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How to Start a Political Blog

How to Start a Political Blog
How to Start a Political Blog

Politics is often among the most heated topics on the internet. It’s a changing and energetic landscape driven by emotions, opinions, and facts. Political blogs are particularly great at fanning that fire.

The internet has been instrumental in politics around the globe. Through social media and blogs, the internet has influenced elections and driven policy changes. It’s a powerful tool that can make a tremendous impact on the world. As a result, the number of political blogs has considerably grown over the years.

In the US alone, millions read political blogs. Though traditional news sources are still the preferred medium to receive political information, blogs are often more trusted. Blogs help build communities and start conversations. In the world of politics, there’s nothing more important.

If you have expertise in politics and if you have something to say about the state of government, a political blog is a perfect place to voice your opinions.

These are some of the reasons a political blog is a good idea:

  • You can make yourself heard in a very relevant and important space
  • A good and trustworthy political blog can help support a potential political career for you
  • You develop your skills as a writer
  • You can make money as you write about the issues that matter

It’s important to note, this area of blogging is not for everyone. Political bloggers need to be well informed and must have a deep understanding of the political landscape. The most dangerous thing a political blog can do is spread misinformation and gossip.

You are most likely to make a positive impact as a political blogger if you’re a politician, journalist, activist, or someone passionate about the world of politics.

Technical Glossary

Here are a few important terms to keep in mind before you start your political blog:

Blog: A blog is a site you set up or create. It’s made up of published content in the form of blog posts.

Content Management System: Commonly referred to as CMS, content management systems as the name suggests, manage your content on your blog.

URL: URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator. These form the links in your address bar and are used to point to and link every page of your blog.

Domain Name: Your domain name is the first part of your site’s URL. It’s usually the title or name of your blog and is used to identify your brand.

Hosting: Hosting refers to the service that securely stores your website on web servers.

WordPress: WordPress is the most popular and most trusted content management system (CMS). It’s an open-source tool and is used by a significant portion of sites on the internet. It is the preferred choice when it comes to blogging.

Decide The Focus of Your Political Blog

The focus of your political blog is the general direction you take with your content. Politics is a vast landscape and there are several ways you might approach it. For example, you might choose to focus on political news. Most of your content would then be unbiased information. Alternatively, you might choose to focus on political criticisms. In this case, your content is likely to contain opinions, thoughts, and critiques.

These are some directions you might consider for your political blog:

  • News – Your blog would focus on providing the latest facts and information in the political sphere. You could aggregate news from various sources and present them to your readers in a unique way.
  • Recommendations – Your blog would make political recommendations based on facts and opinions
  • Criticisms – Your blog would make political criticisms
  • Elections – Your blog would focus on everything elections. News, predictions, opinions and more
  • Analysis – Your blog would focus on political analysis using polls, facts, surveys and more

There are more directions you might consider for your blog and your choice of focus will help dictate the type of content you create. Remember, you need to have the necessary skills and abilities regardless of your choice.For example, if you choose to focus on political analysis, you won’t be taken seriously unless you are a professional writer in that space.

However, you need not be a professional writer if your focus is aggregating news. In this case, your primary responsibility would be gathering the latest news from the most reliable sources and presenting it on your blog. Consider your expertise, your skills, and your abilities when you choose the focus of your blog.

Pick Your Political Niche

The niche of your blog is the specific approach you take with your content. After you decide on the broad direction or focus of your blog, you need to find a certain area you can add value to. This is your niche.

When it comes to politics, there might be several layers to your niche. Which political party is your blog going to lean towards? Are you going to follow the events of Federal, state or city politics? Is your stance conservative, liberal or moderate?

Here are some ideas you might consider:

  • Conservative Political Blogs
  • Moderate Political Blogs
  • Liberal Political Blogs
  • Democratic Philosophy Blogs
  • Progressive Political Blogs
  • Political Satire Blogs
  • Campaign Blogs
  • Political History Blogs
  • Political Science Blogs
  • Geopolitical Blogs
  • Local Political Blogs

In a field as broad as politics, picking your niche is extremely important. Your niche helps you find your audience and as a result, guides your content.Politics at the same time is a potentially controversial area.

