What Is Your Blog About?
Since you're here, you probably have a good general idea of what you want your blog to be about - you are starting an educational blog, after all! But you need to dig deeper to determine what you really want your blog to cover. Are you writing an educational blog for kids? An educational blog for college professors? An educational blog for elementary school teachers?
There are so many ways to approach an educational blog. Decide exactly what you want to write about to set your tone and content strategy.
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 Edutopia all at once, you will find that you cannot make significant progress and may give up in frustration.
The goal is to find the right-sized niche, one that is large enough to have a sizeable audience, but one that is not so large that you cannot stand out in it. “Education” is too large, while “Pedagogy in 1972” is too small. You need to find a niche that fits somewhere in the middle.
Some examples of niche educational 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.
Find a Domain Now
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 your blog for? Is your audience made up of trained educators with years of experience, or is it made up of children just entering elementary school? You need to know your audience to choose your content and your voice. The voice you use with one audience might vary considerably with the one you would use with another.
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 educational 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 educational 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 educational 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 for an educational blog is reviews of educational materials. Depending on your niche, you can review a wide variety of products that are designed for your audience. Your opinion is not going to change, at least it is unlikely to change in the near future. Try to review new products and products that are considered tried and true. Many people look for reviews of established products and fail to find them - you can reach these people with your reviews.
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 how-to videos are a great way to dive into the world of video content creation. If your blog offers tutorials or lessons on how to perform certain tasks or learn specific things, you can create videos that cover those subjects as well. Some readers will benefit more from video than they will from the text, so you can feel good about helping them learn as you work hard on your videos. Don’t worry, your first videos may not be amazing - but you will get better with practice!
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 can find news in your niche and write about it - regardless of what your niche happens to be. Some niches are obviously easier than others, but every niche has new information coming out related to it from time to time. In education, you may cover new studies on education, new announcements from educators and/or schools, new books or other media, and so on. Just be sure to get your blog up quickly, because old news doesn’t attract much of an audience!
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.
Using images on an educational blog is important because many people are visual learners. The images you choose for your blog can help emphasize or explain the concepts that you are trying to explain - and they can also be a lot of fun, as any kid will tell you.
Some bloggers get most of their images online, while others try to take most of their own photos for use on their blogs. Many use a mix of online images and photos. Your own strategy will depend on your niche and your interest in tackling photography. If you are writing instructional posts, taking your own photos or screenshots can make your lessons much more effective for your readers. Try not to stress about whether your photos are professional enough. As you take more photos, you will get better at it and the improvements will show on your blog.
Mix and Match
Your blog doesn’t need to use a single content delivery strategy. Ideally, you should try to use multiple strategies, because you can appeal to a wider audience with a variety of content than you can with a single type of content. Some readers will prefer text, some photos, some videos, and so on. It is normal to prefer creating one type of content over another. Writers like to write. Photographers like to take photos. But stepping outside of your comfort zone will keep blogging interesting for you and your audience. You can learn to make videos, take pictures, write news-type posts, and create any kind of content that excites you.
How To Make Money From an Educational 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 an educational 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 an excellent fit for an educational blog. You can find most if not all of the educational materials you are looking for on the giant marketplace of Amazon, and you can link to any of those products that you want to recommend or mention to your audience.
The great thing about the Amazon Affiliate program is that it is so easy to incorporate into a blog Your readers want and expect you to link to the products that you discuss in your blog - at least the ones that you want them to buy. Your links are useful because they save your readers the time and energy that it takes to search out a product. And when they click a link and purchase an item, you get a small commission from the sale.
Many educational bloggers add Amazon Affiliate links early on in their blogging careers - and many keep using the program year after year. A small blog may make a few dollars a month from the program. But a big blog with lots 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.
You have many ways to serve your audience with digital products. If you like to create lesson plans you could create an Ebook of lesson plans and sell it for $20 or more. If you like to teach in-depth lessons on pedagogy, you could create an online course that covers all the bases you want to cover. You can even have your audience fill out a survey to get a better idea of their struggles and address those struggles in your course. A well-designed online course in this niche could sell for $150 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 an educational blog may seem difficult, but they don’t have to be. You can find things that your audience will want to buy from you, such as branded apparel, stationery, writing supplies, and other related products. If your blog becomes popular enough, you could partner with a company to design your own line of products. But for right now, begin with inexpensive products that you can mark up before selling them 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.
If your educational blog focuses on designing lesson plans, you could offer seminars for teachers to help them improve their lesson planning. If your blog focuses on teaching kids math, you could offer group classes where parents can bring their kids to learn from you directly. What you choose to offer will be based on your skills and your audience’s needs.
You should be able to charge a premium for your services, but try to avoid overcommitting yourself, especially early on. It can be easy to say yes too often when you are in high demand. Your blog is what drives your business, so you need to keep it going strong. Learning to balance blogging and services is not always easy, but it can be extremely rewarding financially when you get it right!
Next Steps To Get Your Educational 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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