Blogging – A Complete Guide for Beginners

min read

Blogging as an Internet business emerged in the 1980s, in a few years at about 1993, many people were already getting used to it. Now, in the 21st Century, the whole world has changed completely due to the influence of Blogging.

As more and more blogs began to emerge, so also the number and quality of Blogging tools, new strategies, new Methods, new Features, new Tools! We can tie the origin of blogging to the Online diaries and posts published on the Internet via Dial-up connections during the 1980s.

As time goes by, the Number of Blogs began to increase rapidly, the Topics, the Importance and also the accessibility. More people began gaining access to the Internet, meaning more Readers of Blogs and also more Bloggers, obviously.

Now, anyone without any technical knowledge whatsoever can seamlessly create and manage a Blog. But the question is… “Can everyone create and develop a ‘Profitable’ Blog?” No! You’ll need some form of knowledge on the Basics of Blogging, the Dos and Don’ts. That’s why you’re reading this Post right Now!

Introduction

From the evolvement of the Internet and the introduction of Blogging till this Day, a lot has changed. Nowadays, blogging has become very common and popular, a lot of people own a blog, even though many don’t have the habit of blogging regularly. This simply means more Competition.

Many Internet Users globally rely on Blogs as their sources of Information, Entertainment, Learning and getting Ideas. Users follow their Favourite Blogs and interact with them through their Engagement in form of Reactions, Comments and Shares.

Due to the Increasing Popularity of Blogging, many Businesses have taken advantage of it to reach more Internet users, many Individuals are using it as a source of Income. With all these, you don’t expect Blogging to be the same as it was years back. Now, if your blog doesn’t possess some form of uniqueness and quality. You’ll end up being Frustrated with every step you take.

Blogging Statistics

Knowing the current state of Blogging in the Market is very useless for anyone seeking to scale his/her blog to a great height. Statistics helps to understand the state of Blogging, the importance, the tactics and methods that should be integrated into the Business to ensure maximum returns.

Based on Studies and researches on Blogging, the following facts have been coined out about Blogging:

• Featuring a Blog as an important part of your Website gives increases your chances of being ranked higher on Search engines such as Google and Bing by about 434% – {Tech Client}

• 55% of Marketers plan to increase the use of Blogging in their Businesses – {Social Media Examiner}

• Most Bloggers (about 53%) do update their Blogs at least once Weekly – {Orbit Media}

• Most Bloggers (about 64%) write for more than one Blog – {Orbit Media}

• B2B Marketers are more likely to use Blogging (75%) when compared to B2C Marketers (61%) – {Social Media Examiner}

• The Most Common ways to Make money Blogging is displaying AdsAffiliate Links and Search Ads – {Tech Client}

• Companies that published 16+ Blog Posts per month generated almost 4 times more Traffic than companies that published 0 – 4 Posts per Month {HubSpot}

• The Average word count of top ranked Blog posts on Google is about 1140 – 1285 {Search Metrics}

• Small Businesses with Blogs generate over 126% more Leads – {Tech Client}

• Websites with Blogs have 97% more indexed Links – {Tech Client}

• After reading Recommendations on a Blog, 61% of US Online Costumers made a Purchase – {Content Marketing Institute}

Potentials of Blogging

From the above Statistics, we can denote the Following:

• The Number of Blog Posts published everyday is enormous, hence the need for Quality.

• Any Business at all will get some form of Improvement when the art of Blogging is Integrated as part of their day-to-day Business.

• Blogging regularly can help increase your Brand exposure and improve business objectives significantly.

• Writing Blog posts affects Buying decisions, obviously!

As you continue in this Blog post, you’ll get more and more reasons to integrate blogging into your Business, you’ll also get to understand the Strategies to implement for your Blog to generate more leads, and subsequently, more Income!

Blogging

What is Blogging

Blogging kick-started as a way to share personal thoughts, ideas, Information on the Internet. Within a few years, blogging has evolved to become a very popular thing among Individuals and businesses, turning it into a very Profitable Business to venture into.

Creating a Blog is now very easy, simple and affordable, more and more People have started using the internet, meaning more potential Audience, more and more Monetization strategies and opportunities now available to Bloggers and internet Marketers.

What is a Blog?

A Blog is a website which is periodically being updated with contents in form of Posts and blog articles. A Blog could be centered on any Topic: Food and Dieting, Health, Business and Finance, Fashion, Books; anything you could think of!

Most blogs allow visitors and reader to drop their comments, reactions and also share to other platforms, this has made Blogging to be considered a form of Social media Networking platform.

