So many people today are interested in blogging. Most of the time it starts out as a hobby or a recreation done out of boredom and large amounts of free time on one’s hands. There are people who eventually grow to enjoy the process of running a blog and would continue posting entries regularly for years. These people have the option to monetize their blogs and earn a little something extra out of their online recreation.
Monetization—this always seems to be the magic word that drives people to give blogging a try. After all, we’ve heard so many stories about bloggers earning thousands of dollars annually from their blogs. Before you can reach that level of success though, you need to have a working blog first and foremost. The following are the essential elements of a blog that you should include or use as a guiding principle.
- Write about your interests. It is very important that what you are blogging about are truly interesting and dear to you, otherwise writing blog posts will feel too much like a chore or a job. You may easily get tired and want to quit even before you’ve made your blog takeoff.
- If you want to establish yourself as an authority in your chosen field, write only about what you know. Never make a statement and claim it as truth without sufficient research. Your more astute readers will likely call you out on your claims at the very least. Of course if such a thing does happen, be humble enough to admit your mistake and acknowledge the correction given by your reader.
- Think up a catchy title that clearly hints at what the blog post is about. You can be as clever as you want when it comes to the title, but it is always better to give readers a hint on what they are about to read so that even if all they see is a list of your blog post titles, they can choose one right away that catches their interest because it’s obviously about something they want to read about.
- Personal blogs are exactly that—written in a personal tone of voice. They are casual, easy to read, and talks about things that people can relate to. A very good blog post is one that makes readers feel as though the blogger is speaking directly to them. Avoid sounding very formal and corporate-like, or getting too technical with certain terms. Of course, the manner of speech also depends on your niche and your audience. For instance, if you’re blogging about RPG games then gaming lingo will be acceptable. If you’re an SEO blogger, terms used by professional SEO services won’t be foreign to your readers.
- There should be something constant in your blog. You can have a Monday Madness theme for example, and write all-in-a-day’s work anecdotes every Monday of the week. You can also create a comic strip every Friday or something similar. Give your readers something to look forward to at least one day a week.
Look and Feel
- Presentation of the text is also extremely important. Seeing that most readers don’t like corporate-sounding blog posts, don’t compose very long paragraphs that resemble those in science textbooks. Keep each post short enough because people’s minds tend to wander when reading very long blog posts.
- Use images and videos strategically. That doesn’t mean you can pepper each post with GIFs and sparkly images because those will simply become distractions, not to mention they can slow your page load time. Any visual addition should also be to support a statement or supplement the information provided (ex: charts, pie graphs, infographics). A banner image right after the title, for instance, can set the tone for the rest of the article. A funny comic or meme can provide comic relief when placed in the right location.
- Carefully choose the font, size, and color of your text. Everything should be visible and easy to read. Don’t use saturated colors that can hurt the eyes. The regular black on white may be basic, but it’s also the most effective color-combination for reading.
- Don’t place your articles inside frames and embedded windows because search engine spiders won’t be able to crawl them.
SEO and Link Building
- Do keyword research. Even those who know nothing about SEO can easily study how to use Google AdWords. Find the keywords that are commonly used by search engine users and use them in your blog posts.
- You need to do link building if you want to optimize your blog. Include links to web pages that contain related and valuable information. Those links need to be from trustworthy sites as well whose names are already recognizable. Readers will appreciate the additional references and your blog page can get crawled and indexed by search engines faster. You can also reference to your earlier blog posts, but don’t be exclusive to internal linking. Yes, outbound links won’t be as helpful as in-bound links, but excess of internally-linking pages can also harm your PageRank.
- Submit your new blog posts to leading content directories like Reddit so that they can be crawled and indexed within hours of posting. Also get your blog included in blog listings and featured blogs of other highly-frequented sites. This strategy works similarly with providing links to top websites. They, along with the directories, are constantly being crawled by the bots; any link back to your website can bring the bots over to your blog.
- Get your friends to subscribe to your blog. Surely, you have many of them in real life—and most of them will have social media accounts, especially Facebook and Twitter. Blogs today can be configured to link with your subscribers’ Facebook and Twitter accounts, making it easy for them to keep track of your posts.
- Speaking of social media, it always helps to create official accounts for your blog. Understand that readers will not want to spend hours on your blog, but they probably will in Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and the like. Capitalize on that fact and continue to make your blog visible to them through updates and casual posts. Social media also helps increase traffic to your blog.
- Get things lively in your blog by creating contests and offering giveaways. People always appreciate free stuff and it encourages readers to actively comment on your posts and participate in your discussions.
Getting high stats is not the only important thing. You can get so many visitors each month but if only a handful of them are loyal readers and stays for more than five minutes, that’s hardly what you call success. Capture a loyal audience, and the stats and money will follow accordingly.