THE ART OF BLOGGING – WHY YOU NEED A BLOG
Welcome to article 2 of MARKETING 101
Before we start, let me just tell you that blogging takes a LOT OF WORK, I mean a lot. Putting this article together hasn’t been easy at all.
Blogging requires you to Pre-Plan, Schedule Time, Stick to the scheduled time, it needs to be updated regularly…….IT TAKES A LOT OF TIME, BUT IT WORKS.
I’m guessing you’re still interested in knowing why blogging works. Since this series is part of our Marketing 101, Blogging can be classed under Content Marketing (this will be explored further in the weeks to come).
HOW TO START
A well planned blog will save you a lot of stress later on. Don’t think I can say this enough.
What’s your niche? – Why is this important? It really helps you to structure your blog. For example, if you enjoy Health and Fitness and you’re very knowledgeable in the field, there’s no point in starting a blog that talks about cars etc. If your passion is in Health and Fitness, structure your blog to cover these things. It’s basically that simple, you might be asking, what if I don’t know what my niche is? Then it’s time to sit down, and figure it out.
Who’s your target audience? – Who will be reading your wonderful blog? What’s their age group, profession, interests, geographical location etc. All these will help you to focus your writing towards those people.
Don’t blog for the sake of blogging – Make sure that your content is rich, it should be adding values to your readers, make sure that they are learning something. Keeping this in mind will increase your exposure over time, people will start coming to you as the expert in your niche.
Keep it fresh – There are millions of blogs on the world-wide-web, there are thousands of people blogging about the same thing as you, therefore it’s very easy to duplicate things. Keep your blog original, let it be a true reflection of your ability, at the end of the day, the biggest asset of your blog is YOU, STAY ORIGINAL & KEEP IT FRESH.
Time Time Time – As mentioned earlier, blogging takes time, I mean a lot of time. The best advice I can give is to pre-plan what you’ll blog about. Make a list of the topics you want to blog about, update it as you go, set a blogging day on your diary and STICK to it. Never under-estimate the commitment blogging takes.
Be Consistent – Post your blogs regularly, start with posting once a week. If you can handle more, do it, but remember not to set yourself up to fail. The key is consistency.
Use Pictures – I’m not saying that you should clutter your blog with pictures, one or two should be enough. They’re very powerful and also good for SEO purposes. Try exploring stock photography, even if you have to pay for them, or take your own pictures.
Be Social – Use social media as much as you can, it’s one of the cheapest and most effective ways to spread the news about your blog. Start with the popular ones, Facebook, Twitter, Google+. The aim is to write specifically for each social media, i.e. When posting your blog on Facebook it’s best practice to attach a picture as it’ll circulate a lot quicker, with Twitter, you are limited by how much you can write, make the headline of your tweet snappy while leaving enough word space for your blog link. The main aim is to use social media to drive traffic towards your blog site.
Enjoy It – Although blogging could be stressful from time to time, try your best to enjoy the process. And please do not forget to continue your offline life, spend time with your loved ones, friends, family.
HOW TO SET UP A BLOG
There are many ways this can be achieved, some are easier than others.
The Techie Part
This one is a hot topic. DISCLAIMER: I haven’t been sponsored by the companies mentioned in this post (sponsorship wouldn’t be too bad)
a. WordPress – (.com and .org) simply put, wordpress.com is free, whereas WordPress.org will need you to invest in a hosting solution. If you really want a lot of freedom, then it’s wise to invest in WordPress.org a lot earlier in your blogging journey.
b. Blogger – Free version is like that of WordPress.com. To have the full control, it’s also better for you to invest in a hosting company. Since it’s owned by Google, linking everything together is a lot easier, Gmail account, analytics, Adsense, the whole shebang that Google throws at you.
c. Tumblr – simple, minimalistic but still offers great features, it sits more on the social media side than a fully fledge blogging platform. Given that it’s a fully fledged social media platform, it means that it’s a lot easier to populate your blogs to like-minded readers.
There are hundreds of blogging platforms floating around the internet, the ones mentioned above falls in the top-10 blogging platforms. For more in-depth view of their possibilities; there’s a fantastic post on Dear Blogger, which I’ll include at the end of this post.
More Techie Stuffs – Hosting & Domains
To be visible on the internet, you need a hosting solution, this is where the contents of your blog will sit on. Most blogging platforms come with free hosting, while you have to pay for others. So how do you know which one to go for?
Free Hosting & Domain
Most people normally start off with free hosting solutions, because it’s free 🙂 Free solutions serve the purposes you need it for, it’s a really good starting point. Unless you don’t mind, there are downsides to going down the free route. Let’s explore them further.
- Subdomains – Majority of free hosting solutions doesn’t allow you to have your blog in your name/blog name i.e. For Blogger, you have to settle with www.femiajibade.blogger.com, for WordPress you have to settle with www.femiajibade.wordpress.com. With a paid service I could have www.femiajibade.com. If you want to rank well on search engines, paying for a domain is the right way to go.
- Advertisement – With free solutions, random adverts will appear on your blog site without you having any control over it. This could become cumbersome as the advertisements placed are not always related to your blog topic.
- Professionalism – Going back to issue one with subdomains names, putting up a professional front has big effects on the popularity of your blog. Having your blog under another domain name but your own just doesn’t look professional. These little things matter.
Paid Domain and Hosting
With paid domain and hosting, you have the fully fledged power to do whatever you want. No unwanted advertisements, and if you want to include advertisements, you get paid for them. As we mentioned above, there’s nothing wrong with starting off on free solutions because you can upgrade at your own convenience.
HOW WE CAN HELP
As part of our web design services at F-Sharp Media, we specialise in designing WordPress based blogs.
- Help you design a custom blog that truly reflects your vision.
- Redesign your current blog to match the branding of your current website.
- Optimise old blogs to work on any devices i.e. smart phones, tablets, pc etc.
- Add a blog section to your current website, this will also match the branding of your current website.
- Assist in setting up your domain, hosting etc.