By Sharon Chihaka Chanyau
It’s an open secret that there are millions of blogs out there, but don’t let this worry you! When you are new to blogging, it can be a daunting task figuring out the best practices to follow, how to start and keep going on. Don’t worry that is why I am here for, helping you through your baby steps until you can “walk” on your own. In this article I highlight some of the tips and trick that have helped me in my blogging journey.
Have ORIGINAL content
Seasoned and experienced bloggers do a keyword search and research on what other bloggers have written about on the topic they want to write on, or similar ones before they put words on paper. The main reason for this is to check out the competing bloggers while intending to grab the attention of their readers. It is always good to check out on what other bloggers in the same niche has written on a particular topic as it can widen your scope on the subject and who knows, you can get inspired! By choosing the right keywords, you can increase blog traffic and gain readers that can turn into loyal followers.
For blogging beginners, you can read experienced bloggers articles as a way of research, planning and preparing your blogs but PLEASE you absolutely should not copy their work verbatim at all. Why I am stressing on this is that, this may not only cheapen your blog but it can end in Google penalizing you for it. How? You ask. The Google bot runs and gathers all of the information from all websites (yours included) and does its analysis on it. It will find your post and see it as a duplicate of someone’s work, this will result in your website suffering the consequences and your rankings will tumble. Plagiarism is not something that Google tolerates! Check out
Use Killer Titles
Take your blog post title like the cover of a magazine or a book. Normally book/magazine covers are designed for one purpose…to get you to open the book/magazine. These covers are catchy and attractive and the same should be true for a blog post. The greatest blog post in the world might not be read unless you have a compelling and catchy title. There is saying that goes like “first impressions count”, the headline of your post is the first impression to a reader. After you have done your keyword search and you have decided on a post you are going to write, remember it is very important to insert your keyword in the headline, so don’t forget to include it! Read more about how blog titles are important for your blog. How to boost traffic to your website
Remember Less is more
Chances of your audience reading through your entire content are high when blog posts are shorter, instructive and to the point. Only on a rare occasion is there a need to ramble on about an issue. Make sure you use short, clear sentence and paragraphs. Do not let your readers get lost in one long and complex paragraph which can be nicely put across in fewer words. Get rid of unnecessary words! Readers tend to scan through a page before they really read your content, and personally for me, long paragraphs are a biggest turn off. Breaking longer paragraphs of text into smaller chunks makes the post look less daunting to a reader.
Map out your way.
Most beginner bloggers who start blogging without any training start with a multi-topic niche blog. There is a saying that goes, “Jack of all trades, master of none”, for you to succeed in a particular field you have to set yourself and focus on one particular thing and become an expert. When you establish your niche, chances are you get loyal audiences and followers who love to know more about the topic that you write on. This grows your brand and makes you an authority and influencers in your niche. You are much more visible to companies for advertising campaigns. With a well difeined niche it becomes easier for you to choose and place yourself in correct group boards on social media platforms.
Engage in the Blogging Community
Blogging communities are found on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. These platforms can help you in three ways.
- They help you quickly boost your blog traffic. Create viral headlines. They always bring you instant traffic from social media sites.
- Use social media sites to build connections with the influencers.
- You can build your own tribe using your Facebook fan pages, groups or Twitter chats.
It does not matter what niche you choose, it is very important to be involved in a blogging community as there are so many benefits that come with it. Benefits include meeting and learning from your niche influencers, creating working relationships with other bloggers, finding collaborations with other bloggers etc. I have seen great things happen in blogging communities. For example, a travel blogger meets and collaborates with a photography blogger and they all work on one massive project, each one bringing in their expertize and ideas from their respective fields.
Focus on Building an Email List
Most bloggers make building an email list second priority. This is a huge mistake. An email list should be built and focused on way before you have start blogging. If you ask successful bloggers to share their biggest blogging mistake, most of them will say “I did not start list building from the first day.” Would it not be awesome to have 500 or more email subscribers waiting for and reading your very first blog post? Your email list can be built through your friends, family, Facebook and Twitter followers. You can incentivize signing in on the email list by offering a freebie or free eBook, printables etc.
Email marketing platforms that you can use to build your email list.
On another note: Building an email list is not enough for your blog on its own. You have to create engagement. You need to build trust. You have to find ways to sell your email list. That’s a story for another day. Watch this space!!
Do the Basics.
This is basically spell check, proofreading, checking out facts to make sure that your facts are true. A well presented, error free blog post is always a joy to your readers and followers. Read more about the the importance of doing the basics here: How to create great content for your blog
Don’t give up on blogging just yet
It is very common and frustrating to anyone to blog for several months and not see immediate results. You may get frustrated when your comments are at zero and the traffic is not what you thought it would be. You may think your hard work is not being recognized. Always remember what made you start blogging in the first place when you are thinking about quitting. Motivate yourself to continue and focus on the next step.
Blogging is quite enjoying and satisfying when you get the hang of. Like in every aspect of life, anticipate failure and have a counter plan for it. Be focused and resilient.
If you have any questions and contributions on this topic please leave a comment or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear your thoughts.