Even though blogging is a fairly simple thing to do, learning how to write a blog, starting from scratch, is a slightly more complicated process.
In this post, we will take a more in-depth look at the entire process, from start to finish. I will not go into the technical details here, but you can check out my course where I teach you how to get a Website Setup in One Day.
How To Write A Blog – What You Need To Know
If you are looking to start a blog there are some prerequisites that must be met before you can begin the endeavor. Some of those items may seem simple and a given, and some you may not have thought of. We will look at those pre-requisites here and give you what you need to know on how to write a blog.
Writing your own blog should be a fun and enlightening endeavor. Bloggers blog because not only do they have a passion for what they blog about, they typically are experts at the content that they are blogging about – as with anything, there are exceptions to that. But, in general a blogger blogs about what they know, what they are good at, and what they are passionate about.
Passion. That leads us to our first item, or prerequisite, in How To Write A Blog.
Passion – A must for writing a successful blog
When deciding if writing a blog is a good fit for you, or something that you will be good at and endure in, you must have passion for the subject that you are going to blog about. I believe that in reality you need more passion than expertise. In this day and age, if you have the passion for something, you can become an expert in something. But, just because you may be an expert does not mean that you will be passionate about it. If you are not passionate about it, your readers will be able to pick up on it, and likely your content will suffer.
A successful blogger intertwines passion and expertise in all posts that they blog about. That does not mean that they become an end-all-be-all authority on the subject, so do not let having expertise concern you. It means that they have a knowledge of what they are blogging about.
Once you decide that a blog is indeed something that you want to do, you need to find a topic that you are passionate about. Even if you do not feel that you have the necessary expertise, you have to have passion for it. Once you decide on the subject that you are passionate about, then you can write about it. Even if you do not consider yourself an expert, if you have the passion, you will find that it is easy to learn everything that you want to know about the subject. And with today’s technology the sky is the limit on what you can learn about.
There truly is no substitute for passion. Regardless of what you decide your blog will be about. Bring the passion and not only will your readers notice, but your blog will be more enriching, and have a greater content.
Drive – another must for good blog writing
Some bloggers would lump passion and drive together. I believe however they are two different, but equally important, aspects to what makes a great blog. You can be passionate about something, but not have the drive to pursue it.
For instance, you could have a passion for writing, but not the drive to take the time to actually write. Or, a passion for music, but not the drive to actually learn how to play an instrument.
A lot of our drive is taken away by the daily things that we must do. Working 8 hours (or more) a day, making sure the children get to and from school, and helping them with their homework. Making sure the house is clean, clothes are washed and meals are made.
Often when we do take the time to create a blog post, its content suffers due to not devoting the appropriate amount of time to the substance, just so that you “get something out there.” This usually leads to the less than ideal length of a blog post as well.
There are numerous things that you can do to maintain that drive – even when you are tired and feel like you just are not getting anywhere. For me, I use goals – what ultimately do I want to accomplish? And then remind yourself how good it will feel when accomplished! You can even break that down to individual blog posts. What do you want the blog post to do for your readers? And how good will it feel to get a blog post published that is substantive and helps your reader.
Passion does relate to drive. With the hustle and bustle of daily life, if you do not have the passion for something, you certain are not going to have the drive to put the extra hours in to get it done. Why would you? That is why passion in your topic and what you want your blog to be about is vastly important to your blog not only being successful but it is also what makes a blog popular.
What is a blog?
Now that we have touched on the pre-requisites if you will for a blog. Let’s answer another fundamental question about how to write a blog. And that is, to answer the question of, what is a blog?
Think of a blog as a journal, except having it written in a notebook someone tucked away in your house, you have it out on the world wide web for all to see (or if permissions are set, for those select people to see.)
Some people ask if it is a website. In a sense, yes. But, it’s more of a fluid website. Meaning that the expectation of a blog is a regularly updated we presence. Whereas a website may have content updated at times, but overall it is a static page with some information on it.
A blog is actually, these days, easier to get started with as well as there are a lot of both existing blog platforms (existing sites that you can create a blog on) and auto-installer software, such as WordPress (some webhosts, such as http://godaddy.com have auto-installers to install WordPress and other blogging software for you.)
