Investing in a Start-Up Blog
One of my favorite roles in this line of work is advising clients on how to advance a new blog. It’s rewarding to watch subscriber numbers rise, traffic increase, engagement develop and community support grow as a blog matures from infancy.
Generally, there are a bunch of reasons one may want to start a blog:
- To build authority by demonstrating expertise in a specialty field.
- To establish a communication platform for announcements, case studies and accomplishments.
- To develop relevant content on your site that supports SEO goals.
- To create an outlet for your passion and interests and share them with others.
Working with a blogger whose primary interest in blogging is rooted in that last reason is so much fun. These bloggers are often the most motivated, most eager to learn, and quickest to take your recommendations to heart. They’re hungry for information and willing to try almost anything ─ they’re basically a dream client.
In helping to build up a blog from early days, I noticed that one enthusiastic client was looking for what more could be done to promote the blog and gain a following. The challenge became weighing which investments of time and resources would have the greatest payoffs. That’s how we came up with some basic rules of thumb for investing in a start-up blog.
Do invest time. This one’s a no-brainer. You’re going to have to commit time to the endeavor. Probably a lot of thankless, unnoticed time that feels like it disappears into the abyss, until, slowly but surely, you notice that readership and subscriber numbers are growing.
Do invest your self ─ or at least a persona. Yes, you should use your real name in the bio. Yes, you should include a nice picture of yourself on the about page and in your social media profiles. Fear of losing your online anonymity is most likely a stage that will come to pass. Jump in head first. It’ll get you and your blog noticed and off the ground faster.
Don’t invest money in technology. For the most part, a blogging platform like WordPress and a great looking theme is available for free. There are too many free options to justify paying for blog building blocks in start-up mode. Wait til your blog pays you back or you’ve stuck to blogging on the regular for six months before you consider buying technology to support your blog.
Don’t invest ego. Don’t wrap up your self-worth or confidence in your blog. Set goals, certainly, and learn from mistakes and successes. But don’t start thinking that you are your blog. Rather, you’re a farmer tending to a garden, planting seeds, inviting exposure, feeding, pruning, and watching it grow. Be proud of your accomplishments, but don’t beat yourself up when it takes time to gain popularity.
Are you a self-starting blogger? What did you find worked or didn’t work as you invested in the maturation of your blog?