Blogging 101

The blogging playbook is written for those who want to shoot up their search engine ranking through blogs. This guide contains information regarding the different types of blogs, how to get started with them, success stories of how bloggers gained success, and a lot more!

Table of Contents

Blogs are closely associated with search engines. They help you get the right traffic to your website. They are the biggest weapon for personal branding.

A blog is like opening an online consulting firm or an online office and inviting people to talk to you and check out what you have to offer. A blog is a trampoline for your branding. People jump here and reach out to other avenues to tell people what they got in your store and then bring in more people to jump on the trampoline.

In this playbook, you’ll be taken through the following topics:

Why Is Blogging Important?

source: Roadside Dental Marketing

1. Blogging helps you carve your niche and make it stronger

You might want to shift topics on other platforms but not here. Blogging is a platform that helps people discover their core skills. This is only possible when you decide to write on a niche. Blogging is a demand-fulfilment tool, unlike other social media channels. People discover you by searching for you on the internet, especially with keywords that matter.

2. Blogging helps you learn the art of selling yourself across the internet

Once you start blogging and understand how the process of building traffic works, you begin to set specific goals to win traffic every month. Blogging is the base for your journey to becoming a great internet marketer. People who blog are generally active on communities, social media channels, forums, etc. They never miss an opportunity to promote their blog posts and amplify the content reach across platforms.

An intelligent blogger should also master Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) to earn organic traffic that will help them position themselves as an expert. Blogging makes your SEO journey a lot easier. When you integrate Google Analytics and Google Search Console—free tools provided by Google—in your blog, you will gain insight into the most-read articles on your blog and keywords that bring traffic to your site and help you understand your audience even better.

3. Blogging wins you, followers

Blogging is a platform where people discover you. For example, every year, I write an article on the latest digital and social media marketing trends for that particular year, and I promote this one article across the internet through organic and paid means. It helps me earn some consulting enquiries from organisations that have not adapted to these changes. One big mistake many bloggers make when they start blogging is that they don’t aim to convert visitors into subscribers when they get traffic. You also need to envision turning your traffic into a potential prospect as you blog. That is only possible if you regularly hit your visitors with new content pieces. This is like a funnel where email plays a crucial role. Blogging gives scope to create a funnel.

Blogging can be considered a full-fledged business; that’s how the new term ‘Laptop Lifestyle’ was introduced. These are people who can run a business from any part of the world, from any desk with no fixed workspace.

Generally, people who are happy with your content would like to follow you on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to ask you questions or stay updated with the latest trends.

Remember: blogging gives them a purpose to connect with you on social media channels. This platform shows off your knowledge. To stay updated, your audience will start connecting with you on social media channels.

4. Blogging helps you make money

Once you’ve built yourself a good blog and have started to churn out quality content, you end up building credibility among your visitors, which is very important when you decide to sell through your blog. Most bloggers make money through their sites through some of these means:

5. Blogging as a route to network with industry experts

You start networking with hundreds of people worldwide, especially people from the same domain as you start blogging. Here are a few things a blogger generally does to grow his network:

6. Blogging gives you authority and identity

Blogging is essential to building your brand as it shows what you were and what you are, with access to every piece of content. Unlike social media channels, it doesn’t push content down the timeline with time. It doesn’t dig into your past. It is not as easy for someone else to discover what you posted two years ago as it would be on a social media channel. Blogging makes you a journalist in the industry domain. All this might sound inspiring, but consistency matters in this industry domain. Schedule your blogs with a blog calendar and make sure they are published accordingly.

Blogging is hard work + brilliant work. You don’t have to write your blog posts necessarily; you can always get your content outsourced once you set the tone and context. But consistency is the key to success in blogging.

What Are the Different Types of Blogs?

We have enough shreds of evidence by now that confirms blogging is essential. Blogging is of different kinds as mentioned below:

Personal blog

The first kind of blogging that came into the market was an online diary—a personal diary/blog. It was started by people who wanted to share their feelings, thoughts and experiences on a digital platform. This blog works as an open page of their diary. These bloggers use WordPress, Tumblr and Blogger to start their blog page in a matter of minutes. If your blog can replicate the feelings and experiences of people with similar interests, then your blog is successful.

