When starting out blogging it can feel like you are fighting a losing battle. Getting readers onto your website, creating enough content and making sure your audience actually engages with your content.
In this article, you will learn 7 simple tips to help you get started blogging and to make your blog a success.
- Pick a blog domain name carefully
- Write your content with a purpose
- Format your blogs so everyone can enjoy them
- Don’t forget images are important
- Use search engine optimisation to your advantage
- Understand the workings of your website
- Write regularly, but consistency is key
Pick your blogs domain name carefully
Choosing a domain name for your blog may seem trivial, but it plays a huge role in the success of your blog. You should spend some time thinking about what your blog content will be before choosing a name. A good domain name hints towards the contents of the blog and is memorable, so that once you’re discovered people keep on coming back.
Your blog should be focused on a particular niche or subject, it may be travel, sport or whatever it is you want to write about. When choosing your domain name this should be at the forefront of your mind. For example, if you wanted to write about football you wouldn’t want to use rugbyfans.co.uk, in the same breath if you wanted to write about both, you would be better using something a little more broad like sportsfans.co.uk
Once you have an idea of what you want to call your website you will need to check if the domain name you want is available for purchase. To check if a domain is available you can click here to go to 123 Reg. We would always advise using .co.uk or .com where possible and would suggest going back to the drawing board and thinking of another name if one or both of these options are taken.
If you really want to go for one of the more unusual domain names, go for it. Just remember we’re so used to visiting .com domain names as web users, that if we’re trying to get back to your site that will be our first guess.
Write content with a purpose
Of course, it goes without saying that great content is vital if you want your blog to be a success. You need to write content that your readers enjoy ensuring they keep coming back for more.
So why would someone even read your blog? Well, they may want to;
Solve a problem
We go to the web for answers. So, if you’ve solved a problem and have a unique solution to share then a blog is a great platform to share it.
When people are looking for a solution they want it to be, simple, easy to replicate and easy to consume. Try to ensure you don’t waffle and keep to the point, don’t hide anything from your readers and make it easy for them to replicate your success.
If you solve problems for your readers on a regular basis you can guarantee they’ll keep on coming back for more.
Everyone has skills and interests, writing about something you have good knowledge in (or are willing to thoroughly research) is a great way to attract people who would like to learn from your experience.
Remember to make it clear who your audience is and who your content can help, try and separate out beginner and more advanced content to allow people to learn in their own way at their own pace.
Educational content needs to be descriptive, can also provide links to further learning resources. It should have a clear objective set from the start and should concisely review what has been learnt. It also helps to provide learning exercises and activities to help people develop their skills. Oh and don’t forget, make it enjoyable! Learning new skills is hard enough you may as well make it fun.
No blog should be boring, but if your content is more lifestyle based such as movies or fashion then you’ll instantly lose your readers if it’s boring. When it comes to keeping content entertaining remember to inject your personality into it and don’t be scared to show a little humour. Also, remember when it comes to entertainment people want to be able to relate to your content keep it human!
If you make sure your content always fits into one of these brackets then you will naturally gain followers who should return again and again. If you would like to learn more about how to write great online content click here.
Format your blogs
According to HubSpot 43% of readers skim blog posts. Formatting your blog posts in a skim-reader friendly manner will mean that whether or not they skim read your readers will be able to get what they want from your blog.
When writing, headers can massively help those skim readers to find the information they are looking for without combing through large solid blocks of text. These headers will stop the traffic bouncing back to Google when visitors leave your site in search of quicker answers. This, in turn, helps improve your ranking on Google and can increase the number of people that find your blog.
Underneath the headers, paragraphs should also be broken down into bite-sized chunks. The easier your content is to read the more people that will do just that.
Images obviously make your blog posts more visually appealing but they also help in many other ways. They can be used as part of the formatting structure that we’ve already spoken about or just to make your blogs look more professional.
