Beginners Guide before Starting a Blog

Guest Post By TIP Guy

The motivation (or perhaps the idea) to write this post sprung out of (1) An online discussion I had with one of the fellow bloggers; and (2) A lunch time discussion I had with my colleague at work place. Based on these discussions and reading quite a few blogs, ironically, and to some extend intriguing is the fact that many folks want to start a blog with some objectives in mind. Many want to start their own blog to learn, to share, to interact, etc. Majority open the blog with the hidden desire to have a side income but they are little hesitant to accept it openly.

For the sake of statistics, only one to two percent of the bloggers succeed in generating truly passive income. The rest 98% to 99% bloggers who attempt to generate any serious side income from their blog fail. The barrier to enter a blog-o-sphere is very low. Theoretically, one can start a blog in less than 15 minutes with zero investments. Furthermore, there is a school of thought (or misunderstanding?) that reading few how-to articles and to-do list, the so called passive income or side income will trickle in.

In this post, I am discussing few key aspects that every individual wanting to start a blog should think about even before you actually setup the blog.

Blog to Add Value for your Readers

Add Value

Pick a niche subject for your blog where you can share your expertise. The subject matter for your blog should be such that you are passionate about it. Many folks have no clue what is their niche. I suggest you do a simple experiment. To test your expertise or passion for any given subject, check to see whether you can write or think on same topic in two or three different ways. I do not mean re-wording in two or three different ways. It means two or three different perspectives that lead to different conclusions.

One of the foremost aspects of blogging is to have utmost respect for our readers. Blog readers are smart, intelligent, and always eager to learn more. The topics or discussions that you write about should be valuable to the reader (i.e. reader should feel that it was worthwhile to come to this blog). They come to your blog for adding value to their thought process and not to teach you.

Let us take two examples: (1) Everybody knows about BCCI battering down ICL. Many in blog-o-sphere and media has covered it but failed to analyze the lost opportunity. (2) Recently, removal of mutual fund entry fee received wide coverage. Again, in this me too world, majority of blogger repeated the beaten track that it is beneficial. Did you read any pros and cons whether there are any real benefits?

Shared Learning is Two Way Street

Share

Another aspect that I have seen on the blogs is many folks start the blog introduction with the description that says, they are here to learn, they are here to share what they know, etc. That is a mistake. My question to all those bloggers is this; when you are learning, why would one come to read your blog? If I want to learn how to play cricket, I would go to the professional coach. I would not go to play with a learner! One should realize the fact that shared learning is a two way street. You provide any thought provoking argument, and comments will follow, which will help you get a different perspective.

It is perfectly acceptable to start a blog to learn and interact with fellow blogger. There is nothing wrong in it. However, demonstrate your learning process by showing and discussing your thought process. Let us take an example. If you are learning to analyze a stock, you should write post that shows what is the basis for analysis, what method you are using, what are your resources, and what are your conclusions. My observations have been that majority of the folks do a blog survey, and publish with re-wording or summarize. That’s not learning.

Don’t Fool Yourself

Be Yourself

Another mistake new bloggers do is, they say they are here to help others in their endeavor, and not for making money.

  • If that’s the case, why does your blog have three Google ad sense advertisements? Bloggers include all three allowable ads, and still say they are not blogging for money.
  • On many investment sites, bloggers have subscription based stock tips and advices and still proclaim that they want to help individuals to succeed in investing or personal finance.

Ironical, intriguing, or hypocritical? You be the judge.

It is perfectly acceptable to say you are blogging to earn side income. Again, there is nothing wrong in it. However, being honest to your readers and letting them know upfront will only help you make your case.

Remember, growing your blog is like growing a Mango tree. It requires proper seeding and nurturing for a period of time. If done right, fruits are bound to grow for you to enjoy them. It requires patience and persistence to grow a Mango Tree, while a grass grows with much effort. Before you click away what is your thoughts on following two questions:

  1. What do you prefer, growing mango tree for fruits or grass for nothing but aesthetic beauty?
  2. What is difficult, to get a web traffic or to sustain the web traffic?

I would like to hear from you so leave your thoughts and comments below.

This article was written by TIP Guy. He writes on his blog, TIPBlog.in, where he encourages individuals to invest on their own. He discusses an any and all aspect that influences portfolio construction and its sustainability. The unique aspect about his blog is that all of the discussion is in the context of do-it-yourself individual investors and bloggers.

Hello, I am Guest Author. Thank you for reading!

This entry was submitted by a guest author. If you wish to contribute, please contact me for my terms.

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41 Comments.

  1. Anish K.S says:

    Thanks Arun, its a good post i will check the ” TIP Guy “

  2. iWrite2Know says:

    The initial stage of Blogging should be to build upon a large archive. Once that is achieved in about 6 months, continue publishing regularly. Wait for (or approach) sponsors come to your blog. Money will follow but you need patience.

  3. I especially like the subtopic of “Shared Learning is Two Way Street”. I have adapted this principle for so long yet it never fails to bring amazing results. πŸ™‚

    • Exactly. I share something in the content area and I learn from the comments area. Reader comments are always full of new tips! Thanks for dropping in!

