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How to Find Your Blogging Niche

How to Find Your Blogging Niche

Starting a blog is hard on the front end. There are so many different decisions to make and it can often be hard to know that right answer. Choosing the niche that you want to write about is a hard decision because if you are like me, you have a lot of different things you like. It’s not a good idea to make a blog about everything (there’s no specific audience for that!) I’ve got a few questions for you to help you narrow your focus and choose a sustainable niche.

What do you enjoy?

It’s important to blog about something that you enjoy. It’s the first step to finding your niche. When I first sat down to figure out what I could blog about, I made a list of all the things I liked to do.  This included things like crocheting, reading, and productivity. It was a big brainstorming session for me.

Will you get sick of this quickly?

I knew right away that I would tire quickly of writing about crochet or reading. These were things that were good hobbies but exhausting business plans for me. There are probably several things on your list that fit in this category. This doesn’t mean that you stop doing them, you just don’t need to write about them on your blog.

Do you enjoy reading about this topic?

I read a lot of different blogs on various topics. Many of them talk about productivity and organization. I knew that it was really fun and easy for me to stay engaged with the productivity conversation on other blogs, so transferring that to my own blog would be pretty easy. If there are any blogs that you gravitate towards, consider their topic or a variation of it for your own. If you like it, you’ll write it.

Is this something people want to know about?

This is probably the biggest thing when choosing a blogging niche: Will people want to read about it. For instance, I love the lighthouses of Lake Superior. I could research them all day and be totally fulfilled. Unfortunately, the audience for a blog about lighthouses on Lake Superior is extremely small. It wouldn’t be a viable idea to make a business out of it. Productivity is definitely a topic that people are interested in and will probably be interested in in variations until the end of time. My sub-topics, travel and working from home, are also topics that with endure.

The biggest thing you want to remember for your niche is picking something that goes with your flow. I like making plans and checklists, so researching productivity is right in my wheelhouse. If you are having difficulty with this, try making a list of ideas for the niche you think you want and write a few posts. If you can see yourself wanting to do that on a monthly basis, it’s probably a good niche for you. Do you have any suggestions for someone looking for their blogging niche? What niche have you picked?

Blogging Resources That Save My Sanity

Blogging Resources That Save My Sanity

This post contains affiliate links. Please read our affiliate policy.

Setting up a blog is relatively straightforward, but only after you do a little research. I know that I was completely lost when I first conceived of the idea. In this article, I’ll go through all of my common resources that I have used and recommend.

Setting Up Your Blog

There are three things you need to set up a blog: a domain, hosting, and WordPress. Getting a domain and hosting can come out of the same place. I use BlueHost for my hosting and I love them! It was easy to sign up and relatively inexpensive. I also use WordPress.org to build my blog. There are a lot of places that will teach you how to build a blog. I used The Blog Starter to set mine up. Building a Framework is also an awesome resource that I’ve used.

Plugins

Plugins help your site to function differently without you having to code. I’m no good at coding, so I use a lot of plugins to help me out. Here are a few that every blog should probably have (or at least a form of them.)

Akismet Anti-Spam: It filters out spam comments. A lifesaver!

Google Analytics Dashboard for WP: Google Analytics is important, especially if you want to monetize. This plugin makes viewing them easy.

Jetpack by WordPress.com: You can get all of the perks of WordPress.com on WordPress.org.

UpdraftPlus Backup: My whole site is backed up weekly to Dropbox.

WP Forms: This is a super simple plugin that makes forms for your readers to fill out. Check it out on my contact page.

Yoast SEO: This plugin helps me to view the readability of my posts and optimize for SEO.

Other Resources

Scheduling my social media posts gives me a lot more time in my week to do other things. I use Buffer to schedule Facebook and Instagram and have had awesome success with them. I just got into Later for my Pinterest scheduling. The jury is still out on them, so I’ll keep you posted if they are any good.

My last two resources don’t really fit in anywhere but are very important. I use Photoshop for all my photo editing and graphics creation. I’ve been working with Adobe products for years and have always liked them (even if I don’t like the pricing structure.) I also use Grammarly to check the spelling and grammar of my posts. It’s an awesome tool and everyone with a computer should use it even if you don’t have a blog.

If you are thinking of starting a blog, I would love to hear about it. If you have any questions or suggestions, please comment! I would love to hear what you think!

How to Create a Content Calendar

How to Create a Content Calendar

If you are serious about your blog, you need a content calendar. Hands down. Creating a consistent posting schedule is the first step to having a successful blog. It gives you structure and goals to work towards. It also encourages you to post more often. Here is my content calendar and the various tools I use in it.

