The Ultimate Guide For Blogging
[toc] A blog, is a living stream of information that draws websurfers to the blog on a regular basis. Blogging has become a powerful way to communicate about any number of topics. For years, articles have been written for those who want to make money blogging and learn how to blog. Effective blogging requires knowledge about how to create content and arrange each page for visual appeal and interest. Online communities are created as the conversation commences in the comment section following each entry. As a blogger you would be wise to learn the “fine art of blogging” and apply various techniques from the first day. This means you must learn and take action. Which is what this blog is all about. I want to be clear that blogging for money is possible! I wrote a whole post on that to encourage people.
There’s a few very good platforms or softwares to create your blog; WordPress, Joomla, Blogger, etc. My personal opinion (and the opinion of basically all the top bloggers in the world) is that WordPress is king. It’s free, it’s super easy to customize and the search engines love it. If you agree with this statement and would like to learn how to create a blog on wordpress I recommend you read that post which will be super helpful for beginners.
Create Awesome Content When Blogging
Meaningful blog posts will draw visitors to your site from everywhere on the globe. You must make various blogging decisions for every blog post prior to typing the final product. Random thoughts written without some thoughtful consideration of these points will lose the reader’s interest in the first paragraph. Logical thoughts will follow a natural progression that holds the reader’s interest throughout the post. Powerful blogging requires adherence to the basic principles of writing fundamentals.
1. Write to one audience – Each blog post should contain interesting points for a target audience, do your research for topic ideas to ensure you are writing meaningful content. The next post might reach out to a different group of readers but within your targeted audience. Blogging will take on many dimensions over time. The audience must sense a connection to the blogger to remain interested.
2. Write concisely – Effective blogging includes individual posts that are 400-5,000 words long (we’ll get to the appropriate length in a sec). You will be wise to develop a basic outline to cover the topic of the post. Long outlines indicate that enough material exists for a series of posts. Individual entries should be short enough for a reader to digest in a five-minute break from work tasks.
3. Write with purpose – Blogging can be a great exercise in teaching others about almost any subject. The “teaching blogger” (that being you of course) will find joy in starting a conversation with the readers that enhances general understanding of the topic, You must transfer your emotions to your readers. The blogger will learn from the readers, too. Feedback is one of the must precious things you can gain from readers to improve your posts. Challenge readers to think differently about issues and offer input through responses in the comment section.
4. Write for others – Relax! Learning how to create content takes time and practice. Pursuing success through blogging from the outset will create stress. Time spent reading the comments will provide ideas for subsequent posts. Readers will return when the focus of blogging is on an interactive conversation with the blogger.
5. Write stellar content – Practice is the best way to learn how to create content. A post that sparks multiple questions and some debate can occupy the reader community for weeks. Blogging must include meaningful content that creates intrigue. Multiple visits and questions from the same reader should be taken as a compliment.
6. Write compelling introductions – Internet readers scan the first sentence of a paragraph to determine if the rest is worth the time and effort to read further. Blogging must include powerful use of words and tight sentence structure to maintain the reader’s interest. Important statements must be at the top of the blog entry.
7. Write good content and SEO – Too much focus on SEO creates dry blog posts. Interesting content holds the reader’s attention. SEO techniques might appeal to the search engines, but the reader will get lost if these two important facets are not in balance.
8. Write a Call to Action – Readers want some guidance from the blogger to know how to participate in the conversation. Challenge the reader to enter a comment, visit a social media page or answer a question. Blogging can seem lonely if the readers are uncertain about the expected method for responding to the blogger.
Powerful Post Structure
Bloggers learn how to create content as ideas are transformed into the appropriate “type” of post. A blog that consists of only generic blog posts is uninteresting to the reader. Experience provides insight about how to structure a post for maximum interest. Unique ideas create a buzz in the community that will draw new readers. Each blog post structure has a place, such as:
• “How to” entries
• Narrative story
• Informative articles
• Monologue-style videos
• Organized lists
“People need stories more than bread itself. They tell us how to live, and why.” – Arabian Nights
Consider each of these blog post types as a destination on the roadmap to blogging excellence. How to structure a post cannot take precedence over the content inside. Five key elements of great blog posts must be included to engage readers.
