Learning how to start a blog is essential for companies that are looking to promote their services by marketing online. While relatively simple, blogs give you the space to extensively discuss your products or services while helping you distribute this information directly to your target audience. As a matter of fact, crafty entrepreneurs have found ways to make money from their blogs without actually owning a company or providing a service.
Whichever the case may be, starting a blog is a unique process that will vary depending on your current skill set, resources available, and long-term goals. That said, there are many basic concepts you have to understand and general steps you’ll need to follow to establish a successful blog.
In simple terms, a blog is a publishing platform that allows you to share written content, as well as videos, images, and other types of rich media. Additionally, a blog can consist of an independent blog site or work as part of a more comprehensive website that also features additional supporting pages.
In the early days of blogging, individuals and organizations used these platforms to express their views and discuss popular topics. Today, these publishing platforms are also used to promote products and services, talk about global news, and examine ideas that the target audience finds interesting.
At Fannit, we’ve been using blog posts as part of our clients’ digital marketing plan for years, so we know what types of content tend to spark consumer interest. In this article, we’ll go over the steps that individuals and companies need to take to start a blog. We’ll also explore the importance of having a blog for your business and explain some of the different ways that independent bloggers generate a profit from their content.
More helpful reading: https://www.fannit.com/blog/what-is-digital-marketing/
Why Do You Want to Start a Blog?
Before learning how to create a blog, you should ask yourself: why do you want to publish blog posts in the first place?
It’s true that starting a blog is part of a sound digital marketing strategy, but you should think about the goals you actually want to achieve. Blog posts can help you deliver a message, build a community where members help each other, and ensure that readers are familiar with your brand, but you need to have these objectives in mind when developing your content.
Blog posts represent a great resource that allows you to inform readers, educate them about virtually any topic, promote different types of solutions, and even convince users to make a purchase. Regardless of what your goal should be, remember to develop a central message that revolves around this objective.
Independent blog developers that don’t own a company when they first start usually want to public content because they are knowledgeable about a specific topic. This can be anything from fashion to DIY projects or any other area that consumers are usually interested in. Rather than directly selling products or services, these independent bloggers usually find alternative ways to generate a profit from their blog.
Companies and similar organizations, on the other hand, have more obvious reasons to start blogging on a regular basis. These entities usually want to attract customers, donors, new team members, investors, and other audiences. Having a blog is one of the best ways for a company to develop and publish content designed to attract a specific type of audience for free.
Not only this, but publishing blog posts on a regular basis allows businesses to develop their brand identity and discuss their solutions in great detail, giving potential customers an accurate idea of what to expect.
- More helpful reading: What Is SEO Writing or Copywriting Articles: How to Write SEO Content as a Writer
The Importance of Blogging for Businesses
Before learning how to make money blogging using alternative techniques, we wanted to take a moment and explain the importance of having a business blog.
When a business starts creating a blog, the main goal isn’t to simply share informational content or write opinion pieces. Even if the content on a business blog doesn’t try to sell products or services directly, the main goal is to enhance one or more areas of the brand’s performance.
With the above in mind, remember that you need to promote your blog to ensure that readers actually see your content. If no one views your content, it won’t matter if you develop superb articles or if you publish them in a professional-looking WordPress blog. To increase visibility, you should get your blog post on search engines and distribute it on social media networks like Facebook and Instagram.
For businesses, the only way to start a successful blog is to be consistent and focus their resources on developing new content on a regular basis. This represents an investment in terms of time and other resources, but having a blog can have a great impact for companies that are using SEO, content marketing, and other forms of digital promotion.
Moreover, there are now dozens of free tools available that can help you keep costs low while also ensuring that you start making money through your content. From free blog hosting to spell checkers, Google Analytics, and cloud-based title creators, companies can now set up an attractive and functional blog on a budget without sacrificing quality or customer experience
Furthermore, some of the advantages of setting up and updating a business blog include:
- More helpful reading: Google Index a Website: How to Index a Website or Blog on Google Rapidly
Share Information with the Audience
One of the biggest reasons why blogging has become a popular practice for companies is that it allows these organizations to share information however they see fit. In other words, you can share content through short or long-form articles, videos, photos, interactive elements, and pretty much through any other digital means you choose.
