If you are planning to start blogging in 2021, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Firstly, you must understand there is no one size fits all approach when it comes to blogging. Every writer is different, every industry is different. What might be working for others might not work for you and vice-versa.
You should be working towards making your blog unique and exciting; and before you get on with blogging, find your voice and your tone.
There are plenty of blogs out there, talking about the same thing. Yet, you’ll always be able to find one better than the other. How? This is where the best blogging practices come into the picture.
Whether it’s using blogger outreach methods for collaborating with other writers or finding relevant keywords, these practices help ensure your blog is not sinking and leading to a waste of your time or money. Keeping these practices at the back of your mind will help you drive results that will simply surprise you.
Before we head-on with the tips and best practices to know when starting a blog, let’s just find answers to a few questions that are asked frequently by newbies.
Common Questions Asked About Blogging
If you are ready to embark on your blogging journey, I’m sure you have a couple of questions at the back of your mind. We all do. Thus, I decided to help you find answers to them before you are starting out.
1. Is it a costly affair?
Blogging is not at all costly. Yes, it isn’t completely free, but the only costly thing you will be spending on blogging is your time. When you are beginning, you can start your blog at a cost as low as $80 annually.
2. Do I need to be tech-savvy to start my blogging journey?
Again, the answer is no. All you need to be able to do is know how to use a computer and browse the internet. Once you do that, you are good to go. You don’t have to use any complex tools to start blogging.
In fact, there are digital agencies that offer SEO services. These can help you find the keywords and add other necessary elements that are needed to make your blog rank on the search engines.
3. Can I only use free platforms?
If you are starting your blog just as a hobby, you can use free platforms. However, understand that free platforms give you very little or no control. Your blog will lose everything once you shut it down or if the website decides to close down. Thus, if you wish to actually monetize your blogs, it’s best to move on from free platforms.
4. Is it time-consuming to start a blog?
Blogging is a creative process. One of the obstacles that many writers face is choosing the topic they should write about. Once you have that and once you are in the habit of writing, you can finish your blogs much quicker than you anticipate.
Okay, I hope you have answers to a few of your doubts that might have sprung up when you planned on starting your blogging journey. Here are a few practices to keep in mind when blogging.
Best Practices For Starting A Blog In 2021
I’m saying it again, there is no one-size-fits-all. You must mold these practices according to your circumstances and industry. These practices are a great source of ensuring your basis is clear.
Establish Your Goal and Reasons to Start Blogging
This is where you ask the most important question from yourself: why did you think of starting a blog in the first place?
Are you starting a blog to just share your perspectives, is it a hobby or are you planning to make serious money through this venture? Another thing to consider is if it is the latter, are you using blogging for your existing business or you want to be a pro blogger and make money with affiliate links.
Whatever the reason may be, just make sure you have it established and confirmed before starting out with the blog.
This will help you figure out what you should or need to talk about.
There are a few bloggers that end up losing direction and share about everything they come across. Literally. As a result, they lose their website traffic. You don’t want to be one of them.
Blogging is a serious job and should be treated that way. The audience today is in search of solutions to their queries. If they don’t find it on your page, they will not stick around for long.
You need your goals to understand where you want to reach with your blog, how many visitors you want, and what should be the frequency of your posting among many other reasons. These goals can only be established once you know your reason for starting out on this journey.
Figure If You Have An Audience For The Chosen Topic/Niche
Now, once you know why you are starting your blogging journey, find out what you want to talk about.
Let us take an example. Suppose you are a fashion enthusiast, planning to start a blog on everything related to fashion. You need to now figure out what you will be sharing. This can be done based on what’s out there already and what your audience prefers.
The latter one is the most important because if your audience isn’t looking for the content you are planning to publish, you will have no website visitors. As a result, it won’t solve any purpose in your life.
Hence, make sure you are deciding the topic or niche after thorough research and figuring out if there is an audience for your chosen topic. Once you do that, find out your sub-topics and content buckets things you will be covering.
You should keep a check on whether these sub-topics need to be covered or they’re already available in abundance. Also, check if they are available in abundance, can you write better and share more information regarding the same topics?
Find Out If Your Blog Can Be Monetized
You already know why you are blogging. We established that in step one. Now, if your goal is to make money out of it, you should identify if your topic or theme can be monetized. This should be done before you start writing or even before you choose a name for your blog.
It’s true you can make money out of any topic if you are highly creative. Yet, there are a couple of topics that yield more monetary benefits as compared to others.
To start with, you can think of answering a couple of questions for yourself. Think if there are companies that would pay you to promote their brand using your blog.
Do some research and find out if your competitors are making money off the similar blogs you have planned to share. You can also think about opportunities you might come across to create and share your very own ebook a few years down the lane.
Choose A Blog Name And Platform
You must be very careful when deciding a name for your blog. It should be easy to pronounce and recall.
You can keep your domain name as yourname.com, yourbusinessname.com, or find something creative. But if it’s not your own name, your URL/blog name should give away the industry you are related to. This way, you’ll attract the audience you want.
Once you know what you will be calling your blog, now is the time to find a blog platform, then register a domain name, and finally find a hosting site for your blog.
Let’s talk about the blog platform first. The best one out there is WordPress.org. It is self-hosted and among the easiest platforms to use. It is so popular that it powers around 33% of websites on the web (that’s one-fourth of all the websites!). You can install a free software of WordPress on your web host and have complete control over it.
Next, register your domain. One crucial thing to keep in mind is to ensure you are using a .com website. It’s the most credible-looking domain out there. You will have to first check if the domain is available and then, purchase it. You can use websites like GoDaddy or Namecheap for the same.
