If you’ve been running the same blog for years on end, you might feel the itch to change things up. Maybe you don’t want to abandon that original blog — first blogs are like first-born children, after all — but maybe a new project could help spark your creativity. The only question is of what kind of blog you’ll start.
Allow me to make a humble suggestion. After seven-plus years of writing at several blogs, and reading hundreds (maybe thousands) of others, one thing has become abundantly clear. The best blogs out there, perhaps the only ones worth reading, are ones that teach readers something they didn’t know. Blogs such as Bloggers Passion help teach us about blogging. I suggest that you find your own area of expertise and teach others.
Teach people how to do things, and they will reward you in many ways. There’s a certain art to Do It Yourself blogs that simply attracts readers. Need some reasons for making a DIY blog your next project?
1. Teaching > Opinions
In my experience blogs fall into precious few categories. There are news sites, which re-report and pontificate on the news. Then there are straight opinion sites, on which the bloggers basically share their opinions on various topics, usually within a niche. There’s nothing wrong with sharing an opinion, but on the whole it’s not that valuable.
Teaching people how to do things, on the other hand, provides immense value to the reader. When they finish reading an opinion post they might have something to think about, but all too often they’ll either agree or disagree depending on their already existing opinion. But when they finish reading a how-to post, they have information they can act on.
2. The opportunity to learn
Your readers will benefit from what you teach them, sure. But you the blogger will benefit as well. How? Because of what you will learn along the way. Yes, you should go into any DIY blog project with a baseline of knowledge, but chances are you’re not a bonafide expert yet. Starting the blog gives you occasion to become that expert by totally immersing yourself in the subject matter.
You’ll need all that knowledge, too. If you’re blogging about home improvement and you don’t know all the different types of external wood shutters and all the hinges and brackets that mount them, you’re probably not going to explain your posts well to your audience. So there is a necessary learning aspect of a DIY blog. You’ll be a more knowledgeable person for it.
3. DIY blogs attract ad revenue
While money should never be the first reason to start a blog, it is a secondary factor. Unfortunately, there isn’t much money in most blogs. Those blogs that re-report the news and provide opinions just aren’t attractive to advertisers. People who read those blogs just aren’t in a buying mood. But DIY blogs have a built-in consumer factor.
When you teach someone how to do something, they might not have all the materials to do it. That buying opportunity attracts advertisers. Even if it’s through a simple ad network, like AdSense, the higher-yielding advertisers tend to find these types of blogs. With even a modicum of effort a blogger can earn a fair share of the advertising pie with a DIY blog. Using affiliate links can provide even more revenue.
4. Social and SEO traffic
Some blogs are better made for SEO traffic. Their subject lines up with high-volume search terms, so ranking highly on Google will bring in reams of traffic. After all, Google remains the internet’s No. 1 referral. But other blogs just aren’t made for Google. Often news and opinion blogs have trouble ranking for certain terms, because there is such a flood of similar content. These blogs do best to spread their message through social channels, primarily Twitter, where their content can spread.
DIY blogs will attract both SEO and social traffic. When people search Google they’re usually looking for something specific. (This is why CPC ads work.) If they’re looking for something related to your DIY blog and yours comes out near the top of the search rankings, they’re likely to click. After all, your post will help answer a question they have. If you write captivating headlines, they’ll be all the more likely to click.
People are also apt to share DIY content on social networks. While images and photo albums tend to get shared more than text articles on Facebook, DIY articles seem to be the exception. On Twitter those articles can spread like wildfire. They get play on StumbleUpon and get plenty of saves to Instapaper and other bookmarking sites. The combination can bring you huge traffic.
It can be tough to start a new blog and work through the growing pains. If you want your next project to be a success, I can’t place a higher recommendation on DIY blogs. They teach people things and also have big-time potential. Do it right, and it could be your best blog project yet.