Although your blog can cover any relevant topic, you should focus on discussing information that’s not included in your other pages or expect on the content that’s producing the best results. For example, if you cover your company identity and other branding elements really well in your about page, you don’t necessarily need to focus on this in your blog posts.
Instead, you can tell your potential customers about your specific approach, discuss the small things that set your services aside, or give readers functional information, like steps to complete a particular activity. If you feel like you haven’t focused enough on your branding, you can also develop posts that tell your story and give your brand traits that your customers can relate to.
Publishing several blog posts per month also gives you the ability to announce upcoming changes in advance and promote new features to build a buzz around your company. And, due to the amount of space you have available when blogging, you should be able to provide a detailed explanation about how these changes will affect user experience as well as other details.
Not only this, but your blog content will also help you promote partnerships and show your customers that you are constantly working on improving your solutions.
Take Control of Your Brand’s Image
To truly learn how to start a blog and make money from it, you have to understand the importance of controlling your brand’s image. A few decades ago, consumers relied on a company’s reputation to determine whether they wanted to work with that business or not. The same can be said about modern consumers, but these users have a lot more options to monitor the reputation of the brands they work with.
Review sites and local directories allow users to share their experiences with brands. However, these platforms aren’t always objective, not to mention the fact that they greatly limit what brands can do to address negative reviews. Most review and rating platforms don’t confirm purchases either, which means that not all the feedback left by users can be trusted.
Having a business blog can help level the playing field and give companies a space to take control of their reputation and brand image. A blog can help highlight your positive side while allowing you to address shortcomings and show users your commitment to improving.
Consumers don’t expect companies to be perfect, but they like to be treated with transparency. Instead of simply publishing blog posts that talk about why your features are the best, you should let your customers do the talking for you.
You should include links to local review sites and other platforms where you have a positive reputation throughout your website. For example, having your latest four and five-star reviews on Yelp! on certain pages can boost your credibility while also allowing you to produce company-centric content that has more leverage.
- More helpful reading: 5 Techniques to Effectively Improve Advertising Branding
Lastly but certainly not least, starting a blog for your business can help increase profitability and boost the amount of revenue you generate from your online channels. The reason for this is that blogs allow you to make the most out of traffic generating platforms like social media networks or search engines.
If you start blogging, you won’t have to share other people’s content on your Facebook and other social posts. Instead, you can promote your blog by sharing links to your new pages and get more exposure for your creative pieces. The more traffic you drive to your blog, the higher the chances of having users visit other pages, learn about your solutions, and contact your business to learn more.
It’s important to note that the most profitable social channels will vary depending on the audience you’re targeting. For example, if your main target audience are millennials and people from prior generations, Facebook and Twitter are likely the best choices. However, B2B companies and consumer industries that benefit from visual media should opt for more specialized platforms like LinkedIn and Instagram, respectively.
Social media channels are not the only way that blogging can help attract more traffic to your site. It’s estimated that more than 60% of all purchases begin online, so it’s safe to assume that a large portion of these searches are conducted through the world’s largest search engine: Google.
Google, like other search engines, evaluates hundreds of different elements when calculating results positions whenever there’s a query. These variables include both the amount of content on your page, how regularly it’s updated, and how relevant it is. By developing a relevant blog and publishing quality content a few times per month, you should be able to drive more traffic and ultimately increase the amount of revenue you generate from your site.
