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Mini-Blog Workshop Series 1

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Posted by Cindy on May 24, 2012 at 1:05 am

Step 1: Getting Started
This will be a series of mini workshops to help you get started on your own blog project.
Getting started is often the most important step in any project but is also the most difficult.
It takes greater momentum to get started on something new as compared to travelling along the same projectile path.
So where does one begin when starting a blog?
In my opinion, it starts with choosing a niche topic.
There are seven steps involved in choosing a niche topic, one for each day until the next week’s mini-blog workshop.
 Choose the topic you are interested in

The fastest way to get started is to write on the topic you are interested in. You can start by listing down topics you are interested in and rate your level of interest on a scale of 1 to 5. If you are very interested, you can rate it a number 5 and for topics that you have comparatively less interest, you can rate it a 1 or 2.

This is an area most beginning bloggers make a mistake in. They tend to write on topics that attract lots of traffic despite the fact that they have no prior knowledge or interest in that area.

It is difficult to sustain a blog in which you have very little interest in. Passion attracts readers and readers can turn into your community’s greatest raving fans. As in the words of Neil Gaiman, “Create Good Art.” At the end of the day, if nobody buys your art, at least you still own the great art.
 Assess the popularity of the topic
If you are writing a blog as a hobby, then this does not matter. However if you want to start a blog and monetize it eventually, the topic chosen has to be a fairly popular topic. You have to make sure that there are a sizable number of people with a common interest as you. You may not need a million readers a month on your blog but a few hundred thousand won’t hurt.

You can gauge the popularity a topic based on the following three factors
• Average readership for your niche topic
• Personal passion index
• Average income for blogs in your category

What is the growth of the topic you have chosen
You can have to gauge whether your topic is on the upward growth or downward trend in the blogosphere. It is difficult to make money from a blog if your topic is on the downward trend. Places where you can gauge the popularity of a topic include

Google Trends


Yahoo Trending Topics
Amazon best seller list
New York Times Bestseller’s list
These are areas where you can find topics that people are interested in, sometimes for a sustained amount of time. Evergreen topics include dieting, weight loss; make money, save time, productivity tips and how to get the most out of a new gadget such as iPad.

 What is the competition


Contrary to popular belief, a certain amount of competition is desirable. It means that you have a topic that is viable. Most beginning bloggers make the mistake of writing on a topic that has zero competition. They think they have found the ‘holy grail’ of a successful blog topic. However, nothing is further from the truth. There is a possibility that there is zero competition as others have found the marketplace unresponsive, unprofitable or both. So some competition is healthy but too much competition means you have to do lots of work in order to gain penetration. It also means you have to spend a considerable amount on your marketing costs.
Are there any opportunity gaps?
Locating opportunity gaps allows you to gain penetration in a blogosphere much quicker. For instance, Body shop broke into the competitive body care niche by creating products from natural ingredients that are sourced from third world countries. In a way, they have created a win-win situation. Dominos pizza created their own niche by promising 30-minutes delivery or the pizza’s free. Are there opportunity gaps in your topic that have not been covered before. This can become your blog’s unique-selling proposition.

 

Are you able to provide lots of content on that topic?
In order to write a sustainable blog, you need to be able to provide lots of content. Is there a lots of coverage in the news for your topic such as on the New York Times, Google News or Blog Pulse or industry blogs and websites? Other areas you can get more content is from the knowledge you already have, your interaction with others or your customers.

 

What are the monetization streams?

In order to make money from blogging, you need to be able to study areas where you can monetize your blog. Do you want to monetize your blog by
• Earning through advertising dollars
• Earning through product endorsements
• Promoting affiliate products
• Selling your own products
• Sponsorships from major corporations.
If you have done your homework, you will soon be on your way to creating a sustainable and popular blog.

 

For more ideas on how to build a popular and money-making blog, refer to this.
Check out this 31-day guide to building a popular blog.

You can download this immediately
==> 31 Days to a Better Blog

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