Blogging is immensely popular. Anyone can blog about anything. The only limit is your imagination and creativity. Blogs can be personal and somewhat like a diary or a journal. Blogs can be professional with the goal to generate new business and contacts. Blogs can be creative such as those that have storytelling posts or poetry. Blogs can be designed to attract web traffic in order to make revenues from the advertisements placed on the blog.
Blogs are not limited to text only. They can include photos, graphic images, pre-recorded video, and live video streaming. If a blog post is made using video it is called a video blog or vlog for short.
SEE ALSO: The Best Ways to Promote Your Blog
How to Create a Blog
In order to create a blog in a serious manner to attract attention, it is important to choose a subject you are passionate about. It should be a subject that you will feel good writing about and/or create videos about on a regular basis for a long period. If you do not want to use web marketing methods such as paid advertising of the blog, it may take quite some time to attract visitors to your blog. Many bloggers create a blog for self-enjoyment and do not pay much attention to the amount of web traffic the blog receives. Other bloggers are promoting something like an organization, a cause, or a business. For them, web traffic is the goal.
A blog can be an add-on to an existing website or a stand-alone blog. Many like to use the free templates offered by WordPress that are designed specifically for creating blogs. When using a WordPress template, you will also have to pay to have your blog hosted on the Internet, if it is not connected to an existing website you already have.
There are also systems that allow a free blog or website creation such as Blogger and Wix. With these systems, it is really easy to start a blog. The hard work comes from the time and dedication it takes to make regular postings to the blog that are interesting to your web visitors.
Some professional organisations that need regular postings for their blog pay writers to create the postings for them. They may hire an in-house writing staff or use outside freelance services, such as Freelancer, Guru, WriterAccess, and many others. If you can afford to pay for it, having a blog created for you is very easy to accomplish.
Marketing a Blog
There are many organic (non-paid) methods to market a blog which include:
- Using keywords and phrases that help with search engine optimization (SEO)
- Using social media postings such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Snapchat, StumbleUpon, and others to promote the blog.
- Contacting the webmasters of related websites and requesting backlinks to your blog from their website.
- Writing articles for publication on systems that allow others to post the articles on their website for free.
- Appearing as a guest on podcasts (audio broadcasts) or videos made by others or as a host on your own.
- Creating an email distribution list and sending out regular newsletters.
- Offering free downloads on the blog for “how-to” guides or other types of guides.
- Posting videos on YouTube to attract a following.
- Broadcasting live video streams on Facebook Live.
Using paid advertisement and web marketing to promote a blog includes:
- Pay-Per-Click (PPC) – These are advertising campaigns such as those offered by Google Adwords. You set up a budget to pay for each click on a keyword or phrase. PPC campaigns can also be banner ads or larger display ads. The price you pay depends on what others are willing to pay for the same thing based on an auction process.
- Renting Email Lists – You can rent an email list or pay to have a link to your blog included in someone else’s digital newsletter that is already popular.
- Sponsoring a Social Media Influencer – Influencers are those people who already have a substantial following on social media systems. By sponsoring them, you gain access to their viewers and you can show promotional messages to their audience.
Things to Blog About
There are so many choices for what to cover in a blog. Here are some ideas of themes that can be used to create a blog, broken down into categories.
Personal blogs may be random ramblings about a person’s life. Sometimes they are written anonymously to protect the true identity of the person. This anonymous style allows a person to share intimate details about their life with the general public and have less fear of creating repercussions in their personal life. If you have unique or even traumatic experiences in life, you may want to create a blog to share these experiences with others.
News and Politics
Some blogs that cover news and report on politics such as the Drudge Report are very popular. The Drudge Report has scooped (been the first to report on something) major news networks and has a reputation for being an insider’s look at the political activities that go on in Washington, D.C. in America. Another political blog is Wikileaks that publishes material received from whistle-blowers, some of which changed the course of global politics.
