Pursuing a career in blogging can be quite tasking and somewhat confusing for a complete beginner, truly.
It is every man’s desire to live a life of total independence, while having loads of cash inflow from different sources
Decision to pursue a career in blogging has proven to be a rewarding one to me personally. As a blogger, one good experience is the feeling you get to express yourself in writings while giving out a professional knowledge. This approach can earn you a pass to being an expert in your chosen niche/industry provided you give out value which in turns earn you a good amount of money after a short while of consistency and online portfolio building.
Building a career in blogging and becoming a success will never happen overnight and you might never record success except you are patient, consistent and you dish out nothing short of value..
This post will guide you through all that is required to build a career in blogging for beginners which includes tips on how to start a blog career, step by step process on how to set up a blog and various devices you can adopt on monetizing your blog to earn a steady flow of income.
What Is Blogging?
Blogging can be described as an act of writing an article on a blog.
This definition is a little outdated as the business of blogging has advanced far beyond what it used to be which is past days was more like an online journalism.
Let’s trace back the advent of Blogging:
Blogging first started as a way to have an online personal web log, in which a person would journal about their day. From “web log” came the term “blog.”
Like most new innovations on the Internet, many entrepreneurs saw marketing potential in having a blog and blogging took off from there. Not only can a blog be used for marketing, but also, a blog can be a home business in and of itself.
Differences Between a Blog and a Website
Now majority of people mix up a BLOG with a WEBSITE.
A couple of persons have actually approached me to build a website for them, when in the actual sense, what they need is a BLOG.
I’ll be explaining the differences:
A majority of people still wonder whether there is any difference between a blog and a website. (Most will even disagree that they’re different).
It’s even more challenging to differentiate between the two today because most companies are integrating blogs into their sites to perform the same function.
A section will serve as a website while another page is created to serve as BLOG. Don’t be confused yet!
The two can easily be differentiated by their APPEARANCE.
The appearance of blogs changed over time, and nowadays blogs include different items. But, most blogs include some standard features and structures.
Here are common features that a typical blog will include:
- Header with the menu or navigation bar
- Main content area with highlighted or latest blog posts
- Sidebar with social profiles, favorite content, or call-to-action
This is exactly the structure any blog is expected to follow.
Though with little tweaks and the additional features, but not without the presence of any of these.
A website on the other end maintains a static homepage.
If owned by a company, they highlight their mission and vision statement, profiles, board of directors, their achievement possibly and their contact details amongst other things.
Another major difference is that:
Blogs are updated frequently. Whether it’s a special blog for mothers in which a woman shares adventures in parenting, or probably a food blog sharing new recipes and HOW TO make special delicacies, or a business providing updates to its services. The idea here is that blogs have new content added several times a week.
Websites on the other sense might occasionally have new information, but for the most part, they offer static; rarely changing information.
Another is that BLOGS allow for reader engagement. Blogs are often included in social media because of the ability for readers to comment and have a discussion with the blogger and others who read the blog.
From my little research what was applicable in the past was that websites had guest logs where people could say they’d visited, this is quite different from a blog.
A blog allows for conversation and greater interaction than a website allows, in fact your opinion and thought matters less as a visitor/reader in the case of a website.
Key elements that identify a blog post from a static page includes but not limited to a:
- Publishing Date
- Author Reference
- Categories, and tags within a byline.
While not all blog posts have all those byline elements, static website pages do not have any of these items.
From a visitor perspective, the content on a static site will not change from one visit to the next. The content on a blog, yet, has the potential to offer something new each day, week, or month. Depending on the blog owner’s publishing schedule.
I do believe by now, you should be able to differentiate between a website and a blog.
These tips are what make you as a master at your individual blog field/niche.
1. CREATE BLOG POSTS THAT SERVE YOUR LARGER BRAND/COMPANY GOALS.
The mistake most bloggers make here is that we think of ideas that only interest us. As much as you might read and re-read your blog posts after you publish them, you’re not the only reader, or the intended reader.