1. Title – Great titles are one of the most important facets of learning how to blog. Keywords and phrases must be included in the title and the permalink, which is the URL that will point to the blog post. Meaningful titles can increase the blog traffic because the search engines will rank the blog entry on the first page. Readers are attracted to titles that describe the content of the post.
2. Opening statement – One sentence can retain the reader’s attention long enough to read the whole post. Blogging becomes easier as the writer develops a personal approach for the opening statement. Knowledge of the topic makes it easier to know how to structure a post with an intriguing first sentence.
3. Descriptive paragraphs – Blogging without an outline breaks the rules mentioned in how to create content. Organized thoughts draw the reader’s attention to follow the blogger’s train of thought. Constant interruptions prevent the reader from developing enough interest to make a comment or read the entire post. The blogger who learns how to structure a post will reveal a series of separate thoughts using bullet points, headers and lists.
4. Supporting media – An illustration or video can go viral if the blogger knows how to structure a post. Certain topics can be explained through a step-by-step video. Thousands of words are saved when the blogger describes a procedure for the reader in a two-minute video. Pictures, images and illustrations should have filenames that contain the key phrase for the blog post. The search engines recognize names assigned to images and provide a better ranking and an entry in the “image” section.
5. Call to action – Readers appreciate a nudge to visit other posts in the blog or make a comment. Bloggers are wise to word each call to action somewhat differently to prevent the readers from skipping this important sentence. Powerful phrases will be developed as the writer learns how to blog. Practice with the proven techniques behind how to create content will reveal the words that bring about the desired participation level.
Outsource Writing Appropriately
At times, the best approach to a blog post is to outsource your writing. Expertise in how to blog is not required if the writer has sufficient knowledge of the topic and follows instructions. Blogging should include various voices and perspectives that become possible when you outsource your writing. Readers appreciate some changes in tone and thought process as long as the writer knows how to create content. Bloggers discover that the desire to make money blogging must be accompanied by the time to write each post.
To prevent frustration with the effort to outsource your writing, consider some important techniques to find a writer with the best attributes for the work.
• Conduct auditions – Blogging is enhanced when the blog owner decides to seek writers with various levels of insight and writing styles. Content sites have hundreds of writers that could fulfill the requirements. Bloggers should consider posting a number of orders in the open queue with identical instructions. Each writer is participating in the audition without knowing it. Responses contribute to the owner’s process of learning how to blog.
• Consider an agency – Hours of daily investment will be required as the blog grows in popularity. Blogging can develop into a full-time job if the individual wants to make money blogging. Agencies offer some specific advantages including:
- Multiple vetted writers in one place
- Ability to handle high-volume requests
- Depth of expertise in the chosen topic
• Create a framework – The decision to outsource your writing causes the blogger to consider the importance of following a plan. Blogging in a random fashion is possible if the owner of the blog is going to do all of the writing. One reason to outsource your writing is to allow you to spend time elsewhere. The writers must have knowledge about the required topics and follow basic instructions to meet the blog owner’s expectations.
You should read this post on 11 tips to outsource your business that will give you a clear picture on how to properly hire a freelance writer to help you with your blogging.
Reasons to Outsource Your Writing
Innovative bloggers can maintain a blog without knowing how to blog. This might sound impossible without the help of writers with sufficient knowledge in some important areas.
• Search Engine Optimization – SEO – This term is more than a buzzword to be tossed about in CyberSpace. As the referees of the Internet, search engines have specific requirements for noticing and ranking entries. The writer must utilize proven techniques to cause the blog entry to land on the first page of the search results.
• Writing is a talent – Gifted writers can enhance reader interest in the blog, which allows the owner to make money blogging. An individual with a desire to administer a blog might not have writing talent. Others can provide the content while the owner creates images and videos.
