Tech is the most popular niche that blogging startups choose nowadays.
What niche will you choose for your new blog? 60% of the time the answer would be “tech”. People who are a little tech-savvy, straightaway start a new tech blog. That’s not a daunting task.
Tech is an ever-growing niche, big tech giants uncover new technologies, bloggers and people go bonkers about them. More and more people are in need of new tech tutorials, guides and how to properly implement tech in daily life.
I will tell you certain things you need to consider before starting your general tech blog.
How to set up a tech blog?
Once you find your niche, here are all the things you need to do.
- Choose a tech blogging platform
- Pick a domain name
- Get web hosting
I would recommend you to avoid any free platforms or hosting services. Please don’t try to save money in these essentials as they together are the foundation of your blogging business.
Choosing a platform to start a tech blog
There are various blogging platforms to choose:
If you ask me personally, I would advise you to blindly go with a self-hosted WordPress site.
I initially started a couple of blogs under Google’s free Blogger platform. It comes with a lot of limitations and it may severely stunt the growth of your blogging career.
I would advise you to stay away from the free Blogger platform as Google isn’t updating the platform properly and it lacks versatility compared to WordPress.
It’s better not to start blogging as a business than choose Google Blogger as a platform.
WordPress is by far the best platform for any blogger. WordPress powers more than 30% of the websites in the world and is by far the most-used platform, next to custom-coded websites.
WordPress CMS is especially meant for bloggers. It has a very powerful community, forums, and tons of themes and plugins to super-customize your site with “zero” coding experience.
With WordPress, you don’t need any coding experience to start your own website/blog.
For running your self-hosted WordPress site, you need to have your domain name and hosting that together costs you as low as $50/year.
Selecting a domain name
When selecting a domain name for your tech blog, you need to go with brandable domain names.
There was a time when getting brandable domain names with the word “tech” in it was very easy. It was earlier in 2013, but now no more.
You don’t necessarily need to have the word “tech” in your domain name, irrespective of what others say.
Go with a generic brandable domain name.
Here are some of the two-word brandable tech websites:
You can make use of tools like LeanDomainSearch, NameMesh, Dotomator, and others for getting good blog name ideas.
Once you select a domain name, you can buy your domain using domain marketplaces like NameCheap, Name.com or it’ll come for free with your hosting provider.
If you buy a domain name, it would cost you around $7/month and $10 /month on renewal.
I would personally avoid GoDaddy for my domain and hosting needs.
Hosting your tech blog
It’s very essential to choose a good hosting provider for your tech blog.
If you are starting out big with a team of writers, and expect tons of traffic to hit shortly after starting your blog, you may need to go with dedicated or cloud hosting services.
If you are just starting out, getting a good SSD-powered shared hosting provider would be good enough.
I would suggest you go with Bluehost or Siteground.
Both these hosting services are good for newbies and can handle a good amount of traffic.
They cost you hardly $5/month depending upon the plan you are going for.
Once you hit the traffic of say 2,000 – 2,500 page views per day you may want to optimize your site for more performance or reinvest the earnings in a much higher plan.
5 things to know before starting a tech blog
Decide on your niche
When people hear about tech blog, they think just about starting yet another smartphone review site.
You need to think beyond that.
Tech is a very broad niche. Even if you are not just beginning out, I highly suggest you go into a particular niche.
So what is a niche in blogging?
You have many fields in technology. You need to blog in a specific field.
Here are some examples of how narrow you need to go while starting a tech blog.
- Tech > Mobile > iOS
- Tech > Desktop > Mac
- Tech > Photography > Lenses
- Tech > Audio > Headphones
- Tech > Gadgets > IOT devices
The general tech niche (tier 1) or the tier 2 niches mainly consist of very big blogs like Techcrunch, CNET, and others.
You need to niche down. If you are a solopreneur or have a small team of content writers, establishing authority in a very big niche is quite difficult. If you are blogging in a specific field, Google trusts your content and ranks you higher in SERPs.
As technology is ever-changing, and every now and then disruptions happen, you need to have a good sense of anticipation for choosing a niche that future-proofs your site.
You can make use of Google Trends and also your intuition to determine whether the niche you’re going after is the future or not.
Here’s one of the cool tricks for you to easily find a niche that you are interested in. Head over to any of the most popular sites in the tech industry like CNET, VentureBeat, Engadget, etc.
There you have it.
After you select your niche, just go through some of the other posts in the niche to get a glimpse of the topic. Only select the niche, if you are genuinely interested in the topic.
The only way to outrank these highly authoritative sites on Google is to start an authority site in a particular niche or a sub-niche. By doing this, you’ll be able to showcase your topical expertise to Google and thus it ranks your site higher.
Even before booking your domain name after selecting your niche, you need to come up with at least 20 – 25 keyword topic ideas you’ll be writing about. For these keywords, the SEO competition needs to be low.
You need to come up with ballpark figures for ad earnings and also affiliates.
If you are starting a site in say “Drones” space, just head over to Google and search for “best drones affiliate programs”.
