If you have a website, it needs a blog. And if you don’t already have a website, you need to create one so you can start a blog! In this episode of “Website Success,” Chrissy Rey explains why you need a blog and how to get started by selecting a niche, identifying your target audience, brainstorming topic ideas, and creating a content calendar. Tune in for valuable insights on kickstarting your blogging journey and enhancing your online presence, and stay tuned for the next episode focusing on writing engaging blog posts.
Listen to the Episode
In “Getting Started with Blogging,” Chrissy Rey delves into the essentials of blogging for business owners. This episode, the first of a three-part series, covers why blogging is crucial for enhancing online presence and connecting with audiences.
- 0:00-1:09: Introduction to the world of blogging and its significance.
- 1:09-2:35: Exploring the power of blogs for driving traffic and enhancing SEO.
- 2:40-5:09: Discussion on choosing the right blogging platform.
- 5:36-11:06: Strategies for planning your blog, including defining your niche and organizing a content calendar.
- 11:06-12:24: The importance of consistency in blogging and being adaptable to change.
- 12:24-13:03: Preview of upcoming episodes and an invitation to the Blog Hero Bootcamp.
- Blogs are vital for increasing website traffic, boosting SEO, establishing authority, and engaging with customers.
- WordPress is highly recommended for blogging, with other options like Squarespace and Wix also available.
- The limitations and risks of hosting blogs on social media platforms are discussed.
- The importance of defining a niche, understanding your audience, and using tools like Trello and AirTable for content planning is highlighted.
- Consistency and adaptability are key to successful blogging.
- Google Calendar
- Blog Hero Bootcamp at Website Success Academy
- Website Success Lounge on Facebook
Hello, and welcome back to “Website Success.” I’m Chrissy Rey, and today we are diving into the world of blogging. One of my favorite subjects. Blogging is a fantastic way for business owners to connect with their audience, and enhance their online presence. Whether you’re a seasoned writer or you’re just getting started out, this episode will guide you through the basics of getting your blog off the ground.
There’s a lot to cover when it comes to blogging. So I’m going to spread this topic out over three episodes. And in this first episode, I’ll talk about getting started. But in the next episode, I’m going to talk about writing engaging blog posts. And then in the third episode, I’ll talk about search engine optimization strategies for bloggers. Honestly, there’s way more to blogging than I can cover in three episodes. But I think these three can help you get started. And then I will have some future episodes about related topics.
Let’s start by exploring why a blog can be a powerful tool for your business.
Firstly, blogs can drive traffic to your website by consistently publishing fresh content. You give people a good reason to visit your site regularly. Each blog post is an opportunity to attract new visitors through organic search, social media shares, and even email marketing.
Secondly, speaking of search engine optimization or SEO, blogs are critical to that. They allow you to naturally incorporate a variety of keywords that your target audience is searching for. Which will, as a result, improve your site’s visibility on search engines.
Thirdly a well-maintained blog helps establish your authority in your industry by sharing expert insights, tips, and industry news. You position yourself as a knowledgeable and trustworthy source in your field. This will help build your credibility with your audience. And it can also set you apart from your competitors.
Lastly, blogs provide a unique platform for engaging with your customers. They can open up a two-way conversation through comments, feedback, and shares. And that could allow you to directly interact with your audience and understand their needs and their preferences better. This interaction can foster a sense of community and loyalty around your brand.
So, in summary, you absolutely need a blog for your website.
One of the first decisions that you’ll make when you start blogging is going to be where to host the blog. The most popular choice, and my personal choice, is WordPress, and that’s thanks in part to its flexibility and its powerful SEO capabilities. Now WordPress is ideal if you plan to scale your blog, add e-commerce or other advanced capabilities, like a learning management system or membership or other features like that. Keep in mind, it’s not just for your blog. If you have WordPress, you don’t need to just use it for your blog. You can actually use it for your entire website. It just so happens that the blog is a built-in feature for all WordPress websites. It was originally created for blogging, so that’s why it really excels at that.
If you want to start with WordPress, check out my YouTube channel and some of the many courses at websitesuccessacademy.com.
Now some other options for blogging include some of the other popular website builders like Squarespace and Wix. So you can blog with those. They just don’t have the same sort of juice as a WordPress website would.
Some business owners consider hosting their blogs directly on social media platforms like LinkedIn or Facebook. And while this might seem convenient, it does come with some significant downsides. So if you’re thinking about doing this kind of slow your roll for just a bit, and I’ll explain why.
First of all, if you’re on a social media platform with your blog, you are at the mercy of that platform and any changes that the platform makes can drastically affect your blogs visibility and reach. That right there should be enough for most people.
A second reason is that you don’t own the content in the same way that you would on a dedicated blog. You technically own the content because you wrote it, but you don’t have control over the design, the structure, and even the permanence of your content. So that’s where I’m talking about the ownership.
And then thirdly, blogs hosted on social media platforms have very limited SEO benefits for you. The content is going to contribute to the platforms domain authority and not to your website’s domain authority. And that’s a big part of search engine optimization. So that’s really a missed opportunity for driving traffic to your own website if you’re hosting it on a social media platform. So you don’t want to drive traffic to the social media platform, you want to drive the traffic to your website.
So for all of those reasons and some others, while social media can be an effective channel to promote your blog. It’s generally not a good idea to use it as the primary host for your blog content. So in other words, put your blog on your WordPress or whatever website you’re using and then share the links to the posts, the actual blog posts on your social media. Use that social media to drive the traffic to your website and your blog would be there.