    • TIP Guy says:

      But it is easier said than done. Share learning is based on being proactive (and not reactive). It usually takes time. We are very impatient by nature and hence ignore this aspect.

      Arun: I too learn a lot from reader comments/questions. Sometimes the questions/info so simple that I ignored, and sometimes they are really out of blue. As an individual, one cannot think all options/possibilities.

  4. Amal Roy says:

    It is easy to generate web traffic. We need to put some effort in sustaining them. I too agree blogging for money is no wrong. See amit agarwal from labnol.org. His income is only through adsense from his blog. But just see his blog and nobody will say that he blogs for money. That’s the way it should be. I think his blog might be an apt answer to this article.

    • Amit has custom adsense ads (he is a premium publisher) that lets him integrate his ads really well. He can be called the master of blending ads with content πŸ™‚

  5. That’s some good advise to the blogging buddies who want to make it big. The blogging intentions, of late, is hovering around MMO. Everyone wants to make money online and they believe that having a blog is the easiet route to get there. It’s like during the dot com boost, every tom, dick and harry wanted to be a programmer πŸ˜›

    Unless, somebody has decent writing skills, commitment and patience, blogging is not very easy. Also, initially one has to spend a lot of time building quality content and pillar posts. Once you have decent traffic and acceptance you may slow down a bit (if it’s taking toll on you). But there’s no easy route to become famous in the blogosphere!

    • I think right now, you need to work hard for three months building pillars and traffic and then you should work smart to find ways to promote it. Smarter ones always make it big. Anyway, its not easy, but its lot of fun πŸ™‚

    • TIP Guy says:

      Ajith: Good to know your thoughts are similar to mine. I visited your blog, and you have a very good setup. I will be visiting more often now. Best Wishes,

      Arun: If one enjoy the process, it is surely more fun! I know I do.

  6. Chat Business says:

    Nice guest post you made here TIP guy! Enjoyed reading it although it is not really for me.

  7. lawmacs says:

    Just brilliant as i am new to blogging every little information helps

  8. Sushant says:

    A must read for every blogger

  9. rajini bhatt says:

    As usual, an excellent piece from TIP Guy. I am fan of his investing blog and I have been badgering him about writing on his blogging experience. Did not know he wrote it here.

    @Arun – I also like his style of writing. I cannot describe it.. but it is more of like discussion.

    I think the key here is “sharing is two way street”…. how many blogger (or Indians?) really understand its meaning. The attitude of “what can I get out of it” needs to stop… then only a blog can become successful.

    Thanks Arun for the post.

  10. JAGAN says:

    last point “Don’t Fool Yourself” touch me the most.great keep on posting like such posts.last point…. inspiring too

  11. TD_GURU says:

    That was very good article i wish i could have find it before….

  12. jon money maker says:

    Well done my dear. Good info

  13. Raja says:

    Lovely Post from TIP Guy and thanks to Arun for publishing it.

    I have these points which i would like to get some clarification on:

    1. Are there only certain type of blogging topics which are ultimately able to generate some revenue ? For example finance(TIP), technology(labnol), travel etc ? Is there a scope for meaningfully monetizing blog based on other topics like say gardening or other hobbies ?

    2. “Blog to Add Value for your Readers” – Are there some exceptions to this ?? The question comes from my perspective of maintaining a gardening blog since a year(it’s not monetized). I would like to believe am not really adding any value. May be few people once in blue moon might be getting inspired from my blog and starting to do gardening, but apart from that mine is surely not educational. In fact am a newbie and gardening only since a year. It’s more recreational. On a different note i feel gardening enthusiasts and bloggers are different lot. They would just enjoy seeing another’s harvest pics on the blog and feel very satisfied and encouraged. So, i see a decent amount of traffic and interaction even on the gardening blog.

    Of course after seeing the popularity of games like farmville on facebook I wonder if we urbanites are probably having some unmet need in terms of connecting to nature which when fulfilled even from a online game has made it so popular. But that’s different topic!

    So, the question really is can blogs based on topics like gardening which not necessarily add much value be monetized ??

    3.”Shared Learning is Two Way Street” – While i surely agree on this one and i have personally had good amount of learning from TIP Guy and infact spent quite a few days reading most of his archive posts. Again, is there a scope for newbies (in any field) to start expecting monetization to work for their blog ?

    May be if i were to ask this question directly to TIP Guy, i would be asking – Can you imagine yourself starting to invest just recently and still maintaining the blog about your learnings on investing and hoping for monetization. Do you think it would have still worked ? Of course the amount of earning and the kind of readship would have definitely been different (that’s acceptable).

    If the answer to this is no. That would mean one should start blogging and hope for monetization only when one is a expert on a topic?? That’s probably a huge entry barrier not very common in any other industry πŸ˜‰

    On another note I feel there are few category of bloggers (that i have come across).