Blog Vs. Website

This is somewhat confusing to many people, Website and Blog! What’s the Difference? A Blog is mainly used for Publishing contents only, while a Website consists of many Webpages used for different Purposes which could also include blogging.

Another significant distinction between a Blog and a Website is the updating frequency. While a blog is meant to be updated periodically, a website could be left static for years without any issues. This makes a Blog more dynamic than a website. A blog could be updated once or twice weekly or even more: depending on the Author(s) and the type of blog or contents; while a website could be left static for an extensive period of time with little or no changes made.

Blogs also tend to have more engagement than websites. Most blogs do allow their readers and users to leave their Reactions, Comments and shares while many Websites do not. This makes blogs have more engagement than websites, it also accounts for higher ranking on Search engines.

Types of Blogs

There are numerous types of Blogs according to the Topics and contents being Published. Here are the few most popular ones:

  1. Food Blog: Mainly publishes contents about Food and dieting.
  2. Sport Blogs: Creates contents on Sports – Sporting events, competitions, News and Updates.
  3. Personal Blogs: Blogging about personal life, events, ideas, thoughts and happenings.
  4. Décor and DIY Blogs: Décor tutoring and ideas, DIY tricks.
  5. Crafts Blog: Blogs around Crafting
  6. Fashion Blog: Blogs publishing contents around Fashion, latest Fashion styles, dresses, etc.
  7. Business Blogs: Blogs around different business topics which could include any of the other type of Blog.
  8. Beauty Blogs: Blogging about skincare, weight-loss therapy, etc.
  9. Lifestyle Blogs: Blogging about people’s lifestyle, mainly Influencers, public figures and Celebrities.
  10. Books and Novels Blogs: This is another good niche for Blogging, these blogs mainly publish contents on Books, Stories and Novels. It could be anything from Book Reviews BlogsPlatform to Read Novels and StoriesBook and Novel Store, etc.
  11. News Blogs: Publishing contents about latest, trending news and happenings.
  12. Entertainment Blogs: Mainly for entertainment, could cover a wide range of topics.
  13. Affiliate Blogs: Using your blog mainly to Promote Affiliate Links and products.
  14. Travel Blogs: Just as the name suggest – Blogs about travelling and transportation, could publish things such as “Best tourism locations in to Visit right now in Dubai” “Best Travelling agencies in the US”, etc.
  15. Marketing Blogs: Blogging about Marketing strategies and related topics.
  16. Tech Blogs: Blogging about Technology – Technological Tools, Ideas, Companies, etc.

These are some good and profitable blog Niches to venture into, there are other types of Blogs referred to as “Micro-Niche Blogs” – these type of Blogs center all their contents on a tightly-specific topic. It could be Computers, Drones, Affiliate Marketing, Skincare, etc.

Blogging Platforms

The first thing to consider before starting up a Blog is the blogging platform to be used. There are many Blogging platforms that people and Businesses use for blogging based on many factors and criteria.

A Blogging platform is a tool used to create, publish and manage blogs and blog Posts. This is a type of Content Management System (CMS). Many blogging platforms are available on the internet, which provides you with tools to create, manage and run your blog smoothly. They could be Free or Paid.

Some of the most Popular and best are WordPressBloggerTumblr and Medium.

WordPress

WordPress is the most popular blogging platform on the internet. According to research, about 40% of all blogs on the Internet are hosted on WordPress. It offers ability for Full Customization and control over your Blog. You can start up with a free plan but note that a free plan comes with so many limitations. They offer different paid plan based on what you want to use your blog or website for. WordPress is in two forms: wordpress.com and wordpress.org.

If you’re seeking to create a blog without having to worry or setup the hosting manually, you should go for wordpress.com, visit the website and create an account which would take a couple of minutes. You can then setup your blog for free and the process is quite straight forward. It’s perfect for beginners and ideal when opening a personal blog.

If your plan is blogging for business, earning money through blogging and expanding your reach, you should startup at wordpress.org.

Best Way to start a Blog using WordPress is to start a Self-Hosted WordPress Site. You’ll purchase Hosing Plan from Hosting Providers such as BlueHost and Hostinger; Then install WordPress CMS on your Hosting. It not only Helps to save Money, it also gives you total control of your Website.

Bonus: BlueHost and Hostinger are currently running a Special Offer for JD Veritas Readers. Get up to 75% off your Web Hosting Plans + Free Domain for the First Year!

