Understanding the Fundamentals of Blogging: What You Must Know Before You Start
< >In your journey towards building a career in Blogging, you must first of all, invest a lot of time into understanding the fundamentals of blogging these are basic knowledge you have to grab hold of to help you grow fast as a blogger as well as grow your blog so as to increase your earnings with it:
These are a few of the fundamentals that we are going to be looking at in this article:
To break it down further, you have to ask yourself…
- What is a Blog?
- How do I start a blog?
- What blogging platform is best for me?
- What niche should I focus my blog on?
- How much can I make as a blogger?
- How do I drive traffic to my blog?
These are a few of the questions asked by every wannabe Blogger who truly desire to take their blogging career to the next level.
In case you don’t know or you’re yet to hear of the term Blog or Blogging, then do not worry because I’m going to give you some detailed explanations to help you better understand the subject matter.
Some years back (precisely in 1994, blogs and blogging kicked off but wasn’t very much relevant to the world as at the time). The general understanding then was that blog was more of a personal journal/ diary that people shared online (basically not for profit). The truth is: As at the time, every blogger was learning “How to become a better blogger” and a majority of them were nothing close to being I.T savvy (that is: in plain terms, they know nothing about computers or the internet).
So, bloggers then talked more about their daily life, living experience, leisure, sharing something about where they’re going, where there are or even what they were doing at some particular points in time (and all of these activities were more leisure-driven; and had nothing to do with making a profit).
It was seen as a new communication channel that offered people a wonderful opportunity to own their platforms. This is a very brief story of how blogging began and spread throughout the globe.
You can get more of this story in my booK: “The 6-Figure Blogging Manual”.
Having stated the above, let’s go straight to the real deal
- What is a Blog?
- What exactly is Blogging?
- Who is a Blogger?
- Ready to start your personal brand website/ blog now?
Now in plain terms…
1. What is a blog?
A blog (is a shortened version of the term “weblog”) which simply is an online journal/ diary designed as an informational website showing information in reverse chronological order, with the latest posts appearing first, at the top. It could be a corporate or personal platform where a writer/ or a group of writers share their views on whatever subject they deem fit (but most likely must be something highly relevant to their niche).
Following the explosion in figures of blogs and blog owners, today we have no more than 570 million blogs on the web and thousands of other new blogs created on daily basis. The number of bloggers in the USA alone is estimated to reach 31.7 million users by the year 2020 (which by the way is almost grinding to a halt) and over 600 million blogs worldwide, out of over 1.7 billion websites. Click here to see more blog statistics.
(a). What can you use a blog for?
In today’s world, there are many things you can use a blog for. However, you need to first define properly the reason why you’re setting up a blog.
#1. Is it for profit?
#2. Is it for leisure?
#3. Is it for promotional purposes?
#4. Is it for educational purposes?
#5. Is it for building stronger connections?
These few tips will help you to decide if you’re going to set up your blog for personal use or business purposes; nevertheless, if you intend to build a blog for business, then you must understand that there’s a steep learning curve which you must have to walk through (don’t be deceived by the shiny lifestyles and fake internet success stories; only the highly knowledgeable survive here); on the other hand, you can pay someone to help you or even consult my team to help you in setting up a “6-figure generating blog” for your business.
However, there are two proven principles to building a blog that makes money and it’s pretty simple:
#1. Create winning content.
#2. Learn to rank your website the right way for better visibility online.
As a business, to make money online, you’ll rely on consumers to keep buying your products/ and or subscribe to your services. Since your brand is not big or even up to the level where you want it to be as a growing business currently, you’ll need to depend majorly on blogging to help you generate leads and qualify them into customers and returning customers by gaining their trust with your quality content and sheer display of your expertise using your blog as a personal platform.
If you don’t blog, it will be very difficult for people to find you online. Paid traffic is good but nothing beats Organic traffic. Blogging makes it possible for you to rank on search engines; making it easier for people to search and find you without much stress.
Traffic is the life-blood of every business; therefore if you don’t want that young business of yours to suffocate and die on arrival in today’s highly competitive business world, then you must boost it with a blog.
The main purpose of having a blog is basically to connect you/ and your business to the type of audience that is relevant to the niche and website that you’re projecting. So, if you must succeed, then you must boost your traffic and master how to send quality leads to your website (whether through paid means using Facebooks ads, Google display ads etc; or doing so organically).
If you’re keen on succeeding as a blogger, then you must invest heavily in creating quality content for your blog. You must give top priority to your articles (if you master how to write valuable articles that are highly optimized for search engine, then your problem is solved and in no time, you’ll start experiencing traffic from your targeted audience, not just some random traffic) like a heavy downpour hitting your website.
So, you can suffice it to mean that a blog is a very highly effective tool for lead generation/ marketing in the hand of someone who knows exactly what to do with it. But to do all of these, you’ll require great skill as I mentioned earlier.
In other not to waste the traffic as it hits your website (because some people would not want to come back to your website again after visiting once or may likely forget the name of your website especially when they did not bookmark it) you must learn to add a great call to action (CTA) to your content (where necessary as I just did in this article); by so doing, it becomes a lot easier for you to convert your website traffic into high-quality leads which ends up becoming customers and returning customers.
