Blogging is easy, right? All you need to do is create content for your website and wait for people to read and engage with what you have written. Simple!
Unfortunately, it’s not that easy! If you’re trusting in that famous quote from the movie Field of Dreams – “If you build it, they will come” – you might need to reconsider your perception of blogging.
Yes, people will read and engage with your content, and you will drive traffic to your website, but to make this happen, you need to master the art of blogging.
So, where do you start?
In this guide, we will help you on your journey towards becoming a blogging master. Whether you’re creating a blog to share your innermost thoughts or to make money from your website, consider the following tips and techniques to ensure you are successful in your endeavour.
Get started with a blog
Before creating a blog, you will obviously need a website. If you currently run your own business, you will likely have your own website already. Adding a blog to your site is relatively straightforward but if you’re unsure of where to start, this article at MailChimp will tell you much of what you need to know.
If you aren’t running your own business but you want to create a blog to make money or to share your perspectives on a particular subject, then you will need to choose a web hosting service and a blogging platform.
Your web host is where you can store your website’s files and data and your blogging platform is the tool needed to manage and create the content for your website.
Before you select a particular web hosting service and blogging platform, commit to research to learn more about the functionalities of each one. A simple Google search will give you a range of options but for now, check out these web hosting services and blogging platforms to get an idea of what is available.
Find your niche
What will your blog be about?
If you’re creating a blog for your business, then the topics you choose will be linked to the products and services that you offer.
If you are starting a blog as a hobby, perhaps with a view to monetizing it, then you need to identify the topic that you are most interested in. But when choosing a topic, you should also find your own niche within your chosen field of interest. This will help you stand out from other blogs that are already online.
If you don’t choose your own niche and you create a blog that is too similar to what is already available, your blog might suffer when it comes to search engine rankings. You will also struggle to pick up a band of loyal followers if you write about subjects that are widely being covered by your competitors.
To find your niche, you should:
- Choose an area that you are passionate about, such as health, beauty, and finance.
- Zero in on a niche topic within your chosen area – check out these tips on choosing a niche
- Check your competitors to see if that niche is already being widely covered – if it is, consider a slightly different subject
Not every blog post you write needs to be within the niche that you have chosen.
So, if you create a beauty blog and focus in on eco-beauty products as your niche, you can still create other topics that are linked to the subject of beauty.
However, you should ensure most of your posts are connected to your niche, as you will then gain a loyal group of followers who are specifically interested in your primary topic. In the case of eco-beauty products, your posts will be of particular interest to environmentally-conscious consumers.
When you later market your blog, you should focus on those parts of the internet where your target audience can be found, such as the appropriate online forums and social media groups.
Create quality content
Nothing is more important than the quality of your content when you’re blogging.
Who determines the quality of your content? Your readers!
If your content is boring, long-winded, irrelevant, and full of grammatical and spelling errors, then people will stop coming to your blog for the information they are looking for. Not only will you lose readers but you will also affect your SEO rankings when Google recognises your web pages aren’t engaging your site visitors.
How do you create quality content? The following steps are advised.
1. Make sure your content is grammatically correct
If there are a lot of spelling mistakes and grammatical errors in your content, your readers may become frustrated.
Before publishing your blog posts, use Grammarly or a similar tool to check for any errors and then make the necessary amendments.
2. Ensure your content is readable
If your content isn’t easy to read, your blog visitors are likely to stop reading particular blog posts before they have reached the end of them.
Content that contains long sentences and paragraphs can be considered unreadable and so can blog posts that contain words that require readers to look for a dictionary.
To ensure your content is readable, you should:
- Make sure your paragraphs aren’t overly long – aim for a maximum of 7-8 sentences but use concise paragraphs of 3-4 sentences when possible
- Write shorter sentences as these are easier to read than longer ones
- Limit the use of difficult words – those that your readers might not understand if they aren’t au fait with your chosen topic
- Don’t stuff your posts with too many keywords – while keywords are necessary for SEO purposes, too many of them can make your content appear unnatural and spammy
When crafting your content, use your experience of reading other people’s blogs. If you have ever been put off by something somebody else has written, chances are, your readers will be put off your content if you make the same mistakes as the blogger.
3. Write for your audience
Your readers are visiting your blog for a reason. If they visit your site looking for beauty tips and discover lots of blog posts on a completely different subject, they won’t be happy with the quality of your content.
Before you write a blog post, remember the needs of your readers. Tailor your content according to your main theme and make sure it’s directly related to the headline of the post you have written. If you find yourself going off-topic within a particular post, stop writing, and paste the irrelevant content elsewhere so you can create a separate blog post at a later date.
4. Make sure your writing is factually correct
You will have little trouble writing factual content if your blog posts are all based on your personal life experiences. But if you are writing about a particular topic, such as the latest trends in fashion, it’s important to do your research. If you don’t, some of your readers will spot inaccuracies in your content and lose trust in your blog.
