A lot of times I am asked how to make a blog. In the generic sense the question “how to make a blog” means two things; from one side it means why do I need a blog; from the second it implies how to make it work. In this blog post I will touch both sides of the question, and I will explain how to make a blog that works.
As always, this article is written with me being a “doer”. You can know everything on how to make a blog, this does not mean you will be successful. To move from theory to practice, from “how to make a blog” to “Hey, I have a blog” you need hard work. Your favourite text editor won’t magically write your text; so, if you want to understand how to make a blog that works, you need to realise you need to put some work on it!
First of all, before telling you how to make a blog that works, I want to tell you a bit more about why you should have a blog. The reason is two-fold; from one side a technical approach; the most important part is about who you want to talk to.
The technical side on how to make a blog that works, or why to do it, is to talk to Google and Co. You need to get in the radar of the search engines. A web page is good, but a blog is better. In telling Google who are your ideal clients and in writing for them, you are making sure you are relevant for your niche. Being relevant means being seen as a market leader. The answer to “How to make a blog that work?” starts from having the search engines trust you. The more you write, the more you are trusted.
How to make a blog that works is not rocket science
The first to know on how to make a blog that works is that doing it is simpler than it seems. Seriously, you don’t need to be a scientist. Learn a couple of things about SEO, get organised and stop being afraid of failures, and life will be easy; however, don’t expect it to be as simple as eating an ice cream. As I mentioned, you need to put some efforts, especially in the beginning. Words will fail you. Ideas for good articles will not come. I can promise you these things, as I can promise you will fail from time to time.
So, what are the 5 steps you need to walk to create a great blog?
1. Who are you talking to?
The most challenging thing in my first years as a blogger was that I had no idea what to write. When I sharpened my skills and started to understand how to make a blog, nobody wanted to read my s**t. In both cases, the reason was simple: I had no idea whom I was writing to. I was trying to please everyone, which is impossible.
You have to know who you want to write to. Why? Because you will know what is interesting to them and because you will know what to write. If you want to be relevant, you need to be contextualised. We write to photographers and to women who focus on self confidence, self development and who has an interest for photography.
Who do you want to write to?
2. SEO is not hard to learn
SEO stand for “Search Engine Optimisation”. It means that to know how to make a blog, you need to know how to be seen by Google. All my posts focus on one keyword. It is written all over my copy, and to know how to make a blog, you need to understand how to do it. Don’t be fooled, a keyword is not a single word, it can be a sentence and focusing on it will make Google understand what you are talking about.
There are countless resources on how to learn about SEO. Then, if you want to make your life easier, you can use a plugin to help you, like Yoast. Don’t be scared: SEO is not rocket science, and you really need to learn about it if you want to know how to make a blog that works!
What is the keyword I have used for this blog post?
3. Perfection is boring, just do it
One of the issues for new writers is that it takes a long time to write well. Actually, it takes ages to write something, independently from the quality of it. Especially in the beginning you should not focus too much on how perfect your writing is. Just do it, write your blog and publish it. Eat, sleep, rave, repeat! Move to a new post and do it again.
A very important trick you have to remember: don’t edit while you write! Write your s**t, without thinking, without asking “does it make sense?”. Just write it, and when you are done, only then you can start editing your copy and change it. If you want to be perfect before the first review, you are going rot hate blogging. To help me on this I have found iA Writer, a great text editor which has a “Focus Mode” which make me see only the sentence I am currently writing and nothing else.
How long does it take you to write a 500 word text?
4. Consistency, as a blog is a marathon, not a sprint.
How to make a blog that work? You need to be consistent. You need to publish regularly. Starting with once a week is good, twice is better; if you plan to start fresh and you think you can write more than that, let me know how the crash landing will go. Being consistent is absolutely key; alas, it is more key to you than to your blog. Your readership won’t notice if you are late one day or if you skip a post; however, you will. You will start thinking that “it’s ok to skip a beat once or twice”. After a while you will find it much harder to write and you will probably give up.
Sometimes I realise I haven’t written the blog post for the morning after just before going to bed. I simply switch my computer on and I write. Consistency is one of the most important rule on how to make a blog that works; however, it is a work on yourself, and not on your blog.
For how long can you challenge yourself to be consistent in writing?
5. To understand how to make a blog, you need to understand why you need an editorial calendar
At the beginning it will feel hard, then it will get easier, then you will hit a wall that will shock you: you won’t know what to write any longer. It happens to everyone: you know who you want your readers to be, and you know what they want to know. After the first blog posts, though, ideas on what to write will become scarcer and scarcer. One day you will find yourself empty, without ideas and everything you know on how to make a blog will be useless. To solve this you need an editorial calendar, and it must be always full.
Take a few hours and start thinking about your readers. Pencil down everything they can be interested into… and I mean everything. From the most important things, to the details; spend your time to create a list so long that you think you’ll never finish it. Faby and I had a list longer than 200 ideas: we have now more than 450 articles on our blog. Split the big themes in many articles, and make sure you research the keywords for each. I mean: what would you search on google to find your article.
Once you have the list, add each element in your calendar and make sure that you have enough blog posts to write twice a week for two years. That’s a good start (remember #4). This will give you two incredible advantages; first of all you will always know what to write; second, in good days you will be able to write multiple posts one after the other.
Can you think of 50 topics you can write for your readers straight off the bat?
Bonus: don’t give up!
As I mentioned at the beginning, knowing how to make a blog that works and making it happens are two different things. A blog like this is not rocket science, but it is sweat and consistency. More than that, you will find plateaus, you will want to send your blog to hell.
Don’t. Give. Up.