Blogging 101: Setting Up And Growing Your Blog

With the advent of the Internet came the advent of blogging. Originally a contraction of the words “web log,” blogging has exploded into a lifestyle for many people. Popular sites across the web have become aggregates of content produced by writers, while the traditional single-author blog still remains prevalent on the web. Today, blogging has become less about producing content (though of course, that is still a crucial piece of the blogging puzzle) and more about creating a community. Through comments on posts and now particularly with the advent of social media, bloggers have found that they have particular sway and hold on their audiences, and their audiences have found that the writers and creators they admire are listening. If you have ever wanted to get into the world of blogging, the time is ripe.

The first thing to consider when starting a blog is deciding upon your niche. Blogs that are about many topics are of course possible, but the easiest route to take when beginning a blog is to pick a topic and stay with it, at least in the beginning stages. You, as a unique human being, have something to say that nobody else could write- figure out what that is and go from there. The beauty of blogging lies in the genuine expression of your character. It is strikingly obvious when a blogger is trying to be someone they aren’t, and their readers will notice.

So you’ve figured out your topic? Good. Now it’s time to find a place to host your blog. Typically, web pages are created by the purchase of a domain name from a server. The page is then populated with content using complex code. However, there are a myriad of ways to create your blog on a blog hosting service, which take out the hassle (and cost) of the traditional method. Do your research and select the best hosting site for your blog. You’ll want one with an interface that is easy to understand, especially if you aren’t particularly Internet savvy. The service you’ve chosen should help you set up your blog, but there are a few things to make sure you have set up. A built-in comments section on each post, options for connecting social media, and a basic site traffic monitoring system are all optimal.

Now it’s time to create your content! Put on your creativity cap and get to work. If you’ve chosen a highly visual topic like fashion or food, combine images with your text posts. If your topic is how-to or DIY, video can be a great addition to your blog (and a great source of extra traffic). Make sure your content is highly shareable and easy to understand. Set a schedule for posting and stick with it, as your readers will begin to get excited about your new posts. Continue to grow your community by leaving comments on other blogs and setting up social media for your blog. Interact with other people and watch your community grow. As long as you stay true to your brand and yourself, there is no limit to where a blog can go!

Advantages Of Blogging

Blogs are taking over. Where we used to see just static websites, we are now seeing more and more blogs. Even on static websites, people are adding blogs to the site. Blogs are being used by individuals to simply express opinions, or by companies wanting to keep their customers informed of new products or special offers. Blogs certainly have some distinct advantages over a static website.

Blogs are easy to set up. With a traditional static website, you need to know how to write HTML, or PHP, or another language. Then when you create a page, you need to upload it to the server. Once the page is on the server, you need to check and see that the format and layout are right, and that everything is in the proper place. If not, you need to modify the code on the page, and then upload it again and check it again. When you make a blog post, you simply log in, write your post, and click the publish button.

Because of the ease of posting on a blog, you can make frequent posts. This provides fresh content on a regular basis. Fresh content is a benefit for the readers, and keeps them coming back to the site to read the new posts. The search engines also like fresh content, keeping the site ranked well.

You can start a blog for free, with services such as Blogger, Tumblr, and WordPress. If you already have a domain, you can also install blog software on your existing website, often for free. Most blogging software and free blogging services offer a lot of options for customizing your blog. You choose blog templates with one column, two columns, three columns or more. You can change colors and fonts. You can make the blog look the way you want it.

Most blog software and blogging services offer plugins and apps to extend the functionality of your blog. Most services offer plugins which will make it easy for readers to share your posts on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and other social media sites. This will help to give your blog greater exposure. Other plugins can help with the SEO of your site, making it more attractive to search engines. There are also many plugins that can generate revenue for your blog.

Blogs provide easy interaction with the readers. On most blogs, there is an option for people to comment on a post. On some popular blogs, you may see some very lively discussions going on in the comments section. On a business website, the interactivity can be a very valuable tool. By reading the comments, the business owner can quickly view customer opinions, and even respond to customer concerns.

Blogs are so easy to set up that there is no reason not to have one. If you own a business you can use the blog to keep customers updated on what is happening, and simply to converse with the customers. Posting fresh and entertaining content on a regular basis will keep your customers coming back, and will keep them happy.

5 Effective Steps to a Successful Blog

Successful blog sites have three specific things in common. They are created by a winning team, they are focused on a specific product or service that is already in hot demand in their community or niche, and they found an effective tool to get the word out about their brand or company. Most individuals have no problem with the first two, but often struggle with the last one in finding effective ways to maximize the exposure of their brand.

The only way to maintain a successful blog focused on your business is to ensure that you have the right tools to generate quality leads. There are effective steps you can take to create a better audience and capture their attention over the long haul.

It Is Never about You

It is important to realize that the blogging site is never about you. Any updated content you make to the site needs to be valuable to the reader. The content should be provided in a variety of forms including written information, along with visual media such as video, infographics and images. It can also be posted as audio or podcasts.

Assembling Your Team

With the understanding of the importance of making sure that the content is based on user-focused information, you will need to assemble an effective content team. These will be the individuals that will create, edit, promote and distribute your online content. They will also have the effect of tools for tracking and managing the results.

Create Effective Resources

An effective tool often used to get the audience excited about your brand is to offer them specific free resources through your blogging site. Typically, these free resources will offer a valuable solution to many of the common issues and problems your readers face every day. This could be offered in a variety of effective formats including e-books, video tutorials, or a downloadable PDF file.

