Set it up to EarnThe article highlights ways to create an attractive blog that will make your platform appealing:
1. Use a professional platform: When I first started blogging, I picked this platform because of its user-friendliness and the templates it offered were easy to set. Unfortunately, the article highlights that Word Press is now the "dominant blogging platform," so it advises serious bloggers to pay for a hosting site and choose a platform that will offer more choices in design and usability that will make it look appealing to your target audience.
My hosting site is Blue Host and I set up a basic Word Press account, but as many writers, keeping up with the demand of learning new technology in addition to social media promoting and writing, that definitely presents a challenge, so the transition to Word Press has been slow. I've come to the conclusion that although setting up your blog with all the lights and whistles is helpful, if the content is poor, that is not going to attract an audience.
2. Offer contact information: In a nutshell, remaining a mystery without giving readers an opportunity to contact you for questions or comments is like opening up a business without being able to contact management or the owner. Customers don't like that and neither will your readers. Serious writers make themselves accessible.
3. Have an "About" Page: This is the most visited page after the home page, says the article. It gives readers an opportunity to get to know you and why you write your blog.
4. Keep it Simple: Having a simple header, title, and tagline that communicates to your audience what your blog is about. Fancy or difficult to read text and clutter will discourage readers to read your blog, so avoid multiple rows of tabs or long drop-down menus.
5. Find a niche: Find a subject and stick to that. "While most blogs ramble about whatever the author feels like discussing, business focused blogs stick to a subject or a few related topics."
I have two blogs: One is a blog where I discuss all things Krav Maga and my experience with that self-defense system (to read click here) and this one, which is a blog for writers or would-be writers. If I started writing about Krav Maga here, then that would only confuse my audience and discourage any potential subscribers. You have to ensure that all topics relate. For example: If you are a truck driver wanting to blog about your experience on the road with people you've met and things you've seen, then you want to ensure that the topics discussed all fall under that main theme, talking about interesting people you met and places that inspired you or put you in danger. Some say, I want to blog, but I don't know what to blog about. I would encourage you to get a sheet of paper and brainstorm about the direction you want your blog to take. Ask yourself these questions:
What is the purpose of my blog? Do you want to inspire, entertain, inform, or persuade someone. Let's say you are an advocate for rape victims in the military. Your purpose for your blog could be to inform and/or help survivors. Part of blogging could include commentaries about what is happening to end harassment in the military, inform survivors with tips to stay safe, relate your experiences about how you survived if you went through something similar, etc.
If you are a life coach or trainer, then your blog could be a combination of all four, informing your audience about how to make better life choices, entertain them with funny anecdotes about your life experiences, inspire them for greatness, and persuade them to seek nutritional pathways towards better health by including healthy recipes, etc.
6. Create useful content: Give your audience something they can use, whether it be informational tips or you made them laugh for the day. Writing with "your readers in mind," will keep your audience coming back for more.
7. Write strong headlines: Use headlines that include key words or phrases that people will key in through Google to hep find your blog.
8. Allow your audience to share your blog: Include sharing buttons people can use to share on social media.
I have often been bold enough to even ask people to share. You'll be surprised how generous people are willing to support you if they like what you write and you simply ask.
1. Freelance gigs: If you are a freelancer, include a "Hire Me" button. This way any potential clients can request your services.
I've come to the realization that although I love working for my clients, and having a steady flow of income has been helpful, it can also be extremely time consuming. I love to write fiction, and after working tirelessly for others and not finding time to write my stories, I made a conscious decision to focus solely on my writing this year and freelancing to magazines. I like to be able to control the outcome, the time-frame and do what I love to do.
What direction do you want to take? If writing for clients for a steady flow of income is for you, then the hire me button is a great way to start gathering those clients.
2. Books and Ebooks: If you've published books or eBooks, include them on your page to direct anyone interested in reading further as you start gaining loyal fans.
This has helped me keep a small, but consistent passive income. By including my books and stories on the right side of my blog, people are directed to the page where my stories can be purchased if they are interested. Do you have stories to sell? Don't stash them away and keep them hidden. Include them on your blog.
3. Affliate Sales: This is a "strategy in which a blogger receives a commission for selling someone else's product or service. This approach works best with a larger audience."
4. Courses & Coaching: Some bloggers have gone as far as charging for information on advanced topics. It's not the purpose for my blog, but there are bloggers out there who have been able to make a substantial income from it.
5. Membership Community: Expanding on the courses and coaching concept, a blogger will charge a membership which allows them to be privy to information that the general public is not.
If you're a creative self-starter with a stick-to-it attitude, then blogging may be a great avenue as a money-making potential, and I highly encourage you to do so. If you liked today's blog, and you know someone who might find this information useful, please feel free to share this site with others on your social networks. Also, if you're new to the writing world and need motivation, inspiration, or a little nudge to help get the creative juices going, feel free to join my writer's community page on Facebook (click here). Click on the "About Tab" for an explanation of what each day represents. I'm looking forward to meeting you there. Have a fabulous day and keep moving that pen!