It is 2019 but still not too late to learn the basics of blogging.
If you have decided to start your blog, or have not been getting the best out of your current one, this quick yet comprehensive guide will help you learn the basics of blogging in 2019. The reason why we created this post is, too many people make an early exit without utilizing their blogs to full potential.
So, let’s just patiently go through this 10-minute read and see how you can be a successful blogger in 2019.
Top 5 Blogging Platforms in 2019
Successful blog begins with successful blogging platform. Normally, you should look for the following while choosing the right blogging platform.
- It should be easy to set up
- There should be a simple and small learning curve
- No coding skills needed
- There must be a room for growth
- The platform must be flexible enough to let you change the looks of your blog
- There should be options for monetization in the future.
Based on the above-mentioned features, here we have a list of top-10 blogging platforms in 2019.
WordPress.org is arguably the most successful software, an open-source and free platform to set up your blog within minutes. It offers diversity in terms of plugins, features, themes and much more.
The software is free, but you need to have a domain name which will cost you about $15 per year, and web hosting (starting from $7.99/month)
Constant Contact gives you a wide range of templates to customize your blog design. The Drag and Drop interface lets you choose features and add to your blog. Constant Contact also gives you hosting service, too.
The free plan lets you create a business website, e-commerce store, or a blog. You can upgrade to a starter plan (@ $10 per month) or even a business plan (@ $20 per month).
Gator by HostGator
Gator is another website building platform that offers quick setup, easy drag & drop customization, security and performance handling, and more. You’ll also get a domain as well as SSL certificate for free.
While there is no free-plan, Gator offers you a 45-day money-back guarantee. Prices are quite affordable though.
WordPress.com is a web hosting service offered by WordPress in 2005. It offers free basic-blog hosting services (a domain with WordPress subdomain, limited storage, etc). You can purchase a custom domain name, more storage, and other features.
The website hosting platform offers 5 different plans. You can choose the Blogger plan for $3 per month, billed yearly.
Blogger is a blogging platform offered by Google. That means, you only need a Google account to start your blog. You can manage your blog with the help of basic blogging features. But when it comes to upgrades or additional features, there’s no such thing.
Moreover, you need to purchase your domain from a third-party registrar.
Basics of Blogging: Using Social Media To Aid Your Blog
Before moving on, remember, that social media can only help your blog when the content you’re sharing resonates with the people. Then, it’s also important to share the content in different ways, not just posts.
Here are some handy tips to boost your blog with the help of Social Media:
- Use Twitter to good effect: If you already have a twitter account, start following popular bloggers and social media gurus. Their tips are surely going to help you.
- Create your Blog’s Facebook Page: Not to mention it’s free, but it’s a great way to get your share of the audience on Facebook.
- Share the Content Regularly: Add “like” or “share” button with your posts so that people may share your content on Facebook. Meanwhile, keep sharing your content on your Facebook page.
- Use Social Bookmarking Sites: there are sites like Digg, Reddit, and Mix( former Stumbleupon) etc.where you can ask others to share your content. But don’t do it repeatedly otherwise you’ll get penalized.
- Use Social Sharing Tools: There are different social sharing tools to share content on multiple platforms at once.
- Finally, write attention-grabbing titles along with compelling content so that your readers have something to go through and share with others.
Using Visuals To Boost Your Blog
Visuals play a vital role in any blog’s success. Most of the time, people remember posts with the images, infographics, analytics diagram, or a video. There are lots of possibilities when it comes to adding visuals in your blog.
Here are some advantages:
- Visuals increase social media engagement. According to HubSpot, posts with images got 104% more comments and 53% more likes.
- With visuals, you can get more click-throughs. Post-links attached with photos can generate more than 80% click-throughs.
- Visuals help you say more with fewer words.
- Visuals allow readers to retain the information better.
Different types of visual content and how to use them
Here’s a breakup of visual content and where you can use them. But it’s not a thumb rule, you can always try sharing other forms of visuals.
