Blogging has long since become an effective means of self-expression and a way to earn (significant and quite stable) income. For a person that has never done it, blogging might seem like a complex science or a skill that can’t be mastered.
You could not be more wrong, however, in thinking that. Blogging is just a set of routines sprinkled with just a little bit of writing talent. Everybody can blog, and almost everybody can achieve results.
How do you go about launching and maintaining a blog? Here are a few steps that will get you going.
Decide what to write about. There are some blogs with a mixed focus, but theme blogs always work better. Is it travel that makes you tick? Or cars? Or marketing? In choosing the general topic, take into account what you know along with what you want to write about. Your knowledge will serve you well in distinguishing yourself from the competition, which is strong in most fields. People rarely come to a blog for pure entertainment. In most cases, they look for information that can’t be found elsewhere. Some competition analysis will help, too. Are there any other blogs with the same focus? How many people read them? Can you do better? Preparation is often an essential condition of succeeding in blogging.
Set a schedule and stick to it. Today, most companies aim for at least 3 major articles on their blog every week, and some hire freelancers to fill their blogs up every day. There is a reason for it – the more content you produce, the more people will come. The difficulty is in doing both – quality and quantity. In no case should an increase in the number of posts you do weekly or monthly impair the quality of such posts. If you can’t do as much (e.g. if blogging is not your primary occupation), consider using the help of freelancers. You can pay for blog articles just as you pay for essay writing or any other kind of writing service. There are plenty of people who are ready to exchange their time and writing talent for money.
Be visual. Supply every post you publish with images, videos, or gifs. Unless you are deep in a very technical field that gives answers to very specific questions, text-only posts won’t do. Put yourself in your reader’s shoes: would you force yourself to read a wall of text that the writer didn’t bother to make more readable or visually attractive? Most people don’t.
Educate yourself on SEO basics. Search engine optimization will help you rank higher in Google and get more visitors, which will then be a good reason to start monetization. There is nothing excessively difficult in SEO, and you can educate yourself on the basics just by reading quality online resources, e.g. MOZ’s Beginner’s Guide to SEO.
Distribute your blog content over different channels. It ALWAYS takes time and effort to attract readers to your blog when you are just starting out and it doesn’t get much easier with time. Today, it’s not about content creation but more about content distribution. Share your posts on every social media you can think of, via content distribution platforms such as Medium, and other channels. Consider launching a paid campaign to build some initial following. With time, you will be able to identify which distribution channels work better for you and focus on them.
Write high-quality, long-form content. Proofread multiple times and never publish anything without a fresh look the next morning after writing. Readers are demanding and impatient. What’s even worse, they are unforgiving. If you lose their trust or sympathy from the very beginning, it will be hard to regain them in the process.
All in all, approach your blog as a project. There are some resources to be invested and plans to be made. The more effectively you do it, the better the results will be. At the end of the day, blogging is just like any other entrepreneurial activity – albeit you usually riskless.