Running a blog can be a great way to get your name and your content out there for readers. You should consider starting a blog if:
1. You have something useful to say.
Think about that for a minute. Blogs are a dime a dozen and most live a lifetime in obscurity. If you are going to start a blog, make sure you have something useful to offer your readers (advice, information, guidance, direction, opportunities).
If you are simply planning on spamming posts of your products that are for sale, then skip the blog concept entirely. That content is okay in moderation, but it shouldn’t be the central intention of a blog.
2. You have the time to commit.
On the surface, blogging may seem easy; it’s not.
There is much more to running a good blog than adding a brief post once every couple of days.
First of all, setting up a blog from scratch can be a time-consuming and cumbersome process, even with the aid of platforms like WordPress. Unless you are already a pro or a computer genius, you can expect to put in at least one week of hard work just to get it up and running the way you want it to appear.
Second, content is king. One post every couple of days is not going to get the job done. If you’re like me, you might get by with two or three posts a day, provided the content is worthwhile to your readers.
Third, the background details are a nightmare. Selecting and setting up the right plug-ins, creating forms, structuring the layout, building meaningful and useful menus, all take time and effort. The good news is that once all of that is done, it basically runs itself minus the actual postings.
3. You have the finances to afford it.
Nothing in life is free even when it clearly states that it is free.
Blogging can be expensive. Yes, it has the potential to earn you money, but it is certainly not going to do that in the beginning.
Most of the useful plug-ins either charge a flat-rate fee or require a monthly or annual paid subscription. Something as simple (and necessary) as including pop-up windows for email subscriptions can cost you as much as $30/month or more.
Without images, your posts will be bland and may often be overlooked. Unless you are also a professional photographer, you are going to have to acquire those images for commercial use. There are a few websites that provide free images for commercial use without attribution requirements, but their stock supply is limited. Photographers and websites offering their products expect to be paid (and rightly so). I have spent as much as $150 on the rights to use a single photo.
Domains are cheap, but they are not free. Email services come at a price. The list of underlying expenses is extensive, so don’t be fooled into thinking you can run a popular blog for free; it simply isn’t true.
4. You are trying to gain exposure for your work.
Blogging is a great way to get your name and your products in front of people. If you are an aspiring author, it gives you the ability to sample your work with a small audience while getting a better feel for what readers are expecting from a good book.
Whether you are a photographer, a food critic, a travel enthusiast, or in any one of a myriad of other professions, blogging is a great way to reach the masses if done right.
Monetization is also an option when you are running a blog. Affiliations, advertisements, subscription fees, and a storefront provide opportunities to turn your posts into income.
5. You are committed to staying in it for the long haul.
If you start a blog on a whim, all you will accomplish is wasting your time and money.
The vast majority of blogs die within the first year out of lack of interest by the creators or through lack of interest by readers. If you are truly committed to providing a useful and insightful blog for the masses, then go for it, but don’t go into it blind. Know that it is going to cost you time and money. Keep in mind that you will have to remain active with or without followers if you have any hopes of it becoming successful.
Below, I have included a few links to books that will help you if you decide to start your own blog. I handpick my product links based on relevance, quality, and (most often) discounted offers.
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