Creative blogs may include short stories, poetry, novels, artwork, music, and videos. People who work in the creative arts may use a blog to show the portfolio of their work. An artist may share details about their life, how they made the art, and offer insights about the meaning of a particular piece. A graphic designer can show the designs that they made for clients to drum up a new business.
A writer can publish excerpts from their novels to encourage people to buy their book on Amazon. Musicians can promote new music releases by posting some of their songs or samples of them. Video and film producers can debut their work as previews in their blogs.
Movie Stars, Television Stars, and Famous Personalities
Many famous people have their own blog for their fans, which gives the fans updates about what the famous person is doing. Sometimes these blogs offer a chance to have direct contact with the famous person in terms of asking them a question, which they answer in their blog. Using a blog is a perfect format for a fan club created by fans of these famous people. The blog moderator can create posts and allow others to make posts to the blog as well.
Sports blogs are very popular. Blogs can be about the entire sport, such as blogs that cover things about the top 25 sports in the world, which are, in order of popularity, soccer, basketball, tennis, cricket, baseball, Formula 1 auto racing, American football, the Olympics, golf, ice hockey, boxing, badminton, volleyball, bicycle racing, swimming, snooker, mixed martial arts, rugby, motorbike racing, NASCAR racing, field hockey, table tennis, horse racing, gymnastics, and handball. There are also speciality sports like sailing, scuba diving, parasailing, windsurfing, white water rafting, hang-gliding, surfing and more.
Sports blogs can focus on particular teams and/or certain players. They can also give training tips and techniques for amateurs trying to improve their game.
Comedy and Cartoons
Comedy blogs are really fun to write if you have the talent for it. You can start out by writing some pieces for posting on comedy blogs that already exist, such as The Spoof until your skills are good enough to create your own blog. If you can also draw, you can create a blog of your own cartoons. If what you create is hilarious, it has a chance to go viral and blow up your Internet servers with the web traffic you receive.
Quizzes are an excellent way to bring traffic to your blog. Everyone seems to like learning something fun and interesting about themselves or playing trivia games. There are online tools to make quizzes, such as Quizworks, Qzzr, and QuizBean, which are fun and easy to use.
Blogs that have educational content can help teach others. They can also serve as a marketing device used in combination with selling training courses or online continuing-education courses. Many of these blogs give some basic course information away for free and have very high-quality content. They may also offer how-to-guides, tutoring services and/or paid membership for those interested in more advanced learning.
Investing, Accounting, Finances, Insurance, Legal, and Real Estate
Professionals in the investment industry, accountants, financial planners, insurance agencies/agents, attorneys, and real estate agents/brokers all use blogs to increase their professional reputation and to attract new clients. By providing useful information to potential clients through their blogs, they demonstrate professional competence and increase the visibility of their website for the search engines. When blog posts are written with SEO in mind, this quality content helps raise the placement of the website on the search engine results page (SERP).
Pets, Gardening, Cooking, Hobbies, Homes and Interior Design
These blogs are extremely popular and usually are full of great photos. If you like cooking you can try out a new recipe, and then post it on your blog with photos of the meal you prepared and the steps you took to prepare it. It is usually easy to link up with other blogs in the same category and cross-posting (they post on yours and you post on theirs) on each of the blogs increases web traffic to both blogs.
Travel and Learning Foreign Languages
People who love to travel and learn foreign languages find wonderful things to write about in their travel blogs (also called travelogues).
Blogs are a great way to publicize information about causes that you believe in such as, animal rights, human rights, women’s issues, or LGBT issues.
We hope this introduction to blogging gets you excited about creating a blog of your own with some good suggestions of things to blog about. Millions do blogging for fun. It is a great way to make new online friends with similar interests. Professionals can be very successful with blogging if they make a serious, consistent effort, and invest in the promotion of their website/blog. One way to get inspired is to search the web for blogs that are in the same areas of interest that you have. Happy blogging!