What do you get when you come across a blog that has 6 personal finance logo designs, a viral Doritos Crash The Superbowl video, several NYC headshot photography posts and an Insanity before and after transformation? Yep... That's right. The Jai Catalano blog. Ok so I am not the most niche blogger in the world but people like stopping by. In fact, I have an average of 18,000 visitors a month and the money isn't bad either so I will continue blogging the way I do for now. However, I DO NOT recommend the average person do things the way I do. I mean fun is fun but this is a business that I take seriously. That is why when my stepfather came to me and told me he wanted to start a blog about investing I said I know EXACTLY what you need. You need to read my 8 Things You Shouldn't Do Starting A New Website.
1. Don't Buy Free or Cheap Web Hosting
I love to save money and I love to make money but you will not save or make any money if you use free or cheap web hosting. Weebly, which I absolutely love, has a free section to their service but it is very slow and it comes with the free advertisement link attached on every page that is a terrible eye sore. The fact is free sometimes makes you look cheap and cheap is not how you want to present yourself to the internet world.
2. Don't Create A Bad Domain Name
Coming up with a good domain name is very difficult to do nowadays. People create and buy domain names all the time so they can sell them to niche audiences for a profit. A good domain name should have something about or close to your niche in it. For example I created a website for my friend who has a fitness business. Guess what she named it? All About U Fitness.
3. Don't Be Random
The people you market in your niche want specific tips, tricks or information about their the topic you are knowledgable about. If you are random or too general in your ideology they will tune out and go somewhere else for the goods. Unless you are tons of fun like me and already have a following don't be random or else you will find yourself blogging to your dog.
4. Don't Focus Only On Keywords
Keywords are important. They are a part of the business which makes a blogger thrive financially but just focusing on keywords is a selfish thing to do because it neglects your audience that has put their trust in you. Focus on your audience first as well as your market and then worry about your keywords. Not the other way around.
5. Don't Forget Great Content
How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice practice practice. Luckily for me I practiced enough as a salsa dancer to have been able to dance there. However, if their audience is going to pay top dollar to see a performance they are going to want to see great content. That is why when you write, blog, post or add pages to your website you always need to give it your very best quality.
6. Don't Post Sporadically
Set a schedule when you post so that your audience can look forward to what you have to offer. Imagine American Idol airing at random times during the week. People would get frustrated and tune out. The reason they have 35 million viewers a week is because they know when to tune in. Let your market know when you plan to do something by posting a blogging schedule and if you decide to change it let them know in advance.
7. Don't Forget Your Key Audience
It's easy to go off topic. It is actually fun sometimes. However, keep your market in your vision and focus on what they want from you and not what you want from them. If you feel you want to branch off onto a subject that relates to your niche then ease your audience into it so they don't think you have forgotten about them and their needs.
8. Don't Forget To Give Back
This one is sometimes overlooked. Even some of the top bloggers forget to give back to their people. However, I have noticed that most of the great bloggers in Yakezie constantly find ways to give back to their niche market by giving away free stuff or blogging about other people or blogs which helps drive traffic and eventually money to other sites. Give back and expect nothing and I guarantee great things will come out of it.
Have a 9th thing you shouldn't do when starting a new website? Post it below.
6/18/2012 12:41:40 pm
I'm definitely guilty of being a bit too random. I tend to cram several niches into one, but at least the variety keeps things interesting. You're right though, for most blogs, a nice tight niche is best.
6/18/2012 12:45:09 pm
Jeremy that is beyond well said. It takes a hell of a long time and patience.
6/19/2012 11:29:16 am
Don't forget to network. You can put out the most premium content in the world but if nobody knows about it, you'll never see any traffic and it'll get frustrating and you'll quit. The trick is to network. Comment on other blogs. Join discussion groups or forums and engage in meaningful dialogue. Find people who are willing to help you and answer questions, and when the time is right and you've become more established, don't forget to return that favor to others just starting off.
6/19/2012 11:39:39 am
I think you make an excellent point that should be put in as a 9th point.
6/19/2012 08:43:53 pm
Hey, what's wrong with sporadic posting? Sometimes life takes over, and you have to do what you have to do. I sometimes do it sporadically. But I do admit that I try to stick to some kind of schedule. :)
6/19/2012 09:34:18 pm
If it's a breaking news report then yes sporadic adds to it but sticking to a schedule is helpful. By the way I am not perfect at it either. :)
6/19/2012 10:59:15 pm
I agree with Money Beagle that networking is huge. Other than that I think you hit some key points on the head. Your blog is a bit random, but that is why I like it. If I hadn't met you through networking though I can't say for sure if I would have found it.
6/20/2012 06:23:47 am
A bit? You are being nice. :).
6/20/2012 09:52:40 am
9) Don't start a blog on a topic that you are not really interested in. It is a long game and you want to like writing about this topic the coming few years at least.
6/20/2012 10:00:35 am
Actually that's 10. 9 has been taken by Money Beagle above. But you are absolutely right.
6/20/2012 04:39:40 pm
That's actually an awesome list. I still haven't mastered them all, but maybe one day. :-)
6/20/2012 04:47:17 pm
A lot of people say the same thing. :)
6/21/2012 02:48:50 pm
And don't forget to promote your tonsils out!
6/21/2012 02:52:19 pm
Eloquently put. :)
6/25/2012 03:08:47 am
Oh so so true. I used to be all about the numbers too. Well said.
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