Are you looking for ways to improve your online marketing? If so, consider adding a blog to your website. Blogging can help you connect with customers and build relationships with them, which can lead to more sales. Additionally, blogs provide an opportunity for you to showcase your expertise and demonstrate your knowledge of your industry. In this post, we’ll discuss what is web blogging, the benefits of blogging, and outline some tips for getting started. So read on to learn more!
What is a blog?
A blog is an online diary or journal with entries usually in reverse chronological order. The reverse sequencing is used to display the most recent posts.
Blogs are personal journals that people use to relate their experiences of using products, ideas, or services.
What is Web Blogging?
Web blogging is simply the process of sharing your online journal with the world. It relates to a discussion or exchange of thoughts shared primarily through a website.
What is the purpose of a blog?
There are many different reasons why people create blogs – here are just some examples:
- to share ideas and opinions with others.
- to provide information on a product or service – this may be for personal use only i.e. the blogger isn’t trying to attract visitors, but they are blogging in order to help themselves when it comes to buying certain goods or services.
For example, writing about the best type of printer because they plan on buying one soon.
- to promote a product/service – this is perhaps the most common reason for creating a blog.
A commercial or marketing blog may have an affiliate system in place where the blogger gets paid for every sale they generate from their site, or they could be trying to attract visitors directly with content that relates to their product/service.
- to generate income – blogging can be a way of generating an additional or alternative form of income.
For example, some bloggers may have another job but write about certain topics in their spare time in order to earn extra money from online advertisements, affiliate programs, etc., whereas others create content that they hope people will buy. Blogs may also be monetized using a pay-per-click system.
What do you need to get started with blogging?
Although you can technically start a blog with nothing, it’s best to have the following:
A domain name – this identifies your site on the web. You will need to buy a domain name from a registrar such as GoDaddy or Namecheap and then use hosting e.g. from Bluehost, etc., to create your blog.
A CMS – you will need some sort of system that enables you to create blog posts easily. WordPress is the most popular option, but there are plenty of others including Blogger, TypePad, etc.
Some content – this may be your own written content or it may be images/videos that you have produced. You may also use content from other sources as long as it is credited accordingly.
A platform – once you have your domain name and CMS, you will then need to choose your blogging platform e.g. WordPress, Blogger, etc. You can create an account with the relevant service and then install the blogging system onto your hosting account i.e. it will be like having a computer on your domain name (top-level) and then the CMS will be like having a word processing program that you can use to create blog posts, etc. You can then start blogging as soon as you have all of the above in place.
Getting started can be quite daunting for newcomers! Here are some tips to get you blogging in no time at all:
– Come up with a good name i.e. your name, company name, domain/brand/product name, etc.
– Create an email account associated with the blog e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org
– Sign up for hosting – I recommend Cloudways which you can purchase at affordable rates here.
– Install WordPress on your new hosting account – you can do this by installing the WordPress Toolkit.
– Follow the steps to install WordPress on your new hosting account.
You are now ready to create your first post!
Why should you have a blog?
A blog can enhance your personal brand, develop your leadership abilities, create awareness about you and/or what you do, help build credibility in the sector with which you are involved.
It can also help position yourself as an expert or thought leader, create opportunities for collaboration within your sector or profession, provide a platform to showcase your talent, skills, and expertise.
Types of blogs
There are many different types of blogs e.g. there’s a big difference between personal and professional/corporate blogs, sports and news, political and lifestyle, etc., but the most common distinction is between:
- Entertainment (fun) blogs – these may be based around a hobby or interest (e.g. food or football), or they may be purely for entertainment purposes.
- Informational/how-to blogs – these are often created by bloggers who want to share their knowledge and expertise with others, for example how to cook a certain meal, what the best device is for doing this, etc.
- Commercial/marketing blogs – these are usually created by companies or individuals who want to sell a product or service via their blog. These blogs can be very useful for small businesses and start-ups as they attract traffic from potential consumers who are looking for information on certain products or services.
Difference between a blog and a website
A blog is a particular type of website. Blogs are usually, but not always, based on an existing CMS (content management system). The most popular CMS used to create blogs is WordPress. Other blogging platforms include Tumblr, LiveJournal, etc.
A website can be anything from a purely personal/informal site to a multi-million dollar corporation. Some blogs are non-profit whereas others may have a specific agenda or goal i.e. to sell a product or influence opinion in some way, etc.
Benefits of blogging
There are many benefits of blogging, including:
– it’s a great way to share your voice and opinions with others.
