How to create a successful blog – questions to ask yourself before you start

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A few weeks ago I wrote a post How to design a successful blog based on my experience of rebranding and creating clearer identity for my blog. The post proved to be very popular, so I have decided to share what else I have learnt in the process of redesigning my blog. This time I am focusing on what questions to ask yourself to clarify what is your blog about, why you want to write it and why do you think people will want to read it. Being clear about what you want to achieve is essential to create a successful blog.

 

How to create a successful blog

First step is to ask yourself: why am I blogging? Your answer to this key question will determine all else. If you are blogging for pleasure, than if your blog brings you pleasure you have succeeded. If you are writing to document your family life, than a measure of success is how much and how well you have managed to document. There’s lots of reasons for creating a blog and lots of ways of measuring it’s success, and they are all equally valid.

If, like me, you want your blog to be a source of income, than you have succeeded if you have managed to build an engaged audience and attracted brands who wish to work with you. If this is the sort of success you would like to achieve in blogging than read on.

 

Key questions to ask yourself

In my rebranding journey I have been sent some briefs from designers I have considered working with (I know this sounds a little posh and expensive, but you can hire a designer to create a bespoke logo for as little as £30 – hello freelancer.com). Here is a selection of questions and suggestion I have found most helpful. These will help you focus on what you want to achieve:

do you have a tagline? – a short snippet clarifying what your blog is about. If you don’t have one start thinking about it now. Going through the process of creating one will help you focus on what your blog is about.

elevator pitch – imagine you are in an elevator and you just a met a person who can really help your blog go big, you need to pitch your blog idea and capture their interest in one sentence.

what are your core values? – this will determine what you want to write about and what brands you will be happy to work with (for example I focus on green, ethical and vegetarian living, so I won’t work with a high-street chain of chicken shops using low welfare birds)

who is your main audience? – narrow it down so you know who you are writing for and what will your audience be interested in. Having an answer ready is also helpful when dealing with brands – they have particular audiences they want to reach.

what is your plan? – think where you want to be in 1 year. This will really help you see what steps you need to take to achieve your goals. Don’t be afraid to dream big – think what you want to achieve with your blogging beyond that first year.

what makes you different? – why would a brand choose to work with you and not any other blog? It can be a tough question to answer, but knowing your strengths is key to being successful.

 

I’ve found that sitting down for an hour with pen and paper and answering all those questions really clarified what I want to do. Once I knew where I wanted to get to it was much easier to see what I needed to do to get there.

 

Have you got any tips on how to create a successful blog? I’d love to hear from you, so do leave me a comment or get in touch on twitter (@mumbalance).

 

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