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What Is Your Blog About?
The answer to this question is probably obvious – you are here to learn more about starting a car blog. Of course, having a general topic in mind is only the beginning of creating a successful blog. You will need to go a little deeper to determine exactly what you want to accomplish with your car blog. Do you want to create a blog about car repairs, car modifications, muscle cars, or something else car-related?
Your car blog needs a focus, something that makes it more interesting to you and your readers which will help you stand out from the crowd.
There’s a quote that fits this situation perfectly:
"If you try to be everything for everbody, you will be nothing to no one."
Establish Your Niche
When creating a new blog, you need to find your niche. This is the corner of the market that you have the most knowledge about, the place you can establish yourself as an absolute authority. If you try to take on AutoBlog all at once, you will certainly find yourself outmatched and will likely become overwhelmed right out the gate.
The sweet spot with a blog is one where you cover a subject narrower than “cars”, but wider than “door locks on a 1995 Toyota Corolla”. Choosing a topic that is too wide will just lead to your content being overlooked and forgotten. But if the topic is to narrow, you can quickly run out of things to write about or never establish an audience big enough to sustain you.
Some examples of niche car blogs are:
Name Your Blog
Once you’ve found your niche, it’s a great time to start brainstorming a name for your blog. You’ll want to pick a name that’s brandable and available. Use our domain name tool to check if your name is available. If it is, scoop it up before someone else gets to it first.
Finding Your Audience
Having a good sense of who is going to be reading your blog is one of the best ways to know what type of content to create, how to shape it, and, ultimately, how to grow your following. With a clear understanding of your niche, understanding your audience should come more naturally.
Finding your target audience - the people you want hanging out on your blog - isn’t only statistics and demographics. It requires a deeper understanding of who these people are and what they want. Your target audience are the people you’re writing to when you write your blog.
Are you writing for sports car lovers, car racing enthusiasts, or for people who love upgrading their cars? No matter who you want to read your blog, the more you understand what they want and what excites them the better you will be at reaching your audience. When you know your audience, you can set your tone and voice.
Create a Persona
One way to understand your audience is to create a persona of your perfect target audience member. This essentially means creating a mock-up of the ideal person you hope to reach with your blog.
Here is an example of a target audience persona:
Having a persona for your perfect audience member helps you to visualize and understand who you are writing for and provides important direction to your content.
Be Your Own Persona
Another popular way to find your perfect target audience is to be your own persona. Many of the best products and services come from scratching your own itch. It’s possible you’ve searched for the perfect car blog to read, came up short, and decided to create it yourself. This makes you the perfect audience member for your own blog.
This can be a great strategy for creative highly effective content. If you’ve noticed a meaningful omission in blog content, chances are you are not alone. By writing personally satisfying content you are likely to reach an audience in search of the same things.
Where Is Your Audience Hanging Out?
No web content exists in a vacuum. While you should strive to create uniquely entertaining content for your blog, your target audience is almost certainly already out there reading other blogs, engaging on specialized forums, and using social media. Finding the sites where your audience already mingles is a great way to discover what topics they are most interested in, what language they are using, and what valuable content you can add to that mix.
Some examples for your car blog may include:
Visiting these sites is also a great way to begin engaging with your audience before your blog has even gone live. Jump into conversations on forums and in comments sections and get to know the people you’ll be writing for. This is a great, organic way to build relationships and direct people to your blog in its early days. Sharing your passion with like minded people will make them more excited and passionate about supporting you in your blogging endeavor.
How Will You Present Your Work?
Traditionally, when most people think about a blog they picture written content on a page. However, there are several different ways to present your ideas on your blog, depending on your subject matter and target audience. Every blog will thrive with different formats, so it’s important to think carefully about how to best showcase your content before you start.
There are several effective methods of presenting the material on your car blog. They include:
As the name suggests, evergreen articles are composed of content that lasts. These articles are designed to have a long shelf life and continue drawing readers to your blog over time. They are typically long-form, text-based articles that delve more deeply into a particular topic.
A great option for creating evergreen content for your car blog is to review products that fit in your niche. If you are writing about auto repair, you can review new tools and parts that come on the scene. If you are writing about car collecting you can review the cars that you think are more or less desirable based on your experience. If you can establish yourself as an authority with respected reviews, you can continue to draw new readers to your blog.