- For social media sharing – Photos, videos, infographics, slideshows
- Travel bloggers – Photos,
- Business bloggers – slideshows and presentations
- Educators – slideshows and presentations
- Fashion blogs – Photos
Creating Evergreen Content
Evergreen content is hard to create, but it’s absolutely fruitful. Here are some ways to create evergreen content for your blog.
Case studies and data-driven posts
Research from the scratch and data-driven posts are definitely worth sharing. Make sure you have all the resources to collect verifiable data.
- If you are not equipped, don’t hesitate to try Google Form to conduct a survey and share it with your audience.
- Another way is to collect data from multiple data points across your industry and create a post using commentary or infographics.
Similarly, case-studies is another way of showing off your skills and expertise.
- Take deep dive and search each and every corner of the case to show off your skills. Tell a story so that everyone can with it right towards the end. Neil Patel’s case-study guide is a case-study itself.
- Write about your biggest flop and identify the mistakes. This can be a great lesson for your readers.
- Pick up one small data which you believe will shock the world. Then build a whole article or eBook discussing its consequences.
How-to guides are another ever-green material to post.
- How-to articles, like beginners guides, advanced guides, checklists are quite popular because they act as teaching material for the readers.
- How-to articles focussing on a certain problem, “Creating a Blogging Calendar”, or “Accomplishing long-term goals” should discuss problems and issues of the readers.
- You can also come up with a guide educating people about how to pick a certain product online among so many faulty products.
Use your web-research skills to crawl the content on the web and come up with the best information on the given topic. Now, create an easy-to-follow list and include niche-related commentary. For example:
- Ideas and resources to write engaging posts
- Top influencers in your niche (and try to get their contributions to make your post sound original)
- Most common mistakes people do in your niche
- Best tools for better productivity
- Best eBooks/Books related to your niche
Writing about the history of your niche gives an impression that you’re not a newcomer. At the same time, the post has to be interesting and worth reading. You can create a glossary or a long “Everything you should know” kind of post.
- You can write about the history of the product
- Create a post on Expert Tips on using something or running a business. Like this one from Venngage
- Identify the Do’s and Don’ts of your niche to help your readers be more learned. Similarly, you can add topics, like best practices, or worst practices related to your niche or industry.
Don’t Forget The SEO
Domain And Hosting
Get your own domain and hosting so that you can start learning right from the word Go. Because SEO starts from the day your website is set up.
As mentioned before, the content has to be original and problem-solving one. Be it a photo, a video, or a podcast, maybe. You can also develop your own tools and have them installed on your website – something Google loves to rank.
A backlink is created when another site links back to your site. You can use SEMrush to check who is linking to your website or who is linking to your competitors’ site. If you buy backlinks, then Google will be on you anytime. Make sure your backlinks come from authentic sites for better ranking.
SEO Optimized Theme
Make sure your website is optimized for mobile. It should be cleanly coded to satisfy Google spiders. Moreover, it is important that the blog should load fast, must have no broken links and has a secure SSL certificate too.
SEO-friendly permalinks should match your goals. The link structure should be picked wisely and should match the keywords you want to rank for.
Do not change the previous permalink because the backlinks to it will be broken.
Google Webmaster Tools
Make use of Google’s Webmaster Tools to check where your blog stands from their point of view. Initially, it can be a bit challenging to understand each and everything, but you’ll learn with time.
Commenting on Other Blogs
This old-fashioned strategy pays off most of the time. It gives you traffic, new relationships, and exposure. You might find a bunch of backlinks coming from comments on high-ranking blogs.
Use SEO plugins, such as All in One SEO Pack that offers great support while crafting titles, writing descriptions and much more. Try Google XML Sitemaps that lets you improve your site’s SEO. It generates XML sitemap to submit to search engines, like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. so that they can index you better.
Starting a blog is not rocket science, but it demands focus and attention so that you can kickstart as soon as possible. In this quick-guide we have shown some must-have techniques to success, that will be helpful for you in the long-run.
Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.