How to: blog

How to: blog

howto blog

How to… start, promote and make money from your own blog.

Do you enjoy writing or already have a blog that you enjoy writing for? Here’s how to turn that passion into an income stream!

Getting started

You’ll need to start a blog (if you haven’t got one already). This is the easy part, but here are a few important things to remember during the early stages:

  • Your blog name (your domain) and URL give people their first impression, so choose these wisely. While ‘Charlottewantschocolateforbreakfast.com’ might seem quirky and cute, it probably won’t stand the test of time, and you won’t attract the best audience.
  • Your content categories need a great deal of thought. Blog about something you enjoy and that isn’t too restricted. You need flexibility when it comes to your blogging topics. If you’re looking to establish yourself
    and your business through a professional blog, stay on track with your topic. Give readers the information they need, and break it down through entertaining and engaging content.

Tip: When deciding on your blog name remember to keep it: Easy to spell, unique, memorable, short.

Once you’ve decided what you’d like to blog about you’ll need to choose a blogging platform. There are pros
and cons to each, and you really need to research and go with what feels comfortable for you. Different platforms
will offer different functions based on the objective of your blog and what it is you are trying to achieve.

Popular blogging platforms include:

The goal for any blog is to become the ‘go-to’ resource, so choose a niche in which you can establish yourself as
an authority. It’s important that the people who follow your blog trust your information and find it valuable. Readers
are looking for credible, relevant content from people who they see as leaders and experts in their field.

How to add credibility

  • Produce quality content that enriches the reader’s experience. Whether educational or recreational, it must add value.
  • Always stay relevant. Make sure your posts are in tune with what is current and always make sure your blog topics follow the theme of your blog. Your readers will feel like they’re getting to know you and form a bond with you through your writing.
  • Be consistent when it comes to frequency. ‘Out of sight, out of mind’ is true when it comes to blogging. Maintain regularity, and if you’re going to take a break, let them know.
  • If you plan on making money from your blog, we recommend registering your domain and having someone host your URL. Free hosting is great – until somebody snatches up your blog name.

4 blogs we’re really enjoying right now:

Hosting and advertising

When it comes to choosing a host for your blog, try companies like Elitehost and GoDaddy.

Once your blog is up and running, it’s vital to post valuable content for your online audience. Make sure your content is excellent, post articles about your chosen topic, and always add your experience and expertise. If you want to make money from your blog you must have a large following, and in order to have lots of readers you need amazing content.

Lots of readers on your site looks like perfect advertising opportunities to Google and big companies! Ads on your site are meant to complement your blog’s content, making them attractive and relevant to readers visiting your site.
Advertisers hope that your readers will then click on those images to explore and purchase the products or
services they offer.

Google AdSense is an example of an ad network that is relatively easy to get into and set up. In addition to display advertising you can also sell private banner adverts on your blog or do a giveaway or product review in return for money. You can even extend your advertising to your social media platforms as long as you have a large enough following and you have an engaged audience.

Remember that your blog is your product so keep it looking professional and polished. Take good photos and use excellent grammar. Stay up to date with trends and technology, and try and gauge what your readers are interested in. Nurture your blog and build relationships with your readers, but most of all enjoy the ride!

FEATURE: JONI NEL PHOTO: FOTOLIA.COM

Joni van der Merwe

About Joni van der Merwe

Digital editor I’m getting married in 2018 and I think it’s the perfect time to focus on my relationship with not only my fiance but my friends, family and colleagues too. I want to nurture and cherish the people I love by being more understanding and present in their lives.

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