When you start blogging, ideas will come to you at random times – in the shower, on a run, while on the phone with your friend or colleagues. While the ideas may come at random moments, the ideas themselves should never be random. Just because it’s a good idea in general — or something that interests you personally — doesn’t mean it’s a good idea for your brand/company.
First, before you decide on starting a blog, you probably should know the niche you’ll be blogging on, e.g. fashion, health, food, politics, etc.
Now, when the random idea strikes, please don’t jump into writing and publishing on your blog straight away. Sit down and re-read, and ask yourself if this particular topic aligns with the purpose why I’d decided to start this blog.
You can’t be a food blogger and start discussing politics, Stop that! Don’t confuse your readers.
Align your blog posts with your brand niche/company’s growth goals. The reason you’re blogging is to solve problems for your audience and, ultimately, to grow your brand/business.
So, all of your blog post ideas should help serve those growth goals.
They should have natural tie-ins to issues in your niche and address specific questions and concerns your prospective readers/visitors/audience have.
2. WRITE LIKE YOU TALK.
The mistake here is that most bloggers write in a stiff manner. Writing a blog post is much different than writing a term paper. But one thing I’ve realized is that when bloggers first start out, they usually only have experience, which is communicating effectively. The style of writing from a term paper is not the style of writing what people will enjoy reading.
If I need you be honest with me, most of the people who see your post aren’t going to read the whole thing you’ve scribbled down .If you want to keep them interested, you have to compel them to keep reading by writing in a style that’s effortless to read.
Try to write blogs that feel personable. It’s okay to be more conversational in your writing – in fact, I’ll recommend it.
The more approachable your writing is, the more people will enjoy reading it. People want to feel like they’re doing business with real people, not robots. So loosen up your writing.
3. CITE PEOPLES WORK WHEN DRAWING FROM THEIR IDEAS.
The mistake here is that our content borders on plagiarism.
When all we do is copy and paste an idea that relates well with a topic were writing on without giving appropriate credits to the article we have cited.
Many beginner bloggers think they can get away with the old copy-and-paste technique. You can’t. Editors and readers can usually tell when something’s been copied from somewhere else. Your voice suddenly doesn’t sound like you, or maybe there are a few words in there that are incorrectly used. It just sounds … off, like KINI NWI? (Apologies to the non-Yoruba speaking participants here).
Plus, if you get caught stealing other people’s content, you could get your site penalized by Google — which could be a big blow to your personal or company blog’s organic growth.
I’ve known and met bloggers who we started off together but due to their everyday copy and paste method of stealing trending news, they got caught but Google, were penalized, their AdSense account (which they earn from) got deactivated and they weren’t paid. They lost their ranking on Google search, and so many other things.
Give credit where credit is due.
Instead, take a few minutes to understand how to cite other people’s content in your blog posts.
It’s not super complicated, but it’s an essential thing to learn when you’re first starting out.
4. NICHE DOWN
Statistics estimates that the number of bloggers in the U.S will reach 31.7 million by the end of 2020. And that’s only the U.S, I couldn’t even get a data for Nigeria. Which means: if you’re starting a blog today, there’s a lot of competition.
So, how do you stand out?
It’s very simple – NICHE DOWN.
This simply tells your readers and Google that uncle lagbaja’s blog is primarily meant to address a particular purpose:
E.g GospelBreed.com is just for Christian stories.
Botapreneur.com is just for health and natural herbs related contents, etc
Focusing on a hyper-specific topic and before long, you’ll realize you’ve become the go-to expert on that topic.
For example, if you’re starting a travel blog, you might focus on only Nigeria travels. Apart from your audience, Google bots also gets a grasp of what type of contents that can be found on your blog.
So when a Google visitor makes a search on anything related to food in Nigeria, Google automatically brings you amongst the top 20 rankers on the search result.
They know you to feed readers with Nigeria food and delicacies.
5. WRITE AMAZING HEADLINES.
Every reader sees your headline or topic first before content. Also, most people discover content via search or social. And they likely decide which to read based on the headline.
