Running a blog is a great way to tell the world about yourself. If you approach it responsibly, you have a real chance to get a large number of subscribers and even make money from your hobby. Of course, there are a lot of blogs on the Web, and only a few of them can boast of a huge audience of readers. To stand out from the crowd of similar platforms, you need to create something really interesting and valuable to your audience. Otherwise, your content will fall on deaf ears. In this post, we will talk about the most important things that you need to consider before launching and when running a blog.
#1 – What Will Your Blog Be About?
You can write just about anything. There are no restrictions; your imagination is the only limit. However, instead of picking a random theme, you should approach it in a smarter way. There is hardly anyone who will read your blog about real estate if you have no experience or knowledge of it. We doubt that people will trust your publications about digital marketing trends or software development if you have never worked in IT and have no programming skills. Therefore, it is highly recommended to pick a theme that you are an expert at. There are some other criteria for selecting a win-win niche for your blog:
- It is interesting to people;
- It reflects blog trends for 2021;
- It comes with less competition;
- It addresses customer needs.
As a rule, it takes a couple of days/weeks to find the blog’s main theme. We recommend that you use special analytics tools to identify current market trends (Google Trends) or measure high-frequency search queries. Knowing them, you will be able to detect the most prosperous directions for your blog as well as marketing ideas for businesses.
#2 – What Platform to Use for a Blog?
Before creating a blog, it is worth deciding on the platform to use for the project. There are paid and free sites, which differ in the set of tools, capabilities, and flexibility. Choose the right one based on the goals you want to achieve. The platform should be user-friendly and provide a sufficient number of opportunities for work: content editing, comment sharing, etc. Let’s take a look at the key features of the most popular blog engines.
WordPress is one of the best blog sites out there. This is a CMS that is written in PHP and boasts of a special simplicity and flexibility. With this in mind, it is no wonder that 35% of all sites are run on WP. With WordPress, it’s easy to set up a website yourself, and no special programming skills or knowledge are required.
Some of the best things about WordPress are as follows:
- Secure hosting;
- Domain registration;
- Ample opportunities for design and the ability to install any solution for a fee;
- The ability to create an adaptive mobile version;
- Easy media management;
- Over 54 thousand plugins to make your blog the way you see it
- Quick installation.
Just like the previous platform, Joomla is an open-source CMS. About 2 million sites are powered by Joomla. The platform offers an excellent opportunity to create a blog for commercial purposes and use different website templates. A solid code base and an international community will help you get up to speed quickly.
When using Joomla for your blog, you get the following benefits:
- Thousands of proven extensions;
- Flexible system of settings;
- Powerful SEO tools (metadata and keywords);
- Complete security thanks to a codebase, built-in two-factor authentication, and advanced levels of access control.
Installing Joomla is free, but to create a blog, you need to get web hosting and a domain name.
Drupal is a powerful CMS for creating a blog. With the platform, it will be possible to develop a website of any complexity. Drupal has become an ideal option for experienced developers, while newbies will need to understand the CMS. The process of working with the platform will speed up if you use ready-made templates.
For a user-friendly blog, Drupal has the following solutions:
- A set of modules for site management (forum, polls, etc.);
- A perfect online environment for sites with a large amount of data;
- Flexible structure and configuration;
- Many extensions;
- Excellent IA for any blog assets;
- High security.
To create a blog, you will need to get hosting, which you can choose directly from the Drupal website.
#3 – What Content to Publish?
Once you are done with the platform and hosting selection, know what your blog will be about, and have the project set up, the only thing you need is to prepare high-quality and creative content. What content should you create? The one that your target audience will read, of course. Stick to the following algorithm to make it fast and easy:
- Choose an article topic that reflects the blog’s main theme;
- Check whether your audience is interested in it;
- Study the materials;
- Prepare the structure of the article – outline the main points it will consist of;
- Reveal each point in the most detailed and interesting way;
- Select media assets to support your publication;
- Publish the article on the site.
The main thing here is regularity. It is never good when you publish five posts in a week and then remain silent for two months or so. Therefore, you need to have a content plan covering a list of publications for your blog with a concrete publication date for a specific post. Stick to this calendar when working on a blog.
Apart from deciding on the topics for your blog posts, you need also to consider different types of content to feature on your sites, such as videos and photos. And you are not limited to digital copy only; different visuals, infographics, or video clips can help you convey the target message. You can even use a mix of all in order to create a comprehensive publication. What’s important here is to make sure that all content assets stand as one man revealing the key theme.
Of course, poor-quality content will hardly work to your credit. Therefore, you need to approach content creation with special care and responsibility. Having professional video editing software, such as Movavi and Lightworks, will make things easier. Thus, instead of resorting to an external agency, you will be able to produce top-notch multimedia content with your own effort. If you have never been involved in content production, then tips to create videos for a blog will guide you in this business.
#4 – How to Make Your Blog More Popular?
There is a myth that cool content will promote itself; unfortunately, it doesn’t work like this. Content needs to be promoted, and the more channels you attract – the better the result you will achieve. Here are the four main areas to use for content promotion: search engine traffic, social media, other blogs, and email newsletters.
SEO helps to get readers from search engines. It looks like this: a person enters a request into Google, sees an article from your blog in the SERP, and goes to it. If you do not know how to increase your audience from search engines, you need to optimize every blog post and your site as a whole. Here is a short article optimization checklist:
- Select keywords for each article;
- Add metadata and tags to each post (title, description, keywords, alt, title, etc.);
- Do internal linking (relevant blog pages should link to each other);
- Add optimized visuals to each post.
This approach will appeal to both readers and search engine robots.
If your brand has social media accounts on Instagram, TikTok, or YouTube, then individual posts can be promoted there. Announce future articles and share the already published posts with the audience. You can even use different TikTok ideas to introduce your blog in the social media space.
The essence of such blog promotion is posting your articles on other blogs and communities. You prepare the content, offer it to the editor of the thematic site, and publish it. There are several benefits:
- The inflow of target audience from another site;
- A link to your blog in a thematic community, which increases “your” ranking in search engines;
- Creating an image of an expert.
Guest posts are another story. It is better to run a microblog on one site which gives you traffic than to make one-time posts on different blogs for months.
Users subscribe to the newsletter from the blog and receive digests of new articles. This is a good way to make sure that your audience does not forget about you. It won’t happen because you constantly remind them of yourself and attract the target audience.
#5 – How to Assess the Effectiveness of Your Blog
Without analytics, it is unclear the direction your blog is moving to how many readers it has, what posts users like, etc. You can view statistics in Google Analytics, and here are the main indicators to be assessed:
- Site visitors – how many people visit the site in a certain period of time;
- Views – how many views a blog post has collected;
- The depth of views – how much time a visitor spent on the site and how many pages one has visited during one session;
- The number of subscriptions to the newsletter from the blog;
- The number of visitors to the site from the blog;
- Sources of traffic.
It’s important to understand what content on your blog performs the best and where people come from to your site: from social media, mailing lists, or search traffic. Knowing this, you can assess your weaknesses and work to attract clients from other areas.
A blog can really work as a business and a social tool when handled properly. If you produce useful and high-quality content, take care of your readers’ needs, and promote your blog in key online channels, there is no risk of you failing.