Do you know how to start a successful blog to promote your business? Are you interested in writing blog posts?
Everyone knows the importance of blogging in making your marketing campaign a success. However for your business to grow emphatically, it is important that you first learn how to start a blog and later write informative and engaging blog posts to support your business.
If you do not invest in a blog, your Search Engine Optimization (SEO ) can fail, there’ll be nothing you can share and promote on social media, your leads and customers will not know how to reach out to you, and, more importantly, you’ll not have many pages for all important calls- to -action which generate inbound leads, eventually.
Still, most marketers have many excuses why they do not blog at a consistent pace. Maybe, this disgust is because writing blogs are not everyone’s cup of tea, and business blogging is actually a strict no-no for most. Finding words, framing them and creating sentences is something that most of us are unable to do.
What Is A Blog?
A blog in simple terms is a short form for “web log”. It began in the early 1990s for people who wanted to publish their ideas and stories on their own website.
Later, they shared their blog posts with the rest of the world. At that time, blogs were actually personal narrations and not related to any commercial aspects.
Nowadays the trend has changed, and people, even companies, manage blogs and use them to engage with their target customers, to get in touch with them, and, in return, get delightful insights from the industry.
Once you read this post, you’ll understand and develop the skill to blog every day. We would also give you a simple blog posting formula, and some free templates to use and create five different types of blog posts:
- The How-To Post
- The List-Based Post
- The Curated Collection Post
- The Slide Share Presentation Post
- The Newsjacking Post
After going through all this blogging how- to, anyone can blog if they actually know the subject matter of what they want to write about. Plus, if you are an expert in your field, there is no excuse for you not to blog and share your information with others every single day.
Want to learn how to write a blog post and how to use blogging for your business? Let’s scroll down.
How to Write a Blog Post
1. Understand Your Audience
Before you start writing your first blog post, you have to get a fair idea of who your target audience is. What do they want to know? What information will work with them?
Here, you should create buyer personas, which will help you understand your audience better.
For example, if your readers are millennials gearing up to set up their own business, then it is better not to give them information they already have. “How to Make a Start in The Social Media” is one such topic they will not be interested in.
Rather, you should write on “How to Become an Entrepreneur With No Money or Experience,” and such blog post will help them become business savvy. Once your blog gives them an idea of something like that, it will become too important a source to be missed by them.
Don’t have buyer personas in place for your business? This tool will help you create buyer personas for your business.
2. Create Your Blog Domain
You will have to find a place where you can host all the blog posts you are writing. This involves choosing a content management system (CMS) along with a website domain hosting service.
A. Signing- Up With A Content Management System
A CMS would help you create a website where you can publish all the blogs you are writing. A lot of CMS platforms are available. You should choose the one which can manage your domains. It will also help you create a website and subdomains. Subdomains can be linked to other websites that you already have.
Hub spot customers get an opportunity to use its content management system and host their website content. You can also self- host a WordPress website on a similar platform. If you need a domain or subdomain to create your blog, you can choose a web domain hosting service after you have picked your CMS.
These instructions hold true for every blogger who wishes to start his own website.
B. Registering A Domain Or Subdomain With A Website Host
Any blog domain that you set up should be like www.yourblog.com.
Would like to create a subdomain for your blog? But, what is a subdomain and why do you exactly need a subdomain?
A subdomain is a domain that is a part of a larger domain under the Domain Name System (DNS) hierarchy. It is an easy way to organize a website and create a more memorable Web address for specific content.
If you have a content writing business for which you have already set up a website like www.yourcompany.com, then your blog link should be like blog.yourcompany.com. This means that your blog would now be a subsection of the existing domain you already have.
Most of the website hosting services take very less payment to host any original domain- they may charge you as little as $3 per month.
You can choose from any of these five popular web hosting services:
3. Customize Your Blog’s Theme
So you have set up your blog, and you may need to customize it. A blog, properly customized, will be in sync with the content you post.