This means your political views will not align with everyone’s.You need to find the audience you’re going to cater to and stick to that niche. At the same time, it’s important to be unique. With the quantity of political blogs that already exist, your niche needs to stand out.

Choose Your Blogging Platform

The next step to building your political blog is choosing a blogging platform. Your blogging platform stores your site and it’s the place from which you control every aspect of your blog. It’s important that you take the time to choose a trustworthy and reliable blogging platform.

There are free blogging platforms such as Blogger and Wix that you might consider. However, for your long-term success the best choice is a premium WordPress plan. WordPress is the most trusted and most popular blogging platform out there.

Domain Name Tips

Your domain name represents your brand as a political blog. A good domain name is a memorable label that helps your readers identify you, and in the case of politics, what you stand for.

Here are some tips to create a great domain name for your political blog:

Keep it Short

Short domain names always perform better. The most successful blogs have short and memorable names.Avoid long and complex words.

It’s a good idea to bring sophistication and depth to your content but if your domain name is complicated, your readers aren’t going to remember it.Choose a short and concise domain name that accurately describes your brand.

.Com Works Best

While the general rule in blogging is to be different, when it comes to your domain extension stick with the popular choice. Your domain extension follows your domain name, and it is just as important for your readers to remember.

Avoid long or obscure domain extensions. Even extensions such as “.democrat” or “.republican” that might seem relevant to a political blog, are still more difficult to remember than simply “.com”. The “.com” extension is easily the most common domain extension that almost everyone is familiar with.

The Broader the Better

In the ever-changing landscape of politics and blogging, you need to anticipate your growth. In a few months or years your blog might evolve to something quite different. A domain name that is too narrow however, could restrict your progress.

Choose a domain name that is relevant to the political niche you have chosen. At the same time ensure that it is a name that allows you to expand in the future.

Avoid Symbols

Remember, your domain name must be easy to recall. Including symbols, numbers or hyphens instantly makes a domain name difficult to remember. This might seem like a workaround when the name you want is already taken, but it could have a detrimental effect on your potential success.

Add Words If a Name is Taken

If the domain name you want is already owned, experiment by adding words instead of numbers or symbols. Extra words such as “the”, “now”, “blog”, “go”, or “world” among others, are relatively small additions that could free up a domain name you’re looking for.

Creativity Is the Key

Using your creativity is the best way to come up with great domain names. Especially, if a particular domain name is taken, use your creativity to work around the challenge. Use synonyms, brainstorm similar themes, or creatively manipulate the words you use.

Alliteration is proven technique when it comes to domain names. Begin each word with the same letter. Not only does this look great in the address bar but it also makes longer domains considerable easier to remember.

Don’t Purchase a Domain if It’s Already Owned

If the name you want is taken sometimes you can approach the buyer and purchase it for a price. This price is usually unreasonably high and as a beginner blogger, it’s really not an investment worth making.

Instead of purchasing an expensive domain, look for creative workarounds. And instead, use that money towards the development of your blog.

Don’t Get Trapped at This Stage

As important as your domain name is, it is ultimately the strength of your content that will lead to success. Spending too much time here prevents you from getting to the most vital part of your blogging journey: the blogging.

Many bloggers lose valuable time at this stage and eventually spend months to years before finalizing a domain name. Deciding a domain name should be a rigorous process but only dedicate a few hours to a couple days for the task.Brainstorm, plan and finalize your domain name as swiftly as you can.

Use Generators If You Need To

If you are unable to come up with a domain name on your own or if you just need some inspiration and momentum, there are great free domain name generators you could use.

Instant Domain Search is a great tool you could consider. With a domain name generator, enter the relevant keywords and the tool displays potential domain names you can purchase.

Buy Domain and Hosting

The next step is purchasing your domain and hosting. Choosing a hosting provider is an important decision. You need your site to be stored securely for as long as you need. One of the most reliable and trusted hosting providers is Bluehost. With Bluehost your blog can be up in no time.

