A 10-step plan to get something out of your blog

I have a lot of potential bloggers who come to us who want to know how they can get something out of the labor of love that is blogging.

While few people make a living blogging, many people are able to get tangential benefits from being a blogger, such as access to events and merchandise to review, or establishing yourself as an expert in your blog niche.

10 steps to get something out of blogging

Before you begin…

Pick a great name.

It should be interesting, but it should also include the major terms that your blog might be about, so that your posts are more likely to appear in search results about that topic.

Make a plan and write about it in an about page.

Who are you? What are your goals? How do you write about your topic? You should answer all of these questions in a friendly way. This is the first place a potential sponsor or business looking at your blog will go.

The other great thing about a great about page? It can be something to come back to when you have writer’s block.

As you start writing …

Be constant and consistent.

The more you write, the more opportunities you create to build your name and brand. Your readers expect new content every time they visit your blog.

Sketch out an editorial calendar.

So you can plan on having something new on your blog regularly.

Write in bulk.

When your first starting out your blog, you should plan out a month worth of content. Your readers want consistency. When I’m inspired, I tend to write several posts in bulk and save them as drafts so I have something in the can on days that I don’t have the time and energy to write.

Create a serial post.

For example, on my blog, I’ve written a post almost every month that is “My days with an x-month-old” where I describe my average daily schedule as my baby daughter gets older. It’s a topic that I can keep coming back to, and acts as a fillers for the days I don’t have an original idea. Another filler idea is a collection of links about your topic that you’ve found around the web.

See how people respond.

If you try something, and people aren’t commenting or sharing it, then try something do. If you notice that people respond really well to something, start doing more of it. For example, after I had been blogging for a few months, I noticed that I got a lot of traffic to my page of before and after pictures of the Couch to 5K. So even though the couch to 5K is not a big part of my life any more, I still return to the topic occasionally as I know my readers are interested in that subject.

So watch your stats, trust your gut, see what people are clicking on and asking for.

Interact with other great bloggers in your niche.

Find blogs similar to yours and comment and link to their stuff. When you point out great comment on the Internet, the Internet is more likely to find your stuff, too.

When you’ve been doing this for awhile …

Ask for it.

Find brands and companies that align with your message and see if they are willing to give you access to products or events to review. You’ll have to get comfortable for no thanks and silence, but not asking is always a no.

Post a disclosure notice in your menu.

A disclosure notice explains what you will and will not do on your blog in terms of accepting payment or free products. The site disclosurepolicy.org allows you to create a notice by filling out a few fields. From their site:

By including a disclosure policy you are protecting the integrity of your blog and providing a service to the advertisers, sponsors and organizations that you support you. Disclosure encourages trust amongst your readers and promotes an ethical blogosphere.

The BDN requires that all bloggers that accept anything for free or reduced payment to review on their blog has a disclosure statement and clearly labels their content as such.

Your reader should be plainly aware of what is being sponsored.

If you have — or want to — write a blog about a topic of interest to a Maine audience, writing your blog on the BDN is the best way to get in front of hundreds of thousands of potential readers. Our top blogs each week gain over 10K pageviews. If you’re interested, we want to hear from you.

And are you a blogger? What has worked for you? Share your experiences in the comments.