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This article is a great place to learn the strategy of a fishing blog. If you want step-by-step instructions on how to start your own fishing blog, check out our free blogging course.
What Is Your Blog About?
Since you are here, you probably have a pretty good idea of what you want your blog to be about - fishing! But you will need to dig a little deeper and decide what, exactly, you want your blog to accomplish. Are you writing a freshwater fishing blog? A blog about live bait? A river fishing blog?
The more you define your subject, the easier it will be to decide what tone you want to use and what content you want to write.
There’s a quote that fits this situation perfectly:
"If you try to be everything for everybody, 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 Field and Stream all at once, you will find yourself squarely outmatched and very disappointed.
The key is to find a niche that hits the sweet spot, not too be and not too small. “Fishing” is too big and you will never be able to stand out. “Ways to put worms on hooks” is too narrow and you will run out of things to write about.
Some examples of niche fishing 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.
Brand Your Blog
The strongest and most memorable businesses are built on a solid brand. When developing your brand, think about what your business stands for. Customers and clients are looking for companies that have a compelling brand, as much as they are shopping for high-quality products and services.
Creating a logo for your business is vital for increasing brand awareness. You can design your own unique logo using our Free Logo Generator. Our free tool will help you brand your business with a unique logo to make your business stand out.
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 very little fishing experience, or one that has been doing this for decades? Whatever content you decide to create, knowing your audience will allow you to write in a voice that appeals to that audience and allows you to communicate most effectively with them.
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 fishing 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 fishing 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 fishing 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 evergreen content on your fishing blog is how-to articles that cover the basics of how to do things in your niche. There have been plenty of innovations in fly fishing, but the basics of how to tie a fly have remained fairly consistent. If you write a number of different articles explaining the process, they will be evergreen - useful to readers new and old, year after year.
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.
Compelling video how-to articles are perfect for your fishing blog. You can base your videos on the articles you have written - if you have already written how-to articles - so you do not have to create your videos from scratch. Many people find it easier to learn things by watching, so you will be serving those audience members well with your video content. Don’t worry too much about making perfect videos when you are starting out. It is enough to create content and get it out there. You will get better as you go along.
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.
You probably discover all sorts of fishing news regularly, especially when you are researching for your blog topics. You can take news announcements and repurpose them for your own use. Write a quick blog post about news that you think is relevant to your audience and post it on your blog. Just make sure you do it quickly. News only attracts a big audience when it is fresh.
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.
You have several options for image-heavy content when writing a fishing blog. You can source images online from various locations - some for free, some for a fee - and you can take your own photos. Taking your own photos is more work at the beginning, but it will save you money and give you more control over the long-term.
You may already be passionate about fishing photography and have the skills you need to take great photos. But if you don’t, try to push through the initial stage of taking less than great pictures, because you will get better with practice. You can also learn a lot about fishing photography online and you can even take courses to improve your skills. Your audience will really appreciate your photographs as your blog grows.
Mix and Match
Your blog doesn't have to use one type of content - nor should it. While it is totally normal to have a preference for the content you like to create, you will need to step outside your comfort zone to make your blog competitive. That doesn’t mean you have to only make content that is hard for you. It just means that you should regularly try new things. Do what you know best half the time, and try stretching yourself the other half. You can really improve your video and photography skills with practice, so keep at it. Your variations in content styles will keep your audience interested and make blogging more fun.
How To Make Money From A Fishing 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 fishing 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.
There is no shortage of affiliate programs out there for fishing bloggers to use. You will just need to determine which ones make the most sense for you and your audience.
Bob Ward’s is a popular sporting goods retailer that offers an affiliate program for bloggers, with an 8% commission rate on sales. The commission rate is not high, but it can add up when transactions range between $100 and $200. They sell so many different things that your audience might want that it shouldn’t be too hard for them to find something they need through the vendor.
Hook & Tackle is another big affiliate program that many fishing bloggers take advantage of. The company creates performance fishing apparel designed to make fishing even more enjoyable than it already is. There is a loyal fan base for the company, which means you can recommend them to your audience with confidence. The commission rate for sales is 8%, with the average order selling for $115.
Amazon Affiliates is always an option as well. They have an easy-to-use affiliate program that gives you a small commission for every sale that you facilitate.
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 great example of a digital product that you could create is an instructional video series teaching your audience how to do something in your niche, such as how to tie flies. You could even ask your audience what kinds of questions they have and what help they need from a course and use their answers to guide your work. It will take time to produce a quality course, but the payoff could be significant. A great course in this niche could sell for $100 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 fishing blog should not be too difficult, especially once you build a loyal following. Fishing enthusiasts love their brands and have no qualms about showing them off. You can purchase branded apparel, stickers, buttons, magnets, and so on, and mark them up significantly before selling them to your audience. If your blog gets popular enough, you could also partner with a company to design your own products.
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.
If your fishing blog focuses on tying flies for fly fishing, you could offer to tie custom flies for your audience or you could offer a seminar on how to tie flies. If you focus on fishing photography, you could offer one-on-one training or group coaching services.
Your blog puts you in a position to charge a premium for your services, which can lead to overcommitting yourself - especially early on. Try to keep in mind that your blog is what makes your business strong and keeps traffic coming in, so you need to maintain your blog to maintain your business. It may take some practice, but you can learn to juggle your services and your blog for long-term success!
Next Steps To Get Your Fishing 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
Free Course: How To Start A Blog
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