“Blogging” is not just about writing. Nope. As a matter of fact, you don’t have to be a “good writer” to start blogging, and you don’t even have to have tons of things to say. There are so many interesting things that you can do with a blog – like posting photos with captions, linking to cool stuff on the internet or showing videos – that it’s super-easy to keep a blog fresh and interesting.
The main thing is that whatever you choose to put on your blog, it needs to provide something of interest or value to your readers. This is the essence of a good blog. And when you have a good blog, folks will recommend it to their friends, other blogs will link to it, it will show up in Google search results and lots of people will come visit it.
Once you’ve got a steady, growing stream of people visiting your blog every day, a whole new world of opportunity will be opened for you earning money, building a side business or laying the foundation for your next career and positively impacting peoples’ lives.
- There are 4 main things that you need to concentrate on in order to build your blog’s audience. And the coolest thing is that you don’t have to spend a dime to do them.
- The number one thing is to have stuff on your blog that people want. This is called “CONTENT”.
- Next, you’ll want to make sure that your content lines up with what Google wants to show people who are searching. This is called “SEO”.
- You need to get the word out about your blog through “SOCIAL MEDIA”. Social Media is stuff like Facebook, Twitter and Google+.
- And finally, you should try to consistently connect with potential readers and other bloggers through “NETWORKING”.
- Let’s go through each of these one at a time.
Creating good content
Your main focus from day one should be to put timely, interesting and compelling material on your blog. When people come to your blog and there is nothing there that inspires or resonates with them, they will go away and may never come back.
Offer some information that other people (your blog readers) may not be aware of that is valuable and up-to-date. Engage your readers with personal stories and helpful information; solve some problems for your readers or show how to ease someone’s pain. Spice up your posts with images and videos when appropriate.
- Here is a quick template for writing a blog post. Use it as a guide and modify it to fit your work habits and writing style.
1) Decide who it is you are writing the blog post for and put yourself in their shoes and try to understand them. What motivates them? What questions do they desire answers to? What problems do they need solved?
2) Decide on a topic that should resonate with this audience and come up with a temporary title for your blog post.
3) Create an introduction. Your introduction should hook the reader (personal stories are great), describe the purpose of the post and promise an answer to a problem or question.
4) Make an outline of the rest of your post. Decide on the different issues you want to address in the post and the order in which you will discuss them.
5) Write the body of your post from your outline. Flesh out the points that you outlined in step 4.
6) Write a conclusion that summarizes the main point of your post and if possible, end on some kind of engaging question for the reader.
7) Insert any relevant images and/or videos into your post and then make sure your post is formatted in a pleasing way.
8) Finalize your title.
Another Resource About Creating Content:
The Bottom Line: You can have the best content in the world, but if nobody gets to see it, it’s not going to do your blog much good. That’s why after you have several well-crafted blog posts up on your blog, you need to start promoting your blog. The cool thing is that there are lots of free ways you can drive lots of people to your blog. We’ll discuss those next.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search Engine Optimization sounds all fancy, but actually the idea is pretty simple. All “SEO” means is that you are writing stuff that people are actively searching for on Google and other search engines like Bing and Yahoo. The more that your blog content matches up with what folks are searching for on the search engines, the more traffic your blog will get.
The top keys to good SEO are to:
- Use the same words and phrases in your blog posts that people are searching for on Google. These are called “keywords”. A keyword can be one word (like “dogs”) or a phrase (like “blue dog food bowls”).
- Write blog posts that people will want to share with their friends and that other blogs will want to share with their readers.
- *Learn to use Google’s Keyword Planner Tool to find the keyword that best represents what your blog post is about. This is your “Main Keyword”.
- Then use the Keyword Tool again to find other keywords that are related to the subject of your blog post.
- Use your Main Keyword in your blog post title.
- Use your Main Keyword one time in your blog post.
- Work your other keywords into your blog post.
- Use 3 or 4 relevant keywords in the “Tags” section of your blog post.
- Once you have a several posts up on your blog, start linking your posts to each other.
*You must have an AdWords Account to use Google’s Keyword Planner Tool. Signup is FREE.
Cheat Sheet For Using The Adwords Tool:
Click on Tools and Analysis –> Keyword Planner from the top menu
Click on ‘Search for keyword and ad group ideas’
Enter in your data to research, click the ‘Get ideas’ button
Click on the ‘Keyword ideas’ tab
On the top left part of the screen –> ‘Targeting’ section. Make desired changes to geographic location, language, basis for your research (Google or Google and search partners), negative keywords
Down the left side –> customize your search. Set filters for Avg. monthly searches, and Keyword options
Far right side of column headers –> pencil icon w/ drop-down. Click. Set preference to “Exact” match.
More Resources For Learning SEO:
The Bottom Line: Making your blog content attractive to the search engines is a solid method for getting more folks to visit your site. However, it is very important that you don’t compromise the quality of your blog posts in the process.
Using social media is a great way to get lots of people interested in your blog. This can also give a boost to the things that you are doing with SEO. If you already have some social media accounts set up then you’re ready to start promoting. If not, I would strongly suggest that you at least check into getting set up with Facebook, Pinterest and Google+.
Once you’ve got some active social media profiles, the first thing to do is to make announcements on those about your new blog. Notify your friends and family and ask them to share.
- Let’s take a quick look at how to use some of the different Social Media Platforms.
Write posts that announce your blog articles to your followers. Encourage sharing!
More Resources About Getting Facebook Traffic:
If you don’t have a Pinterest account, now is the time to go ahead and do it. You can do that HERE. Under your Pinterest profile make some boards and then pin images from your blog on your boards.
A Great Resource About Using Pinterest:
If you don’t have a Twitter account, you may want to think about signing up. You can do that HERE. You can set up WordPress so that every new post also goes to your Twitter account. Twitter can be a really great way to get more visitors to your site.
Here Are Some Great Tutorials About How To Use Twitter:
Though it’s a bit clunky to understand it at first, G+ is a great way to mesh up with other folks who have interests that are right in line with your blog. Look for groups to join that fit well with what your blog is all about.
Two Great Resources About Using Google+:
Networking is probably the most time-consuming way to get your blog known. However it is also the most effective and also the most fun! The key is to begin your networking with folks that are about the same stage as you are with respect to blogging.
When you make comments on other blogs and participate in discussions on forums you can really help to get your blog known within your niche. An added bonus is that this will also give you some free links back to your blog.
Leave comments on other peoples’ blogs. Seek out other blogs that have the same kind of audience that you want to attract to your blog. Become an active participant by leaving meaningful comments that add some value to the readers.
As I said earlier, you should always try to choose bloggers that are at about the same ‘level’ that you are; this will make it so much easier to connect and form relationships with them and their audience. Check out what they’re doing on social media and interact with that by posting on their Facebook page, re-tweeting their updates and adding them to your Google+ circle.
Participate in forums. Becoming an active participant in forums that are relevant to your blog can really expand your influence and exposure. Start out slowly to gain trust, build rapport and understand the community. Every forum has its own personality and it’s best to get a good grasp of that aspect before you jump into a lot of discussions.
If you add value to the conversations and work to establish your credibility you will be rewarded by traffic being driven to your blog.
Here are some more resources about Blog Networking:
The Bottom Line
Here’s the deal: You don’t have to do all of this stuff in order to make your blog a success, but it can really help tremendously, especially when your blog is new. The key though is to make sure that you have great stuff on your blog that makes people want to stick around and check it out and then bookmark your blog to come back and check it out again in the future.
Okay, now that you’re learning how to drive traffic to your blog, let’s talk about turning that traffic into dollars.