Here is a step-by-step guide to getting started with Bluehost:

Step 1: Go to the Bluehost website

Go to the Bluehost website here. On their website you will see their shared hosting plans.

Step 2: Choose a plan

Bluehost has 4 shared hosting plans.

  • Basic – $2.95/month
  • Plus – $5.45/month
  • Choice Plus – $5.45/month
  • Pro – $13.95/month

As you gain more experience as a blogger and develop your content you might consider upgrading to higher plans. As a beginner, the Basic plan at $2.95 a month is an affordable choice that gives you all the functionality and features you will need.

The basic plan allows you to create 1 website. You get 50GB of SSD storage, custom themes and 24/7 customer support. Even better, you get a domain completely free for the first year. This is included in all 4 plans.

Step 3: Choose Your Domain

On the next page you can pick your domain. You can create a domain or use a domain you already own. If you would like to spend a little more time finalizing your domain, you can even skip this step for now and come back to the page later.

Step 4: Your Information

The next page requires the standard information to set up your account with Bluehost. Fill in the required details such as your name, email, phone number, and so on.

Step 5: Package Duration and Extras

The next page displays the details of the plan you chose. Here you can select the duration of your plan. You can choose from 3 options: 12 months, 24 month, or 36 months.

At this stage you can also add on package extras. These are extras such as security and privacy features. These extras may not be particularly important at this stage in your blogging journey, but they may worth considering as your blog grows.

Step 6: Payment Information

On this page fill in the required payment information and confirm your purchase.

Step 7: Confirm the Terms and Conditions

Check the required boxes confirming that you have read all terms, conditions, the cancellation policy, and privacy notice.

Step 8: Your Bluehost Account

On this page set up the login detail for your Bluehost account.

Step 9: Choose a Free Theme

Before you begin blogging you will be prompted to select a theme for your site. You can always change your theme later so for now select a free theme.Selecting a great theme is an important step in building a successful blog and we’ll get into the details of that process later in this guide.

Step 10: Get Started

With everything set up, you can now begin blogging. You should now the WordPress admin panel. You can control your site from here. You will see all the options you need to manage your site on the left panel.

From the WordPress admin panel, you can start posting and editing your blog. Once you’re ready to go live, hit the button “Launch your site”.

Choose and Install a Theme for Your Political Blog

A great theme helps you present your high-quality content in an appealing and attractive way for your readers. Before your audience reads your content, they’re going to see your designs, layout, colors, and fonts. In other words, your theme.

This is a first impression you need to get right. In fact, according to a study about 46% of people visiting a site make judgements on its credibility based on its design and layout. A good theme makes your site easy to navigate and your content easy to read.

There are many great free themes you might consider however, it’s best to choose a premium theme even as a beginner. Premium themes include far more features and are considerably more flexible than free themes.

Here are some great WordPress themes designed for political blogs:

Candidate – Political/Nonprofit/Church WordPress Theme

Candidate is a high-quality WordPress theme perfect for any type of political blog. It includes a variety ofpage designs, layout skins, dropdown menus, gallery types and custom widgets among several other useful features and tools. It’s simple to use and easy to download.

Price: $69

Check out Candidate

Nominee – Political WordPress Theme for Candidate/Political Leader

If your blog is running a political campaign or if you’re a political leader, this is the perfect theme. With Nominee you have access to all the tools to help you showcase yourself as a political leader. Some of the features include manifesto and biography options as well as video galleries, a success story timeline tool, and a volunteer page.

Price: $59

Check out Nominee

Campaign – Political WordPress Theme

This is another great theme to use if your blog is part of a political campaign. It includes great style options, calendar options and includes email tools to help you easily collect names and addresses of your constituents.

Price: $43

Check out Campaign

Actavista – A Responsive Political WordPress Theme for Politicians and Organizations

Actavista is the complete political WordPress theme designed for any purpose within the political niche. It’s great for blogs that manage campaigns, sponsors, or newsletter subscriptions. It includes donation plugins, volunteer management plugins as well as several homepage layout options among several other great features.

