Blogging Best Practices The Ultimate Guide
This is the exciting part — you finally get to share the content you’ve been working so hard to develop. Put your blog content on it’s corresponding landing page on your website and send your email list of recipients their blog article(s). Share it via social media and send it to members of your network as you see fit.
Best Practices For Writing Blog Posts
1. Generate Ideas and Keywords
2. Write With Your Brand Voice
3. Format Your Blog Posts Properly
4. Write for Humans First, Search Engines Second
6. Keep Your Writing Simple
7. Quality over Quantity
8. Edit Your Content
9. Create Captivating Titles
Upon entering your prospective article title into the analyzer, CoSchedule will provide you with a score along with some suggestions and recommendations to beef up your title and make it more click-worthy.
10. High-Quality Imagery
Best Practices for Optimizing Blog Posts
1. Image Optimization
2. Image Alt Text
3. URL Slug Optimization
If the title of your blog post is “The 5 Best Hiking Trails in Montana You Can Enjoy This Summer” your URL slug might be “hiking-trails-montana” rather than “the-5-best-hiking-trails-in-montana-you-can-enjoy-this-summer“. The former is much more concise!
4. Optimize Meta Data
To write enticing meta data, I like to Google the keyword I’m targeting and see what my competitors have used for their meta data. From there, I try to come up with ways I can improve so users click on my content instead of my competitors.
How to Start a Blog
1. Choose your blog topic and purpose.
2. Register and host your blog
Subdomains are part of your root domain — they appear before the domain in your URL like this: blog.hubspot.com . "Blog" is the subdomain. Subdomains are helpful for organizing a lot of content, including multiple content types. If you have a large blog operation, this structure can help you over time. However, it does pass less authority from your root domain in the short-term.
Subdirectories are divisions of your domain that live on your website, but represent specific pages on your website. For example, a subdirectory that’d take visitors to a specific blog post on a website would look something like this: hubspot.com/blog/article-name . Subdirectories often pass more authority from your root domain and subdomain. However, they can make it hard to scale your content strategy over time since you need more subdirectories to organize your content properly and protect your user experience (UX).
3. Design your blog.
The Help Scout blog is a wonderful example of beautiful blog design. Its minimalist design limits the use of copy and embraces negative space by promoting the latest posts with gorgeous feature images. The blog is aligned with the Help Scout brand and promotes readability and easy navigation.
4. Decide who will write and manage your blog.
5. Determine how frequently you’ll share blog posts.
Consistency is the key to keeping your audience engaged and interested. This will also allow you to maintain your status as an active thought-leader and expert in your industry. Use a content calendar to consistently manage and schedule your blog posts.
The beauty of creating this type of blogging rhythm and sharing that information via an editorial calendar is that it creates a sense of accountability among your team of bloggers. It ensures all writers and contributors have optimized for keywords, added CTAs, and edited their pieces by a certain time and date. This way, you’ll have a consistent stream of content your readers can get in sync with.
6. Write compelling and valuable content.
It’s important to reiterate just how critical it is for your blog content to be both compelling and valuable to your readers. This plays a large part in how you’re viewed by your target audience, customers, competitors, and other industry leaders. It’s also how you’re going to keep readers engaged and loyal to your blog — and hopefully converting to customers, too.
Remember, it takes more time and energy to obtain new subscribers than to maintain current readers. Plus, your current readers have the potential of becoming your brand advocates faster than new subscribers do. So, focus on consistently producing content that captivates your audience all while providing them with useful and worthwhile information so they stick around for the long run.
Patagonia’s blog, The Cleanest Line, is a fascinating publication. It’s not a generic brand blog that discusses Patagonia products or customers; it tells compelling stories written by some of the best writers on the web — yet it still resonates with Patagonia’s target audience and those who share its core values. I’ve personally spent hours reading the articles on The Cleanest Line, and it’s endeared me to Patagonia in the process.
7. Include CTAs.
A CTA might share in-depth content and information with your audience on a specific topic. Or maybe it includes a discount code or special deal on your product or service. A CTA could also provide further training related to the subject of your blog article.
