Starting A Blog? Ask Yourself These 40 Questions

April 2, 2015

So you have decided to start your own blog. Good for you!


Blogging is a great way to express yourself and share your ideas with the world. It can provide rewards many times over. I, personally, have tremendously enjoyed blogging over the years.


But as with any new undertaking, it’s not all perfume and roses. Blogging takes real work. It requires willpower and drive to keep going. And sometimes, it can be a bit lonely when you publish your thoughts into the ether, with no sign of a response.


Heck, in the early days you may not even have visitors to the site. Discouraging? Yes. A deal killer? Heck no!


I commend you on even considering your own blog. It took me over a year to finally get my own blog off the ground, and another couple of years to build any momentum. There were times when I looked in the mirror and asked myself, “Why do I do it? No one is reading!”


In the end, my willingness to stand up to a challenge and beat it into submission was the only thing that kept me going. Straight up willpower.


Everyone has a different experience with blogging. I’ve seen blogs launch, publish a few posts, and become overnight sensations for various reasons. Sure, it can happen, but it’s not the typical growth pattern. It can take months or even years. And you have to be resilient enough to ride it out.


Today I’m sharing a “brain dump” of things I asked myself when I was considering my foray into blogging the first time. They are in no particular order; merely a stream of consciousness style list.


Take a few minutes to read it before launching your own blog. Hopefully these questions will at least get you to focus on the right things to consider. And hopefully it minimizes surprises and disappointment for you along the way.


If any of this resonates with you, I’d love to hear about it. On that note, let’s get to the list…


Questions To Ask When Starting A Blog


  1. Why am I driven to blog? What is my vision?
  2. What niche or topic will be the focus?
  3. How much time do I have to devote to regular content generation?
  4. Do I want to self-host the site or launch on a blogging platform?
  5. What will be the domain for the site?
  6. Can I purchase my desired domain at a reasonable cost?
  7. How will I manage design and customization?
  8. Am I resilient enough to stick with it if traffic does not take off immediately?
  9. Would readers consider me a good writer, or am I willing to work at it until I become one?
  10. Where will I go to source images?
  11. Do I understand the difference between licensed images and creative commons?
  12. How will I decide on specific subjects to cover over time?
  13. What is the content strategy?
  14. Would I be open to allowing guest bloggers to post on my blog or is it for me only?
  15. How do I plan to promote the site?
  16. Do I have a good grasp of social media, or do I have a lot to learn still?
  17. Can I do my own SEO or do I need help with it?
  18. Who in my circle of friends and advisors can help me when I get overwhelmed?
  19. Do I have budget to buy what I can’t manage myself?
  20. What do I want to achieve by blogging in the first place?
  21. How do I know if I have been successful after time has passed?
  22. What is my level of comfort with HTML and basic coding techniques?
  23. What do I want the user experience (UX) to be for visitors to my blog?
  24. Do I have a network of contacts who can help me spread the word about the blog from the start?
  25. Am I filling a gap in the existing conversation and content or just another echo in the content marketing din?
  26. Is my target audience looking for another blog on this topic?
  27. Or are there existing bloggers who already have a lot of loyalty in their corner?
  28. Do I understand the correct way to write for the web?
  29. If not, how willing am I to learn it?
  30. Will I be able to figure out the more technical aspects of running a website?
  31. Do I have a passion for the subject matter or some other driver to keep me focused?
  32. Should it come to pass, how will I know that blogging is not for me?
  33. Is that even an issue to consider or am I dead set on seeing this through?
  34. Have I done ample research into what it takes to manage a blog to get ready for this?
  35. What sources will I use for advice and encouragement as the site evolves and grows?
  36. Where can I find relevant, high quality information on my topic or niche to help supplement my own ideas?
  37. What will be the tone of the writing on the blog (funny, educational, etc.)?
  38. Is my personality a fit for the tone I want to pursue? Can I authentically deliver that tone?
  39. How will I connect with my audience through the words and images on the site?
  40. Why would anyone read this blog?

Summary

There you have it – 40 self-reflection questions to consider before you take your own blog live. Did I miss anything big on the list? I’d love it if any of you more experienced bloggers add your own thoughts to the list. Surely there are additional ideas that would help new bloggers jump in more successfully. Share it below and let’s discuss!



Feature image credit: Owen Brown on Flickr, License: CC BY (commercial reuse with modification)

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