Blogging was hugely popular when it first started in around 2007. It was a means for people to express themselves online freely, and without the need to know a lot about building websites, HTML and so forth. They could publish whatever they felt like whenever the mood struck them.
Some kept it up on a regular schedule. Most ran out of steam and gave up. Running a blog is a test of endurance and marketing skills, not just writing skills.
Fast forward to the present, and it has never been easier to start a professional-looking blog using software like WordPress. But just because you can start a blog does not mean you should. It is a serious commitment in terms of time and effort, and money too if you buy hosting for your blog – that is, register your own domain name (URL). Having said that, the profits can be considerable for people who don’t just consider their blog to be art, but a real business they can make money from.
How Often Should You Publish?
There are two schools of thought. Frequency is the scattershot approach, with the more posts you have, the more chances you have to attract the search engines and connect with your target audience in order to get traffic, subscribers and sales.
On the other hand, quality content that is 600 to around 2,500 words also has a place in blogging. In fact, longer articles tend to take the top three spots on the search engine results pages. However, longer article like this mean you probably won’t be able to publish as often.
The New Rules of Blogging
Huffington Post has become one of the most successful blogs in the world. However, its success is an exception rather than the rule. It has become so large, with so many contributors, that it can be all things to all people. But for the average blogger or small business, niche is better, focusing on a topic that is known to be a paying market.
Niche Content Marketing
A niche approach is good, but sometimes the niche can still be too broad, and needs to be focused with an even more laser-like precision. Think of pets, versus dogs. You might even be able to get enough blog content for a site about a specific breed, such as cocker spaniels.
With dogs, you might have training issues, and within training, you might have potty training, agility, obedience, guard dog training, and so on. I’ve just got a new dog, hence the dog reference.
Mastery of Subject Matter
One of the biggest trends is creating an “authority site” for your niche. This means publishing high-quality content on a fairly regular editorial schedule, with each post contributing to the overall impression that you are someone in the know in your niche, and therefore worth paying attention to.
Offering Different Forms of Content
It is true that posts with words are important when building your blog. However, under the new rules of the game, you should publish a variety of posts, including audio, video, infographics and more.
In terms of the writing, try articles, lists, question and answer formats, and more.
Consistency is key, and will result in steady growth and profits for your blog.