5 Steps to Starting Your Own Automotive Blog
You love cars. You love working on them. You love learning about them. You love arguing about them. You love driving them. You have a passion. Your friends typically share your passion. You sit around and talk about cars and argue about brands, performance, maintenance. Why don’t you have a blog?
Nowadays, creating, maintaining and promoting a blog that reflects your passion is easy, inexpensive and powerful. It can become its own hobby while supporting your passion. But many car enthusiasts avoid taking the steps necessary to create an automotive blog. Perhaps due to concerns over technology or expense. Those days are long gone. Here are five steps to starting your own automotive blog.
Find A Domain
A domain is the name of your site. Obviously at this stage in the internet’s development, you’re not going to get cars.com or gearhead.com. That doesn’t mean that you can’t find something that reflects your blog’s purpose and spirit. When you create a domain, try to find something that is catchy, simple, easy to remember, and reflects your overall mission.
Even if you are only creating the site to share and argue with your close friends, having a catchy domain name can help people find you who can add to the conversation and increase your blog’s reach, authority and value.
Be sure your domain name is simple., and be careful using abbreviations or running words together. This can sometimes result in some unfortunate combinations that can land your site some traffic, but for all the wrong reasons. Don’t make one of the internet’s worst domain name lists because of carelessness.
Decide on Topics
Cars is a very broad topic. Some people like to talk about buying cars while others like to talk about maintenance or performance. Some like to discuss industry trends or compare makes and models. Perhaps you want to focus on classic cars or electric vehicles. There’s no real reason you have to exclude any particular topic from your site, but it is good to have a main theme. If you are more interested in discussing the renovation of a 59 Ford pickup, you might not want to include a section on how to best sync your phone to a new Tesla or vice versa.
In any case, when you create your blog, you are also, inadvertently, inviting who you want to visit the site. The topics create the framework for you audience. Although it can be good to have controversy and disagreement, make sure your site reflects the subject matter you intend. Moderate comments, and keep things light and as positive as possible.
Also, the more specific you are, the easier it is to build yourself up as an expert. It is hard to be an expert on many general topics, but your readers (and search engines) will find you easier to trust the more depth you share about a narrower topic.
Invite Others to Contribute
With a blog, content is king. The more you have the better it is. Because of this, you don’t want to try and create everything yourself. If you do, your content will either be light or infrequent or both. If you somehow manage to avoid light, infrequent content by yourself, you will have sacrificed your life outside of your blog.
You don’t want to do this. You will burn out or you will become a sypher. Inviting others to contribute will add a diversity of voices, increase content and frequency and it has and additional benefit: when someone shares a post to your blog, they are more likely to tell their friends and family about it and share it on social media. This is a great way to grow your audience.
This is also another great way to validate the expertise of your blog. Having influencers and others in your industry post on your blog sends signals to Google that your blog is important, and it also increases the trust readers will have in your site.
Sure it’s entertaining. Is there a rule that says you can’t have fun and make money? By creating a blog (especially if you gain a following) you can leverage the blog to make money in various ways. First, and most obviously, you can advertise. Relevant companies, like car parts stores, and car brands might pay you to put ads in your posts and on your site. There is another way to make ad revenue as well. You can embed ad code from sources like Adsense into your posts and on your site and you get paid by impressions.
This can be complicated, but the more traffic you have and particularly the more your traffic engages in the ads, the more money you make. You can also sell merchandise or even become an affiliate marketer. And some blogs get paid by creating joint ventures with SEO (search engine optimization) companies.
If your site gets large enough, you can even recruit site sponsors, those brands who want to be featured on your site all the time. A large site sponsor or two can take your monetization to a new level. The point is, your blog is an opportunity. Take it.
You don’t need to hire a big, Madison Avenue, ad agency to get people to know about your blog today. You have access to social media and the power of hashtags. Grow your social media community, use hashtags and get your posts in front of millions of eyeballs. Your mom can only read so many of your posts.
Don’t ignore the power of visual sites like Instagram and Pinterest, and the potential of sites like LInkedIn to reach industry professionals and influencers. Use the boosted post and sponsored content features to target new audiences and gain both attention and traffic.
Car enthusiasts have a passion and they often like to engage that passion in discussion. Why not tap that enthusiasm and create a way to share as well as potentially profit. It’s easy with today’s technology, so what’s holding you back?