Price: $69

Check out Actavista

Diplomat – Political Campaign, Party, Blog Responsive WordPress Theme

Diplomat is a WordPress theme for political party and candidate websites. It includes several post layout options as well as event and donation form integration. It’s a flexible but easy to use theme with a variety of useful features and at just $39 it’s an affordable option too.

Price: $39

Check out Diplomat

Create the Essential Pages and your Logo

The essential pages of your site are: The About Page, The Contact Page and The Privacy Policy Page. These pages benefit the credibility of your site and are extremely important if you plan to monetize your content.

The About Page

The about page is a place to express yourself and who you are. It’s one of the more personal pages to include on your site but it is also one of the most visited pages on blogs. Tell your readers why you started your blog and why politics is a passion.

This page is an opportunity to tell your readers why your blog is unique and why it stands apart from the thousands of other political blogs. Your readers are also more likely to explore your content if they understand the person behind it. You can also encourage your readers to find you on social media here. Include links to your social profile on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn.

The Contact Page

Especially in the area of political blogs it’s important that your readers can get in touch with you.Include contact details such as your email, phone number, physical address, among others. Including a contact form is also a great idea to include on your contact page to make things even easier for your readers.

Your contact page could lead to opportunities for growth. It helps you build a valuable network and establishes you as an approachable and credible blogger. Ensure that all the information you include on this page is updated and accurate.

The Privacy Policy Page

The privacy policy page protects your readers from privacy breaches. It describes how you use data and information. It also protects you from legal liability.

The privacy policy page is also necessary when you monetize your site.Additionally, you can also include a “Terms and Condition” page or a “Disclaimer” page that serve a similar purpose.

Create a Logo

A logo is a visual way to present your brand. A good logo is simple and memorable while also being creative in some way. You could choose to design your own logo or use a free online logo maker to create one.

Begin Blogging

Now comes the most exciting stage, the blogging.You can finally begin creating your content.As a political blogger, you probably have several great ideas. Now it’s only a matter of presenting them in a convincing and appealing way through your blog.

Creating categories should be the first part of your content building strategy. Categories for your content helps keep your blog organized and easy to navigate for your readers. It will also help your readers find more relevant content on your site. The best way to create categories is to divide your niche into subtopics.

The categories you choose depend on your niche however, here are a few category ideas to help you get started:

  • World
  • Culture
  • Videos
  • Images
  • Opinion
  • Trending Stories

After you’ve finalized your categories, create content for each. To start, pick one category and create a post. Try to spread your content across the categories so that there are articles under every sub-topic.

Consistency and quality should be at the forefront of your content building approach. The world of politics changes by the day, sometimes even by the hour.So, it’s vital that you post content regularly. Choose a schedule that works for you.

For example, you could choose to publish posts several times a day to keep close pace with the rapidly changing political landscape of your niche. Or you might stick to a schedule of posting once a week and publish detailed, comprehensive articles. Know your focus, niche, and audience. Understanding those factors will help you determine the best routine.

It’s also a great strategy to learn from other blogs in your niche. This can help inspire content for your blog. At the same time, it will inform you of the content that already exists and can help you create unique work.

Promote Your Political Blog

Now it’s time to get your blog out there.Before you start promoting however, ensure you have at least 10 to 15 articles published on your blog.When your readers see populated pages as they start arriving on your site, they’re more likely to stay engaged.

Here are some of the best ways to promote your political blog:

Friends and Family

Friends and family are the first people to share your blog with. Get them to read your content, provide feedback and share your posts with their networks. This is an easy way to reach a larger audience beyond your connections.

Social Media

Social media is a major driver of political news and updates. It’s also one of the most effective ways to promote a blog.Promoting through social media could be one of your most powerful strategies.

Ensure you are active on all the major social media platforms. This includes Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, among others. Through these platforms you can reach an audience of potentially millions. Engage with relevant communities in your niche and follow prominent people and organizations in the political sphere.

