Starting a blog can get pretty confusing.
These days there are so many options available.
It can be easy to get distracted from the necessary elements needed to build up a strong foundation.
In this article I am going to help you see through the dust.
I will layout three essential factors to focus on while you get your online business up and running. These will help guide you through the initial setup, content creation and marketing.
The aim is to help you find your target audience and keep them engaged.
The success of any online venture depends on how good you are at generating site traffic, website views and conversions.
Keeping those visitors coming back without reinvesting any more money is essential.
#1 – Choose The Right Platform
Providing a solid foundation for your blog is essential.
When I first started writing content online, the options were pretty limited when it came to site development.
In those days when starting a blog you had to code everything more or less from scratch. Before i could even think about getting my content out there I had to learn to code.
Getting it wrong meant hours of undoing work and starting over.
Nowadays of course there are more than enough options to get a great looking web site running within an hour or two.
The three most popular CMS platforms WordPress, Drupal and Joomla, all come with a one click install option. Not only that, but these platforms come with tons of plugins for optimising everything from SEO to Social Share Options.
My recommendation for platform of choice is, without doubt, WordPress.
The entire process of building a website has been streamlined to contain all of the important factors for ranking a website. I do also use other options for site building, including Blogger, Drupla, Weebly, Google Sites, and more.
The fact is that WordPress is packed full of such great features.
WordPress.org or WordPress.com?
There are two ways you can work with WordPress – either with WordPress.com or WordPress.org.
The difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org is who’s actually hosting the website.
With WordPress.org, YOU host your own blog or website. WordPress.org is where the free WordPress software that you can install on your own web server can be found.
Bear in mind that while a free software hosted by WordPress sounds like it may save a lot of effort, it is far better to run the self hosted versions.
On WordPress.com, you will find only a fraction of the plugins available that come with the self hosted option, so it’s well worth opting for One Click Install WordPress App.
Here are just a few essentials that WordPress takes care of:
Compressing images and videos
Email opt-in plug-ins
Contact form optimization
Internal linking plug-ins
Social Sharing Options
Simply add Google Analytics
Security features to protect user information and files
Believe me when I say there is much more besides to add some outstanding features to your site within a few minutes.
By setting up a solid foundation for your site, you will be able to add to it and optimise easily and quickly. In so doing you will free up more time for you to concentrate on creating high level content for engaging your subscribers.
#2 – Provide the Best Content on The Web
The Web is full of great information. There are some incredible content providers out there.
Be under no illusions. You are up against some pretty solid competition.
So creating top level copy that provides over the top value to your site traffic is a point that can’t be stressed enough.
Provide the Answers That People are Looking For
One of the ways to do this, is to try and find answers to nagging problems that potential subscribers have. Providing them with clear and concise methods for solving their issues is like hitting the jackpot.
To help you get started here are a few methods I use that provide much inspiration for content:
- Define The Content Marketing In Your Niche Look at other blogs in your niche to see what content is getting the most social shares and comments. This provide an indicator of what is trending.
- Take a Look at Forums and Groups for What is Trending: Lookout for active groups in LinkedIn and Yahoo. Try to avoid ones that are unmoderated and just get spammed with redirect links back to other sites. Another good source is Quora.
Remember, the greater the problem faced by web users then the bigger the buzz around it. It follows then that there will more likely be an even bigger buzz created around the solution that you will provide.
When you do provide it, make sure that is an outstanding piece of work. Aim for the complete solution, including videos, images, statistics and case studies.
Prove to your potential visitors that what you are offering is the best online. Google has also tweaked it’s search algorithm to rank higher the sites that offer the best content.
Increase the Length of Your Articles
This is where the length of your articles comes into play. Keep them detailed and establish yourself as an authority by including plenty of information.
As you will see in the graphic below, originally published by Neil Patel, that the top 10 articles in the Google Search Rankings all contain an average of 2,300 words.
Don’t be afraid to link out from your site to what other marketers in your niche are presenting. Remember that you want to establish yourself as an authority in your field whilst building trust with your visitors.
This will keep them coming back to your site for more information. When done well, they will be eagerly waiting the next site update.
Focus on the Right Marketing Channels
Like information, the web is filled with more and more options for marketing quality content.
That said it is important to direct your energy into the right places. In other words towards the marketing avenues that are going to deliver the desired results.
This will vary from niche to niche. However, as usual we don’t want to reinvent the wheel, so a glance at the numbers will show us which are the most effective marketing channels –
#1 – Organic search –
Start thinking about SEO from the very start.
The best traffic is organic search traffic and that comes free. To get it requires much homework to discover and utilise the correct target words and phrases for your niche.
Remember that SEO is a marathon rather than a sprint. The fruits of any endeavour can take many months to come. Thus it is important to give your site the best chance of ranking well right from the first article.
For help improving Organic Searches check out my article The Best Free SEO Tools on the Web
#2 – Social Media –
Again, costs nothing but graft. The enormous resource of traffic will ensure that the effort really does pay off. Building up a list of followers on social media platforms will provide quality traffic in large numbers in the long run.
Just consider what happens tweeting a new blog article to 50,000 subscribers. The power of social media marketing is considerable, so don’t overlook it – get onto it right away!
#3 – Email Marketing –
With an email list and follow up series this is an opportunity to keep your subscribers coming back to your site. What’s more, it is relatively painless and cheap to set up. Checking up on the open and click through rates will be one of the key indicators of which of your articles are hot or not.
Need help building up an email list? Check out these Tips from 5 of the Best Bloggers on the Web
The key when starting out in your business enterprise is to stay focused on what will benefit your site the most in the long term. Keep on track with these three pointers and cut down on the noise and you will begin to see your site grow in popularity.
Remember, if you have any suggestions of your own, you like what you have read here or you would just like to say “Hi” please do so in the comment section below.