Blogger

Blogger is another very popular blogging platform, it is owned by google. You can easily create and setup a blogger blog by signing up with your Google account, you can then create a free blog that will be hosted as a subdomain under the domain: blogspot.com. you can later change this to your custom domain name by purchasing one from Domain registrars like Namecheap and GoDaddy.

This blogging platform is mainly used by beginners because it is free to use. Businesses, Companies and ambitious bloggers mainly go for higher options such as WordPress CMS on Custom Hosting.

Bonus: Want to Build your Blog using Blogger? Get 50% off .com Domain from NameCheap for the First Year.

Tumblr

Tumblr is an easy-to-use blogging platform that comes with no additional cost. It is a micro-blogging platform which features short-form blog articles, Images, Quotes and videos. It also allow readers to follow your blog, this helps to increase engagement and reach.

When you signup to the platform, you get a blog with as a subdomain of tumblr.com. You can easily remove this and change to your custom domain name by registering using a third-party Domain registrar.

Mainly, this platform is used for personal and creative blogs to showcase your work to a wider audience.

Medium

Medium is another great blogging tool that allows bloggers to easily get started for free. It offers great customization options to format and edit your blog post to your taste. Just signup for free and you can start creating posts almost instantly. It’s features enables you to create professional and good-looking contents and gain followers and readers through the platform.

Things to Consider before Setting up a Blog

Hosting

Web hosting is a service that allows you to create and make your Website and blog available to online users. It is an Online storage where you store your blog’s or website’s data. It allows you to integrate seamlessly any Content Management System (CMS) to your Blog or Website.

Platforms like BloggerMedium and Tumblr do host your blog for you automatically, so you wouldn’t need to worry about hosting. It stores your blog’s data on It’s independent servers. Having your own hosting give your more control and flexibility over your Blog or Website. And obviously, the hosting comes with added costs which will be paid annually or monthly depending on the hosting platform and the hosting plan you choose.

BlueHost Hosting Offer
Get 70% Off Web Hosting + Free Domain

Some of the best and most Reliable Hosting Providers are:

  1. Bluehost
  2. Kinsta
  3. Hostinger
  4. InMotion Hosting
  5. Site Ground
  6. GreenGeeks

Domain Name

A Domain name is a unique identifier of a Website’s URL. It may or may not match the blog or website’s name. It is generally recommended that it goes along with the Blog’s name as this will help for quick recall and remembrance.

The complete URL basically starts with ‘www.’ Which is followed by the domain name (Eg. jdveritas) and ends with a domain extension (.com, .net, .org, .blog, etc.) everything together gives you a website URL (eg. www.jdveritas.com)

You could use a domain provider such as Namecheap and GoDaddy to check for your preferred domain name and purchase it if it hasn’t been taken. More preferably, you should go for Namecheap as their offers are relatively less expensive and they also offer free SSL Certificate (https://) for any domain you purchase from them (some other domain providers do not).

Theme or Template

A blog or website template refers to the pre-designed looks of your website or blog, it is responsible to determine how your webpages would look like. You install that after setting up your blog hosting. CMS platforms such as WordPress, Medium, Tumblr and Blogger do offer free templates for you to choose from. Using these templates are not advisable, many blogs have already used same templates and in most cases these templates do not contain much features and allow for little customization.

You can easily get a Premium, good-looking template from Envato Markets. They offer various templates with numerous features and designs to fit any blog or website. Templatify also have a good variety of blog templates with different features for Blogger blogs.

Logo and Favicon

A logo is an Image used to uniquely identify a website or blog. It is ideal for any professional blog to have a Logo. If your website or blog is for a business, then the website’s logo should be the same as that of the business. If you don’t have a logo or wish to create a separate one for your business; You can easily create your logo with free online Logo maker tools or you could subscribe to a Premium one. You can also hire a Freelancer to make-out a Professional and unique logo for your business or website, you also have the option of buying pre-made logos.

A Favicon is a square image that shows up beside your website name on a browser or on search results. A Favicon should be square in shape with an ideal dimension of 48×48, 96×96 or 144×144. Basically, it should be a multiple of 48. The image extension for a favicon is “.ico”

You can use your logo as your favicon or generate a similar square image as a favicon. You can use online tools such as Favicon Generators to create a favicon out of your square image or logo.

Mailing List

Email marketing is an integral part of online marketing. So many blogs have a mailing list which they do send Newsletter, promotions and new updates to through their emails. It is very important in building an online community around your blog or website. You can create a mailing list and manage your email marketing campaigns with platforms like Mailchimp and Convert Kit.

When you have a mailing list, you have the power to influence these subscribers to purchase your products, re-visit your blog, etc.

