So, you’ve decided to start a blog?
To start off with, congratulations! This is a fun and worthwhile idea to pursue, as you get to not only write about what you’re passionate about, but you can share your knowledge and experiences with the world. Whatever you’re into – whether it’s traveling, video games, fashion, or even new technology – there are definitely people out there who will be interested in what you have to say. However, you, of course, have to attract some readers first.
There are many things that new bloggers should know, but for this article, we’re going to assume you already have your theme chosen, your domain name registered, and your site hosted and online.
Get to grips with basic HTML
Whilst drag-and-drop WordPress packages mean that you don’t need to have a huge understanding of HTML, it’s still worthwhile to learn the basics if you ever want to take your site in new directions. Things like the rudiments of design, front-end development, and creating an easy and impressive user experience are all things every blogger should be aware of for their website. Places like Codecademy will let you sign up for free and take online lessons in coding.
Learn about affiliate marketing
Who would have thought that you could write about what you love and earn some money at the same time? Yes, this is actually an option for bloggers, and it’s because of affiliate marketing that this is possible. In essence, a company selling a product or service can team up with relevant blogs in order to create a natural and unobtrusive advertisement. For example, a business selling travel backpacks could collaborate with a travel blog, whereby the company’s homepage could be linked in an article such as “Essential Travel Gear for a Eurotrip.” Banner adverts that link to the company’s site can also be placed somewhere on your blog.
As for how you’ll actually be paid, it will usually be Cost per Acquisition (you’ll receive a percentage if a sale is made on the site via the link you placed) or Cost per Click (once the link has been clicked a certain amount of times, you’ll receive a percentage). This means that you can, in theory, work with several different businesses at the same time. In terms of finding the companies, you could use affilinet – a platform for partnering up advertisers with publishers.
Responsive web design is something you’ll probably be hearing a lot about in the coming years, but it’s important to understand. Your website should fit automatically onto any device that’s being used to surf the net, such as desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. It’s widely recognized that you’ll lose valuable traffic if people click on your site only to find it’s not responsive. As more and more people are spending time on their mobiles for the internet, you’d best be sure that your blog is optimized for every type of screen. One good idea is to utilize Google’s own service, which will analyze your blog to see if it is optimized for mobiles.
Put in a lot of time and effort
Last but not least, every new blogger should know that you only get out what you put in. If your blog is simply a thing to do on the side, then that’s fine. But if your aim is to blog full-time, then that’s not something you can do lightly.
Fresh and interesting content should be uploaded several times a week, but most importantly, you should be aware that getting to a successful place with blogging will take a long time and won’t happen overnight. If you’ve got the drive, time, and knowledge to be a blogger, then it can be hugely rewarding.