So after you’ve picked a platform for hosting your blog, what do you do next? The next thing is you need to start doing some planning. So the first thing that I usually do is define the niche and that’s what I recommend to all new bloggers: define your niche. That’s really important. Ask yourself, what unique perspectives, expertise, or solutions you can offer to your audience? So, for example, are you an expert in sustainable fashion? A guru in home organization? Or if you’re like me, do you have an affinity for traveling around in your RV and going to local breweries? That’s what one of my blogs is about. So what, what is your expertise in that? I would consider myself an expert in traveling around the well, the Eastern half of the U S in my RV, going to breweries. That’s my personal expertise. Knowing your niche is going to help you create content that is authentic and highly relevant.
Now once you’ve pinpointed your niche, focus on identifying your target audience. Who are you writing the blog for? What are their interests? What are their challenges? What questions might they have related to your niche? Understanding your target audience is going to guide you in creating content that not only engages, but also provides value to your audience. So going back to my blog, as an example, it’s highways and hops, we talk about some very specific things when we go to breweries . We ask about if the brewery is dog friendly, if it’s kid friendly and that’s because I’m generally talking to people that are like me, that have the RV, that travel with their family, they travel with their kids and maybe their, pets, most likely their dogs. So those are some things that are important to my particular audience.
Now once you’ve pinpointed your niche, and you’ve picked out your target audience, the next thing that you should do is start brainstorming topic ideas. So think about common questions that your audience might have, any trends in your industry, any personal experiences, any lessons learned that could benefit others. The goal is to generate a list of varied topics that encompass different aspects of your niche, and that’s going to help to keep your content fresh and engaging.
So for me, for example, one of the things that I do is think about which breweries could I go to, which campgrounds can I go to? And those are going to be the topics that I focus on primarily, but I also will talk about things like what is the best toilet tissue digester, which sounds really gross and it kind of is, but what are the best enzymes to put in your RV toilet to help break down, the toilet tissue that’s in there, so it doesn’t stop up your, your black tank, which is what they call the sewer tank. Or, what are the most portable grills that you can take when you go camping? Those are some questions that I might answer for my blog.
Now, if you are concerned with search engine optimization and you probably should be. This topic research, these topic ideas are going to be where you’ll start doing what’s called keyword research. So you’ll know which topics are going to give your website some sort of extra SEO power, so to speak. And in the episode about search engine optimization, I will talk more about that.
Once you’ve got some topic ideas set, then it’s time to organize those ideas into a content calendar. And the content calendar is more than just a schedule. It’s a strategic tool that will help you plan out when and how you will publish your content. A content calendar can help you maintain a consistent posting rhythm, which is really key to building and retaining an audience. And it also ensures that you cover a diverse range of topics over time, keeping your blog dynamic and interesting.
So going back to my personal blog example, I try to spread my posts out, so even though I may go to four or five different breweries on a single camping trip, and that’s usually going to be over a week or two or three, depending on the camping trip. But after I go to a few breweries, I’ll write out my blog posts, but I won’t publish them all at once. I’ll publish them over a few week period or, a few months ‘ period, depending on how many breweries I go to. For that particular blog, I try to post every couple of weeks. I’ve got some blogs that I’ve worked on, where I post every month, once a month. I’ve got some that I post every week. It really just depends on what kind of frequency you want, but once you’ve set a frequency, you want to try to kind of stick to it or make it even more frequent. Once your audience has gotten used to you posting with a certain frequency, they’re going to wonder if you start posting less frequently . So keep that in mind.
Now you can use tools like Trello, Google calendar, or even a simple spreadsheet to create your content calendar. You don’t have to invest in special software to do this. I was using a Google sheet for a while to do this because I was trying to create blog posts that were relevant to my podcast episodes. That were also relevant to other content and courses that I was creating. So I was using a big old spreadsheet to do that, but got a little overwhelming, so I started using something called AirTable. I created a base in AirTable to do that. That way it lets me see all of that content in a calendar, which is really nice. So that’s something to consider.
Now as you embark on this journey, embrace the evolution of your blog. It may start off one way and it might turn into something entirely different. With each post that you create each post that you share. You’re not just sharing your content, keep this in mind. You’re also cultivating a community and you’re also carving out your unique space in the digital world. Blogging is not just about writing your articles or posts, whatever you want to call them. It’s about starting conversations, sharing your experiences, and building relationships with your audience.
So, as you start forward with your content calendar in hand, because you are going to make one and get started with tackling the world of blogging, remember that this journey can be as rewarding as it is challenging. I’m not going to lie. It can be a challenge to have a blog. Cause you got to keep consistent. You got to keep coming up with new content. So it’s just as challenging as having a podcast or maybe even more challenging. But it is an opportunity to express yourself, grow your brand and connect with an audience that awaits your unique voice.
So start with a plan, like I said, be authentic and watch as your blog becomes a pivotal part of your online audience.
Now in the next episode, as I already mentioned, I’m going to delve into writing those amazing blog posts that you added to your content calendar. So it makes sure you come back for that for a deeper dive into blogging.
You can also check out my Blog Hero Bootcamp at websitesuccessacademy.com. You can take it either as a self-paced course or you can sometimes join me for a live three-day challenge, where I walk a group of people through the Blog Hero Bootcamp in a live Facebook group. If you check out the calendar at websitesuccessacademy.com, you’ll be able to see when the next one starts.
And if you have any blogging success stories or challenges, or if you just want to stop, start talking about your blogging journey, I would love to hear from you, so join me in the Website Success Lounge on Facebook. Until next time, I’m Chrissy Rey. Happy blogging.