The rise of blogging has been one of this century’s most pronounced social trends. The world’s first blog was created back in 1994, yet there were still only a couple of dozen blogs online when the new millennium dawned.
In 2003, blogging platform WordPress and targeted advertising service AdSense launched, respectively providing the foundations and the funding for anyone wanting to become a blogger. Within three years, 50 million blogs were online, and by the end of 2010, there were over 150 million. By this point, metablogs were gaining prominence, detailing how to become a blogger and advising on the creation of engaging content.
Is It Too Late To Become A Blogger?
Blogging resembles a saturated industry lately, particularly given the rise of competing media like vlogs and podcasts. Even if you haven’t already become a blogger, chances are your neighbours and friends will be dabbling occasionally. And while 70% of blogs don’t earn any income, 5% earn their authors at least £25,000 a year. Yet despite the proliferation of amateur online content, there are still opportunities for new market entrants. It’s not too late to become a blogger if you adopt the right strategies…
Write from your own experience
Nobody else has had your life or experienced the events which shaped your personality and insights. With a plethora of existing content already online, your greatest USP is your own experience. There is a particularly healthy market for personal stories – mental and physical health blogs, content about parenthood and beauty/lifestyle writing are just some examples.
It’s vital to recognise at the outset that you’ll inevitably upset segments of your audience along the way. Web users are strident and self-righteous, particularly when they’re able to be anonymous. As long as you can support a controversial opinion, espouse it enthusiastically and accept any negativity as the price for building a bond with those who do share your outlook.
Blogs with images receive almost twice as many views as purely text-based content. However, you don’t need to buy expensive photos from Shutterstock. Take well-framed and brightly-lit shots using your phone, or trawl platforms like FreeImages.com to acquire public domain pictures. Remember that image results from Google and Bing are likely to be copyrighted.
Break up the text in other ways
Photos are great for diluting a lengthy slab of text, but there are also other ways to hold audience attention. A third of blog readers prefer list-based headlines, so “Ten reasons” articles will be well-received, for example. Break up body text using subheadings, bullet-point lists, and pull-quotes, as well as attention-grabbing sentences repeated in a larger font somewhere across the page.
Enable social sharing
There are innumerable WordPress plugins capable of managing social sharing. These static or floating buttons enable people to share a link to a published blog or add comments on leading social media platforms. Audience interaction is crucial to assembling a decent following, and retweets or likes will introduce your blog to otherwise unreachable audiences.
Comment on other blogs
Expanding on the last point, engaging with other bloggers and brands is a great way to raise your own profile. Seek out key influencers in your sphere of interest, and demonstrate expertise by adding considered comments to their blogs. Don’t be afraid to ask people to contribute comments or even an occasional guest column, creating reciprocal benefits for both parties.
Be detailed, but don’t ramble
This is a deliberately vague instruction which depends on your chosen topics of interest. However, while search engines welcome lengthy content posts, audiences may tune out unless you have enough observations to retain their interest. On a related note, keep titles between 6 and 12 words to attract the highest volumes of traffic.
Launch a dedicated website for your blog
60% of blogs are abandoned, which is easier to do if it’s a generic page on a third-party website like Blogger. To add professionalism and polish, register a dedicated website address. Sites can easily be constructed using platforms like WordPress, and you’ll find it far easier to establish a presence in search engine results with a dedicated URL.
However, what if your blog isn’t for personal reasons? Businesses need blogs too. The benefits of launching a business blog are many. They can add search engine optimisation value and help build authority within an industry. Let’s take a look…
In a world where the word ‘blog’ is as ubiquitous as talking about the weather, digestive biscuits, and Game of Thrones spoilers, there are five questions you should ask yourself before launching an engaging, informative and useful business blog.
5 Questions To Ask Yourself When Setting Up A Business Blog
If you’re thinking about starting up a blog for your business, and wondering what a blog could offer you and your company, the proven benefits are endless – from creating a completely different client/customer relationship to really conveying your brand to a worldwide audience in a relevant and recurring form. The word ‘blog’ usually refers to a regularly updated website or web page, typically run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style.
“Why should my business have a blog?”
For starters, there is no denying the importance and value of an online presence for your company. Once upon a time a website was enough, but in the increasingly large online community a blog will not only demonstrate what you represent as a company, it will also give your business a personality, instantly conveying your brand and what you stand for. A blog gives you a voice; a blog will give your business the personal touch, and subsequently a more relatable customer experience from the get-go.