Is that not wonderful?
If you’re keen on building a brand or exerting your authority in a specific niche, then a personal blog and mastering online visibility skills should be your best tool. By simply applying your expertise in your content creation and making it super-compelling, you can easily get your audience to be highly engaged while building trust with your audience which in turn will help you attain Brand Equity.
People will always follow and buy from those who they love, trust and respect. So, if you’re intent on building a powerful brand, then you must start with a professional blog that will give your business that desired credibility that you seek online.
(b). What is the perfect way to structure a Blog?
When it comes to blogging, aesthetics plays a major role but doesn’t necessarily decide how well or how badly the blog turns out at the end of the day. The way Blogs are structured is something that is dynamically changing and will continue to do so; because ever since the creation of the very first blog that successfully made it to the internet; blogs have always been built and grown on infotech which is something that is constantly evolving.
These days blogs include a wide variety of plugins, themes, platforms, widgets etc. nevertheless, most blogs still include some standard features and structures (which are “constants” when it comes to blogging).
So, let’s look at some of the common features that you should expect from a typical blog and they include:
- A Header with the menu or navigation bar.
- Main content area or latest blog posts.
- Sidebar with your social profiles, other content, or even call-to-action at some strategic places.
This is a typical example of a basic structure of an average blog (though some times you can switch between a dynamic and static view). The blog structure helps your visitors/ readers to easily navigate through your blog.
(c). The difference between a blog and a website
This is the question that a lot of newbie bloggers usually ask me whenever the opportunity presents itself. So; they’ll usually ask “Sir, please what is the difference between a blog and a website? Satisfying this very question on your own will help you to better understand what a blog is and what a website is, and It has become increasingly difficult in today’s world to easily separate one from the other because many individuals who run a personal brand website (including myself) and most corporate entities are now integrating blogs into their websites as well (as against just having and running just another regular “blog”).
(d). What truly differentiates blogs from websites?
To understand the difference between these two, you must first of all understand properly:
(a). What a blog is.
(b). What a website is.
Thirdly, you need to also understand how both of them function.
Let’s refresh a bit on what a blog is
According to Wikipedia, a blog is a discussion or informational website published on the World Wide Web consisting of discrete, often informal diary-style text entries. Posts are typically displayed in reverse chronological order, so that the most recent post appears first, at the top of the web page (Note: This definition is completely based on what a blog and blogging were initially following how they were both designed and expected to function).
According to Wikipedia, a blog is a truncation of the term Weblog. It’s a discussion/or informal website published on the world wide web (www); consisting of discrete, often informal diary-style entries called ‘Posts’.
It’s a regularly updated website or web page, typically run by an individual or small group, and is usually written in an informal or conversational style.
And what is a website?
A website according to Wikipedia is a collection of web pages and related content that is identified by a common domain name and published on at least one web server. Notable examples are pekleafrica.com, google.com, theonlinemillionaire.com.ng, and amazon.com. All publicly accessible websites collectively constitute the World Wide Web.
It is a set of related web pages located under a single domain name, typically produced by a single person or organization.
Alternatively, websites are majorly made up of the content presented on static pages. Static website owners rarely update their pages owing to the fact that they have no blog page to update.
Given the above explanations, blogs need frequent updates published in informal diary-style text entries.
For example, you can set up a:
(a). A blog providing writing tips to writers.
(b). A blog that teaches people everything they need to know about Youtube publishing.
(c) A blog that shares Affiliate marketing tips.
(e). A blog sharing relevant information in the industry it operates.
(d). A blog that teaches people how to become a blogger.
If you’re blogging for profit, one major benefit that you can enjoy (if you follow the laid down principles) is that you’ll notice a consistent growth in the visibility of your brand and this will happen through consistent reader engagement which also helps you grow trust; making it easier for people to buy from you or hire you.
For the above to happen, you must be ready to update your website with some winning content at least once every week; but whatever you do, make sure that your content is super-rich!
Are you set to start now? Well, this little highly descriptive manual will lead you by the hand to get started: “How to Start a blog with a Ridiculously Low Budget In Nigeria 2020: The Newbie Manual”.
(d). What are the key elements that differentiate a blog post from a static website page?
For a Blog:
(a). Publishing date,
(b). Author reference,
(c). Categories, and Tags.
Blog Posts are usually shown in reverse chronological order (like from the newest posts to the oldest) on your blog page because they are timely content, and this simply implies that your reader will have to dig deeper to view older posts.
For a Static Website:
Website pages do not have any of the above-mentioned items; and the site content from one visit to the next (except when you integrate a blog into it).
Pages are static “one-off” type of content. Find some classic examples of web pages below:
Pages are typically used to make a site structure and design. Indeed, even blogs can have pages integrated into them.
(f). Blog History
Blogs have been an integral part of life in today’s world (wielding major influence over politics, business, news, religion, entertainment, lifestyle etc); and can be accessed from any part of the world. They have turned out to be such a fundamental part of our society with the end goal that nearly everybody reads a blog. Regardless of whether you are searching for weather forecasts or digital marketing, blogs have you secured.
