I recently had lunch with a friend who wanted to start blogging professionally. I gave her some of what I consider “blogging for beginners” advice, then thought, why not share those tips here on my blog to help others?!
Blogging for Beginners
So many people blog for different reasons – as part of their current job, to make money, and as a hobby are the three most common answers, I assume. Regardless of your why, these steps will help you get started and maintain your blog over time.
Where will your blog be?
Before you begin blogging, you need to know where you’re going to blog. My friend is planning on blogging professionally on a company’s website, but many people want their own space. In that case, you have a few options.
I use WordPress. When it comes to the online world, WordPress is the most recognized and arguably the best platform to be on. The only problem? You’ll most likely need a website developer to help you get it up and running.
If you want to try to take a stab at creating your site yourself, there are plenty of sites to choose from – Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, and the list goes on. I created this entire site on Weebly in two hours. The drag and drop format is idiot proof. (If I can do it, anyone can.)
If you don’t want to commit to a website, check out a place like Medium or the post section on your LinkedIn page.
What’s your blog called?
When you decide where you want your blog to live, you may get a deal on a domain. If not, it’s no big deal. They are usually just $12 a year and you can buy them in a variety of places like GoDaddy, Bluehost, and Google.
When it comes to choosing your domain, Brandon Gaille from the Blog Millionaire is an expert, but here are some quick tips:
Apply SEO keyword research
Try to go after a .com ending
Avoid using – (dashes)
Make sure it fits your niche
Buy your name as a domain and redirect it (Have you tried ChristinaNicholson.com? Hi again.)
What’s your blog’s niche?
Since it’s #4 above, it makes sense to make this the next step. When I started Mascara Maven, I had no idea what I wanted to blog about it. Everything I posted was so random. (It can still appear that way.) Here on Media Maven, it’s all media focused.
Don’t do what I do on my lifestyle blog. Do what I do here – be niched.
I’ve heard the saying, “the riches are in the niches” and it’s very true. Again, whether or not this applies to you goes back to your why.
If you are just blogging as a hobby, then you can post whatever your heart desires whenever you want to. If you are trying to make money or build clientele, I suggest focusing on what you’re good at, what you’re passionate about, and what your expertise is. That makes a perfect niche!
[Tweet theme=”tweet-box-shadow”]Focus on what you’re good at, passionate about, and your expertise. That makes a perfect #blog #niche![/Tweet]
Now, you have your website created. You have your domain. You have your niche. The only thing left to do is to get started. Write something and post it!
Believe it or not, this is where the real work starts.
When I got started, I learned a lot from other bloggers. Some were eager to help someone like me asking for beginner blogger tips. I also taught myself some technical stuff, social media strategies,SEO techniques, graphic design, etc. It all comes with time as you grow as a blogger.
You can find tons of advice online about how to monetize your blog, how to grow your following online, how to grow your email list, how to design the perfect about me page, and the list goes on. There is so much! If I only offered you one piece of advice, it’d be this – be consistent.
[Tweet theme=”tweet-box-shadow”]If I only offered you one piece of advice, it’d be this – be consistent. #blogging[/Tweet]
Ask yourself this question, “How often can I research, write, and promote a blog post?” If the answer is three times a week, then you need to do this three times a week, every week. If the answer is once a month, then you need to do this once a month, every month.
In the process of blogging, you will build an audience and that audience will expect to see you online, with certain content, at certain times.
Here, it’s always Monday. On Mascara Maven, it’s always Friday.
So, now that you know what you need to do to get started blogging, what are you waiting for?
If you read any of my other blog posts, you know there is a lot under the public relations umbrella. One of many things is blogging. Not only should every business have a website and that website have a blog (like this one), but you should also be blogging on other sites.
When you write or blog for other outlets, you are introducing yourself and your brand to an entirely new audience. You are also increasing your chances of being found in a Google search as your SEO gets better and better with each post.
[Tweet theme=”tweet-box-shadow”] When you #blog for other outlets, you are introducing yourself and your #brand to a new audience.[/Tweet]
Tens of millions of people visit the Huffington Post website every month. It also has one of the most engaged audiences on Facebook. Since Facebook has cut down on businesses reaching audiences organically, this is huge.
To be featured in the Huffington Post, you’ll need to know some Huffington Post blog submission guidelines.
Email the Huffington Post
Yes, it sounds obvious… and it is. On the contact us page, there are a few options. Depending on your goal, you either want to submit a news tip to editors with the Huffington Post or pitch an idea for a blog post.
Before Arianna Huffington resigned from her position as CEO, many would-be bloggers emailed her directly to submit their pitch. She earned quite a reputation for responding to emails, connecting editors with writers, and getting those new writers set up with an account to guest post.
Once you are an official contributing blogger, you can submit as many blog posts as you’d like… as long as they fall within the guidelines of the Huffington Post blog. After you publish a post, it’s up to you to promote it to earn exposure. The Huffington Post has too much content to promote it all, so it’s on you!
Receive the Invite
The blogging platform has changed a bit since Arianna Huffington left her position as the editor-in-chief. Now, instead of being accepted as a blogger after a submission, you can also be invited to become a contributor. Today, more people are contributing for this reason. I guess you could say it’s easier to “get in.”
Acknowledge the Benefits
As I’ve mentioned, blogging on your own platform is very important. If you want to reach another audience, blogging elsewhere is a must. By becoming a Huffington Post blogger, you will earn recognition by others.
Anyone can create a blog, but there is another feeling and sense of status or authority when your content is published elsewhere. Your standing is elevated when you’re published somewhere else, especially on a site like Huffington Post.
[Tweet theme=”tweet-box-shadow”]It’s all about earning #publicity and getting more eyeballs on your #brand.[/Tweet]
At the end of the day, it’s all about earning publicity and getting more eyeballs on your brand. I hope these Huffington Post blog submission guidelines help you start blogging on the Huffington Post. If so, let me know here in the comments section.
If you have a business, you need a website… and your website should have a blog!
Blogging is one of the most valuable tools businesses have to engage with customers, make their lives easier, and promote themselves as experts in their industry. If you’re not blogging, it’s time to get started or get left behind. Here are 3 reasons your business needs a blog:
Having a blog on your business website helps your search engine optimization, or SEO. If someone is searching for something related to a topic you’ve blogged about it, that person may stumble upon your website in a search. Let yourself be discovered!
It makes you credible as an expert in your industry. It shows you don’t only know your industry, but are also familiar with the ins and outs of it. So many topics can be discussed! Take my blog on this website for example. I don’t only post about public relations in general, but I go into specifics and even discuss different current events and how they relate to my business. Credibility strengthens the image of your brand.
A blog is a form of social media, and it is vital for businesses to be on social media. You don’t have to be on all forms of social media, just the ones that help your business and brand… and a blog is a must! It’s also a great way to interact with present and potential customers through likes, comments, and shares.
Is it time consuming, yes. Is it worth it, yes. When it comes to blogs for businesses, just say YES! Nothing in this world is guaranteed, so it’s hard to say whether or not you will get a ROI, but it’s something that is too useful and popular to pass up.
Do you want to promote your brand? You can! Sign up for my online course to learn how you can by doing PR yourself. Click here to master your PR. For a free, mini-version, email me at Christina@MediaMavenAndMore.com.