Want to start a blog? This guide will teach you the fundamentals of blogging. It’s a beginners guide to blogging and is mainly targeted toward new bloggers.
Have you decided to blog? And, if you have, where should you start? Anyone thinking about blogging should understand the basics. These include how blogging improves your business, how to get started, what your goals should be and things that shouldn’t be overlooked. These elements are critical for success.
Most blogs today look very similar, so the best way to be sure you can stand out your blog is by making it a better version of those that already exist. This article is going to focus on giving you an introduction to blogging and all the basics needed to get started.
Beginners Guide For Blogging
01. Choose a blog niche
When creating a blog as a beginner, you need to have a specific focus or niche in order to attract readers. Ideally, you’ll choose a single, broad topic that you’ll be able to explore in-depth. But how do you decide what to focus on?
First, think about your goals. Do you want to promote your business? Share information or explore your passion? Make money from your content? Whether you’re aiming to write about your industry, dive deep into your personal interests, or monetize your site, contemplating your overall objectives can point you in the right direction.
Whichever blog niche you choose, it’s going to become the defining feature of your online presence. With that in mind, make sure to focus on an area you’re experienced in and genuinely excited about.
Some of the most popular types of blogs are:
- Business blogs
- Travel blogs
- Food blogs
- Finance blogs
- Lifestyle blogs
- Personal blogs
- Fashion blogs
- Wellness blogs
- Design blogs
- Technology blogs
Based on your experience, you may want to niche down even further to cater to a specific audience. For instance, within the niches of European travel or cooking, you may opt to focus specifically on budget travel or vegan food.
If you’re unsure of what niche to choose, browse these blog examples to help guide you. Then, choose a blog template to get started.
02. Research your audience
One of the biggest beginner blogging mistakes? Not knowing your audience. In addition to determining what you’ll be writing about, you’ll need to identify who you’ll be writing for. Based on the kind of subject matter you expect to create, consider the types of people who will be reading your blog. Business professionals? Yoga enthusiasts? Expecting moms?
Then, jot down some of their interests, pain points and needs. Based on what you know about their personalities, brainstorm what subjects will interest them or what issues they might be facing.
Keep these ideas at the front of your mind when coming up with blog topics and while writing the content itself. For every article you create, you should have a clear understanding of why that particular piece of content will offer value to your readers.
03. Draw inspiration online
As a beginning blogger, you’re also probably wondering how to come up with blog topic ideas. Brainstorming, of course, is a great strategy. But it’s also helpful to conduct research in order to find out which subjects are in-demand.
Start by checking competing blogs in your industry. Keep an eye out for what topics they’re covering. You can use a competitor analysis tool like BuzzSumo to identify which of your competitors’ articles are performing best – that is, which ones get the most clicks or social media shares.
It’s also a good idea to keep tabs of trending content. Here’s how:
- Browse online courses within your niche that people are paying for, like Udemy, SkillShare, and LinkedIn Learning.
- Stay on top of current events and trending news stories in your industry.
- Check out Q&A feeds from platforms like Quora.
- Research bestselling, top-rated or newly published books.
- Take a look at trending search topics using Google Trends. In the image below, for instance, you can see that vegan recipes are more in-demand than paleo recipes, but that both have a steady stream of interest.
Based on your research of popular and high-performing topics, start building a list of topic ideas for your articles.
04. Learn what people are searching for
As you build your list of topics, you’ll want to do a bit of keyword research. This is the practice of targeting specific words and phrases in your article based on what your audience is looking for on search engines.
You don’t need to be a keyword research expert, but it is useful to know which terms people are searching for. Not only will this help you write content that better resonates with your audience, but it will also help you rank higher in search results – ensuring your content actually gets read.
While keyword research might sound intimidating, it’s actually quite simple. There are several blogging tools available – some of them free – that will point you to the right keywords. These include:
- Answer the Public (free)
- Ubersuggest (free)
- Google Keyword Planner (free)
Once you’ve identified the main keyword you want to target for a particular topic, do a quick Google search of that keyword. Read through the top 10 articles to get an idea of what they’re talking about. There’s a reason they’re ranking in the top 10, so you’ll want to make sure your blog post covers similar subject matter.
05. Use keywords strategically
In addition to doing keyword research to understand what your audience wants to read about, you should also incorporate those keywords into the text. First, it’s good practice to add keywords to both the title and body of your article. This helps Google get a clear understanding of what your article is about.
When you upload your post, be sure to also include keywords in the following places:
- URL: For example, www.myblog.com/blog/strategic-keyword.
- Meta title: This is the blue title you see in Google search results.
- Meta description: This is the short paragraph beneath the blue title in Google search results.
- Alt text: This is text you add to your images to make them “readable” for search engines (more on that in step 12.)
It’s important to note that your keywords should fit naturally within the text. Repeated, indiscriminate use of keywords is called keyword-stuffing, and this is a spammy practice that can harm your SEO.