Comments

Any blog whatsoever should have a comment section under each blog post which allows readers and followers to drop their comments about the topic being discussed. This will go a long way to increase engagement and retain readers and subsequently turn them into followers. A blog owner should also do well to respond to readers questions and comments. This will build a relationship between the two parties and also increase trust.

Social Media Community

Bloggers do use different platforms and networks to promote their blogs, social media is unarguably on top of the list. Therefore as a blogger, you should have a community on social media with people who have interest in your Blog’s topic. You can use your social media community for promotions, engaging with your community and getting to know them better. You could also share your blog posts to your social media community. This will help you drive more traffic (visitors) to your blog and subsequently more readers and followers.

Use of Plugins

Plugins are extra third-party features added to a blog. They are installed to the blogging platform through codes and custom installation. They allow bloggers add more amazing features to their blogs and websites. You could add advanced features such as Membership, contact forms, adverts, lead generation, content optimization, image optimization, etc.

Note that, Plugins are third-party features meaning they are created by external platforms and individuals, though they have good sides, plugins can also totally bring down your whole site, some plugins are created by hackers and contain malware and viruses. When these plugins are added to your site, they can cause a security breach on your platforms and can allow those hackers gain unauthorized access to your website, they can make changes to your site without your knowledge and can cause advanced Havok.

In other cases, most plugins slow down the speed of your site, this can reduce your overall user experience and your website’s performance. Be careful of any third-party code you add to your website or blog, make sure it is from trusted sources only. And always monitor your website’s performance and user experience.

You can purchase high quality and Malware-free WordPress plugins for your Blog on Envato Markets for Plugins

Contents

Contents are the most integral part of your blog. A Blog without quality content will end up frustrating your hard work. Your content should be always unique with high quality, this help every damn thing in your blogging journey: Your Seach engine ranking, your user experience, your engagement rate, your earning potential.

Search engines are always looking for high quality contents to show in their search results for every topic, your website with an organized and high quality content should easily get on the list.

Things to note when writing Quality Contents:

  1. Avoid duplicate contents
  2. Avoid scattered headings and content arrangement
  3. Organize your post’s content (Headings)
  4. Use your post’s content (Headings)
  5. Avoid too short blog posts
  6. Ensure accurate and quality information
  7. Avoid misleading headings
  8. Ensure a wonderful user experience

Also ensure regular updates to your blog as Search engine love that. It’ll help to build higher domain authority and higher search engine rankings.

Monetization Strategies

After fulfilling all the above mentioned criteria, the next step is to map-out your monetization strategies. How do you intend to make money out of your blog?

There are many ways people use to monetize their blogs and it’s contents, some of the most effective are:

Advert Placement

This shouldn’t be something strange, this is one of the most effective and most popular ways through which people monetize their blog contents. They signup to Advertisement Networks such as Google AdsenseAdsterraMedia.netMonetag (Formelly, PropellerAds) and Exoclick. They submit their websites or blogs for approval, after which when approved, they place ad codes on their blog pages which allow those advertisement networks to show personalized ads on their site and they make money through it. The main factor for monetization here is traffic. You need to get a reasonable amount of visitors and users on your site for you to make money with adverts, you earn per 1000 views on the ads or per click.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing simply involves promoting other people or brand’s product and earning a commission for each qualified sale. This is a very lucrative way of monetizing your blog, you can promote other’s products and services and earn a commission for each sale or signup you refer.

There are so many affiliate programs out there, you can startup as an Affiliate Marketer on ImpactAmazon Affiliate or CJ Affiliates.

Selling Products and Offering Paid Services

As a blogger, you could promote and sell your own products and paid services such as online Courses, E-Books, Subscription, etc. It is a good way to earn money through your blog. For example, you can create an E-Book about a particular topic and put it up for sale at a fixed price, you get to earn anytime someone purchases that E-book or subscribes to your services.

Brand Sponsorship and Ambassadorship Deals

As a successful blogger, you can sign an Ambassadorship deal with a Company or Brand, they’ll pay you to promote and market their Products and Services to your Audience who might be Interested. Ideally, you should contact only Brands and Businesses in your Niche: Whose Products and Services will be beneficial to your Audience.

Analysis and Statistics

As a blogger, you should learn to always conduct researches and experiments on your blog to know the strategy that helps the most, learn to run analysis and get insights on some important blog metrics. This will help you to know and understand many things about your blog such as what your main source of Traffic is, how users engage on your site, the pages with the most views and engagement, the countries your visitors are from, etc.

