Blogging is an efficient inbound marketing tool which provides most useful, critical and customer-centric content.
78% of CMOs believe custom content it the future of marketing and an efficient business blog is able to generate 97% more inbound links compared to other link building tactics. (Source: Hanley-Wood Business Media & Hubspot)
As a professional blogger, you must trust facts instead of assuming because facts speak for themselves. The above facts clearly show that blogging is a growing tool of the inbound marketing methodology and directly proportional to better business results.
Bloggers play most important role in building brands, marketing products and services, and improving the online presence of companies which in turns results in better customer engagements and sales.
The best part of starting a blog – one can always end up monetize your blog.
But only blogging won’t help you earn online! Your blog has to be well-optimized and promoted, and, most of all, rich with content. But most importantly build it to engage with customers / your audience.
Question you might have… How do I Start a Blog? Let’s get started building a blog…
How to start a blog for free or at minimum expenses – step by step process:
Identifying a Niche – Always start with identifying your niche which matches your passion, profession or industry. Things you should take care about before finalizing your niche for blogging.
Read and analyze other leading blogs of the same niche.
Understand your audience and where they use to hang out online.
Keyword research to know more about your niche and major search terms.
Check your writing & analyzing skills.
Come up with a blog name or domain name for your blog
Blogging and Publishing Platform
If you are new to blogging and short of cash than the best blogging platforms to consider – and for free are:
WordPress – It is one of the best options for anyone with a great mix of power,
customization and usability. (Recommended)
Blogger – It is one of the longest running blogging platforms.
Medium – It is a socially-oriented place that emphasizes writing, although within an extremely locked-down set-up. But if you are looking for better customization features then don’t waste time on it.
LiveJournal – You should be prepared to delve into the discussion as much as writing to get something out of it.
Weebly – its drag and drop components helps create a page quickly. From its usual sharing feature, you’d not be able to spread your words too far.
Themes and design
All blogging platforms provide some free themes to choose from. Select the best that serves your motive and customize it as per your requirements. It is recommended to go for premium themes instead for ease of customization, and full control if you are not an expert in customizing free themes.
Select responsive and mobile friendly themes
Pre-optimize sites for SEO
Check for monetizing options
Themes with simple and easy to navigate
Select from a wide range of themes with support from MYthemeshop.com easy to install and integrate with popular blogging platforms.
WordPress Video Tutorial – How to Install a WordPress Theme – MyThemeShip
Most of the bloggers and marketers believe and recommend self-hosted blogs for complete authority and control. Choose the best domain name and hosting plans matching your requirements.
Some of the major players in domains and hosting plans:
Autoresponders and Email Marketing Tools
It is required to turn your leads into customers. They are used to follow-up with your readers so that they keep coming back to your blog.
Aweber – If you’re managing a list in the hundreds, thousands or low tens of thousands and you only collect leads through the internet, then there’s no better service than Aweber.
MailChimp – MailChimp is a fantastic place for beginning marketers to get started.
iContact – iContact is a great choice for small to medium-sized marketers who do want to import outside lists.
Constant Contact – If you have lists in the hundreds, thousands or low to tens of thousands.
Infusionsoft – If you run a six figure online business or have a list larger 50,000 subscribers, this may be the tool for you.
GetResponse – It is a solid autoresponder choice for small businesses for small size list.
iShoppingCart – It allows you to segregate lists and mail only buyers or your entire list.
Autoresponse Plus (ARP Reach) – It is the autoresponder of choice for doing co-registration.
Campaign Monitor – Campaign Monitor is email marketing built for the data-driven business.
Office AutoPilot – Essentially, you can tell Office Autopilot what to do if certain things occur.
Great till now we have selected our niche, researched on our audience, selected a domain name, selected a blogging and publishing platform, selected a hosting plan, purchased a theme and customized, and integrated autoresponders amazing.
Our next stage is very crucial because it is one of the reasons why most bloggers quit blogging!
Producing Content With a Purpose Regularly
It is very important to consider opportunities for customer engagement through their journey with a brand.
3 Best Practices Create Engaging Content That Influence your Customers
Problem solving approach – be a problem solver: Identify the biggest problem your customers have and keeping that problem in mind, try to write a dedicated blog post solving the problem or provide practical ways to solve the problem.
Utilize your blog as a platform – to showcase your expertise and to build authority in your niche.
Build trust and authority – In a recent survey it is concluded that over 71% of responders believe blogs affects their purchasing decision. Try to provide most accurate and researched content to your readers.
Blog Post Frequency matters
Research shows blog posting frequency matters a lot. Bloggers writing 16 to 20 blogs per month are able to drive 200% more traffic than those who blog post less than 4 in a month. A blog is a long-term marketing practice that allows you to earn your readers trust that brings traffic and leads.
A skilled blogger is able to bring this results continuously focusing on getting found, creating content with a purpose which converts.
Tips on Writing Great Blog Post
Search Engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo are leading source of organic traffic and you cannot ignore it. Optimizing blog post for the search engine is one of the essential element of attracting more traffic.
Make sure your blog posts title, URL, headlines, and content incorporate keywords that people search.
Optimize images with Alt tags and proper file name.
Compress images to less than 100 kb for fast loading.
Write compelling title and headlines.
Incorporate social media button to share.
Make your content tightly themed and relevant.
Make it actionable.
Mention bloggers / leading blogs in your posts seeking opportunities they notice you and share your content.
The Last but most important aspect of blogging and most common mistake that most of bloggers used to do, not promoting their blog post!
Promoting Blog Posts
Make sure you are promoting your blog posts correctly so that it get found by your target audience easily.
Social media sharing
Call to actions / website banners
Events and presentations
Communities on Google+
A blogger can provide more value to their customers by putting all the resources in one place so that your readers are happy to utilize it. And by offering your opinion and insights on what others has said.
An editorial calendar will help you maintain a healthy balance of content types.
Optimize your writing to grab people’s attention and to rank well in search engines.
Blogging without measuring results is a waste of time. Analyze, measure and improve marketing by re-optimize and integrating more powerful strategies.
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Azad Brijesh is a certified Google Analytics, Adwords and Tag Manager professional. He believes in learning, understanding and implementing methodology. And loves to teach what is has learned to Bloggers, SEO professionals and internet marketers helping them achieve their goals.