Blog posts are everywhere. If you’ve ever searched online to answer a question or learn something new, chances are you were directed to a blog post. And because you’re reading this blog post, it’s probably safe to assume that you’re interested in starting your blog. Read on if this sounds like you and you’re unsure where to start.
What is blogging?
A blog is a collection of posts (or “entries”), where each post covers a specific topic. A blog can be part of an existing website, or it can be its own standalone site. Each blog post is composed primarily of written content—although it can also include some images and videos. This sets blogs apart from other forms of shared content like an Instagram account (which only features images and videos) or a YouTube account or vlog (made up of videos).
Why start a blog?
Depending on your goals, you may want to start a personal blog to explore a hobby or interest, or you’re looking to create a professional blog to promote your business. In either case, your blog should aim to provide interesting and engaging content. Below are some of the most common reasons to start a blog:
- Establish yourself as an authority in your field
- Drive traffic to your website
- Educate people about topics you care about
- Inform potential clients/customers about subjects related to your business
- Cross-promote and cross-post between your blog and social media channels to increase your audience’s overall engagement
- Connect with your readers in the comments section on your blog posts
Whether your blog is personal or professional, you can also use blogging to make money by selling ad space, getting paid by companies to write sponsored content, or using affiliate marketing where you mention an affiliate partner’s product or service and link to their site in exchange for a cut of their revenue generated by your link.
How to start blogging
Before you can start building your blog, you’ll need to decide what type of content you’ll feature. While your blog posts can cover a wide variety of topics, they should still all fit within a broader niche. Choose a focus area you’re well-versed in and will enjoy writing about. Also, think about your target audience and what they’d be interested in reading:
- What are their interests and needs?
- What questions can you help them answer?
- What pain points can you help them resolve?
Once you’ve settled on a niche, it’s time to start building your blog. If you already have a website, you may be able to create a blog on your existing site. For example, platforms like Squarespace, Weebly, and Shopify have built-in blogging capabilities that can easily be incorporated into your website.
Or, if you don’t have a website (or your website platform doesn’t include blogging capabilities), you can start a blog on platforms like Wix and WordPress. Some considerations you’ll want to keep in mind when shopping around for blogging websites include:
- Your technical skills: If you’re a newbie or not incredibly tech-savvy, look for sites that offer a variety of easy-to-use blogging templates to get you started.
- Budget: There are several great free blogging sites, while others offer more robust plans with monthly fees. Additional related costs may include hosting and/or custom domain names.
- Rating: When comparing blogging platforms, check their online reviews and pay close attention to their ratings on key elements like customer support, ease of use, and available features.
The driving force of a blog is written content, and your number one priority should be to create consistent, high-quality posts. It’s also important to post regularly (two or three posts per week is ideal), so you’ll need to brainstorm plenty of ideas for fresh content. Here are some blogging examples to get you started:
- For a professional or business blog:
- Take your readers behind the scenes by sharing an interesting aspect of your product or service.
- Share useful information on a topic related to your business. For example, an accountant might share a blog post with tips for keeping track of receipts in preparation for tax time.
- Interview an expert or a notable figure that your target audience would find interesting. (This is also a great opportunity to cross-promote with your interviewee to drive traffic to your site and theirs!)
- For a personal blog:
- Share something you’ve learned in a how-to post with step-by-step instructions.
- Offer your unique perspective on a relevant news article.
- Review a book, movie, TV show, video game, etc.
You can also research new post topics by using keyword search tools like Ubersuggest and Google Keyword Planner. Start with a broad keyword related to your blog and see which related search terms pop up. These may be excellent topics for future blog posts! (Keyword search tools are also useful for SEO—or search engine optimization—which is important for reaching a wider audience. Use these tools to find ideal keywords and incorporate them into your blog posts. This will help your blog posts rank higher when someone searches for keywords related to your blogging topic.)
Most of all, always remember that the beauty of blogging is in connecting with others over a shared interest. No matter if you’re blogging for business or pleasure, have fun with it and get creative. The tone of a blog post is usually informal and conversational to keep readers engaged, so don’t be afraid to show off your unique voice!
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