How to Start a Meaningful Blog in 2017

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I started this blog in February of 2017 and let me tell you, it’s easier said than done.  Well, the part of starting the blog is extremely easy.

If you need help with starting up your blog, view my post on How To Create a WordPress Blog with Bluehost.

After you’re all squared away with the domain, the WordPress integration, and the theme, what’s next?  Here’s what I’ve learned from my personal experience:

1.) Research, research, and do more research.

I’ve found that Twitter is a great resource for doing research on your “competition”  I wrote competition in quotes because if you really sit down and think about it, they are your competition.  Your competing for viewers.  Unless you’re creating a private blog that only you want to see, your end goal is to get people to come and read what you write.  Obviously the readers can visit more than one blog, however, you want them to keep coming back to yours.  Using Twitter, I stumbled upon so many great resources that have helped me form new ideas for how I’d like to structure my site.

I created my Twitter account the same day I bought my domain and set up my account.  If you’re like me, you’ll want your handle to match your website name (@climbtomillion).  Then, I started following a few people that I found before opening my account.  My next step was to look at their followers and start following them as well (related to my niche).  Once their posts start rolling into your feed, you can start browsing around and getting new ideas for your own blog.

2.) Listen to podcasts.

Podcasts are a great way to learn about other blogger’s personal experiences.  Before I came up with the idea to start a blog, I was browsing Facebook and came across an article about the Mad Fientist.  I found out that he had a podcast and listened to a few of them on the way to and from work.  Learning more about the journey to financial independence from others, I was immediately inspired to do the same.  Not only is a good source of inspiration, it can also give you some ideas of what you want to write about.

3.) Find out what makes you unique.

What’s your value proposition?  How are you going to attract viewers?  I’ll be completely honest with you; at the time of writing this, I’m not 100% positive of what I’m bringing to the table yet.  I started this with the full intention to document my journey to financial freedom.  As time progresses, more content will be produced based upon increasing my knowledge surrounding financial independence.  I’ll leverage what I’ve learned with my experience in the working world and the research that I do on this subject, then create my value based upon that.

If you’re still not sure what will make you unique, think about your past life experiences.  Many blogs that I’ve come across say something the along the lines of “How I paid off $80,000 of debt within [x] months.”  Those that are in the same boat will migrate over to their blog to learn how they did it.  That’s their value.  Start thinking about yours.

  • Did you pay off debit in a short period of time?
  • Do you have a budgeting process that’s worth sharing?
  • Have you made any successful investments?
  • Were you able to generate any side income?
  • Do you have a certain skill set you’ve developed at your job?

4.) Create a plan for yourself…

Have a plan and stick with it.  What kind of plan?

  • How often are you going to post new content?
  • What is the content going to be about?
  • What different categories are you going to include?
  • What’s your plan with social media?
  • How are you going to market your blog?
  • Are you going to monetize your blog?  If so, how are you going to go about this?

These are questions that I’ve been asking myself.  With any plans or goals, write them down (on a piece of paper, an email to yourself, Google Docs/Spreadsheets, etc.).  With each question you ask, come up with actionable items against them.  Create deadlines for yourself by setting reminders on your phone or adding them to your calendar.

5.) …and stick to it.

If you feel discouraged during the beginning stages of starting your blog, don’t worry.  Stick to your plan and follow through.  I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve read “If you build it, they will come” and how this does not apply to blogs.  It’s true.  You can’t expect to start a blog, write a few posts, and see an influx of viewers right away.  You need to make sure that you’re following through the plan you set for yourself.

6.) Network with other bloggers.

Here’s how Google defines “network”: interact with other people to exchange information and develop contacts, especially to further one’s career.

You can network with other bloggers a few different ways.  Visit their blogs and comment and reply back to their tweets.  That’s what I started with.  It’s easy, not too intrusive, and gets the job done.  You want to make sure that you’re not posting JUST to link in your own blog.  An example of a meaningful comment would be, “Great post, I liked how you brought up [x].  I’ve had similar success doing [y].” However, it’s probably a good idea to have your username match your blog so people know where you’re coming from!

As I mentioned at the beginning, I’m just starting out myself.  I’m sure there are plenty of other “what’s next?” topics that well-established bloggers could add, but these have worked for me.  If you have anything that’s worked for you personally while getting started, don’t hesitate to share them below in the comments section here!

3 thoughts to “How to Start a Meaningful Blog in 2017”

  1. Good post, I recently had other bloggers contribute to a post on my site. It ended up being great content, I established some relationships, and many of them promoted the post, so a number of wins.

  2. I just listened to the podcast! Thank you for sharing these tips 🙂 I really like this community. Everyone is so helpful and encouraging to each other.

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