Blogging is an important part of doing business online and the secret of my success.
Even if your business is not your blog, you should definitely consider starting one.
Why start a blog?
Blogging is a very powerful medium for a number of reasons:
- You have the potential to connect with everyone from around the world.
- Blogging creates online content that Google can read. This means that they can index your site and potentially rank you high in their search engine for several keywords. The more content you have the more chance your potential customers find you.
- Blogging is instant. As soon as you have new ideas or insights, you can share them with the world.
- Blogging is very interactive. Readers can give instant feedback, which in turn can inspire new ideas.
- You open yourself up to more connections and friendships and it can be a great networking tool.
- All you need is an internet connection and a device that lets you input data (like an ipad or computer) so you can blog from anywhere in the world. It's completely location independent.
- There is the potential of generating new daily income.
My website 40+Stye was started at the end of 2011. It began like many other sites with just a few articles. One year later, it had 50,000 visitors a month. Today it has more than 400,000 visitors a month.
And that's all because of blogging.
The articles I wrote resonated with women, solved the problems they have or inspires them in some way.
Although I get a percentage of my visitors through social media, email marketing and other channels I get the majority of my visitors through Google. That's because Google has learned to trust my site and knows that the content is high quality and valuable. Just for 'how to dress after 40' and see who's number 1 🙂
What is a blog?
According to Wikipedia, a blog (a portmanteau of the term web log) is a discussion or informational site published on the World Wide Web and consisting of discrete entries ("posts") typically displayed in reverse chronological order (the most recent post appears first).
Blogs are often the work of an individual but can also written by several authors. It can have one specific subject or have a diverse range of topics.
Some blogs look more like magazines or newspapers now. For example The Huffington Post is still considered a blog even though it has become so big, that it looks more like a newspaper now. I often refer to my own site as a fashion magazine, as it gives the same mix of inspiration, advice and interviews as a regular magazine does. It has also expanded into courses and even a style club.
Many business have added blogs to their websites now too, as it provides an easy way to give (potential) customers new and updated information that may be interesting or important to them. It is also a very effective way to attract new customers for their business. Content is one of the most important things to do to start ranking in Google and get lots of (free) organic traffic.
I believe that one of the important characteristics of a good blog is that the content is fresh and current. A good blog is frequently updated.
Why is a blog so effective in getting attention?
If you set up a blog correctly and implement some steps to promote it, it can get attention from a lot of people really quickly. That is what is so powerful and amazing about the internet. When an idea is picked up, it can spread very quickly around the world and go 'viral'. From being an absolute unknown this day, you could become a celebrity the next.
You can get high rankings in Google, which means that people can easily find your information based on a search they do in Google. Google very much likes websites that are frequently updated and that answer specific questions for people.
Your blog may be discovered through social media like Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest where people like your ideas so much that your content is shared often.
People like to connect with real people online. Someone who shares their views or the same passion. Since blogs offer so many ways of connecting with others, it is easy to build up a group of blogger buddies quite easily.
Get inspiration from other blogs
Technorati keeps lists of all the best blogs in each category.
Nowadays there are millions of blogs by all kinds of people on all kinds of topics. Many of these blog as a hobby and use it as a creative outlet. A few of these have been able to turn their passion into a blog business like I have done.
How to make sure that your blog gets read and becomes a success?
Blogging is a wonderful creative outlet. It can potentially spread your ideas to millions of people from around the world. However, many blogs will only reach a small audience. The truth is that most blogs are setup too quickly, without much thought put into them and these blogs will quickly become one of the many millions of blogs that never get beyond a few hundred page views.
Here are a few quick tips to make sure that you are not one them:
- Start with a plan and make a logical structure for your site. You can do this with categories. It's helpful if these categories are also main keywords for your site. For example, I have a category called how to dress after 40, which shows Google (and my readers) what the articles here are all about. You can then have subcategories under your category. This site doesn't have so many categories yet, but this will grow as the site grows.
- Start the right way with a self hosted blog. I always use WordPress.org for my sites which is free and one of the best platforms you can use for you website and blog. Some of the most prominent blogs online use WordPress. Please make sure you get the .org version and not .com one. You will then use a company like Bluehost to host your blog.
- Start doing some keyword research and determine the most common problems you are solving and what your customers would type into Google to find you. You can use tools like KWfinder.com or just search Google itself. I will dive more into this topic in upcoming articles.
- Make your blog look professional and use a good theme. Starting with a good theme makes all the difference. I now use Divi for most of my sites which makes it super easy to create professional pages. If you don't have any design skills yourself, use a designer. Many of them will be familiar with the Divi theme.
Does every website need a blog?
Of course blogging is not the only way to get traction for your business. There are now several alternatives:
- You can do videos
- You can start a Facebook group
- You can start a podcast
- You can post a lot on Instagram
However, with most of these you would build your audience on someone else's platform which is a risky move as they may change the way you can use that platform and then you are out of business.
So even if you start using one of those alternatives, you would STILL want to transfer that info onto your own website.
A good thing to do could be to do videos. Then have them transcribed and placed on your blog. You could even convert the video to an audio file that can be used for your podcast. In fact that's exactly what I'm planning on doing for this site.
You will want to build a solid 'house', a solid foundation that will be yours and that can grow. Consider your website or blog as your home base. The place where everything comes together. A place that you own and fully control and nurture.
Your blog can then grow into a lead generation machine (I get between 60 to 150 new subscribers each day for 40+style) or it can become the business model on its own.
Who knows where it will take you!
Have you started your blog yet? How is this going for you?