I use an Excel spreadsheet to track my content for my blog and social media accounts. You could use Google Calendar, too, if you are a visual person. I have my blog’s content calendar in the picture above. The columns are pretty self-explanatory; I like to keep it simple.

I usually plan out for the next month at the beginning of the month previous. The first post for a month is always the thoughts from the previous month. After that, I fill in the rest of the month from my list of ideas. I try to have an equal amount of all the categories in each month, which is easy to see when I have it laid in front of me like this.

The notes column is probably the most important. I use this to track where I am in the course of making a post. As I complete different pieces, I delete them from the list. This way I can quickly look at my list to see what I need to do next. Once a post is completed, I color it green. Until then, it’s orange.

You can use a similar model for posting on social media. I have rough categories for each day of the week to make it easier for me to brainstorm and I write out what the post will say. I schedule all of my content using Buffer.

I got started on my content calendar using a post from Mommy Sanest. Hers is a little more complicated than mine. I’ve made a Google Doc of my content calendar, which I encourage you to save and modify for yourself.

Please tell me about your own content calendars! Has it helped you with your blogging? Do you have any suggestions for someone getting started? Do you have any questions about getting started?

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Blogging Goals: 3 Month Update

Blogging Goals: 3 Month Update

I’ve been hard at work making my blog a more successful endeavor. It’s definitely not easy getting a blog up off of the ground, but I have to say that I love this work! That makes it worth the time and effort. Here are my new and improved goals, which is an update to my post where I discuss my previous goals.

Completed Goals:

  • Build Confidence
    • I want to shout about my blog from the rooftops!
  • Maintain Posting Schedule
  • Complete Needed Admin Work
    • I’ve done a lot behind the scenes, like making pictures easier to edit and actually having a social media presence.

Short Term Goals (3 Months, December)

  • Start Sharing Posts on Pinterest
    • I’ve found a lot of the blogs that I follow on Pinterest, so I need to establish a presence on there.
  • Finish Blogging Books
    • I have several blogging books that I need to finish.

Medium Term Goals (6 Months, March)

  • Add a Newsletter
    • This one requires some research on my part, but I’m starting to build an email database.
  • Connect with Other Bloggers
    • Time to start following and commenting!

Long Term Goals (1 Year, August)

  • Have Preliminary Monetization in Place
    • I want to be making some amount of money by this point. Even if it’s very small.
  • Have Readers I Don’t Know Personally
    • I want to have readers I don’t know in real life; it’s that simple!

If you have started a blog, please tell me how it’s going! I would love to hear the advice of more experienced bloggers. And if you are thinking of starting a blog, please let me know!

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My Blogging Goals

My Blogging Goals

I started a blog! (Obviously)

Blogs are a lot of work! They require lots time and creativity. But I want to try my hand at it. I also want to make this blog a source of income, that way the investment I’m putting into it is, in fact, an investment.

Over the next year, I hope to move towards my goal of having an income from this blog. Below, I’ve laid out a few goals to help achieve that.

Short Term Goals (3 Months)

  • Build Confidence
    • I need to feel confident about sharing this blog with others. I think accomplishing this goal is all about getting past my own inhibitions.
  • Maintain a Posting Schedule
    • As I said before, creating content for a blog is a lot of work. I need to learn how to manage my time well enough to maintain a consistent schedule.
  • Complete All the Admin Work
    • There are a lot of little things that go into making a blog run. Like… A LOT. Over the next three months,  I’m going to slowly chip away at all of the little things that add up to making this blog run smoothly.

Medium Term Goals (6 Months)

  • Get Readers
    • It would be really cool to have more than just myself reading TLR. I think this will come as I build confidence in myself and my abilities.
  • Improve Writing Skills
    • This will happen naturally as I write more.
  • Add New Blog Series
    • I have some series up my sleeves that sounds pretty interesting. I’m hoping to start on them once I move to Washington state and quit my day job.

Long Term Goals (1 Year)

  • Have Preliminary Monetization in Place
    • I want to be making some amount of money by this point. Even if it’s very small.
  • Have Readers I Don’t Know Personally
    • I want to have readers I don’t know in real life; it’s that simple!

Hopefully, I’ve chosen goals that are measurable and attainable. At the beginning of August, I’ll revisit these goals and report on my progress (or lack there of?). In the mean time, I’d love to hear your thoughts about this or if you have any advice for me.

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