How To Become A Blogger – For Business Or Pleasure

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If you are thinking about becoming a blogger, you are passionate about sharing something. There is an audience of people out there who are equally passionate about your topic. Many bloggers initially set up their blogs with the notion of sharing their expertise. Later on, they find that adding elements to their blog can help them make money with it.

While WordPress has made it fast and easy to set up a blog, you’ll do well to take some time with the overall site design and appearance. Do a lot of brainstorming around your title and ask yourself if the title sums up what your blog is really about.

Becoming A Blogger For The Fun Of It

Have you ever done a Google search on something you were wondering about to find that there were lots of blogs that had the answer that you were looking for? Maybe you checked a few of them out and found the answer to your question and a lot more.

That may have gotten you to thinking that none of the blogs gave information that you have—information that other blog owners or enthusiasts might also want to know. It’s not uncommon for people to start a blog for fun and find that it’s also a good way to make money.

Want to start your own site? Check out my step-by-step tutorial on how to start a blog.

Starting a blog is a way to share your knowledge and passions with the world. Being a blog-writer connects you with like-minded people. Over time, being a blog-writer expands the depth of your knowledge about your area of expertise. At the same time, you can use it to make a little or a lot of money with your blog.

I Want To Be A Blogger For My Business

As business blogs grow in popularity, they are proving their worth for the business and consumers. If you want to use your blog to make money for your business, you are in good company. According to Hubspot, nearly 40% of U.S. companies market their businesses using blogs.

Traditional marketing practices such as outbound calling and postal mailing are giving way to inbound marketingHubspot also reports that attracting customers to your blog via inbound marketing is 61% cheaper than outbound marketing.

Your customers are no longer looking for your expertise, products or services in their mailbox flyers. Businesses trend towards blogging as an inbound marketing strategy because 70% of consumers get better acquainted with a company through content marketing than through ads.

Your blog will attract customers when you post articles with quality content. Don’t make the mistake of overloading your site with too many words to optimize a search for your content. Google will count that against you. Quality content brings in customers. The offerings on your blog will engage them and keep them coming back.

Set up an online store right on your blog or you can link to a separate store for your blog. Plugins allow you to track and manage sales and inventory. It helps to have a call to action on your page. Write an eBook to give away, ask your visitors to start a free trial, ask them to click on a link in your article to tweet it, or add a pop-up message for them to enter their email address to start a subscription.

Once you have an established following, you can set up live webinars and charge a fee. This will strengthen your relationship with your clients.

How To Set Up A Blog To Become A Blogger

With over 72 million active users, WordPress is the best of the free blogging platforms. The first thing you’ll need to do is buy a domain name and set up an account with a web host. Many of the web hosts offer a free domain name with their web hosting plans.

Once you have your domain name and web host set up, you can usually install a WordPress blog with one or two clicks right from your web host’s site. When your installation is complete you can log into the dashboard of your blog and start designing your blog and setting up some posts and pages.

Check out this video that shows how to install a WordPress blog:

Now you are ready to target your audience with titles and content.

Become A Blogger With An Established Audience

Greet your blog visitors with a catchy title. If you had to sum up the content of your blog in just a few words, what would they be? Give your topic scope. When you can see the big picture, your audience will too.

Here are some examples of blog titles that tell you exactly what you can expect to find on their sites:

Have you thought about who your target audience is? Is it wide or narrow? Are you looking to connect with all food bloggers or just those that want to perfect desserts? Do you want to reach mechanics that work on car engines or those that do amazing bodywork? Select a catchy title and write content for the followers that you want to connect with.

The overall tone, style, and appearance of your blog should also send an unwritten message to your readers. Blogs like Lady on a Rock that tell you what they are about at a glance.

After you’ve targeted your audience, it’s time to think about writing content. To differentiate yourself from other bloggers that write on the same content, you’ll want to have unique content. Should you write what you think your audience wants to know or what you want to tell them? The answer probably lies somewhere in the middle.

How To Become A Blogger With Superior Content

Pick an overall philosophy, stance or message for your blog. Brainstorm how you can take facets of the topic and break them down into categories. Then think about topics within each category.  If your blog is about outdoor gardening, you could establish categories for activities for each season. Winter articles might focus on things like indoor herb gardens or seasonal flowers like poinsettias, amaryllis, or holly.

