You're an avid biker, on and off the road. You spend your days test driving the latest cycles fresh off production, tinkering with the latest gears and talking to the hottest your riders out there.
At night, you're a keyboard motorbike advocate. The local forums and Facebook groups look up to you for news on the latest trends and advice on what to purchase on their next splurge.
There's growing support for you to open up your very own bike website, so your readers can access direct content – news, reviews and stories that only you can provide. So you fiddle with the idea of starting your very own blog.
Don't want your blog to end up as another unmarked grave in the growing cemetery of motoring blogs out there on the Internet? Then you need content that stands out and keeps your readers checking back for more. Here's how:
1. Write an introduction or biodata page that's all about yourself
A newbie mistake is to start a blog and dive right into it without having a proper “About Me” page. Remember, you not only want people to read your stuff, you also want them to feel like they know you personally. A brief introduction about who you are and what you do is the minimum but tell your readers what brought you into the biking world and what you offer to it.
Perhaps supplement this with a first post about why you started the blog and hint at what's to come.
2. Focus on content, not design
You're probably not going to be able to compete with manufacturers and media houses when it comes to site design, so go for a simple and lightweight site layout.
If your writing was born in forums and social media like Facebook and Twitter, then your followers already respect your content and value your opinion. So focus on your writing – not on the flash.
On the other hand, you don't want a drab design or tacky art to deter newcomers so go for a clean and slick motorbike theme. You'll find plenty of royalty free templates ready for use on common blog platforms like Wordpress. Or you can pay a modest sum for more professional Wordpress motorcycle themes.
3. Avoid intrusive advertising
Tempted to “monetise” your blog? There's nothing wrong with that at all but how much of your site you choose to display advertisements and where you display them can have a negative impact on site traffic if you're not careful.
Always choose advertisers that are Ad-Blockable so your Internet savvy users can opt to block out your ads (besides, you'll earn more for traffic that actually doesn't mind seeing your ads).
If you're doing regular product or bike reviews, you already increase your potential revenue with a blog. It's just up to you to sell the value of added exposure from your site traffic to your existing publishers and manufacturers.
4. It's your blog, not the manufacturer's blog
There's such a thing as reader fatigue and you don't want your blog to feed the machine that's already churning out mass-produced bike and product commentary. So you shouldn't just purely be a reviewing blog, write personal stories about your interactions with events, bikers.
Of course, you'll have to do justice to your paymasters if you're doing reviews or coverage but a lot of people will appreciate objectivity. Tell it like it is and tell it like you felt! People will come back for more if they find experiential content that isn't available anywhere else.
These are just some hints on how to start a killer biking blog, of course you'll find your own way once you've gotten a few posts under your belt.