How to Start a Car Blog
1) Finding your Niche
Starting a car blog comes with finding your own niche. There is an uncountable amount of car blogs out there, and by finding a niche, you can focus on an audience that may not have blogs that fit their needs. With that said, what exactly is a niche?
A niche is something that is appealing to a certain group. This helps find your audience by giving you a specific group of people to focus on. Making your blog too broad may oversaturate the market and you may have little return because of that.
Think of it as a pond. Targeting a specific audience may seem like a smaller pond, but it’s much easier to catch fish in a smaller area. Meanwhile, a broad topic is an endless ocean where all the fish are spaced further apart.
With that said, how can one find their niche? Here is a short list on how you can do that.
Find something you are passionate about. Don’t bother writing about something that doesn’t interest you. Unenthusiasm for a certain niche may rub off on your writing and turn your audience away.
Do some research on your niche. Go to Google Trends and see if your topic has the interest it needs. You’ll find graphs that tell you how popular your niche is and whether or not it’s on the decline. Certain trends in the car industry may be less fruitful because they don’t last.
Look at the competition for your niche. If there is too much competition, focus on a specific topic that has less competition. Use AdWords to see which keywords have the most balanced level of competition overall. This can also help you find out if your niche is profitable or not.
What are some examples of car niches you can look at?
If you’re a mechanic, a blog about car parts may be interesting. For a brand loyalist, a blog about a certain brand of car could be your ticket. With a topic such as cars, you don’t want to think too broadly, and instead focus on a certain part. Literally in this case.
Anything from painting cars to driving them can work as a niche topic. Once you find your niche, see if you can focus on a certain aspect. If your blog is about a certain brand, focus on a certain model and see if that works.
2) Think of a unique blog name and create your website
Now comes the fun part, creating your blog name. We suggest a name that’s short, sweet and is relevant to your audience. Some names for a car blog could be: Auto Parts from A to Z, Focused on Ford, or if you’re still stuck try using our blog name generator for some inspiration.
Once you have a blog name in mind, it’s time to get your website set up. Don’t worry, this is much easier than it sounds and can be easily done in less than an hour! Checkout our full guide on the best and easiest way to setup a WordPress blog here.
3) Get the essentials
Sometimes, you may need more than just a computer and your writing skills to get your blog started. One way you can promote your blog is through social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and similar websites may help you when you’re trying to promote your car blog. Running a successful social media account is a whole new ballgame, and you’ll have to think which social media account suits your niche. If your car blog has lots of photos, Instagram may work.
You also need to think about what kind of equipment you may need. If you’re vlogging yourself driving in a car, you’ll want a camera and a way to mount it while you’re driving. If you’re a car photographer, you’ll want a good camera that can show how powerful your car is. For a mechanic blog, you’ll want all the right equipment. If you’re focused on a certain brand, you may want to have access to certain cars.
Oftentimes, it’ll be an investment. Some equipment you’ll already have, and other equipment you’ll want to research and make sure you have.
What content do Car Bloggers create?
Cars are a vast subject, and audiences can expect many different types of content that they’ll cover. Some blogs may come from a car manufacturer and go into more detail about the latest products and news about the company. Other blogs will take cars out for a test drive and vlog about their opinions about how the car drives. Some may be photography focused and others may produce how-to guides about how to paint, repair, and purchase cars. As car owners can be opinionated, people will expect opinion blogs as well. Some car owners may have podcasts, too.
Create engaging and relevant content
In order to create unique content, you’ll want some inspiration. Think about what type of content your blog can focus on. You can do a mix of written, video, photo, and audio content, but think of one to focus on the most. Read other blogs for ideas. You should especially look at blogs that have similar niches to yours. What do you like about them that you could use and possibly build upon? What parts of the blog need improvement?
If you’re focused on videos, you’ll want content that is well-edited, gets to the meat of the subject quickly, and you’ll want enough charisma to keep an audience. This applies to anything, though. For a podcast, you’ll want a basic structure along with fan interactivity. For a blog post, you’ll want clever writing, or writing that is informative.
