What Is Your Blog About?
If you are reading this, you probably have a general idea about what you want your blog to cover - you want to start a history blog! But it is extremely helpful to dig deeper and identify what you really want your blog to accomplish. Are you writing a blog about women in history? A history blog for kids? A blog about ancient naval warfare?
The more you can narrow down your subject to something specific, the easier it will be to decide what tone and content you will use moving forward.
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 the History Blog all at once, you will find yourself squarely outmatched and very disappointed.
The idea is to find the right-sized niche, one that is not as broad as “history” - because you can’t stand out in such a broad niche - but not too narrow. “Ties worn in 1973 in U.S. offices” is so narrow that you will run out of things to write about. You need something in the middle.
Some examples of niche history blogs are:
Name Your Blog
Once you’ve found your niche, it’s a great time to start brainstorming a web domain 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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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 history buffs who know their stuff or an audience that is trying to learn to think historically but needs some help? The voice you use in your writing and the content you create needs to be tailored to your audience so it will reach them and appeal to their sensibilities.
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 history 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 history 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 history 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.
The great thing about writing a history blog is that for most niches the majority of your content will be evergreen. The events have already happened and as long as there is a general consensus on the basic story you can write each article confident that you won’t have to change much in the next few years. When things do change, which can happen, you can easily go back and edit your blogs as needed.
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.
Many history bloggers take advantage of video content to reach a wider audience since some people prefer watching videos over reading. You may act out scenes from history in costume, give a basic lecture on a subject, or something in between. You can decide what suits your niche and your personal talents and interests. Video can be intimidating for those that have never explored it. Try not to stress too much about getting things perfect. You will improve as you make more videos. Just get started and the rest should fall into place.
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.
While news on historical topics may not be as common as celebrity gossip, you still encounter news about your niche with some regularity. When you learn about something that interests you and your audience, write a news-type blog about the topic and post it. Whether it’s a new book coming out, new research findings, or something else you find exciting, let your readers know about it. Just make sure you write the blog quickly because old news will not achieve the increase in traffic that you are looking for.
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 some options when producing image-heavy content for your history blog. Many bloggers excel at finding images online from a variety of sources - whether they be free to use or pay to use. Some bloggers take a camera in hand and start producing their own photographs. Photography may or may not interest you, but if it does, it can give you a never-ending supply of free images and full control over the look of the images in your content.
There are images of anything you can think of online, so you should be able to find what you need to fill out your blogs on different historical topics. And if you decide to take photos, you can use your camera when you go to destinations and show your readers what they look like now.
Mix and Match
Your history blog should take advantage of multiple content delivery strategies to maximize your reach. Some people prefer reading, while others prefer images and still others prefer video. There will almost certainly be one or two types of content that you are more comfortable working with, but you can learn the skills necessary to utilize other forms as well. Step outside of your comfort zone and make videos, take pictures, and write in different forms. Both you and your audience will benefit from the process.
How To Make Money From A History 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 history 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 is a great fit for a history blog, especially when you are just getting started. This program is very easy to set up and use, so you don’t have to jump through many hoops to incorporate it into your blog. And when your readers click a link you provide and purchase a product, you will get a small commission from the sale.
When writing your history blog, you can insert links to Amazon products when it makes sense to do so - like if you are reviewing a book and want to show your audience where you purchase it. Blog readers expect and appreciate links to products as long as you don’t go overboard. They know they can usually find what a blogger is writing about by following a link, saving them the time and trouble of searching for the product themselves.
You may only make a few dollars a month from Amazon Affiliates when your blog is small and just beginning. But if you grow into a major blog, you can make thousands.
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 history blogger could create is an Ebook. You are familiar with your niche and you probably have some ideas for a book already. If you still need some direction, you can survey your audience to find out what topics they are interested in or what kinds of questions they have. You can use their answers to help you shape your book content and spur you to get started. You could sell an ebook for $20 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.
It may seem difficult to sell products through a history blog, but plenty of bloggers have done it. You can start small with branded products like notebooks and apparel - which you can buy for a few dollars and mark up before selling to your readers. You could also write a book and have it printed since many of your readers will likely want to own a book you wrote that they can hold and read.
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 history blog focuses on teaching people how to conduct proper research, you could teach seminars on the subject. If you study a particular area of history and become an authority on it, you could give lectures. Which services you offer will depend on your interests, niche, and skill set.
Your blog positions you as an expert in your niche, which means you can charge a premium for your services. Just be careful not to overcommit yourself - it is easy to do when there is a lot of demand and the price is right. Remember, your blog is what drives your business. You need to keep your blog going strong to maintain your business. You can learn to balance your service offerings and your blog for long-term success!
Next Steps To Get Your History 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!
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