Right from the inception until today blogs have advanced and are required to keep changing since they’re built on/ and revives around technology. What we consider a blog today isn’t what the initial plan was ten years before now. Blogs keep evolving just as SEO keeps evolving.
Here’s a short history of how blogging has advanced over time (particularly WordPress blogs) and changed into what it is today.
The first blog was made by Justin Hall a US freelance journalist in 1994 who as at the time was a student at Swarthmore University.
The URL of the blog is link.net as at the time, the word Blog or weblog was a new concept and many people knew very little or nothing about it. It was just listed as a personal homepage; and was a very simple web property but with the resemblance of what we know today as ‘blog’.
He posted regularly and still blogs up to this time. His was primarily built as a personal diary.
You can find more of this information in my book: “The 6-Figure Blogging Manual”
2. What exactly is blogging?
This is the act of maintaining (the platform)/ writing a blog; it’s a complete embodiment of the skills and activities that you require to build and run a super-successful blog. This simply means you’ll need some industry-tools to power-up your platform.
The act of adding new materials; or regularly updating a blog is what is simply known as blogging.
(a). Why is blogging so popular?
In today’s world, conventional media has almost been completely replaced with digital media and in the light of this, it won’t be out of place to say that the traditional method of advertising as we know it is dead!
Therefore, It’s now very important to let you know a few of the reasons why blogging is now very important in today marketplace. In today’s world, blogs are now used as platforms for outreach and opinion forming. They became a new source of information.
Secondly, blogging has become the most powerful branding tool (in the hands of those who know exactly what to do with it). If you’re looking at customer acquisition or even a way to grow your visibility, likeability or trust online, then a personal blog is surely the platform you need to create that for yourself!
You can also make extra money by monetizing your blog content or even selling your products/ services/ or even selling other people’s product/s for a commission (Affiliate Marketing). There’s a lot more to this!
3. Who is a blogger?
A Blogger is an individual who enjoys sharing parts of their life and knowledge with other people with the intent to educate, inform or even solve a problem for their readers. They can blog on any given niche of their choice ranging from Entertainment, Arts, Religion, Politics, Technology, Education etc.
Bloggers are not constrained/ or limited to a specific location. They can work from any location (provided they have a computer and internet connection. and don’t need to be in one place). They live on the internet!
In simple terms, a blogger typically runs and/ controls a blog.
(a). Is blogging something I should venture into? Are there also people who became super-successful from blogging today?
There are several reasons why a lot of people are turning to blogging these days. Find a few reasons why:
(a). People want to own a personal brand to help them grow their business/ or brand.
(b). People need a personal platform to help them connect with their audience and to be able to tell their story in their own voice.
(c). A lot of people today are now millionaires and highly influential by simply owning a blog.
(b). How lucrative is blogging?
First of all, Blogging is a very powerful tool for building not just lucrative businesses but also very sustainable ones. All over the world today, it’s no longer a difficult thing to see bloggers doing 6-figures on monthly basis.
So, Bloggers do earn a decent amount of money, but it’s not a get-rich-quick scheme (a lot of work is required to make it successful).
To turn your blog into a money-making machine, you have to figure out ways to start monetizing it and to do so, you have to put some of these things into consideration:
(a). You must master the art of creating winning content.
(b). Spend quality time to learn Google SERPs ranking and how you can use that to find your own space within your chosen niche.
(c). Learn how to brand yourself on the internet using your blog.
Once you start ranking in your niche, you might consider making money from these opportunities
(a). You can make money selling ad space on your blog privately or through Google AdSense or any other monetization programs available.
(b). You can make money selling other people’s products as an affiliate marketer privately or through ads networks.
(c). You can make money from creating and selling your own digital products such as eBooks and tutorials/ or offer your skills as services; you can also sell physical products (the choice is yours).
(d). You can make money by selling memberships for access to some premium content on your website.
(e). You can make money online by using your blog as a content marketing tool for your business to help you increase your revenue; as well as promote your business or even get your business out there to the world.
4. Ready to start your personal brand website/ blog now?
Are you planning on creating a professional personal brand website/ or blog, you need to first of all…
(a). Understand what business model you want to build that blog on.
(b). You need to choose a lucrative niche for it.
(c). You need to choose a good name for your blog.
(d). You also need to choose the suitable blogging platform that perfectly fits what you want to do (for me, it will always be WordPress till I see something that beats that. If you’re sure to start now, then start with a self-hosted WordPress platform).
Here are some of the platforms that you can use for setting up your blog:
If you intend to make money with your blog, then you must consider going for a self-hosted platform.
(e). Afterwards, you have to choose a web hosting service. There’s an array of hosting platforms for you to choose from depending on what you want. If you’re low on budget but need a highly reputable hosting platform, click here to start: Start your blog here.
This is the very first step you’ll need to take if you’re seriously looking at setting up that 6-figure generating blog in the most professional way. Like I said earlier, you must give top priority to your content creation skills/ techniques if you must make money as a blogger. I believe you find this information very helpful?
Always check back for more powerful articles to help you on your way to success!
@Nwosu Ugochukwu L. Fred (#TheOnlineMillionaire)