So, you want to start a blog? Congratulations!
Whether for business or pleasure, blogs are a great way to build relationships and establish yourself as a credible source on a topic through informative, educational content. It also helps build overall brand awareness and improve your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts.
If you haven’t blogged before, you may have questions like: What is SEO? How do I publish my own blog? What the heck do I write about, anyway?
Luckily for you, we happen to LOVE blogging! Hustle + Charm has had a blog for a few years now, and we love sharing information that benefits fellow entrepreneurs (with a little bit of fun thrown in, too).
We’ve compiled five key steps you need to take when starting a blog:
Like any other form of communication, blogs require planning! Ask yourself if you can commit to maintaining a blog. It’s OK if you can’t! Maybe there is a different way for you to share your expertise with others.
The bottom line: don’t post and ghost (i.e., don’t create a blog and never update it). To help yourself stay organized, create a calendar of potential blog post topics in advance. Aim for a regular schedule, whether that’s weekly, biweekly, monthly or quarterly.
Next, think about your actual content. What is your niche? What topic(s) are you hoping to cover? What knowledge can you share that isn’t already out there? Are you hoping to build a community around your topic?
Tools like Ubersuggest or even Google Keyword Planner can help you brainstorm ideas for keywords to incorporate into your posts. If you own a business, think about customers’ pain points and address those in your content.
Platforms like Squarespace, WordPress and Wix have great blog templates that are easy to customize. Check out our member Amber, who works with Showit for web design. If you already have a website for a business, these platforms make it easy to incorporate a blog into your site.
Research the available options to determine which platform has the features you’re looking for, then poke around behind the scenes to set up your blog and become acquainted with the features. You may need to look into a hosting platform as well, depending on your current setup.
Once you’re ready to go on the back-end, find a fun blog name and make your blog your own.
Now for the fun part: Writing your first blog post!
Remember: People consume content online differently than on paper. Keep your paragraphs short and use sub-headings, images, bullet points, etc. to help break up the content even more..
Create a catchy headline that encourages people to click through. Start the article with a hook to keep the reader from leaving the page.
Optimize your content by selecting a set of keywords people will type in a search engine (like Google) to find information on your topic.
Incorporate images, too! Always include alt-text so screen readers can pick up what’s in the image (bonus: it helps with SEO as well).
Finally, it goes without saying, but never plagiarize someone’s content. Make sure your content is 100 per cent yours!
Always, always, always edit your own work! If your blog is full of grammatical and spelling errors, you’ll lose credibility with your audience. If grammar isn’t your strong suit, tools like Grammarly can help.
Test your blog on different devices and browsers to ensure it’s formatted correctly across the board. Once you’re satisfied with your post and how it looks, hit that ‘Publish’ button or schedule it for a later date. How exciting!
You’ve put your blood, sweat and tears into your new blog. Now it’s time to share it! Spread the word within your personal (and, if appropriate, professional) circles.
If you own a business, promote your blog post on your other channels, like your social media accounts, e-newsletters and other areas of your website.
Blogging is a fantastic way to reach your audience, if done strategically. Done well, a blog could even lead to you making money through advertising and affiliate links. With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to starting a blog in no time. Happy writing!
If there is a topic you’d like Hustle + Charm to cover in a future blog post, feel free to reach out to us! For more business and lifestyle tips, follow us on social media and be sure to sign up for our newsletter.