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Building a Blog From Scratch: A New Article Series!

I’m going to be building a blog from scratch.

This post is part of a new article series aimed at those of you who are new to blogging with the goals of building an audience and earning a profit.

In this first article, we’ll cover the basics of starting my new blog. I’ll tell you about the niche, explain the audience, and discuss the goals for earning profit with the blog.

In the next several articles of this series, you’ll be able to follow my progress as I build a blog from scratch.

Let’s get started!

First Steps of Building a Blog From Scratch

Let me show you the first steps I’m taking in building a blog from scratch. You can follow these steps to build your own blog.

 

Step 1: Determine the Blog Niche

The first step in building a blog from scratch is to determine your niche.

Now, I’ve decided to go a little wild and broad with my niche. It’s an experiment to create something unique compared to other blogs that I’ve done.

I’ll tell you what my niche will be here in a moment.

But for now, let’s go over how we can determine our blog niche!

First, we have to choose different things that we’re super passionate about. What do you like to do and talk about the most in your life? Write all your passions down.

You want to choose a passion for many reasons. Just to name a few:

  1. You typically won’t get sick of writing about something you’re passionate about over time.
  2. You’ll already be an expert or near being an expert on something you’re passionate about.
  3. You’ll know who your niche market is based on how you enjoy the topics of your passion.

If you choose a niche that you know nothing about or something you’re not passionate about, you’re doomed to fail at blogging.

Why?

Because while you’re struggling to compete with other blogs for readers, you’ll be in a market full of experts in the niche. Experts will stay many steps ahead of you. They’ll make it a struggle to even gain a little bit of ground.

It would probably take you years to successfully compete with experts in a niche that you know nothing about.

It’s also going to be extremely difficult to keep coming up with new content ideas in something you know nothing about.

If you choose a niche that you’re passionate about, you’ll be able to skip most of the extreme challenges above.

Now for my niche:

“Reviewing Random Products”

I want this blog to be hard. I don’t recommend doing a harder blog like this. It’s hard because the reviews will target multiple products that won’t always relate to each other. Finding an audience for that won’t be easy, too. I do think profiting will be easy, however.

I decided on this niche to make it easily translatable for this blog series. You’ll be able to watch my challenges, successes, and failures right there with me.

It’ll also allow me to create articles about other topics that bloggers might find interesting.

My blog domain is RandomReview.Blog. I typically go with a .com domain name, and I recommend you go with one. I chose the .blog to test it out and write more articles about choosing that type of domain, and my registrar was offering a free one for a year, so why not?

I’m excited about building a blog from scratch and taking you with me on that journey.

 

Step 2: Target an Audience

The next step in building a blog from scratch is to target your audience and determine an avatar for your blog.

My audience will be difficult to target because I didn’t choose a very specific niche. My niche is fairly broad and focuses on multiple topics. It’s going to be challenging for me to get readers on this blog, but that will also help you understand why you need to choose a specific topic and narrow it down if you can.

What do I mean by narrowing it down?

Even if you choose a specific topic, the niche might still be too broad.

My hiking blog, for example, started as a blog about hiking anywhere and everywhere. The problem with that was that there were many hiking blogs to compete with. It’s ideal to have some competition because that means there is a market for the niche. However, a very large amount of competition will be extremely difficult for a new blog.

So, I decided to narrow down my niche to focus primarily on hiking in my local area. This allowed me to “niche down” and target a more specific audience. While I target locals with my content, my main target is non-locals wishing to visit my area for outdoor recreation, specifically those with families and beginners.

Knowing that I’m targeting families and beginners hiking in my region allows me to identify my avatar.

Your avatar is basically a replica of the exact type of user your content is for. You can get really specific with genders, lifestyles, ages, and even locations. You can also focus on behaviors, types of people, and specific groups. The more you narrow down your avatar, the easier it is to create blog content that will impact them and make them loyal to your content.

You can see my hiking blog was easy to create an avatar for me and determine my target audience.

But this new blog, RandomReview.Blog will not be as easy.

That’s because my avatar includes multiple types of people, and my target market is anyone interested in the product I’m going to review at the time.

Think hard about exactly who you wish to target with your blog and define your avatar because it will get simpler after that.

 

Step 3: Create a Monetization Goal

Building a blog from scratch requires you to choose a niche, determine your audience, and, finally, create a monetization goal.

My monetization goal is simple to create for this exercise. It’s pretty much the only simple thing about my niche choice.

I plan to monetize using affiliate marketing, sponsored content, and a paid newsletter option.

