We’re halfway into the year and now is when I start getting interesting ideas about what to do in my spare time! Due to the pandemic we now have many more hours to ourselves than we usually do and even though things are beginning to go back to normal in my country, being quarantined has taught us how valuable our time is .
Having a blog is not a new idea, blogging has been a “thing” for more years than I can count and one could wonder whether it’s really a good idea anymore. So I did some research into starting a blog, what it entails and what mistakes to avoid. Turns out there’s a lot of information out there about starting a blog in 2020, particularly in YouTube. I spent hours obsessing over videos about niches, traffic building, content marketing and keyword research.
However, if you want to start a blog this year here are some questions to ask yourself to figure out where to begin even before you start thinking of a domain name and a hosting plan for your blog.
- What topic do I want to talk about?
- Who do I want to talk to?
- What language do you want to talk in? (If you’re bilingual)
- Should I start a personal blog or a business blog?
- Should I do a written blog or a YouTube channel?
- When should I start blogging?
Let me break these down for you.
1. What topic do I want to talk about?
This is what most people call figuring out your niche, which is basically the area of expertise you will talk about in your blog. However, everyone agrees that a niche should go a little beyond a general topic, it should be a bit more specific. For example, you want to talk about entertainment, but that topic encompasses different things like movies, tv, music, theater. You can even fine tune it by choosing another sub topic like for movies you can have “drama, comedy, action, etc.”. Basically you need to avoid targeting a topic that encompasses too much because it will be difficult to target your specific audience.
2. Who do I want to talk to? or target audience
After you have decided on a niche you want to specify who your target audience is. Let’s say you chose “movies, drama” then you might be choosing people in their 30’s and 40’s and maybe even women in their 30’s and 40’s. If, however, you chose “movies, comedy” you might have a larger age range that starts earlier perhaps men and women who are in their 20’s to 40’s.
3. What language do you want to talk in? (If you’re bilingual)
Being bilingual, I strongly considered making my blog in Spanish because I live in a Spanish speaking country and my prospective customers are Spanish speaking. Also I believe there are not that many blogs on WordPress in that language.
I also considered the fact that English is not my native language but it is the language I am most comfortable in. So I made some searches and found that I shouldn’t have wasted all the time stressing and worrying about this topic! What do the YouTubers think about this? You need to write your blog or make your YouTube channel in the language of your “target audience”.
4. Should I start a personal blog or a business blog?
This one kept me awake for a couple of nights also. Should I create an entire authority website about a specific topic? But I don’t feel I’m an expert in anything! (Yes, me, the one who builds websites for a living). Who am I to talk about a specific topic (WordPress for example) for years to come? Needless to say all these negative thoughts were bringing me down!
Most of the information I got on YouTube tends toward treating your blog as a business, something completely separate from your personal brand. I did find one gentleman who believes that personal blogging gives you more flexibility. (Should You Create a Company or Personal Blog? By Neil Patel).
5. Should I do a written blog or a YouTube channel?
This would seem to be a very simple decision to make, do you prefer to write an article or talk about it in front of a camera? Personally I don’t think I look good on camera so I lean towards writing but then remembering how difficult it is to do a user’s manual for example I have certain misgivings. The truth is you can do a mixture of both write your blog and add some video to it. For example I was thinking of doing a full post on a topic and then doing a summary on video for those who think its TL; DR. Some say blogging is harder than YouTube but the video editing can’t be easy!
Here is a really good video on this topic by Gillian Perkins – BLOG vs YOUTUBE CHANNEL: Which Should You Start?
6. When should I start blogging?
Hands down the easiest answer to find! RIGHT NOW. Don’t wait until you’ve taken that course, or learned how to edit videos (How do they add all the fancy titles, anyway?), this is the moment to start. Grab your topic, keep your audience in mind and start making a list of blog articles or videos to make. GO! GO! GO!.
- Web Hosting – I use Dreamhost which is recommended by WordPress.org
- Blog software – WordPress
- WordPress themes – I love the Divi Theme (paid) – There’s Astra or Kadence (free options).
- Good YouTube channels for learning to blog (I’m not affiliated to any of these channels)
What I’m into right now
The Responsive Web Design Bootcamp by Kevin PowellPhoto by Jess Bailey on Unsplash