A guest blog by Adam Enfroy
It’s never been easier to share your writing with a large audience. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter allow you to build a reader following and also connect with other writers.
But if you want to establish yourself as an author and launch a writing career, blogging is a great place to start.
But you may not know how to start a blog.
You’re in the right place.
This guide will take you through all the steps.
But first, let’s look at why you should start a blog (in case you need convincing).
Why you should start a blog
Blogs have been known to change writers’ lives.
You can use a blog to:
- Grow an audience
- Establish a personal brand
- Make people aware of your writing, even your books
- Connect with other writers
But that’s not all.
Blogging gives you an opportunity to establish a writing platform and reach more potential readers.
As you build your following, you’ll also get feedback on your writing. Readers can add comments or send an email to express their thoughts.
Finally, blogging can help you learn valuable skills that you can apply to other aspects of your business.
For example, with search engine optimization (SEO), you can market your writing and attract more clients.
In other words, you want to use words and phrases people use when they’re using a search engine like Google to see what’s available on the internet. You optimize the chance of their finding your blog that way.
Steve Kamb started blogging about health and wellness on NerdFitness.com. By regularly publishing quality content, Kamb built NerdFitness into one of the most popular sites in the health industry, according to SimilarWeb.
He’s since secured a book deal. He also regularly speaks for Google.
Much of Steve Kamb’s success can be attributed to his blog.
The same can happen for you.
And you can do all of this and more working from the comfort of your own home, thanks to remote work tools such as Zoom.
Now, how to get started.
1. Pick a niche for your blog
In the blogging world, little is less attractive to readers than a Jack of all trades, master of none.
You’ll more likely succeed with your blog when you focus on a specialty rather than writing about everything—or primarily about yourself.
Distinguish your blog and establish yourself as the go-to source of information by narrowing your focus (e.g., meal planning for athletes; or couponing to save money; or feeding a family on a budget).
This gives you a more authoritative platform.
Choose a topic about which you’re a bit of an expert and which interests you enough to sustain long-term motivation.
2. Choose a platform
A platform is a channel you use to publish your writing. It will help you establish your name and increase your visibility.
For a user-friendly platform, check out WordPress.com — a self-hosted blogging platform where you can create a site for free.
Simply create a WordPress account, then choose a theme and an address for your blog (e.g., yourname.wordpress.com). Once you’re set up, you can start publishing right away.
Other website builders include Wix, Squarespace, Medium, and Tumblr.
But be aware — they offer limited customization options and they can terminate your account at any time.
With WordPress’s open-source software (found at WordPress.org), You control your website and own the content you publish.
All you need is a domain name and hosting.
A domain name is the actual website address of your website (like jerryjenkins.com). And hosting refers to the company that you use to get your website online. They store your files and make them accessible to everyone on the Internet.
Many web hosts like Bluehost and HostGator even offer one-click installations, so you can have WordPress installed in about the time it takes to make a cup of coffee.
Once WordPress is up and running (the place where you add your website content), you can install one of many WordPress themes for writers.
These themes are design templates that control the color schemes and layout of your writing blog.
3. Focus on delivering value
Blogs that grow massive audiences focus on creating engaging content for their readers.
Always aim to deliver value with your content. Your blog must be reader-oriented — for their benefit.
Include original screenshots in your posts to increase engagement and grab your reader’s attention.
Another way to provide value is to offer a tool or interactive survey.
For example, an insurance company provides an interactive calculator visitors can use to calculate how much coverage they need.
This is a great way to capture readers’ email addresses.
4. Optimize your content for SEO
Millions of blog posts are published each day. One of the best ways to drive traffic to your blog is to optimize your content for SEO.
Anticipate what people search for, use those words and phrases in your content, and their searches will more likely find you.
Do this in your titles, descriptions, headers, and the blog copy itself.
If you use WordPress as your blogging platform, consider installing the Yoast SEO plugin. It includes a handy analysis feature that shows how well optimized your content is.
SEO isn’t a one-time thing. It takes a good deal of effort to get your content ranking in Google.
Remember, Google tries to give the best possible top 10 search results on the first page.
The only way to get there is to write in-depth, high-quality content that is the best possible answer.
5. Maintain a consistent blog schedule
Frequency is less important than predictability when it comes to blogging.
Readers need to know when they can expect a new blog from you, whether once a week or more or less frequently.
With a standard writing schedule, SEO-optimized, well-written content, and backlinks, you’ll gain a large readership as long as you stay consistent.
With over 500,000 monthly readers, Adam Enfroy’s mission is to teach the next generation of online entrepreneurs how to scale their influence at startup speed. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.