– you can communicate with people from all over the world – blogging is an international platform that allows you to connect with people on a global level i.e. there is no more geographical restriction as modern technology means we can communicate freely and instantly no matter where we are in the world.
– it’s a low-cost/free way of generating income – although some blogging platforms do charge for premium services, you can usually get started with a free account and then upgrade later on if you feel your blog needs extra features e.g. image storage, etc. You also have the option to monetize your blog with affiliate programs, etc.
– creating content can help to promote you and your business – blogging is an excellent way of standing out online as it gives you the opportunity for more in-depth communication with people than traditional platforms such as social networks. Blogs are search engine friendly, so by writing relevant content on a regular basis, you will naturally start to gain a high search engine ranking and in turn, more visitors to your website.
How to create engaging content for your blog?
There is no real secret to this. The old saying of ‘practice makes perfect’ rings true here! Here are some tips to get you started:
- Be authentic – just be yourself.
- Keep it simple i.e. use short sentences and paragraphs, avoid jargon, etc.
- Use images/videos often – they help break up text and make it more interesting.
- Don’t try to do too much i.e. avoid over-analyzing, keep it real, etc.
- Go back through your content after you have posted it – check for grammar/spelling mistakes, etc.
- Leave yourself some time in between posts so that you can edit.
- Be consistent – don’t leave it too long between posts.
- Make sure the content is relevant to your readers.
- Continue to educate yourself about blogging, read others’ blogs, etc.
- Socialize i.e. engage in social media platforms – this will help you build a following and demonstrate your thought leadership.
- Have fun!
How do people find my blog?
Once you have created a blog, it is important to think about how people will find out about it so that they can read your content. Although some bloggers may choose to create an advert for their blog on their email signature, social networks, etc., the most popular way of finding new blogs is through search engines e.g. Google, Yahoo!, Bing, etc.
However, you should also promote your blog through other means such as by creating a Facebook or Twitter page for it so that people can share/like/follow your posts if they enjoy them.
Tips for promoting your blog and increasing traffic
Here are a few of the most common ways to increase traffic/visitors:
– Write relevant and engaging content – this is the number one way.
– Share your blog with friends, family, colleagues, etc.
– Engage on social media platforms e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, etc.
– Promote your blog on other websites e.g. article directories, website forums, etc.
– Submit your blog to Google/Bing – you can do this via a free submission tool such as Blogger’s Submissions Tool.
Just remember that a backlink is a backlink no matter where it comes from or how it appears on a site – if someone is linking to you then it should be beneficial. This method of promotion should come as a natural by-product of your blogging activity e.g. share on social media, etc.
Can I make money blogging?
Everyone’s situation is different, but yes – it is possible to make money blogging. Can you do it overnight? No – there are no get-rich-quick schemes here but you could potentially monetize your blog quickly if you get the right advertisers on board and/or make sales from your blog.
You may also want to turn your blog into a business at some point, which could require more investment of time, money, etc., but is ultimately an incredibly rewarding endeavor.
There are individuals and start-ups who have gained immense popularity and make a living doing blogging. There is no doubt blogging is one of the best online sources to make 4-5 figures monthly income with proper learning, planning, and implementation.
Strategies for monetizing your blog
There are many ways to monetize a blog. Here are some of the most common methods:
- AdSense – this is Google’s advertising program which you can use to display relevant advertisements on your site. You earn money every time visitors click on an ad on your website.
- Affiliate marketing – There are many platforms to join and promote as an affiliate to earn money. Amazon, ShareASale, Commission Junction, etc. are some of the examples.
- CPM – this advertising method is based on the amounts of ‘impressions’ your visitors make rather than on clicks.
- Product sales – as your readership grows, you may wish to sell some products directly from your blog e.g. using PayPal or another payment gateway.
- Sell advertising space on your blog to businesses – this can be a lucrative source of income. You can sell adverts directly from your blog using a system such as AdSense, or you could use a website such as BlogAds, which acts as an intermediary for advertisers and bloggers.
- Work as a consultant – Offer consulting services related to your blog e.g. write and edit content, design websites/blogs, etc.
- Write a book – E-books, in particular, are popular these days due to their portability and affordability. You can publish them online for others to download via Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing platform or you could even sell printed copies of your book on your own website.
Conclusion: Is blogging worth doing and recommended?
Blogging is very rewarding as it allows you to share your views with others, send direct messages via blog comments, create an online journal that is accessible for all to read, earn money, gain feedback on products/services that you are promoting, etc.
There are many benefits of blogging especially if you enjoy writing and sharing your thoughts with others. For these reasons, blogging is well worth doing and recommended.
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