Lastly, find a web host. A hosting site for your blog is what an engine is for the car. A hosting site is needed for your blog to be shown on the Internet.
These might be one of the most time-consuming steps, but they are also extremely vital. Make sure you are not rushing into it when you are starting your blogging journey.
Select a Simple Theme
Once the name, hosting website, and platform are out of the way, now comes the front end. This is the segment that your audience will be interacting with.
You need to be very careful and creative when handling the front-end segment, including the theme you go for.
If you choose a complex theme, it can get a little intimidating for you to manage and for your audience to navigate. Thus, you should be looking at keeping things simple.
A theme is a pre-made design for your website. These themes make lives easier for non-coders or those without design knowledge. You can find websites like BYLT or Theme Forest to find free or paid WordPress themes that set the vibe of your blogs right.
Give Your Blogs The Best Shot
This is where content comes into the picture.
If you are looking to monetize your blogs, you should keep your readers and audience at the center. Forget about what you like to do or what you prefer. Instead, think about what would your audience like to read?
If you keep your blogs self-focused, it will be tricky to bring website traffic.
Indeed you should find a niche and topics that you know about or something you are comfortable writing. But you don’t necessarily have to share about the wild adventures you personally had if you are working on a commercial or a business blog.
When deciding your topics, do a little research. Identify what keeps your readers awake at night. Understand their dreams, goals, and needs. Answer questions like what do they desire? What will make their lives easy?
The bigger the need is of your reader, the easier it will be to grab their attention.
You can share tips, inspiration, and guides that circle your industry. This would be something that will truly add value to the lives of the readers and maybe help find solutions to their problems.
Don’t just share one or two content pieces on particular topics. Cover as much information on a topic as you can. Why? Because when someone is in need, they are not going to read just one piece of advice. They will devour as much as they are served.
Keywords are what help blogs rank on top of the search engine results.
These include those words and phrases that your audience is searching for on the web. Adding keywords to your website helps your audience find your valuable content, leading to an increase in your website traffic.
They get value, you get traffic – it’s a win-win.
However, your keywords should be chosen and incorporated very carefully. Opt for the phrases that you believe you have the chance of ranking for and add them to your content naturally.
Also, make it a point to not add too many keywords otherwise, your blog will only look spammy.
If you are not a tech-savvy individual, it’s okay. You can find professionals that will help push your blogs to your desired rank. However, there are free tools for you to find your keywords, in case you are not too keen on finding yourself an agency.
Do On-page SEO
Optimizing your blogs is crucial. In the world of digitalization, it is extremely easy to lose your blog under the several hundred-thousands that are published per day. That’s why you need to optimize your blogs for search engines.
Your on-page SEO helps bring traffic to your website. If you are among the top websites that users come across, you will automatically get desired results. That’s what optimizing your website does.
The keywords in your blogs, that we talked about in the previous point, are a part of on-page SEO. Apart from that, add keywords to your meta title and description as well.
Also, try to make your title and description compelling enough to make the reader click on your website. However, stay away from any click baits.
The content pieces you are adding should be of the right length. No, they don’t necessarily have to be super long. But it needs to be enough to drive traffic and offer true value.
Leverage Relevant And Quality Backlinks
Linking should be your priority.
If you are a blogger, backlinks are indispensable. By backlinking, you have the power to attract audiences of other bloggers to your website or send traffic from one blog to another blog on your website itself.
When you link internally, it means you are adding links to your relevant blogs to another blog. These linked blogs might contain more elaborated information on the topics you are planning to cover and will help your audience gain a more in-depth insight into the topic they’re searching for.
For instance, suppose you have a travel blog. You can create a guide on a particular destination and talk about everything related to it. This could include things to do, places to see, food to eat, things to carry, and more. Now, you can create blogs focused on these individual topics and link them to the guide.
You can also reach out to other bloggers in your industry that allow guest posting on their website. Send these bloggers a well-written, valuable piece of content along with a link to your website. This way, the blogger will get his content and you will get the attention of that blogger’s audience.
To keep a check on your backlink profile, you can make use of a free backlink checker.
When you are starting your blogging journey, keep in mind that you will have to stick to the frequency.
Blogging requires your time and your efforts. It’s not a one-time job, it’s actually completely opposite. You need to remain consistent with your efforts when it comes to blogging.
This means that you need to keep your blog active. Do not neglect it for months and then expect monetary returns or traffic or in fact, any kind of result from it.
The frequency of posting varies with industry. For instance, if you have a fashion blog, you will have to be more consistent and frequent because readers are always in search of something more.
You can also keep updating your old blogs and reshare them. This is also a trick to push your blogs to the top ranks in the SERPs.
Promote Your Blog Wherever Possible
Lastly, promote what you publish.
You should use different social platforms to make your audience aware of the blogs that you have published. Promoting your blogs helps bring traffic to your website while adding value to the lives of your consumer.
Before starting with this, you must identify where your audience is. Once you do that, then share your links to your blog content on those selected platforms.
To summarize, if you are starting your journey as a blogger, you must first identify why you have decided to embark on this path. Then, choose your domain name, register for it, and find a web hosting site for your platform.
Once these technicalities are out of the way, start working on SEO-friendly blogs and reach out to bloggers for backlinks. This further gives your SEO efforts a boost and helps you reach the top rank on the SERPs.
Lastly, make it a point to share your blog on different social platforms to make your audience aware of your blogs. Blogging is a process that requires time and effort.
If you wish for monetary gains from blogging, make sure you are consistent.