The first time I posted a blog was 4th November 2010. I wrote “How to choose a career intelligently” because it was one of the questions I was asked very often. Nobody noticed my first blog post. With an injured ego & in despair I finally had to call a few friends and relatives and ask them to take a look at it for heaven’s sake. After posting hundreds of blog posts today (some of which have over 2.5 million views), I want to share my secret about starting a blog and highlighting its popularity. It’s a long post, but I promise it contains everything you need to know to become a star blogger. Continue reading…
I get more than 50% of my training and speaking assignments from people who first notice me on my blog. Reason enough for you to blog about your special expertise? The point I am trying to make is that if you are serious about doing your job or business online, blogging is one of the most important tools available to you.
Everyone can post status updates on Facebook or selfies on Instagram. It is easy. But when you start publishing high quality blogs, you add depth to your personality / brand. And then if you keep blogging for years, convince people that you are a serious person in your work area. Trust me – they will always come back to you because you play a leading role in your field.
I have to confess here – at first I always thought I was a motivational speaker first and my blog is just something that I will manage on the side, that I am a speaker first. But I was very wrong. Blogging cannot be treated as secondary.
Over the years, blogging about motivation, a better life, relationships, careers, English and communication, productivity, management, etc. has made me realize how much I love writing, not because it is good for my job, but because of the immense one Potential of the written word to make an impact. For example, I regularly receive so many messages and emails from people that they have made meditation an integral part of their lives after reading the article “How to Meditate and Promote Mindfulness – Everything You Need to Know”. Eureka! Job done!
Blogging is super powerful. Sometimes customers loved my blog posts so much that they asked me to turn a single blog post into a full-fledged event (e.g., 10 ways to ruin your life between 20 and 30 years old).
This post is roughly divided into two sections: (I) starting a blog and (II) advertising your blog. Before we start either of the two programs, I would like to answer two very important questions first: What is a blog and why should you think about starting a blog?
What is a blog?
A blog, which is an abbreviation of the word “weblog”, has developed in meaning over the years. In the beginning, Web 2.0 was more of a personal online diary. As the weblog name suggests, it was more of a log of thoughts or activities, except on the web.
In the meantime, a blog has become an excellent way to build a brand around you, a platform where you can provide your readers, readers, or customers with detailed information about your and their common interest. You can use a blog to convince your target customers of your expertise. This can lead to a lot of work and business for you.
Aside from the written blogs we’re talking about here, vlogs (or video blogs) on a YouTube channel are also an extension of a blog. Microblogging websites like Twitter, Facebook Notes are also blogs, LinkedIn Pulse is also a blogging platform where professionals often talk about corporate utensils. Podcasts are pretty well known these days (audio blogs), not to mention it Instagram posts Which are photo blogs.
Technically speaking, anything you can use to share your expertise with the world – be it comedy or tragedy, skill or information – is blog. And you can choose a platform of your choice depending on how many resources you have available. Right now I’m going to focus entirely on text-based blogs (like this one).
Why start a blog?
Because your blog is one of the media with which you send your message to the world – be it your travel blogs and blogs, your experiments in the kitchen, your knowledge of gadgets, your view of the human psyche, your perspectives on love , Sex and relationships, your understanding of motivation, your business ideas, your understanding of the financial or fitness world, or over a billion other ideas that you could blog about – unless this agrees with your core belief – your zeal will blogging, soon to be extinct.
Ask yourself this question before you start blogging. “Why are you blogging?”
a) You have an ability that your target group can benefit from
b) Your expertise in your field is either unmatched or you are really working to build it this way
c) The way you reach your audience is unique. A perspective that your blogger colleagues could not bring out yet
d) There is a way to monetize it or take some value out of it
Now we go to the first part of how to start a blog.
Part I – How do I start a blog?
There are two broad approaches to getting your blog on the road:
1. Free hosting on a popular blogging website; The URL of your blog also contains the name of the host (e.g. xyz (dot), wordpress (dot), com or abc (dot), blogspot (dot), com).
2. Pay (a minimal fee) for a host and create a blog; You can have your own name on your blog. It is very similar to your website (e.g. akashgautam.com).
Although the initial setup is practically a breeze (all you have to do is sign up, let’s say, wordpress.com and you’re done), if you are serious about building your blog as a brand, I would seriously recommend choosing the second option (more on that later). Especially when we are dealing with Part II, i.e. H. As you popularize your blog, you will realize how important it is to have your URL and host from a business perspective.
