Blogging: A Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Blog with NingContent Management Guides
Do you need to promote your brand? Does something inspire you? Starting a blog can propel both you and your brand to new levels. Blogging is an effective and inexpensive tool to share your news and thoughts with other people. It can become a cornerstone of your marketing strategy, bringing you a steady income.
A promotion concept is the basis for a successful blog launch. So here are the key components you need to start your blog from scratch.
All You Need: Follow These 3 Steps
In order to set up your own personal blog, you need to be prepared. In fact, these instructions will help you avoid the pitfalls and missteps made by some novices. The steps are as follows:
- Develop your strategy
- Define the creative elements of your content
- Choose a blogging platform
Step 1: Develop Your Strategy
Before you start developing your blog, take some time to analyze the major strategic elements of your online marketing strategy. In order to make your blog interesting and fresh, write about something that inspires you or reflects your life experience. After choosing your business concept, determine the short-term and long-term business objectives of your blog. Keep in mind that your blog should meet the goals of your brand. You should strive to achieve the following goals:
- Build the brand. You should provide interesting content and high-quality design to present and support your product. This information is directed to fully engage prospective customers.
- Expand your reach. You should post different types of content to offer prospective users clear solutions that fully meet their needs and expectations. This information should retain your current customers while also attracting new ones.
- Support sales. If you want to increase sales, constantly provide your potential buyers with useful information that directly relates with the specifics of your products. If you want to demonstrate clothes, post a video. A list will be very useful for technology specifications.
Define Target Readers
After setting the business objectives of your blogs, analyze who your target readers are. Keep in mind that they must be in line with your objectives. To form a clear image, describe your potential readers. Use terms of demographics and psychographics to properly characterize them. You should also discover the behavior of this segment. How do they act on social media? Maybe they create content or just read and comment on it.
Develop Your Blog’s Voice
Often a group of contributors works on blogs, so it’s important to ensure full consistency across all team members. You should develop your blog’s voice, determining various post attributes and additions. Below, we’ll provide several characteristics that are important for true bloggers:
- Have a personality, avoiding corporate-speak
- Post a high-grade story
- Have a certain point of view
- Be contextually relevant
An essential step in this process is your blog’s common theme selection. The choice of relevant and interesting topics is also very important. These measures ensure the correct perception of your content. At this stage, you are on the way to developing your writing style.
Step 2: Define the Creative Elements of Your Content
This step demands that you set and implement guidelines around branding. Choose key content categories for your blog, develop their structures, and make specific columns which properly describe the focus. A good tip: determine the frequency of new posts to your blog. You can even develop your editorial calendar.
At this stage, you should also decide how your brand can be integrated into your blog presentation. It could be such things as color scheme, use of media, typography, or post length. Also, don’t forget to pick the types of posts. It could be how to posts, lists, quotes, narrative stories, product or book reviews, sectioned posts, case studies, monologue-style video posts, Q&A, or interviews.
To ensure your posts meet all the requirements, develop blog article writing guidelines.
So…it’s time to write!
Here we want to give you the most fundamental basics of writing a powerful blog post.
- Always speak to one target audience: you should know who is reading your posts or buying your product. Write for them.
- Be short and clear: 400 – 1,000 words is the average length of a good blog post. If you want to say more, break your post into several parts.
- Post interesting and useful information. Make sure your post is a whole thought.
- Don’t boast. It’s better not to write that your company is awesome. Post concrete content with examples to build trust with your followers.
- Develop a compelling title and introduction that will attract people and motivate them to read your article right away.
- Always balance SEO with quality content: never flood your readers with keywords.
- Use a Call to Action: your blog posts should move readers to the next step.
Step 3: Choose a Blogging Platform
After completing the previous steps, you need to choose your preferred type of blog platform. You have two options to start your blog: free and self-hosted platforms. In our opinion, a self-hosted platform is a better solution.
Free hosted platforms
A free platform offers its users a free account. After getting an unpaid subdomain, you can quickly create your own site. However, you cannot access your files that are hosted on a chosen platform’s server.
There is a big disadvantage: this platform doesn’t give an opportunity to implement your ideas. Their restrictions will interfere with your work, not permitting you to fully realize your intentions. For example, advertising on your blog can be limited. Moreover, they even have the right to place their own ads. If you are determined to successfully start your blog, this platform is not for you.
This option provides you with your own web hosting space. You also receive the opportunity to use your blog name. Commonly, you need only two things: a domain name and hosting. So you should pay for hosting your site on your own server.
The good thing is that you can manage your blog yourself, applying various custom functions. You can freely design your blog, promote your content, or develop SEO and layout. Moreover, you can control all your files. You may freely manage your blog and its contents. A good example of such a platform is Ning. With Ning, you can build your own equity with regards to your specific business needs. In addition, you can begin your free 14-day trial of Ning to determine if it is right for you.
The Bottom Line
Blogging is an effective and easy-to-use tool to successfully promote your product or share your thoughts. Blogs don’t require any technical skills, providing a high level of flexibility. Moreover, they support a number of media formats. If you want to do online business via your blog, choose a self-hosted platform. It is the best option. We hope these blogging tips were useful for you.