Taylor Goodman takes a look at five things you need to know when starting a blog.
The blog-sphere is a diverse and inclusive space where people from all walks of life, with all kinds of interests, can have an outlet for their opinions and thoughts.
Most brands have a website, and that is all good and well, but a blog takes things one step further
. By building a blog, your business will not only be providing your audience with more information but it also provides your business with personality
— a voice behind
This is important because it humanises your business in the eyes of the consumer, and this helps you to cultivate an image as an authentic and trustworthy brand. In a business context, a blog can help your business to
With that being said, let’s look at five things you need to know when starting a blog:
- rank higher on search engines
- become an industry expert by sharing knowledge and insight
- attract visitors to your site that could potentially turn into leads, and
- engage with your audience and build an online community.
1. Determine your target audience
The first thing you should consider when starting a blog is who exactly are you trying to reach. Why? Well, how can you create content if you don't know who you’re writing for?
Creating great content will help to connect your audience to your brand and
your business’s products or services. This helps to expand your consumer base and generate leads. You can begin to identify your target audience by asking the following questions
- What kind of problems does your product/service solve?
- Who are your customers?
- Who are your competitors?
- What makes your business unique?
Once you have answers to these questions, you should have an outline as to who your target audience is. You can further expand on understanding your audience by drawing up reader profiles, using Google Analytics, conducting reader surveys and monitoring which types of content perform well and which ones don't.
In essence, defining who your target audience is will save you from creating content for content's sake; rather, it will have a purpose when it is received by the correct audience.
2. Choose your blogging software
Another crucial step to starting your blogging journey is to choose which software you’re going to use.
As a beginner, you need to look out for blogging software that is easy to use, has a low learning curve and doesn't require any coding skills
. This software also needs to be suitable for the kind of blog you want to create.Now, let's look at some of the most popular softwares available
WordPress is easily the most popular blog building website. It is an open-source, free blogging platform that enables you to create your blog quickly and easily. It is also a self-hosted platform, which allows you to have full control
over your blog.Gator by HostGator
Gator is a website builder and blogging platform that is a great alternative to WordPress. It offers a unique drag and drop tool that allows you to easily customise your blog. Tumblr
Tumblr differs from other platforms as it is a microblogging platform that integrates social media features like following other blogs and reblogging posts. Wix
Wix is a website building tool that allows users to create and customise their own website without the need for any coding skills. Users are able to blog from the site by adding the Wix Blog app. Medium
Medium is a community blogging platform created for writers, bloggers, journalists, and industry experts. It is similar to Tumblr in the sense that it has several social media features.
3. Create a blog strategy
Like with most things, blogging will be a lot easier if you approach it with a plan
. This will help you to outline the vision, mission and goals you would like to achieve with your blog. Your blog strategy should cover the following
- Who are you trying to reach with your blog?
- What type of content are you looking to produce?
- When do you plan on posting?
- How do you plan on promoting your content?
It may also be helpful for you to create an editorial calendar to help you keep track of when you have blog posts due and to plan upcoming content. Productivity tools like Asana
can be useful in this regard.
This is because Asana lets you plan out your tasks on a calendar format and check them off once you’re done.
4. Quality content is indispensable
In the blog-sphere, high-quality content never goes out of style. Now, you may be asking yourself, what makes content good quality? Well, high-quality content is cohesive
In order for your blog to attract an audience, you need to be churning out content that is both engaging and relevant to them.
By creating quality blog content that highlights your experiences and knowledge, you are able to prove yourself as an authoritative voice in your field. This helps you to present yourself as credible and goes a long way in developing trust with your readers.
If you have a good reputation as a content creator that, without fail, creates insightful and useful content, you will be able to build up a loyal base of readers in no time.
5. Blogging is a lot of effort, but it’s worth it!
If you want your blog to be successful, it is going to take a great deal of hard work.
In this field, consistency is everything
, as your blog will not miraculously be a hit overnight.
Running a blog definitely is a labour of love as it takes a great deal of time and practice to refine your writing skills, And, it is a continuous effort to maintain one and constantly come up with fresh ideas.
Seeing as 77% of Internet users read blogs
, this puts you in good stead if you persevere and devote yourself to producing quality content. Would you be open to starting your own blog? Why or why not? Be sure to let us know in the comments section below.
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Want to learn more about which resources you can use for a successful blog? Be sure to check out our article, Three apps to optimise your blog.
*Image courtesy of Vecteezy