I was asked how you would go about kickstarting a blog that would position someone as a thought leader in a particular niche. I wanted to share some of the things I am learning along the line and to point you in the direction of some interesting resources if you ever find yourself in that position.
Preparing to set up a blog can be split up into three parts – planning, starting and sustaining your blog. I will deal with planning your blog here, then move on to cover starting and sustaining your blog in parts two and three.
Planning is the most important and often the most neglected area in setting up a blog. Yes, it’s great to have an idea and to want to start immediately, but often a bit of judicious planning will help you to get off to a better start and to keep on going in the right direction.
Assuming you have the idea of what you will blog about, the first thing to tackle is research. Investigate the subject area with a view to niche, audience, keyword and competition – see what else is out there, where discussions are happening and who is doing the talking.
When you have finished you should have answers to questions such as:
- what are you qualified to write about?
- is it a crowded market and therefore what unique perspective can you offer?
- is the market big enough to sustain a large enough readership and make your efforts worthwhile?
- Is the subject something that you are truly passionate about?
Identify other bloggers that resonate with you and what you are trying to do – follow them, engage with them, and see how they go about being successful. I am sure you will identify your own heroes and colleagues, I list below some of the blogs I find particularly inspiring.
If you are happy with the results of your research, then set yourself some SMART goals as to what you what to achieve which will allow you to track progress and success as you move forward.
With keywords in mind, start to plan your content into an editorial calendar, thinking about what sorts of content you will create, how often you will be posting, where you will continue to get ideas from to keep the blog going, and so on.
At this stage you may not have a firm idea about some of these pointers, but if you are at all serious about the impact you want to make then do not underestimate the amount of effort that will be involved in kickstarting a blog, not just in the planning, but also in the starting and keeping your blog on track.
Next time I will look at how to start up a blog, in the meantime here are some resources that I have found very useful and that continue to be an inspiration to me:
Are you planning to start a blog? Who do you find has helped you most to understand how to approach it? What resources would you recommend? I am a firm believe that you can always learn something new, even about familiar subjects. Leave a comment below about your own experiences and inspiration.
Now read part two, Starting your blog.