If you would have asked me 5 months ago about what I think about blogging, I wouldn't have been able to answer that with a strong opinion.
Today I couldn't think of a more powerful tool in my life.
Since creating my blog, I've learned so many things, in such a short time. Some of them include:
- Making new connections and friends
- Meeting people all over the world
- Helping others
- Generating money
- Having a calmer lifestyle
- Gaining new valuable skills
One of the more overlooked benefits of blogging is the meditating effect in can have on people.
Because you need to do think about what you type out in your blog posts, you spend a lot of time reflecting and researching.
This is usually a very contradicting form of working, compared to most jobs today.
It's obvious why this is soothing and better for your health compared to running around, answering phone-calls, printing and faxing papers etc.
Additionally, you aren't restricted or limited to any subject. You can literally write about whatever you please.
Before you start blogging, you need to learn how and where to type out your blog posts. The idea of creating a website sounds a lot scarier than it is.
There are so many resources today, that teach you step-by-step how you can get started, creating your own website within a few minutes.
Therefore, you shouldn't be afraid. When I started off I had no prior IT skills and my blog is continuously evolving and improving.
Once you know how to create websites, write optimized blog posts and engage socially, you suddenly have several new skills.
These skills are more valuable than you think. This is why you should create a blog.
You can now add these skills to your resume or better yet, start making some additional extra money on the side.
Or you could create websites for clients and charge them a fee for your services.
There are tons of things you will learn within a few hours of working from your own home.
Wouldn't it be great to be your own boss? Creating your own blog is the first step!
How To Start Blogging
I guess the most frequently asked question is ‘where do I start?'
This question is usually followed by a search on Google such as ‘how to create a blog' and since you land on millions of results, you get overwhelmed and give up before you even get started.
There are so many specialists and successful bloggers out there that swear on the best advice and tips, so it's hard to know which one to follow.
The best way to tackle this sort of issue is to just dive in and get started.
The way blogging works is pretty simple. There are 3 main steps to it:
- Create your website
- Choose a topic
- Start writing
Personally, I chose to write about how I learn how to make money online. Others blog about fashion, dogs, nutrition, etc.
Whatever you feel comfortable with can be your niche.
The best tip I could give in that aspect is to pick a topic you are either interested in, are an expert at or love talking about.
This will help you prevent getting writers block and boredom when it comes to creating your content. After all your blog should be fun and not a chore.
If you ever do get stuck and could need some inspiration, simply go on similar blogs and see what already successful bloggers are talking about.
Definitely don't copy their content, but you could get inspiration for your next few posts.
The second best tip is to be yourself when you write out your posts.
Don't try to sound like a doctor or teacher when you write. Write out your posts the way you would tell a colleague or a friend about it.
It will make you come across more natural and people will find it easier to read your posts.
The third tip is to be as socially active as you possibly can.
Once you have created your blog, you want others to see it. The best way to do that, is to have accounts in all possible social medias and interact.
These are the main ones:
Most importantly you should have a great profile picture, people can associate your blog with.
If you look at Sue Anne's picture, it's hard not to remember which blog she owns.
Simply create an account with Gravatar and every time you leave a comment behind, your picture will be next to it (if it's a WordPress related website).
The fourth and probably most important tip is to reach out to other bloggers.
Connecting with bloggers from similar niches has the benefits mentioned above. But you can also learn a lot from the authors personally.
Additionally, you shouldn't just connect with similar authors you should connect with bloggers from all types of niches.
By doing so, you will learn various techniques and ways to monetize or optimize your blog.
The more blogs I visit regularly, the more traffic I seem to get after implementing suggestions and Ideas from these blogs.
Important Things You Should Know About
Keywords are phrases or sentences you should use to write your posts. The better your keywords, the more likely you will end up getting organic readers.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. A lot of people freak out by the thought of SEO, but I highly recommend to know the basics and install one of the WordPress plugins that help you optimize your posts.
Find Your Theme
When you start writing, it will take a few articles to find your inner blogger. When I started off, I was a bit of a financial advisor, researcher, dreamer etc.
It takes some time to see what responds well with your audience. Don't be discouraged too fast. Once you find your style stick to it.
Visualize Your Blog
Try to separate your content with bullet points, paragraphs and sub-headers.
Imagery is a great way to keep your readers interested.
The Perfect Length
There is no ideal size when it comes to blog posts. However, several studies have shown that the ideal length of a post is around 1500-2300 words.
When I started I made sure to write at least 500 words per post, which I quickly extended to 1500.
Now I hardly ever post anything under 2000 words. But find whatever suits you best!
Share Your Content
As previously mentioned, one of the most important parts of your blog post is the promotion you do after writing and publishing it.
Use Pareto's law (the 80/20 principle) when it comes to blogging. Use 20% of your time to write a post and 80% to promote it.
You might think it's excessive at first, but you will see how much more valuable it is to promote a post.
Build An Email List
I'm not entirely sure why it took me a while to understand how important it is but having an email list is the key to success.
If you haven't heard the saying “the money is in the list” before, you just heard it from me! I guarantee you will come across it more than once as well.
Wrapping It Up
- You will learn a lot of skills, you can monetize on freelancing sites and even offer your newly learned abilities as a service.
- When first starting out, don't get lost with the overload of information on the net. Find a reliable blog/forum and follow their guide to create your website.
- Choose your niche wisely. Choose something you're interested in and start writing.
- Be yourself.
- Engage socially.
- Connect with other bloggers for guidance, help, and inspiration.
- Remember to optimize accordingly with keywords, SEO and use images. But always keep your own style.
The great thing about blogging is that you can do it whenever you please. You can start writing a post and finish it off a week later.
Sometimes you won't be able to stop writing whilst other times you can't seem to find the right words.
Either way, everyone is capable of doing it and it takes a bit of patience to be successful with it.
One thing is certain, if you work on your blog regularly, it will reward you.