How To Blog Tutorial
How To Blog Tutorial–Step by Step Instructions on How To Blog.
If you have not yet decided on your personal brand,
read You,Inc. first.
So, lets get started!
Budget – “How much is this going to cost me?”
Hosting, Free vs Paid
As a business owner, you absolutely should go with wordpress.org. This should not be confused with the free platforms such as wordpress.com and blogger.com.
WHY? Because with the free platforms, you don’t own anything on it! If you are building assets and equity they can cancel your account at anytime for anything they feel is against their terms of service. You can loose everything you had in the account! Additionally, there are also limits to the functions and variations you can apply to them.
I strongly recommend wordpress.org. In my opinion, it is really the only way to go. They are very inexpensive and with a bit of help you can have a blog set up in minutes.
This way you own everything on it, you can back up all your information if something does go wrong and be back up and running in no time, you can brand yourself and completely customize how you want your blog to look with unlimited plugins, widgets and templates.
In order to have one, you will need to have website hosting and register a domain name. Most domain names are less than $20 a year and you can get hosting packages for $5- 10 a month.
See Ann Recommends for details on hosting your domain.
Setting up a really nice blog can be a daunting task. There is definitely a learning curve. If you want to learn from me, use the Contact Ann page and send me a message saying “I need your help with my blog!”. We have some awesome training!
Other costs involved are:
Stock images- You may need to pay for images to use on your blog. Images set you apart and add punch to your posts.
You can do a google search for free images or royalty free images as well.
Premium themes- There are 1000s of free themes out there and some that cost money. The theme creator can charge a fee for using his theme. Some of them are several hundred dollars. There are theme clubs available as well. You join the club for a price and then have access to all the premium themes available in their club.
The theme I’m using here is a WOO theme. I love the clean style of it. They are great premium themes that are easy to use and customize in just a couple clicks. They also have some fantastic free themes available too.
Plugins- These are applications that add different functions to your blog. A lot of plugins are free but others can cost anywhere from a few dollars to hundreds depending on what they do.
Outsourcing- You may need to pay others for the help they provide for your blogging efforts.
- technical help (plugins templates, etc)
- link building (where you pay someone to create links coming back to your blog, track backs, social bookmarking, etc)
Choosing a Domain for Your Blog
Selecting the perfect domain for your new blog is probably one of the most important decisions you’re going to make. Therefore, it is worth taking the time to get it right and have it a perfect fit for you.
There are several things you should consider when choosing your domain, such as how long you plan to use it, how it relates to your brand (think You, Inc. here), and so on.
1. Lifetime- Consider the lifetime of the domain. You want one that is timeless. Your name is always a good choice. We suggest not getting one that has anything to do with your primary business. Your blog is about you not your business and it’s products. Think of your domain name like a tattoo… permanent! Sidebar here, even if you decide to use a name other than YourName.com, I urge you to purchase YourName.com today if it’s available. You may decide to use it in the future.
2. Brand or Image you are conveying to people- You want the domain name and the branding to match. You want congruence.
3. Ease of Communication- How easy is it to send them to? Could you tell it to someone over the phone? Consider spellings like four or 4 or for? Personally, I’d stay away from hyphens, it tends to confuse and then you need to explain where they are in the name.
4. Aesthetics- Is it appealing? Is it catchy? The visual name of domain must be attractive.
5. Length- With domain names, size does matter! In this case, shorter is better. It’s easier to type in and remember.
1. Your Name – You should own your name.com. It lasts forever! Did you buy it yet??
.com/ .me/ .tv (if you have a lot of video content you will post on your blog)
2. Your Brand Name – .com/ .tv (if the .com is gone be really careful because you already have a competitor with the best domain name) Be careful here with trademark issues. Do not purchase a domain name that is trademarked unless you have written permission to use it.
3. Benefit Driven Domain – eg. 100LeadsPerWeek.com It shows a clear benefit to anyone reading it. .com/.tv (video content)
The first thing we need to do is find keywords to start blogging about.
Keyword research is extremely important. It could mean the difference between success and failure online. Be sure to do some keyword research before beginning any content writing. There is no sense wasting your time on posts and content that no one will find. Check out my post on Keyword Research first.
After you have some keywords that you want to work with it’s time to create winning blog posts that draw your readers in!
Here’s how you score big points in the blogging world:
- Use a question as the title of the blog post. That way, when someone types into the search engine “How do I …”, they find your answer!
- Start the post with a story. Any kind of story… real, or imaginary!
- Reiterate the problem, or restate the question you are addressing. Remember, your post provides VALUE, something to help the reader solve a problem (like, how to get blog traffic!).
- Give a short, bulleted list of solutions or steps to the solution.
- Explain the solution and the steps to implement it.
- Give a resource that can help them to get bigger, better, easier and/or faster results.
- Add an internal link and an external link to your keyword/keyphrase.
- An internal link is a link that links back to another page on your blog that is relevant to the blog post. An external link will link it to another site on the net that is relevant.
Where to Find Content
If you have keywords you want to use but don’t know a lot about the topic, do research on article directories, multimedia sites, forums, do a good ole google search. These are great places to find content and learn from others.
Also YahooAnswers is a fantastic resource to find out what people want to know. Do a search for questions about the topic you are going to cover, then post the answers on your blog. Then, go back to YahooAnswers and give a link to your blog with a comment like “Here’s the 7 Tips on Blogging Basics”. You can check it out here (your blog post link)”. Anyone searching through the available answers will be sure to check out your blog post.
Use google alerts to send you timely articles, blog posts, etc. on your niche.
Never copy word for word what someone else has written but certainly use other people’s blogs, etc. as a resource for ideas. Always use your own “voice” in your blogs, etc.
Always include a picture in each blog post.
I like to have one picture at the beginning of every post of mine. Some people include several pictures through out a blog post, but I prefer not to. I like the consist look & feel of having just one relevant picture per post. Videos are great to have in your posts as well. People are more apt to read your post and watch a video instead of when it’s all text.
Stand out from the crowd!
Be funny…not your true nature? Ok, be different. Think of how the reporters grab your attention. What magazine subtitles do you look at while waiting on line at the grocery store? Jot them down! Make a play on words in your headlines and then work that into your writing.
Ask for Comments, Feedback, Tweets
Don’t be shy! Ask for feedback.
The best way to boost a blog’s search engine ranking is comments, but you will have to ask for them. Most people are happy to voice their opinion if you ask for it. At the end of your post ask your readers what they think, ask for feedback, questions.
Even a negative comment can be a good thing sometimes… it gets a discussion going.
Be sure to answer their questions, thank them for posting comments, etc. Communication is a 2way street.
Be true to yourself, otherwise it will show through in your writing. Remember that you are building a relationship with your subscribers/readers through your blog. People will follow you if they think your are genuine; they will follow you if they think you are a leader.
Not every post have to be keyword rich…post for fun as well.
- Post about your recent trip!
- Post about your kids funny sayings and silly questions!
- Post about how you are overcoming your challenges in corporate America (ok, that one may not be “fun”, but it will show your readers the real you).
- Something strike you as odd or funny? Blog about it and see if you can get some comments.
Well, I hope that you got some tips from this How to Blog Tutorial. Please leave me a comment or 2! And, I love questions as well.
And, if this was not enough to get started, check this out.