That makes the headline the most crucial piece of your content. And you should learn how to write compelling ones that capture people’s attention and make them want to learn more.
Make your headline suspense full and catch!
- Practical Steps on how I Earned 200,000 in 2 weeks as a newbie blogger.
- How to Earn Money as a Blogger.
The idea is to make it catchy and suspense full.
Let people get the urge to want to know more about the content.
6. BUILD AN EMAIL LIST.
This is simple. You’ll keep getting new visitors on a daily basis, especially if your traffic source is from different means.
How do you keep them from coming back?
It’s as simple as providing a subscription box for them so they fill in their email address.
When a new post is up, they immediately get a notification mail, they click through and read.
Doing this, you’re assured of getting visitors to come back for more.
7. PARTICIPATE IN ONLINE COMMUNITIES AND FORUMS.
For every niche, there are different platforms that host a wider of your target audience. Sites like QUORA are for answering questions which might be related to the contents you serve on your blog. Giving answers to this questions, then leaving a back link to your website will eternally generate you traffic to your website/blog.
8. KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE.
Who is my target audience?
What solutions do I believe they want from me?
What are their goals?
What solutions might they be using today to achieve those goals?
If those solutions are online, where are they?
How can I proffer a better solution?
Giving answers to these questions simply tells you know who your blog is meant to address and it makes you proffer adequate solution to their needs.
Okay, concerning participating in online communities is forums. Ensure that you join the forums in your niche, so as to learn from the best guys in your niche.
Like the saying “birds of a feather flock together“. So, walk with the stars and you’d be a star.
Get a mentor in your online community after carefully studying their blogs.
On a final note, I’ll highlight few DOWNSIDES of blogging
- Blogging is popular because it works as a marketing tool and makes money but blogging isn’t all rainbows and unicorns in the world of online income. Before starting a blog as a means to make money or to promote your existing business, you should consider these potential downsides:
- Blogging requires a great deal of time. For a blog to be effective, it needs to be updated regularly. The Internet is littered with abandoned blogs that haven’t been updated in months or even years. The success of blogging comes from having people return, and they only return when there’s new stuff to read. That means generating content at least several times a week, which takes time.
- You need ideas to write about. To keep the content coming, you have to have ideas to write about. The good news is that you don’t have to write it all. You can have guest writers or hire freelancers, if you can afford such. You need to offer more than blog articles.
- Any successful blog needs email marketing, additional perks such as making updates to content, and an engaged social network, such as a Facebook group.
- The payoff isn’t immediate.
Simple Guide on How to Build a Blog
1. Decide on a name for your blog
5. Write & publish your first post.
How to Make Money Blogging
Once you’ve completely set up your blog and you acquired a pretty decent audience of followers that are interested in your blog, then you are ready to start making money from it.
There are couples of ways to monetize your blog, below is a list of 3 popular to make money from blogging.
1. Google Adsense.
Google AdSense is a revenue-sharing opportunity for publishers in the Google network. Google place ads for goods and services that are relevant to the content of your site, targeted to the people who frequent your pages. In turn, you get paid a small amount when the ad is either displayed on your page or clicked on.
2. Affiliate Marketing.
Affiliate marketing is when you recommend a product or service to your audience using special tracking links, and then get a referral commission for every time someone buys after clicking your link. You can check here for a detailed guide on affiliate marketing and popular affiliate marketing programs in Nigeria.
3. Sponsored post & banner ads.
When you have a good amount of traffic and terrific influence over your audience, other companies will pay to sponsor a blog post or your website.
One of the biggest frustrations with blogging is that it is time-consuming with little payoff in the beginning.
I started earning after about 1 and a half year of starting my blogging career. It takes time to build up a readership and momentum. Don’t lose hope.
Consistency is key.
And always remember that when it comes to blogging, quality is far more important than quantity.
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I’m the CEO of TechieBreed .
My goal is to ensure that technology is optimally utilized at the lowest cost possible to every bloggers and small scale business provider while ensuring the technicality aspect is eased and profit is adequately maximized.