Blogging has become more popular through time but what does this term “blogging” mean? Actually, it refers to writing and publishing articles, images, infographics, statistics and video on either hosted or self-hosted platform on the Internet.

The first blogs were established in the beginning of the 1990s but the blogging gained real popularity in the 2000s. This is why we can say that the blogging became mainstream because persons working in private and public sector started to use blogs to deliver and share news and opinions for their readers.

The development of computer technology, applications and cloud computing have enabled individuals and businesses self-publish content online for their audiences.

Hosted vs Self-Hosted Blogging

Blogging is an excellent way to write and publish expertise in your field. It also offers one way to communicate and interact with your audience, because people can leave comments. This way you can get feedback and opinions from your audience.

There are two blogging platforms available: hosted and self-hosted. Hosted platforms are free and the most popular ones are these:

Self-hosted platform requires you to rent a server space from a webhosting company. In this case you have to buy an own domain name where you can install one of the blogging softwares as the following:

WordPress is the most popular self-hosted blogging platform. There are many reasons for this. WordPress is available for free to install and use. It is open source meaning this software gets continuous updates and upgrades.

For example, my blog platform at this domain utilizes WordPress. Must say I have been very satisfied because the platform is user-friendly, versatile and posts can be optimized for SEO.

Plugins

The main reason why WordPress is so versatile, is the fact that you can customize your website by using plugins. A plugin is simply a piece of software that adds new functionality to your blog.

As far as this WordPress website is concerned, there are 29 active plugins in this installation. Not all of them are blog related. They are mainly related to filter spam email, social sharing of blog posts, turning block editor into classic, content delivery network and DDoS mitigation, custom login page, Facebook integration, Google analytics, login security, different membership page plugins, page speed optimization, page building, checkout page building, funnel design, backup creation, form building and SEO.

In general, we can say that you should minimize the number of plugins. This because they can decrease the performance of your website and blog, in other words, slower their loading speed.

WordPress Themes

Among the most popular WordPress themes in 2022 are the following:

However, I don’t use any of them by myself. I have Smart Theme 3.0 in use designed by OptimizePress. This mainly because OptimizePress has variety of other web design tools available.

Why You Need Blogging

There are several advantages in regular blogging. Firstly, it helps your website and blog rank on search engines. In consequence of this, blogging is a good way to create audience and traffic. In order to do this, you have to carry out keyword analysis.

You have to know which are the best keywords that have large enough monthly search volume. On the other hand, you have to also know how difficult are these keywords to rank on the first page of Google search, in other words in Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs).

Keyword Tools

There are several keyword tools available. They help you finding the right keywords in Google search. The best and the most popular ones are these:

  1. SEMrush
  2. Ahrefs
  3. Majestic
  4. Moz Keyword Explorer
  5. SpyFu

These keyword tools are not free but each one has its own monthly and annual pricing plans. On the other hand, there are free and cheaper keyword tools available as the following:

  1. Keywords Everywhere – Keyword Tool
  2. LiveKeyword by BiQ
  3. Keyword Surfer
  4. SEOquake
  5. Ubersuggest – SEO and Keyword Discovery

All these five keyword tools mentioned above are actually browser extensions available for Chrome and Firefox. For example, Keywords Everywhere provides the following metrics: search volume, cost per click (CPC), competition and trend data. By this tool you get access to keyword metrics and you can download keyword lists in Excel, CSV and PDF file formats.

Content Sharing

Blogging provides a good chance to share information and news in the field of interest. In addition, when you have a blog in well-defined niche i.e. in narrow market segment, there is a chance to become an expert in this field.

In addition, blogging is a good way to attract visitors to your website and blog and convert these visitors into leads. You can do this by having for example optin form or separate landing page where you offer something for free. This is your lead magnet.

When you have a blog it provides an opportunity to educate your audience and readers. The readers of your blog can leave comments. By this way you can get feedback and ideas what they think about information you have shared. Does your audience find it valuable, practical and useful?

What is Your Blogging Plan?

In order to have a successful blog, it needs to be in well-defined niche as I already mentioned before. This gives you a chance to become an expert. We can compare this situation where you write blog posts in various fields. In this case you are like “jack of all trades, master of none”. By this way, you will not become an expert in your chosen field.

You have to know what is to your target audience. It is a good idea to create customer profile or avatars that represent your ideal audience: gender, profession, demographics, interests, what books they read, what blogs they read, what Facebook pages they follow, what groups they belong in Facebook, what influencers they follow on social media etc.

It is a good idea to to brainstorm blog post ideas before you start writing them. There are tools available for this like AnswerThePublic which helps you find out what questions people are asking when they perform Google search.  On the other hand, you can find blog post ideas and titles that are popular. Your keyword research form the basis for your blog posts.

You must have blogging strategy in place. This sets the goal for your work, in other words, frequence of writing and publishing a post. It must be done regularly. When you are a sole proprietor and a single blogger, it is quite hard to create several good blog posts a week.

