This is the second part of our Blogging Basics series where we talk about 5 elements of an epic blog.
You can listen to the first part by clicking this link: FBP 089: Blogging Basics Part 1 – Why Blogging Is Good For You
The 5 Elements of an Epic Blog
1. The right niche.
A niche is a segment or sub-segment of an existing market.
The market is“Business.”
A segment of that market is“Freelancing.”
And a sub-segment of “Freelancing” is“Freelancing in the Philippines,” which basically is what Freelance Blend is all about.
But, how do you choose the “right” niche for your?
You can do the Market Map, a process I learned from Pat Flynn.
It starts with the 3 Ps: Places, People, and Products.
Here is how to create your very own Market Map.
Get a piece of paper or open a word document or an excel spreadsheet and write down the following:
- Where do your ideal customers hangout?
- What forums?
- What Facebook groups?
- What LinkedIn groups?
- What websites or blogs?
Come up with at least 20 places where they hangout and write them down on your document or spreadsheet.
Who are the influencers – the big people – in your industry?
Do a simple Google search, a Twitter search, or a Facebook search.
You can also ask your ideal customers or clients who they follow online.
List down at least 10 influencers.
What are the products that your target customers are purchasing?
You can do a research using Amazon, the biggest online marketplace in the world. Type your keyword on the search bar (example: hover board) and look at the list of available products (usually books) that Amazon generates.
You can also go to Udemy and alternatively search for courses about your topic.
You can then use the information you have researched through all these methods to position yourself in your chosen market in a way that makes sense to your target audience.
For example, if hover board users are your target audience and they hangout in Facebook, it’s only logical to build a following there. You can start a Facebook Group for hover board fans and start a blog that you will promote through Facebook.
Using the list of 10 influencers in the hover board industry, which you came up with, create and implement a plan to collaborate with these influencers. You can interview then through your blog or podcast.
Once you’re ready to sell a product to your audience, you can then use the list of product ideas you generated from your Amazon or Udemy research to fill in any missing elements in the market and create a product or service that your target audience wants.
2. A winning web design
Here’s the hard truth: nobody refers an ugly website.
A well designed website shows that you’re serious about your business and visitors will see that.
I hired a web designer to make myself stand out so don’t be afraid to invest in a well-designed website because it will not only grow your business from the get-go, more importantly, it will inspire you to work on your business every day.
3. Memorable blog and domain names
If you’re a blogger or a freelancer, you can start with your name.But if you’re a business you have to think of memorable blog and domain names.
How do you choose names?
Here are a few tests you can run.
The Friend (or Spouse) Test
List all your domain ideas then ask a friend (or your spouse) what he/she thinks about the names. Someone else can provide you with a different perspective on your name choices and that’s really something you have to value.
The Domain Name Test
Be sure to also check if your domain name is available or not.
This is easy to do with Go Daddy.
The Sound Test
Does your name sound nice?
A domain name like “therapist.com” may sound like “the rapist dot com” to someone else.
Be careful with the names you choose.
The Social Media Test
Check other social media platforms and see if your blog and domain names were already taken in those platforms. Remember, you need social media to promote your website and having the name in the social media platforms you choose for yourself will be a big help.
Go to namechk.com to check the availability of your desired names in other social media platforms.
4. Shareable and killer content
A beautifully designed website is useless if its content is, well…useless.
Give a reason for visitors to come back and frankly speaking, content is still king.
5. A community around the blog
If you want to grow a business through your blog, your blog should no longer be just an online journal. It should no longer be just about yourself. It should cater to your choses niche. It should form a community around it.
A successful blog is a blog that takes care of a community. And remember, a community does not only involve your readers, they also include other bloggers – colleagues who may guest post in your blog or share your content to their followers.
This is how a business starts.
When there is a community around your website, you can start to build a product or service you can offer to them.