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I know you are curious about blogging, and if you were like me a couple of years ago- you might have little to no idea what a blog is. Around year 2016, I find myself in Pinterest and looking for jobs you can do online. Post by post-people is mentioning what blogging is and how it changed their lives for the better.
This post will answer your most basic questions about blogging, and if I happened to left some box unticked- let me know in the comment or simply send me an e-mail.
What is a blog
According to dictionary.com, a blog can be defined as a website containing a writer’s or group of writers’ own experiences, observations, opinions, etc. They often have images and links to other websites.
So, let’s point out the critical points in this definition. A blog is about written original content about anything. It must be published and accessed thru the world wide web.
This content you are reading now is a blog, and I’m a blogger as I’m the one updating and posting content in this blog.
A blog is short-term for the word weblog. Web Log or logs using the web. Easy right?
Blog and Vlog: What’s the difference?
I get this confusion a lot of times. People thought that I’m vlogging, so they’ll ask if I have a YouTube Channel, and I can’t blame them. Vlogging is more popular here in the Philippines, and not so many Filipinos have a blog.
A blog is all about written content, while a vlog is all about video content.
Why should you start blogging?
Blogging is a powerful tool to reach out to your target audience, share your life’s most important lessons, inspire others, or market your existing or soon-to-be business. In my post, 9 reasons why you should start blogging, I shared the most obvious reasons why you should start a blog.
But you are free to have your own sets of reasons for having a blog. I would like to know why you’re interested in blogging- share your reasons in the comment section.
What I love about blogging is its overall setup. I want to work for myself, and I love that blogging is not location dependent. I believe that blogging is my ikigai or my life’s sweet spot- with blogging, I’d be able to do things and earn for myself, have the freedom I want, and help other people.
How to make a blog
So now that you want to try blogging, you’ll have lots of questions in your mind, such as how to make a blog? What tools do you need, how much money do you need to start your successful blog? Or do you need to know about those confusing technical stuff beforehand?
I have a post detailing how you can start a blog, but for starters, you need to know or have the following:
- You need to know your target readers
- Your blogging niche or the topics you want to talk about in your blog
- You need to know where you’ll blog, and this will be based on your purpose, reasons, or plans for your blog.
- If you want to have full control of your content and your monetization, you’ll need a hosting plan. You can also blog for free but with less freedom and options. We will talk about that in another post.
- You need to have a domain name for your blog. For example, my domain name is thedefinedlife.com
- Of course, you’ll need written content for your blog.
Unlike other businesses, blogging will only require you a minimal investment. Set aside around $100 as your start-up cost.
Tools you’ll need in blogging:
Computer and Internet Connection: You’ll need a computer/laptop to write your blog posts and obviously, the internet connection to make them available online.
Grammar Checker: I also use other tools such as Grammarly to check my grammar before publishing. Grammarly is amazing because it is free.
I use the premium version because it can identify if my way of writing is fit for my target audience. It can tell if my post is engaging and it suggests edits beyond the basic grammar rules.
Although Grammarly is not perfect, it helped me a lot to be more comfortable writing in English. Knowing that your grammar is good before publishing is a big thing for new bloggers. You can download Grammarly here for free.
Grammarly is a must-have for blogging.
Designing Program: Like it or not, but you’ll need to add graphics in your content. Pictures can make your written content more appealing to the reader, and it helps significantly in presenting ideas.
I use canva.com to design everything that my blog needs, from logo, banner, blog graphics, and even social media templates to promote my content. It is free and easy to use.
Keyword Research Tools: I also use a keyword research tool in planning what to write about. Let’s talk about that in a different blog post. There are free keyword research tools out there, but they have their limitations.
What is blog traffic, and how to get traffic to your blog?
But first, what is blog traffic?
Blog traffic is the number of visits that the website or blog receives. There are two types of traffic: organic and paid traffic.
Organic traffic is free traffic. For example, if a person types a search query and they end up clicking your posts because they find it in the results page- that my friend, is organic traffic. Same with anyone visiting your website when you leave your links somewhere for free.
Paid traffic is self-explanatory. Paid traffic involves you paying an amount for your content to show up in search results. Simply put, paid traffic is paying a third-party to promote your content and your website. When people click through those promoted posts, it became a paid traffic.
Why should you care about blog traffic?
Blog traffic is a measure of a blog/website’s effectiveness at attracting its target audience or readers. Again, we have different reasons why we want to start a blog, so it is up to you to set your ideal blog traffic.
