So you want to start a running blog but aren’t sure where to start. Do not fear, find below a step by step plan.
Decide What You’re Going To Blog About
What will you blog about?
Running?? I hear you say. Yes, but what kind of articles on running will you write?
There are many blogs and websites about running that have been established for many years.
In order to rank on Google and get readers, you need to write about something that these websites aren’t covering. Otherwise, what’s the point of your website if the information is already out there and adequately covered.
What will you cover in your unique voice these websites aren’t?
It’s important to decide on some niche articles to write about on your blog. What do I mean by a niche?
A niche is a narrow topic. For example:
Running for women = broad term
Couch to 5K for women over 50 = narrow term
I have some ideas for niche running topics in the middle of this article
This doesn’t mean your website can’t tackle broader terms, just not the beginning. Once your blog is established and has built some authority on Google, then it’s a good time to reach for broader search terms.
When you write niche articles, it’s very important to make sure that people are searching for what you’re writing for. If you’re writing niche articles that are on such narrow topics nobody is searching for them, you will not get much traffic!
I would highly recommend Keywords Everywhere for your keyword research.
Keywords Everywhere is an extension you can download to use in the Chrome Browser. There’s a free version but you can start using the paid version for just $10 and it’s worth every penny.
It can help you in multiple ways with your keyword research.
You can do a Google search and it gives you lots of extra keyword suggestions that people are looking for. See below:
It also works well with Google Keyword planner. Google keyword planner is a free tool that you can use for your keyword research, but you can also use it with Keyword Everywhere and it gives lots of extra useful metrics showing exactly how many people are searching for each keyword.
Pick a Domain Name
Once you’ve fleshed out some content ideas for your blog, you get to pick a domain name.
Don’t stress too much about your domain name. But here are some general thoughts:
Keep it broad
If your domain name is runninginyourforties.com, this narrows down the topics that you can write about as well as your target audience. If you have an urge to write about running for seniors, there’s nothing to stop you but it’s not going to fit well with your domain name. Keep your domain name as broad as possible, so you can branch into other areas if you want to.
Keep it short
Try not to have too long a domain name. It will be harder for people to type into Google and remember.
Make it easy to spell
A website that is easy to write makes it easy to remember, type and share.
Make it memorable
Don’t stress too much about this, but if you can think of something that is memorable, people are more likely to go back to your website.
Check Out the Competition
Google other running websites. You can learn from the top ones such as Runner’s World but also the smaller websites too.
Get a feel for what they’re doing. What can you learn from them? What can you improve on?
Decide On Your First 10 Blog Posts
Write 10 titles for your first blog post. This will keep you excited and get you through the technical part of setting up your website.
15 Running Topics To Write About
Here are some examples of niche topics to write about when running.
Couch to 5K Over 50
10 Tips for Running in Your 50s
The Guide To Interval Running For Weight Loss
Hill running vs flat running
Best Minimalist Running Shoes For Beginners
How Trail Running Can Help Your Marathon Training
Is Running the Best Exercise for Menopause?
How To Start Running at 40
Trail Running Shoes for Backpacking
Can Running Get Rid Of Cellulite
10 tips to Avoid Shin Splints When Running
Fell Running Vs Trail Running – Which is Best?
5 Vegan Recipies for Runners
15 Famous Runners in the UK
The Best Trail runs near London
The Best Running Shoes Shops in … (place name)
10 Strength Training Exercise for Runners (with no equipment required)
30 Minute Circuit Training Workout for Runners
More Tips When Picking a Running Blog Topic
To find good topics, it’s always worth combining running with another topic. So for example writing about running and food can give lots of niche topic ideas. You could write about running and the paleo diet, running and veganism, running and vegetarians, the best breakfasts before you run etc.
Here are some more topics you could combine to get ideas:
Running and disease
Running and injuries
Running and the menopause
Running and minimalism
Running and fashion
Running and Travel (vacation / holidays)
Running and Kids
Running and Location (where are the best places to run near you, in a big city etc)
Running and Other Sports (eg running to become a better basketball player)
Combine these topics, then do a brainstorm session to see what kinds of niches you can come up with. If you can find two topics which you are passionate about and you will find lots of ideas you love to write. Remember to make your niches about topics that people are searching for on Google with as little competition as possible.
Pick a Hosting and Set Up Your Site
If you’re going to set up with your blog with WordPress you will need to choose a hosting.
There are several to choose from. You may be tempted to pick a cheaper hosting but often you get what you pay for. The more expensive web hosts offer 24 hour support and will help if you have problems such as with the speed of your site (which is very important for ranking on Google).
I would recommend Bluehost or Siteground. I have used both and they are very good.
Bluehost is good for beginners for the following reasons:
1.) A free domain name is included with your hosting.
2.) WordPress is super easy to install
3.) 24/7 support
4.) 60 day money back guarantee if you change your mind (which you won’t ;-))
Siteground is another option, where you can’t go wrong. Their support is second to none. The prices for a beginner startup package are similar to Bluehost. But they don’t include a domain name.
After you have acquired hosting and a domain name, install WordPress.
With Bluehost, you can do this in 5 minutes. They will take you through the process when you set up your website. And there’s also a video that shows you how.
If this all sounds a bit too much, use the telephone, contact them and they do it for you!
Once you have WordPress, login into your blog go to yoursitename/wp-admin and login in with the username and password you set up.
This will allow you to see the backend of your site. If you’re not used to WordPress the backend of your website may alarm you. Do not worry! The majority of bloggers felt exactly the same. Take it step by step and in no time you will be confident in what you are doing.
Install a Theme
A theme controls the look of your blog.
WordPress has thousands of themes to choose from. You can change your theme by going to your dashboard and clicking on Appearance >> Themes in the left-hand side menu.
Then click on the Add New button at the top to select a new theme.
Once you’ve clicked on the “Add New” button, search for the theme you require in the box on the right-hand side.
Once you’ve found your chosen theme, click the install button to install the theme when you are ready.
Newbies to WordPress are going to want a theme that has a drag and drop builder, as makes it easy to use.
Astra is a good theme for beginners. This user-friendly theme is fully compatible with popular drag and drop page builder plugins such as Elementor.
Divi is the theme I use and has a drag and drop interface. Plus a visual builder to use too.
Vantage is a free drag-and-drop WordPress theme that comes with the SiteOrigin page builder.Start Blogging
SEO for Your Blog Posts
Now the real fun begins! Start writing your first blog post
Here are a few SEO tips:
1.) Include your keywords in the URL and heading.
2.) Make your heading something that users will want to click on. Here are some examples of headlines popular with readers:
– Numbered headings such as 10 Vegan Foods that Will Improve Your Running
– How to headlines such as How To Transition to Barefoot Running.
– Review such as A Review of the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music
3.) Make your content easy to read and scan
Many Internet readers will scan your content rather than read it. If your blog post is a huge blog of text, it’s going to make it difficult to read and readers are likely to bounce write of your page. Use headings, subheadings, bullet points, images and lots of white text to break up your text and make it easy to read.