If you’ve thought about starting a blog – or have already set one up, but don’t know what to do next – then you’ve come to the right place.
We all know that blogging is a big industry. There are, in fact, an estimated 31.7 million blogs in the US alone – and this figure is only set to grow.
And blogging’s popularity should come as no surprise. Blogging offers you the chance to have your own space on the internet where your voice can be heard, to write about your passion freely – and maybe even make some money along the way.
But in such a competitive market, how do you make sure your blog stands out from the crowd? We’ve put together 8 blogging tips for beginners to help you get started.
First things first, you need to decide what to blog about. Settling on your niche is one of the most important choices you’ll make when setting up your blog.
Think about what you can offer potential readers. Do you have a skill or talent you can share? Do you have a specialist interest that you love to talk about? You need to find a topic that’s broad enough to attract an audience and with enough scope to create multiple posts, whilst being niche enough to stand a chance in an already overpopulated crowd.
A good idea is to double down on your niche in the beginning, before broadening your content as your audience grows. For instance, if you want to start a travel blog, you could focus on European travel to begin with, before including wider travel guides and posts once you’ve begun to build up a regular readership.
Think about what you can offer your audience that isn’t already out there. You don’t need a topic that’s 100% unique, but you should always try to put your own spin on each piece of content you create.
The only way to be sure that you’re creating content that your audience wants to read is by understanding them and how they behave online.
To do this, you’ll need to know what sort of content they want to read. Do they prefer longer, thought leadership pieces, or are they more likely to enjoy a listicle? What topics do they want to read about? How do they consume content – via desktop, or on a mobile device?
You can find out the answers to all of these questions and more by conducting some audience research. If you’ve already begun to grow a following online, then head to your social media platforms and ask your audience what they want to read directly.
If you’re still in the process of building up your audience, take a look at similar blogs to yours that have the same audience as the one you’re aiming to target. Find out what their most popular posts are to help inform your content.
SEO is a buzzword in the blogging community. It stands for Search Engine Optimization, and is the process of optimizing your website so that it appears at the top of Google’s search results.
When optimizing your website for SEO firstly you need to think about what keywords and search terms you want to rank for. These should be relevant to your content and themes (e.g. a food blog isn’t going to rank for “how to look after a cat”).
If you blog about camping, for example, then you might want your posts to appear in search results when people search for terms such as “winter camping tips” or “essentials for beginner campers”.
Optimizing for SEO includes various things, such as including target keywords in your content, building backlinks to your website, and creating a great user experience for website visitors. Various SEO tools can help you to improve your website with Google rankings in mind such as Ahrefs and SEMrush.
When trying to get your content to appear in search results, the most important thing to remember is that it needs to match the user’s search intent.
Search intent refers to the intent the user had when they searched. What type of content are they looking for? For each piece of content you create for your blog, think about whether it matches the intent behind your target keywords. And, for more information about how to optimize your blog for search engine success, check out our top 7 tips for blog SEO.
Blogging isn’t just about writing. Including high-quality images within your posts is a great way to help make your blog an enjoyable place to visit.
Images help to break up your content, but they can also add a more engaging element to your blog.
And, depending on what you’re blogging about, images may be downright essential. For example, if you’re writing a fashion blog about the latest trends then it would be almost impossible for your audience to get the most out of your content if you didn’t include images of the brands and designs you were talking about.
You should think of images as a way of enhancing your content. Don’t just include images for no reason – instead, think about what additional value they can bring to your audience, and always make sure that they’re relevant to the topic of the blog post.
Try to make sure that your images are of the highest quality too. Stock images work well if necessary, but your own unique images are always better. If you don’t feel like they’re up to scratch, remember that you can always edit and enhance them using a tool such as Photoshop or Lightroom.
Another tip for blogging beginners is to think about the layout of your blog posts.
When you’re writing about something you love and are passionate about, it can be easy to write and write, bombarding your audience with information – but nobody wants to land on a blog post and be met with overwhelming streams of content!
Make your posts easy to read by breaking up large chunks of text with subheadings and bullet points. You can also make use of images and other multimedia to make the blog post more engaging for your audience.
It’s also important to make sure your blog can easily be read on a mobile device. If your audience opts to read your content on-the-go, they don’t want to have to contend with tiny images, or squashed, unreadable text. So, when choosing a blog layout, make sure to pick a responsive theme that will adapt to fit the screen of any device.
For most people, the decision over whether or not to read a blog post is made when they see the headline or title. Therefore, you need one that’s going to stand out.
If a user spots your article in search results or on social media then you need to grab their attention, and convince them to click through and read your post.
The headline is one of the most crucial parts of your content so you need to make sure you give it enough attention. Some tips for writing a killer headline are:
- Avoid clickbait or the overuse of punctuation. You want to attract attention but you don’t want to lie or misrepresent the content of the blog post.
- Keep it short and to the point. Save the details for the post content.
- Check out your competitor’s headlines, and see where they can be improved.
Writing guest posts on other blogs can be a great way to improve your writing skills, increase your own experience, and gain more attention and visitors for your blog.
Find some of the best blogs in your field and get in touch to see if they accept guest posts. All good blogs are built on having masses of high-quality content, so often blog owners will be more than happy to receive a free piece of content for their site. In return, you’ll be credited – and will often be able to include a link back to your blog in your byline.
When pitching a guest post, make sure you’ve already got a strong idea in mind for the content, and highlight what you can bring to the table that sets you apart from other bloggers.
Make sure you select blogs within your niche, and that have good domain authority. If they do feature a link to your website within the post, this will help to boost your SEO too – so it’s an invaluable tool for building your blog’s authority and credibility.
How is anyone going to read your blog if they don’t know it exists in the first place?
A major aspect of making your blog a success – especially in the beginning – is sharing it far and wide.
Every time you publish a new post, make sure you share it across as many platforms as possible, and include a call to action inviting people to visit your blog and read your posts.
There are multiple places you can share your latest blog posts, including:
- Social media channels.
- Online forums within your niche.
- Online communities such as Facebook and Reddit groups.
- Newsletter and email lists.
You don’t want to spam people with a new post every five minutes – but keeping your audience and those with similar interests regularly updated with your content is a great way to ensure it’s getting in front of the right eyes.
Starting a blog doesn’t have to be daunting. Creating your online community where you can talk about your hobbies, interests, and passions should be exciting. It’s all about knowing where to start, and – if you put these tips into practice – you’ll have a popular and high-quality blog on your hands in no time.
If after reading this post you feel ready to start your blog, then check out some of the below articles for more useful tips and tricks. Thanks for reading!