I’ve decided to do a series of posts that will outline the entire process required to start a successful blog and keep growing it, using various different strategies I learned along the way. Many people don’t understand blogging is a business and must be treated like one. This means you have to plan ahead and be passionate about what you are doing. Your blog is only going to give you what you give it, so the more effort you put into building something special, the more special the reward. Anyway, here is the first of my series and I hope you enjoy it. If you have any questions, please put them below in the comment box.
First, I want to thank John Chow for giving me a portal to connect with all of you.
A Simple Idea
When starting to blog, all you need is a simple idea that can translate into something bigger. Personally, the hardest step when starting a blog is to find what to blog about. The idea you choose will be responsible for your overall success because it will determine your blogs design and content. Much effort should be placed into brainstorming your idea.
What is an idea?
â€œA thought or suggestion as to a possible course of action.â€
Once you have a thought or idea, it should help formulate a course of action. For example, I wanted to start a blog on SEO, which forced me to take action in finding out what I needed for me to get online. This pushed me into the other elements, which I’ll discuss later in the series. It’s time for you to brainstorm an â€œideaâ€ so you can start taking action right away.
This is the best way to formulate a blogging idea because it requires you simply sitting down and writing what you like to do. The great thing is people are different and what you are passionate about will be different than what someone else is passionate about. It’s great because you can be passionate about something that is untouched online and has a huge following. However, passion shouldn’t be about making money because it’s really about doing things you love and not giving up in the process. In my years of blogging, those who started something for the money failed because they didn’t love doing what they were. Next,
Passion = Quality Work
The more passion you have about the topic, the more effort you’ll put into writing content. You want to share your passion with the world. You’ll be able to translate your passion into high quality content. Next,
Passion = Motivation
When you are passionate about your idea, then you won’t be deterred when you make no progress early in your career. Why? Again, you’re not in it for the money and because you love writing about an idea, you’ll stay motivated no matter what the initial outcome.
Finding Your Passion
Again, finding your passion is simply because you need to look back at the things you enjoy doing. For example, I’ve always been passionate about blogging ever since I was introduced to it by famous bloggers like John Chow. Once I understood the whole mechanics about how it can translate into education for others starting out and potential income, I decided to start my own blog. However, it’s important to mention, I’ve always been passionate about teaching and writing content since high school, when I use to help others put columns together. Next,
I started blogging as a side project, not expecting to make money from it, but read what top bloggers are saying while putting a twist on the strategy or content.
It’s time for you to start brainstorming ideas you are passionate about and would love sharing with others online. If you’re writing down ideas just because you want to make money right away, you should start over until you have a list of topics that have no monetary value next to them. These ideas on your paper should represent your passion. Ask yourself this question:
Can I write content for the next â€œ1â€ year without making a penny?
If you answered â€œNOâ€, you’re not passionate about it and won’t survive more than a few weeks. However, if you answered â€œYESâ€, then it’s a possible topic you can approach moving forward.
Hopefully, by now, you have a few â€œideasâ€ on your list and I would tell you to pick one and start setting up a blog; however, it helps to perform some research. In the end, you want to write about something that will engage readers so your content makes a difference online. It’s great to have a following and be able to communicate your passionate with others. It might even be a potential avenue of income going forward; however, we’ll not focus on that for now.
Let’s jump right into the research…
Google Keyword Planner â€“
It’s a FREE tool to find sub-keywords and competition of your main keyword. Next, it’s an awesome way to find out the demand for your niche or idea. For example, if you find high search volume keywords and are able to locate question based phrases, you can use them when writing content. Use Google Keyword planner to narrow down your idea even more and generate content ideas. However, focus on keywords that are high in search volume so you know there is a demand for your niche. This is especially important if you plan on monetizing your blog in the future, which we’ll be discussing later.
Google Search â€“
Once you have a list of potential keywords, head over to Google search and perform a search with each one using quotations. Why? It’s a great way to find out how many people are using the EXACT keyword within blog and page titles. This is important for two reasons:
First, it will give you a good idea of how competitive your niche is, which is important for SEO and ranking purposes. The more people who are focused on a specific keyword, the harder it might be to rank your keyword. Again, this is important if you plan on monetizing your blog or simply ranking it within the SERP’s.
In Google Keyword Planner, you’ll get a good indication of how many people are searching your keywords per month and the lower the EXACT searches within Google search, the more lucrative the keyword. For example, if I have a keyword that has roughly 50,000 searches per month, but only has 2,000 websites that are using that EXACT keyword within their pages, then it can be easier for me to optimize such pages. However, it’s important to note Google has over 200 ranking factors and EXACT competitiveness is simply one. This method just gives you a better understanding of competition.
Google Trends â€“
I never knew the power of Google Trends until I started using the tool for a â€œnicheâ€ case study for my personal blog. It is very simple to use as it requires simply inputting a desired keyword and Google will return the search trend over several years. You can get a good indication of the momentum the keyword has picked up in recent years. Here’s a quick example.
If I’m planning on starting a blog on â€œcloud computingâ€, then I’ll head over to Google Trends and search the phrase. The tool will graph out the search trends in recent years, months, or days. I’m looking for an increasing trend because this shows a growing interest and my blog has the potential to attract a wider audience. However, if I notice a decreasing trend, it means less people are searching the keyword over time and blog can potential hit a roadblock in the future. This means lower readers, engagement, and monetization value.
Wrapping It Up…
This is just an introduction post and I’m planning more cool things for the future. The content above is simply about finding a blogging â€œideaâ€ and it should be based on your passion. From my years of experience, when you follow your passion, you will go the extra mile to achieve your dreams. Again, finding what your passion is essentially comes down to what you love to do. Everyone has different interests, which doesn’t make this step hard at all.
Blogging #1 â€“ Homework
Over the next 7 days, take out â€œ1â€ hour to write down things that excite you and that you’re passionate about. Include the following criteria:
- You can write content without making any money
- You have knowledge about the topic
Head over to Google Keyword Planner…
Do a quick search to find search volume on your EXACT keyword and other related phrases that the tool will generate. Now, you can post your keywords and search volume below in the comment box and I’ll try and help you guys narrow things down. This, again, is optional!
You can head over to Google.com and do a search with quotations (â€œâ€) to find how the total pages using the EXACT keyword.
This is just the starting point and I’m hoping we can all move forward together. I’ll be joining you for the journey.