Today blogging experts advise to publish a post at least once a week. In addition, single blog post’s word count should be at least 2000 words or more. Otherwise, blogging will not be efficient. You have to create valuable and unique content for your audience. By this way Google will reward your website and blog with higher Page Authority (PA) and Domain Authority (DA).

In order to succeed and to be regular blogger, you need to have editorial calendar. This enables you to plan what kind of content you write and publish and when you will publish your posts. When the requirement is to be regular, editorial calendar is the way to go. By this way you can plan what you do in the coming weeks and months: 3, 6, 9 and 12 months. For example, you can have 90 days blogging plan in place. As the old saying goes: “well planned is half done”.

When you take action and blog regularly and continuously, you also learn things how they are done. Whether it is web design or marketing your blog. As far as I am concerned, I have experienced a learning curve for example how to design a web page by using OptimizePress. It took some time but now I am completely familiar with it.

The same thing applies to marketing and promoting your blog. Sharing your blog post on social media helps you gain audience. However, I have noticed that you have to be active and regular in your blogging. Otherwise your audience goes to sleeping mode.

Different Blogging Styles

There are several and different blog post styles at your disposal. Here you can find 40 of them:

1.   Tutorials and How-to Guides
2.   Latest Industry News
3.   Current Events
4.   Controversial Subjects
5.   Checklists: Do you have all that you need to ____?
6.   Listicles
7.   Infographics
8.   Case Studies
9.   Profiles
10. Interviews
11. Advice from the Experts
12. Reviews
13. Comparisons
14. Video Blogs
15. MP3s
16. Resources
17. Problem and Solutions
18. Share What Others are Saying
19. A Glance “Behind the Curtain”
20. Inspirational Stories
21. Parody Posts
22. Funny Posts
23. Quizzes
24. Surveys and Polls
25. Local News (Non-Business)
26. Presentations and SlideShare
27. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
28. Questions You Should be Asking
29. Twitter Posts
30. Contests
31. Screencasts
32. Time-Saving Posts (how to)
33. Find Funny Videos for Blog Posts
34. Conference Posts
35. Event Summaries
36. Top Take-Aways From Whatever
37. Think Out Loud Posts
38. Rants
39. Pop-Culture Commentary
40. Beginner’s Guides

Link Building

Content creation, in other words, writing and publishing around 2000 words blog post or more at least once a week is not sufficient, unfortunately. In addition, you have to build backlinks to your website and blog at the same cycle you create content, in other words, weekly.

There are old methods like submitting your blog’s URL to different directories. There are local and blog directories. There are different social bookmarking sites where you can submit your website’s and blog’s URL. In addition, there are several RSS feed sites where you can submit your blog’s RSS feed URL.

Blog commenting belongs also to old methods when creating backlinks. This is not efficient way to create backlinks anymore. I have noticed that there is no certainty that a blog owner publishes your comment. In addition, many bloggers have decided to use nofollow link structure in their comment section.

However, all the above methods help your website and blog gain a higher Page Authority (PA) and Domain Authority (DA) especially when you are in the beginning of your blogging journey. However, they are not sufficient methods to gain a better visibility and ranking in Google search.

Backlink Analysis

Today the best way to build links for your blog is to perform competitor link analysis. Let’s say you have to optimize your blog post for the term “blogging”. Now you perform Google search by using the term and get the first page search result.

You like to find those posts that represent lower Page Authority (PA) and Domain Authority (DA). When you have discovered some of them, you can use available keyword tools that discover from which pages the post or page on the first page of Google gets its backlinks. The more there are these backlinks, the better. Below you can find 10 most popular tools by which you can perform backlink analysis.

10 Most Popular Backlink Analysis Tools

  1. SEMrush
  2. Ahrefs
  3. Ubersuggest
  4. Linkody
  5. cognitiveSEO
  6. LinkResearchTools
  7. Majestic
  8. Monitor Backlinks
  9. SEO Powersuite
  10. Open Site Explorer

Then when you have discovered the best links, you have to contact blog owner. For example in SEMrush there is a separate tool for this purpose. You can send email to your target contact and ask for them to link to your blog post. However, your content needs to add value and be useful for audience in question.

Another way is to use LinkedIn and find those people who are responsible for content creation. It is a good idea to use a ready-made message template where you introduce yourself and present a good reason for the content creator and marketer to link to your post.

Guest blogging is also commonly recommended way to create links to your blog. You can have a link in your biography and some links in the content you write and publish.

Conclusion

As you can realize from the above, blogging requires quite much work. This is especially true when you are blogger on your own and in the beginning of your entrepreneur journey. It is not the easiest and the fastest way to build audience and traffic to your website and blog.

However, when you create a blogging plan and have editorial calendar at your disposal, things become clearer and more organized. Then you can plan what content you write and publish as well what keywords you use in your posts. The most important thing in blogging is to be a regular publisher.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

 


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