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Starting A Blog: First Steps

by | Jul 21, 2015 | Blog, How To, Niche Sites

Now that you’re convinced you need a website and blog, the next question then becomes: where do I start?

Usually, this question is coming from a place of technical anxiety.

Let me assure you immediately that the technical aspects are probably going to be the most straight forward bits to figure out.

You can physically set up a website and blog in under a half hour. That’s just mechanics.

The other parts —  what to put in the blog, what it should look like, how to get traffic, and goodness, what about Facebook and other social media — those are the ones you really want to get a grip on before you throw yourself at your keyboard.

There are two key questions you need to answer for yourself before you start:

  • Question 1: What is your blog going to be about?
  • Question 2: Who is the audience you expect to read and benefit from your blog?

Let’s start with the first question.

What Is Your Niche?

Think of a niche as a specialization within a larger subject matter.

An analogy is supermarket aisles. An aisle might have cereals, jams, spreads and and other breakfast foods. So that’s the larger market.

A shelf within that aisle that holds Nutella would be a specialization. In other words, it’s the niche of breakfast spreads.

Think about what is your particular niche within the general subject you are interested in writing about.

Green drinks within the nutrition subject.

Instagram marketing within the social marketing subject.

Productivity coaching within coaching subject.

And so on.

You don’t have to make an immediate decision about your niche. Narrow it down to no more than 2 or 3 areas though. You can fine tune later.

With the niche selection out of the way, think about your target audience.

Your Audience

Just like the niche, your audience definition will have a big impact on your blog.

Knowing your reader means you know how to write to best reach her.

It can be in your style of writing, the specific way you tackle your topic from her point of view.

It can even clarify the exact type of language to use in your writing – the terms that your audience would be familiar with and understand.

In other words, knowing your target audience means you have a much better chance of your blog content resonating with them, and then doing that one magic thing that makes the world go round: share your content.

With your two decisions just about finalized, you are almost ready to start working on your blog.

You are ready to begin choosing a domain name.

Domain Name

A domain name is the name and address of your website. For example, the domain name of this blog is

We will get into the specifics of exactly how to choose a domain name in another post.

But for the purposes of prepping for your creating your blog, you need tithing about your two options:

  • use your name
  • use a brand name

In the case of this blog I have gone with my name. In he case of my blog for expats, I chose to go with a brand name

To help you decide, here are a couple of considerations.

If you go with your name, you can switch up topics any time you feel like it. You are the brand.

The flexibility though also means that you probably can’t sell the site.

If you go with a brand name, you are somewhat tied to the topic and can likely even have guest contributors. As your name is not part and parcel of the blog identity, you could probably sell it.

Now you are ready

With your niche picked, your audience identified and a decision of own name vs brand made, you’re ready to go shopping for a domain.