Determine The Best Length For Each Post
Blogging calls for discernment when the length of each post comes into question. A blogger with the desire to make money blogging will develop some personal guidelines for each post length. Every blog owner has a different opinion concerning the number of words that can be included. Consideration for the goal of the blog will allow the blogger to make decisions concerning these important factors.
- TONE – To make money blogging, the topic and tone must match. Readers have certain expectations when visiting blogs with complex topics instead of conversational, or narrative, blogs. Speaking to the audience through the written word requires an engaging tone.
- Long posts have a place – Storytelling attracts readers that would never visit another type of blog. Great storytellers can sit down at the keyboard and crank out a 2,000+-word post that readers drink in like cool water. Blogging demands appropriate post length to prevent information overload.
- Short posts fill gaps – Simple reminders to readers can call for a post length under 200 words. Timely posts throughout a business day offer encouragement and insight for the reader with one free minute during a busy day. A stock tip, funny saying or intriguing illustration could draw readers to the blog for the first time.
- FREQUENCY – Blogging every day might allow the writer to produce shorter posts that create a series about a given topic. Visits to the blog require less time if the blogger writes short posts frequently. Post length does not have to follow the frequency as long as the reader is prepared to invest time reading each entry. Search engines rank active blogs higher because the content changes frequently.
- SCHEDULE – Readers appreciate consistent blog entries that can be predicted. Blogging three times each week on the same days will become part of the readers’ weekly routine. A missed post will draw ire from the people who look forward to reading the entry. Post length is affected when fewer entries to the blog are made. Those who make money blogging realize that consistency and reliability are important to the readers.
Blogging has a set of rules that are meant to be broken. Each blogger must determine how to blog in the most effective way. Visits to other blogs reveal that each writer has embraced a personal style and approach that matches the topic and the audience. Post length varies for many reasons, including the amount of time the writer has available. Bloggers are a unique breed who blog because they have insight and thought patterns that are interesting to readers. Successful blogging requires the courage to break rules at the right time in order to reach out to more readers and make money blogging.
Enhance Blog Posts With Images
Books with pictures hold the reader’s interest because the story is told through the pictures. Young readers understand the text because of the images. Blogging can have the same effect on readers when the images explain the text. Learning how to blog must include enhancing each post with appropriate pictures, images and illustrations.
•When to use an image – View the blog post as though you are a reader. Include images in your posts where the text could be explained more clearly. One image positioned opposite a complex thought could clarify the idea for everyone. Dry text can be more interesting when an illustration is included. Avoid adding a picture that breaks the reader’s train of thought.
• Where to place a picture – Images that accompany the blog at the most logical point in the text will improve the reader’s focus. Avoid interrupting a paragraph since thought patterns must flow rapidly to follow the post topic. Include images in your posts where the reader begins to drift. Pictures that require captions should be placed at the beginning, or end, of the text.
• How to include an illustration – Pictures in a blog entry can come from many different sources, such as stock photographs from a free stock photography site. Blogging with photos presents challenges that must not affect the time required to load the blog into a browser. Images must be resized to fit in the appropriate space and be viewable. Include images in your posts without crowding the text.
• Sources for blog pictures, images and illustrations – Bloggers must remember to review the license terms on every image that will be included. Great pictures can draw people to read blog entries that might not be of interest without the pictures. Include images in your posts from one of these great sites:
“Just because you provide attribution and/or a link back to the original doesn’t mean you’re free and clear” – Amy Lynn Andrews
Choose carefully your sources for getting images.
Favorite sources of images for use on a blog post will govern which sites are the most useful to the blogger. Free images are insufficient in number and uniqueness to retain reader interest. A savvy blogger will spend time each week finding images that will enhance each blog post. Image creation can be outsourced if the blogger has a specific need that remains unmet from a searchable repository of images. Include images in your posts from many different sources to retain reader interest.
Video Blog Posts Add Depth
For decades, video clips have told stories from every location around the globe. Famous clips still tell the story of war, exploration and innovation. Foggy video images were limited to the technology available at the time. Today, video images can be captured in any setting, or weather condition, with remarkable clarity. Blogging can be enhanced using videos that fulfill a number of different purposes. A blogger communicates through various tools that reach out to the reader and embrace his interest.