“What is the purpose of my blog?”
With a business blog, you could express thoughts and new changes at your company, make money, promote business and your brand and add a personal touch to your business. Whatever the purpose, the possibilities of your new blog are endless. Just make sure you know what you want to offer and to stay within these boundaries: if you stay as precise and clear about these aims as you can your blog will sail to success.
“Who is my audience?”
Your blog is an amazing tool – not only can it provide fantastic PR on a controlled platform but it can also reach a huge audience. Knowing and understanding that audience will yield you a higher readership and potential customer basis. Blog analytics are a great way to find out who is reading your blog. The geographical locations of your audience and what day of the week a blog post reaches the maximum number of readers are listed, and this information will help you schedule prime times and days to release articles and blog subjects.
“What is my domain?”
Your domain name is a very important aspect to consider when starting up your blog. To connect and share information with your customer base in the most efficient way your domain needs to be simple, memorable and related to your company. A smart, witty and unforgettable domain will instantly put you a cut above the rest on the road to business blogging success.
“How will customers find my blog content?”
Blogging greatly improves search engine visibility of your company as people and search engines favour fresh content. It demonstrates relevance and instantly pushes your blog and keywords up in search engine results and therefore your company exposure. Successful blogging paired with engaging informative content is a sure-fire way to propel your business to the next level of customer relation and loyalty.
A blog can not only be a great customer relation tool, it can also demonstrate aspects of a company which are usually more periodically updated. A blog can be useful to help your company stay constantly up to date, from the latest trends, business development to offers and promotions the possibilities are unbounded. Stay current, fresh and appealing to a modern audience, and do not hesitate to invest in a business blog today.
Now that you are prepared to build both a stylish personal blog or a professional business blog, all that’s left is building and publishing your blog to share with the wider world.
How To Blog Like A Creative Pro With WordPress!
Being creative and expressing ideas drives those of us who are innovative and love originality. We also live in a digital world which is always connected. So what better way to spread your creativity than with an awesome blog? Blogging is the ultimate way to express yourself and show the world what you think, create or make. To do this in the best possible way, you need a platform with fantastic and creative features: meet WordPress.
What Makes A WordPress Blog Great?
Before you start, be selective about the type of blog you wish to have, just as you are with your own writing:
#1. First Impressions Count!
You need a blog that is not only fully functional but also looks appealing and professional. Once you have WordPress installed, there are two options: build a blog from scratch (this is well suited to the designers out there!) or you can buy a professionally designed template that has been tried and tested for a one-off fee. There are also many free templates available online too.
#2. Share to Your Heart’s Content
What would the world be without social media? As a creative individual, you can’t afford to not tap into this ocean of connectivity. Any blog that wishes to succeed must have a wider variety of social media sharing options and features. WordPress makes it easy to add social sharing buttons and integrate full Facebook and Instagram feeds on your homepage. Imagine someone reads your latest post and wants to share it on Facebook. One-click on the Facebook share icon and it’s done.
#3. Updating Your Blog: The Power is in Your Hands
There is nothing more annoying than not being able to manage your own blog updates. Imagine you get inspired late at night and you need to upload a new post or image or make some changes to your site. WordPress has a user-friendly backend system which lets you make changes easily from anywhere, at any time. You can play around with colour, fonts, and much more to change the theme (or look) of your blog as well as make layout changes. Independence is power!
#4. The Possibilities Are Endless
WordPress is “open source” which basically this means it’s free and anyone can contribute. The number of features that are available to add to your blog are endless. Many techies have created and tested such “widgets” which you can then plug into your site. One example is email subscription: you can choose from several formats, then add the one you prefer to your site. This widget will allow a user to enter their email address, and it will go straight to your account. This way you are compiling a list of followers ready to receive your first newsletter.
#5. Suddenly Want to Expand?
What if your blog becomes really popular and users want to start buying your products? Or due to demand you see an expansion opportunity you hadn’t accounted for? Easy! With WordPress you can add an online shop to your existing blog without fuss. You can also build a proper multiple page website, start offering a booking service for your clients to book appointments, and much more…
From one WordPress convert to hopefully another, why wait? Start building your WordPress blog today by partnering with UK2.NET.