1. Learn SEO basics
The metadata of your blog tells Google and other search engines exactly what your blog is about. So if your article focuses specifically on “how to grow apples,” don’t type your metadata tag as “I love apples!”, enter metadata specifically about the blog post’s subject matter.
Google’s algorithm calculates which search keywords and combinations of keywords are used the most on your pages. If you’re trying to rank for something that nobody is searching for or something that is too difficult for you to rank for, then you are off to a bad start!
A logical structure to your site is highly important for SEO purposes and for user experience. It will also allow Google crawlers to pick up your articles more efficiently which means all your pages are more likely to rank in Google.
2. Build authenticity and credibility
Begin blogging on the right foot by being authentic. Your content ideas and logic will flow much better if it comes from the heart, rather than you trying to wing it and be someone you’re not.
Whatever you do, don’t lie! Don’t make stuff up! You’ll be found out rather quickly and it will degrade your brand image. Do your research and if you don’t know, find out—this is likely to pay back 10-fold.
One of the most important blogging rules is to be transparent and don’t do anything underhanded. Make it blatantly obvious when you’re advertising something. Use the standard Amazon affiliate clause if that’s a chosen monetization route.
Popular blogs become such because they are deemed as being knowledgeable, they add value, and have social proof to back it up. Remember this strategy will also work for your website so ask for shares, recommendations or testimonials when possible.
3. Use long form
Pictures and images
We clever humans don’t just learn from reading text period. We use a combination of text, images, and audio cues to retain and engage with information. Use high-quality and relevant images in your blog posts to increase the on-page time of your audience.
It just plain ranks better
All other things being equal, long-form content will outrank a shorter article, rank for more keywords, and will get more traffic and shares.
4. Create your own product
Income diversity is powerful. Apart from internet marketing affiliation and adverts, creating your own product once your blog is getting traffic could arguably be your biggest asset. It’s yours and only you can decide whether to take it off the market.
Relying on someone else’s products can be unreliable as they may be taken down or affiliate links may be changed under your nose. Nobody can take away your own product, however.
You automatically increase your credibility and become an authority because it’s your product. You’ve created it, you’ve researched it, therefore you cultivate an air of authority.
5. Build linkable assets
Assets that attract links/shares
Create engaging and eye-catching content, something that’s easy to scan through and highly visual. This will make it easy for your audience and other bloggers to link to and share.
What you’re reading right now works—a colorful and highly visual infographic. Provide a problem to a solution and perhaps add some humor—funny memes are all the rage. Data-driven images and “mapographics” are also applicable in some niches.
6. Write for the reader MORE than search engines
Google isn’t going to buy your product or subscribe to your email list. It’s your reader base that you need to focus on:
When you begin blogging, tell your followers when you’ll be updating your blog. A common frequency is once a week. They know that every Sunday they can sit with a cup of coffee and read the latest from their favorite blogger. (That’s you!)
Increase engagement by asking your followers to participate—ask questions, encourage comments, ask followers to send you a DM on Instagram, run competitions.
A head keyword on its own won’t do much for traffic and rankings—it needs context. For example, a long tail of the keyword “blogging” could be “blogging tips and tricks.” But many beginner bloggers add the same phrase too much, or force keywords in at the expense of articles reading naturally. Instead, use synonyms and related terms.
7. Stick to a tight niche
Good for your readers and search engines
Jumping between unrelated niches not only confuses your audience (who are then unlikely to stick around) but it also confuses Google, for it won’t know what you’re an authority on. Later you can branch out into related niches, but stay laser focused at first.
8. Know your audience
What does your audience like?
Whatever it is, do more of it. You can use insights and analytics to get a feel for the demographics of your audience, what topics and content styles they prefer and interact with. From here you can set yourself some blogging guidelines to keep yourself on track.
9. Don’t overdo ‘money posts’
Penalized by Google
If it’s blatantly obvious that you’re just in it for the money, Google may bring down the hammer. Aim for a ratio of 30% monetized, 70% informational.
Say goodbye to your audience
It’ll just be seen as spammy content and, of course, your audience may believe that you only care about money, not them. In order to sell effectively, you need to add value first.
10. Don’t choose a free platform
One of the biggest blogging tips for business related sites: You really, REALLY don’t want to start a blog on the free blogging platforms!
Not as professional
Free blogging platforms just seem to say “cheap.” Paid-for blogging platforms, such as WordPress, are inexpensive and are much more customizable.
You will also own it and thus it can’t be taken away from you! Combine this with an email list and you have a powerful combination of owned assets and a greater chance to make money online.
Tough to monetize
The level of monetization on a free blogging platform is limited, or non-existent. Some won’t even let you monetize through Google AdSense. With your own website, you can use any and all of the monetization methods that are available, start your own courses or classes, run workshops or sell digital products. Do whatever you like!
These blogging tips for beginners should get you started on the right foot. The key is to study blogging strategies, be authentic and make sure you know why you’re building your site in the first place.
Of course, nobody will become an overnight expert by reading this list of 10 beginners blogging commandments, but with a little research and some time and effort, everything else should start to fall into place.
Good luck on your blogging journey!