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Where Should You Start From
So, you want to start your own blog. That’s a big undertaking if you are going to do it right, and there are several important steps you will need to take to get it up and running.
Define Your Purpose
Why are you starting a blog?
- Are you promoting interest and providing information to individuals who share a passion of yours? If this is the case, will you be writing just for the benefit of others without any goal of making money?
- If you want a blog that produces engaging content for others who share your interest and passion, and you do want to monetize it, then how will you do that? There are, of course many ways to do this, but you will need to explore them and choose those that are right for you.
- If you have a web-based business, and you want to begin a blog for content marketing purposes, then you have much more to learn, if that blog is going to drive traffic to our website and ultimately result in sales and profit. In this case, you will probably want to invest in a guide for content marketing
Designing Your Blog
This will be your first task, once you have determined the purpose. You will need to choose a platform, and probably the best for a beginner who does not have great expertise on how to start a blog is WordPress. It is a free website and blog creation tool, very easy to use and will basically walk you through the entire process.
You will need to base your design theme on the purpose of the blog and/or the product or service you are promoting. Fortunately, WordPress has hundreds of theme ideas, and you will easily find one that will work for you.
Once you have the blog up, there will be a number of plugins – some are free and some are fee-based. You will want plugins based upon your purpose. To choose the right plugins for your purposes, the best advice will be to learn from other bloggers’ experience. There are loads of conversations all over the web about blogging and plugins, and you can get in on these for some really great advice. As a side note here, because WordPress is a free open-source tool, there are lots of communities and forums that will be very helpful.
If you set up your blog as simply as possible to begin with, you will learn as you go along, and your blog will improve over time.
Now for the Posts
This is the meat of your endeavor, obviously. You will need to find topics related to your passion or to your product/service, and begin to write posts. Again, if you are new to this whole blogging thing, you should learn from other bloggers’ experience. Again, you can find blog posts all over the web on how to write engaging posts that will capture readers’ attention and make your blog a popular place for visitors. Read and study what the veterans have to say, and try to follow their advice as you create your content.
Writing Your Content
There are several important “rules” for creating great content.
- Determine your topic first. You will find that, at first, this is not difficult, because you already have ideas. As time goes on, however, you will be struggling to find them. A good content creation tool for topics and titles is your best bet. If you Google topic generator tools, you’ll get hundreds, and many are free. Take the advice of experts here, such as Hubspot, Content Marketing Institute, etc.
- Study how other popular posts are written. You will find that the vocabulary and sentence structure is simple; you will find that text is divided up into small chunks with sub-headings and bulleted points; you will find lots of visuals – photos, images, graphics, videos, etc. These are the things that attract readers and make them want to share what you have written.
Promoting Your Content
If you are serious about driving traffic to your blog, then you will need to be on social media – at least 2-3 platforms where your typical reader may hang out. There’s lots of research out there about typical customers and their social media use for you to study. Facebook is probably a given; Twitter might be as well. Again, read the research and find out the platforms that are right for you.
Use posts on social media to promote your blog posts. Provide “teaser” that are compelling and intriguing. If you want a good example, read some of the headlines and teasers that Upworthy posts on Facebook.
Getting Your Content Shared
You build an audience by readers sharing your posts with their friends. There is a plugin that will allow you to set up sharing buttons, to make this very easy for your readers. You’ve seen these on any blog post or news story you have read. If your content is really amazing, your readers will share it. And every time someone shares one of your posts, you get exposed to an entirely new audience.
The more you write posts, the better you will become. Growing an audience is a gradual process, so post regularly, promote your posts on social media, and be patient.