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Mini-Masterclass: How to Start a Successful Blog in 2021

How to Start a Successful Blog

The golden age of blogs is not over. 

While some people may try to convince you that video and social media content is what you need to be worrying about, I’m here to tell you blog content is still king. 

The usefulness of having your own blog cannot be overstated and the barrier to entry is relatively low, but it has to be acknowledged that the competition is stiff. 

Given that you’re reading this on Zyro’s own successful blog, you’ll appreciate that I have a thing or two to say about blogging, especially as a business. 

In this mini-masterclass, I’ll introduce you to 5 key steps to take if you’re hoping to launch a successful blog. 

Why launch a blog in 2021?

Blogs might feel like they’re a hangover from an earlier time on the internet, but in 2021 blogs are more important to online businesses than ever before. 

Some of the perks of writing a blog include:

  • Offers higher SEO rankings. The more quality content related to your business niche you have on your website, the better you’ll rank in search engine results. 
  • Promotes trust. A blog in which you are transparent about your business and speak in an authentic voice will lend you and your business credibility. 
  • Allows you to speak directly to customers. You can say exactly what you want to say in your own voice, without an intermediary. 
  • Gives you space to go deeper into your message. Ad copy and social media content are too brief to go into details about your business. 

Launch your blog in 5 steps

Feel ready to launch your own blog? Follow these 5 steps to help make sure your blog is an instant success. 

1. Find and focus on a niche

Finding the focus of your blog is the obvious first step. While you can cover various topics in the content of your blog, there should be at least one overarching theme on which all the content hangs on. 

If you’re launching your blog to team with your existing business, then the niche of your blog will likely be related to whatever product or service you offer. If you’re more open in your options, it’s good to choose a focus where you know you’ll have plenty to say. 

Take these steps to make sure that your focus will have traction:

  • Choose a topic you’re interested in. Whether it’s to do with your business or not, you need to be able to write interesting, authoritative content about your chosen topic. 
  • Narrow your focus. Once you have a broad topic, it’s fine to focus on a niche within that topic. Use your knowledge of competitor blogs to carve out a niche. 
  • Check your keywords. Search traffic is vital for blogs. Use keyword tools like Ahrefs to discover what users are searching for on search engines. 

2. Choose a platform and secure a domain

Once your blog focus is solid in your mind, you need to choose a platform that will give you the feature and control for you to create the kind of blog you want. You should also be sure to pick a platform that isn’t too hard to use.  

If you have a high level of technical knowledge, you may choose to code your own blog or use a highly flexible CMS platform like WordPress. However, if you’re less skilled, it’s wise to choose a website builder like Zyro

Taking Zyro as an example, using a website builder generally gives you advantages like:

  • Easy to use. You can create the kind of website you want without having to know anything about coding or web design. 
  • Blogging tools. Discover a full suite of tools for designing, writing, publishing, and managing content on your blog. 
  • SEO optimization. Make sure you’re discovered on search engines by making your content and website as a whole friendly to search engines
  • Marketing integrations. You’ll be able to reach a bigger audience with the help of professional marketing tools. 
  • Clear user metrics. Understand how your content is performing with comprehensive and easy to understand user data. 
  • Option to add a store. One of the easiest ways to monetize your blog is through the addition of an online store. You can add one at any time with just a few clicks. 

Using a website builder like Zyro has the added advantage of letting you purchase the perfect domain for your blog directly from the builder dashboard. 

3. Design your blog and brainstorm ideas 

Whichever approach you choose to build your website, at some point you’ll need to get building and start thinking up blog post ideas. 

Designing your blog with a website builder is straightforward, but there are a few things you should bear in mind when putting all your ideas together:

  • Easy navigation. A logical link architecture not only makes it simple for your visitors to find the content they want, but also makes your website more attractive to search engines. 
  • Clear categories. It’s always better to break your content into categories. This helps you theme your content, and allows readers to discover more information about the same topic. 
  • Unified layout. To make sure that your user experience makes sense, ensure that you have a similar design and layout throughout your website. 
  • Easy to find info. Make your contact information and ‘About’ information easy to find so that readers can easily connect with you. 
  • Simple layouts. It’s been shown time and time again that users respond better to websites that are clean and simple. It’s advisable to not go overboard with design. 

As your site is coming together, you can start planning blog post ideas. You’ll probably have some ideas from your keyword research, but it’s worth taking time to note down inspiration when it hits. 

Make a list of possible topics, then order them based on importance and relevance. 

4. Start writing and plan your calendar 

All that’s left at this point is to start writing. Creating your first post is simple if you follow these steps:

  1. Choose a topic. You should already have a list of topics to use at this point. Pick the most relevant and interesting one. 
  2. Generate a working title. This might change later on, but having a title to start with will help you form your ideas coherently. 
  3. Write a captivating intro. It’s a good idea to write your introduction first, as it will set out your main thesis for both your readers and you to follow. 
  4. Plan the layout for your ideas. Think about the subheadings you’ll use and which order they should come in. 
  5. Get writing. Nothing left to do now than get to the process of writing the post. 
  6. Proofread and edit. If you have someone else who will proofread your post for you, this certainly helps keep higher standards. 
  7. Add calls to action. Want your readers to visit your store or read more content? Calls to action can direct them to do so.  
  8. Use compelling graphics. Just as important as your words are the images and other graphical content that goes alongside. 

It’s a great idea to create a content calendar to plan your posts ahead of time. Not only will this ensure that there’s always fresh content making its way to your blog, but also gives you deadlines to focus on. 

5. Promote and monetize your blog

Once you’ve got a few posts published, all you need is readers to come and discover what you have to say. Here are a few ways you might choose to promote your blog:

  • SEO. If you have attractive content that answers users’ questions, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t soon have traffic arriving through search. Increase your chances using Zyro’s SEO tools. 
  • Social media. If you have a following on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or TikTik, you can share links to your blog and encourage people to visit. 
  • Email marketing. Reaching people in their mailboxes can feel personal, and allows you to tailor your message. 
  • Guest posting. Offering content to other, more established blogs will give you the opportunity to share their reader base. 

If you’d like to monetize your blog, you have loads of options, from adding an online store and selling your own merchandise, to creating premium content with a subscription model. For specific tips, check out my post about monetizing a blog.

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Duncan is obsessed with making website building and eCommerce accessible to everyone. He explains the best tools and the latest digital marketing trends in ways that are clear and engaging. His focus is on supporting the sustainable growth of small to medium-sized enterprises. When not writing, he enjoys deep sea fishing and endurance cycling.

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