How To Start a Blog for the 2020s
If you have searched for something on Google to find a solution to your problem or an answer to your question, you have likely visited hundreds of blogs.
Blogging has changed the way we find information and even products. Blogging has even evolved since it appeared in the early 2000s. A blog used to be a space to write about your personal life and experiences – now, it’s a place to connect consumers to products and services.
Creating a blog is all about how you can help your audience and solve their problems. You must start thinking of your blog as a startup, not a website.
Let’s dive into how you can start your blog today!
Choose a niche
You must find a niche for your blog. It doesn’t make sense to try and be everything to everyone; That won’t get you very far.
Whether you want to talk about software, CrossFit, nutrition, cooking, etc., you need to choose something you have a passion for, skills, and market demand.
Look at this diagram below; it shows the sweet spot of choosing a niche at the intersection of passion, skills, and market demand.
This model is great for identifying what niche you want to start blogging about, but it is missing one key component; the power of YOU.
You are what will make you stand out in an “over-saturated” niche. Utilizing you as the center of your blog will help those in your niche connect deeper than using a generic business name.
Choosing my name was one of the main reasons I used Derek Saunders for my blog; I want to foster a better connection between my blog and my audience.
While you are trying to figure out which niche to go into, think of these prompts:
- What do I want to teach?
- What experiences have I gained?
- What skills do I currently have?
- What do I enjoy talking about outside of work?
- Are people spending money in this niche already?
These prompts will help you identify the niche best for you and your blog. You will also feel confident that you can monetize your blog in the future.
Look at your competition
If you are not a designer, you will likely need to find some inspiration for your blog's overall look and feel.
Looking at your competition is to better understand what you like for your blog’s design. When I started this blog, it took a few tries to get it right. Don’t worry if it takes time to figure out the overall style of your blog.
A few things to look at when examining your competitors are:
- Visuals: What type of images, colors, and typography are they using?
- Voice: Look at the copy on their blog; how does it make you feel?
- Topics: Which topics are they covering? Is there any missing where you can fill that gap?
Identify your unique angle
Pulling from your personal experiences in your professional life will help you identify your unique angle. This is one of the essential parts of your blog and can be the hardest to identify, which is why I recommend using your personal brand so your unique angle can simply be yourself.
Check out a few prompts to help you identify your unique angel:
- What unique experiences make you a thought leader or expert in your niche?
- What gaps can you fill in your niche that will benefit your audience?
- What can you teach your readers?
- Do you want to come up with original content or make comparisons?
These are just a few prompts, but there are so many different paths you can take to identify your unique angle.
Choose a CMS
Using a CMS (content management system) is designed to allow you to build and maintain your blog without coding everything from scratch.
WordPress is one of the most used CMS platforms, which powers 43% of the websites on the internet today.
WordPress is one of the most accessible blogging platforms to get up and running in a few hours. You can start a simple WordPress site for a few hundred dollars.
In case you would like to explore other options, I will list a few alternative CMS platforms:
These platforms I highly recommend will give you the flexibility to scale if needed and are great for reaching the top of search engines.
A few CMS platforms to stay away from if you want to start a blog are:
Not because these are bad platforms, but they just aren’t friendly when it comes to scaling and if you are going to take SEO (search engine optimization) seriously.
Write your first blog post
Now that you have decided your niche and have a great design that stands out, it’s time to create the content.
Obviously, without content, your blog will never be seen or discovered by your future raving fans. When finding which content to write, it’s important to learn the basics of SEO.
If you have never written a blog post before, I recommend you to check out the below posts:
- How To Write a Blog Post Outline
- How To Become a Content Creator
- Content Marketing Tips to Improve Your Search Traffic
I recommend starting with content that serves a specific group of people in your niche while you are building traffic to your blog.
Creating a blog in the 2020s is a great way to earn a side income, bring new clients to your business, or showcase your skills.
Starting a blog is very easy nowadays, but building traffic and landing at the top of Google is still one of the biggest challenges.
Your blog’s success depends on how fast you can put content out and how many links you can build to your blog.
Remember to think of your blog as a startup, not a side project. Getting your new blog off the ground will take time and dedication, but don’t give up!