A simple and digestible guide for those completely new to the world of blogging.
I started writing my blog a couple of months ago and have found myself constantly asking the same questions over and over again.
I have spent many hours searching the internet for answers. What on earth is SEO? How do I get more hits on my blog? Should I invest in my own customised domain? To name a few.
After not really finding straight forward answers to these questions (that are suited to people like me who don’t know all the technical jargon!) this week I decided to do a business of blogging course.
These are some of the key steps I learnt, targeted at people completely new to blogging.
- Post Timeless posts
Post content that does not go out of date. It should be as relevant in a year’s time as it is now.
- Have a niche
Know what theme you want your blog to be and stick with it. This is particularly important if you are hoping to ever make money from your blog. I struggle with this as I like to write about multiple topics!
- Write longer articles
Google prefers longer articles (absolute minimum 300 words, preferred over 700). The principle is the longer the article is, the more ‘expert’ on a subject you are!
- Embrace social media
Love it or hate it, blogging and social media go hand in hand. Don’t be afraid to share your content to social media channels such as Facebook, twitter and Instagram. I sometimes feel a little awkward about this – as I don’t like to bombard people with too many posts. Figure out which gets the best response. For instance I usually post visually appealing posts (such as foodie posts) to Instagram – but not so much more advice/ guidance posts like this!
And very important – make sure you have social media sharing links on your blog.
- Organise your content
Use lists, numbers, bullet points, bold, underlined, spacing. Anything that makes your post easy to skim read, and read quickly. People don’t have time to read over massive chunks of text.
- Be aware of SEO, but don’t worry about it too much
SEO means search engine optimisation.
The basics of this are using keywords in your title and post that will show up in search engines. The first sentence is key! Did you know that 80% of readers will decide whether they are sticking around or not based on your first sentence?
However, don’t overdo it. I don’t particularly write with SEO in mind. For one, it takes the enjoyment out of writing – and blog posts feel forced and unnatural.
- Link back to other posts on your blog
I am only just starting to get the hang of this – and I guess it is something that develops over time and your blog grows.
The idea is if you link the reader to another page on your blog, you are keeping the reader on your site – increasing your number of hits.
Again, it helps if you have a common theme. Like lots of branches linking back to the truck I suppose.
- Use your camera
Wherever possible put photos in your blog. Try and make these original – and label them. Labelling them tells Google what they are – so they are more likely to show up in search results.
My phone (which is also my camera) broke when I first started blogging. Which was a bit of a nightmare. Every time I want a photo for my blog I had to ask my boyfriend to borrow his phone. Luckily I have it repaired now!
- Get personal
Nobody wants to feel like they are reading an encyclopedia page when they visit your blog. They are there for a reason – either to be educated, entertained or seeking advice and guidance
Use anecdotes and opinions to make your blog unique to you.
- Spend the extra dollar, and get your own domain name
I have only just bitten the bullet and done this – but I already feel so much more confident about showing off my blog.
The great thing about WordPress is that you can try out blogging for free (for instance adomainname.wordpress.com), and then upgrade if you decide you like blogging and want to take it a little more seriously (adomainname.com). The best thing is you won’t lose and of you content or followers.
This is by no means everything, but should hopefully give a few pointers to get you started.
Are you an experienced blogger?
What advice do you have for beginners?