Business blog

People who blog for their business or the company they work for are business bloggers. A business blog is entirely different from a personal blog as it is focused on the company and the industry it falls under. Blogs are written on this page target ideal customers and cover relevant topics. For example, ‘How to Make a Design Post That Would Generate Better Leads’. A successful business blog will help the business gain more customers, subscribers to their email list/newsletters and even sale conversions.

Professional blog

Bloggers who make money online through their blogs are called professional bloggers. These blogs generally focus on a specific niche or topics that generate revenue. Every blog is written so that it attracts readers. It includes ads and product information, drives a lot of traffic and generates sales. The success of a professional blog is measured based on the monetisation goals.

Niche blog

Some blogs are focused on specific things or are narrowed down to a particular topic/industry and are not written on broader ideas. Niche blogs can be blogs written on digital media, travel or food. Writing niche blogs narrows down the market research and quickly identifies strengths, weaknesses and opportunities. It is also those blogs where passion is turned into a business. A successful niche blog is one whose topic has been picked accurately and appeals to the right audience hence bringing out your love.

How to Get Started with Blogging

a) Find your calling that would serve as your niche

b) Finding your domain name

The domain name is your online identity; it’s the name board you register your business with, and your followers will recognise you.

What is a good name?

i) Your Full Name: _______________________________________________

(Example: SoravJain.com)

ii) Your Name + Keyword: _____________________________________________

(Example: DigitalSorav.com, SoravLifestyle.com)

iii) Your Business Name: ______________________________________________

(Example: ChennaiUniforms.com, Lighthouseinsights.com, socialsamosa.com)

To decide on the availability of your blog name, log on to www.soravjain.com/go/godaddy

Best practices of booking a domain for blogging

c) Choose the right blogging platform and hosting

It is essential to know what each blogging platform offers before choosing one. Look at the following table to select the one that suits you best.

The five best blogging platforms:

d) Have a theme and design around which your blog revolves

You can choose from a variety of free and paid articles. If you are great with designs, you can design one or hire a designer to do it for you. Remember, the website builders are user-friendly and mainly consist of drag and drop features. So, you don’t have to be tech-savvy to design your blog’s layout.

Tip: Use sites like Generatepress, ThemeForest or Athemes; they have great themes to pick from.

Log on to soravjain.com/wordpressthemes; I have hand-picked some of my favourite themes that perform well.

e) Choose the best plugins for your blog

Source: wpexplorer

Plugins make life easier for bloggers—be it free or paid—you can add them while creating your blog or later on in the process. They enable specific functionalities that make your job as a blogger a lot easier. I use plugins like Yoast for SEO. The following is a list of free and paid WordPress plugins that I would recommend:

Log on to www.soravjain.com/plugins for the complete list.

f) Get started by writing compelling content that would attract a larger audience

The best way to garner your audience’s attention is to talk about whatever is in trend. Topical content works wonders. To figure out what is trending in your domain, you can use tools like Google Trends or Buzzsumo to figure out the latest trends in your industry domain.

While writing your blog, make sure you have the following things in place:

1) Title

Make sure your title is to the point and conveys the article’s highlight. Add numbers to look more credible if it is a list blog or a step-by-step tutorial blog. Some blog titles that work well are How-tos, guides, interviews, lists (Top 10, Best 20, etc.).

One of my blog posts which I wrote in 2010 for the keywords ‘Best Digital Marketing Agency of India’ and ‘Digital Marketing Agency India’, has been ranking high on Google search results for the last nine years now. Initially, when I listed the agencies in the blog, 30 of them. I keep updating the old list with new agencies; it has become “Top 500 Social Media and Digital Marketing Agencies in India.”

2) Keywords

I use tools like Ubersuggest, Google Keyword Planner, AHREF, SEMRush, keyword.io, and Google Keyword Planner to list my article’s relevant keywords. Once I have curated a list, I include them in the report. It makes my blogs keyword rich and more accessible for search engines to find them.

(Tip: Don’t spam your content with keywords.)

3) Word Count

Search engines usually rank short articles at the top for any given topic. I suggest you make your articles elaborate—include examples, case studies, etc.—and make sure you have a word count of at least 1000. I usually write articles of no less than 3000 words. Some of my blogs have been registered with 31,000+ words.

