This new digital craft has a very wide online market; it can be hard on knowing how to get started with blogging. However, once you break the ice and get stuck in with your project, it can be a rewarding and even profitable online business start-up.
Why blogging is an essential tool if you are competing online
Blogging isn’t just authors and poems. Since the birth of social media, even large businesses are ensuring their web page includes an online blog.
The benefits of blogging for your business are:
- Further interactivity with customers that can create more loyalty and repeat business.
- Platforms like Facebook and Twitter pushes a brand further into people’s daily lives.
- It gives the company a voice in the market, creating online PR.
- Unique content produced frequently will create better SEO ranking, meaning customers are initially searching them out anyway – a higher sales rate per click.
The benefits can go on, but you don’t need to have a business to profit from a blog.
If you enjoy writing and researching niche areas of interest, then it can be a lethargic way to make money.
How to make money from blogging
You can make direct income, plus outside opportunities may happen too, because of your blog’s existence e.g. If your blogs very good, then your reputation will become known with companies and the media, which in itself may materialize different varieties of business opportunities.
But for now, let’s take a look at a few of the most popular direct profitable methods:
- Google Adsense; place banner ads and earn a commission per click.
- Amazon affiliates; advertise a book relating to your blog topic, and you rake in a commission for providing the customer.
- Joining affiliate networks like E-junkie, Clickbank, and PayDotCom.
- CJ Affiliate; a way to sell janitorial franchises and travel services.
<Link focusing more on this area will be here soon…>
How to increase website traffic
There are many methods to increase traffic to your website, however, the first initial goal is scoring top rank with search engines like Google.
Google has site crawlers, which will rank content on SEO and will determine how high up the search listing your blog is.
Methods include having the correct amount of keywords, being smartphone friendly, 100% unique content (non-plagiarized) and high numbers of quality links.
<Link focusing more on this, coming soon>
Where do I get started with blogging?
Before you start signing up to a blog service, here are some key planning requirements:
Already have a product, business and subject in mind before you get started.
Methods for finding a good idea:
- If you are unsure on an idea, then do some self-exploration – what do you like? What would you love writing about? You should by now be in the habit of searching Google for things of interest, and then reading other peoples’ content – this should give you an idea of what’s already on the market, and how you can fill the gap with your own unique perspective.
- Always have a pen and notepad handy, if you are a fresh writer, then it may be hard to get ideas on demand – instead the ideas may flow to you when not expected, so be ready to intercept them.
- Another way to get your brain primed for generating ideas is to get in the habit of writing every day – it doesn’t need to be Shakespeare, as no one needs to read them, so it can be as boring as writing the events of your own day.
Vision your brain as a muscle, the more writing you do, then the better you will get at expanding ideas – eventually you will grow with creativity and confidence.
The best blogging service:
This can be a matter of opinion between bloggers as each will have their own preferences. So here is a review of the popular hosts available – but it is also recommended to do further research with Google too.
In order to use a blogging platform, it is the normality to pay for a web host, and you will need to pay a fee for an annual or monthly subscription.
There are platforms that allow free blogging, but you won’t have a domain, which will affect your SEO ranking.
Top 3 web hosts
1# Blue Host
This was my personal option, as they provide easy set-up, very helpful service, and start-up tutorials. You will be able to create your own domain name, email address (email@example.com), and your own I cloud (a benefit for saving documents, so you don’t lose files if your computer/laptop goes wrong).
Are there any negatives I found from using Blue Host?
Being very honest, I have not come across any major flaws. I suffered a glitch from accidently deleting my website over a year ago, but their helpline resolved this issue for me in seconds. So I am a happy customer.
However, digging a bit deeper for negative feedback, here is where bloggers may disagree with me – see here for what they are saying which isn’t good.
You will need to weigh up your own pros and cons, as your specific needs will be unique to mine.
I found their fees very reasonable too, with secure payment, however, there may be cheaper services out there (but I would prefer to pay a bit extra for their quality of service).
Although I’ve not personally used this host, it is ranked very highly amongst bloggers and has proven to be a popular platform.