But for everyone else who wants to earn from their blogs- traffic is essential. We want visitors who are genuinely interested in what we say because they are our future customers or clients. We can’t attain our business objectives if we will not pay attention to improving our blog’s traffic.
How to get traffic to your blog?
A blog or website gets its traffic primarily from the following:
Create a Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, or any social media account where you’ll be able to reach your target audience.
During the first month of blogging, posting, and earning traffic from social media is the easier, as ranking in search engines and building your email list will take some time. Do not be discouraged if your post rank way further than the 1st page results at the beginning of your blogging journey.
Is the collection of other people’s email addresses that they use to subscribe to your blog or websites. Email list is essential and can be a primary source of blog traffic for your blog.
If people subscribed to be in your email list, you could easily send them updates if you have a brand-new blog post or to offer/promote a product of services.
The best source of blog traffic is from the search engine. Being on the first page of a search results page will do good for your blog. Contents ranking on the first page of search engine results are enjoying a significant amount of traffic, and they didn’t simply get there, they worked for it.
You’ll need to understand and apply SEO if you want your blog to rank. SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a way of improving your website/blog in both internal and external factors. SEO will help your blogs to be recognized by search engines.
Can blogs make money?
I’ve been asked a lot if a blog can make money, and my answer is YES! If you are curious about how much a successful blogger earns from their blogs, you can do a simple google search and type in “blog income report.”
Let’s discuss how you can earn from your blog.
- Ads: Putting an advertisement in your blog is probably the most popular way to earn from a blog. We are used in seeing a website with ads all over the place. Why put annoying ads all over your website? Well, because it is a source of income 😊
- Affiliate Marketing: A blogger can earn from his or her blog by applying for affiliate marketing. It is where you, as a blogger will have a unique link to a product or service that you want to promote. If a reader clicked on those links and buy a product or avail a service, you’ll earn a commission.
- Content Marketing: Say that you have a product or service; you can use blog posts to help you promote your products or services.
This way, your blog is a means to help your reader to like you and buy from you. I’ve seen how other bloggers promote their courses, books, or other digital products through their blogs.
- Sponsorship and paid review: A company or business can even pay you to blog about their products or services.
- Writing Portfolio: You can use your blog as your writing portfolio. It may not be directly seen as earning from your blog, but you can display your writing abilities through your blog and apply to be a freelance writer.
Now the question is, how long will it take before you can make money from your blog? How soon you’ll see money from your blog will depend on the combination of different factors.
It is essential to ask yourself what is your blogging goals. How committed you will be and how much time and effort you are willing to put in your blogging. Depending on how you’ll want to earn from your blog, your approach and effort will vary.
For example, to earn by placing advertisements in your blog-you’ll need to have a big audience- meaning huge traffic. But suppose you plan to go for affiliate marketing. In that case, your goal might not be to have massive traffic but to have a genuinely interested audience who will click and buy a product or services using your affiliate links.
Blogging pros and cons
Now that you’ve reached the end of this blog post- you may be wondering if blogging is for you? To help you decide, let’s talk about the pros and cons of blogging:
Pros of Blogging:
- Like I mentioned in this post, blogging requires a low cost of investment to start. A domain and hosting will set you up and begin your website.
- Blogging is not location-dependent, and you are your own boss!
- You can earn from your income using different ways
- Blogging helps you promote your products or services.
- You can blog to inspire others or help them.
- Blogging enables you to connect with your audience
Cons of Blogging:
- Blogging is time-consuming, and getting traffic or making money from your blog can take lots of time.
- It is not easy to see results, so there are times you’ll feel like you are doing things for nothing!
- Understanding and applying technical stuff related to your blog can be tough at the beginning.
- It can be overwhelming. With all the things you’ll need to know and learn, especially if you are starting from scratch or when you have no background or previous experience in blogging or running a website.
- You will not always be supported, especially in your beginning. People will always have something to say when they see you spending lots of time blogging.
I’m so grateful that you’ve finished reading this blog post! And I’m happy that you see this because you want to know more about blogging. There is a lot of cons about blogging, and at some point, you’ll feel that it is not a wise choice- I used to be that way!
But I’m so happy that I stopped my negative thinking about blogging and just pick up my courage and start. Whatever your reasons why you want to blog- go for it. Do not let fear stop you from reaching your highest potential. How could you know if you wouldn’t try, right?
We often love to think about the worst thing, which is why we put aside something we want to do because we are afraid of failure. I have a question for you:
Will you start to blog if you know that you’ll not fail?