“Do you have a blog?” That’s a question that gets asked at many networking events. It seems everyone these days has a blog. There are people who keep a blog as a hobby, for others, it’s how they make their living. Finally, there are the business blogs, which can provide some additional insight and worthwhile content to customers and clients.
What does this mean? Well, in short, it means that there are a lot of blogs out there. More blogs mean more competition, which means you’re going to have to work hard to make sure your blog is something that will hook people in.
Think you’re serious about starting a blog? Here is the simple guide to writing a blog that people want to read.
Find your niche
You can write a blog about ANYTHING. That’s right, anything. Popular blog topics include fashion, beauty and travel, but blogs could also be about a specific sewing method or cult TV programme. If you’re passionate about something, you’ll enjoy talking about it – so make sure your blog is about something you know that you’ll continue to show an interest in weeks, months or years down the line. If a topic doesn’t immediately jump out at you, take a look at this great article on how to find your blogging niche.
For businesses, the industry your business operates in is what your blog should be about. It should provide readers with insights and opinion relevant to the industry as well as share the latest developments from your company.
Get the design right
While blogging is mostly about the text that people will read, a blog needs to look good in order to attract visitors. Some of these brutal blogging tips can help give you some thought to the design, fonts and photos used on your blog to help make yours stand out. You could design your own blog, or get some help with the use of templates. Even though templates are widely available, they are easily customisable if you want to add specific colours, fonts or other features to make your blog truly unique to you.
Put a content plan together
Most bloggers will tell you about the value of writing a content plan. This helps you to plot out content for the coming month, coming quarter or even for the coming year. Even if 50% of your blog is planned, that still ensures that you have consistent content going up. The other 50% can be opportunistic and related to things happening around you. It’s easier than you think to create a blogging content plan, and spending some time thinking of ideas you can write about will save you hours and hours of time later down the line when you’re stuck for something to write about. Look to other blogs for inspiration on what’s current and interesting to help get you started.
Read other blogs
Reading other blogs is the easiest way to immerse yourself in the world of blogging and see how it’s done. There are blogs out there on every topic imaginable, so whatever your interests are – start reading. Consider reading other blogs as research into how a blog should look and feel – you might even discover some great new reads to enjoy.
If you’re writing a business blog, follow other blogs written by those in the industry – you might find that you learn a lot about the latest news, while also giving you some great content you can link back to in order to help your blog more credible and informative.
Learn how to structure a blog post
Blog posts may look like they come in many different forms, but there is a formula you can use to create a blog that follows a familiar structure and isn’t too imposing on the page. Some tips for how to structure a blog include using headings to break up the content, focusing on short paragraphs and breaking up the post with images. Remember, you want the reader to stay engaged with your post from beginning to end – so give some thought to that reader experience when designing your blog entry.
Write like a blogger
Some people are of the impression that anyone can write a blog. Unfortunately, whether you’re writing a novel, a magazine feature or a blog post – you still need to have good writing skills. While you should follow the basics of writing, such as good spelling and grammar, there are other ways to make you a better blog writer. Keeping sentences clear and to the point is important, while you shouldn’t be afraid to play around with punctuation and language to help reflect your ‘voice’.
Blogging can be a great way to practice writing, and if you feel that you could benefit from further advice, you could always enrol on different writing courses to help you feel more confident in your skills.
Help people to find your blog
The term SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is important for websites in general, but even more so for a blog. Good SEO helps ensure that your content is picked up when people search for relevant keywords in Google and other search engines. The higher up in the search rankings you are, the more likely it is that people will click through to your blog.
Meanwhile, good SEO housed within your blog can help draw people to the rest of your website. Businesses need to make the most of this through SEO services, led by professionals who know how to play the Google game. SEO is something that always needs to be considered when publishing your new content, so make sure people can find you through some good keyword use.
Always include a promotion plan
A promotion plan is another vital component for getting your blog read. There are several ways to get your blog noticed, with some of the most popular being Facebook and Twitter. If you’re good at photography, then Instagram can help you develop a platform that gets your blog noticed. Pinterest, meanwhile, is becoming an increasingly popular way to target readers with an interest in your content. Develop a plan that hits as many targets as possible to help increase the number of people heading to your blog.
Monetise your blog
Whether your goal is to make money or not, there’s no harm in making some extra money by monetising your blog. There are plenty of ways to go about monetising, such as including affiliate links, seeking sponsored blog posts and looking for collaborations with brands and products. While you may not be guaranteed to make thousands of pounds overnight, you could certainly earn a healthy side wage if you play your cards right. Make sure that you do your research before trying out different monetising tools to ensure that you pick the best ones for your blog.
Engage with your readers
Providing your readers made it down to the comments section, you should always make sure that you reply to comments and questions where possible. The blogging industry is a very community-based environment, and you’ll be surprised at the support you can receive by simply taking the time to respond to readers. Remember that these people have chosen your blog to read over the hundreds of over things they could be doing on the internet, so a simple thank you or a thoughtful response can go a long way.
At the same time, you should be seen engaging with other bloggers’ content. Liking their posts, sharing the ones that interest you and leaving a comment helps make you a part of the community and can be especially important when you’re first starting out. It doesn’t take long to read and write a few comments, so set aside some time in your day to do it.
Don’t forget who you are
One of the greatest things about blogging is that you never know where it might lead you. While it may not lead to much more than the satisfaction of sharing your thoughts with the world, you could also find yourself hitting the big time. If it happens, don’t let it go to your head and always remember where you began. Sharing your blogging tips and the secrets of your success can help inspire other bloggers who started where you are now. It’s easy to get caught up in the thrill and excitement of your blog doing well, but remember all the people who helped you get there along the way.
Have fun with it
Blogging is something to enjoy, and whether it’s for a business need or to showcase your interests – remember to have fun with it. Blogs are a way to truly reflect your voice and share your opinions with the world, so it doesn’t have to be serious all the time. If you show off your personality in your writing as well as show your passion, it’ll be something to be proud of that people will want to read.
Getting started with your blog is easy, so why not get thinking about your topic and launch yours today?