Building a network through social media helps drive traffic to your blog but it also establishes your credibility in the political space.Your followers know they can trust your high-quality content and you become a reliable source of political information, news, updates,and opinions.

Forums

Forums such as Quora can be a useful tool to promote your political blog. Use these forums to share your expertise by engaging in conversations and answering questions. Include links to your blog when you post on forums. If your audience on these forums find your inputs valuable, they’re likely to check out your blog too.

Guest Posting

Guest posting gets your content on sites that already have a large audience. It’s a good way to broaden your reach and get your brand out there. Reach out to political bloggers and offer to post your content on their sites as guest posts.

Medium

Publishing content on Medium is a form of guest posting and for political bloggers it has been particularly successful. Medium has a massive audience interested in politics making it perfect for your content.

There are of course limitations in flexibility when it comes to posting on Medium as opposed to your own site. However, the exposure and credibility you earn by publishing on Medium is worth all the effort.

Dos and Don’ts

DO Keyword Research

Keyword research should be a major part of your SEO strategy. Keyword research is the process of identifying the words and phrases your target audience searches through search engines.

Particularly when it comes to political news and content, keywords play a big role. A single word or phrase could point to the most important and relevant political issues.As a blogger you need to stay updated and keep track of these words and phrases.

Create a list of the relevant keywords for a particular topic.Then ensure you seamlessly include them within your content.Good keyword research can help you get noticed quickly.

DO Be Authentic

As a political blogger you have a responsibility to create authentic content. Political misinformation is a serious issue.Dishonest blogs and media are a big reason for that.

Ensure the content you write on your blog is thoroughly researched and make sure you always use trustworthy sources.52% of Americans regularly encounter fake news online. Do not become a part of that problem.

DON’T Restrict the Type of Content You Create

As your blog grows it’s a good idea to keep things fresh by experimenting with different types of content. Writing articles is great but you can reach an even wider audience if you consider creating videos as well. Short, snappy videos can be easier to digest than a 2000-word article and it just might be that hook you need to engage a different audience.

DON’T Stop Promoting

Remember that promoting your blog is not something you do only as you begin creating content. It’s a continuous process that must be a regular part of your routine. Use social media platforms to regularly share new posts and content. Engage with communities and stay active online. The most successful bloggers never stop promoting even as their traffic figures rise.

How to Monetize Your Political Blog

Apart from being a place to express your passions, your political blog can also earn you can income. Here are some of the best ways to make money through your political blog:

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a popular blog monetization technique. It involves placing affiliate links to products and services throughout your content. When your readers click through those links and make a purchase you earn a commission. It’s not difficult to set up but the rewards can potentially be huge.

Research and sign up with a reliable affiliate program. Include links to relevant products or services and start earning. It really is as simple as that.

Consulting

If you are an expert political advisor or are experienced in the skills a politician might be looking for, you can offer your services as a consultant. This requires a certain expertise in the field of politics but if you have the necessary credentials, you could earn a great income.

Ads

As your blog grows, the audience you reach grows as well. And a large audience is exactly what politicians are looking for especially during election periods. You could offer ad space on your blog for politicians to publicize their campaigns. However, ensure the politicians you help promote are ones you support and whose messages align with your content.

Merchandise

You can sell political merchandise through your blog.Your merchandise should reflect the political views, beliefs, or opinions that are important to you and your audience.

There is usually high demand, especially during election periods, for political merchandise. You could sell products such as t-shirts, hats, mugs, photographs, and more.

Donations

You could also simply ask your audience for donations. If you’ve got a loyal audience, they will likely support you. Let your audience know that donations help you to continue to produce high quality content.This is a remarkably effective approach especially for political blogs.

Great Political Blogs to Check Out

Here are some great blogs you can check out for some inspiration and to get an idea of what a successful political blog looks like.

Final Words

Politics is an important space to a be a part of. Your blog can help build a valuable community of people who share the same beliefs. A great political blog can have the power to make a difference in the real world and can also be a way to fight misinformation in the political sphere. With this guide you have the tools and tips to put your passion for politics out there for the world to see and maybe earn an income while you’re at it too.

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