Hello! I am Victoria and like a few other bloggers, I jumped into blogging only to discover I overlooked a few things. So! I am here to stop you from making my mistakes. Who’s ready because I sure am!
Blogging is keeping an online journal used to share either general information or personal experiences and thought. It’s like a diary of your thoughts and encounters but this time not for your eyes only.
Who should blog? Blogging has no criteria or requires no educational qualifications. But to be able to communicate with your audience, you must understand the fundamentals of the English language.
Blogging for beginners might seem like rocket science and a little complicated. However, there are certain blogging tips that would help you achieve your blogging dreams
- Defining your brand:
you heard me right, “your brand”. The moment you start penning down a blog post is the moment you started a new brand. You need to agree on who your blog posts are for, that is, your target audience. After that, the next step is picking a niche.
I thought I had wanted to write on just anything but then three months into blogging, I realized I needed to pick a sphere and be true to it. So do you want to be a lifestyle blogger, a beauty blogger, a food blogger, a health blogger or that go to tech blogger? Whichever it is, pick from the very start and be true to it.
If your blog post was a person how would it sound? Pick a voice, do you want to be the free one, the totally informal one, the playful one or the strictly formal one. Your voice must compliment your audience and must be one that best represents your brand.
How often do you want to post? You see when I started blogging I was going to post anytime; “as the spirit leads” Lol! But then I realized this would only slow down my blog exposure and reduce my traffic, so you need to pick a workflow and be CONSISTENT; I wrote the word in CAPs because it plays a vital role in determining your blogging success.
- Choosing your keywords based on analysis:
You do not want to just write a post without strategically inputting keywords. Keywords are words frequently searched on the internet that can draw traffic to your blog.
For example, if I want to prepare jollof rice and I need a recipe, I would input “recipe for jollof rice” into my search engine and blogs with these words would pop up.
However, you need not to guess what words are searched frequently or what phrases are used by people. You need to pick your keywords based on research and analytics and “keywords everywhere” is just the right tool for you.
The Keywords Everywhere extension is a free keyword tool that shows you useful google keyword search volume, cost per click and competition data of keywords on multiple websites and it can be easily installed on either Chrome or Firefox.
Simply search for keywords everywhere, click on either ‘Install for Chrome’ or ‘Install for Firefox’ in accordance with your current browser preference and see the tool in action!
- Building a contact mail list:
Although I never made this mistake, a lot of bloggers did. Your first reader is as important as your next reader in your blogging career but most bloggers overlook the importance of the “subscribe” button in their first blog post.
People who read your post and love it would definitely want to read another post from you and would definitely click on the subscribe button. A contact mail list helps you build a community for your newsletters, blog posts, surveys and even to sell your first e-book eventually.
Also, your mail list and the right campaign is what you need to carry out a successful email marketing for a product, training or your brand. Note that platforms like MailChimp and plugins like jetpack help you through this step.
- Getting a registered domain name and web hosting:
To start a blog you definitely need to pick and register a name just like they register companies but in this case, the name is registered online; now you would relate when I use the brand.
This name should be a representation of what your blog is about and best describes your craft. WordPress is a free blogging platform that allows you to create a website or build a blog, meaning you have to set it up and host it yourself and therefore you need a web hosting.
Now, web hosting and a domain name cost some dollars and so as a beginner I recommend you use BLUEHOST. Bluehost offers WordPress users a free domain name and about 60% discount off web hosting.
A domain name is what people type in to get to your website(e.g www.yourblog.com) while web hosting is where your blog lives, like a mansion on the internet.
So in as much as you want to write for other websites and companies, you shouldn’t overlook the essence of buying a domain name and owning your own website. I was scared of starting a blog of my own because I felt I wasn’t good enough and no one would sacrifice their time to read through my blog.
Do you know what I did? I started writing as a guest blogger for other blogs and randomly on platforms for writers. Then one day, I approached an online food vendor for a feature and she asked me if I had a domain name at least, I said no and everything she advised after that made me have a rethink.
I worked on my blog, got a domain name with the assistance of a friend and my first blog post got over three hundred views; for me, that meant a lot. So here’s a call-to-action for you, START NOW!
- Investing in your blog:
Investment does not necessarily mean money only but just as SEO(search engine optimizations; keywords) help you get seen, SEM(search engine marketing) is a paid ad space that helps increase your visibility, bid for keywords to attach to your contents and buy ad space online.
So in as much as we want to be economical as a beginner while using various blogging platforms, a little investment won’t hurt especially if you are looking to make blogging a full-time job.
Away from monetary investment, your blog needs your time, deliberate efforts to read, learn more and the zeal. Your social media platforms need to portray you as a blogger, if you cannot give up your personal account then start a new one for the blog.
Dedicate your time to creating engaging contents and visuals, as well as connecting and learning from bloggers in your niche.
I know there are a lot of tips out there and I also know that too many information can get you worked up and maybe discouraged so these five tips I carefully selected to help you through your journey. If you have questions or experiences to share after reading through, feel free to drop a comment and I would be there waiting…
Thanks for reading through, I hope you find this helpful. Don’t forget to like, share, comment, subscribe and start that blog!