10 reasons to cause any blogger to include videos in your post
1. Perceived information value increases.
2. Audiences expand and brand recognition is strengthened.
3. Video demonstrations or testimonials increase the percentage of visitors who buy.
4. Blog readers can generate video to drive awareness and develop trust.
5. Blogging can include video clips without limits on time or content.
6. Case studies, testimonials and demonstrations create reader interest.
7. Videos cause blog readers to engage and share personal thoughts and opinions.
8. More than half of all web traffic is video viewing. Bloggers will be on the cutting edge when you include videos in your post.
9. Search engines rank video links on the first page 53 times more often than those with text only.
10. Readers will spend three times longer on the blog when you include videos in your post.
Attributes of an effective video blog entry
I remember when i first created a video for a website, i had no idea what i was doing, i personally didn’t hire anyone at that time, i went on and did myself. I grabbed some related videos from around the web, some images, wrote some transition titles and used windows movie maker to put it all together and that was it. It was a decent video for my first time. I’ve gained some experience along the years now. Of course you can just post videos of other people that you enjoy, like a do a lot in MoneyDiver. It’s also a great way to network.
Right to the point – Blogging with video presents the opportunity to create “face time” with the readers. The first sentence on the video must be as interesting as the first written sentence in a text blog entry. Boring videos will do more harm than good for the blog’s reputation.
Ten-second decision – Videos will retain the viewers attention through the first 10 seconds and beyond. The person watching the video will make a rapid decision about the content because there are so many other choices. Great videos start conversations that transcend the blog. Every blogger’s dream is to create a viral video.
Comfortable pace – A few minutes watching various news videos gives the blogger a sense of the right pace for the material. Rapid-paced videos cannot contain much detailed information. Slow videos are boring because the viewer wants to help the picture move forward to the next point.
Appropriate length – Retaining attention is the most challenging aspect of video creation. Certain topics require more than the recommended two minutes to explain a procedure or teach the best method. Few videos can retain anyone’s attention for more than 120 seconds. Each video used on the blog should match the complexity of the topic in the blog entry.
Basics of good production – Editing, clear picture and great lighting are expected when a visitor clicks on the start button. Include videos in your post that contain the basics of video production. Any video that is hard to view should be filmed a second, or third, time.
Personality – Blogging connects people with similar interests in life. The blogger will attract more video viewers if he enters the videos at various points. Visual images draw interest because the written word does not convey the bloggers personality as well.
Steps in creating the video
Really the easiest way to create a video is to hire someone for $5 at Fiverr or at any other freelancing website. You can also take images from arounf the internet, add text, add voice over and some pieces of other videos. But if you want to go pro, these are the resources you will need:
Camera – Flip cameras, a Handycam, web camera or laptop cameras have the potential to capture video that has acceptable qualities. As video blogging catches on with the readers, the blogger might choose to invest in a high-resolution camera. Responses to the videos will guide the decision to include videos in your post.
Editing software – Many different software packages for video editing are available today. Final Cut Pro, iMovie, Sony Vegas and Adobe Premiere Elements are some standard editing packages that provide sufficient functionality for the novice video editor. Capturing enough video is essential for the storytelling aspect of every video.
Audio quality – Experienced video bloggers recommend investing in microphones and recorders that will capture high-definition sound. Scratchy voice over is distracting to the blog visitor.
Blog Structure Matters
Behind the scenes of every blog, the structure is working hard to gain recognition in the search engines. Web surfers tend to believe that a search term brings the desired content into the first page of results through magic. Experienced bloggers know that many steps are required to create a blog structure that draws more traffic every month. Blogs that rank high against their peers in the same subject matter follow some specific recommendations.
Permalink structure – Some blogs use a standard URL name that assigns a number to each new blog entry. The search engine will allow other closely related blogs to outrank those that use this simple method. The best blog structure includes the permalink, which is built with the blog name, category name and blog title. Blog software platforms provide support for the permalink structure when the settings are preset.
