Instead of dying out, blogging has become even more relevant today than its early days. Businesses, both big and small use it to drive traffic to their websites. Individuals use the platform to give their take on a wide variety of issues. Even websites for big corporations like Disney and Microsoft run blogs.
For individuals and small business owners who have not yet leveraged the opportunities that blogging brings, it is not uncommon to struggle with getting started. It can be especially frustrating to realize that you have to give yourself time to build a blog and adorn it great content that will bring you relevant traffic.
This blogging for dummies article will help you have a clearer understanding of the blogging landscape and give you some tips and strategies to help you get started and grow your blog in a sustainable and yet effective manner.
So, let’s start at the beginning: why should your website have a blog?
It will take a while, but when you finally get enough readers, your blog will start making you some cash.
People hate clicking on ads. Blogs help them find out more about the company they’re interested in without being bombarded by the internet banner ads they so dislike.
A recent survey that sought to find out the most important tactic in content marketing found that 52% of the people surveyed agreed that blogging trumps all other methods.
As you continue consistently with blogging, you will realize that your interactions with people on the web will grow significantly, giving you a chance to grow as a speaker and conversationalist.
Once you have your blog all set and ready for the world to see, you can submit its sitemap to Google. Google will crawl your pages and begin directing some search traffic to your website.
HubSpot reports that companies that are in the habit of blogging get 97% more inbound links than the rest who don’t. Inbound links are the lifeline of websites on the web, making this statistic one that you can only ignore at your own peril.
Blogs give your website a human touch and angle, giving your business a voice. It is, therefore, no wonder that blogs feature prominently in the list of the most trusted sources of accurate information on the internet: it comes at number five.
There was a time when the Yellowpages was once extremely essential to business marketing. Today, business blogging has taken that function. The following are three major reasons why business blogging is essential for any serious enterprise.
There’s no other section on your website with as much potential to drive relevant traffic to your website than your blog section. To leverage it, make it the foundation for all your social networking channels. Create blog articles and share them on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and all other social channels that your website has a presence. You can also add inbound links that can direct traffic to the various landing pages on your website.
For SMEs, there’s no better way to establish yourself and your brand as an authority in your niche than through your blog. The most effective business blogs perform a simple function: they answer frequently asked questions from their customers, which often leads to conversions. In that process of responding to customer queries, the blog transforms you into an authority in your space as you become the go-to expert for questions and queries in your niche.
For lasting online business-customer relationships, blogs are an important tool. They not only connect you with new prospects, but they also deepen the relationships that already exist with your customers. Customers get to connect with your brand directly as you comment on and respond to the questions they pose on your blog.
Blogging is not a reserve for businesses only, job seekers who want to have an upper hand in every interview room they enter should seriously consider blogging. There are many reasons why this tactic works. The three below are some of the most convincing:
Even with a résumé that should demand attention in any room, some hiring managers might still remain unconvinced. Truth be told, many people include flat-out lies in their résumé. Showcasing your blog will immediately pull the hiring managers in your direction because it demonstrates that you are not just smart on paper, and will be extremely reassuring for the hiring manager.
Perhaps the two most important qualities that any graduate – whatever their field of study – is the ability to think and write. There is practically no job that doesn’t require you to write at some point. You will need to write sales copies, presentations, memos, and emails. Having a blog immediately showcases your ability to both think and write, and will go a long way in helping you convince the company you wish to work for to hire you.
Today, a good number of job seekers find their dream jobs through some of the connections that they make in the wider blog community. It might surprise you to learn this, but your blog community can sometimes become the professional network that hands you the job you’ve been waiting for all this time.
Running a blog is no easy task. It clearly shows that you are a dedicated and determined individual with enviable discipline and work ethic. These are sought-after qualities in the marketplace. This is why in some circles, your blog might be considered your resume.
Don’t be surprised if job recruiters stumble upon your blog, review the content, and decide that they have all they know all they needed to know to offer you a job. But what makes a blog such an effective tool for career growth?
