WordPress is the granddaddy of blogging platforms. If you didn’t already know, not only are the majority of blogs created using WordPress, but the majority of websites use it as well. It’s easy to get the hang of and includes every plugin you need when blogging, including the option to customize your blog’s appearance, add photos, social media sharing, SEO measuring and much more.
So you’ve got your blogging platform ready to go — now what to write about? If you’re starting a blog for your business, you’ve already got a niche market you’re targeting. Remember, they’re coming to your site for topics that are not only within your niche, but they’re also searching for information they don’t already know. You’re content must be of value and extremely informative while keeping it entertaining. If you’re new to the blogging sphere, you’ll want to do some research and find out what kind of topics your target market is searching for.
In the kingdom of time efficiency, we would like to introduce you to BuzzSumo. BuzzSumo is a platform for content brainstorming, but more importantly, it will give you the lists of the most popular blog topics in relations to your searched keywords. For example, if you are a real estate agent, you may want to write a blog post on how to stage a home, so you would type in “home staging” and the results would come up as a list of all the most popular blog posts that have been written on that subject. You can’t plagiarize the content, because that would hurt your chances of getting traffic to your site, but you can use the ideas listed to help inspire you to write something similar with your own twist.
In relation to the power of visuals, let’s take a look at popular online photo sharing platforms and what they’re worth. Instagram and Tumblr were both sold for $1 billion. So let’s be clear about one thing, we’re living in an over sharing, digital society and people’s attention span is short. Things need to be easy to digest and aesthetically pleasing. People will come back to your blog because they care about what you have to say, but in order to keep them there, what they’re reading has to be enjoyable. And a sure way to do that is to include lots of photos.
Flickr, specifically, is a great tool for finding photos to include in your posts. Unlike grabbing photos you find through Google, Flickr allows people to use the photos on their site for commercial use. This will help you get the job done and avoid any copyright issues.
In order to increase your content’s chance of visibility, you hope your readers will like your content enough to share your posts with their network. To make that option easy for them, download a plugin like Digg Digg. This tool will implement an option for your readers to share your content to any social media platform of their choice straight from the post itself.
This is where you lock in your readers for the long haul. Optin Skin is a plugin that will allow you to include an option at the end of your post where your readers can input their email address. You can choose to ask them to plug in their email address for you so that you can send them content straight to their email, simply because they like you. But more often than not, you’ll actually have to offer them something of real value, such as a promotion.
According to Andrea Vahl, the community manager for Social Media Examiner, “many studies have shown that people ignore the side bar, so when putting your opt-in right in line with your blog post, you can get people on your email list who have missed the sidebar opt-in.”
Optin Skin lets you customize a template where you can chose the color and design that matches your brand. Additionally, if you want to make sure you are securing your long-term readership, Nimble Media’s viral blogging program certifies the content they create locks email subscriptions.