Start With Why
The first question you should ask is “why?” Are you looking to do it for yourself only or do you want to turn it into a business. Your answer will dictate your direction.
Another thing to consider is, do you care to own what you create. For example, if you just want to share pictures or stories from time to time, then the effort to purchase hosting, find a theme, and get into the weeds of website building not be worth it. It’d be easier to start your blog on Medium or Substack.
However, if you want to turn it into a business or you want to own what you produce then it’d be better to start with a host like WPXHosting.
Thesis On Ownership
Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and others own your content. If they disappear, your hard work disappears. That’s why it’s important to have your own site which you can send people from these platform to something you own so you can manage the community and relationships yourself. It’s harder this way, but you’ll have an asset for all your hard work.
Plus you’re not limited to the changes in the various algorithms. For example, Facebook used to give you organic reach until they didn’t and now you have to pay for people to see your pictures and posts.
It’s commonly stated that people only care about education and entertainment. Wherever possible it’s best to do both.
That’s why at Cast & Spear we spend so much time sharing how-to guides. Our goal is to then make entertaining content that helps people solve their fishing and spearfishing problems. Fishing is a huge topic so if you have tips and tricks, there’s plenty of room for you to share your viewpoints on the activity you love.
Overthinking is a killer. That’s why it’s important to remember that when you start your blog you should focus on shipping content verse perfecting content.
For the first six months to a year you’ll likely not see any traffic until Google understands your site and you have others start linking to your posts. That’s because Google doesn’t want to show people the wrong information so they rely on other people linking to you similar to how scientific papers cite consensus information.
That’s why it’s important to rarely look at your analytics until you put in the work.
Consistency is Everything
Rather than worry about how good you’re doing in the beginning. Focus on hitting a target number of articles you want to have in the first six months. That gives you a target and forces you to build out the method for delivering.
For example, in six months you should have 60 articles. That’s an article every few days. Once you hit 60 Google will have a pretty solid understanding of what you like to talk about.
The Riches are in the Niches
My buddy Shaahin always says, “the riches are in the niches.” That’s true for building a blog as well. You want to hyper focus on a topic so Google knows who to send your way. Once you build traction then you’ll want to expand out into different areas around similar topics.
For example, Cast & Spear started with spearfishing because that’s what I was getting into. Eventually, it’s expanded into surf fishing and fly fishing which I also like to do here in Southern California. All involve fishing in some respect. If I could do it all over again, I’d probably stay a bit more niche, but it is what it is.
How to Start a Fishing Blog – Technical Stuff
Here’s the stack I recommend for you to get started if you choose to go with your own website:
- Hosting: WPXHosting
- Use WordPress
- A simple theme like Buddypress
- Ask WPXHosting to setup your cache and speed improvements
Then get to writing. If possible, add different types of media to your site including words, audio, and video.
Instead of getting overwhelmed, start with the medium you’re going to be consistent with first. For example, if you’re good with video, then start a YouTube channel. For each video you make, embed it on your site with a short written explainer of what you covered. Now you’re hitting both the YouTube search traffic and Google’s. Double the attention for the same work.
If you need help, shoot me a note and I’ll help you get started. I’m not worried about the competition, I actually welcome it because the more people sharing their love for fishing the high chance it’ll stick around for our future generations.
DM me on Instagram: @castandspear
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