Here are the steps to create a blog:
1. Decide why you want to blog and what you want to blog about (already answered)
2. Choose a blogging platform (WordPress or another)
3. Determine the name of your blog
4. Choose a hosting provider
5. Create your blog, choose design, theme, plugins, etc.
6. Set up important pages
7. Start writing!
Step 1: why you want to blog (already covered)
Step 2: choose a blogging platform
Choosing a platform for your blog or content management system (CMS) is an important decision because it determines the ease of blogging.
There are various platforms available online – WordPress, Blogger, Medium, Facebook, YouTube, etc. are some of the best known. We also have aggregators – famous websites that have their own niche of content and allow guest bloggers to post relevant content. For e.g. Lifehack.org is one of the best blogs on the market on topics like motivation, productivity, relationships etc. – authors from all over the world with different perspectives on similar problems.
Another famous platform is medium.com, You can create your own account on medium and just like that – you have your own blog (the first approach). It is so easy. It’s minimalist, focuses on the written word, and has a good reach. If you don’t want to deal with technical details when setting up a blog, I would say: Medium is a great idea! Of course, you won’t get a custom URL that is in your name.
Here is a list of my guest posts to help you explore some of the key aggregator blogs.
Now I am a WordPress person. It has always been. Most blogging experts also recommend WordPress as the best long-term and sustainable solution to your blogging needs, especially if you want to make money with your blog and start a business.
There’s a reason why 91% of blogs around the world are hosted there – it’s easy to get started, easy to use, there’s no monthly fee to set up your own .com, and you can customize it to your liking. Other platforms have not yet managed to achieve the extreme user friendliness of WordPress (WP). And that’s why they run more than 90% of the websites worldwide!
WP has two different blogging platforms you should know –
And here’s the difference between the two –
(To learn more about these differences, read Ryan Robinson’s blog post)
However, I would like to reiterate that it is better to work with .org if you want to have full control over your blog (this blog is also where my blog is hosted).
Step 3: determine the name of your blog
The name of your blog corresponds to your office address. Your potential customers will find you here. Be sure to choose a name by which you want people to recognize you. Most of the time, it is the brand name that you will advertise for as soon as you start blogging. Now you can’t use a custom URL in a .com blog. The domain name of the .com host is appended to your blog URL. However, you can surpass this by choosing an .org host.
You also need to check whether the name of your choice is available or not, A simple domain name search can help you with that.
When choosing a name, you need to look at your niche, the audience you serve, the topic your content is about, and so on. If you are confused, you can use the domain name generators available online to check suggestions before answering the last call.
Step 4: Choosing a hosting provider
This is a little technical, so give it to a patient to read aloud.
If you chose the first approach, you can skip this step altogether. Simply create an account on WP.com and get the job done. However, if you chose the second one, this step is important.
A host is like the location of your company or office. If someone uses the address (the URL), they can see everything there. It is the company that publishes your website on the Internet and keeps all your files safe. Most hosting websites charge a fee to their users annually. Fees range from $ 3 to $ 100, depending on the services you ultimately use. The most commonly used hosting servers are:
Of these, Bluehost is the most recommended host by most experienced bloggers. Installing a host server is also fairly simple. Most of them offer a one-click WP installation option. As soon as you have created your bluehost account and made the necessary payment, you can simply click on the “Install WordPress” option and get started. To understand the steps in more detail, read Neil Patel’s article on setting up a blog,
If you have already paid for the host (in this case bluehost), you do not have to pay anything extra for the desired URL name. How incredible is that! Your blog hosting is now complete. Next step – give it your grade!
Step 5: setting up your blog theme, choosing plugins, etc.
For a .com blog, the options in terms of flexibility and control are pretty limited. You cannot use custom designs, and there are few plugins available. Most of the time you are dealing with what WP has to offer. But with .org blog – the world is your oyster.
When choosing a design or theme for your blog, keep in mind that this should be the case
- shouldn’t make it difficult for your readers to search for content
- shouldn’t be overloaded (too many things on your blog – not a good idea)
Google provides blogs and links that are not only relevant to the search results, but are also more readable and user-friendly. The WP control panel contains many topics for you to choose from. And you will find thousands of other topics online that are either free or have minimal cost. Some of them are customizable, others less. In a .org blog, you can choose what’s floating on your boat. Just make sure of the following when choosing:
– SEO friendly: In layman’s terms, SEO or search engine optimization refers to Google reading your content to find relevance. Topics with simpler codes can be easily read by Google. Topics with bulky codes – not so much. Look for topics that are lighter in size.
– Responsiveness: Check that the topic is addressed, i. H., It works well on desktops, tablets, and mobile devices. Also check if it is compatible with most browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Opera, IE etc.
