A simple guide to creating the perfect blog strategy for you.
Blogging has exploded onto the online scene over the past few years. Once the prerequisite of the internet’s “geeks” and specialists, there’s a blog for everything now, from vegan food chefs to motorbike enthusiasts. And some bloggers really bring home the bacon; blogging is big business in 2016. The top earning online blog websites can earn in the millions per month; Income Diary suggests that Arianna Huffington’s The Huffington Post blog makes over $2 million per month!
Many blogs – including Ms Huffington’s – have transformed to become a reputable source of unbiased “news”, although the level of bias certainly must be questionable. Most of these blog sites earn their money through affiliate advertising on their website (more on what affiliate marketing is here) and the promotion of certain products, services or websites within their articles, thereby raising a question mark over impartiality. Starting your own blog couldn’t be easier, and there’s a few ways to make sure you get off to a flying start.
So how do you join the ranks of the most successful bloggers in the world? Below are five top tips for designing and creating a blog that keeps people coming back:
- Choose a blogging platform, register a domain name and buy website hosting.
This may be the most boring step in your quest to become a blogging sensation, but it’s probably the most important. There are a range of blogging platforms out there for you to choose from, some of which offer their services for free. WordPress.org is one of the world’s most popular paid-for blogging platforms. With a WordPress account you can also map your domain name to point towards your WordPress site, and UK2 even offer a special WordPress Hosting Packages designed and optimised specifically for bloggers, so that’s worth a look.
- Design your blog.
Although blogging is heavily content-focused, the way your site looks will also affect how much traffic you attract. In the blogging world, eyeballs are everything, and you want as many of them as possible to be directing their attention towards your blog and not towards your rivals. Again there are several resources for designing and building the blog website of your dreams – including UK2’s website builder – but if you’re using WordPress it’s helpful to have a go-to tips and tricks site. WP Tricks is a blog dedicated to providing up-to-date information on how to design and optimise your WordPress website. If building your own website from scratch is beyond your technical ability, there are several free WordPress themes you can use.
- Add your content!
Here the fun can really begin. Hopefully by this point you’ll know exactly what your blog will be focusing on, and what content you will be producing. Be sure to write plenty of content in advance of your blog launch, so you don’t get stuck with no blog articles to publish.
- Be consistent.
The key to attracting a loyal audience – and keeping them interested – is to post regularly and to a schedule. If your subscribers know you update your blog with a new article every Friday, for example, they’ll know to look out for the update when Friday comes around. Be sure to create content that is consistent with your style, as it’s difficult to change the direction of your blog without losing large numbers of visitors. Consistency is key, so be sure your tone of voice is the same in any articles and in any promotional content; your social media channels should reflect the voice of the blog when you’re sharing your content socially.
- Make it social!
Following on from the tail-end of point four is the social side of blogging. Social media is an invaluable tool for the everyday blogger; a few well-placed hashtags could introduce your content to a wide range of viewers worldwide! Be sure to set up dedicated profiles on Twitter, Facebook and even Instagram to spread the word about your blog.