You have stumbled upon to the word blogging numerous time in the online community. You wonder what is blogging vis-a-vis online presence of the business. You might have thought why many online marketers consider blogging as an important marketing tool to connect better. You have also noticed that many ‘Make money online’ blogger keeps Blogging at the top of their recommended list of making money online. You started searching for the answers to the above questions and finally landed on this blog. In this blog post, I will share my experience of blogging to help you start your own blog in no time. Now we will answer a few basic questions when someone thinks about blogging.
What is a blog?
Technically, a blog is nothing but a website primarily focused to share knowledge, ideas, how-to guides, tutorials etc. A blog is a place where the author expresses his thoughts with a view to reach his target audiences.
Who is a blogger?
A blogger is a person who writes an article(known as a blog post) in his blog. He can write his blog where he is the sole owner of the blog, or he may choose to write on others blog as a guest blogger.
What is a blog niche?
The most crucial factor that determines the success of a blog is the intelligent selection of its niche. Niche means the topic on which you will write a blog post, and most of the contents of the blog is going to be related to that niche only. A multi-topic blog is not considered a good option by professional blogger because it deteriorates reader’s experience.
You know the basics of blogging and now thinking of how to set up a blog. As I said earlier, a blog is nothing but a website, therefore you need a website to host your blog. A blog is generally managed in CMS platforms where you can set your blog for either free of cost or paid option. If you are serious about blogging, I recommend you to go for a paid option.
Can Blogging make Money?
You want to have a blog to make online money. Right? Yes, you can earn money through blogging by adopting various monetization strategy such as rendering advertisement, doing affiliate marketing, selling digital ebooks and courses etc. There is a myth that it is easy to make money blogging. Do not believe it. It is equally hard as making money in your regular work, but it offers the flexibility of your work time that your regular job does not provide. Blogging is a long-term journey. It works quite similar to a regular business where you earn a reputation and get your business running efficiently after years of hard work. You should not expect to get huge visitors in your blog at the initial days. Here, patience is the key factor for the survival of a blog in its first few months. Therefore, do not think much about profit and visitors, and get dissolved into the joy of writing.
Setting up a free blog
You can set your blog for free. However, you should not go for free option unless the following conditions are met. If you find any of the condition is unacceptable, you should go for the paid option to avoid future hassles.
Here, I list the conditions to help you determine which platform is right for you to start your blog.
- You are trying to know whether blogging is meant for you or not.
- You do not want to make serious money by blogging.
- You will not mind having lesser control over your content and site customization.
- You are not ready yet to shell out money to buy domain and hosting.
- You won’t mind hosting your blog at subdomain like yourname.blogspot.com.
- You will occasionally write a blog post.
If most of the conditions define your mindset towards blogging, I suggest you to go for a free platform to test your hands on it.
If you decided to stick to the free option. Now, it is the time to introduce you to the world of blogging. I have listed down most preferred blogging platform with basic overviews of the pros and cons they offer.
WordPress: WordPress is the most used CMS platform used for blogging and website creation. WordPress.comoffers a free option to set up your blog in no time just by signing up there. It offers some basic functionality and customization tool to set your blog as per your taste. Your blog at wordpress.com will be hosted in a subdomain like yourblog.wordpress.com. You can migrate to paid option later to set up your pen custom domain with added functionality in blog customization. On upgrade, your blog will be hosted in their server with your custom domain. It is a good option to start your blog because it offers the scope to migrate to paid option in the future.
Blogger: The blogger platform is offered by internet giant Google. You can set up your blog at blogger here with a subdomain like yourblog.blogspot.com. You can set a custom domain for free in blogger. You will require to purchase only a domain in order to connect it with Blogspot blog. In WordPress, you have to pay for setting up a custom domain, but in blogger, you can do it for free of cost. It is largely opined that Blogspot is not good for SEO of your blog. However, in my opinion, it is as good as WordPress if configured properly.
