02 Mar How to Start Blogging
So you’re ready to start a blog, but you have no idea what to do first? No problem – this blog post will guide you through the steps you need to take to get started. And also – congrats! A blog can have a potentially huge (and awesome!) impact on your business.
Here’s how to start blogging:
Start with a goal
Because blogging is basically a long-term marketing campaign, you want to start with a goal. Ask yourself: How will a blog help my business or brand?
You can have one goal, or you can have a few. It doesn’t matter, as long as they’re realistic.
Decide how to measure success
This will depend on your goals, so let’s look at two examples.
If your goal is to increase brand awareness, you’ll want to see more traffic on your site, both organic (from search) and non-organic (from social media, email marketing, or paid ads).
If your goal is to drive sales, you’ll want to see people clicking on links (such as in a call-to-action) and either inquiring about a product or service or completing a purchase.
Either way, commit to tracking metrics every month so you can see the results of your efforts.
Find your niche
Let’s say you are a super-duper-major-laser expert in rock climbing. Look up all the other rock climbing blogs out there and decide how your blog will be different. Maybe you’ll only blog about rock climbing with kids or in public parks. Doesn’t matter – as long as you have a unique angle.
Now that you know your niche, what will you write about? Brainstorm some broad categories and then break down those categories into specific topics. One of the easiest ways to start is with FAQs. What do people ask you about the most?
You’ll also want to keep keywords in mind, so look at the list of SEO keywords you already use. That might spark topic ideas as well.
Create an editorial calendar
Be realistic about how often you can write, format, optimize, and publish a blog post! Once you start blogging, you need to keep up with it. If you don’t, people will wonder what else you let slide.
The more you blog, the better of course. I blog once a week, but twice a month is perfectly reasonable. Anything less than that, and your results will likely suffer.
Set up a stock photo account
People are drawn to photos and videos, which means search engines reward them, too. Set up a stock photo account (we like 123rf.com) where you can download a cool, professional image for each blog post. If you take high-quality photos that are unique to your brand, sweet! Definitely use them.
When you share a blog post, the image will appear in your Facebook post, tweet, and/or LinkedIn post – and this will help you stand out in a news feed.
I cover this topic in depth here, but before you click over, here’s what you need to know: The effectiveness of your website’s search engine optimization relies on fresh content. Blog posts supply fresh content. Optimize your blog posts, and you’re much more likely to see an increase in traffic, leads, and sales.
Understand how categories and tags work
Categories and tags help people find your blog posts when they’re already on your website. Though they are two different things, we’ve found that many of our clients treat them the same (insert sad clown here). In short, categories are like grocery store aisles, while tags are like the products within the aisle.
You can find everything you need to know about categories and tags here.
Track your results!
I said it above, but this is worth repeating: track metrics so you can adjust your strategy as you go. You’ll learn what topics people like the most, what offers they click on, and much more. This allows you to continually improve so you can see even more growth and success.
Want to take a deeper dive into blogging?
Download our ebook, The Small Business Guide to Blogging. Read it, learn it, love it!