If you are passionate about writing, and your head is bubbling with ideas. You cannot help but share your ideas with a wider audience. Providing you a universal reach, blogging might be the outlet to do exactly that.
To start a blog, is the best way to express your thoughts and at the same time also establish a connection with your target audience. It is a two-way street; where you share your views by blogging on the topic of your choice and get feedback in the form of comments from the viewers.
Blogging is a great platform as there is so much learning involved in the process. There are constant updates and exchange of valuable information.
From a business perspective, starting a blog has become an essential aspect of Digital Marketing. This is to assists with SEO which helps to drive traffic to your page contributing towards marketing.
Why Start a Blog?
Starting a blog will help you think better and as your thoughts become more defined you improve your writing as well. As you blog more about your area of expertise, you learn more about a particular topic and gain an in-depth understanding which enhances your knowledge.
Blogging in itself is challenging and doing it consistently is not an easy job. It makes you compete with yourself and discover even more.
Blogs are a great way to career opportunities. If you have the reach and popularity with your audience. It will pave ways for you to build an image of your ‘online identity’ and increase your market value. This will assist you with your career as a blogger where people seeking your advice will reach out to you. Search engines detect your blog if they have effective key words, owing to the traffic that your page is driving. Blogs are also a brilliant way to meet new and interesting people who follow your posts and have new experiences to add to your bucket. Blogs in a way liberate you and help you discover yourself along the way. The sky is the limit!
Step by Step Guide Blog
- Picking a Blogging Platform
To build a blog the first thing you need to do is pick a platform. WordPress is the first choice that comes to mind as it has infinite features that you can choose from and there are various ways to design your page.
It has countless plug-ins and add-ons available and it is free of cost. So as a potential blogger, you need not worry about spending money in order to build your blog and kick-start your career. WordPress is by far one of the largest platforms with 82 million active users, which accounts to a wide reach amongst the bloggers. It is very easy to set up your blog on WordPress with tons of free themes and layouts. It has a support forum in case you get stuck and need assistance.
Readers can interact with you easily and share their feedback and also widen your reach by sharing your blogs on social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp. Other alternatives to WordPress are, Blogger which is the next best platform, followed by Tumblr which is partly blogging and partly social media website.
- Self Hosting Blogs or Pre-owned Blogs
The next major decision that you will need to take in respect of your blog, is whether to host your own blog or write for a pre-owned one. The downside of writing for a pre-owned blog is that you do not get to pick your domain name. There are certain limitations as you cannot upload all the images and videos that you would like to and you cannot fully monetise on it. You will be unable to access all the free themes that WordPress has to offer.
You do not own a free blog which is why content that you write for it has a possibility of being erased by the actual owner. On the other hand, with a self-hosted blog you can pick your own domain name and also own everything to do with it.
In addition, it has no limitation on the bandwidth to upload visual and written content and also access the free themes that WordPress has to offer.
- Starting a Blog on Your Own Customised Domain
You need to come up with a domain name of your choice followed by selecting a hosting company (I use Heart Internet mostly) that will represent your blogs. A domain name is basically the URL of your website. The hosting company is the one that displays it on the internet so everyone else can see it. Your blogs are saved on the internet. There are various hosting providers available online that you can choose from and usually they come with “one-click” WordPress installs solution on their admin panel which automatically installs WordPress on your blog. Once the installation is done you can start blogging. The layout looks a little complicated at first, but becomes understandable soon enough.
- Laying out the Design for Your WordPress Blog
With free themes available to choose from, you can lay the design of your blog however you want it. To pick a new theme, you can either head to Appearance > Themes and install a free WordPress theme or you can head to a premium theme website like ThemeForest.net and buy a theme. If you get bored of your current template or theme you can change it with just a few clicks and revamp the whole look of your blog without losing any content or images. The theme of your blog should mirror with your personality and style of writing as the readers will be able to connect with it. There should not be a mismatch between the two. Your blogs should be easy to navigate as that is a key element which makes your readers stay.
Useful Tips for Beginners
As beginners you will need to be very patient as you are just starting out and testing the waters as a blogger. Rome was not built in a day and the same goes for your Blog as well!
You need to have your short term and long term goals set and try and achieve them. Writing for yourself first is of utmost importance as the very fabric of your work will shine through your blogs and make you stand out.
Your readers will connect with you because of your personality as a writer. You need to focus on building your email list from the very beginning not from a selling point of view, but to reach out to your audience directly through their inbox instead of worrying about social media rankings. Building an amazing call-to-action button to build an email list. Induce your readers to subscribe and reach out to you is a perfect way to lay a strong foundation from the very start.
Being consistent is a key element when blogging is concerned. Neil Patel, founder of KISSmetrics says, “Consistency is one of the most important things that bloggers tend to forget. It’s much easier to lose your traffic than it is to build it up, so make sure you consistently blog.”
Having a catchy headline will pay, as people have a split second to decide whether to click on your post or not. Your headlines will let your readers decide on the sharing of your content. Keep your headlines simple, powerful, useful and bold.
Choosing the Right Content and Images
“Content is King”. There is a high possibility that the topic that you choose to write on has already been written by someone. This is reason enough to distinguish your content from others.
Beautifying your written posts with relatable visual content (graphics, images, videos, etc.) This is on the rise and gives your readers an additional visual treat. Why not use Pexels for stock photos, an even better option is to click your own photos. You can add them as they will be unique and are not readily available online. You can take the help of professional photographers if you wish.
Using SEO to Create a Successful Blog
The blog that you write needs online visibility to drive more traffic to your page. Search Engine Optimisation all around the world- including (SEO in Northampton) if used correctly, can drive traffic to your page.
All you need to do is incorporate keywords that you think your target audience. This will type in the search engines to come across your posts. Every blog post that you write, should have a targeted keyword or keyword phrase. This should be relevant to your post which will increase your visibility online. Using Google’s keyword tool will make you understand your keyword’s average monthly search volume and even suggest other keyword options.
Having a Magnetizing SEO- friendly Title is really important as only 20% of viewers read beyond your headline. Optimize the title effectively and you are good to go!
You find your URL, directly beneath the title box in WordPress. You should alter it or else every word from your title will be added in the URL. Your URL should consist of your target keyword phrase and should have 50-80 characters. Your keyword phrase should be mentioned preferably in the body of your blog post in the beginning. It’s also in the Meta Description for a better ranking in the search engines. Be mindful that your content though SEO-friendly, is written primarily for your audience and then for Google. Previewing your blog posts before posting them is recommended. You can see your post from your reader’s perspective. It is a sure shot way to ensure correction of errors, if any.
Start your blog with these essentials and over time you will be blogging your way to perfection!