    One category who are into blogging to just maintain a kind of an online diary, not much ambition from MMO. They will be just happy if their own circle (friends and relatives) read it and maybe occasionaly few outside readers. If there are more reader’s they enjoy the accompanied recognition and just happy to bask in that glory πŸ™‚ (May be me and MIP -one of tip guy’s reader – are in that category πŸ™‚ ). Some from this category probably occasionally dabble with MMO and may be fail and walk off saying there is no money to be made in blogosphere.

    The other category is the smart blogger. Everyday they just pick up the headlines (be it tech topic or general) add a few line of their own comment(not much value). They are smart to play on SEO techniques and are probably earning a decent amount. Won’t like to name any examples but there surely few on the blogosphere.

    The other category is more of a value blogger. They really know what they are talking about or at least have spent quite a bit of time researching the topic and have the intelligence and integrity to value the reader’s intelligence. TIP Guy you surely fall in this category πŸ™‚

    Enjoyed reading the post and have almost written a post here in the comment section πŸ™‚

    Regards
    Raja

    • TIP Guy says:

      Raja,

      Wow!! It is indeed a post -size comment. You have good questions, and I think I understand your dilemma.

      “Yes, it can be done” are answers to all your questions about gardening blog, monetization, value add for audience, etc. If you are determined to make that happen (which you seem to have), then the only question remaining is “how/what/when” (which you trying to explore).

      Since the topic is little different, you have to take a little different path w.r.t timeframe, adding value, effort, target audience, etc. You cannot use the same metrics that all other blogs use.

      Your post-size comment deserves a post-size response. I will write a post about it.

      Best Wishes,

    • @Raja,
      I quickly went through your queries and thought of pitching in to comment πŸ™‚

      1 & 2. In principle any blog from any domain can be monetized. However, certain niches get to do it better as they churn out more traffic and more advertising/affiliate opportunities. Blogs like yours can definitely monetized but it depends a great deal on how much traffic you get from countries like USA. I quickly went through the traffic figures for keywords such as ‘organic gardening’, organic kitchen gardening’, ‘organic garden’ etc. In fact, the keyword ‘organic gardening’ receive a decent amount of traffic that can be monetized via AdSense and affiliate products. The challenge here is that the organic farming techniques, tools, supplies, fertilizers, types of vegetables etc vary from country to country. Hence, unless there’re post topics related to certain related products, the chances are minimal. And in India, the affiliate sales on such products have limited opportunities though in the future things might change. By then probably you have a self hosted blog as well to tap into the new niche opportunities.

      You have an awesome value blog and those green topics & pictures are a treat to anyone’s eyes. But the question is have you made it public enough? Via submitting to search engines, commenting on related blogs, writing articles on related sites, submitting to directories etc? Have you got a facebook profile for your page (you may even attract farmville fans).

      3. I probably have blogs in all categories as you mentioned πŸ™‚ Some of my blogs are pure musings (non-monetized) while some others are pure MMO stuff. However, since I enjoy writing I keep myself going. If pure monetization is my goal, I would have picked only those money making niches (where I am not necessarily the master) but for me blogging is more than that. I have been going through your blog and am very happy that you are writing about something that you like and based on real life experience. There are 100s of such beautiful bloggers in India who are not bothered about making money while pouring their heart out where as most younger generation kids are mainly about content that can be marketed well and make money…their aim is to make money and not necessarily add value.

      Hope I answered some of your questions.

      Best…
      Ajith

      • Raja says:

        Hi Ajith,

        Thanks for your detailed reply. It makes lot of sense.
        As per your question to point number 2. No, i haven’t done any of those. But then do they come first ? or after i have monetized and expect some return for the hard work that i put to publicize ?

        Regards
        Raja

        • @Raja,
          First you have to build decent amount of traffic via the mechnisms I mentioned and then monetize via various affiliate offerings. But this works well when you have your own domain name. I took a look at your quantcast data and looks like you are on the right track.

          (Try using Google analytics instead of quantcast for better traffic analytics)

  14. Theresa Jordan says:

    I am new to internet marketing and blogging. I was looking on information that I could use to build my blog. Great content to help with getting ready to start your blog.

  15. exjockerx says:

    LoL i wish i read this post before i make a blog. i never think any of this when i started my blog.now i experience a difficult to write a blog post that i know nothing about it.

  16. SubmitYOURArticle.com says:

    Hi TIPguy!

    You got some good points sorted out. One thing though, I find some of your post much arguable like stating that it is a mistake to say that new bloggers aren’t in it for the money, much likely not true to some people. I could really say that not everyone made a blog with the knowledge that they can make money from it(only very few though). Still, I can’t deny that some bloggers are hypocrites(unknowingly I maybe one of them). Nonetheless, I also really agree that when starting a blog, it should be a topic that you like or is passionate about…

    Cheers Mate!

  17. I am new to all this. There are a million rights and wrongs but the most important thing has to be content. If what you write is not interesting then its over before you start. Thanks for all the info.

  18. Aca says:

    you are right with the point of making money. Honesty is always the best policy. Somebody will even ask for an advice on how to earn money. you will gain a new follower immediately.

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