Let me dig deeper into my goals:

  1. Affiliate Marketing: As I grow the blog, product manufacturers and advertising agencies will likely notice it. They’ll want their stuff reviewed. I’ll offer a program where they send it to me for free, and I create an honest review and then earn a percentage from referrals where customers buy their product through my link.
  2. Sponsored Content: I’ll sell multiple types of sponsored content, including sponsored reviews where authors pay me to post their reviews on my blog. I’ll also sell sponsored advertisements on my blog pages, posts, and newsletter.
  3. Paid Newsletter: As part of my marketing campaign, I’ll offer a free newsletter. However, I’ll also create a paid version of the newsletter with exclusive content about reviews from the blog and exclusive reviews only found in that newsletter.

Once you have a goal structured in your strategy for monetization, it becomes easier to make the right choices for your blog.

This is because you want to make money, and you’re going to do things that favor you making money.

My monetization tactics might be different from yours. You can definitely copy mine and use them, but be sure to research other diversified ways of making money.

There are many more, including membership sites, courses, paid webinars, in-person events, donations (I might use this one, too), eBooks, and other methods.

Research what your blog competition is doing to make money. If you can make money that way, it’s going to be the better option because you know people are already paying for that sort of thing.

If you can provide a solution to the needs and wants of your target market, your avatar, then you’ll be able to monetize your blog very easily.

Building a Blog From Scratch!

Blog SEO Doesn’t Matter Without the Best Content Possible

Google wants the best content you can make before any other search engine optimization tactic takes place.

The sole mission of Google Search is to give the searcher precisely the information they are trying to find. So if someone clicks on your blog post, doesn’t find the information they’re looking for, and clicks the back button, that informs Google that your post isn’t relevant to the terms they searched for.

That’s bad for your blog!

In most cases, that happens because the blogger has either poor content or poor content structuring.

Every time you create a new blog post, your main goal should be to create a better post than the last one you created. The end result of your article should be to answer a question of a searcher promptly and thoroughly. That’s the most essential blog SEO tactic that you should do.

If there was only one tactic you could do – it would be creating the best content you can make. That is going to be the best characteristic of your blog.

If you create the best content possible, Google will reward you in search ranking, and people will flock to your blog.

The best way to create the best kind of quality content is by researching your niche. A niche is the topic or industry your blog is about. My niche for this blog is a digital marketing and content creation. Posting about blog SEO fits right in between both of those topics.

Your niche will give you ideas for the best content out there!

Find your people! Find them on social media. Find them on discussion forums. Find them on Quora. Find them on other blogs. Find them where ever they may be.

And then “listen” to them.

Discover the biggest challenge of the niche. Find out what the most common unanswered questions are. Understand what problems they are being faced with.

After you find that information, make it your mission to solve it and find a solution. And when you do, turn it into a blog post. And after using blog SEO tactics, I promise you that it will not only get you better rankings on Google Search but will make you the niche expert everyone wants to go to.

Write the kind of content you would want to find on search engines to solve your problems and answer your questions. That’s how you win with content on a blog.

 

Being Consistent to Win Your Blog SEO Strategy

To win at blog SEO, you need to research your keywords, place them correctly, and write the best content possible.

I’ve already explained how to do those things above.

But you must do all that consistently to win at search engine optimization on Google or anywhere else.

What does consistency mean?

Why does consistency matter for blog SEO?

Why does it even matter for search engine results?

I’ll answer these questions and then show you how to easily be consistent and never run out of blog post ideas again.

Consistency is doing things in the same way in a conforming manner. It matters for SEO and search engine results because that will tell Google when you create new content based on your target keywords and niche. Google will then know to serve your new content to searchers looking for your type of content. It’ll also let your fans and followers know when to expect new content to come back to your blog and consume.

You’ve heard content is king. Right? I have a different saying that adds a little bit more…

Content is King – You have to have the best content possible.

Consistency is Queen – The king will fall if he does not please the kingdom, and the queen will help him maintain a consistent flow.

Engagement is the Kingdom – Your content needs to make a consumer do something, whether sharing the post, commenting, or performing some Call-to-Action after reading it.

Without these three, the kingdom WILL FALL!

So, how do you remain consistent?

You experiment with a style in which you create content. Try posting two articles a week. Do this for a few months. If it becomes overwhelming, start posting once a week instead. If that becomes overwhelming, post once every two weeks or even once a month.

Whatever turns out to best your best posting style, that’s the style you need to stick with. If you can post once a week, you need to make sure you post once a week. Pick a day. Pick a time. Always meet that deadline. If you can do that – you’ll be consistent.

I post once a day on this blog.

I also post once a day on another blog.

That’s two posts every single day, all year long. I’ve been doing this for a few months as of writing this article. I wrote this article in one day.

I have turned it into a consistent habit. I’m not telling you to blog daily; I’m telling you that whatever you choose, you need to stick with it. But by all means, experiment first to find your perfect, consistent rhythm.

