How To Create a Philosophical 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.
Getting started and taking the first steps can feel like a huge challenge. Building a website, planning your content, and finding the right business model are just a few of the tasks you’ll need to do to succeed.
Don’t worry! By the end of this article, you should have the knowledge and tools you need to feel confident and prepared to start your philisophical blog today.
What Is Your Blog About?
The fact that you are here and reading this article means you already have an idea for your blog - you want to start a philosophical blog! But you know that you need to get a little more specific about what your blog will be designed to accomplish. Are you writing an ancient philosophy blog? A philosophy blog for teens? A political philosophy blog?
By digging deeper and clarifying your subject, you can set your tone and choose which content you need to create as you move 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 Philosophy Talk all at once, you are not going to make as much progress as you expect and may quit in frustration.
The goal is to find the right-sized niche. “Philosophy” is too broad - you will never stand out from the crowd. “Favorite shoe brands of philosophers” is too narrow - you will run out of things to write about or find your audience is too small to sustain your blog.
Some examples of niche philosophical blogs are:
- In-Depth Philosophy Articles Blog - Erratic Wisdom
- Reflective Living Blog - Mark Vernon
- Ancient Philosophy Blog - Ancient Philosophy Society
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.
Who are you writing to when you write your blogs? Are you writing for an audience that has very little understanding of philosophy or an audience of professional philosophers? You can see how your approach will vary greatly based on your audience. You need to know who you are writing for to guide your work.
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 philosophical 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 philosophical 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 philosophical 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.
An excellent option for evergreen content on a philosophical blog is articles on the fundamentals of philosophies in your niche. You know that the basic tenets of each philosophy are not going to change in the next year or likely the next decade, which means you can write in-depth about each topic so that your readers have a clear understanding of what they are studying. You can build a library of articles that cover such topics to attract an ever-growing audience 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.
While many people love reading about philosophy, there are plenty more people you can reach with video content. It may seem challenging to talk in front of a camera about your niche - or you may love it immediately. Either way, you can learn through practice how to communicate your ideas on video. Many people in your audience will appreciate the more personal approach of your videos and will relate to you as a person, which will make them even more loyal than they might be if you stuck to written content alone.
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 likely come across news related to your niche regularly through your research. It is only one more step to create your own news-type blog posts about that news. Once you find something that you think is interesting or you think your audience will want to know about, you can write a blog post about it. Just remember that news is only interesting when it is new - at least for the purposes of bumping up your traffic. Make sure you get your news-type blog posts up while they are still 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.
It may seem challenging to create image-heavy content for a philosophical blog, but it can be done. You only need to look at other popular philosophy blogs to see how those bloggers use images to enhance their content.
There are plenty of images available online that you can use on your blog. Some are free, some you need to pay for. It takes a little research and exploration to determine the best sources of images that you find useful, but you can figure it out - and you will get better and faster as you create more and more blogs. You can also take your own photos if it makes sense for your niche or if you just like taking photographs.
Mix and Match
Your blog doesn’t have to stick to a single content delivery style, nor should it. The reality of modern blogging is that audiences need and expect a variety of content from their favorite blogs. It is normal to have a preference for content that you create. You might really like writing and be intimidated by video. But if other bloggers can learn new skills for content creation, so can you! Try your hand at video, photography, and other types of content and don’t give up. You will get better and your blog will improve as a result.
How To Make Money From A Philosophical 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 philosophical 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 good fit for a philosophical blog for several reasons. First, it is as easy to use as any affiliate program out there - which means you can sign up and get started with very little effort on your part, making it perfect for a new blog. Second, Amazon sells just about everything, including most of the things you might recommend to your readers, such as books and other media.
When you sign up for the program, all you have to do to start making money is to include links to Amazon products in your blog. Your readers are going to expect links to the things that you discuss your blog, particularly anything that you recommend your readers try out. If they click the link and purchase the item, you get a small commission from the sale.
Many philosophical bloggers use the Amazon Affiliate program as their first affiliate income source, and many others keep using the program for the long-term. While a small blog may make a few dollars a month through Amazon, a blog with a lot of traffic 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 you could create for your philosophical blog is an eBook related to your niche. You could write a collection of essays on ancient philosophy, for example, and gather them into an eBook. A useful trick for finding direction for your digital content is to ask your audience what topics they want to be covered or questions they need to be answered. Once you know what they need you can design a product that meets that need. A quality ebook in this niche could sell 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.
Product sales through a philosophical blog may seem difficult, but it is possible to find things that your audience will want to purchase from you. You could write a book and have it printed to sell, or you could go the easy route and purchase branded products like journals, stickers, and buttons, and sell those at a markup to your readers.
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.
The services you offer through your philosophical blog should stem from your niche, audience demand, and your skillset. You may give lectures, put on seminars, or offer coaching, depending on what kind of topics you regularly cover and what kind of services make the most sense based on your preferences.
Your blog positions you as an expert in your field, which means you should be able to charge a premium for your services. However, try to avoid pouring all of your time into services and letting your blog lag behind. It is your blog that drives business to your services, so you need to make sure that you keep the blog going strong. When you learn to balance your services and your blog, you are well on your way to being a successful blogger.
Next Steps To Get Your Philosophical 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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