Your blog has the potential to really rock. You can be a star, a guru, a writing whiz… but it’s difficult if you’ve never blogged before. With the internet so flooded with advice articles about blogging, it can be difficult to know what really works. You’ll find anything from tips for writing persuasive content to mantras for idea development.
Instead of writing the generic buffet of tips, this article is designed to walk through each general step of the blogging path. We strongly suggest you follow it in order; the process is cumulative, and skipping around will only delay or sabotage success.
The process is a little different for business blogging – after all, you already know your niche; it should be your industry. However, whether blogging to build authority, increase your ranking, build traffic or any other reason, these steps will get you started.
Ready? Here we go!
1. Themes and Topics
Decide on a niche, or a topic that encompasses your entire blog. Get a website and determine your domain name. Make sure the topic is very YOU: something enjoyable that you are passionate about. You don’t have to be a professional, but you must have an interest in the subject matter to keep up. Research to find keywords relating to the theme that have low competition for best results.
2. Format and Outlines
Once you have a platform and at least one good keyword, it’s time to focus on article format. Before writing, create an outline. Without an outline, it’s too easy to write tangents that move away from the point. Staying on topic is incredibly important for SEO ranking, as well as reader retention.
3. Write It Out!
In the writing phase, make sure to write naturally. Don’t try to be gimmicky or detached, just write how you would speak. Be honest and thoughtful rather than twisting the truth or outright lying. Research and source facts related to your topic; being opinionated about something doesn’t mean being uninformed.
Telling a story relating to the subject of the article really engages the reader. Make sure the story has an emotional quality, something your reader can relate to on a personal level. If you can’t find anything, scope out communities within your niche for ideas.
Don’t skip this step! The article will never be perfect, but make sure to reduce errors and cut unnecessary information. This is also the stage to focus on adding links, whether to sales pages or other articles. Take the time to give each article a good polish.
Be a dependable content creator. Whether it’s daily, weekly, or even monthly, be consistent. Also make sure past content is applicable. Information that is “evergreen” will keep your blog relevant without constant revision.
Gaining repeat visitors is a huge topic. However, until the habit of consistency has been maintained, focusing on social media and mailing lists gets overwhelming. Connecting with your audience is a crucial step, but it is only useful after the basics.
Don’t focus on stats in the beginning. Instead of worrying over analytics, focus on building your blog with quality articles, good keywords, and sharable posts. After a month or so, begin split testing and checking conversion rates to find out what works with your audience.
As one of the final stages of blogging, this is where everyone wants to begin! After building presence and authority in your niche, now you can branch out and decide how to best monetize your blog. Examples include writing books, selling products or services, or creating courses on your subject.
10. Habitual Engagement
When you’re stuck, spend time with your followers and find out what holes you haven’t covered yet. Hold a giveaway or spark discussion, and generate new readers at the same time!
Until you’ve mastered tips 1-6, trying to work the others will overload your efforts. Blogging for a living is hard work, and it takes time to do it right. Following these tips, however, can make this process fun and rewarding in the long run.