Step 5: Let's Start Blogging
Right off the bat, WordPress give us everything we need to start blogging immediately, after all, it is the most popular blogging platform in the World.
To get started all we need to do is log in to our WordPress Dashboard and navigate to Posts > Add New. Once there you will see this page:
Let's go through each of those numbered items to get yourself familiar with the blogging interface:
Don't be alarmed if your's doesn't look EXACTLY like this, various plugins can add elements to your blogging page for easy access. However the main elements we discuss below will remain the same regardless.
- This is where you enter the title for your blog post, make it something catchy and enticing.
- This is the “Add Media” button which lets you…well add media such as images or videos.
- This is the editing toolbar where you can make text bold, center-align things and generally format your post just how you'd like it.
- This is the main text editing window where you type out your content and add images etc.
- The “Publish” section allows you to do 2 things, 1) publish, schedule or save your post as a draft for future editing, 2) preview your post in a new tab using the “preview Post” button.
These are the core sections.
Things To Think About When Blogging
Whilst writing a blog post on WordPress is very simple, there are some other things to think about before you finally hit that Publish button.
Knowing your target market is a must when blogging. It is true that you should write naturally and if you are blogging about your hobby that there's a good chance you already know who your target market is…just write for yourself.
If however you are writing a business blog and are trying to target your ideal customer, you need to stop and think what it is that would want to read, and how you can best deliver that to them.
One of the biggest overlooked factors when blogging is VALUE.
I see far too many blogs throwing out content like it's going out of fashion. Some feel the need to publish a post multiple times per day just to keep up with the Jones'. However, I am here to tell you that VALUE and QUALITY beats quantity hands down every time.
So know your target audience, create a persona if it helps you to frame your writing better…and then use that persona by writing content as if it were just you and your ideal reader together, chatting over coffee.
Titles & URL's
The title of a blog post is by far one of the biggest drivers of clicks to a website. If you can master the art of writing enticing headlines you will be able to grow your visitor base quickly. Take a look at BuzzFeed who have made their name with catchy headlines you just have to click.
People lose themselves for hours at a time on their website and their website, business and income grew all because of great headlines.
URL's, on the other hand, are not so great for attracting visitors but they are great for the search engines. You see Google, yahoo, Bing and all of the other search engines read certain information about your page to determine what that page is about and where it should place you in their search results.
Now the page title is one of those elements, so again not only does your title need to rock, but it should also be search engine friendly. As should the URL.
For example, let's say I have an article about a Kayak I just purchased. being an outdoors person I have a blog about my outdoor adventures and I want to tell everyone about this great new Kayak, let's call it the “Kool Kayak 120”.
The chances are there are people search in Google for this product and also combining that search term with other keywords such as “review”.
So, I would craft my article as we discussed earlier, and I would give it a title such as “Is the Kool Kayak 120 The Best Kayak of 2016? – Read My Full Review”
This title contains both words people will be using to search for this product and it's also enticing to read as I added a question into the title. Kayak lovers will be intrigued and want to see if this Kayak really is the best product of 2016.
Then the URL would be “kool-kayak-120-review”. You see, it's not too long and it's easy for the search engines to read and it also tells them what my article is about.
So keep it simple, don;t try to be fancy or clever as that very rarely works and it will be a waste of your time.
the best thing I ever did for my blogging career was to create a content schedule. In the early years, I just blogged whenever I felt like it, however as your blog grows in popularity and you have an audience that anticipates, heck expects content in a timely manner…you have to deliver or you will lose them.
Create a schedule ahead of time makes things easier. You don't have to come up with ideas on the spot, you always know when and what you're going to write and you keep your audience happy. It's win-win-win.
Here's what I do:
Create a spreadsheet or Google doc. Add the columns “Date – Title – Comments – Published”
- Date – this will be the date you will write/publish the content
- Title – this will be your title or even enter a few ideas in here
- Comments – use this to jog your memory about what the blog post will contain
- Published – a simple Y/N field, just enter a “Y” if you've published the article
Now, grab your favorite beverage and start jotting down ideas. Don't assign dates yet, just add ideas into the Title or Comments columns. Keep going until you have 50. Yes, 50.
If that sounds impossible, try these tools to help:
- http://buzzsumo.com/ – enter a blog URL in your niche and see what their most popular topics/titles are
- https://news.google.com/ – enter some keywords from your niche to see what's happening in the news
Once you have 50 you can then start putting them into some for of order. I try to blog at least 3 times per week, other prefer daily, I would start with a minimum of 2x per week and adjust once you've gotten used to it.
A blog with no visitors is no fun, so lets find out how to get people to our blog and build up an audience shall we…?