With any creative process, you just have to see what’s out there and learn from it. Some people can start their blogs with no inspiration, but most will want a few good bloggers to help prop them up.
How to grow your traffic
So how can you get traffic once you have your blog established? There are many ways you can do this, and results may vary depending on what you do. Here are some tips to get you started.
First, create good content. If your content isn’t engaging, no one will read. Once again, look for other blogs for inspiration. If you have friends or family, ask them for their input and listen to constructive criticism. The goal is to be an influencer, and if your content isn’t informative, no one will listen.
When you do get fans who comment and send you emails, interact with them. Your audience will love it when they feel like they’re being listened to. While you can’t answer every comment, try to interact as best as you can.
Go to similar blogs and interact with them. Becoming chummy with other car bloggers can lead to them giving you shoutouts. Try focusing on blogs that have a similar audience size to yours. This can help you immensely.
Try guest posting on a few blogs. Many blogs need people to write guest posts, and this gives your own blog some exposure. Some people will even pay for you to write with them, which helps you grow your credentials even further.
Good SEO is important. Using all the right keywords, images, and having a niche can help pull your blog to the top of Google’s search results. Consider talking to an SEO firm that can help tweak your blog. Checkout this Begginers Guide to SEO Article from the Team at MOZ.
Use all social media outlets to get the word out. If you have the money, consider a social media manager if you feel overwhelmed.
How to make money with your Car Blog
While you should blog because you love doing so, you also want to make some money on the side. There are many ways to monetize your content and make it so that you can earn some cash. Your blog can be your side gig, and if you’re good enough, it can end up being your full time job. Here are some revenue ideas.
Put ads on your blog. Google Ads and other ad providers can put advertisements on your account, and you can collect the revenue that comes from that. Find a balance between ads that pay well, yet don’t intrude on the audience’s experience.
When you have a big enough audience, look into sponsorship. For example, if you run a car part blog, car part manufacturers may pay you to sponsor their products.
As mentioned before, you may be paid to guest post. Look for blogs that need guest posts, show them your blog, and see if you can work up a deal.
If you’re a vlogger, your videos can be monetized with ads if you have a big enough audience. Just make sure to follow the guidelines of YouTube and other sites so you don’t get demonetized.
Consider Patreon. Your fans can pay some money each month to support you. In return, you can offer premium content that the normal viewers won’t have access to. Many content creators are using Patreon as their primary revenue stream. Examples of premium content include hangouts, exclusive blog posts, and other content that makes the audience feel like they’re a part of something.
While not money, having a large influence can mean some perks for yourself. You may be invited to car events with all expenses paid for. You may be given free car parts and other car products for you to sample. Then, you can blog about those and make more money.
With the Internet, there are so many ways to monetize your content, and if you’re a creator, you’ll want to have various revenue streams. As the old cliché goes, don’t put your eggs in one basket.
Top #3 Car Bloggers
Based in Vermont, Hemmings has been around since the 1950s, and it focuses on classic cars. They offer classic car parts, and have their own blog. They discuss classic cars, stories about old cars, have vlogs, and it’s all available on their website.
One popular piece of content they create is finding a classic car and making an informative blog post about it. Classic cars is a very popular niche. Older audiences love the nostalgia of seeing the cars of their youth, while younger audiences love the aesthetic of classic cars. If your niche is classic cars, this may be a good place for inspiration.
This is a unique blog from the creators of the Need for Speed video game series, but you don’t need to be a gamer to enjoy it. It’s dedicated to photos and videos of cars from around the world. If you look at it, you can find some unique content and stories from car owners across the world.
This content is popular because it combines unique cars and car stories with international travel. Travelers love reading about the different cars and car customs. People who live in certain areas of the world love seeing their country represented. If you’re writing a car travel blog, this may be a good place for inspiration.
#3 Be Car Aware
Started in 2011, this blog is for those who want to take good care of their cars. They post how-to guides, travel tips, and ways you can take care of your car. All of it is done in a gentle, inviting way that brings together people from all different skill levels.
This is a good niche because everyone wants to learn a little more about how to take care of their vehicles, but may feel intimated on where to begin. Read a few of their blogs and get some inspiration.