Publishing a blog post: the opportunity and challenge
More than 70 percent of internet users read blogs and probably one of them is you. Reading a blog post is a daily activity since it is statistically proven that a person averagely types 3 to 4 searches every day. However, creating a well-built blog is another issue because it requires sweat, tears, and blood.
Even though nowadays you can sign up to Blogger or Medium without complicating process to write and share your ideas, people still adore a more professional form of blogging that applies WordPress. It is reported that this platform holds around 60 million blogs! With the various form and continuous changes, what is a blog actually?
What is a blog post?
Let us first define what a blog is. It is a shortening of “weblog” and known as an online journal or website that displays information in chronological order from the oldest to the newest post. Your last post will appear first. A blog can be a platform where a writer or some writers share their thoughts, ideas, or experiences about a topic or more.
This idea is familiar to you, right? It is similar to what you frequently see on social media. There you can share images and posts too, so does a blog. You can publish a post on Instagram, for example, that contains a picture and its caption. In a blog, you can also release an article, which is called a blog post, containing words and some relevant images.
In conclusion, a blog post is an entry written in your blog. It is not only limited to text and picture, you absolutely can insert a podcast or even a video.
Blogging: from an online diary to the business identity
The history of the blog was started in 1994 by Justin Hall which still referred to his personal homepage. Then, the term was “weblog” was initiated by John Barger in 1997 and shortened to “blog” by Peter Merholz, a programmer from California, in 1999.
The early 2000s was the era of political blogging that shared about race, pop culture, and comments for senators. During this time, there was also Huffington Post, Gawker, the very first gossip blog, and Weblogs, Inc. In 2003, WordPress was launched and people started to customize the blog using media like audio and video. This year, AdSense was released and it has helped bloggers to get money ever since.
After that, a blog became a mainstream online communication. From media like CNN to common people develop their own blog because the number of people who read blogs was also huge. At the beginning of 2005, a study informed more than 30 million Americans admitted that they read blogs. People become more creative in customizing and giving opinions that can generate more viewers. By 2019, there were over 500 million blogs on the internet.
Why do you need to start your blog seriously?
You know the number of blogs out there, right? It is 500 million! Now, you may wonder why you should start a blog. You also question what will make you different from others and how you can stand out in the middle of millions of weblogs on the internet.
This is what you have to keep in mind: among those blogs that have already been published, there are a lot of them that are rarely touched by the owner.
You may have encountered a blog whose entries were updated years ago or a blog that only has 2 to 3 blogs. It can be an assignment for school so that the students sign up on Blogger and abandon it once the course is done. It can also be a person who attempts to do it, but he gives up after publishing some articles.
Instead of focusing on the enormous number, see the benefits of blogging below to get a new perspective:
- If you pursue a blog career, you surely have to start a blog. Express what you are really passionate about and share with people on the internet. If you consistently know how to make an engaging blog and the readers like it, you can get money from blogging that usually works with brands and monetize it using AdSense.
- For business purposes, blogging is unquestionably helpful for your website. The reason why blogs could help your website is that by integrating a blog in it, your website will get a 434 percent chance to be indexed by Google more than the websites that have not a blog. Not only you will be indexed, but you can also generate more sales from your blog. LYFE Marketing explained, if you use your blog well, you can get 13x better in return of investment (ROI). Furthermore, blogging guides you in developing brand awareness as by content in your articles, you can educate your audiences about the products or services from your business.
- Are you familiar with Dr. Watson from the Sherlock BBC series? There, his psychologist suggests he write a blog post for releasing his trauma. In the end, you can see that blogging is so helpful for him, plus he gets plenty of fans!
From the character above, in the area of personal use only, blogging can be a remedy and form of a diary that you can reflect on and enhance your personal growth. If you build it solemnly and write in under a specific niche, who knows you can be a professional blogger!
Whatever your reason is, take it seriously. So, you eventually can get the maximum advantages
What a good blog post looks like
To be successful in blogging, the first thing you need to do is perfecting your blog posts. A good blog post can attract more page views and sales because people find it insightful or interesting. Here are 6 ways to make your blog more appealing.
1. Have a perfect blog post structure
The thing people will see first is a headline at the top of your article. Below that, you will have the publish date, the author of the post (it may be not yours if you use reserve blogs), and the post category. Then, people usually start with an image to make it more captivating, and it follows with an alluring introduction.