While the video format is not new, the explosive growth of YouTube and the advent of new and innovative video-based tech like Snapchat and TikTok have shown the true power of video as an online medium. While you may think that creating video is much more difficult and expensive than writing your content, you have access to all the technology you need to make high-quality video content right on your smartphone.
You have a lot of options for video content with a car blog. If you are focused on car collecting, you could make videos showing different car shows that you visit. If you are writing about car repair, you can make how-to videos on how to conduct different repairs or how to identify common problems that your readers are likely to encounter. It may take a little brainstorming, but you can come up with video ideas whatever your niche happens to be.
News articles or other “announcement” type content can be a great way to gather new readers. One benefit of news content is the short-term but powerful increase in search volume during an event. While this bump may be temporary, it can be a great tool for grabbing new readers who end up coming back for more.
Writing about current events or new happenings also means there will typically be less competition for readers. Other blogs and media sources are all getting the information as it develops. Since the base of knowledge available is smaller, this gives you a good opportunity to add your own flavor to the article.
The downside to news-type articles is that they tend to lose popularity much more quickly than evergreen content. While the interest for an event may be very large one day, the next day people may already be moving on to the next shiny object.
There is always new news about cars, which means you can find some area to cover on your blog so that you have news-type articles. If you are writing about new cars, you can create news articles on the current and upcoming cars on the market. If you are blogging about repairing cars, you can write news-type articles on the latest recalls and other problems that keep popping up for car owners.
While most people expect to be reading when they visit a blog, image-heavy content can be very appealing and break up your text-focused posts to keep people’s attention. Depending on the topic of your post, displaying multiple images per page on a single subject can give your audience a better sense of what you are trying to convey.
While some topics may take to images very easily, like a car blog or a celebrity gossip site, others may require some deeper thinking to make this strategy work.
Cars are a great topic for image-heavy content – after all, most cars tend to be very photogenic, especially when the photography is done right. You can learn to take better car photographs yourself, or you can source professional-quality images for your blog.
When writing about a car, you can include images on your blog of that car. If you are writing about making repairs to a car, you can take photos throughout the process to go along with your description. It can take a little trial and error, but you can definitely figure out ways to include numerous images in your content.
Mix and Match
The best blogs use a variety of content types to appeal to site visitors, and you should, too. While you may feel more comfortable initially with one type of content, it is best to push yourself to try out different formats to add variety to your blog. You will discover that you can produce many different types of content in your niche, content that will keep visitors coming back again and again. Mix things up to keep your blog fresh and your site visitors excited.
How To Make Money From A Car Blog
One of the main reasons people start blogs is to generate some sort of profit. Whether you’re looking for a few hundred dollars per month or a job-replacing income, blogging is still an excellent way to make those dreams a reality.
There are a few great ways to make money from a car blog:
Display Ad Networks
Display ads are the simplest way for websites to generate any sort of income. Ad networks, like Google Adsense, are fairly simple to be accepted into, and implementation onto your site is streamlined and clean. If you’re just beginning to see some traffic to your blog and want to turn this into dollars, display ads are where most people start.
There are a few downsides to display ads, however. The first is that some feel they detract from the user experience on your blog. Most people have been to a site where large ads pop up and block the content in the middle of reading. This can be distracting, frustrating, and even drive people away from your blog. While it’s possible to clean up and control the type of ads you use, it can be a constant battle to balance effective ad placement with aesthetics and readability.
The other main downside is that they don’t pay a lot. These networks generally use a pay-per-click (PPC) model which, depending on the niche, can pay anywhere from $0.01 to $1.50 per click, most on the lower end.
While display ads are a great way to make your first dollars, you’ll want to make sure any negatives they bring are worth the profits they provide. Once you develop a solid following, you can consider moving on to more lucrative and effective profit-making options.
Affiliate marketing programs like Amazon Affiliate have become much more popular over the past few years, as they take the payment model from pay-per-click to cost-per-acquisition (CPA). This means you can refer as many users to an advertiser’s product as you want, but will only get paid when the user makes a purchase.
Both advertisers and publishers benefit from an affiliate marketing setup. The advertiser pays nothing until a sale is made and the publisher enjoys much higher commissions than the pay-per-click model.
The Amazon Affiliate program can work really well for a car blog. The platform has such a low barrier to entry that it is easy enough for anyone to set up. Just follow the instructions and you can start getting commissions on sales that are made on Amazon through your blog.