Optimized blog titles – Keyword-rich blog entry titles will rank higher in the search engine results. Readers will find the blog more easily when the titles contain commonly used words about recent topics.
Optimized tags and categories – Blogging follows various topics of interests that are popular in the search engines. Blogging software allows the writer to create topics and categories that will be placed in the tags. Related tags on the post increase the potential for the interested web surfer to find the blog. Social bookmarking sites can be used for submitting blog entries under the appropriate category name and tag.
Meta tags and descriptions – Meta data is essential for higher rankings in the search engine results. Well-crafted meta descriptions cause web surfers to select your blog entries over all others. Blog structure works effectively when all meta tags are populated. Blogging software assists with the development of effective meta data.
Links – Appropriate use of links within the text will create more interest for the reader. Avoid over use of linking because too many highlighted words and dynamic links can be distracting. Links to other blog entries encourages the reader to stay on the blog for longer periods of time. Internal and external links work together to improve the search engine ranking for the blog.
Blog structure supports the blogging activities that include regular posting activities, high-quality content, responding to readers and using an attractive blog design. Bloggers will make money blogging when each entry is considered an opportunity to reach out to other people.
Quoting Adds Credibility
Bloggers are wise to include quotes when the reader must have another opinion on the subject. Famous sayings and quotes from well-known people drawn the reader into the blog post. Quoting is a fine art that must be balanced to prevent information overload for the reader. Appropriate use of quotes enhances the credibility of the material presented.
Pointers for quoting and punctuating correctly in the blog post.
Capitalize the first letter – Unless the quote is a fragment, the first letter of the quote should be capitalized. The reader will recognize the beginning of the sentence and follow the quote.
Extend the quotation across paragraphs – A long quote should open in the first paragraph, open in each subsequent paragraph and close once, in the final paragraph. Readers are accustomed to this method because books follow this structure when printing long quotes.
Edit a quote carefully – Written words have rigid rules that must be followed even when quoting a speaker. Verb usage is noticeable when the writer transcribes the spoken word for quoting within the blog post. Align the verb tense to match plural and singular nouns in the sentences.
Clarify a quote – A pair of “[ ],” or brackets, must be used if the writer is inserting a word into the quote for clarification. Verbal quotes assume understanding where a reader would lose the train of thought. The spoken “it” when speaking should be replaced with the descriptive words when the quote is transcribed.
Retain the original errors – A writer can be blamed for the speaker’s mistakes if the quote is transcribed without the use of [sic], which indicates the original source of the mistake.
A quote within a quote – The sub-quote is separated from the original quote through the use of single quotation marks. Readers are used to this approach since books follow this model.
Commas and periods inside the quote – Under the American standard, the commas and periods at the end of quotes are placed inside the quotes. The English standard is to “follow logic.”
Question marks and exclamation marks – English and American standards follow logic with these types of punctuation. The writer must evaluate the role played by the quote in the sentence. The quote that contains the question would require that the question mark be placed inside the quote. A question that includes a partial quote would call for the question mark to be placed outside the quotes.
Blogging requires knowledge and use of the English spelling and grammar rules. Readers will evaluate the blogger according to his adherence to the standards of writing. Casual blogs that follow basic English writing standards are respected and useful to the readers. An expert who possesses poor writing skills will struggle to gain a consistent readership.
Blogging is not rocket science!
Interesting people become great bloggers when ideas are written, or recorded, to be shared with others. Each blog post offers the opportunity to learn more from readers. Most bloggers believe delays in success are caused when the blogger took every aspect of blogging too seriously. Fear causes bloggers to avoid the early steps of setting up the blog and writing that first entry. A simple start can be followed by years of improvements as the blogger develops new interests and sustains the readership.
Readers will walk through the blogging journey because the entries improve. More topics and approaches will draw additional readers into the online conversation. People will join the conversation when the blogger responds to questions and engages the readers in various aspects of life. Blogs evolve over time because events, interests and readers change constantly.
Failure at blogging is almost impossible for the blogger who starts out with an idea and never quits!
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