Blog posts with images also generally perform better on Google. This is particularly true when the images are both original and high quality. They can also be optimised for Google by adding titles and alt text which can help Google understand your content and rank it higher.
The key to choosing the right images is to make sure they have a purpose. Are they there to give an example, simplify information or to help tell a story? If they are, then that’s great, if not you should avoid placing images that aren’t relevant or are simply there to fill space.
With images you have a few options, we believe that as long as they add genuine value to the reader images can be a powerful tool.
You could add:
- Photos – These may be your own photos or stock images.
- Graphics – Digital graphics can often work well to emphasise.
- Screenshots – Take your own screenshots, they can help to show part of a process or examples to support your text.
- Infographics – Can be used to show information or data in a more colourful and interesting way.
Make sure you are aware of copyright if you are unsure if the image can be used then don’t risk it. There are plenty of free or paid stock image sites such as stocksnap, Burst or iStock if you don’t have the ability or time to take/create your own images. Try not to use stock where possible as these are often overused
Use Search Engine Optimisation to your advantage
Search Engine Optimisation or SEO, in a nutshell, is the process of improving your websites position in search results. It is a process that takes time but it helps search engines and in turn, potential readers find your content. This is especially important when considering Google, which is the largest Search engine with over 70,000 searches every second.
Some key points to remember are;
- Use relevant keywords – When your potential readers use a search engine, what do they search for? Place these in your headers, but only if it makes sense.
- Check your page title tags and meta descriptions – You don’t want to cram them full of keywords but you need to make sure they are both readable and contain a keyword (or phrase) that is mentioned early on.
- Check your content and formatting – Headers help Google understand what each part of your article is talking about. Image alt text helps Google understand the content of your images and is a way to check that your image is relevant and adds value to your post. Finally, make sure your content is relevant to your main title. If someone types a question into google and your page turns up, will it answer their question?
If you want to learn more about SEO Click here
Understand the workings of your website
There are some technical things that you should learn or outsource to make your blog more successful.
If your website is slow readers will leave – This is the same for any website but particularly for a blog. A slow website where you are left waiting for images to load or text boxes to appear can be so infuriating, 47% of readers will switch off after only a few seconds.
Make sure all your images are the size you display them so that they aren’t compressed.
Stay away from outdated plugins – The fewer bells and whistles you add to your site the less likely that things will go out of date and need changing constantly. Flash player is a good example and most websites now use HTML5 video player to avoid people leaving when they need to update flash player.
Make sure your website is optimised for mobile – Your website needs to work as well on mobiles as it does on a desktop. In 2018, 52.2% of webpage visits were performed on a mobile. It’s no longer an option to just “make do” with however your website looks on a mobile device. Ensure your site works well on all mobile devices.
Write regularly, but consistency is key
Writing one blog a month will not drum up much of a following, your readers have time to forget about you and your content in that time, no matter how awesome your content is. On the other hand, writing loads of blogs in a week and then not writing for weeks will just about kill your chances of return visitors to your website. So where do you find balance?
There are lots of opinions out there about how often to blog. Some people will tell you that posting a blog a day is necessary to achieve success, we don’t agree. We believe that getting into a routine is the way to go. Blogging once, twice or three times a week is often enough to gain a following. This keeps readers engaged without overloading them with constant content that they don’t have time to read.
Posting on the same day/s each week really helps in this process. We find writing blog posts ahead of time and scheduling them in on WordPress takes a little pressure off creating great content as you have time to write, proofread, have someone else proofread and then post without delaying your posts.
The number of bloggers posting worldwide has risen astronomically over recent years! Competition is tougher than ever and blog posts are being posted constantly.
To be truly successful you need to look at all aspects of both your content and the website you place it on. With a strong domain name, an understanding of SEO (or the smarts to outsource if required) alongside great content, creating a fantastic and profitable blog is achievable. The results won’t be immediate but your hard work will definitely pay off.
If you are looking to outsource blog content for your website contact us to discuss what we can do.