Are you planning to write first blog post for your website? One thing you must not forget that appearance and subject of your blog should be in tandem with the existing website.
Two things that you should include in it are:
- Logo: Your business logo lets your readers know who is publishing the content. It is your choice how you would want to brand and promote your blog.
- “About” Page: “About” blurb on your website gives an indication of what are you doing. Through this, people know the nature of your business. ‘About’ section serves the same purpose on your blog. In other words, it is your blog’s mission statement, giving the readers an idea of what your goals are.
4. Identify Topic For Your First Blog Post
Pick a topic which best reflects your business. In case you are into freelance writing, you can start writing about how to start a freelance writing career. Moving on, you can diversify and write about how and where to find ‘gigs’ for freelance writing online.
Here are some other types of blog posts that you can continue writing on:
- List-based Post: 10 Facts About “Going Gig” Lifestyle Of A Freelancer
- How To Post: How To Get Started As A Freelance Academic Writer
- Curated Collection Post: 9 Most Effective Content Optimization Tools You Must Know
- News Post: Eden McCallum And London Business School Future of The Gig Economy
5. Come Up With A Working Title
Next, you can decide a few titles or different versions of handling the topic that you wish to write on. For example, the initial post topic was “How To Start A Freelance Writing Career.” Here, the focus is on freelance writing. Now its working title could be something such as “Process For Starting A Writing Career From Home.” Finally, the title that was chosen was “How To Start A Freelance Writing Career.”
So you have seen the process from ideation of topic, to working title, to final title. Got it, right?
6. Write An Intro (Make It Captivating)
Capture the attention of your readers with attention-grabbing sentences in the first few paragraphs. Use empathetic words in the very first sentence that your audience can’t ignore.
The initial step you have to take is to get your readers’ engrossed. Once you give your readers a reason to continue, don’t waste it. If it’s captivating introduction, this will give the readers a reason to keep reading.
7. Organize Your Content In An Outline
Instead of packing your blog post with too many ideas, why don’t you focus on one idea, that is important enough to captivate your audience?
Support this one big idea with information,sections, sub-sections, subheads, images, infographics,etc. Organize the content in such an engaging manner that will keep your readers’ interests.
You can organize the content in a manner that your readers do not find it uncomfortable and grasp as much information as they want. To do so, you can try multiple methods like –lists, tips, sections, bullet points, etc. Just be systematic and organized.
8. Write Your Blog Post!
Here comes the most important part, and that is actually writing the blog post.
You have your outline ready. Now you need to connects the dots. Using your outline as a guide, you can expand the points as required. Write about what you know first, substantiate your content with data, do research to throw more lights, share research results and give proper and adequate attribution/ credits to external information sources.
You may have trouble putting your ideas together in the form of sentences. No Problem. Finding flow has always been tough. However, there are many tools which you can use to improve your writing skills. You can take the help of these effective tools for improving your creative skills.
9. Edit/Proofread Your Post And Fix The Formatting
You have written the content, but it’s not yet done. Editing is a crucial part of the post which you can ignore at your own peril. You can ask your coworker to check, edit and proofread your post. You can also take the help of the 10 Best Online Proofreading Tools.
And if you’re looking for more help, the following posts you can lean on to help you improve your writing:
- 10 Best Punctuation Checker Tools To Beautify Your Writing
- 10 Best Plagiarism Checker Tools For Writers And Bloggers In 2019
- 10 Best Online Proofreading Tools Of 2019
- 5 Best Grammarly Alternatives In 2019
Keep these following things in mind while checking the formatting…
You should choose appealing and relevant images for the post. Posts with images get more traction on social media. Do you know content with images gets 94% more views than content which has no images?
A. Visual Appearance
No one reads a post which does not look pleasing enough. Carefully select images. Use them at proper places. Images can make your blog an awesome visual content.
You need to do something more for an attractive visual appearance. Properly format the text, divide the headers into various subtopics and maintain a consistent gap between the two sections.