The list of freebies they offer are:
- Search Engine credits
- Marketing credits
- Site security (another important factor)
<A link to a deeper guide in blog security will be here soon – keep posted!>
Other benefits include an affordable package plan, in comparison to other services; plus, an affordable package plan in comparison to other services.
Negatives to using ipage
There have been complaints on server speed, and it does have limitations.
3# Site Ground
A popular web host which has received high positive feedback. It offers a variety of options for using Word Press, whilst their technical support team is ranked the best service.
Other perks of using Site Ground is that they offer four different data centers and account isolation technology (a very beneficial security feature).
Many reviews have stated that although the security feature is ideal for most cases, but the completely automatic tool features have been known to lose websites and data through glitches.
Choosing the right blogging platform
Once you have signed up to a hosting service, then most bloggers would opt to use Word Press as their blogging tool, however, there are other platforms available too.
Word Press hosts up to 20% of all the websites on the net – it is considered the king of blogging platforms for companies and bloggers alike.
If you are a newbie then it is highly recommended to start with Word Press, mainly for its simple drag and drop features when building your blog website.
Why is Word Press the most favored by bloggers?
You are able to download Plugins
Access to thousands of plugins; these are basically downloadable Word Press add-ons, which can add further customization to your blog, enhance security, being interactive with social media, SEO tools, and even making your site mobile friendly.
Most other blog platforms don’t offer this amount of flexibility – especially if you decide to have a static site rather than in a typical blog setup.
Very supportive help-desk
If you run into any problems, their staff have a high reputation of being customer friendly and happy to help with any difficulties.
It’s a lot easier for Search Engine Optimization
If you download useful SEO plugins that WP offers, then you can get the upper hand, for when it comes to internet marketing and optimizing your blog for Google.
<Best Plugins for SEO – link under construction, but will be ready soon>
However, if for any reason you are not willing to use Word Press, then these are the other popular blogging platforms:
This platform is open source, whilst giving the user a simplistic interface, which is easy to navigate.
Although not personally used, much feedback has given Ghost these benefits:
- You can preview posts live, which enables correction of errors before being published.
- Many users prefer the interface best, out of all the other blogging services.
- Most beginners found this platform simple to get started.
Some bloggers have been critical of the platforms installation process.
Companies praise this host enormously, as it offers easy ‘drag and drop’ design tools (no HTML knowledge required), and it can be used for both website building and blogging.
Expert web designers and bloggers who use CSS and HTML may find very limited programming options.
A very beginner friendly platform, but is very restricted for users as bloggers can only add photos, type content and publish – however, in comparison to other free blogging services, this one does offer widgets and some HTML editing.
As it’s a free tool, it would be most suitable for anyone looking to get a feel of blogging and learn further – once you reach a point that you want to take it to a professional level, though, then you will grow out of it (and there are no upgrade options, unlike Word Press).
A blogging medium that is most trendy with younger audiences, which has easy-to-use features and is very interactive with a community of bloggers.
The benefits are:
- Provides many options for content sharing and re-blogging work.
- It’s built-in community.
- Very easy for beginners.
- Rather than text, it has a bigger focus on GIFs and photos.
- No control of copyright.
- Heavy writers should choose another blogging platform.
- If your target market isn’t a young audience, then this is the wrong place to look.
Once you are set-up with a blogging platform and host, then you are ready to start designing and writing your content.
You should also:
Create the following social media profiles:
Social media has only become very popular in the last few years and has become a very popular method for attracting organic internet traffic (almost as effective as search engine rank – however, I recommend using the combination of both to reach maximum reach).
Depending on your target market, and if you intend to make a profit from your blog, then you will also need to plan on the techniques to earn an income.
This will be dealt with in greater detail in the next article, however, I must warn as my knowledge about other blogging platforms is restricted; I can only offer information on using Word Press and downloading the right Plugins.
Next Articles currently being written:
How to create internet traffic with SEO.
10 popular Word Press Plugins
How to create internet traffic with social media
Guest posts are welcome here!
I will welcome any writers to offer guest posts on experiences with other blogging platforms or providing a link to own content. The Business Archive offers a warm embrace to all like-minded blogs and websites alike.
Please contact – firstname.lastname@example.org to chat more.