New bloggers this is for you! I know you're thinking that you want to blog, but there is a lot to consider and a lot holding you back. Funny thing is anyone can be a blogger!
Anyone Can Be A Blogger
There I said it and yes, it's true. Standing out from the crowd? Well, that's a different story and it takes planning and effort. Yes, I said planning.
Before you write your first blog post, the first step is planning your blog.
You Can Have a Beautiful Site
The question is will it attract readers and keep them coming back. Let's be honest here. If your content is fresh/original and readable, readers won't really care what your site looks like. Some of them won't even bother visiting your site, they'll add you to an RSS reader like Feedly.
Grammar is King
If your grammar or spelling is bad, you've just blown your entire article. Whatever your post is about, all your readers will remember is the grammar or spelling gaffs they see. I know you're thinking, what is she talking about. I know when I read an article and come across even the minutest of errors, that's what I remember. Not the awesome content, the mistakes.
So, how do you avoid this if you know that you are not a perfect writer?
Fortunately, there are tools for even the worst writers. Microsoft Word checks as you write for one. Spelling errors are underlined in RED and Grammar issues in BLUE.
Just hover your mouse over the blue underlined word and it will suggest corrections. If you prefer writing your blog posts in Google Drive or directly on WordPress, then check out Grammarly. Grammarly offers browser plugins that check as you write in any browser and on any site. Even Facebook.
Grammarly basic is free for anyone, but you will want to upgrade to premium. Believe me, it is worth the money.
Blog Posts Without SEO Are Rarely Read
What is SEO? It stands for Search Engine Optimization and what that means are keywords that help search engines and the internet find you.
I'm not talking about Uncle Joe or Aunt Mary, who read every word you write. I'm talking about Average Joe and Plain Jane, who use Google and Bing or other search engines to find relevant articles to read.
Fortunately, WordPress has a few plugins that help guide you in implementing SEO (and I hope you've made your site on WordPress). One that I use most often is called Yoast. It helps put in your SEO description, keywords, and checks the readability of your post overall. Indeed, a great help.
If you don't have it or haven't checked your post, stop, save your post as a draft (not Publish) and get Yoast. Review and edit your post until Yoast shows you the 2 Green dots for Readability and based on your Focus Word. When it says your a Good, then you can hit publish. Anything else is a waste of time and a wasted post.
Keywords/Focus Words Rock the Internet
You can be writing excellent content, but if it is not optimized with keywords, how will your readers find it?
What is a keyword?
A keyword is a term you enter into your search engine box to find relevant articles and websites. It is a good practice to use a Keyword Search Tool like Keyword Tool before setting even the title for your blog article. Look for keywords related to your topic that have the highest rankings and use them as your keyword or focus word. Your article will have a better chance of being found by search engines, and you have a better chance of finding your audience.
So, you've written a mind-blowing article and are ready to hit "Publish." WAIT!
Do you have the Yoast SEO plugin installed? Have you checked that you're in the green zone?
You Can Make Money Blogging
Yes! You can have your cake and eat it, too. Even if you've only started blogging as a hobby or to get people to hear you, you can also make money.
Take a look at sites like Amazon and Commission Junction. You sign up with them as an Affiliate. Once approved, you can choose the Brands or Products you want to represent on your blog. When someone clicks your link and makes a purchase, you make money. Cool, right?
Blogging Can Be Fun!
I know we talk about what goes into writing, creating, monetizing, and promoting a blog. Still, if it's not fun, if you are not enjoying the doing of it - it won't last. That's the reality.
It is a well-known fact that you have to love or get enjoyment from what you're doing, or you will lose interest and eventually stop doing it. So, decide before you start.
Do you like to write?
If not, blogging may not be for you. That's a reality you may have to face.
So, you still want to be heard?
There are other method that you can use. Podcasting is a HUGELY popular medium. I listen to many podcasts that are fun and very informative.
Vlogging (Video Logging) or Youtubing is also a great market. Of course, these can be topics for another post. If you like this post, come back for more!