Getting Started With Your Blog

Words are a marketer’s best friend, in one way or another we are all writers, our words tell people who we are. When writing, you must always choose your words well and keep the readers in mind. I always see blogs where they are just words, it’s hard to focus on what’s being said. You need to catch the attention of your readers. Your writing can be informative and could be something people want to read, but you need to draw people in and keep them wanting to read.

Most people don’t know where to start with blogging, it seems a bit daunting when others have been doing it for years. It’s never too late to start.

How To Start A Blog

How To Start A Blog

It’s not as hard as you think to set up a blog, you can even create your own website based on a blog easily and free (unless you want your own domain name like yourbusinessname.com) It takes minimal effort and about an hour to set up with WordPress, and Blogger can be used with your Google+ Profile.

WordPress

Head over to https://wordpress.com/ and sign up for an account. Don’t worry about buying a domain just yet, get your blog set up first. Once signed in, create your blog. You can have many blogs under one account which makes it much easier to manage. Go to the Theme Showcase (https://theme.wordpress.com/) to choose how you would like it to look. There are some good free options available. Try to keep within your brand’s colors, if you can’t most themes allow you to change colours later.

Here you can find help about customizing your WordPress blog:

https://en.support.wordpress.com/customizer/

Other free themes: https://colorlib.com/wp/free-wordpress-themes/

http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/30-free-responsive-and-stunning-wordpress-themes/

http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/free-responsive-wordpress-themes/

http://themegrill.com/themes/

Blogger

Head over to http://blogger.com and sign in with your Google+ account (If you don’t have a Google+ account then get one!) Pick your title, URL and template as above.

Other free templates http://designscrazed.org/best-free-blogger-templates/

http://www.cssauthor.com/free-responsive-blogger-templates/

Now you’re all set up, you need to think about topics that you’re going to be blogging about. If it’s a personal blog to promote yourself, post about your day and your work, whatever you want people to know you for. If you’re blogging to promote your business, teach people how to do things to do with your business with how-to guides, update people with exciting news… Just keep it all useful and relevant. It’s hard to get started and think of topics, or sometimes you run out of ideas.

Below are some cool little tools to help you some up with blog topics:

http://www.hubspot.com/blog-topic-generator

http://www.buildyourownblog.net/the-blog-post-ideas-generator/

http://ideas.contentforest.com/

http://www.impactbnd.com/blog-title-generator/blogabout

What do I blog about?

Well, that’s an easy question, there are thousands of things you can blog about! Make your first post an introduction to yourself and your business. This is so your audience knows what kind of person they’re listening to and it’s a great place to show of any qualifications or achievements you may have (apart from your About Me page of course).

Other great blogs to write include;

Questions that a prospect has asked – This is one of the easiest blogs to write (providing you know the answer) as prospects ask questions about your business all of the time. If you find yourself getting asked the same questions quite often, write a blog on them and create an FAQ page with all of the frequently asked questions. Make sure you don’t post all questions you are asked there as some may be irrelevant for an FAQ page.

Guides/Tutorials – These make excellent blog posts that are highly shareable as most people love to know what goes on in the background. If you own a company that sells coffee beans, write a guide on how to choose or make the perfect latte/macchiato/Americano whatever.

Survey Results – Have you recently posted a survey to your clients? Post the results! Make sure you don’t put any private information that could make the survey-takers known, and always ask permission to use the data first.

List Posts – Create a list post like 35+ Ideas For Your Content Calendar. People are lazy and often can’t be bothered to read a whole blog about useful tools for web designers etc, and would much rather the same information in easy digestible pieces. What do your audience want to know and what would be useful for them?

Case studies – Create a case study revealing what you’ve done and how you’ve done it. By putting context to a tutorial, you’re more likely to get readers.

Respond to recent news – Has something big happened in your industry? Write a post about it revealing your thoughts and opinions.

Post about your most popular posts – Roundup your most popular blogs from a certain time period and put them into one blog with a title and summary for each. This can awaken old content. See more about Evergreen Content.

Or other people’s most popular posts – You can also link back to other people’s blogs (which does wonders for SEO!) by creating a roundup of popular blog posts. Use Buzzsumo to see what is the most shared content in your niche. See 5 Most Viral Marketing Posts From The Pro’s by Daniel Knowlton @ KPS Digital Marketing.

Pro’s & Con’s – Write about the pro’s and con’s of something in your industry (ie, Pro’s and Con’s of having a WordPress website)

Myths or common misconceptions – Do people regularly mistake your industry or business for being or doing something else? Let people know the real story!

Checklists – For instance, our Website Launch Checklist.

Transcript – Have you got a tutorial video? Embed the video into a post and then write up a transcript.

Behind the scenes – show your audience what goes on in the office and write a behind the scenes post.

Product tips – Using your product as a basis for a blog is a great idea, just make sure not to come across to sales-y. Write helpful tips and tutorials about using your product.

Interviews – Interview relevant people in your industry for your blog! Not only is it a great way to pick someone’s brain, you can also tap into their audience as they will most likely share the post afterwards.

Performance results – Transparency goes a long way in business. Each year, review your performance at work (ie how many clients you gained) and compare it to your goals for that time period. Even if you didn’t reach your goal, work out what went wrong and tell everybody how you plan to rectify it.

Hubspot has a fantastic formula for creating winning headlines

Top Tips For Blogging

Find out who the top bloggers on your topic are and take notes. Take note of how they write, what topics get the most comments and even the style of the website. Write about what you’re interested in, it shows in your writing if you have no passion towards the topic. Research and make sure you get your facts right, include infographics where possible (everybody loves those!)

Make sure you have the necessary rights or put the correct attributions to the original owners of pictures of quotes. Link back to your Social Media pages on your blog, and vise versa. A question you’ve been asked about this topic is a blog title, if you don’t know the answer, then find out.

Keep your titles interesting and relevant to the content, it helps with navigation on Search Engines and on the blog itself. Categorize your posts so your audience can kind find them easier.

Connect with other people in your industry and invite them to guest blog, this can increase your website traffic.

When you do get comments, make sure you reply! I can’t stress this enough. 

Resources For WordPress

Five Step Blog Setup – https://en.support.wordpress.com/five-step-blog-setup/

Getting Started video tutorial – https://youtu.be/9LpPZbscjJk

Tips for getting more views – https://en.support.wordpress.com/getting-more-views-and-traffic/

More Beginners Guides – http://www.wpbeginner.com/category/beginners-guide/

Blogging Resources

Grammarly is a plugin for your browser that checks your grammar and punctuation. It is available free, however the premium feature is advanced and helps with structure

Readability tests are a great tool to see how easy other people will find it to read. You don’t want to be over complicating as people will lose interest.

A simple notepad taken around all day with you can help you capture your ideas.

30 Day Blogging Challenge – Not only is it helpful with tips, the group is motivating and gets more traffic to your blog