Are you blogging? If not… someone else likely is!
The world of blogging continues to grow in massive leaps and bounds. And the moment someone says the world of SEO or blogging is dying, the blogosphere continues to prove them wrong time and time again.
And when it comes to blogging, WordPress (WP) is leading the way in terms of what solution site owners and bloggers are using. In fact, WP now powers more than 30% of all sites on the internet today, and their business has moved way beyond just ‘blogging’.
Whether you have a blog or not, “blogging” deserves more attention today than ever before. And who knows… you might even be able to change your life as a result of it!
If you are completely new to the concept of blogging, don’t worry… it’s extremely fast, simple and affordable to go live with a blog of your own. On the flip side, if you’ve already tried blogging and haven’t seen the success you’d been hoping for, you will also find great value in this step by step reference guide.
TIP: If you are too busy, you can always hire an expert or a freelancer on Fiverr.
Let’s get started.
The Ultimate Guide to Blogging for Small Business
1. Start your WordPress blog right from day one
First things first, you need to prepare for the launch of your new blog. This will require a few different things, but before getting started, you should read through this whole resource guide to make sure you are completely prepared and heading in the direction you want to go.
Before getting started, you will need to consider the following:
- Why are you blogging, and what are you blogging about?
- What will the name of your site be, and is that domain available?
- Where will you host your website and have you compared plans?
- Is the goal to make money with your blog, or just to create a site?
- Are you familiar with WordPress, and have you looked at other CMS?
No matter what you answered to the questions above, it’s just important that you read through each and consider what direction you might want to go in. Whether it’s your first blog or your 100th, the important thing to know is that there are no technical or design skills required, and the process of starting a blog is easy – but creating a ‘successful blog’ is where it takes some serious time, work and effort.
With all of that being said, if you are completely new to the concept of blogging, it’s recommended that you read through Neil Patel’s blogging guide to starting a blog as soon as possible. What makes this reference guide different from others, is that it’s loaded with step by step actions to take, along with visuals and proven examples of each.
If you are already familiar with the process of registering a domain name, setting up your WordPress site and creating content, perfect! You will now be ready to move onto the next step in the process, which is audience engagement and understanding how to provide real value to your audience.
2. Know your audience and write to provide value
With more than a billion active websites and blogs on the internet today, pretty much every topic or question you could think of has already been discussed several times over. If that’s the case, why are individuals and brands still going live with websites and blogs, and writing about the same stuff?
There are a few good reasons for this, but the main one is that everyone has their own way of writing and sharing content, while also providing their own expertise. This is also why Google provides so many organic results when you search for something, thus giving the end user something to search through to find the best answer or experience.
With all of that being said, before going live with your blog, it’s important for you to understand your audience and how they can get the best experience and engagement out of your site – and one of the best ways to accomplish this is by niching down your audience.
A perfect example of this can be seen in this reference guide, as it breaks down how you might want to niche down your target audience from ‘sports’ to something like ‘jump training’. The way this works is quite simple, and just a matter of breaking things down.
- Basketball Skills
- Jump Training
As you can imagine, if you start writing a blog all about sports and basketball, the audience focus and topics can be all over the place. However, if you were to create a blog on just basketball skills and jump training, the focus would be extremely niche and relevant.
This will also help with the monetization of your blog content, which I will cover later on.
In summary, the more niche-focused your site content and audience is, the easier it will be for you to create content, provide value and also market to your exact audience time and time again.
3. Create a content marketing strategy that works
Once your content is written and live on your site, then the content promotion aspect should be where the majority of your time and effort is spent.
When it comes to content promotion methods, there is a whole world of options out there to choose from. You can see a list of 76 content promotion methods here, which include everything from social promotion, email marketing, PR/outreach, and more.
However, before we even jump into a few of these different methods, it’s important to make sure you have a solid marketing plan in place, and a promotion cycle that you can follow each time a new blog article goes live.
A perfect example of this can be seen through the visual below.
The truth is, most people aren’t going to read through all of your written content, and the title and visuals are going to get the most attention. With the massive amount of time you’ve already spent on writing your content, much more of it should be spent on the promotion.
So, when your latest blog post goes live, be sure to do at least the following:
- Internally link to your new article from other blog articles
- Share it across all social media platforms
- Use hashtags and re-scheduling to keep it active
- Reach out to other sites for link building and references
By performing these quick and simple actions every time a new article goes live, you will ensure that your content is immediately being found and also indexed by Google.
And lastly, don’t forget to continually promote your older content for many weeks, months, and years after it originally goes live. This is especially true of evergreen content, as it will always be useful, no matter when it is originally published.
4. Monetize your blog without sacrificing site experience
Most people start a blog because they want to see if they can make some money in the process. As mentioned earlier, ‘it’s easy to start a blog, but not easy to make a successful and profitable blog’. However, if you are willing to put in the work and effort, there is no reason to be discouraged.
To truly make money with your website or blog, you need to know exactly what your audience wants, and how to deliver it to them in a way to make you money as well. And even better, if you can promote different services and products that you actually know and trust, you will likely see even better numbers.
This is something that was pointed out in great detail in this make money blogging article.
Of the many different ways to make money through the use of a website or blog, the following are most sought after and proven to be successful.
- Affiliate marketing
- Google adsense
- Amazon associates program
- Paid banner ad spots
- Selling ebooks and courses
- Offering private access to premium content
With so many different options to choose from, it’s always best to choose one that not only relates to your existing site content and audience needs, but also one that pays out as well.
5. Turn your blog and expertise into a brand
Last but not least, we need to discuss the topic of turning your blog content and expertise into a brand. As mentioned earlier, it’s one thing to start a blog, it’s another to actually make money with a blog… and it’s a whole new level when you can flip your site content and traffic into brand loyalty and a business of its own.
This is something many of the world’s top bloggers have done with their brands and following over time. Since anyone can start a blog and build a following, this tends to happen more often than not.
Some well-known examples of famous bloggers who went on to become brands and businesses of their own include Gary Vaynerchuk, Harvey Levin, Michael Arrington, Tim Ferriss, Timothy Sykes, Darren Rowse, and more…
In order to make this leap, you must have an online following through both your site and social media, while offering a service of value that people are willing to pay for. It’s an exciting journey, but also one that happens over the course of several years.
How to get the most from your blogging efforts in 2021 and beyond
It seems like we’ve all been talking about blogging for well over a decade now, however, it just doesn’t seem to go away. In fact, the blogosphere just keeps on growing!
It’s not a question of how big and how far blogging will go in the coming years, but instead if you are going to be a part of it. If you already have a blog or are just looking to get started, be sure to follow through on each of the actionable steps highlighted above to get your blogging journey into full gear!
Guest author: Zac Johnson is a world-renowned blogger and entrepreneur with nearly 20 years of experience in the online marketing space and has helped his readers generate millions of dollars online. He shares his story and guidance at ZacJohnson.com