– Plug-in support: Plugins or “add-ons” are a very important part of your blog. WP has some wonderful plugins that really make your life easier. They have plugins for SEO, email marketing, spam filters, galleries, videos and much more best plugins for your wordpress blog that you could consider.
I would personally recommend that you definitely use it Yoast SEO, This is the easiest way to do SEO for your blog posts without losing sleep through technical words like focus keywords, meta tags, etc. In Part II of this post, I explain why SEO is so important to popularize your blog.
Step 6: Set up important pages – v imp from a branding perspective
Now that your blog is online, it’s time to decorate it with your personal information. Your updates and posts will appear on your blog homepage. At the same time, it is important that you inform your customers about you. Create pages like “About me”, “Contact”, “Gallery” etc. so that your readers can see your work at a glance.
These pages are easy to create. All you have to do is go to your dashboard, click “Pages”, click “Add New” and get started! Dead easy. Depending on your business needs, you can set up as many pages as you want.
I would recommend that you take a look at some famous blogs in your field and investigate for yourself what your experts or competitors are doing. Spend 10 minutes on my blog and you will understand everything about setting up important pages. For example, The positioning of “About the Author” at the end of each blog post helps me to present myself to the reader. And every time the reader reads more about me in future blog posts, the branding just gets thicker.
Once you have all the pages you need, add them to the main menu of your blog or widgets area. What goes where depends on the topic chosen. I would recommend that you spend some time exploring your dashboard as it is really easy to find out. In addition, WP has very extensive help for its users.
This brings us to the end of Part I of the post, i.e. H. To set up your blog. Now let’s move on to the next part, i.e. H. How to make your blog popular.
Part II – How to make your blog popular
This section briefly describes how to get your blog known to your target audience, how to increase the reach of your blog, how to find blog marketing tips, social media tips, etc.
Step 7: writing a blog post
This step is part of Part II of the segment, as I’m going to talk about your checklist for writing a blog post and how to link it to marketing your blog post.
I have never believed in pushing my content into anyone’s throat. A more sustainable and elegant approach is to build a strong base for a loyal audience that believes in my content and its impact. And that’s exactly what I’ve set myself from the first day on. Be it my social media, my email lists or my blog traffic.
One of the best ways to do this is to build your expertise (thought leadership) around relevant content. Only a relevant blog post (something that provides valuable information and entertainment or makes the target audience feel good) has a higher chance of becoming popular. So what do you do to make sure your blog post is popular while writing the blog?
1. It solves a real problem in your reader’s life, A very noble title with a good CTC (Call to Click) helps a lot here.
A bold promise in the title or adding a word of superlatives (extreme appeal) helps. For example, Check the stats in my posts “How To Become A Three Times Better English Speaker Than You Now”. But then the limitation is that you have to support this bold promise with very solid content that is also original.
Second Make sure that it is SEO appropriate, If you’ve started Yoast and the SEO indicator is green, it means you’ve done a good job. In the Yoast plugin itself you will find an exact, non-technical checklist with which you can optimize your search engine optimization. Just follow that and the batti (light) will turn mostly green.
This means that you choose a keyword for a particular blog post and make sure it’s part of your title. The first paragraph of your blog post. Variations on this keyword will appear in your blog post at least three times. You choose suitable tags (no more than 10) in number (this confuses Google) and you fill in all relevant fields in the Yoast plugin.
If you want to learn more about how search engines optimize your blog content and images, read them excellent blog entry from Hubspot.
Third Maintain good readability: Shorter paragraphs, bullets, suitable images that match the text (with the appropriate source information for the owner of the images), links to relevant content, correct spelling and grammar, fluent and simple language.
4th function image: Choose a feature image based on the dimensions of your theme set. There is an excellent website called canva.com It allows you to design pictures for free. I use it extensively and it has proven very useful. Try it. This eliminates most of the design problems.
5th Signature at the end: If you noticed my blog posts, there is a custom signature at the end where I added a short biography for my readers (as described above). The main purpose is to inform Google about the relevant links that every visitor to my blog post may use. Like an email signature, it not only adds a face to the text, but adds the author to the blog on every page.
A brief summary of the checklist for each blog post –
– Title with focus keyword
– Text where the main keyword occurs at least twice and related keywords that occur 3-4 times
– SEO-friendly images (captions, captions and descriptions should have related keywords)
– Good readability – shorter paragraphs, bullets, subheadings
– SEO over Yoast
– Relevant category and tags
This was about writing the blog post. What to do after you’ve written it?