For example, the Omniscient Digital blog naturally weaves CTAs into its posts, making the linked items part of the broader story or takeaway. The goal of CTAs should be to encourage readers to take action without deviating too far from the purpose of the post.
Blog Marketing Strategy
For your blog to do its intended job — drive traffic, convert visitors, increase revenue, and/or promote your brand as a thought-leader or expert — it must have a marketing strategy in itself. How will people locate your blog? What type of content will keep them reading? How can you use your other promotional channels to elevate your blog content?
Always keep your buyer personas top of mind.
Once you create your buyer personas, document a detailed description of who this person is so you can reference it has your business and blog grow. You should be able to refer to this description every time you write a new blog post.
This way, you’ll be able to create content specifically suited to your target customers’ wants, needs, challenges, and/ or pain points. This will also help you turn your blog into a powerful lead conversion tool for your business (i.e. your blog will show your readers and target audience why they need your product or service).
To get a deeper understanding of the actions your buyer personas are likely going to take, research the behaviors of your target audience so you can adapt and tailor your blog content to meet their needs in a way that pushes them to convert in some way. To conduct this type of customer research, you can use:
Keep an eye on your competition.
Speaking of your competitor’s blogs, it’s important to keep an eye on these other thought-leaders in your industry. Your competitors provide insight into what’s working (or not working) in terms of blog content among your target audience.
It also tells you a little bit about what they’re experimenting with and what you’ll need to accomplish to stand out and provide your readers with valuable content they can’t get anywhere else — something unique to your business and your business only.
Create a list of 5-10 of your closest competitors with blogs you could conduct a content audit on. Make conclusions about the type of content they share, unique techniques they’ve implemented in their blog, and how they’re doing in terms of ranking for the keywords you hope to rank for.
Perform SEO and keyword research.
When one of your customers searches a phrase on Google (or any search engine), you want them to find your blog (or web page), not a competitor’s. To make this happen, dedicate some time to researching which keywords and phrases your target audience is typing into search engines so you can include them in your blog posts where they naturally fit.
In other words, you’ll significantly improve your chances of ranking on the search engine results page (SERP) by performing appropriate search engine optimization (SEO) and keyword research prior to writing your blog post, and then incorporating those findings in your content.
Remember, Google’s algorithms are constantly changing to become more intuitive — meaning, old tactics like keyword stuffing will hurt your ranking in the SERP. Instead, you’re better off writing copy that engages audience members first and search engines second.
Decide where you’ll distribute your blog content.
Other ways and platforms through which you might distribute your content include social media, such as Facebook or LinkedIn, and online publishing platforms, such as Medium. You might also work with industry leaders, experts, and influencers to share your content on their websites and social profiles.
Promote your blog content.
It’s probably safe to assume you want your blog content to be as discoverable as possible. In terms of your blogging strategy, this refers to your ability to get your content out there so members of your target audience find, read, and (hopefully) share it.
To begin, identify the key influencers in your niche or industry you want to contact and work with. These should be people your current customers and target audience perceive as credible, trustworthy. and, yes, influential.
As you begin making and managing your influencer connections, remain in regular contact with the ones who are promoting your blog content. Be sure you know what they’re doing to support, share, and promote your blog content and that their tactics meet your business’s standards — you want to ensure they’re representing your brand accurately. After all, you’re likely paying them to promote your content among their audience members.
You can make your relationship with your influencers even stronger by interacting with their content regularly to show your support. For example, if you’re working with an influencer who also has a blog, then go to their blog and read, comment on, and share it (even when the content they’re publishing isn’t necessarily related to your business).
3 Reasons You Should Not Start a Blog
But after giving you those detailed instructions, which could save you hundreds of hours of wasted time, we also want to give you some good reasons why you should not start a blog. (Keep in mind that these reasons are just our opinions, and we do not pretend to offer them up as a collection of empirical blogging maxims.)
- Money. You should not start a blog to make money. We need to get that out of the way first. If your primary objective is to replace your full-time income from blogging, forget about it. It doesn’t work that way.
