In case you’ve been living on a boat in the South China sea for the past decade, let me explain the basics of blogging to you.
Blogging is one of the most powerful online marketing ways to build an audience and connect with people that have a need and interest in what you’re good at.
Its amazing how attractive blogging is to people, a lot more so than starting a website.
Even though a blog is a website, it has a more personal & social appeal than a static commercial website does.
There’s over 1 trillion unique web pages now which means there’s a huge amount of people and business you can connect and network with.
So if you’re thinking about starting a blog, take your time and make the right decision about what you want to blog about before you get started.
In this guide, i’ll give you some tips based on my experience as a webmaster and blogger since 2007.
Choosing a topic
If you want to start a blog specifically to make money, you probably won’t.
People that start a blog to make money mostly don’t make enough to keep going so they stop.
The reason for this is there’s others who start a blog about what they love and end up making money from it.
Many of these people would blog for free because they are passionate about a particular topic.
Many successful bloggers start blogging about a topic based on a hobby they have been involved in for some time.
Or something they fall in love with.
Most of these bloggers enjoy helping others achieve their goals by having a real interest and understanding of people’s needs, the challenges they face and helping them overcome and avoid frustrations.
If you really love what you do with a passion & enjoy helping others using your knowledge and experience, then its only a matter of time before you’ll love blogging and be good at it.
Choosing a Platform
Here’s a blog post about the 3 most popular blogging platforms.
The big advantage you get from using a free hosted platform like WordPress.com over Google’s Blogger.com, is the experience you gain.
This experience will come in handy when you move to your own self hosted version of WordPress down the track. This is generally the path most bloggers take at some stage because of the benefits gains by more flexibility, control and freedom.
Watch a video about the differences between WordPress.com (Free hosted) & WordPress.org (Self hosted).
What Is WordPress
WordPress is free software.
It’s software you can easily install in a few clicks.
The WordPress community is large, global and helpful.
Its the most popular, free, self hosted blogging software on the planet
The software is user friendly, easy to extend and very easy to make basic changes to.
Its basically an online publishing platform which anyone can use to publish content on any topic.
Here’s a video explaining the basics of what WordPress is and what you can do with it.
If you can use Microsoft Word, you can reap the rewards by using WordPress.
If you use WordPress, you don’t need to hire a web designer every time you need to make changes to your website or add new content to your blog.
Choosing a Domain
It’s best to keep your domain name short and relevant.
I’ve already written about how to choose the best domain name in an previous post.
If you choose a free hosted platform, you’ll get a big advantage using your own domain name. This will build rank for your domain from the very start and help you become an authority on your sites topic faster than using an extension of someone one else’s.
Generally, the older your domain, the higher your domain authority and search engine rankings.
I have noticed that the slower a web page loads, generally, the less credible the site is.
After sifting through blogs who scrape content, i noticed a significant increase in the time it takes for these low authority web pages to load.
You’ll lose readers fast if your site takes more than 5 seconds to load. After 2 seconds your readers start looking around thinking about where to go next.
Generally, webmasters with slow loading pages don’t care about keeping people waiting because they don’t care about your experience on their site.
I know you have your favorite social networks but don’t forget your content is on their domain.
You can either send your readers to Facebook or send your Facebook followers to your domain.
Social networks are built on user generated content. Better to build traffic to your blog and your brand than build Facebook’s brand.
Use your existing social media pages to find out which of your connections have an interest in your blogs topic.
Blogs On Websites
What a great idea. If you have a static website, add a blog.
This will drive traffic to your website and is a perfect fit.
Here’s a post about how to add a blog to your website.
Adding the worlds most popular and user friendly publishing platform to a website has significant benefits.
Here’s several reasons you’ll benefit by starting a blog.
The strategy for blogging should be different to what you have for your website.
Everyone can smell a sale a mile away, so using your blog to promote commercial self interests just isn’t attractive.
What you can do is write about commercial products based on your own personal authentic experience using them to solve problems and save time.
Product reviews are o.k but solutions which help people with a common need to solve problems is better.
Writing a product review about a premium product or service is o.k but won’t convert very well or get many sales. Most people generally don’t like being sold to but they do like buying when they need a solution to a real problem.
The product or service saves a lot of frustration, time and relieves this pain.
Writing a tutorial based on how a product or service can be used to save time, relieve pain & frustration and solve a problem will convert far better than a product review.
Turning a bad experience into a good experience wins you more readers as its win win.
Sharing idea’s, insights, solutions and experiences is part of what blogging is about.
People want to read real stories based on your experience & expertise related to the topic.
They want the good and bad, pro’s and con’s, so keep it real or you may suffer some bullying.
Write content that’s compelling, unique and useful.
Here’s over 20 idea’s on how to create compelling content that’s engaging.
Interacting with people that have an interest in your topic will help build your readership and authority in your niche.
If you’re new to blogging and choose WordPress as your platform, here’s some useful setup tips.
You have a few choices:
- Order a free setup setup service from the experts
- Download Free PDF Beginners Guide To WordPress
- Register to View Free WordPress Video Tutorial Series
- Hit The Green Button To Start a Blog Now & Do It Yourself
- 3 Simple Steps To Installing WordPress On Your Domain and Web Host
If you haven’t yet started a blog, why not? What’s the main reason you haven’t?