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What is a blog and how does it work?

Blogging is a powerful tool for writers, marketers and business owners looking to share their knowledge and experience with the world. But what exactly is a blog? What does it do? How do I start one?

In this article, we’ll answer all of those questions and more as we explore how you can use blogs to grow your business, build your brand and get more customers.

Table of Contents

  1. What is a blog?
  2. How does a blog work?
  3. How do I start a blog?
  4. How often should I blog?
  5. Does blogging help SEO?
  6. Blog ideas

What is a blog?

A blog is a software application for creating, editing and publishing content.  It’s used to share thoughts and opinions on various topics. Blogs can vary in style and tone, but they typically have a conversational feel to them.

77% of internet users read blog posts

https://www.impactplus.com/blogging-statistics-55-reasons-blogging-creates-55-more-traffic

Blogs usually have a specific theme or purpose, for a business you would write about your products and services and all related topics. For instance, you could answer questions you regularly receive from customers or clients.

Many people interested in your products or services are looking online for answers, reviews or advice. Your blog could target these queries and get new customers for your services.

Blogs are great for SEO (search engine optimisation) because they help you build your brand and increase exposure to potential customers.

How does a blog work?

The software will have editing and formatting functions to help you write content. The most popular blogging software is WordPress, I use it for this site, it’s simple to use and free.

Writing, editing and formatting a blog post is simple. WordPress contains a built-in editor. You create an article using “blocks”, as you can see from the image below there are many different blocks to choose from including text, images, embedded content including video and many different styles.

editing and formatting in WordPress
Editing and Formatting in WordPress

Themes

Content can include a mixture of text and photos, the layout of the page is controlled by the theme. Blogging software will have many different themes to choose from, some free and some you have to pay for.

Thousands of themes are available for WordPress and almost all hosting providers support WordPress.

You can see the Add Themes screen in WordPress below showing the first few of over 9000+ themes available for WordPress. Installing a theme is just a matter of installing and then activating the theme and can be done in seconds.

WordPress Themes

You can change your theme later without losing any content so don’t feel you need to stick with a theme forever.

Comments

Blogs also support comments and comment moderation. Adding comments to your blog can be useful, you get feedback from readers and possible new ideas for articles. It allows you to answer any questions they have about your article directly. You can turn off comments if you prefer and allow content moderation, this is where you can decide which comments are made public on your site.

How do I start a blog?

To start blogging you need to have a website, a domain (this is a unique name for your website) and blogging software installed. It sounds daunting, luckily online services exist that will provide all you need to get started.

43% of blogs on the internet use WordPress

https://w3techs.com

Read about creating a website using WordPress, one of the most popular blogging tools used for online blogs.

wpengine-cyber-weekend


How often should I blog?

There’s no right answer here—it depends on what kind of content you’re creating, how much time and effort goes into producing each piece of content (and whether it pays off!), etcetera.

How competitive is your niche?

The more competitive the more you will need to blog to stay in search results. This is because your competitor’s will be publishing content frequently so you need to do the same.

How much time do you have to create content?

Don’t forget you are not just writing you also have to:

  • Do keyword research ← very important
  • Research the topic
  • Edit to boost readability, find typos and fix grammar
  • Add both internal links and external links
  • Create graphics or infographics if appropriate
  • Publish and promote

So, you can see it is much more than just writing the article and pressing Publish!

Does blogging help SEO?

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process of improving your website’s ranking in search engines like Google so that people can find your site when they search for keywords related to your business field.

Writing fresh, original content frequently on a blog will help you website rank for many different keywords. Google likes fresh new content so that will help.

It is very important to do keyword research though, otherwise you could be writing about topics no-one is searching for. You also need to avoid highly competitive topics that you are unlikely to be able to rank for.

Keyword research tools will help you find the right keywords. I’ve written about these tools before, here are some relevant articles:

In addition to keyword research you want to format your articles in a way that helps search engines understand the content and what you are writing about. This is a big topic, I wrote this SEO Tips and Tricks article to give you an idea of how to do on-page SEO.

Blog Ideas

Blogging is a great way to connect with your customers, build your brand and drive traffic back to your website. However, it can be intimidating to start a blog if you’re not sure what to write about.

Here are 8 blog post ideas that will help you get started:

1. How To Posts

2. Top 10 Lists

3. Tips & Tricks

4. How I Did It Articles

5. “How It Went” Stories

6. Behind-the-Scenes Stories About Your Business or Workplace

7. Product or Service reviews

8. Tutorials/Guides for your readers

Final Thoughts

In summary:

  • Blogs are for sharing your thoughts and opinions
  • Blogs are good for SEO
  • Most of the software you need is cheap or free
  • Blogging software is easy to use

Does blogging sound like something you would like to start doing?

Let me know in the comments and if you liked this article please share!

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