You can blog about your favorite car books, car repair supplies, tools, accessories and more. Everyone expects you to put a link in your content so that they can quickly find the product you are talking about and make a purchase if they want to. When they follow that link and buy something, you get a small payment from the sale.
Many car blogs start with Amazon Affiliates as their first source of income because it is so easy to use. While small blogs can expect a few dollars a month from the program, bigger blogs with lots of readers can bring in thousands of dollars with this model.
Sell Digital Products
Digital products are the online entrepreneurs’ dream. You create the item once, then sell it as many times as you can, with little to no cost of reproduction. This means that you can scale your business to infinity.
Examples of digital products are:
- Ebooks - A piece of writing, generally in PDF format. These can contain literally anything that your audience would want. They can either be true book-length all the way down to a few pages of content. Depending on your niche, audience, and subject, these can run from $1 to $100 per sale fairly easily.
- Gated Content - This is content that is served on your website just like any other article, except that is behind a “paywall”. If you are creating content that you don’t want to be released to anyone but your true followers, you have them sign up for an account on your site and charge them a subscription fee for access. Generally, authors charge anywhere from $5 to $200 per month for access to gated content.
- Online Courses - If you can teach a skill that your audience wants to learn, you can create an online course to sell to them. These courses can be formatted in whatever way makes the most sense to you, but most nowadays are video courses. Online courses can sell from $10 to well over $10,000 per course, obviously depending on the subject matter and audience.
The type of digital product you create for your car blog will depend a lot on your niche. Even if it seems difficult at first to come up with a good idea, remember, it is well worth your time to do so. If you were to create a how-to course for making popular modifications to a car, for instance, you could sell the course for $50-$100 or more. It only takes a few readers purchasing your course to start bringing in a respectable amount of money from your work.
Sell Physical Products
Selling physical products is the original money making strategy. You gather an audience that is hungry for something, you sell it to them, and everyone wins. You don’t have to be an inventor, designer, or manufacturer to sell products. Sites like Alibaba and AliExpress import already-made items into the United States and sell them for a markup.
The two main methods for distribution of these items are: dropshipping and self-fulfilled.
Dropshipping is a method where you advertise a product on your site that you do not own. Once you make the sale, you inform the manufacturer, who will handle the shipping and handling to the end user. While this is simple because you don’t have to worry about storing or shipping any items yourself, you’ll find that the margins can be quite slim.
Self-fulfilled sales are much more of a hands-on approach to sales. You buy the item from the manufacturer, store it, then ship it to the end user once you have made the sale. While there is much more work involved, you’ll find that the margins per sale are much higher.
Depending on the niche you choose for your car blog, it could be relatively simple for you to come up with products that you could sell to your readers. For example, if you have a blog about car racing that attracts a lot of readers, you could create branded products like cozies, hats and shirts and sell them to your readers. The products may only cost a few dollars a piece for you to produce, then you can turn around and sell them for five to ten times the price you purchased them for.
While it can be very profitable when done well, selling products is not generally recommended for the beginner blogger. It’s best to secure an audience that you know will be receptive to the product before making a large investment in product development or acquisition.
Create A Service
Providing a service is another very basic money-making plan. If you can provide a service that you know your audience needs, you have a viable business on your hands.
Whether this service is delivered through a one-on-one interaction with the user, through a piece of software that you develop, or by directly completing a task for the user, this is a great way to monetize your skillset and your blog.
The better you establish your expertise with your audience, the easier it is to sell a service related to your blog. If you write a lot about making car repairs and produce how-to videos, it is not much of a stretch to offer to make the repairs personally if you are interested in doing so. If you write about finding and purchasing classic cars, you could offer a service to do the same for readers who want to hire you for your knowledge and skill set.
You can charge a premium for your time because you have already positioned yourself as an expert. Combining your blog with your professional services is a sure way to increase the business you generate from both.
Next Steps To Get Your Car Blog Started
Now that you have the strategies in place to build and grow your own blog, check out our free course: How To Start A Blog.
This course includes all the essentials on how to get your blog out of your head and onto its own website. Starting a blog is simple and inexpensive, so there’s no reason that you shouldn’t start today!
Free Course: How To Start A Blog
Get your blog up and running today with our step-by-step course.