Do your research before writing about a particular topic by using authoritative sources instead of random blog posts from non- experts when gathering the information you require. Correct information will give your posts credibility and this will give readers faith in your blog. As such, they will likely return to your website at a later date to see what else you have written on their preferred subject.
You don’t have to post articles every day of the week but if you leave too long a gap between posts, your readers may assume your site has become inactive.
It’s not only your readers who will think you have gone awol! If you don’t touch your blog for a long while, search engines will assume the same and this will affect your SEO rankings.
Some bloggers post one article a week and find success while others need to write more to keep up with the demands of their audience. At the very least, you should aim for one post weekly but if you’re able to write more than this, then do so. After all, the more content that is on your site, the better, as your site will have a better chance of showing up on search engine pages.
Of course, if you have a job to go to and a family to manage (as well as other commitments), finding the time to write regular blog posts may be difficult for you. If this is the case, you have a number of options.
Firstly, consider hiring a freelancer or two. You can find freelance bloggers on sites such as Upwork and Fiverr, as well as social media sites such as LinkedIn and on marketing agency websites. You will need to pay a freelancer – not many people will write for you for free – but if their work enables you to make a profit from your site, then you can consider their services invaluable.
Secondly, consider our article on using AI for your blog writing. Some AI tools can write content on your behalf but as this content is often poor in quality, it’s better to let AI help you speed up your writing instead of using an AI tool to write content for you.
Finally, consider the people you already have contact with. If somebody you know has authority in your chosen subject, ask them to write a guest post for you. If they also have a blog of their own, they could link back to their site within the article that they have written.
Optimise your blog posts for SEO
SEO, as you may know already, stands for Search Engine Optimisation.
To increase the visibility of your blog online (and to attract more traffic), you need to optimise your blog posts for search engines. If you fail to do so, your blog will sit on the lower end of search engine pages and your better-ranking competitors will steal away your potential readers.
A blog that has been optimised for SEO has a better chance of showing up on the first page of a search engine. As such, you should follow SEO best practices to give your blog a better chance of performing well online.
We won’t go into detail on this subject here as our post on SEO basics for beginners will tell you much of what you need to know. Check out our article and then do what you can in your own time to optimise your blog posts (and the rest of your website) for search engines. If you are short on time or if the subject of SEO confuses you, consider the services of a marketing agency who will help you further.
Monetise your blog
It’s possible to generate income from your blog but you should never put your desire to make money before the needs of your readers. The quality of your posts is what matters most so make sure you are adding value to the lives of your site visitors before adding value to your bank balance.
Your readers will quickly tire of your blog if you are always trying to sell them something, be that your own products or the affiliate products that are linked to the businesses you have aligned yourself with.
It’s all about creating a balance. There’s nothing wrong with your desire to make money froim your blog – this is the reason why many people blog in the first place – but don’t let it become your primary focus.
There are a number of ways to monetize your blog.
- Write sponsored content
- Pick an affiliate program
- Sell your own merchandise
- Charge your readers a monthly fee to access your content
- Add Google AdSense to your blog posts
More detail can be found in our article on monetising a blog. Consider your options and choose a monetisation method that aligns with the interests of your readers and the niche you have chosen.
Market your blog
Optimising your blog for SEO is one of the best ways to raise awareness about your site but it isn’t the only thing you can do.
To make sure your blog reaches as wide an audience as possible, you should take other steps to market your website.
One way to do this is to take advantage of social media. Create accounts on popular social media platforms, such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn, and share your posts with your networks.
Another way to market your blog is to answer questions on Reddit and Quora. After sharing your knowledge with users on these sites, refer them to your blog if you think your posts will be of value to them.
Earlier, we mentioned guest blogging and made the suggestion that you could ask another blogger to write a post for your site. On the flipside of this, you could write high-quality content for other blogger’s websites and include backlinks to your own site. This is an effective way to market your blog if you create content for a site that your potential readers are likely to use. Commit to research first and when you spot a blog that aligns with your interests, reach out to the blogger in question.
Engage with your audience
When your readers comment on your blog posts or social media entries, don’t ignore them or disregard what they have to say. If you respond positively to their comments, you will show that you care about their opinions and value their readership.
Replying to comments does take time but it’s worth doing. You will create a connection and sense of community with your readers and increase the likelihood of them following your blog in the long term.
When you have loyal followers on your side, you will have more visits to your blog each day, and this will help you achieve higher rankings on search engine pages. You can also ask your readers to market your blog on your behalf. If you have built up a relationship with them, they are more likely to share your posts on forums and their social media pages.
Never stop learning
This post is all about mastering the art of blogging. You can certainly achieve this but never assume you’re an expert on the subject after mastering the basics.
There is always more to learn so bookmark our website to check out our latest posts on blogging best practices and invest in your professional development by taking online courses and attending blogging workshops.
There are also books you can read on the subject of blogging and online communities where you can connect with and learn from other bloggers who are trying to make a success of their writing endeavours.
Continue your research online and benefit from the many resources that are available to you. By doing so, you will increase your blogging skills and knowledge and move one step closer to mastering the art of blogging. We wish you every success going forward!