Why start a blog?

I read lots of advice online for bloggers seeking themes and content ideas to start a blog. What blog do I want to create? How do I find topics to post about? My problem is, conversely, I have lots of ideas and they all crowd and then I get overwhelmed and don’t know where to start.

What shall I write about?

Web content gurus and marketers suggest doing keyword searches to find a market sector to tap into. What are web surfers looking for and how can I make money ?  We love to see the cash rolling in, but I would say, when you start a blog, write your passion.

If you want your blog to succeed, it’s your passion that will motivate you over the long haul, because overnight success takes a few years.

How do I organize all the stuff?

Once you’ve nailed the biggie, the next question is:  how do I structure and organize my content?

Your blog template does much of the heavy digging here. We often take these for granted because there are so many good designs out there, and we take for granted the hidden riches accrued from the clever requirements analyses behind those designs.

However you also need to consider your goal. Put your reader first and identify the purpose of your article, post or visual content. This exercise should reveal what type of content you are creating.

Cornerstone content. It is your unique, valuable and permanent resource that answers readers questions. It’s your authority.

Feeder content. Informs and entertains (we hope) and prompts your reader to go to the cornerstone content. This can include landing pages but more about those another time.

Promotional content. Well, it does all of that other stuff, which in time, (we hope), stuffs the piggy bank.

Guest posts. Ever get bored with the sound of your own voice? Invite people over. So much more interesting than a one-way conversation, your readers will agree.

I am a lone voice in the blogosphere; who can help me?

This post was inspired by Copyblogger, which published a great piece on cornerstone content. If you are a writer serious about digital marketing, Copyblogger is one resource you should tap into, but for whatever reason you start a blog, start here:

Select your favorite Content Management System and really work it. I’ve chosen WordPress as the platform for my author blog, but there are many out there, from simple “click and go” to complex CMS. A simple site in Wix or Weebly can be set up in minutes. WordPress is probably the market leader in blogging platforms and offers a vast resource of templates and designs.

I’ve directed this post at authors/writers, like myself, so I’m not listing big commercial CMS here. As a self-starting writer, you probably find you need to be realistic about how much you can achieve in a day. I try not to let site management overtake content creation, but it can be hard to control it.

Do you have questions about starting your blog? Send it in. Use the comment box below.

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