How to Start a Blog in 10 Easy Steps
Whether you’re a company that wants to bolster its marketing efforts or an individual that wants to make money from blogging traffic, learning how to start a free blog requires a lot of dedication. And, even though you may be able to reduce expenses, keep in mind that you’ll always have to invest time or other types of resources to develop a successful blog. The only way to attract and engage users is to develop quality content, so we suggest you don’t produce low-budget articles if it means publishing lower-level pieces.
In addition to the above, always remember to keep your readers at the center of every decision you make. It’s common for entrepreneurs and business owners to create a blog in WordPress.com or WordPress.org with the aim of generating revenue without ensuring that the model is designed to maintain performance in the long run.
Rather than simply making money from your blog, think about improving user experience and tracking the performance of your blog in order to make improvements that guarantee long-term success. You’ll also want to find the most cost-effective ways to promote your content, a formula which usually contains some combination of SEO, social media, and content marketing.
In addition to the content of your blog, you should also ensure that the technical elements that support your site are powerful enough to handle the amount of traffic it will receive. Starting a blog on WordPress with free web hosting may be acceptable for a starter entrepreneur, but it won’t cut it for a company that wants to drive SEO traffic.
If you are blogging for a company, a self-hosted WordPress site won’t yield the right results. Instead, you should pay for quality web hosting, create a blog that contains relevant information, and ensure that all technical areas of your site are designed to improve performance.
The blogging process is different for everyone. That said, the basic 10 steps you have to take to start a blog for free are:
1. Identify the Best Industry for You
If you want to learn how to start a WordPress blog, the very first step you need to take is determine what industry you’ll specialize in. After all, the industry you choose will determine the audience you want to target and directly influence the content you produce. In case you already have an established company or brand, you can skip this step and move on to the next one.
If you’re an individual or entrepreneur that doesn’t have a specialty, you should evaluate all the possible industries you can specialize in. Remember, the more you know about the field, the easier it will be to write content and find reliable sources later on. That said, you can also choose an area you’re not that familiar with and conduct extensive research as part of the blog development process.
Furthermore, it’s always a good idea to specialize in an area you’re passionate about. Having natural curiosity about a particular topic will encourage you to conduct more thorough research and it will lighten the load because your work will also have a personal element.
2. Find a Great Domain Name (If You Don’t Already Have One)
If you hadn’t chosen an industry before you started reading this article, then you probably didn’t have a domain name either. Individuals that want to learn how to start a blog and get paid for publishing regular posts need to choose an attractive domain name that’s catchy, memorable, and relevant to the content.
There is no exact formula to choose the right blog name. You simply have to evaluate your specific case, brainstorm a few ideas, and create a list of options you can start working with. Once you have a preliminary list, you should check if each domain name is available. If a domain name is taken, you can probably discard that blog name as well, so this is also a great way to narrow down your list.
As for established organizations, it’s safe to assume that all businesses and similar entities have a website and a domain name, so you don’t necessarily have to find a name for your blog. Every new blog post is published through this domain, so there is no need to create a blog name. For branding purposes, some companies like to give their blog a unique name, but this doesn’t affect the domain name itself, just the URL structure.
In case you have an outdated site or don’t have one at all, partnering with a reliable digital marketing agency can help ensure that you have reliable web hosting and publish quality blog posts on a regular basis.
- More helpful reading: How to Increase Your Organic Website Traffic With Less Content
3. Decide Between Paid or Free Web Hosting
It doesn’t matter if you want to know how to start a food blog for personal or commercial reasons. When setting up a blog, you’ll need to decide whether to host it using free web hosting or if you’re willing to pay to store your site on a safe, private server. But, rather than making any assumptions, take the time to evaluate your project and determine how improved web hosting could benefit your site.
If it’s your first blog, you probably want to simplify the experience as much as possible. While free web hosting doesn’t incur additional charges, this option usually provides limited features that may end up affecting user experience negatively. And, free hosting services are not usually as safe, so make sure to double check a platform’s security features regardless of the type you choose.
