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What should I start my blog on?

Discussion in 'Blogging & Content Marketing' started by Joe F, Nov 15, 2013.

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  1. I want to start a blog for a couple of reasons:
    • Use a way to generate clients for my freelance writing business (acting as a portfolio)
    • Earn money from via affiliate commissions and other forms of advertising
    • Eventually generate clients for a web design service (not yet started)
    I've been freelance writing in the WordPress niche for about a year now.

    I want to use my experience in that niche to start my own blog in that area writing about:
    • WordPress tutorials, tips, guides and reviews
    • Blogging in general
    • Online marketing for small business and solo operators
    • Tips for freelancers
    To start off with, the target audience will be:
    • Novice freelance web designers looking for solutions on how to implement certain features with WordPress, such as a shopping cart, image slider etc
    • Individuals and small businesses trying to setup their own website
    I know this is a well served niche but the reason I want to enter it is:
    • I've been writing about the niche for a while now so can get going straight away
    • I know there is money to be made
    • I have some contacts in the niche so could get help with promoting the site
    My goal is to have it making $1500 per month by the end of year one. Once it starts making some money I will hire another writer to work alongside me and keep doing this as the income comes in to help speed up the site growth.

    I'm not going to use a WP___.com domain but try and be a bit more general so I can expand the focus once its established.

    My main concerns are that it is already a well served niche, does the world really need another WP site?

    I'd like to do something original but don't really have any other areas I am knowledgeable about or ideas on what to do.

    What do you think?
  2. There is always room for more in every single niche. I see so many people not entering niches because they fear it's "crowded." There's no such thing. Honestly.

    What determines your success isn't volume of competitors - it's how YOU approach your business. Now if all you do is a lame, cookie cutter, boring how to site, then it will have a hard time succeeding. You need to stand out. That does NOT mean you have to have some mind blowing unique strategy.

    It means YOU need to stand out. Think of how many WP and blogging sites there are - how many are mouth watering, bookmarkable, gotta tell my friends and share this sites? VERY few! VERY.

    It's the people who build their site with a personality and who give back and show value that shocks people who are like that. So go into this with that. A "how may I serve" mindset. Be personable. Build a loyal audience by being transparent and being a person, NOT just a blogging tutorial site.

    I convert at 25-50% with my list and blog audience. There are a ZILLION other IM competitors. Yet I entered it too. Why? I knew I wasn't afraid to speak my mind, share my failures and frustrations, and let people get to know me - and care about them as people, not just visitors I was trying to convert.

    Go for it - and when you go for it - go into it as if you are the ONLY available resource - put blinders on to everybody else.
    Tiff ;)
    gringogringo likes this.
  3. Thanks Tiffany, that's a great take on it!

    I really appreciate the advice.
  4. I believe you should get started on this as soon as you can. From a freelancing writing point of view, having your own blog will do wonders. Most of my freelancing gigs have come through my blog. It will also raise your profile. This allows you to increase your rates as the more people who are interested in your services, the more you can generally charge.

    There are always room for more blogs in any niche: As long as the blog is good. I started bloggingtips.com in 2007 and there were a few blogging blogs around at that time. There are now around ten times as many. Likewise, there were not many good WordPress blogs when I launched wpmods.com in 2010. Blogs that have launched after mine have gone onto see more success than I did with those websites; which illustrates what can be achieved.

    I strongly believe that if you work hard on it, you will success. Put the blinkers on and do nothing but work on your blog and it will surely become a success.

    As Tiffany noted, internet marketing is another niche that could be considered saturated. A better way to look at it is that most other people within that niche are doing it wrong. Tiffany has made a name for herself by writing honest reviews in a niche where most bloggers are willing to say anything to generate a commission. That highlights what can be done if you do things the right way.
  5. Thanks Kevin, I agree and think its the best fit for me at the moment.

    Just got to find a name and a free domain...
  6. What topics will you be focusing on exactly?

    WordPress, Internet Marketing, blogging etc.
  7. To start with mainly WordPress such as how to use it to setup sites such as ecommerce stores, membership sites and other things you can do with it.

    Then I want to also write about online marketing for small businesses and individuals offering their services offline, the benefits of having a blog and content marketing, things like that. Social Media marketing etc.

    Bit of a mixed bag but the target market will be roughly those who want to promote or sell their services online or someone who has been tasked with doing that on their behalf.

    If it could land me a couple more regular well paying clients I'd be happy to be honest. Any affiliate income it earns along the way would be great too.
  8. Right. Yeah you should perhaps look for a short generic name that can be branded easy.

