A blog is usually born out of an inner need. People want to share particularly fascinating travel experiences, heavenly food creations or exciting beauty hacks with others and thus give back something they have experienced through their own or others’ experiences.
But how do you start a blog and how do you professionalize it so that a pastime turns into a business?
I would like to answer these questions by giving you the following 10 tips:
1. in which niche do you write?
Should you want to start a blog, you probably already have a rough idea haunting your mind. My tip: Make this idea concrete. For example, if you want to write a fashion blog, think carefully about what your unique selling point is here. Fashion, beauty, fashion, food and travel blog topics are very competitive. If your heart beats for one of these topics, find out how you can stand out from the crowd with a special layout, a restriction of the topic (e.g. vegan cuisine or sustainable fashion) or a special social media strategy.
2. who belongs to your target group?
It is rarely possible to write for the masses. After you’ve settled the niche question, figure out what clientele you want to write for. Do you give tips for mothers, for health-conscious people or for young fashionistas? Of course, this point may change at some point as you and your blog evolve, but it is important to know your readers.
3. what added value does your blog offer?
Why should I read your articles? I belong to your target group and find the subject area very exciting, but does your article also grab me? My aim is always to give my readers added value, i.e. I specifically want them to take away tips and tricks for targeted implementation after reading my article. Would you also like to motivate your readers to implement your tips, offer poetic inspiration or be seen as a scientific information platform? Consider for yourself whether you are adding value, what that value includes, and whether you would feel that your blog would appeal to you as a reader.
4. which reader address would you like to choose?
Find out if you want to use the you or you’re form when addressing your readers. Here it is important to know your target group. If you prefer to write in a personal and private context (B2C), the “you” form is more suitable, but if you want to write on a business level (B2B) and perhaps offer additional services in the area of webinars and workshops, the “you” form is usually unavoidable.
5. what is the intention of your blog?
Similar to the topic of adding value from the reader’s perspective, the blogger’s intent is important to strategically plan the direction of your blog. Do you want to provide information, encourage discussion, offer raffles, write reviews, or perhaps provide specific (paid) offerings such as workshops or webinars for your readership? Is it perhaps a combination of several components? Does your blog invite the reader to linger or does it serve as an appetizer to draw attention to more of your offerings?
Keep in mind that the intent of a blog and the articles that go with it can draw criticism. Always respond to them (usually in the form of comments) in a factual and direct manner so that the individual feels that he/she is being heard and respected. The diversity of opinions is a criterion that every blogger must know how to deal with, even if it sometimes does not seem easy.
6. do you have a marketing strategy?
If you want to turn a leisure blog into a business blog, you need to have the right marketing strategy. Which social media channels do you know and already use? Do you have your own page on Facebook or Twitter, for example? Do you use Google+ or the business platform XING and its English counterpart LinkedIn? Should you give your readers a personal impression of you? If so, you should think about linking to your Instagram account. Consider the following here: If you open a social media channel for your blog, you must also maintain it. No one will “like” your pictures or follow you if they only hear from you once a month. Here, also pay attention to the proper use of SEO (search engine optimization) as part of your search engine strategy. These help you optimize your articles by using important keywords and make it easier for your readers to find you faster.
7. do you have time for a blog?
In the blogging life, consistency is everything. Your readers don’t want to wait forever for the next article, they want to have a certain reader rhythm. However, please pay attention to quality and not quantity here. Your topics should be interesting and individual, because nobody wants to read the tenth article about the latest DM cream in their timeline. Here, too, it’s “the winner takes it all”, which means you need to be well informed, especially in the areas of beauty, fashion or book blogs. However, there are some exceptions, for example in the area of travel blogs, which are very individual and personal. Ultimately, it’s better to have an article that is well researched and perhaps takes a little longer to write than a blustering gossip novel that merely wants to boost the clickbait rate with provocative headlines.
8. would you like to enter into collaborations with other bloggers/bloggers or companies?
This question is very important. The more extensive your network and presence, the more offers you will receive. Examples of dubious or inappropriate requests are often published and discussed on the Internet and in social media.Mein Tipp für das professionelle Bloggen: Bleiben Sie authentisch! Click To Tweet
If you receive a request and it has thematically nothing to do with your blog, then do not accept it under any circumstances! The worst thing for bloggers is doubts about your authenticity. If the readers notice that you only want to sell them products with which you have had no previous contact, you will be punished by a lack of appreciation and ignorance.Of course, you are also allowed to open up new subject areas, but see that in doing so you can find connecting points to other areas of your blog. Collaborations can be a good opportunity to generate attention, even if they initially mean more work for a blogger. Take the opportunity, but not at any price.
9. have you thought about your employer?
A blog is something very personal, even if you share your thoughts with an audience of millions. When I talk to bloggers, I often hear the phrase, “But my boss doesn’t know about it, it’s my private business.” Always be aware of your constant presence on the Internet, because sooner or later your superiors will surely find out about it. So why not be confident right away and mention your blog in response to inquiries or in personal conversations? Here, of course, pay attention to the explosive nature of some topics, which can arise from the areas of politics, religion, disease or sexuality. If you have professional connections (e.g. in the field of journalism) or are a subject matter expert, this is of course no problem. However, be careful when publishing a review with personal information about an erotic novel, for example, as this could harm you, at least in terms of your reputation among colleagues or with your superiors.
10. let the muse be a muse.
I deliberately wanted to formulate this tip as a request and not as a question. After answering the question of time, I would like to leave you with my most valuable recommendation: write only when you are inspired. Often I read articles that were written in a careless way and had to be quickly processed either as a gap filler or as a sponsored post. Unless you have to pay your rent with your blog, you let the muse kiss you and she is sometimes unsteady and unlovable. Don’t force articles, because your readers will notice it relatively quickly when they read it and either criticize it directly, thus venting their disappointment, or not visit your blog again. Good items usually develop on their own and thrive slowly with the addition of time and a patient smile.
About the author
Kinga Bartczak berät, coacht und schreibt zu Female Empowerment, neuer Arbeitskultur, Organisationsentwicklung systemischen Coaching, und Personal Branding.
Zudem ist sie Geschäftsführerin der UnternehmerRebellen GmbH und Herausgeberin des FemalExperts Magazins.