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Starting a Blog Step 1: Choosing Your Blog Focus

After deciding you want to start a blog, determining the focus of your blog or your niche should be the next step. You might be thinking shouldn't the next thing I do be to decide on my hosting platform, colors, name, or logo? Nope. All of those items should come later and can be determined based on what your blog is about.


Staring a blog step 1: Choosing the focus for your blog | arelaxedgal.com

There are multiple benefits to having a focus or niche for your blog.
  • It helps you focus the topics you'll blog about
  • It helps you determine your content types (e.g. infographics, videos, etc.)
  • It helps your blog stand out
  • It helps you grow your blog audience because they know what to expect

When I first started my blog it was called Growing Healthy Relaxed Hair. So it was a very niche site and with a specific purpose - to chronicle my experiences on growing healthy relaxed hair. Being a niche site wasn't a bad thing, nor was my purpose. The issue was the blog was very internally focused and didn't lead to me creating a lot of content that was helpful for anyone other than myself.


After a little over a year of blogging, I realized I wanted to blog about more than relaxed hair. In fact, I had always wanted to blog about more than hair. Since I didn't take the time when creating my blog to sit down and really think through my goals and why I wanted to blog I ended up changing the focus of my blog about a year and a half in.

While there's no rule that you can't change the focus of your blog after you launch, it is something you'd want to avoid if possible. Take it from me, it can take a lot of time and effort. Rebranding may involve changing your blog name, layout, design or a combination of the three.

From my rebranding experience, I realized I should have applied several systems and processes I use working at an advertising agency. So to start off my rebranding process I sat down and asked myself the following four questions:
  1. What do I want my blog to do?
  2. What am I passionate about?
  3. Who am I trying to reach?
  4. How often do I want to post?

A good way to keep this purpose front and center is by crafting a mission statement. Now, this isn't something you need to do, but it's a good thing to do. As I mentioned a mission statement will help you stay on track and easily remind you of the purpose of your blog.

A mission statement is also a helpful measuring stick when you're thinking about changing something on your blog. Changes such as the color palette, design, layout or even adding a new topic. If you decide to create a mission statement, your answers from the four questions should provide you with the information you need.

As a bonus, I've created a FREE printable that you can use to compile your answers to the four questions. It's only available for subscribers.

Free work sheet to define your blog niche | @arelaxedgal

1. What do I want my blog to do?

The purpose of this question is to find out what's your reason behind blogging. Is it to share your expertise on a subject? Share personal experiences? When I rebranded and renamed the blog A Relaxed Gal I wrote down what could be called an objective or even a mission statement. With A Relaxed Gal, I wanted to provide useful information on specific hair care, beauty and lifestyle topics.

Other things to think about are: Do you want your blog to ultimately become a business and bring in income? Do you want blogging to be a side business or full-time? Or will your blog just be a hobby for you and it doesn't matter if you generate income?

2. What am I passionate about?

If you're interested in and excited about the topics you blog about, it becomes obvious in your writing. You tend to be more detailed and have longer posts. Your topics could be things that you like talking about and sharing with family and friends.

Create a list by writing down all the topics that come to mind and you get excited about. You may have come up with a long list of topics. That's not a bad thing. The trick is to narrow down the list. I recommend narrowing your topics down to no more than four. When trimming down your list evaluate your topics on whether
  • It's a topic that excites you
  • There's an audience for this topic
  • Others will find it interesting and/or have a need for it
  • You think you can continuously blog about it

3. Who am I trying to reach?

Your blog shouldn't be all about you. While it should include your experiences and learnings, it needs to focus on your reader's needs. It should provide helpful information and ways to solve problems for your readers.

Who your readers are can fall out of your final topic list. If you're blogging about beauty, you will most likely be reaching women. If it's car repair, your audience may be mostly men.

Starting a blog step 1: Choosing your blog niche | A Relaxed Gal: Hair + Beauty + Blogging + Finance

4. How often do I want to post?

You may be wondering what does this have to do with your blog niche. Some types of blogs require more frequent posting than others. For example, if you want to have a blog about deals, you may want to blog every day so you're providing your audience with the most up-to-date deals.

If your blog's focus is about how to blog or beauty a less frequent cadence may work for you. The key to posting is creating a schedule and sticking with it. Being consistent. By posting consistently on a schedule, you give your readers a reason to come back. New content!

There are several successful bloggers out there who post once a week, multiple times a week, every day and even several times a day. My schedule is one new post a week that goes live Saturday mornings. Occasionally I'll have a mid-week post. Usually, that post has information that's best posted within a certain time frame.


After asking yourself these questions you should have all the information you need to craft a mission statement. If you decide to write a mission statement, in addition, to be simple and clear it should include:
  • What your blog does
  • How it does it
  • Who it's for

You may go through various iterations and multiple rewrites until you settle a final statement. My mission statement for A Relaxed Gal is "To help women live more relaxed lives by providing helpful information, tips and inspiration around hair care, beauty and specific lifestyle topics."

Once you've determined the focus for your blog and perhaps crafted your mission statement, everything else can start to fall into place. Knowing the focus of your blog can help you:
  • Create a blog name
  • Determine your blog layout and navigation
  • Choose your brand colors

Next, I'll be sharing tips for choosing your blog name, look and feel.

What is your blog focus/niche? Share in the comments along with a link to your blog.



P.S. Check out the tutorials and tips link party at Home Stories A to Z.

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2 comments:

  1. This was very simple, clear and precise post. Extremely well written.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Tomes! Glad you enjoyed it. Do you have any blogging tips you'd like to share?

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