    I had the same problems before launching this forum. I looked at domains such as internetmarketingforums.com. Whilst I am sure they would have been good for soe seo traffic, it would have been a pain in the ass for members to type that in every time. I think two keywords is the most you should have. One short keyword is obviously best, but they are hard to come by.
  9. Yeah I think if I was starting a new site, I'd probably do some WordPress site. Look at WP Daily, that was massive in such a short space of time, definitely room and there's opportunities for promotion such as ManageWP.org - from my experience the traffic that comes from niche social news sites is so good.
  10. Yeah managewp showed that there is a still a need for WordPress news. Many other people have avoided building a news website as it is more difficult to make money. You need to write a lot of posts regularly and be on the ball with breaking news. Plus your traffic will probably be coming from WordPress developers. In my opinion, that group is less likely to buy a product compared to someone who is building their first website. I imagine some products such as hosting could convert well.
  11. As Tiffany said "Build a loyal audience by being transparent and being a person, NOT just a blogging tutorial site."
    I'll point you to matthewwoodward.co.uk - check how this guy writes, no bs, straight language and honest opinions. And how successful is his blog in a short period of time.
    Do such site with WP topics and a lot of people will think about you like "that's my bud, I like him" and then I'll hire him :)
    Besides that, don't be afraid, you have a great writing skills and you're well know in our WP community already, so big audience is only a matter of time.
  12. I have read Matt's blog before. He's a good blogger. His income reports are always pretty interesting.
  13. I think that the subject matter Matthew has chosen is so close to his heart there is no way that his blog wouldn't be about his personality over and above everything else.

    I don't necessarily agree that you should attempt to transfer his enthusiasm over to every niche on every website - sometimes you want recommendations, but you don't necessarily want to be told which you should choose (I am specifically talking about the Wordpress niche).

    Saying that, If when I launch my personal blog it became half as amusing / successful (and profitable) as Matthews I would be a very happy man indeed! He is a great blogger that does not shy away from controversy!
  14. #14 furiousstyles, Nov 21, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2013
    Scratch that - His enthusiasm would transfer to any niche!

    But it depends what your goal is!

    WPSqaured.com is a traffic grabbing website - we try and provide great content but we make money by grabbing search traffic.

    matthewwoodward.co.uk - makes money from people that visit his blog because he is an authority and trusted - most of his visitors (I would guess) are returning visitors who read all his articles as they are released.

    I am currently reading Joe Pulizzi's book "Epic Content marketing" and he goes into great detail discussing the difference in tactics. I will try and add the 4 categories later when i get a chance...but just understanding what you are looking to achieve helps.

    A WP blog needs an awful lot of traffic to be successful and turn a profit, whereas Matthew Woodward can make a lot more with much less traffic (though his visitors are followers).

    If we were to only publish three articles per month (regardless of quality) it would be a very long time before we made any money to support the venture - our target markets are too different.

    We are there to fulfil a short term need (a theme, plugin, or tutorial) - Matthew's blog is there to offer advice throughout an affiliate marketers learning cycle & beyond!

    That is not to say that every blog no matter what niche you are in should not be attempting to achieve what Matthew does - its just that for certain niche's the awareness that it will be a lot harder will serve you well!
  15. You are 100% right about WP Squared. That is the best way for the site to make money. As you know, I run WP Mods for just over two years. I used to spend a lot of time writing in-depth tutorials and discussion posts which were thousands of words. Yet it was the theme and plugin lists that generated traffic and earned money.

    When are you planning on launching your personal blog? I think it would be a good idea for you to do this as it will raise your profile and allow you to market other types of products and services that you cannot just now (well you could, but it would be more difficult to market them).

    On a side issue, give Kev a kick up the ass and tell him to get on here :)
  16. I totally agree with Tiffany and others. Starting a website can be hard but it will become more fun every day. If you know what you are doing, you definitely can make your site stands out. If I can help in anyway, you just say.
    I love Guest Blogging and if you plan to allow other writers show their skills through writing post on your blog, I'm going to probably be the first one who will apply for this.

    Wish you the best with your project!
  17. Tried to give Kev a "kick up the ass" & I'm sure he will be here soon!

    Not planning my personal blog until some point in 2014 - after the launch of our new content website!
  18. Nice. Looking forward to seeing how that goes. I reckon it has a lot of potential.
  19. Thanks for all the replies guys!

    As for the name, I want something with 'web' or 'site' in it and preferably one other word. I've been trying all sorts, but all two word combos seem to be taken. My goal is the end of the month, so whatever I've got my then I will reg it and start, even if its just three keyword stuffed words.

    I'm going to be going after the traffic grabbing approach for sure. My target market is people in need of a quick fix or solution. Someone might've asked them to build an ecommerce site so they do a search on 'how to setup an ecommerce site for free' etc.

    I'm hoping to offer some web design services so if I can use the site to find leads that would be a bonus. If I post a tutorial, then at the end I can write "if that all sounds too difficult, check out my web design services". Plus using it to find clients for writing is the main aim too and try and expand my horizons beyond WordPress as its getting hard to find things to write about each day!

    I do enjoy writing for other sites but I need to create something of my own for those days when I can't work etc. But the main goal in the short term will be to get clients by using it as a portfolio.

    I really like Matt's blog too and read it regularly although I don't follow any of his tutorials or buy his products. Although I would like to get into affiliate marketing again one day.

    If I can get my site earning like WP Squared has done after one year then I will be very pleased.
  20. Solving problems through tutorials is a good way to drive targeted traffic towards your own services. Your author profile will help you get some traffic to your new website at the start of the project. Guest blogging can be worth it too if you target some high traffic websites. You could even redirect joecanwrite.com to the domain temporarily if you have no major need for that website anymore.

    Have you started looking at designs yet?
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