Starting a blog can be a frustrating process when you have a lot of questions unanswered. If you’re starting your first blog, sometimes you don’t even know the questions that need answering until your halfway into the process! You end up wasting a lot of time and energy trying to figure things out.
Below, I will share with you the most common questions people ask me about starting a blog. I’ll provide answers to each question as well.
Note: As we go through each question and answer below, it would help to make some notes for yourself. Think about how each question and answer will impact your plan for starting a blog.
1) What Is A Blog And How Did Blogging Start?
BLOG is short for Web Log; it was initially used for publishing news, tutorials, magazine articles, pictures, and digital art. Today millions of blogs are used by small businesses, personal brands, and news sites to publish all sorts of digital content.
That’s a lot of websites!
2) Is It Free To Create A Blog? Is It Expensive?
You can start a blog for free on platforms like Tumblr or WordPress.com. But if you actually want to generate money with your blog, you’ll be better off paying a small monthly fee to a web-hosting provider like SiteGround (this is an affiliate link.)
This way you have fewer restrictions and full freedom to decide what types of content will be published to your blog. This power and freedom are important because if you ever want to monetize your blog site, a free blogging platform could restrict you from posting certain types of subject matter, advertisements or affiliate links, etc.
They might even ban you and say your content does not comply with its rules and content policies.
Free blogging has its limitations for making a profitable blog. It’s better to self-host your blog with a web hosting provider. Recently on my personal finance site I published a guide on How To Start A Blog To Make Money, check it out for more information.
3) What Are The Long-Term Benefits Of Blogging?
Blogging can help position you as an expert on a particular topic, it can improve your self-confidence, and it can help with lead generation in a business where content marketing is valuable. Most importantly, it enables you to build an audience of loyal customers, while you build up your brand.
Some other benefits include:
- Self-expression of your thoughts
- Building a personal brand with credibility
- Growing your writing skills
- Building an email list
- Building passive income
- Building an e-commerce brand for selling products (white label)
- Credibility with your clients – If you’re offering a professional service as a freelancer
- Demonstrating knowledge of a particular industry – for launching your career to a new level
4) How Long Will It Take For My Blog To Get Traffic?
A question not easily answered. Someone with a famous name (or brand equity) can get traffic much faster than someone who needs more time to build up a brand new name. The average time seems to be a minimum of six months, but one or two years would not be uncommon.
If your planning on doing Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your primary source of traffic, waiting three months or longer is not unusual for getting results.
If you’ve got a big following on Social Media, you’ll be able to send traffic to your blog right away. Doing paid advertising can also send people to your blog, but Paying Per Click can be really expensive. Me personally, I like using SEO to get free organic traffic from the search engines.
Other ways to promote your blog include:
- Guest posting on other blogs in your niche.
- Public speaking engagements.
- Being a guest on a podcast in your niche.
- Handing out business cards with the web address of your blog.
- Leave comments on other blogs, facebook groups, or online forums.
5) What Topics Can You Blog About?
To make money or build a fanbase, you have to offer content that keeps your readers engaged. It should be entertaining and informative.
Some Popular Blogging Topics Include:
Promoting a Business or Brand, Recipes, Politics, The Environment, Parenthood & Raising Children, Life Experience, Family Life, Gaming, Video Gaming, Activism, Charity, Online Education, Music, Celebrities and Famous People, Jokes & Humor, Religion, Myths, History, and Sports.
Only your imagination can limit you!
6) Can A Blog Make You Rich?
If you have the right profitable idea and imagination, then absolutely! But you’ll have to be relentless about not giving up and working your butt off to make it happen. If something is not going your way, you’ll need to discover what the problem is and find a solution.
All businesses have problems with profitability; it’s up to you the business owner (or entrepreneur) to work those issues out so the business can be profitable. Your Blogging business is no different!
Overall, it could take at least six months or three years to fine-tune your blog, so it makes money.
Some methods for monetizing a blog include:
- Selling other peoples products through affiliate marketing.
- Selling your own invention, ideas, or products.
- Promoting yourself as a personal brand/influencer.
- Promoting the book, you just published.
- Selling your professional expertise and services.
Who knows? You might be able to have multiple sources of passive income, something every professional blogger dreams about.
Think About This: A blog can set you on a path to get rich if that’s your end goal, but it will be a grind and require lots of hard work. There are no guarantees of course, but hey it’s probably easier than winning the lottery!
7) Do I Have To Do E-mail Marketing?
It’s not required. However, I recommend you build an e-mail marketing list because it’s one of the few ways of forming a real relationship with the readers of your blog. You can start with a free account from MailChimp. Overtime as your e-mail list grows, you can learn about some creative ways to monetize it. E-mail marketing is far from dead!
8) What Social Media Platforms Work Best For Bloggers?
Depending on your industry, it’s going to vary. For me personally, I find the most success with Pinterest by far. Then Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. If your not sure where to start, I’d recommend Twitter first. If you’re into making videos, YouTube is also a great place to start. As your blog grows bigger, you’ll want to experiment with all the big social media platforms, if your readers use them.
9) Should I Enable Comments On My Blog?
I’ve seen some bloggers have there comments enabled, then a few years later, they disable them because of low-quality comments and spammers!
Lately, it seems that most bloggers are divided on the idea of having comments “enabled” or “disabled” for their blog. I don’t think there is a right or wrong decision here.
I like the idea of enabling comments since it’s built right into WordPress.
Also… Having comments enabled provides you with a platform for getting feedback from your readers. You also get to build rapport with them by communicating. This is especially important when your blog is new, and you’re making a community for it.
You can always change your mind later and disable them if it’s not working out.
10) Long Form Content Or Short Form Content?
A lot of people ask the question about how long each post should be, and you know what? The answer is: it’s entirely up to you!
As you become an expert in the genre you are writing about; you’ll quickly discover over time what the right length for a particular blog post should be. According to an article written over at BufferApp called The Ideal Length – It specifies the average read time for an online blog article is about 7 minutes, that’s an average word count of only 1600 words.
So I use that as an average to always keep most of my articles in the range of 700 – 1700 words. My average read time per article is roughly about 3 – 5 minutes. I also hate reading long drawn out blog articles, so I prefer not to write articles beyond 1500 words.
11) How Often Should You Post To Your Blog?
In the early days of blogging it was thought that you had to post something new every day. If you’re a 24/7 news media website/blog, this will make perfect sense. Today in 2019, for most bloggers, the answer is entirely up to you.
All businesses and blogs will implement a different content outline, calendar, and strategy for how often a new blog post gets published. It is a best practice to publish a new blog post at least every week or two weeks. A worst-case scenario would be monthly. Going more than 30 days without any new posts would show the viewers of your blog that it’s not maintained regularly causing them to lose interest over time. Not to mention, the search engines could also rank you a bit lower.
Quick Tip: In WordPress, you have an option to schedule a date for when your blog posts go live. Stage future posts ahead of time with this option, making it easy to have consistent and fresh blog content published.
Use the various questions and answers in this article to help you form a plan for the launch of your new blog. It will make the process so much easier and much less frustrating.
I highly recommend that you take your time and really put some thought into this. Also, don’t forget to check out my other Blogging Tip Articles as well.