Medium: It is another blogging platform where many good informative articles are being written every day. The process of becoming a writer at medium is same like WordPress and blogger by just signing up using your email address. You can set up your custom domain for your Medium blog by making the annual payment.
Quora: This platform primarily functions as a question-answer forum for its user, but it offers to set up your blog for free in just a few clicks. You can read answers and contribute answers to questions posted by the users as well as set up your own blog. It is a good platform to build your audience base by blogging at Quora. However, Quora does not offer the functionality of setting up a custom domain like blogger, WordPress, and medium offers.
Other platforms: In earlier paragraphs, I have discussed in detail about the blogging platforms which are popular and trusted by many users, but you may venture into other platforms like Wix, Weebly, Tumblr etc. to know more about blogging.
Pros & Cons: Here is the Bird’s eye view of benefits and drawback of setting blog in the free platform.
- Free of cost
- Easy to manage, no technical knowledge required.
- Easy to start a blog
- Easy learning curve
- Less control over the content
- Less customization tool for blog
- Bad for SEO and branding
- Not suitable for money making
- Poor reader experience
However, According to my own experience and experiences shared by many bloggers at their blog and various medium, it can be assumed that starting a blog in the free platform is not a good choice for a serious blogger.
You set up a blog, you wrote a few great contents as per your chosen niche, and now wondering why your visitor’s graph is not surging up like Mount Everest. Well, if you have launched your blog a couple of days ago then you should not expect much unless you do your SEO right.
What is SEO?
If you are a newbie in the blogging world, you may be wondering what is this SEO. SEO i.e search engine optimization is a set of activities by which you make your blog’s content more available to search engine’s search result.
Generally speaking, SEO is divided into three broad categories namely on page SEO, link building and website optimization. In on page SEO, you focus on writing your blog article in such a manner to make it easily available to the search engine. On the other hand, website SEO focuses on the overall site’s optimization vis-a-vis search engine. I will guide you how to do on-page SEO and websites optimization easily. Link building is an activity where you post your blog’ link to various forums, comments and blog directories to divert visitors to your blog post.
We will start with On page SEO first because it employs more or less same technique in its implementation irrespective of the blogging platform(i.e WordPress, Blogspot or ghost) you use to manage your blog.
The framework of on-page SEO is broadly divided into two segments namely keyword research and meta description of the article & photo you posted. On the other hand, a well-written meta description helps you to get noticed in the eyes of the search engine’s robot. We will first understand the methods of using keywords in your article.
A keyword is a bunch of words that describe the topic about which the topic is written. For example, this article is optimized with the keywords like ‘SEO optimization for your blog post’, ‘How to attract more visitors to your blog’, ‘How to do on-page SEO optimization for your blog post’ etc. Now, you have understood the concept of the keyword. While writing a blog post, you have to ensure that your writing must contain a suitable keyword to attract the attention of the search engine. You have to do keyword research in Google AdWords to find the right keyword for your blog.
You may be thinking how to do keyword research for your blog. In keyword research, you have to find out those keywords which are searched by the users multiple time but the competition is low. Veteran bloggers always suggest to choose long-term keyword to optimize your blog post. You should also follow this recommendation religiously to avoid the frustration of not having enough visitors to your blog.
You may visit youtube to understand how to do keyword research as it can be learned only by seeing the other people doing it practically. I have embedded a youtube video link here to help you get started with keyword research for your blog post in Google AdWords.
Unlike on-page SEO, you focus on the overall performance of your site in terms of speed, design, and template of your website. You should go for trusted hosting providers to host your blog to get a fast website. You must keep in mind that every visitors hate slow website as much as you do. Therefore, a fast and well-performing website is a prerequisite to becoming a successful blogger. You also need to use SEO optimized blog theme for your blog because theme plays a crucial role in websites performance. You can check your blogs speed for free by googling ‘Pingdom free speed test’ in your favorite browser.
Please feel free to write what do you think about blogging in the comment section.