Many people find themselves wanting to express love or an opinion on a certain thing that they may love. The only problem is that most times, it doesn’t get heard. To change this, millions of people have turned to blogs.
Blogs quickly became the go-to platform for any and everyone, individual or business, to express their thoughts, opinions, sell products or services, share their hobbies such as photos or crafts. Anything really, anything you can think of, there is a blog for it.
There are, however, a few things to remember before starting a blog. Most of these will apply to people who want to turn this into a blog that makes them money, or a blog/website for their business.
Blogging takes time and effort
Before you start blogging, especially if you are wanting to start one as the basis for a potential business or career, you need to remember that having a popular blog takes a lot of time and a lot of effort.
You need to realise that most likely, no one will read your first post, or your second, or even your twentieth, or fiftieth. This is ok though, this is where hard work and patience comes in, don’t stop working at it just because the results you want aren’t immediate.
If this is something you are passionate about and something you want to be doing for a long time to come, then immediate disappointment shouldn’t be off-putting, as just getting your content out there and seeing what happens is the exciting part.
Blogging is not free
Almost every blogging platform, WordPress included, are free. The basic versions of all these platforms are free. You are able to start and manage a blog with no costs involved. This becomes a problem though if your blog blows up, and it can become profitable because it isn’t technically yours.
If the platform is hosting the blog, they own it. Whereas if you buy the domain and pay for hosting, the blog/website is now yours. Paying these fees also enables you to some great bonuses.
Some people will see the benefits of paying for your blog and spending money on it, this is especially true if you are planning on making your blog something that brings in money. Owning your blog will never be a bad thing, it just depends on if you are willing to spend the money involved.
Identify your niche
Assuming you know what you want to write about, that is your niche. That is the topic you will be focusing on in your blog. To ensure you stand out from the crowd, especially if you are writing about a common topic, you need to go at it from a unique angle.
After you find your niche, you will need to identify your target audience. This is an important question to answer as it will define how you write, what you write. You need to identify their needs and provide solutions to their problems.
You need to find the right combination of quantity and quality. Quantity is important as it builds and maintains traffic to your site, but the most important is still quality, as quality determines how many readers you get and keep.
Your readers need to get some value out of your posts, whether it’s a lot or a little, they still need to leave with something. Many people don’t appreciate vague, uninformative and shallow pieces as they don’t feel engaged, and are therefore less likely to come back to your site.
If you are a new blogger or just started a new blog, it isn’t enough to just write a post and hope that people find it. You need to promote it. Use your social media profiles to share what you have written, especially Facebook, as your friends and family are more likely to share and spread it.
Even though knowing HTML and CSS isn’t a must as most platforms have made it easy to customize and manage your blog without coding knowledge, basic coding understanding is still a very useful skill.
It allows you to make very particular and unique changes to the appearance and function of your site, as well as allowing you to fix problems as they occur, without having to find or wait for help.
SEO is quite a difficult concept to explain, but it is basically making your site more popular with Google, and if Google likes your website or blog, it will rank it higher in the search results, and therefore making it more visible to more people.
It is highly suggested to simply Google SEO and read as many posts related to learning about it, using it effectively and making it work brilliantly for your blog.
There is nothing worse than writing a great piece of content just for it to be stolen by a bigger site and they get all the traffic. It is absolutely essential to learn how to protect your work from theft. It is just as important to learn how not to become a content thief yourself.
Having a well-designed and curated blog is an absolute must. No one wants to read something that looks like it’s part of a Powerpoint Presentation. Like everything, first impressions always count.
Another thing to always keep in mind is your blog is optimized for mobile devices. Most people view almost all of their online content on a mobile device, therefore ensuring your blog is formatted correctly for smartphones and tablets is essential.
Above all else, be yourself. People can tell if you are “faking” it, and they won’t respond well. Real passion is very visible and it draws the people in, they know it when they see it. If you are passionate and informed, there is no need to fake it till you make it, you’ll already be making it.
Starting a blog is an incredibly exciting journey, and there is so much involved that all of it couldn’t fit into one post. A lot of it is discovered through exploration on your part, but these tips will definitely put you on the right path.