Following on from Part 1 of our starting your own blog mini series we will be talking to you about how to create engaging content for your blog.
When starting out with your new blog you want to try and decide if your blog fits in to a specific niche. For example your blog might be solely about parenting and you might want to brand yourself around being a parent and offering advice to other parents. If you want to give yourself a specific niche, such as parenting, and brand your blog around this then always try to be thinking of the future. For example, if you were to name your blog ‘Mumof1’ what would happen if you had another child?! Would you need to change your website name? Would you need to rebrand completely? Once you have decided on your niche, or that you don’t have a niche, it will become easier to start working on creating content.
Content is what will keep your readers coming back to your website regularly. Fresh and up to date content is what readers want to see when they visit a blog. If you are only going to be writing one post a month then make sure it is a fantastic one! If you are going to be writing one post daily then make sure that you are putting a good amount of effort into that post. Don’t scrimp on quality just to ensure that you have lots of new content being posted regularly on your blog.
Posting to WordPress
As you will have learned how to install WordPress in part 1 you will now be able to upload your own posts. As you can see from the above photograph it looks a little daunting at first. However, don’t be deterred. Most of the options are self explanatory really. Posts is where your blogs are stored, pages helps you have different areas on your website that you can fill with information. Use pages to make ‘About me’ and ‘Disclosure’ pages if you are going to be wanting to work with brand, make it easy for people to find your contact details and have affiliate links on your website. Plugins is a fantastic area to allow you to download lots of great plugins that will help you with displaying adverts, using Google Analytics, having social media sharing buttons and much more.
Using Yoast to improve the SEO of your posts
Yoast is a WordPress plugin that allows you to optimise the post you are working on to maximise your chance of appearing high in search engines. By working on different items within the background of your post, such as including your chosen keyword or keywords multiple times, you can help boost your chance that Google will learn that your webpage is a good result to display for a certain search term. Yoast is a real must have tool when it comes to boosting your traffic from search engines, such as Google, and it will help you become aware of how to write better posts, from an SEO point of view, and in turn have a more successful website.
Creating your own images to accompany blog posts
When creating content for your blog you want to ensure that it has a good visual appeal. Include photographs to help your readers connect with your post. If you are writing a recipe you can include photographs of the meal during the cooking process, if you are writing up a product review then you could include photographs of lesser seen parts of the item. Often people want to know what an item looks like completely, rather than just looking at a standard single photograph on a manufacturers website.
If you do not have a photograph available to go alongside a blog post then look for alternatives. Always be sure that you are using a copyright/royalty free image. Look on a website such as Pixabay to find stock photographs. Then you can edit these photographs using another website, such as Canva, to help you create something unique. This will allow your blog posts to have more of a personal edge and you could even write your website name on the bottom of the photographs, in case somebody sees your image on a search engine. This is a great way to get your name out there and remind people where they read a specific blog post.
As your blog is personal to you always ensure that your writing style is natural and carries through your posts. If you are trying to be somebody that you are not it will likely become clear to your readers over time. Stick to being honest in your writing style, even if it is a little less educated than others. People like to feel like they can connect with a blog and having a standard writing style can really help your readers feel like they are getting to know the real you. Also, while you may be wanting your readers to click a link, or purchase an item, try to avoid sounding too much like a commercial! By being natural, and relaxed, in your approach to product based posts you can encourage your readers to try products based on your own experiences, rather than just reading facts or figures from the website of a product.
This blogging for creatives book is a fantastic guide for helping you make the most from the images, and even the layout, of your blog.
How to come up with ideas for blog posts
Part of the problem with creating content sometimes can be thinking of ideas. Firstly, don’t be afraid to look at websites that you like for inspiration. While you should never be aiming to rewrite someone else’s work, or copy their ideas, you may find that reading a blog post gives you inspiration for an alternative post of your own.
Also, when working on ideas for creating content think about what you know about. Do you have a hobby that you love? Are you knowledgeable in a specific field? Could you share reviews of places that you have been to recently? Typically if you can think of an idea for a blog post that should mean that there is a demand of it. What level of demand – who knows?
This book is a great one to start reading if you are looking for inspiration for blog posts and don’t know where to begin.
Next week we will be sharing the third and final part of our series on creating a successful blog. Now that are have seen how to create a blog, install WordPress and create unique content we will be discussing how to monetise your blog. Monetising your blog is possible in a variety of ways and we are going to be discussing how you could potentially make £1000s from your blog. You can learn more about promoting your blog and getting paid in part 3!