If you come across some good affiliate platforms and products that offer good commissions and conversions and aligns with the easy-to-rank keywords you’ve researched, you’ve hit the right niche.
Tech blog may need frequent updation
Depending upon the niche you choose in tech, you may need frequent updation of your blog.
If you cover the latest tech news in all the tech fields , you need to publish 5 – 10 posts a day. You have to be one of the early ones to cover the news.
Here’s where passion comes into action. Without being a tech-news hungry man, you can’t sustain your news blog.
If you are planning to cover the entire tech from programming to Android, you need at least 2-3 posts a day for your tech blog to succeed.
If you cover only niche-related things like Android, iOS, and Windows, 2-3 posts a week will be enough.
Are you starting a Cydia (iOS jailbreak app) blog? Then one post a week may suffice although I won’t suggest you to go that narrow.
On the other end of the spectrum, if the niche goes broader, your blog demands more posting frequency.
When it comes to content, in tech niche the shelf life of content is really low as technology is growing exponentially. We are at the peak of the technological curve.
The content you publish today on “best laptops” will be out-of-date in like 3 months – when a new laptop comes out.
Smartphones? 1 month!
You need to determine the shelf life of your content and have a proper consistent content updation and publishing schedule set in place.
In order to drive massive referral traffic and get good organic rankings, you need to cover the latest trends on your blog . You should be the early bird informer.
When new tech is introduced initially, there will be no competition. You could easily rank for the keywords. Look at the crypto-currency niche, the early adopters of the niche, managed to cash-in big.
Coming to Google, when the niche competition is low, it indexes your blog post higher. Because it has no other content on the same, to rank.
For this, you need to be well informed about what’s trending.
Now, for example, the Android, wearables, and app development are trending. They are the future.
The IOT devices are also coming up, opening a whole new range of niches for you to create content in.
From 2017, the cryptocurrencies are also buzzing. There are many crypto-writers and bloggers who’re getting paid a great sum of money.
If you are a blogger, you need to be an avid learner and willing to be a student for your lifetime irrespective of the niche.
In search of new information, it’s easy to suffer from information overload. So, it’s important for you to make use of tools like Google Alerts, apps like Feedly (an RSS feed reader), Flipboard, to subscribe to a handful of quality blogs to get tech updates.
Another great way to stay informed is to have Facebook newsfeed work for you. Start adding other bloggers in the space as your friends on Facebook!
In the tech space, if you are in a specific space like I do (in blogging and content marketing), it’ll be much easier to stay informed of the latest know-how.
Decide on your monetization
You need to decide on the way by which you monetize your tech website.
Are you going to monetize your tech blog with Google AdSense or affiliates? You are the one to decide.
If you are in a high traffic niche, then running ads may be more lucrative for you. If you are interested in reviewing and promoting the products, affiliate marketing may be lucrative for you.
If you are using WordPress as your blogging platform, you can easily run both ads and also affiliate marketing on your blog. This is what I recommend – the hybrid approach.
With this approach, you’ll not be depending upon any single monetization method – Google AdSense or Affiliates.
If you ask me, on BloggingX I mainly do affiliate marketing. Apart from that I also earn a good chunk from sponsored posts and training. In my space, as the affiliate product commissions range from 20% to 70% it doesn’t make sense for me to run Google AdSense.
Depending upon the traffic you get in your niche, you may also want to sign up for various ad networks. Google AdSense works great for the majority of niches considering the sheer amount of personalization data Google holds.
For the tech niche, depending on the keywords, Adsense offers CPC anywhere between $0.1 to $0.5. The average CTR ranges from 1% to 7% for tech blogs.
Again, it varies a lot.
However, most of the blogs get around 2%-3% CTR.
The Adsense CPC and CTR for tech blogs have fallen drastically from the last 2 years (maybe due to the prevalence of YouTube, Android apps and IOT devices with Adsense ads)
Although driving some good traffic to tech blogs is easier, you will not earn decent money if the Adsense CTR and CPC are low.
Assuming that your CPC is $0.15, and CTR is 3%, you can hardly get anywhere around $4 to $4.5 for every 1k visitors which is something very low.
You can clearly see that your revenue depends on the traffic you drive. You need to drive massive traffic to your blog by targeting high-traffic and viral keywords in your tech niche.
High-traffic news websites tend to earn great from Google AdSense. And also, you need to remember that when you are running ads on your site, you need to conduct A/B split testing and optimize your ads for maximum performance.
As your blog grows, you can approach or you’ll be approached by lots of advertisers and product owners for sponsored ads. You can also earn good money out of the sponsored ads and posts you publish on your site.
You can also rent advertising space on your site’s header, sidebar or footer.
Keyword research is important
I would suggest you start a tech blog only if you are strong at keyword research, especially long-tail one.
Simply writing some blog posts and expecting organic traffic to flow may be a bad idea.
You should always try to rank for high-CPC keywords.
High CPC means advertisers are willing to pay more to Google for serving ads on that content, hence your revenue share will also be high.
All the blog posts you write should be about a specific idea. They should have the potential to rank for a specific keyword. Target keywords that have high CPC. It helps you earn some decent Adsense revenue.