But then comes the elephant in the room – content ideas.

When we consistently create content, we have content ideas to write about.

If you don’t plan out your content ideas, you’ll not do well at consistency, blog SEO, or any of it.

You need to create a content calendar. A simple spreadsheet or notepad is all you need to make this a reality. Write your ideas down and anything else you want to add. I write my title (but might change it later), the keywords I want to target, and the blog post category. After I publish the post, I add the date I published it to my content calendar.

This is the first phase of never running out of ideas for your blog.

The second phase is coming up with ideas, and that’s where it gets fun!

BUCKETS OF FUN!

Buckets – that’s how you do it. Let me explain…

Create a pillar keyword. This is the keyword that your main blog should focus on. For example, mine is “Shawnee National Forest” for my hiking blog.

Now create a set of buckets under your central pillar. These buckets are sub-topics of your main topic.

And few examples of mine would be “Shawnee National Forest Hiking” and “Shawnee National Forest Lodging.”

Now you need to put more buckets under your already existing buckets. You need to create sub-topics of your sub-topics.

For my “Shawnee National Forest Hiking” bucket, I would create “Shawnee National Forest Hiking for Seniors” and “Shawnee National Forest Hiking for Kids.”

And then you keep adding buckets under buckets. You add sub-topics under sub-topics that are sub-topics. It should be never-ending.

That will help you never run out of ideas again. I promise you. It works. It also helps with blog SEO because it keeps your content relevant to your keywords. It allows you to create related content for your niche consistently. Google really loves that!

And finally, use the tools provided to you to make consistency a breeze.

Two of these tools are post-scheduling and social media content scheduling.

WordPress has a post-scheduling feature. You can bulk-create content which is how I post daily on two blogs, and then schedule it to post whenever you want it to post. This will improve your consistency. It’s nice to have content scheduled when something goes wrong, and you can’t post something new.

It happens in life all the time!

Embrace automation because we didn’t have these incredible tools fifteen years ago to help us remain consistent without being superhumans.

And social media scheduling helps with blog SEO because social media can help you build backlinks which you want to do. Backlinks are websites and people who link to your blog content. Its backlinks are on good websites with related content; it will help you rank better on search engines.

You can consistently increase your chance of getting backlinks through social media by using a social media scheduling tool.

I use Buffer. I pay for it, but there is a very generous free edition that might be all you need. But the paid upgrade is well worth it in the end.

 

And that sums up how you can accomplish blog SEO strategy as efficiently as possible. It isn’t as complex as you might think it is. You must do the right tactics and, most of all, be consistent. Follow the advice above, and you’ll have no problem ranking on Google. This is what I do on every blog post I make. This was a long post to write; I’d love it if you showed me your support by following me on Twitter for more digital marketing and content creation tips.

Write High Quality Blog Content

Next Steps for Building a Blog From Scratch

So, I’ve registered my domain name for the new blog, installed WordPress, and will show you how to build a blog from scratch in the next couple of sections.

 

Ten Articles Before Launch

This is one of the most successful blogging tactics I’ll ever tell you:

Create in bulk before you publish!

What do I mean by that? It’s simple…

Create 10 to even 30 articles before you publish any of them on your blog. There are a few reasons for that, including:

  • It allows you to determine your consistency because you’ll know how often you can write a new blog post.
  • It lets you decide if blogging is for you or not because you’ll have written so many posts, and you’ll know if you like it or not.
  • You’ll have tons of blog content to schedule ahead of time so that you are always able to stay ahead with your blog.

I mentioned consistency…

Consistency isn’t about how many posts you make during any given period. It’s about how often you publish content on your blog in a uniform manner.

You can post once a month. You can post once a week. You could even post three times a week or every single day of the week. It doesn’t matter how often you post. What matters is how uniformly you publish content.

I’ll be posting once a week, every week, on Thursdays at 8:00 AM CST.

By posting on the same day and time throughout the week, my readers will know when to expect new content. It might even help (slightly) with my search engine ranking on Google. It will definitely help me with my own organization and give me a good deadline for adding new content to my blog.

While I create my 10 articles, I’ll be focusing on ensuring they’re of the highest quality in a review. I’ll research my competition and make sure my reviews are better and more unique in alignment with the trends, needs, and wants of my niche market.

I’ll be ensuring that I master the article in terms of grammar, spelling, and SEO copywriting.

Once I am finished, I’ll have ten articles to schedule on my blog for 10 weeks. This will allow me to stay ahead with my blog as long as I keep writing new content.

Building a blog from scratch means creating original content that is of the highest quality and value to your ideal reader. You must also solve their needs and wants with an easy solution.

Create first so that you have the content to stay ahead of the blogging game.

