There’s a sad fact about the majority of blogs: they’re all starting to look the same. It takes a lot of time and effort to create a blog that really stands out. But there is one big rule to follow if you want to create a blog that shines:
Teach people something valuable.
Do-it-yourself blogs, or DIY blogs, have become a trend recently. Given the above statements, this makes sense. Instead of rewriting news and regurgitating the same material as everyone else, DIY bloggers are sharing their unique knowledge with the world. The best part is that anyone can start a DIY blog.
Before you take the leap, though, take some time to create a plan. These steps might help you along the way.
1. Pick a niche
If you were to start a general tech blog today, you’d probably fail. There are already many established tech blogs, so it’s tough to stand out. Instead, you’d pick a niche inside of technology and seek a smaller but more focused audience. The same goes for DIY blogs.
It might be tempting to blog about car repair, home improvement, arts and crafts, decoration, and all sorts of DIY projects. The more you cover, you think, the more people will visit. But chances are you’ll just spread yourself too thin and not provide the kind of valuable content readers desire.
2. Have a baseline of knowledge
You can learn anything. It’s one of the great parts of being human (and having an internet connection). But when it comes to teaching, you must have a baseline of knowledge. Without that you won’t be able to effectively teach anyone. So pick something that you already know, at least a bit. There’s time for learning, but establishing authority is important.
Think about it this way: would you learn a musical instrument from someone who was just a couple of lessons ahead of you? If you’re like me you’d want someone who has some credibility and authority. So make sure you pick something that you already know — or wait until you know it to start the DIY blog.
3. Learn everything and more
Now that you’ve picked a topic that you know about, it’s time to dig in and learn everything about it. That means reading all available materials, asking questions of experts, and doing anything else it takes to become an expert yourself. If you’re doing a home improvement blog and couldn’t tell a reader about the different types of floor heating systems, you’re doing it wrong.
You might not need this knowledge right off the bat, but it will help in the future. Plus, readers will always have questions. It’s best to be prepared with all the answers you possibly can. Learning everything about your subject will make that easy.
4. Balance search and social
The great thing about DIY blogs is that they play to the two major traffic referral sources: social and search. The combination can bring you traffic much faster than you’d realize from a different topic.
DIY brings search traffic, because DIY posts offer answers to questions. When people search in Bing or Google, they’re seeking specific information. Maybe that’s a recent headline, but more likely it’s information on how to do something (or how to buy something). With some careful SEO, you can make sure your site ranks for relevant terms.
DIY brings social traffic, because people are more apt to share articles when they learn something. The text gets passed around on Twitter, while any high-resolution images you include can get passed around on Facebook.
The biggest advantage of starting a DIY blog: People are more apt to come back. If you teach someone something valuable, they will thank you for that. In the online age, there is no better way to thank someone than through patronage. They’ll come back for more of your guides, and might even recommend you to friends.
Blogging is a crowded space, but there is still plenty of room for people to create and grow. The DIY space is nothing new, but done right it can still bring in a large and focused audience. Follow these steps and you’ll put yourself in position to write for an audience the size of which you’ve never realized.