Now that you have learned why it is important to have a blog and how it makes a difference in your career, let us dive into how to actually write a blog.
Create a plan based on what people are already searching for online, what their interests are and what they wish to read. Create a headline, a question, a list of tactics and their meanings, a conclusion, and finally, a call to action (CTA).
The ideas we so much celebrate are, at some level, a recreation or improvement of one that existed before it. Therefore, feel free to borrow some great ideas from others. This does not imply copying their work and presenting it as your own.
It’s about improving on their ideas: go deeper into their thought process, elaborate more than they did, don’t shy away from questioning some of the assertions they made, and use their ideas to ignite your own flames of inspiration.
Many people write excellent blogs only to fail the headline test. Without a catchy headline, your blog will not draw crowds. For this reason, create a headline bank that you can always come to when you start writing a new blog.
Practically everyone online has a thousand and one things they want to do, and a similar number of things fighting for their attention. To give your blog a better chance of standing out, you can unclutter your work with bullet points and lists. Why do bullet points and lists work?
Blocking out the unending distractions that we all deal with is important if you are to churn out quality content for your blog. How realistic is it for you to expect to write a lot when your TV is on or when your phone keeps distracting you with notifications of new messages you should view?
For newbie bloggers, writing a single blog can take an excessively large amount of time. This slow pace brings to question the feasibility of running a blog. Therefore, to make the most of Time – the oh so precious resource, find out how long it is taking you to write a single blog. The next step is to figure out how to reduce this time. A good method is to set your timer for just 15 minutes and try to compose your ideas within that time frame.
To be effective in your blogging endeavor, there are certain pages that you must make sure your blog site will include. This is a list of seven that your blog should not do without.
Your About Page is your chance to introduce yourself to new readers. You can use this space to convince them why they should start following your blog.
You might think that this page would be an obvious one to include, yet there are so many bloggers who don’t include on their blog a way for people to contact them. This means that they often miss out on opportunities, and never even get to know that they did.
If you are hoping that one day – hopefully not too far off in the future – your blog will start making you some cash, then you should include an Advertise With Us page. It will attract new advertisers while filtering out others who might not be relevant to your blog site.
At some point, your blog will suffer from a situation where people visit certain pages, only to find that those pages no longer exist. Others will have used dead links to get to a page that does not exist on your website. This presents an opportunity if you can create a 404 Page. This will serve as the default error page where readers can find their way to other relevant pages on your blog.
A Guest Blogger Page will provide bloggers who would want to be featured on your blog guidelines on how they can submit content for consideration. This will help ensure that those who will seek you out will have clear guidelines on how to create a blog post that has very high chances of being published.
A sitemap page is not designed for people who visit your website. It is for web crawlers and contains all the links of all the pages and posts on your website. Some of the most widely used sitemap creators include Google XML Sitemap and Yoast SEO. Once you create the page, remember to submit it to Google and other search engines.
Finally, let us delve into how can become effective in selling your services using the blog you have created.
You have created your blog and are regularly adding fresh, quality content to it. You also find yourself growing your readership. How do you then make sure that you are making money through that platform, not just with the ads that you run on the blog, but by being hired for your expertise? Consider these three tips:
For corporate buyers, trust is extremely valuable and could mean the difference between a one-time engagement and continued engagement, sometimes even courting you for a permanent position in their companies. Therefore, from the get-go, seek to establish a sense of trust with your readers.
On your blog and in your blog posts, including information about the services that you offer. You can even consider adding a Paypal button for easy checkout, or even adding a “work with me” section on your blog.
Many bloggers leverage the power of affiliate marketing to sell their products and services. You can set up your products on affiliate sites like Clickbank, JVZoo, DealGuardian, and Warrior Plus and offer affiliates a chance to promote your services for a commission. If you accumulate a considerable number of affiliates, cashflow is inevitable.