Remember that you should be consistent while blogging. I set my blog calendar so that my readers get at least 2 to 3 blogs every week.

4) The Tone of Your Blog

Blogging is not news coverage; it doesn’t have to be serious. The secret to a good blog post is ‘conversation’. You should write about how you talk, like how you talk to your friend. That’s how your blog posts should sound. It should be a first-person approach.

5) The Body of Your Blog

A blog post should consist of:

What Kind of Content Works for a Blog?

There are many styles of crafting a perfect blog post. Below are a few styles that have worked well for most of the bloggers:

How-tos

Interviews

I frequently handle email interviews with some knowledgeable people in the industry, and these all go up on my blog. As stated earlier, with the right kind of SEO done for a name, the blog appears at the top every time someone Googles the name. It is also the best way to build an initial audience and direct traffic to your blog. Once you have picked your niche, interview people who already have an audience base. The chances are they share the interview on their social media channels and give you better organic traffic. This is one of the easiest ways to generate content. These email interviews are best done with industry experts.

Infographics

Source: Visually

It’s no surprise that visuals work better than text. The fact is that readers are more likely to remember information when presented in the form of an infographic than otherwise. Infographics are considered a great type of content, are easily consumable and make reading—especially numbers—fun and simple. Another good thing is that infographics garner the maximum shares on social media.

Infographics have a higher chance of ranking on Google Image search results. When you go on Google Image search today and type digital marketing cartoons, digital marketing stats Pakistan, digital marketing stats India, Singapore, or digital marketing stats Bangladesh, you have a higher chance of seeing infographics from my blog. Each is SEO-optimized with the correct alt text and keywords inserted in the file names.

Case studies

It’s no surprise that visuals work better than text. The fact is that readers are more likely to remember information when presented in the form of an infographic than otherwise. Infographics are considered a great type of content, are easily consumable and make reading—especially numbers—fun and simple. Another good thing is that infographics garner the maximum shares on social media.

Infographics have a higher chance of ranking on Google Image search results. When you go on Google Image search today and type digital marketing cartoons, digital marketing stats Pakistan, digital marketing stats India, Singapore, or digital marketing stats Bangladesh, you have a higher chance of seeing infographics from my blog. Each is SEO-optimized with the correct alt text and keywords inserted in the file names.

Guide and resource

A how-to guide is another type of content that can work well on your blog page. Generally, how-to guides are long, focused on a particular topic and provide solutions if needed. But directions can get complicated at times and may lose the reader’s attention. Hence, it has to be written in a captivating way. A list of resource tools can be made, and a review on the same can be done on the blog page. A list of the tools used for different platforms can also be made. Reviewing the tools with screenshots also helps you get more readers.

Listicles

People love numbers. Adding numbers to a blog title attracts a lot of people. When you say 21 mind-blowing travel destinations in India, it attracts people, can rank higher and has excellent sometimes get complicated click-through rates. There is no perfect number for it. Listicles are easy to build as it’s a matter of research and compilation (in your own words). I suggest you try different variations such as 7 to 10, 10 to 20 and 30 to 50 to know which group works the best with your niche. With my blog, I have seen whenever I increase the number; it helps me with improved reach.

How one blog turned into an overnight success

This part comes from personal experience. Along with half a million other people, I have been following this weather blogger who goes by the name ‘Tamil Nadu Weatherman’. Since 2015, he has been doing the rounds on Facebook with his timely weather updates that seem to peak in December when the North-East monsoon hits parts of South India. He has built himself credibility out of his detailed and accurate weather updates.

He is a phenomenon on his own, and I have been analysing how he became so famous, despite numerous other weather bloggers and meteorologists. I shared one of my blogs that contained a case study that stated eight reasons why he turned out to be the talk of the town and then tagged him on Facebook. Eventually, I received an overnight boost of 75,000 visitors to my website because he shared it on his page.

Remember that when you write about someone who already carries a lot of clout over people in a particular region, your blogs have a higher chance of reaching a wider audience quickly through their fame. So, begin your blogging journey by writing about / interviewing influential people to leverage some of their fame to your blog’s advantage.

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