Blogger.com and Tumblr.com are probably the most known of the blogging platforms. They are free to join and blog, and they are extraordinarily easy to use. Literally just type what you want to say and submit it.
With platforms like Blogger and Tumblr, there is no technical setup. Just sign up (which is basically a wizard) and then you are ready to blog for free.
Why should I blog?
There are many reasons that you should blog. If you have an opinion that you want to share with the world. If you have an expertise and want to share it with the world. If you want to make money either with your expertise or even with your opinions, then blogging is a great way to do so.
With a blog, you can make money online writing, with little to no expense. You can not only monetize your blog with different ad campaigns, but you can also write about affiliate programs, and offer different affiliate products.
Most bloggers start a blog though not with the idea of making money with it, but more for an outlet to get their opinions and thoughts and expertise out there on the internet for the world to see and be able to benefit from.
They typically start their blog as a hobby, and then later turn it into more of a money making opportunity, but their mindset remains the same: Make it something that people are interested in and that want to know more about.
It is one of the best platforms to get your voice heard – whether it is your opinions, expertise or other.
With a blog you can write hourly, daily, or weekly. Really whenever, and wherever, you choose to write. Even on your lunch break from your daily J.O.B.
So to answer the question of why you should blog, and also what blogs are for, a blog is for sharing information on a regular basis. It is for writing but also educating.
How to make a blog for free
You may be saying, well, I don’t know that I want to sink money into a blog at this time for something that may be just a hobby. But, that’s where blog sites like Blogger.com and Tumblr.com come in. There, you can set up your blog completely, 100% free. And, there is no maintenance of any kind that you have to do. You just write your blog and let the owners worry about the backend maintenance.
There are some drawbacks to free platforms like Blogger.com and Tumblr.com. Such as, your domain name is yourblog.blogger.com or yourblog.tumblr.com, where “yourblog” is the name that you choose for the account on Blogger.com or Tumblr.com. I believe that you do have the opportunity with Blogger.com to use your own custom domain however.
With the free platforms, you do have some customization abilities, such as themes, you do not have as much flexibility as if you hosted and operated your own blog. It is also harder to monetize your blog to as much degree as if you own your own blog site.
Free certainly has its benefits. Especially if you are unsure as to what direction you want your blog to go initially. However, one important thing to remember is if you ultimately decide to move forward with your blog, and continue to put time and effort into it, it is hard, if possible at all, to move the content from a free platform to a self/paid hosted site – i.e. a site that you own – other than copying and pasting each blog post into a new one.
What makes a good blog post
Good blog posts come in a variety of forms, a variety of lengths, and a variety of topics. What all good blog posts have in common though is content. The depth of content, and the benefits that it provides to its readers.
Good blog posts are key to what makes a great blog. And good blog posts are those that enrich the reader. Typically a good blog post is around thirty-five hundred words. This certainly is not a written-in-stone number, as it is more of a guideline.
Thirty-five hundred words for a blog post is enough to give your reader an understanding of that topic, but not too much for them to have overload of information. If you have more on the topic that you would like to write about, consider having it in a second blog post and a link in your initial blog post. Consider naming the blog posts “[BlogPostName] Part 1”, “[BlogPostName] Part 2”, “[BlogPostName] Part 3”, etc. This format not only gives your reader the opportunity to come back to your blog to follow up on the blog posts, and know exactly where to come back to, if it is a blog post that interests them, it gives them an incentive to do so.
Content is king in blogging. People that visit, and especially follow, a blog lives for the content that they provide. If they do not give the depth that meets their expectations, they move on. If a blog site becomes stale, they will move on.
Frequent, great quality content not only will ultimately rank you better, naturally with no tricks or gimmicks, in search engines such as Google and Bing, but it will also constantly engage your audience. If they do not get notification of blog updates, knowing that the content is updated with quality content on a regular basis will keep them coming back for that next great blog post.
Ultimately your blog posts want to better your reader in some way. People read things to glean something from them. People reading and following blogs is no different. It could be that you have a comedy blog, and they come to read funny stories, or to see something that just makes them laugh. It could be that you have a fashion blog and they come to get your take on current fashion trends, etc. They always come for the content, and the value that it provides them. You could also think of it as your blog is a service.