Many bloggers like to use an editorial calendar where they establish what they will be writing about throughout the year. If you’re in a creative mood and the ideas are flowing, you can write several blog articles and publish them at various intervals.

Another content blogging strategy is to publish a different type of post on the same day of each week. For example, you could post a list blog every Monday, a guest blog every Tuesday, an infographic on Wednesday, a video on Thursday, and a podcast on Friday. Spice it up with other types of posts like the recipe of the week, a product review, an interview, trivia, or even a silly cartoon.

How To Become A Blogger That Makes Money

A little known secret to making money on a blog is to set up multiple streams of income, using your blog as a base that connects them all. Allow space on your blog for personal or commercial advertisers to promote their businesses.

Who do you know that has a business that is not like yours, and who has customers that would likely use products or services from both of you? These are your affiliates. You may be able to advertise your blog on the site of one of your affiliates, as a channel for of inbound marketing. Ask your affiliates if they have a product that they’d like you to review on their site for a fee.

Take advantage of digital products like music, photos, and eBooks for purchase or for easy and inexpensive giveaways. Offer a service like online coaching, consulting, teaching, instructing, or sharing your expertise.

Once you have grown large, established following, your blog may have value for an interested buyer. Look for potential buyers that are seeking to buy a well-established site and negotiate a sale. You can easily start up another blog and repeat the process for a healthy profit.

Analyzing Your Blog For Traffic

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You’re sure to feel a sense of pride once your new blog is up and running. After you let out a sigh of relief, you’re bound to be wondering if anyone else is looking at it. Chances are that someone will stumble upon it, but when you add an analytics plugin, you’ll have a good idea just how many people are checking you out and reading your content.

There are lots of different plugins that you can use to find out how many visitors have found you. Google analytics dashboard is a free plugin that interfaces nicely with WordPress. Google analytics can tell you where your site visitors are from, what they did when they visited your website, and whether they responded to any calls for action.

Here’s how Google analytics works. When a visitor pulls up your blog, the plugin uses a first-party cookie and a JavaScript code to detect that someone is there. The Google analytics plugin also tracks e-commerce data and reports back to you on how your advertising campaigns are performing.

Sitemeter is another plugin that tracks analytics. This is a good one to use if you only have one blog. Sitemeter doesn’t allow more site tracking for more than one site per registration. Sitemeter tracks in real time, exactly when visitors are perusing your site.

WordPress.com also has its own plugin for analytics, using a JetPack plugin. This is another plugin that updates your stats in real time. The beauty of this plugin is that it allows you to determine if a post is performing well all day long, so that you can make better decisions about content.

Paying attention to your blog analytics will tell you if visitors are finding their way to your site and if the traffic is growing over time. These statistics will tell you if certain blog posts were popular or if certain topics brought a low amount of traffic. If you are writing your blog to wet your audience’s appetite, you’ll want to offer more articles on the most popular topics.

How To Be A Blogger That Grows Your Subscriber List

Connecting with your visitors is all about engaging with them in some way. What better way than to set up a call to action. A call to action tells your visitors exactly what you want them to do. If you are planning to do a newsletter, ask them to sign up using their email address.

Perhaps you have content that is ready for them to download immediately. Prompt your visitors to fill out a small contact form in order to get the download. You can also tease your audience with a call to action in slider form that slides in towards the end of your home page.

Offer a free trial of a product or service. If they like it, you’ll have made a solid customer who will return for more products or services.

Make sure your call to action button is located in a prominent place and has a contrasting color so that it stands out. Use simple, direct language for an effective call to action. Create a sense of urgency, but don’t mislead your visitors. Establishing trust and overdelivering their expectations will keep them coming back for more.

Expanding Your Reach With Social Media Engagement

Think about the types of social media that benefits you to share. The WordPress Social Media and Share plugin lets you add icons for RSS, email, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Youtube, and other social media platforms so that you can share your content on other outlets.

Add some animation to your icons to generate some interest. On mouseovers, make your icons grow and shrink, expand, jiggle, or make noise to capture your visitor’s attention.

Final Thoughts About How To Become A Blogger

You’ll surely feel a sense of pride and accomplishment once your new blog is set up and operational. The next steps are to explore plugins and other tools that will help you attract followers, engage your audience with calls to action, and grow your online presence. Building a blog is a work in progress where you can gradually build upon improvements and truly make your blog a labor of love.

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