Paid hosting, on the other hand, brings a variety of great benefits designed to improve user experience and allow you to focus on creating new blog materials. Even if it represents an additional investment, paying for quality hosting can improve your reputation and allow you to start blogging without any complications right away.
4. Choose a Blogging Platform
Next, you need to choose the best blogging platform for your project. There are many different options available, but the vast majority of platforms aren’t built to have robust SEO. WordPress is one of the few exceptions because this platform was designed to follow sound SEO practices while simplifying the blogging and blog management processes.
Keep in mind that there are two versions of WordPress to choose from, both of which are technically free. WordPress.com is a managed blogging platform, which means that you don’t have to worry about hosting or handling the technical side of your campaign setup. This version of WordPress doesn’t allow much flexibility, so it’s more suitable for individuals that want to learn how to start a beauty blog or similar projects for personal reasons.
When using WordPress.org, you have to find independent hosting for your website, but you’re in complete control of all parts of your publishing platform. However, to get started, you’ll have to go through the entire technical setup process or work with a firm that can take care of this part for you.
WordPress is extremely versatile when it comes to creating a blog or an entire website. If you don’t have a site already, you can run your blog as well as your business site on WordPress. Or, you can also deploy WordPress technology specifically in your blog page, which could help improve user experience. And, you’ll be able to access your stats and make updates to your blog through the WordPress dashboard.
5. Implement an Attractive Design
Learning how to start a blog for money takes much more than mastering the technical side. Site owners have to understand the elements that their audiences deem as attractive and which variants relevant users find unattractive. This allows for the creation of more attractive websites that entice potential customers and encourage them to spend more time on your pages.
Despite the fact that your design should be eye catching and standout, remember to always follow contrast and other aesthetic best practices. Your page should always be functional, so its aesthetic elements should never have a negative impact on the user experience. If you’re not sure which designs are more likely to produce the best results, you’ll want to conduct a few tests to determine which WordPress theme and color scheme has the highest chances to succeed.
Having an attractive website design can alter the way users perceive your blog or company, but purchasing a theme is hardly enough to get the most out of your site. While many themes offer legitimately good building blocks, most of these still need a lot of work to produce the best results. Instead, you should work with a marketing agency that has web development capacities, which will help ensure that our site can be built on and expanded later on.
- More helpful reading: The Top 5 SEO & Google Analytics Tips
6. Determine Which Plugins or Features You Need
One of the best things about running a WordPress blog is the huge number of plugins that are already available for the site. From basic add-ons that help maintain formatting throughout your whole site to security improvements that aim to reduce illegitimate traffic, you should create a list of blog plugins you need to add.
While Yoast and other amazing plugins are available for free, you may need to invest into certain add-ons in order to improve the way your site performs. You should keep speed and other technical elements in mind to ensure that you’re getting as much SEO value as possible.
Moreover, consider creating a list of the features you want and see if there are any plugins available that can provide each one of the capacities you listed.
7. Install Analytics Tools
Installing analytics tools that help you track the performance of your site is essential, regardless if you want to learn how to start a video blog or a traditional text-based platform. Google Analytics is one of the top monitoring tools out there and it’s available at no cost, so it’s also among the most popular tools in terms of adoption.
Google Analytics provides a huge collection of user-centric statistics that help web managers measure the performance of their site and make adjustments that produce better results. This includes metrics like time spent on page, click-through rate, and other common metrics.
With the above in mind, it’s also important to note that Google Analytics is a comprehensive tool, so learning how to use all of its features can take a while. There are dozens of training videos that Google has developed to help users master this platform, but make sure that you stay up to date with any changes the search giant makes.
8. Design Forms that Capture Contact Information
Businesses and individuals that are researching how to start writing a blog also need to understand the role that design plays beyond simple appearance. The forms on your blog should help you collect user information when your visitors are checking out your posts. There are many ways you can implement forms into your site, but it usually comes down to whether you install WordPress themes or work with a programmer.