If you have added screenshots, then those shots must have well -defined borders. They should not appear floating. This style should be followed consistently everywhere. If you maintain consistency, the content looks professional and easy to read. If you want to know more about how to format and optimize images for your post, check out this post.
Tags can be keywords that best describe your post. In case, readers are looking for content in the same category, they can browse and reach yours. Don’t add just a huge list of tags for each post. Think of your tags as topics or categories and pick only 10-20 tags that match your topic. Mention these tags only.
10. Insert A Call-To-Action (CTA) At The End
Once your blog is done, you need to mention a Call-To-Action (CTA) which will tell the reader what he ought to do next. CTA will prompt your readers to either subscribe to your blog, download an eBook, register for a webinar or event, read a related article. You get more benefits from the CTA than your readers. However, you have to convince your readers that they are going to miss something big if they don’t subscribe to your blog or download an e-book.
11. On-Page Optimization
Once everything is done, you ought to go back and see if your post is optimized for search.
Don’t think that you have to include each and every keyword possible. Make sure you use only as many keywords as they would not spoil the reader’s experience. If possible, reduce the length of your URL and make it keyword-friendly. However, make sure not to cram the content with keywords.
Let us have a look at a few things you can and should look for:
A. Meta Description
Meta descriptions would be the information written below the title on Google’s search page results. Before the reader moves on to the link, he gets an idea about what he can find in it. Meta descriptions should not have more than 150-160 characters. It works better if it starts with verbs like “Learn,” “Read,” or “Discover.” Though these Meta descriptions are no longer considered to be part of Google’s keyword ranking algorithm, you still give the readers broad idea what they will get by reading the post. A better meta description will improve the click-through rate.
B. Page Title and Headers
Usually, most of the blogging software will use your post title as the page title. Therefore, page title and headers are important on-page SEO elements for you. Working tile must incorporate those keywords and words that your target audience likes. Don’t overuse keywords or insert them within your content. But, don’t miss an opportunity to insert them either. Do it smartly. Also, try to keep the headlines short. Headlines having less than 65 words don’t get lost in the results.
C. Anchor Text
Anchor text would be either one word or a group of words that would link you to another page on your or any other website. Decide which keywords you would want to be linked to other pages on the website. Search engines mostly keep them in mind when they are ranking your page with regards to certain keywords.
It is also necessary that you see which pages you would want to link up with. You should always link with pages which are ranking well for that keyword. In return, your page is on Google first page of results which is not a mean feat.
For a complete list of techniques to Do-It-Yourself SEO, check out this post. And if you’re looking for more direction, the following resources are chock-full of valuable SEO strategies:
- 5 Cutting Edge SEO Tools That Every Smart Marketer Prefers
- 10 Best SEO Tools To Instantly Improve Your Marketing In 2019
- The Top Five Reasons Why Your Business Needs SEO
- 9 Most Effective Content Optimization Tools You Must Know
D. Mobile Optimization
Mobile device usage has increased manifold, and if your website is mobile responsive and mobile optimized, it’ll increase your SEO potential. In 2016, Google made the mobile-friendly algorithm update, and now you can’t boost traffic without having your website mobile optimized. This ensured that everyone needed to get their websites updated as per trends.
12. Pick A Catchy Title
In the end, you should make your working title a little more attractive. There is a simple formula that you can use to create catchy titles and let us have a look at things to be considered:
Start With Your Working Title
Once you decide to modify the title, make sure that it is clear and specifies the facts accurately. Then, you can use tricks like captivating sentences, alliteration, or another literary tactic to make it appear sexy. If SEO is an aim, try and put in some essential keywords in the title.
Finally, you need to see if these can be shortened. People get put off seeing a long title. Always remember, Google prefers 65 characters title, and if it is more than that you would be long gone.
Hopefully, by now, you must have learned the tricks of the trade, how to start your blog and how to take your blog posts to the next level.