Following on from the last post in this series, I wanted to open by discussing the feedback I received on copyblogger.com. The overall opinion of our readers is that you like the interface as it is clean and easy to navigate. This tends to be what attracts most readers to a blog, content aside.Website navigation and layout are super important; the more difficult it proves for someone to find what they are looking for, the more likely they are to leave the page. This takes me nicely to the crux of this blog. I want to examine the different platforms that are out there for would be bloggers. Consequently I also want to showcase some of the basic techie skills required if one is to attempt to begin their own blog. As a result of this post, and the ones before and after it, I hope to help you blog with success.
I speak about SEO regularly and I have linked to a great SEO blog here, for those who are new to it. For the purpose of this post I will assume that you have heard of SEO and want to learn comprehensively on the subject. Great step in your learning; SEO is an absolute must for every blogger. Let’s look at some places to learn all there is to know about Search Engine Optimisation.
ADMA – Association for Data Driven Media and Advertising
These guys do an awesome course, but it is not cheap. Expect to pay in excess of $500 for the honour of completing it, but we reckon it is money well spent if you plan on future monetisation of your blog. ADMA have some big name partners associated with them, such as Telstra, so you know you are in good hands.
We are big fans of Moz.com. It is nearly as good as our website and for that we salute them. They run an awesome beginners SEO course, and get this – it is totally free! The content is structured into chapters and is delivered without the bells and whistles. In other words, if you are not technically minded, you will still be able to understand this content.
The Left bank Liberating Education
The Left bank specialises in digital marketing courses, and they also run an awesome SEO Fundamentals course. The course will set you back $100, and takes about 8 to 10 hours to complete. The absolute essentials of SEO are covered in great detail. Now we have SEO ticked off, it is time to look at the different platforms on which to host a blog.
WordPress is the most well-known platform, and it is also extremely user friendly. WordPress started as a basic platform but has now grown into a full content management system with almost 50,000 plug-ins. WordPress can be as basic ; or as complicated as you want it to be. Aside from our many great blogs on WordPress, there are many other fantastic learning tools online.
Learn.wordpress.com is an awesome website to learn all there is to know. Furthermore it is also brought to you by WordPress, so there is no hope of being provided with incorrect information!
Squarespace is my personal favourite platform for blogging. It is not free, but for a small monthly cost, you can be the proud owner of a super glossy website. It is a very user friendly interface, and there is lots of room for creativity. Google Squarespace and you will find a myriad of information on it.
This portal has been around for some time and it is easy to see why it is such a popular option. It is absolutely fool proof in its set up, and it must be noted that it comes with a free blogspot domain. Customise your own for a small price.
Capitalize and Analyze
Now that you are writing awesome content on a quality interface, it is time to start making some coin and measuring your traffic. Measuring of traffic is super important, as it allows you to figure out where your audience is coming from and peak times of engagement, amongst other things. There are a range of analytical tools, with many platforms the proud owners of their own tool. Google Analytics is another widely known measurement stick and we will be examining it in great detail over the next few weeks. Monetisation is really the driving force for most people to blog and I have included a link to our guide to monetisation here.
In order to have a successful blog, the actual blog itself is only one side of the coin. Social media is part and parcel of any successful blog, and it is much more than just Facebook. From Twitter to Instagram, Pinterest to Tumblr, there is a minefield of Social Media options available. Blogging alone is not enough anymore; social media is the like the pigeon that delivers the news. Social forums allow for your stories to travel direct to the reader, rather than waiting for the reader to come to you. Utilisation of the best form of this media can sometimes be confusing so we have a couple of suggestions for the best learning platforms. Hubspot is probably the best out there at the moment. Their blog is jam packed with social media tips, discussions and how-to’s. Furthermore, Their content is really interesting which is a plus. Sometimes learning about marketing can be a bit of a drag (there I said it!) but Hubspot knows how to throw a party. Next week – Wrap up of everything else for future blogateers !Lets ensure you blog with success!
Any thoughts or questions, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below.