The next is the body content and conclusion. Add social icons so that your article is shareable across platforms. Do not forget to include the comment section, so you can get feedback from your readers.
2. Write a powerful headline
In reality, people do judge from appearance, but on the internet, a headline is a crucial thing whether people will click your website. You can go with numbers or ask a question in your headline. However, you must remember that a headline is meant to be easily absorbed by your audiences, so use simple vocabulary.
3. Create a compelling introduction
After they look at your headline, the next element they consume is the introduction. Just like an opening speech, an introduction in your blog post plays an important role in catching your viewers’ attention.
Try to hook them with an antimainstream quote or fact at the beginning of this part. You can also employ a storytelling theory by evoking your readers’ emotions with personal experience or start with cliffhangers.
4. Apply long-form content
Remember that 500 million blogs are competing to be noticed by the searchers. It is true that people are the ones who will swallow your content, but to reach them, you have to make Google mark your blog by applying search engine optimization (SEO) elements.
5. Keyword density
One of the elements has something to do with keyword density when you put the main keyword in your content. Therefore, it is suggested that you write long-form content instead of the short ones so that your article will more flow naturally because you do not write your main keywords closely.
6. Understand the audience
Even though you have realized the practical steps above, you have to first conduct research about your audience. Create an audience persona, so you can target your content specifically.
Engage with your readers personally by replying to their comments or building a tribe using a newsletter. Another way is to conduct a survey to completely know what they really want. If you have a problem with doing it through an offline meeting, you can have an online survey such as YouGov or SurveyMonkey.
Types of blog
1. Personal blogs
The blog that Dr. Watson writes is classified as personal blogs. You can write anything in personal blogs for sharing your favorite culinary destinations with political opinions. Yet, it is suggested that you categorize your posts under the same niche, so people with the same interest will stay.
2. Business blogs
If you have a business or write for a company, you produce business blogs. This type of blog tells about the business’ identity, products or services, and culture. By sharing with them more about you, it can boost your credibility from your readers’ eyes.
3. Professional blogs
This type of blog is for people that are serious about going after the blogging career. Professional bloggers earn money from blogging. Nowadays, this job is also combined with social media and make them become an influencer.
4. Niche blogs
Does your blog emphasize on specific topics? It can be about parenting, pets, home design, automotive, or traveling. More than 80 percent of travel planning today is done by clicking through the internet! Creating a niche blog is undeniably potential, right?
5. Reserve blogs
Reserve blogs are a blog that has a lot of contributors to write on the blog. Usually, the owner of the blog will be the editor and mediator between the writer and audiences, but they also write too to generate a tribe.
6. Media blogs
Media blogs support not only text but also videos, podcasts, or albums in the blog. These people are often called as vloggers, photographers, or podcasters. They build “a home” for their works on Spotify or YouTube.
How to start your own blog
At this stage, you have known why you should own a blog, what a good blog should have, and which type of blog you are going to apply. Right now, let us focus on how you start your own blog in smart ways!
1. Do a comprehensive research
It is mentioned above that you need to hold research about your audience. Well, it is not only that. You have to study the uniqueness of your competitors so that you can construct yours.
Examine their blog using Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, and Threat (SWOT) analysis to assist you in finding the gap you can fill in. Check their website and investigate how they write a blog post, arrange the template, and engage with the audiences.
If you are stuck in discovering your distinctive personality, you can also search blogs outside your niche. Perhaps you can get inspiration and a new perspective from identifying their elements of blogging.
2. Catch what your audiences want
In understanding the audience, what actually the points you really need to get to know from them?
First, look for their personal identity. It deals with their gender, job, salary, age, or marital status. For example, if you offer a cleaning service, you will most likely knock the door of people who do not have time to clean by themselves and can afford you. They probably a businessman with high mobility or a mom that is busy with their children.
Second, grasp what their major problem is. This step aims to write content that can connect how your products or services can help them.
3. Start your first blog post
Congratulations! You are ready to make your first blog post. Sometimes, the first step seems really hard, but it is the gate of your blogging journey. If you are still confused about what you should write on your blog, you can take a look at the first blog examples done by other bloggers.Starting a blog post can be overwhelming, but if you do not do it step-by-step with continuous progress, when will you start publishing it? Just like the self-improvement books say, the perfect time is now!