Simply put, a blog is a tool that can help develop an online presence, attract leads, and engage with an audience. It's often a series of editorial content centred around a central topic that demonstrates industry expertise -- for instance, a catering company might write blog posts like "The 11 Best Appetizers to Serve to a Crowd" or "Stress-Free Dinner Parties: Recipes that are Prepared Ahead of Time".
Blogs can help drive traffic to your website, convert that traffic into leads, establish authority in your industry.
Most of a blog's traffic is driven organically -- in other words, consumers will search for something on a search engine and click on your blog if it matches their intended topic. However, there are a lot of organizations competing for your audience's attention, so it's important to avoid common blog mistakes to stand out.
Who is a “blogger”?
A blogger is a person who owns or runs a blog or a person who maintains the blog. That is, posting articles or new posts, information, sharing the most up-to-date news, opinions and case studies to name but a few. Such entries are known as blog posts.
What is the purpose of a blog?
There are many reasons for starting a personal blog and only a handful of strong ones for business blogging. Blogging for business, projects, or anything else that might bring you money has a very straightforward purpose – to rank your website higher in Google SERPs, a.k.a. increase your visibility.
As a business, you rely on consumers to keep buying your products and services. As a new business, you rely on blogging to help you get to these consumers and grab their attention. Without blogging, your website would remain invisible, whereas running a blog makes you searchable and competitive.
So, the main purpose of a blog is to connect you to the relevant audience.
Another one is to boost your traffic and send quality leads to your website.
The appearance of blogs changed over time, and nowadays blogs include different items. But, most blogs include some standard features and structure. Here are common features that a typical blog will include:
Header with the menu or navigation bar
The main content area with highlighted or latest blog posts
Sidebar with social profiles, favourite content, or call-to-action
Blogs and websites
A majority of people still wonder whether there is any difference between a blog and a website. What is a blog and what is a website? It’s even more challenging to differentiate between the two today. Many companies are integrating blogs into their sites to perform the same function.
Why is blogging so popular?
It’s important to mention that blogging grows with each passing day! Hence, to answer the question ‘what is blogging’ we need to look at the factors behind its rise.
In the early stages, blogs became mainstream, as news services began using them as tools for outreach and opinion forming. It became a new source of information.
Businesses saw a good way to improve the customer’s level of satisfaction. Through blogging, companies keep clients and customers up to date. The more people visit your blog, the more exposure and trust your brand gets.
Personal and niche bloggers, saw the potential to reach more people interested in specific topics. Through a blog, visitors can comment and interact with you or your brand which helps you create a network of loyal followers.
Did you know you could earn money through blogging? Once your blog gets enough attention and fans, you can look into ways of monetizing your blog. Through the blog, you can offer your services and sell products.
Blogging Tips for Beginners
Create blog posts that serve your larger company goals.
Write as you talk.
Show your personality; don't tell it.
Make your point again and again.
Start with a very specific working title.
Use a specific post type, create an outline, and use headers.
Use data and research to back up the claims you make in your posts.
When drawing from others' ideas, cite them.
Take 30 minutes to edit your post.
At a certain point, just publish it.
Focus on the long-term benefits of organic traffic.
Add a subscription CTA to your blog and set up an email newsletter.
Blogging platforms :
WordPress – is the most popular and customizable content management system (CMS) in the world
Ghost – is a new blogging platform that is creating a lot of noise in the blogosphere
Drupal – is quite popular but is difficult for novices
Joomla – another fairly popular CMS but there is a very steep learning curve
Blogger – a free blogging solution from Google
What you should do when creating a blog
The best way forward is to build your blog on a platform like WordPress where you will own your website and content 100% because you are self-hosted and you have your own professional / personal domain name. You won’t have any limitations and you’re free to monetize your website, which is vital if you’re wanting to make money online from your blog.
Paying for web hosting for your blog is not very expensive and can cost as little as around $5 per month for very simple hosting packages. Having a reliable web host will mean that your site is backed up regularly and you have rights to recover your website for any reason.
How do you make money from a blog?
It’s no big secret- There’s a lot of people out there making a lot of money from blogging. The reason why these people (including myself) are making money from their blogs is that they have never given up, and they have chosen their niche wisely. Blog about what you know, and what you are passionate about to start with. At the same time, have an idea in mind to monetize the blog (advertisements, affiliate offers, products, ebooks etc). If you put the work in, you will get your rewards.
If you want to learn more then read my guide on how to make money with blogging or my post on making money online.
Should you start a blog?
One of the misconceptions about starting a blog is that you need to be a great writer to be successful. Nothing could be further from the truth. People read blog sites to get a personal perspective on things, so most bloggers write in a very informal and conversational style.
In addition, you don’t need to be an expert on your topic in order to have a successful blog. For example, readers of a cooking blog don’t want to read a textbook from a food scientist, they want to hear the experiences of someone who has actually cooked some real meals, mistakes and all.
How to Start a Blog in 6 Steps
Learn how to create a blog in about 20 minutes following these steps:
Pick a blog name. Choose something descriptive.
Get your blog online. Register your blog and get hosting.
Customize your blog. Choose a free template and tweak it.
Write & publish your first post. The fun part!
Promote your blog. Get more people to read your blog.
Make money blogging. Choose from several options to monetize your blog.
Let’s start your blog!
Step 1: Pick a blog name
The first step to finding a good blog name is choosing your topic.
Once you have a topic, it's time to choose your blog name.
A good blog name should be descriptive so that potential readers can instantly tell what your blog is about just from the name.
If you are blogging about one specific topic then you will definitely want to include that in some way in your blog name. Try not to get hung-up on just one word though. For example, a cooking blog doesn’t necessarily have to have the word “cooking” in it. The words “food”, “recipes”, and “meals” would also let people know that your blog is about cooking.
Once you have some blog name ideas you will need to choose a domain extension.
A .com domain extension is the most preferred, but .net or .org work as well. It is also important to note that for the purposes of a blog domain you cannot have any spaces between words
Step 2: Get your blog online
Now that you’ve got a name picked out it’s time to get your blog online. This might sound hard or technical, but the steps below will walk you right through and make the process easy.
To get your blog up and running you need two things: blog hosting and blogging software. The good news is that these typically come packaged together.
You also need to have the software to build your blog. In this guide, I will be showing you how to build a blog using WordPress blogging software because it is the most popular, customizable, and easiest to use.
Step 3: Promote your blog
Creating a well-designed blog and writing great content is just the start. In order to get readers for your blog, you will need to spend some time promoting it, especially when you first start.
One of my favourite ways to get readers to my blog is to post links on my social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter. This is great, because not only do your friends see the link, but if your friends share the link with their friends it automatically multiplies your readers. If you have created high-quality content on your blog, social media is a great way for your blog to go viral.
Step 4: Make money blogging
Once you have put in the effort of creating great blog content and promoting your blog, making money from your blog is actually the easy part.
There are several ways you can make money blogging, from selling your own products or services, to getting paid to write reviews of products on your blog. But the easiest way to make money from your blog is to sell advertising space.
Once you have a popular blog, advertisers will be hounding you for the opportunity to advertise. The best way to take advantage of this situation is to use Google Adsense. They find the advertisers for you and all you have to do is place the Google Adsense code on your blog to start running ads. Google Adsense takes all of the hard work out of the process and just cuts you a check.
Contact me if you have any issues at all and I will personally respond to your email.
The step-by-step guide on this site should give you everything you need to get started, but if you run into some issues, or just want some personalized advice, please do not hesitate to contact me at any time. Blogging is my passion, and I would love to talk with you about it!