A Good tool for this is Google Analytics.

Important Metrics

Some important Metrics to always look after when conducting analysis are:

Blog Views

You should always monitor the traffic of your blog, this will help to know how well your blog is performing, which post is giving the most views, etc.

User Engagement

This helps to explain how well users are engaging on your blog contents and posts, the number of comments, reactions, shares, etc. It’ll give you space for improvement on posts that are having relatively low engagement rate. This also shows the average time spent by visitors on your website, the events carried out (Scroll, clicks) etc.

User Acquisition

This helps you understand where your blog traffic (visitors) are coming from, also shows the top referring URLs to your blog. This is an important metric to always look out for as it shows you where to focus your promotional strategies to and where you need to improve.

User Demographics

User demographics simply means the location where your readers and visitors are coming from, region, country or even state from which your readers are coming from, this helps you retarget your promotional strategies and your contents to suite your site visitors based on their country and location.

Challenges

With all the benefits you can get from blogging, you don’t expect it to be so easy and without any challenges. You’ll face some form of challenges during your blogging journey, but commitment and consistency is what makes the difference.

Some of the major challenges and obstacles face by bloggers are:

  • Time Consuming
    • Believe me when I say blogging is highly time consuming. Mainly, the aspect of writing contents, you have to do researches, study and get your facts right.
  • Challenging
    • Blogging may be challenging for companies who would like to use this in their business. Many would lack the basic knowledge or expertise to great a successful blog; in this case, you could simply employ a freelance Writer or blogger in your field to handle the aspect of blogging for you.
  • Budgeting
    • Some Small businesses and individuals may find it hard to finance their blog to the level they want it to be. I believe purchasing a domain name should be cheap, but some may have challenge buying a hosting plan or upgrading to a WordPress Paid plan. This shouldn’t be a problem, you can startup on free platforms such as Blogger.

Tips to Growing a Blog

  1. Publish Consistently
    • To grow your Blog, you should focus on consistently publishing high-quality contents. Contents are the main thing people come to your blog to read, without quality, your contents won’t amaze your readers and that will hinder your blog from growing.
  2. Optimize for SEO
    • Optimize your blog for Search Engine Optimization. Search Engine such as google and bing are constantly looking for quality contents to recommend on search results, focusing on optimizing your blog for SEO is a great way to get more Traffic to your blog and subsequently, grow it.
  3. Ensure wonderful User Experience
    • User experience is a key factor when it comes to growing your blog, visitors that come to your website wouldn’t like to return if they didn’t enjoy their stay the first time. Therefore, you should focus on ensuring a smooth and wonderful user experience on every page on your Blog.
  4. Make Contacts
    • Another good way to improve or build your blog is to ensure you make contacts, to your readers, to fellow bloggers in your niche. Making contact with your readers can help you know what your readers are interested in, the challenges they face on your blog and gives you room for improvement.
  5. Build a Mailing list
    • Undoubtedly, building a mailing list is a sure way to influence subscribers and turn them into customers by sending Important Newsletters, promotions and offers periodically.
  6. Engage through Social Networks
    • Engaging with your readers and followers through social networks is a good way to improve your relationship with them, build trust and draw them closer to you. You could also send and share your blog posts on your social media networks, this will help grow your views.
  7. Use the Right Plugins
    • Like I earlier said, plugins can either build or breakdown your blog. Using the right plugins is a key contributor when trying to grow your blog or website.
  8. Ensure Security
    • Security of your blog should be a key thing to consider when handling any blog. Ensure to keep your security credentials safe and secret, avoid giving out too much information of blog anyone to avoid your blog being compromised.
  9. Conduct Keyword Researches
    • This should be classified under SEO building strategies. Researching on keywords relating to the topic your writing is a key factor that helps in your Search engine optimization.
  10. Avoid Clustering your Blog
    • Avoid cluttering your blog with anything, be it Plugins, Adverts, Images, etc. except if you must. Also avoid adding too many features and plugins to your blog as this can reduce your site speed and affect your user’s experience negatively.
  11. Keep an Eye on Statistics
    • Always keep monitoring your analytics, conduct tests and experiments and see what works best for your blog, what the main source of traffic is and other metrics that can help you determine how well your blog is doing. Google Analytics is a good way to Monitor your Blog’s performance.

Conclusion

Blogging is an Important part of any business online, it helps with everything and anything you can think of. Making it a key factor in your business will help you increase reach and customers. Blogging can be very frustrating and demanding, but if you focus on it, give it your hard work and your dedication, It’s a very lucrative business.

Further Reading

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