The funny thing is that all these things can happen. You could make a full-time income from building a blog. We do it, Corbett Barr does it, and so do many others. And you could become an Internet famous blogger like Leo Babauta or Chris Brogan.
But if these are the sole reasons you start blogging, you’ll be miserable because it will seem like a job. And if it feels like a job, you won’t be passionate about it, so you’ll either hate it or fall flat on your face (or both).
4 Blogging Resources
How do you make money blogging? How much do bloggers make? Can I make money blogging? Are blogs still profitable in 2022?
- Creations. By building an audience who finds value in our message, we’ve been able to offer our three books and our documentary, Minimalism, to an audience who is willing to support our creative work. Consequently, all three books have been bestsellers and are now translated into more than a dozen languages; and thanks to Netflix, our documentary is available in 190 countries. (For more information about our book-publishing process, read this blog post series: How to Publish an Indie Book.)
- Audience Contributions. Since we refuse to clutter our blog or popular podcast with ads, we depend on audience support to fund production of our podcast. With more than 5,000 supporters on Patreon and many others via PayPal, The Minimalists Podcast is fully funded with audience support, which means we’re able to pay for our podcast producer, filmmaker, and studio space without advertisements on our platforms.
- Speaking. As we built our audience, many organizations, universities, and conferences began contacting us about speaking at their events. At first, we starting speaking for free just to build a name for ourselves. Then, we started charging a few hundred dollars per event. Now, we’re able to charge significantly more money because the demand for our talks is high.
If you make money along the way, that’s great. In fact, if you help people solve their problems, you’re all but guaranteed to make money from your blog—eventually. Let’s just remember there are at least four resources that are more important than money: skills, time, energy, and attention.
That said, let’s not kid ourselves by acting as if making money is irrelevant—it’s not. Making money from our blog is simply not the primary driver for our creativity or why we became bloggers. Although people often think of money as the ultimate resource, it is the least important of the five mentioned above.
Money won’t necessarily improve your life, but it will amplify your existing behaviors. If you have bad habits, then more money will make your life considerably worse. And if you’re already a generous person, then more money can help you be more loving, caring, and considerate.
What does blog stand for? What does blog mean?
According to Wikipedia, a blog is a discussion or informational website published on the World Wide Web consisting of “discrete, often informal diary-style text entries (posts).” The term “weblog” was coined by Jorn Barger on December 17, 1997. The short form, “blog,” was coined by Peter Merholz, who jokingly broke the word weblog into the phrase we blog in the sidebar of his blog in 1999.
There are blogs that cover nearly every topic, ideology, and interest—from sports and politics to religion and travel and everything in between. Even the world’s largest news organizations—ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CNN, and MSNBC—all have their own blogs.
Squarespace vs WordPress: Why should I use WordPress instead of Squarespace?
- Design (Themes). Squarespace provides some beautiful templates, but they’re limited by the number of designs that are available. Since WordPress is a free, open-source blogging platform, there’s an ecosystem of tens of thousands of themes ready to satisfy every want and need.
Plugins aside, one key feature that’s built in to WordPress, but not Squarespace, is version control. Version control tracks your changes and allows you to compare revisions and revert back to a version of your Page or Post from any point in time.
How do I become a blogger?
The answer is in the question: the only way to become a blogger is to start a blog. This might sound overly simplistic, but that’s because it’s not that complicated. If you follow these steps you’ll become a blogger and start blogging today.
There’s an old truism, “Writers don’t like writing; they like having written.” I think the opposite is true for bloggers: because of the instant gratification of the WordPress “Publish” button, I find that bloggers enjoy writing because they’re constantly sharing that writing with the world.
What’s the difference between a blog and a website?
While the lines have blurred over the years, the simplest way to put it is that a blog is a type of website, one that catalogues, over time, the personal or professional thoughts and beliefs of a person or organization.
Are blogs dead?
Does anyone read blogs anymore? Is blogging a waste of time?
Millions of people read our blog every year-and our audience continues to grow because, thanks to our blog, new people find our work every day. But it’s not just The Minimalists who are successful. Blogs are popular all over the world, and they are the simplest way to publish content without middlemen or gatekeepers.