Writing a blog is a whole new experience in its own. With blogs, you can express your opinions, thoughts and emotions all at once but in a more responsible and structured way. However, many think Blogging as a platform just for researching and writing but it’s more than that!
As time will progress, if done right, more people will start reading your piece and even following you. Doing blogging right is not a road filled with roses but more of hard work with the higher chances of odds popping out your way. These odds are more likely to come if you are doing it for the first time.
But don’t worry, just like any other work, blogging is not rocket science too and you don’t have to be an expert, just your passion for writing is enough. Here, I’ll share some essential things which you should know before starting your own blog. So, go through it and understand it and I’m sure with time you’ll gradually become expert with at least the basic things.
So, let’s first start with the very beginning. I am assuming that you are the kind of a person with an instant idea of starting a blog. Now, what you’ll do, apart from searching the right ways of blogging on Google?
Well, the first thing you should do is to come up with a good domain name and a web hosting platform. Now to understand the difference between domain and web hosting platform, consider that the house you are living in is a web hosting platform and the name of your house as a domain. A domain is something by which people will find your blog whereas, the web hosting is something where all your data will be stored.
If you are looking for a budget-friendly option, then you can even go for free hosting such as blogger.com or medium.com or any other. Just remember, there are always few limitations while going for any of these websites. As no longer you’ll be in full control of your content and you have to follow their guidelines. You can’t even monetize in some cases and many other.
So, it’s better to go for a self-hosted website which gives you a lot more flexibility with the design, content and monetization options. For self-hosting your blog, you can visit Bluehost or GoDaddy and can browse their plans. For the starters, going for the basic plan is more than enough. Here, Website Learners explains the whole process of registering a domain and a web-hosting to create your own blogging platform in the most simple and easiest possible way. After this, you are done with creating your own blogging website and from now, you can start blogging.
But before you jump right into blogging, here are a few things which you should know and understand.
Make a Plan
Before writing your first blog you should first focus on certain things. Identifying your niche is very important as a lot of time, I have seen bloggers who end up on writing too many topics instead of focusing on any one niche. Try to figure out the right topics for which you are passionate about and keep things simple. Instead of telling a whole story, try to keep your blog helpful by solving the problems.
Keep the design of your website simple, easy to read and fast. A good design is a must but don’t overdo it by stuffing content all over your homepage and please opt for the themes with faster reloading times. As slower loading websites can seriously affect your Google Rankings. You can use Google page insights for testing the speed of your website.
With all this, you have to even keep an eye on the frequency of blog posting. Remember instead of going for quantity you must go for the quality. You should focus on posting blogs at a regular interval while keeping content useful for your audience.
Most importantly, if you are interested in making money then you should know and track your competitors, you should know about the current trending topics, the topics on which your competitors have posted and try to come up with the better versions. Tools like BuzzSumo and Semrush can help you out with researching your competitors, their keywords and trending topics.
At last, just be authentic, original and real. Try to build the trust with your audience, avoid copying content and track the success of your blog by integrating analytics tools to your websites.
Learn the Basics of SEO
SEO or Search Image Optimization is the set of techniques which optimizes your content for ranking higher on search engines like Google. Now, it’s true that content is king but still, you can’t underestimate the power of SEO. It involves different strategies like keyword research, link building and a lot of other things. Basically, it is used for driving traffic to your blog’s website. Here, you can read the beginner’s guide to SEO for the better understanding.
Importance of Link Building and Internal Linking
You can say that link building is the part of SEO. It plays an essential role for ranking your site higher on Google. At times, it may be time-consuming but is not complicated. Link Building is just a technique to promote your website or blog on other websites for driving traffic to your website. The first and foremost part of link building is to write high-quality content as nobody will link to regular or crappy articles. Once you create quality content, try to contact all the people you are looking to link your articles. Here is the in-depth guide of link building by moz.com which explains all the aspects of the same.
In contrary to link building, internal links connect your one page of the blog to another page. Remember, external linking is a link of external websites which you mention in your blog but in internal linking, you mention the links of your own websites to your own blogs. Internal linking is also essential for SEO and help the readers to navigate to your other articles or old articles. One thing which you should know about internal linking is that avoid overdoing it.
Content is King and Context is God
Yes! It is one of the most famous lines which has been said and believed by a myriad of bloggers and marketers throughout the world. As the old saying goes “Quality always beats Quantity”, it is true for blogging too! Anyone can post a blog on a regular basis but then what will be the difference between you and anyone else? Take time, but whenever you post, post relevant, fresh and powerful content.