If you’re working with a WordPress theme, it will likely feature at least one if not multiple contact form options to choose from. In case you’re collaborating with a developer, you’ll want to help him or her design an attractive form that doesn’t have too many fields, which increases your chances of success because users won’t have to spend as much time filling it out the spaces.
You need to customize your blog with forms that capture user information because this is the most basic step you need to take to generate a significant profit from your traffic. If you don’t have a company, you can still set up a free blog and find multiple ways to monetize your posts, but collecting user data and tracking performance on Google Analytics will almost certainly be part of the equation.
9. Start Writing Your First Blog Posts!
Have you ever wondered how to start a travel blog if you haven’t actually traveled? The solution is relatively simple and available to anyone that has access to the internet: you simply have to research. You should get started by researching the topics that your target audience finds the most appealing. For example, you can decide to cover topics like the top beaches in the world, new tourist destinations that will blog your mind, or produce blog posts about similar topics.
After you install WordPress or have decided on the final design elements of your theme, you should create a schedule and put a timeline on when your first blog post will be online. Depending on the resources you have available, you may first have to publish a couple of blog posts per month. It’s much better for companies and blog managers that have relatively few resources to spread out their resources and develop new, shorter posts regularly.
Blogging sites and companies that have larger budgets can focus on publishing various weekly or monthly posts, as long as the new content is relevant and keeps the audience engaged. If the industry you’re in doesn’t allow for such frequent posting, you can always develop a set of new basic posts first, write more advanced posts and distribute it for free at a later time.
10. Work On Building a Loyal Audience
Learning how to start a personal blog and become a reliable source of information takes time, but you shouldn’t use sketchy techniques to rack up a large list of readers. Instead, you should work on building a loyal audience that turns to your blog because of the quality of your posts.
Some blogging website managers choose to purchase traffic in an attempt to fool Google and get higher rankings faster. The problem is that paid traffic doesn’t usually engage with the contents of a blog, but these visitors have a higher chance of clicking out, increasing bounce rate, and having a potentially negative effect.
Rather than opting for this approach, you should work on creating an attractive WordPress site, setting up a blog that resonates with your audience, and writing pieces that are accurate, useful, and deliver real value to your readers.
How Do Bloggers Make Money?
WordPress has become the leading platform for creating blogs, but it doesn’t necessarily explain how bloggers can make money from their posts.
As we mentioned before, it’s easy to see the benefit of having a blog from a company’s perspective. Developing and managing a blog on WordPress is free, plus it gives you the ability to share videos, images, and long-form articles that talk about your services, products, and brand identity. Furthermore, you can also discuss challenges that your audience faces and how your services or products can work as a great solution. The materials on your blog can serve as a testament to your company’s quality, thus increasing the chances of getting leads from your digital materials.
Additionally, individuals that want to develop their own blog on WordPress without owning a company can also find creative ways to monetize their traffic. Affiliate marketing is the perfect example. This type of digital advertising relies on affiliate marketers that usually manage a popular blog to connect with a company’s audience. Affiliates usually work on a performance-based model where they get paid a commission for each direct or indirect sale generated by their blog materials.
With the above in mind, remember that affiliate marketers and other individuals who run their own blog collaborate with multiple advertisers. These marketing specialists don’t usually sell a specific product or partner with one company, but rather develop a blog that can cover different trending topics and promote certain solutions through these materials.
Ready to Start a Business Blog? Contact Fannit Today
Learning how to start a blog website is a slightly different process of companies and individuals who want to make money from the materials they publish. However, digital channels like the internet now allow companies to promote your brand, discuss the solutions they have available, and create a blog that tells people why they should choose their services.
With the above in mind, developing a blog is not a simple process, especially if you want to cultivate a loyal base of readers. This means that all the ideas, topics, and angles covered in your blog should deliver some form of value to your readers.
If you want to learn more about developing a successful blog, contact Fannit today and our team of digital marketers will be glad to help.
- More helpful reading: https://www.wikihow.com/