If your blog is a how-to blog on something, your blog posts should fix something for them. Each one. Likely, the visitors would not be reading the articles if they did not fix what it is that they are trying to fix.
Likewise, if your blog is a comedy blog, and you are posting content on sad stories, you guessed it – they will move on, and probably will not return.
You also want to engage your reader and keep them traversing your blog. An example of this, in one blog post, on top of fixing a problem they have, you can also ask a question and link to another blog post that answers that question. For instance, and this really is for simplicity’s sake, but, say it’s how to change a light bulb. You provide instructions to do so, then at the end of the article ask a question such as, “Your light bulb broke in the socket? No problem! Check out X post here.” and then show them how to remove a broken bulb. Often times, even if their light bulb did not break, they will click on the link to the next post just to see how to fix if it did. You can do this in pretty much any type of blog. Ask a question that you provide the answer to in another blog post. **HIDDEN GEM** If your link is anchored with the same text as your other blog post, it will also help your rankings in the major search engines.
I touched on it a little under Content, but frequency of blog posts is critical to keeping readers. If you do not keep your readers engaged with fresh, but quality, content, they will find some where else to get the information that you are writing about, and hoping to give to them.
If you are not posting frequently, then the readers that you have will have no incentive to return to your site. If they know that it is stale, why would they? We live in a world today that is more non-stop than ever. People are more on-the-go than anytime in history, and they simply do not have the time, or inclination, to keep going back to your blog time and again in the simple hope that you will have posted something.
If you are looking to have a successful blog, you will be writing everyday. Not necessarily publishing everyday, but writing. When you write everyday, you keep your focus and keep the material fresh and valuable to your readers. And when you are starting out with your blog, you will likely be juggling a lot of different things, and more than likely a job as well. This will inherently limit your time that you have for writing, which is another reason to write some everyday, with a target of at least one post a week.
I would not be concerned with daily, or multiple in one day, posts. Daily certainly would not hurt, especially when you are trying to build your content, but do not pressure yourself to publish everyday. You will find that by doing so, the quality of your posts will suffer. Readers would rather have a good, engaging, informative blog post once a week than a vague, non-impressive and non-helpful, short post everyday.
In the end, having the latter may actually hurt your blog, traffic and loyal readers as they grow weary of checking out each blog post that you make, in the hopes that it will be a good one. As I mentioned before, people are far too busy, and their time far too valuable, than to be looking at and seeking out unimpressive content.
Good and frequent makes a great blog
To wrap up, and to hammer it home, good and frequent content is what makes a great blog. A blog that intrigues your readers, a blog post that solves a problem that they have. A blog post that makes them laugh. A blog post that they can relate to.
All of those make a great blog. Ultimately, great and thoughtful, and frequent, blog posts make a great blog. Value your reader and they will come back and/or bring more visitors. Be your reader. Think of what you would want to see, and how often, when you are writing your blog posts, and chances are you will be able to capture your audience easier.
Write on what you know, and what you love and you will find it easier to write. After all, that should be why you want to start a blog in the first place. Money exists in blogging, but it takes a lot of time and dedication to do it right, and to keep it going. If you hate what you do, and hate what you are writing about, or do not have a passion for it, then in reality, you should reassess having a blog.
This may sound harsh, but it is a simple reality. You will not succeed, with any measure or length, if you do not love not only writing, but what you are writing about. If you are writing about music, you must have a passion for music. If you are writing to teach someone, you must have a passion for wanting to help people and ultimately seeing them succeed in the subject that you are teaching them.
That is why BlogMarketingGuru.com exists. We want to help you succeed with marketing your blog, and getting visitors. We have an overwhelming passion to see people succeed. That passion leads us to seek out the best information and to write about things that will help you the reader. That is the passion that you need when you are writing your blog posts. If you have that passion, and show that passion, you will have great blog posts.
In reality, great blog posts are not simply “written”, they are created. Created with a passion that is infectious to your reader, but often enough to cause that infection to want to return, and to continue to return, to continue reading the content that you have on your blog. The greater passion that is there, the more frequent, and the deeper and more helpful your content, the more loyal readers you will have.
And loyal readers lead not only to more visits by them, but leads to more word of mouth referrals to those that they know that share their interests, or are looking for the same information.