Starting a blog seems impossible to you if you are a beginner. And you are not alone, it happens with every starter. They face same problems, but with time they improve so will you.
Essentially a ‘blog’ is a ‘ web-log’. It can be a journal, product reviews, consultancy, recipes, philosophy, anything and everything the blogger wishes it to be. If it is just for fun, or business, either way, these basic tips for the guide to blogging will help you set up a professional profile and reach your goals.
1. Selecting The Correct Platform
Many people are confused about which blogging platform to prefer and which CMS system to operate with. The first step is to be clear about your goals and expectations from your blog. Is it a fun leisure activity? Are you thinking of earning through your blogs? or Just going with the flow? It will help if you have a clear answer to these questions before setting up a blog.
WordPress, Wix, Weebly, Blogger, etc., allow you to run a free blog on their site, but it has many limitations and restrictions. To begin with, you don’t own your blog. Even the domain name won’t be yours, and it would show up as www.YourBlog.wordpress.com. The platform can decide to delete your blog from their website anytime they wish to. Next, you won’t be able to monetize your blog or have access to themes. While running your blog might be free, but for the smallest upgrades, you will have to buy their plans.
If blogging is something you are doing for leisure, fun, and to explore yourself as a writer, this is the best bet for you. However, if the blog is for your business, or you want to monetize it, you should opt for self-hosted blogging platforms. Here you will own your blogging website and won’t have restrictions on its modification. The domain name too would be as per your wishes, for example, www.YourBlog.com.
We have another article that will guide you from the basics of setting up your blogging website. Shifting your blog from the free platform to your website isn’t impossible but extremely tedious. You might also lose traffic, customers, and revenue in the process. Hence, it is better to choose beforehand what kind of blog you want to opt for.
2. Specializing In Your Subject
Beginners are often over-ambitious and starry-eyed. This leads to choosing extremely broad topics that are difficult to research and properly cover. To run a successful blog, you should choose a subject material that fascinates you. Know what you are passionate about and then research its various segments.
For example, if you want to run a food blog, find a smaller segment to write about in this broad topic, like dry cakes. Then start researching, writing, and specializing in dry cakes. Your aim should be to become the go-to for any information or recipe related to baking dry cakes.
As your blog starts getting enough viewers and visits, you can expand your writing sphere. Starting from specifics and building up to broader subjects helps in gaining loyal viewers. It also makes your blog comprehensive.
3. Know What Is Trending
Don’t forget the bigger picture while writing on topics that interest you. At times, beginners digress by constantly churning out content that is irrelevant or not in vogue. You don’t want the blogs you put so much effort into becoming redundant. When you search on Google, the answers most relevant to the query come up. If you want your content to rank high on Google search, it should be relevant to what is popular at present.
AnswerThePublic is a free tool that showcases what users are searching on google. You can use this easy-access tool and write blogs as ‘answers’ to the questions people are searching for. Optimize your blog content for bringing in more traffic. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an effective way to get your blog to rank high on Google search. This can be done by keyword optimization and adding SEO meta-tags on all blog pages.
4. Effortless Reading
Your blog shouldn’t attempt to be an academic paper or a philosophy assignment. Given the abundance of information available, your viewer can anytime change the source of their information or entertainment. And the cause behind this can be your writing style.
A blog should be effortless, easy to read. It should not beat around the bush and cut straight to the main point. You should use short sentences and simple words. Break up your paragraphs into various points. Unlike other writings, blogs are supposed to be informal. Write how you talk. Add humour and be witty. Make use of multimedia – images, videos, gifs.
If your blog is informational, don’t overload with jargon and technicality. Keep in mind the sensibilities of the general public while writing.
5. Catchy Headlines
The digital age has greatly decreased our attention span due to information bombardment. Even a goldfish has an attention span of eight seconds, which is more than that of humans. Within the first three seconds, one decides whether to read further or change. Your headline will be the first impression, and the introduction will capture your readers’ attention. So both should be catchy and creative.
Search headlines of other popular blogs to get an idea. Most catchy headlines have formulae that you can find on the web. The classic formula is [Number] [Adjective] About Your Blog Content [That You Should Know/Won’t Believe/That Are True, etc.]. For instance- 10 Digital Marketing Trends That You Should Know.
You can also use CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer to check your headline’s strength. Google also makes use of Click-Through-Rate (CTR) to rank answers on its page. So working on headlines is essential.
6. Image Licenses And Copyrights
In your attempt to make your blog more interesting, you might end up using images from the net. This can land you in copyright infringement cases, especially if your blog grows and becomes famous (which is your aim). Avoid landing in these hassles and paying expensive fees for copyright infringements.
Don’t use images from just anywhere. Either use personal images, hire a graphics designer or get a premium membership to stock photo-providing websites. If you don’t wish to splurge money and are just a beginner, many stock image providers are on the net. Shutterstock, Pexels, Pixabay, Unsplash are some websites that will provide you with stock images for free (though your access will be limited).
For any blog to work and grow, consistency is the key. Motivation comes in waves, but discipline tides you over all the good-bad days. The reason most blogs die is either because the creator isn’t serious or lacks motivation. Going back to where we began this list, what are your expectations and goals from this blog?
Set your consistency in regards to that. If it is something for your leisure and fun, upload once or twice a week or whenever you feel like it. If it is for a business, you may upload every alternate day. If you want to grow your blog and earn from it, uploading every day or multiple times a day is a great idea. Keep in mind the bigger picture and stay consistent.
Blogging is an amazing way to meet new people, disseminate information, or just create an online presence. The experience should be fun and creative. Blog writing is one of the most lucrative jobs in the present-day scenario. Learning how to set-up your blog is a skill that will always come in handy.