There are two ways to approach basic blog post marketing:
1. Social media marketing
2. Digital marketing
1. Social media marketing:
You are a generation of millennials, so I don’t necessarily have to tell you the platforms on which you can market your blog. Let me just give you a quick review and you can add comments if I miss anything.
Facebook (Of course!) – Create your own company page if you haven’t already, and let your audience know if new or old content is repositioned in different ways. You can only publish them as text, image series, quick videos from a series of images, links to your blog, etc.
Facebook is one of the most used social media platforms to direct traffic to your personal website. Generally, videos and curated content work best on a platform like FB. Bad news – The new FB pages (created since 2017) are as good as a mortuary. Very difficult to breed for countless reasons. Fortunately, I started my site when there weren’t many people doing this kind of thing – the lucky reason why I have almost 200,000 believers on my side Fb page,
Instagram – It is one of the fastest growing social media tools you can use. You can’t post links to individual posts, but with the advent of Instagram stories, you can definitely involve a larger portion of your target audience. And, like Facebook, Instagram’s hashtags are a great way to be found by relevant audiences. Instagram has proven to be more useful for high-resolution images, short videos, GIFs, quotes, short stories, etc.
Twitter – The 140-character platform still employs people in real time and has an enthusiastic fan base.
LinkedIn – If your niche has anything to do with the corporate world, small business, entrepreneurship, leadership, management, etc., LinkedIn should be the platform for your advertising.
Overall, these four platforms win the social media race, at least in the Indian scenario. It is important to know that no particular platform fits your strategy. The way you market your blog and brand changes from platform to platform. For e.g. More personal communication works well on Facebook, while a more prominent approach is useful on Instagram and Twitter. LinkedIn has a completely different, more professional voice.
When you switch from platform to platform, your communication strategies change.
2. Digital marketing
You could argue that social is part of the digital and that’s fine. At the moment, I just want to give you a brief idea of what comes under the digital aspects of marketing your blog and how you can benefit from it.
While social media is a push strategy in which you pass on your content to your followers, digital is more a pull strategy in which your customers come to you – be it organically or through targeted advertising.
Email marketing, SEO, Google ads are some of the methods that marketers use. For e.g. Building a subscriber base and then sending emails about your content, your upcoming product or service or event, etc. is one of the most basic ways to redirect traffic to your blog. I have over 50,000 people who have subscribed to my blog content in the past 7 years. With an email opening rate of over 15%, a good part of my job of making my blog popular is easy to do (if you share the posts).
SEO can be seen as a system of asking questions and getting answers. When someone searches for “Motivational Speaker in India” I want Google to show them my website and blog. For this reason, I have taken great pains to implement my digital marketing strategies. When your target audience asks a question, they want Google to output you in response to their problems. That’s why SEO is important.
Google ads are also another way to be found by your target audience. The difference is that you don’t have to pay Google for SEO, you have an AdWords account for ads and you need to sponsor your content.
Ads – to do or not to do
If you noticed, you can also sponsor your content on all of the social media platforms mentioned above. This is a dilemma that most marketers face: deciding whether to grow organically or to sponsor their content on Google, Facebook, Instagram, etc.
This is more of a judgment, depending on the stage your company is currently in and the goal behind your blog or a particular blog post. If you want to know more about whether you want to promote your blog or not, you can give this blog a read: The uncensored guide to applying for a blog post,
Other methods of promoting your blog
The methods listed above were just a short checklist of what to consider when creating a blog, writing a blog post, and applying online. There is a lot more you can do with your blog once you get into that groove.
– Networking: You can start networking with other bloggers and invite or request guest posts. Guest contributions work wonders. At least for me. Exchanging links is an important way to increase your reach. Interview celebrities and publish these interviews on your blog. The celebrity itself will then expand your blog address.
– Third-party blogs: If you remember, we talked about aggregator blogs like Lifehack.org, medium.org, etc. You can start by directing some of your traffic to your website.
Blogging is not easy. It requires constant dedication and commitment to content creation. Build your foundation slowly but surely. Learn everything about blogging with hunger. There’s a lot more than this blog post, a lot more nuances. If you have any questions, you can leave a comment below.
And finally – just start. The earlier you start, the more time you have to build up your expertise and convince people of it. It’s not very difficult buddy. Just do it. It’s fun when the habit forms. However, don’t dump your blog after you’ve only written 10-12 posts (just because no one is reading them). Be adamant. Keep blogging. And after a few years, Google ji will automatically list you among the best and most popular blogs in India (in your domain).
99% of people leave it halfway. This 1% that stays for years does the real murder. Amaze the world with your persistence of brilliance. Lakhs are waiting for you. Crores maybe?
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