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What Is Your Blog About?
If you’re here reading this article, chances are you know what you want your blog to be about - you are starting a tech blog, after all! But you know that there are so many different areas of tech. You need to choose a more specific subject if you want to be noticed among the many, many tech blogs out there.
Are you writing a blog about gaming tech? A blog about DIY tech? A blog about the newest mobile tech? Get clear about what you want to cover in your blog so you can build something that attracts readers.
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 Wired all at once, you will find yourself overwhelmed and outmatched.
You need a subject, a niche, that is small enough that you can differentiate yourself - something smaller than “tech”. But you don’t want it to be too small, like “screwdriver bits used to dismantle computers from 1999”. If you go too specific and narrow with your niche, you will run out of things to write about.
Some examples of niche tech 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 to tech enthusiasts who know a lot and want to know more, or are you writing to an audience that is just learning the basics? Whatever your content is going to cover, you need to know who you are writing for so that you can set the right tone and write content they are looking for.
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 tech 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 tech 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 tech 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.
Reviews make for great evergreen content on a tech blog. Whatever your niche, you can probably find products to review. Since your opinion is unlikely to change in the near future, your reviews will be interesting to new readers far into the future. Be sure to review products that are well-known and established as well as new products. Chances are people will be looking for reviews of well-established products for the foreseeable future.
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.
Depending on your niche, you could create video how-tos for your audience as a way to dive into video production. If you teach your audience how to do specific tasks, such as how to troubleshoot the latest Windows iteration, you can create a video that covers the topic and takes the viewer through the whole process along with you. It is ok to make videos that do not have high production values, especially at first. You are just getting started, so give yourself some leeway to learn how to make videos you can be proud of.
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 something new happening in the tech world, so you should have plenty of fodder for news-type blogs. Which areas you focus on will depend on your niche, but as a general rule, you should be able to find promising news topics as part of your regular research process. You are naturally drawn to news about your area of focus. Pick out the stories that interest you and write your own versions to attract readers looking for the latest info.
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.
When creating tech blog content, you have several options for getting the images you need to create image-heavy content. You can gather images that you find online - just be careful to verify which you can use freely and which you will need to pay for - and you can take your own screenshots and/or photos.
For a news-type post, you could use promotional images released by the company producing the product you are writing about. For how-to articles, you could take your own screenshots and/or photos to demonstrate what you are trying to explain in images. Your process will vary depending on your preferences and what your readers are looking for.
Mix and Match
Your blog doesn’t need to - and shouldn’t - use a single content delivery strategy. In fact, it is always recommended to mix things up and try to offer a variety of content types on your blog. By offering variety, you can attract a bigger audience. Some will love videos, some will love long articles, while others may be attracted to your short news-type posts. You will probably have some content types you prefer making over others. Try to stretch yourself regularly to tackle new content types, both for your benefit and for the benefit of your audience.
How To Make Money From A Tech 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 tech 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 are plenty of affiliate programs to choose from for your tech blog. With so many options, you will need to choose carefully to ensure you promote businesses that fit your niche and your audience's needs.
ShareASale is one of the bigger affiliate networks out there, and it features a ton of categories that are associated with tech, including computer & electricals, marketing, web services, and webmaster tools, and more. You can search through their different offerings after you join the program and pick the ones that make sense for you based on what they offer and their commission rate.
Microsoft is another big affiliate program from a company that everyone knows. You can get commissions on the sale of Microsoft products, including PCs, gaming consoles, Office 365, and more. Microsoft makes a claim that they offer industry-leading commissions, which means you should make a respectable amount if your readers purchase through your blog.
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.
As a tech blogger, you could create an online course that teaches your readers how to learn a new skill in the area of your niche. If you write about building gaming PCs, you could create a course that goes in-depth on what they need to know and what steps they need to take to create the PC of their dreams. A well-produced course in this niche could sell for $100 or more, depending on the complexity of the topic and how unique what you offer happens to be.
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.
It may seem difficult to come up with products to sell on a tech blog, but it doesn’t have to be. Many tech bloggers start small, with branded products that they buy for a few dollars apiece and mark up considerably for sale. Things like branded mouse pads, stickers, and notebooks may seem insignificant, but they can show you how hungry your audience is to represent your brand. If your products sell well, you can think about designing and selling more expensive products based on your niche.
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.
If your tech blog focuses on programming, you could offer your services as a programmer. If you teach readers how to fight malware, you could offer group seminars on computer security. It all depends on what your audience wants and what you know you can offer and do well at.
It can be easy to overcommit at the beginning, especially when you see high demand and can charge a premium due to the popularity of your blog. However, remember that your blog is what drives the demand for your services. You need to keep your blog going strong no matter how popular your services become. Keep your blog in good shape and balanced with your services to ensure long-term success.
Next Steps To Get Your Tech 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
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