Blogging Western Weekender

The Western Weekender has asked me to do a selection of articles on topics relevant to their readers. Blogging has become a popular way to get additional income or raise your social profile. 

You’re passionate about your business or hobby, and you have a niche or specialist knowledge in a particular industry or area. This is the perfect foundation for creating a blog.

A blog (shortening of weblog) is an online journal where a writer or group share their knowledge or views on a particular topic.

For a blog to be successful, you need to present well written high-quality content.  You need to be able to deliver engaging information including videos, tutorials, industry or topic outlooks and opinions. These all have to be around your core niche or focus.

Blogging Platforms

Once you have decided what your blog will be about,  you need to decide on what platform you will use to write your blog. There are many suitable solutions including

  • WordPress.org – The most popular blogging and website platform on the internet. You can customise your blog with a selection of thousands of themes. WordPress.org is extremely flexible. You need to organise a hosting platform (we use Siteground) and install WordPress. There is a learning curve. WordPress is free – hosting charges start at $5 a month. 
  • WordPress.com – A done for you free WordPress site. Limited options and difficult to monetise and they use their own advertising. Most people using WordPress would choose the option above.
  • Blogger – Google’s blogging tool. It is free and easy to use. If you want to get up and going quickly, this is a good solution. Functionality wise it falls behind WordPress. As your blog grows and you want additional control or features you will need to move it.
  • Wix is an easy to set up drag and drop website building tool. By adding Wix Blog, it can be converted to an easy to use blogging tool. Like Blogger if your blog grows, Wix is limited in the features you can add on and the changes you can make. Pricing starts at $9 a month.
  • Joomla – like WordPress.org is also a self-hosted You will need to organise your own hosting. Joomla is a powerful and flexible solution. WordPress is arguably easier to use and is more popular and better supported.
  • Most webpage development platforms will support blogging. Some others include Medium, Squarespace, Ghost and Weebly.

 

If you want to get up and going quickly to see if blogging works for you, WordPress.com or Blogger are two of the easiest. Although it will take a bit of learning WordPress.Org offers more flexibility and is more powerful.

Growing your Blog

Now you need to attract subscribers. Below are some ideas

  • Content is King – write good content. This will be picked up by search engines.
  • Have easy to use Optin pages or popups
  • Offer free content or giveaways for subscribing. This can be a free report, or guide, a case study, cheat sheet, infographic or ebook to name a few.
  • Do podcasts – recorded audio discussing your topic
  • Have a great search engine landing page.
  • Promote your content on social media.
  • Be a guest blogger on other blogs
  • Foster a Community – allow your readers to comment and engage with you.

Monetizing Your Blog

Once you have over 1000 subscribers, you can now look at monetising it. Some ideas include

  • Cost per Click or Cost per Impression advertisements. Using Google Adsense, you can place advertising on your blog. Google will select ads relevant to your content.
  • You can sell advertising or sponsorship privately. (A lot of social and sporting clubs do this)
  • You can sell digital products – courses, ebooks, apps, plugins, pictures.
  • You can sell physical products related to your niche
  • Consulting or Coaching– see your time consulting on your niche
  • You can do paid reviews – you are sent a product to review. Your review regardless of payment should be independent
  • Affiliate Marketing – you include links to a product or service offered through another business.

Do you need ideas for your blog, a fantastic website for this is answerthepublic.com – enter your blog topic in the search bar and select GET Questions. You will see a great visualisation of questions people ask about your topic.

Useful links

 

For more information or advice contact me on the form below or contact me Phone Line :  (02) 9894 9514

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