 

Creating My Newsletter

As I said before, I’ll be launching two newsletters while building a blog from scratch.

The first newsletter will be free. The second newsletter will cost money to get.

For now, I’ll be focusing on the free newsletter.

I’ll create the initial mailing list using Convert Kit, create a lead magnet, add subscription CTAs to my blog, add a landing page for the newsletter, and start marketing it internally on my blog.

Let’s take a close look at the steps above…

I’m using Convert Kit because it’s a popular newsletter platform that focuses more on creators. I’ll be using the free version of Convert Kit until I have enough subscribers to update to a paid version with the intent of advertising spots paying for it.

I’m going to create a lead magnet, which is a valuable source of information that subscribers can access by subscribing to my newsletter. A lead magnet can be an eBook, a guide, a free service, a membership, or even a discount or free trial. My lead magnet will be “30 Review of the Most Unique Random but Useful Items I Own.” As you can see, my lead magnet is very inviting.

I’ll then add CTAs to my blog. A CTA is a Call to Action. In reference to my newsletter, a CTA is a form on the blog pages and posts asking readers to subscribe to my newsletter. I’ll have my lead magnet attached to the offer. I’ll also use a popup to catch readers’ attention. A popup sounds annoying, but it’s often a main source for getting new email subscribers for your newsletter.

I’ll be creating a landing page. This page will emphasize why you should subscribe to my newsletter and give you the option to subscribe to it. I’ll be using this page to link to most of my social media accounts once I begin to establish them more.

Finally, I’ll market my newsletter on my blog. I publish my reviews with the message that subscribing to my newsletter will get you access to further details about the review, some behind-the-scenes use of the products, and exclusive reviews that are not found on the blog.

Running a newsletter will be just as challenging as running a blog. But the two go hand in hand. You can use your newsletter to promote your blog content. You can use your blog to promote your newsletter. A newsletter is direct access to your readers and potential customers without Google and social media algorithms getting in your way.

Every blogger should have a newsletter to accompany their blog.

 

Establishing My Social Media Presence

After I write my ten posts and get my newsletter going, I’ll establish myself in the niche market.

I’ll be doing this with social media.

Most of your audience, no matter what your niche is, will be on social media. Social media will be one of your best marketing sources. If you don’t use it for your blogging activities, it might take you significantly longer to grow your blog.

I’ll be starting a Facebook page, an Instagram page, and an X (Twitter) page.

I’ll have a posting strategy for each of them:

  • Facebook: Three posts a day including any review I made, polls/questions, and images of products I have with native reviews.
  • Instagram: I’ll post one real a day featuring a quick review of a larger review that I made with my blog post. I’ll also keep my story updated daily.
  • X: I’ll post two times a day including my blog post reviews or native photo reviews and then a question post to gain engagement.

Social media can be difficult to promote your blog with.

That’s because people use social media in a very wrong way when it comes to promoting blog content. Bloggers join and post only links to their blog pages. Social media algorithms see that and either ban the user for spamming or put fewer views on the content because it takes people away from the social media platform.

So, how do you cheat the algorithms?

You don’t.

Instead, you do as they want you to. 90% of your content should be native, meaning it doesn’t link to anything off the social media platform. Upload photos and videos and make text posts to the social media platform. That’s native content!

Instead of thinking of social media as an outlet to get clicks to your blog links, look at it as a way to build and nurture your community. Social media is how you get followers, loyal followers. Link to your blog posts here and there, but your main objective is to get yourself known and loved in your niche.

Aside from posting on my profile, I’ll also engage daily.

You have to engage with your audience and competition on social media if you want to be seen by them. Be nice, extremely helpful, and active. Do these things, and you’ll shine on social media.

 

Next Chapter for Building a Blog From Scratch?

I have a lot of work to do in building a blog from scratch. For the next few months, I’ll focus on creating content, creating a newsletter, and establishing social media pages.

Yeah, months is correct. A blog takes a while to get going. Nothing happens overnight anymore. The internet is way too big for that to be the case anymore.

My next articles will dive deeper into the ten article creation, newsletter creation, and social media establishment. Look for those to post soon.

I hope this article has been helpful to you and that you’ll enjoy this series. Please support me by sharing this article with others. You can also give me a one-time donation if you’d like to support me further.

Be sure to subscribe to my free weekly newsletter for more blogging tips and resources.

Shawn Gossman

About the Author

Shawn Gossman has created content, blogged, ran online communities, and shared a passion for digital marketing for over twenty years. Shawn believes the best way to help content creators, businesses, brands, and marketers is to give away more than you sell. The same advice is recommended for the readers that follow this blog. Shawn also offers a variety of services for extra help in the area of content creation, blogging, forums, and digital marketing. Learn more about Shawn Gossman by clicking here.

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