Whether you are a hobbyist, a chef with delicious recipes to share or an entrepreneur looking to create a blog to boost your business following, you might be considering starting your blog.
You're on the right track. Blogs are a great way to share information and market your business, but they might be a bit daunting at first.
Thankfully, there are a few tricks you can have up your sleeve so that when you start your blog, you'll be ready to succeed straight away. It's quite simple once you have the right tips to get started.
That's why we've compiled 7 things you really should know before you write your first blog post:
1. Plan Your Content
Once the initial excitement wears off, it can be hard to come up with content and stay motivated if you don't have a plan. Schedule your content a while ahead of time. Planning a couple of months is a good way to stay ahead. All you have to do is write your blog posts, save them, and then schedule when you will post them - and make sure you stick to the schedule. You can opt for a traditional choice and use a paper calendar on your desk, or you can choose a modern option and use Google Calendar or a helpful tool to keep track. Don't stress too much over which method you use, as long as you have a plan you know you can stick to!
2. Identify your Audience
It's easy enough to write a great blog post, but will it sell your products and appeal to your audience? You might write a blog post that grandma would love, but most of your customers are teens who don't quite appreciate your style. So, take some time to research who you are writing for. You can even make up a few character profiles for your blog's audience and pretend they are reading your articles. Ask yourself these questions:
- Where do they live?
- How old are they?
- What are they getting out of reading my blog post?
- What questions do they want to answer?
- How do I keep them interested?
This will help you to write content that reels in the right audience and keeps them hooked.
3. Have a basic understanding of SEO and keywords
If you're thinking of starting a blog, you probably heard of SEO while doing research. It might have left you scratching your head wondering, "What is this?" and "Do I need to know or care?". The bad news is yes, you do - but the good news is it's not too hard to wrap your head around. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. It refers to the process of using popular keywords and good quality writing to improve your ranking on search engines. This means you appear higher in the search results. When someone googles a question about your business, you want your blog to be at the top, so your business can shine.
Once you figure out the basics of SEO, you can use websites to figure out what keywords are popular for your industry. Then, you use those words in your article to get more traffic! It might help to jot down a list of keywords that you can use as inspiration for blog posts.
4. Plan how to promote your content.
To share your brilliantly worded new blog posts, you need to have a plan to get the word out. This is a key step that many beginners miss or underestimate. Start by thinking about your audience. Do you have a Facebook Page or other social media? Post your blog on there each time you make a new post. If you have an offline customer base, you could try handing out business cards or creating a social media post offering a discount code to people who subscribe to your blog. This will help to get the ball rolling and let people know your blog is out there.
5. Choose a good domain name
It can be hard to choose a domain name, but it's important to make sure that your blog has a professional name. If you're starting a blog to find new customers, you'll want to register it in the same name as your business, or in something very similar to your branding or name. Think about what you want to be known by. Think about popular, professional names and model it off something similar.
6. Know how to choose high-quality images for your posts
A beginner mistake that people often notice occurs when low-quality images are used in people's blog posts or websites. If you're running a business, a low quality, grainy, oddly sized or poor quality photo can make your blog seem unprofessional. On the contrary, high quality, sharp images look very polished and refined. But you don't have to run out to buy expensive camera equipment just yet - there are plenty of high-quality photos available copyright-free online. Look for photos that are the right size and shape, and that have a high resolution. This will ensure quality.
7. Decide where you will host your blog
Once you've picked your domain name, planned your content and readied your stunning photography and design, your blog needs to be hosted. Hosting a blog yourself is possible but complicated. If you don't want to worry about all the details, it's best to use a website builder like Limecube, which makes the design, creation and hosting of your website simple so you can get down to business. A simple subscription tends to take care of the costs of your blog, which helps with budgeting.
Now you are ready to go out there and start your blog. Once you have these simple steps completed, you'll be ready to regularly upload content, advertise it, keep it looking professional, and hook in an engaged new audience with your expertise. Think about signing up for a newsletter or a few helpful blogs to keep your skills up to date, and you're good to go!