Before you start a blog: Essential questions to answer before starting a blog
Before starting your own blog, you need to ask yourself some important questions. The questions of time, capacity and gratification when addressed can determine if you will be a successful blogger that can make money online by blogging or building a website.
Before I started this website, I used to turn on my bed on countless mornings with little motivation to get up and get going. Whether I had to get to work or do the laundry or anything of a typical day, the story was the same. I didn’t feel motivated to get out of bed. I needed a little spicing to make my life tasty. My daily routine was now making me sick and bed-ridden. I always felt there was something I could do, something that could challenge me to get up. You know what a friend said, “…you must have a vision that challenges you to get out of bed”. And that’s exactly what I needed. Each passing day, it was certain that I would read a blog either by searching for some content or it would appear on my feed as a related content and I always envisioned that, one day, I would be putting out content for people to read and I owed them quality content. It was a tough decision to make but after winning the mind-battle of whether to start a blog or not, I got up, folded up my sleeves, bought a domain name and paid for hosting. But it wasn’t just as simple as buying the domain name and paying for hosting services.
Now that you understand how this website came about, I will like to share with the important questions I had to deal with before setting up this blog.
Do I have time?
I work an 8-5pm job. Most successful bloggers still work full-time an but are able to make time for their side-hustle that earns them some side-income. If I really wanted to blog, all I needed to do was to start using my alarm to help me wake up an hour earlier and work on my blog. It is actually very fulfilling to realize that I am being productive for myself plus I get to devote my earliest hours to my own business. The early bird gets the early worm and the first to arrive at the river never get dirty water. At lunch time, I could spend some minutes researching into how to make my blog successful and when the bell finally goes off for me to vacate the office, I can make use of another 2 hours before saying the night prayer. What I am trying to say here is that, time (24 hours) is always available to everyone daily, if you are determined to get it done, you will make time for it. On the other hand, if you are already involved with multiple other side-businesses, you may not be able to venture into blogging, let alone a profitable one, unless you outsource all of the tasks involved. Otherwise, I believe that you can make time for blogging successfully and even make money online from blogging but be determined and disciplined. Think of this as a startup that has to work.
Can I build a website?
Before I purchased this domain, though I am computer-savvy, the only technical term I knew was HTML. At least I knew what it represented, Hyper Text Markup Language. I did not know Java, C++ or any other type of computer code and I still do not know any of these but it doesn’t look like I have bad-looking website. I must confess that it took a little breaking out in sweat to have this blog but I understand that building a website has become very easy these days especially with the abundance of site builders such as WordPress and the many themes that are available for install at the press of a single button.
There are a ton of tutorials and help materials available on the internet for absolutely free on how to build a website and even though you will not be able to produce a professional blog in a day you can surely produce a decent one in a week. Twenty (20) years ago, I am not sure a website could be up and running in one month (if you know how long it required a website to be up and running, please put that in the comment). Yes, I can build a website now and it is easier than I thought and it will not take 20 years to build.
Can I write content?
Do I even need to write content? there are a lot of freelancers that you can take on if you need to. They have the expertise in content writing that are also optimized for search engines. But even if you decide to produce your own content, you should have a publication schedule to make sure that you keep giving your audience consistent and relevant content. Having a publication plan is important in making sure that you produce quality content that are seen as relevant by your audience and also by search engines. You do not need to churn out irrelevant content, in huge numbers, like a printing press, to have a successful blog. At the time of writing this article, a very successful blog (one that was earning $35,000 only after 9 months of launching) had only 45 articles. This implies an average of 5 articles every month, some of which were outsourced to freelancers. If you can come up with one relevant article every week, trust me, your blog will be a goldmine soon.
Can I optimize my website for search engines?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a very essential component of building a successful online empire that can rake in huge returns as passive income. Most successful bloggers, thankfully, have not been selfish in keeping to themselves what have worked for optimizing their websites for search engines. Some have freely shared tips and other have put them into courses that you can enroll. Even though SEO might seem like a hard nut to crack, it is important to be patient while following all the guidelines necessary to rank in search engines. Sooner or later, if you did a good job at SEO, you will be all over the place whenever a query is placed in the search engine. Luckily, there are two sides to SEO, online and offline SEO. In the beginning, you can outsource your online SEO task to a skilled freelancer or professional until you have mastered the craft. Offline SEO is similar to connecting with people on social media through sites like facebook.com and professional networks like linkedin.com. Follow their stories and accounts, write meaningful comments to their articles, write guest posts for their sites that will provide backlinks to your site etc. You will begin to see increasing traffic to your site which may not come from organic searches.
Can I make money online blogging?
Read one blog income report and you are sure to read another. It is interesting how much a blog can earn if it is properly monetized. You can definitely make money online by blogging. However, you must be careful about how you monetize your blog. There are a lot of strategies to make money online from blogging. Affiliate marketing is a very rewarding monetization method that you can consider if you are just beginning to build your website. If you have tried a product of service, be sure to become an affiliate and recommend it for others, if they happen to purchase the product, you get a percentage of the sales made. Placing ads on your blog or website is another way of making money online. However, you will need to have high traffic to your site in order to qualify for some of these paid ad services and to also make meaningful amount of money. Google Adsense is the commonest. It is worthy of note that placing too much ads will also not produce an excellent user experience. Paid reviews are an excellent way to monetize your site. If you can get a company to pay you to review their product or service, you can earn some cash on the side. Be sure to add a disclaimer though. You can also sell courses on your blog to make money. If you are crafty, or know SEO or anything that can be of service to an online community, make a comprehensive course and put it up for grabs. The list of avenues for making money online by blogging cannot be exhausted. Be sure to give each a try and see how much you can make.