Now, even Google gives an edge to the sites with fresh, detailed and unique content. Apart from it, if your audience, finds your content useful then anyhow they’ll engage with your blog posts and will become your regular visitors. Try to make engaging and lively content which has the potential to become popular with your audience in the future.
In order to tackle this problem, you can opt for Beginners Guide to Writing a Great Content by Eduonix.
Value of Guest Blogging
I don’t think that the concept of guest blogging will ever go out of the trend. It is a very important strategy used by numerous bloggers to get backlinks and traffic from other’s website to their own website. Simply, in guest blogging, you find all the famous or top blogs related to your niche and then approach them for writing a post on their blogs having the link of your website or the name of your website. This helps in increasing both, your brand name and awareness. Today, several established bloggers happily allow guest bloggers to post on their websites but with certain conditions. You just have to find the right place to post the right content.
Make Social Media your Best Friend
If you are thinking about blogging without social media, then either you are already established or you don’t know the word “Popular”! Believe me, after spending hours in researching, writing and formatting, the most frustrating part is to see zero audience engagement of your article. Accept it, nobody likes 0 shares or 0 comments on your articles. It all happens when bloggers don’t do promotion on social media correctly.
So, what is the correct way of promoting your blogs on social media? You have to create various pages on different social media websites. You have to frequently share your content on the same. Remember, some websites can be simple but others like Reddit can be tricky to drive traffic to your websites.
Nowadays, various tools are also available for tracking social media engagement but don’t automate everything. You can use different platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Quora, LinkedIn, Instagram and others for making a good fan base. While posting on social platforms, remember that your post should not look a promotion post or spam. Try to answer your audience questions with your blogs and try to post unique contents.
High-Quality and Relevant Image
Everybody knows that picture explains things more easily than the whole page full of texts. Pick any of the famous blogs and you’ll understand the importance of high-quality images. Apart from quality, make sure your image is relevant and eye-catchy which explains the whole scenario by just looking at it.
Now, the question arises where to get the images? As everyone can’t buy a DSLR and become a photographer overnight! Instead of this, you can look for free sources websites which provides good top-quality images without any copyright issues. My favorite ones are:
Still, you are not getting relevant images? Well in these situations, websites like Canva comes handy. For all you newbies, Canva is a design tool for non-designers and with this, you can create some amazing content. Although, it’s complete features comes with the premium membership but for me, the basic ones are sufficient to create the desired image.
However, for the deeper knowledge of image editing, you can explore Photo Manipulation: Master Photo Editing course.
Formatting like a Pro
You have done the research, gathered all the content and written the blog. Now what? Here comes the formatting part! Just as, relevant and good quality images are important, formatting is important too. With formatting, I didn’t mean that just proofreading your article, checking the grammar and correcting it. Restructuring your article is also essential for making your blog reader-friendly and attracting.
As of today, information is plenty and whether you agree or not, most of the people don’t even read whole content by every word. Here, formatting your article helps to increase the user time on your article. As of now, here are a few tips which you can remember while writing your article:
- Use short paragraphs having around 5 sentences on an average
- Add subheadings in your article
- Use simple and easy-to-understand words
- If possible, use bullets and numbers to highlight the key information
- Try to keep important points in bold or italics
Try to Build a Community
Of course, by now you have understood that blogging is not just about writing and posting articles. Another major aspect of blogging is the engagement with your audience. You have to try to build a community rather than just a platform for knowledge. Indeed, writing a useful content is important but then engagement with your audience by answering their queries, having a conversation and frequent guest posting to other blogs is equally important to build the trust among others. This not only helps you in making a community related to your niche but also helps you in building a loyal audience base.
Apart from good writing skill, another most important thing you need is “Patience”. If you are thinking to generate money from your blog then trust me, it won’t be easy, it won’t be instant and at first, it won’t be sufficient! I agree, that if you are serious about blogging and are willing to give your time to it, the blog will be a good source of income in the future. Initially, you’ll have difficulties in generating revenues but once you successfully build your audience and the reach of your blog is increased, then there are myriad of ways by which you can make money. Here are 10 ways you can earn money through blogging.
It’s true that Blogging has become a trend. Not everyone but many are either doing it or thinking about starting a blog. But blogging is something which is not for everyone. In this sea full of data, you have to be unique in your own ways. As most bloggers give up easily, you must have patience. Above all, a true passion for writing and the idea of expressing yourself is enough for many to keep them going till the last.
With all of these, I end up this article and hope that it might be useful for all you newbies and for those who are in a constant search to improve there blogging skills.
Till then, Keep Reading and Keep Exploring!
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