4 Things To Consider Before you Start Your Own Blog
Most writers these days have a blog. There. I said it. In our modern age, blogging isn’t just a digital diary for creatives, it can serve as an online portfolio for freelancers, a marketing tool for businesses, or an actual career for those savvy enough.
The bottom line is, if you are a freelance writer without a blog are you really a freelance writer?
All jokes aside, if you haven’t done so already, it may be wise to start your own blog.
A blog can be as formal or as informal as you wish and can be extremely useful in showing the world and potential employers your own unique style of writing, what you’re interested in, and what you’re capable of as a content creator.
A successful professional blog can also be intrinsic in creating an income, and whilst initially small, with the right amount of care and detail can expand to create a real profit. With a personal blog, you can also make friends with similar interests to you.
The possibilities really are endless.
Now that I’ve aptly persuaded you to start your own blog, there are a few things you may want to get clear on, first.
4 Things To Consider Before Your Start Your Own Blog
1. Why are you writing?
A good question to ask yourself before you start your own blog is simply why are you writing?
Did you watch the new Transformers film and want a platform to vent your frustrations on, whilst simultaneously lamenting the death of cinema (trust me, we’ve all been there)?
Did your grandma share some amazing family recipes for cheesecake and tiramisu with you that you desperately want to share with the world?
Do you possess a certain skill or have a certain interest that you want to publicize.
Will this be a personal blog? Or a professional one?
Knowing your WHY is a vital first step.
Once you’re clear on why you want to start your own blog, the rest begins to fall into place. Skipping this first step and diving straight into things may not seem like that big of a deal, but down the road, it may be harder to find direction, make decisions, or successfully launch your platform.
Speaking of platforms…
2. Where will you write?
Where will your blog be hosted?
When you start your own blog, you will have to decide on a suitable hosting platform. There is a whole range of websites out there to accommodate all of your various blogging needs either for free or at a cost. Each of them come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages.
With a free hosting site like Blogger you can set everything up in a matter of minutes. You only need a Google account to sign up and start writing. Blogger also comes with an easy to use format and a variety of extra presets to help personalize the design of your blog.
While choosing a free blog site is relatively simple, and a popular choice for those who don’t have a lot of time on their hands, it comes with a variety of setbacks. The most notable being that you sacrifice control.
When you purchase hosting through a site like Bluehost, you can easily install WordPress and have complete freedom and control over your content, design, and formatting. For more information on hosting and setup, read this article.
3. How will you brand yourself?
After committing to a platform or host site and knowing why (and what) you want to write, the next thing to consider is branding.
How can you brand yourself to stand out from the pack? What will make your writing unique, and what will your topic(s) and/or theme be?
The internet is a big place, and as such, finding success and an audience can seem like a daunting task—like screaming into the wind. But letting your own personality shine through is probably the best way to get around this.
Everyone is unique after all, so acting like yourself (and not sounding like a robot) is a good starting point.
4. Who will you write for?
Understanding who you are writing for is essential. To replicate the success of bigger media outlets, you will have to identify the demographics of your target audience.
Some key questions to ask when deciding your target audience:
- Are they male or female?
- How old are they?
- What are they interested in?
- Where are they from?
Once you have a general understanding of who you will be writing for, you will be able to make more decisions on the nature of your blog, the type of content you will produce, the look and feel of your platform and perhaps most importantly, your voice as a writer.
Success isn’t inevitable with every blog, but with the right amount of passion, research and by effectively using the online tools available to you, your blog can be one of the most beneficial assets you can have as a freelance writer. Happy writing!