The Benefits of Guest Blogging

The easiest way to promote your blogging site is to use other sites. The individual in charge of writing valuable content for your site can also use other sites by offering guest posts to like-minded individuals with their own blogs. Typically, a guest blog is a written article from someone in your company but will be posted on another individual’s blog. This type of third-party blogging strategy allows you to post updated information for free, with a direct link back to your site. This is the simplest way to develop a new stronger audience of like-minded individuals in your specific niche.

Engaging the Audience

Another effective tool is to keep the audience fully engaged at all times. This might include encouraging each visitor to sign up to your company mailing list. It might also include sparking debate, asking questions or providing them the opportunity to leave comments on your blogging site. It may involve running competitions or contests, or offering unique special promotions only on your site.

Once you see the benefits of the above tools and strategies simply rinse and repeat. By routinely adding regular content, keeping your customers or visitors engaged, and promoting your site on other blogging sites, you will generate renewed interest on your blogging site now and in the future.

5 Effective Steps to Blogging

There are basic steps that every blogger takes to increase their traffic and the size of their targeted audience. Below, you will find effective tools to get the most you can out of your blog.

Writing Every Day

It is essential to update a new post to your blog every day. Quality content is the surest way that search engines can find your blog online. Quality content added to your blog on a routine basis will increase your search engine rankings.

Use Effective Tracking Tools

Google provides every blogger an easy way to track and report all of the activity on your blog. Using Google Analytics, you can generate reports and understand exactly how traffic is being sent to your site. This provides a quick analysis of exactly how your sales leads and subscribers are finding you online. By not having this effective data, you will likely be taking an unnecessary risk. In addition, it is quite easy to overlook many valuable opportunities or be unaware that you are posting the wrong type of content.

The Google Analytics tool is available on a variety of blogging sites as a plug-in to make the process even simpler.

Use Social Media as a Tool

Many quality blogs often suffer the same fate of not being found, when no one realizes that they are even available online. Recognize that there are other social media tools that can be used to drive additional traffic to your blogging site. Social media worlds including Twitter, Google Plus, YouTube and others work as an effective town square.

It provides the opportunity to associate with others to have meaningful conversations. However, recognize that you are connecting to like-minded individuals that might be interested in being redirected to your blogging site.

Provide a Call to Action

The most effective way to enhance your blogging site to make it worthwhile is to provide a call to action. Often times, bloggers find it difficult to ask their readers to do anything. However, it is nearly impossible to get clients, re-tweets, comments and subscribers until you take the initiative and ask. A call to action can be an effective way to increase traffic of repeat subscribers. However, you will need to incorporate the method of sharing and giving a valuable content first.

Use SEO Tools

In all likelihood it will be Google that will end up being your best long-term reliable traffic source. It will automatically index every updated post you publish on your blogging site. In the end, it will create the best avenue to redirect readers to all of your blogging sites. This is done through search engine optimization (SEO). Search engine optimization is an ever evolving collection of effective tactics that are used to get your rankings to the top of the result page of a Google search engine query.

It is critical that you recognize that your blogging site is strictly a marketing tool. By maximizing the effectiveness of the specific tools, you can generate greater traffic to your site, where your audience returns time and again to read your updated content.

3 Effective Ways to Decide Exactly What to Blog About

Locating an effective topic for your blogging site can be a challenge. Typically, individuals will choose a specific general topic as a way to become a part of an online community. Businesses will often use their blogging site is an effective tool to promote their business. However you approach your blogging site, your updated post will likely fit into a specific niche.

While it is not required at all to find a particular niche or community it is best to focus your blogging updates in a specific direction. It should be obvious that the purpose of your blog is easily understood and well defined by both you, and every visitor that lands on your blogging site.

There are three specific tips you can use as effective ways to enhance your blogging site. Those three specific tips include:

Be Helpful

Recognize that you will likely be able to attract and hold onto the attention of more readers if your updated blogging content offers valuable information that every visitor can use. Typically, successful blogging sites avoid daily family life and other fascinating personal information. That is not to suggest that you should not blend in interesting content about your family if your site offers moneymaking solutions. Ideally, any information that can help others generate a better income should be involved in your site, even if it includes the actions of your family.

Choose the Right Niche

It is imperative that the niche market topic that you choose is neither too broad nor specific. If your blogging updates tend to be too general in knowledge, there is no focus, call the action, or any specific information that can be harnessed to be helpful to your readers. Likewise, when the topic of the update is too narrow, it will likely only be effective information for just a small handful of your online visitors. Choose instead to post valuable content that is targeted specifically to the niche market that will be appealing to the largest portion of your targeted audience.

Give Yourself Breathing Room

Selecting the best topic is one that will likely give you breathing room. You will need to find a niche that allows you to update it definitely on a regular basis. In other words, never choose any niche topic that might be too narrow in scope. This could create a situation where you run out of the ability to generate fascinating content after just a few weeks or a couple of months.

The simplest way of making sure you are not making this mistake is to brainstorm for any potential upcoming posts, or interesting subtopics that will bolster your niche topic. If you are able to develop a long list, it is likely the perfect sign that you will always have plenty to write about.

Typically, the most interesting blogging sites are those that are written by individuals who have a passion for their specific niche topic. Choose to follow your heart, so you can write about things that interest you and other like-minded individuals.