How To Start a DIY Blog

Starting a blog is one of the best ways to build an audience, get your ideas out into the world, and possibly make some (or a lot) of money while doing what you love. Everyone has different reasons for beginning a blog and different goals in mind when they do so. Your personal path will dictate some of the choices you make along the way. One thing that is true for everyone, however, is that the only way to succeed is to get started.

Taking that first step can be a huge challenge, but by the end of this article, you should have the tools you need to feel confident and prepared to start your DIY blog today.

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This article is a great place to learn the strategy of a DIY blog. If you want step-by-step instructions on how to start your own DIY blog, check out our free blogging course. 

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What Is Your Blog About?

You are reading this article right now, so the answer to this question is probably obvious – your blog is about DIY! Having a topic in mind is the right first step, but to succeed with your blog you will need to think a little more in-depth about what you want to accomplish. Do you want to start a blog about DIY home renovations? A blog about DIY electronics? A DIY crafts blog?

The more clarity you have about what kind of content you want to create, the easier time you will have to focus and build a blog that stands 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 the DIY Network all at once, you will find yourself squarely outmatched and very disappointed.

The key is to find a subject for your blog that is broad enough to give you plenty to write about and a large enough audience, but not too broad – where you find it impossible to differentiate yourself. You need the sweet spot between “DIY projects costing a dollar or less” and “general DIY”.

Some examples of niche DIY 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.

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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 is the people you’re writing to when you write your blog.

Are you writing to an audience that has never picked up a screwdriver before? Or, are you writing for an audience that is looking for DIY hacks that take their game to the next level? No matter what the core focus of your blog is, considering the people you want reading it will have a major impact on the tone of your blog and the content you create.

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:

Bob Buxton 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 DIY 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 creating 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 DIY 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 DIY blog. They include:

Evergreen Articles

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 evergreen content on a DIY blog is how-to articles for various common projects in your niche. While remodeling a bathroom may use slightly different tools or materials over the decades, the basics tend to stay the same. An article on how to remodel a bathroom will remain relevant and interesting to people year after year – and will keep attracting new readers to your blog.

Videos

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.

DIY is an ideal subject for video content. You can make how-to videos teaching your readers how to tackle different projects, much like you do with your evergreen content. You can create guides for refinishing furniture, landscaping yards, remodeling kitchens – whatever topics fit within your niche. You can actually create an ongoing strategy for content creation that incorporates both text and video as you see fit, so your audience always has something to look forward to.

News-type Articles

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.

The key to creating news-type content for your DIY blog is to stay aware of what new events your audience are looking forward to. There may be new products or materials on the horizon that everyone is interested in, or you may have events throughout the year – like seminars and gatherings – that you can cover. It all depends on your niche and what sparks your interest.

Image-heavy Content

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.

Your DIY blog is going to be image-heavy by default – you have to include images to demonstrate your points, after all. You may collect images from different sources that you can use in your blogs, you may take your own photographs as you go through various projects, or you may do both.

Over time you will develop a process where you regularly collect images for your content as part of your research for your blog topics. You know you are going to need them, and you will probably get more passionate about the quality of your images as you progress and gain an audience. If nothing else, you can take photos of your projects as you renovate, build and produce, and then use those pictures in your blog.

Mix and Match

A successful blog tends to incorporate multiple content delivery strategies – and yours should, too. You may initially feel more comfortable with one type of content, like long-form articles covering your DIY projects. But you should stretch yourself periodically by exploring photography, video, etc. You may be surprised to discover that you are great at some of these other types of content. Your audience will definitely appreciate the variety you offer, which will only increase the popularity of your blog.

How To Make Money From A DIY 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 DIY 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

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 is a great fit for a DIY blog. This platform has a very low barrier to entry and pays commissions to publishers for sales that they help facilitate – which means you will get paid every time someone clicks a link on your blog and buys something.

Blogging about DIY offers a seamless way to include affiliate links because you are writing about projects that require supplies, equipment, tools, and more. You can highlight products that you like and/or are using in your projects in your blog. Your readers are going to expect links in your blog, and many of them will appreciate the convenience of being able to follow your links to find what they need.

Many DIY blogs start with Amazon Affiliates as their first source of income because it is so easy to use. While your blog is small, you may make a few dollars a month with the program – but when your blog grows, you could make thousands with this model.

Sell Digital Products

Digital products are an online entrepreneur's 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.

A good example of a digital product that a DIY blogger could sell is an online course on how to complete a challenging DIY project – like a kitchen renovation. You can get feedback from your audience on the things that they struggle with or the questions they have, and incorporate those topics into your course. While it can take some time to produce a quality course, the payoff can be considerable. A course in this niche could easily sell for $250 or more.

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 the 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.

Product sales through a DIY blog will depend on your niche and the way you prefer to approach your audience. For example, if you focus on furniture renovation, you could partner with a paint company to design paints for your audience and put your name on them. Or, if you prefer a simpler approach, you could brand products like buttons, stickers, and stationary, and sell them through your site. Such products only cost a few dollars to produce and you can sell them for quite a mark up.

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 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.

Your services as a DIY expert will be an easy sell once you establish an audience on your blog. You can offer personalized assistance with projects, for instance, and charge a premium for your time. Or, you could offer training for others in the areas that you specialize in. It all depends on your focus and your goals.

While you can charge a premium for your time due to your blog, you will want to be careful to avoid overextending yourself. In the end, it is your blog that drives your business, so it is important to keep your main focus on your blog to keep your audience engaged. With the right balance of effort and pricing, you may be able to develop a full-time income from your services combined with your blog.

Next Steps To Get Your DIY 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.

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