According to the latest WordPress stats, each month over 400 million Internet users read, or it’s better to say view, more than 23 billion web pages. Yes, people are more likely to view your blog post before they get interested enough to spend more than 15 seconds on reading it.
A few surveys conducted in 2014-2016 revealed that a quarter of a minute is the average time we need to scroll through an online article and evaluate the informativeness and usefulness of its content.
This time is essential to increase the ranking of this webpage and your blog in general. User-oriented Google will see that people like your content and will place it somewhere on the first results page. Even if your article appears at its bottom, as a budding blogger you can congratulate yourself on that.
Well, the prospect looks quite exciting, doesn’t it? But how can a budding blogger win modern readers’ hearts and minds, as well as Google’s trust and approval, considering the enormous amount of various content on the Internet in 2018?
As of January, Tumblr alone is a home for almost 400 million blogs. And their number tends to grow, according to Statista.com, a reliable online source for tech statistics. Just check the chart below and see for yourself.
So, now you realize the challenge you should raise to if you really want to blog. Are you still willing to do it?
If yes, then let’s move on. Today I’m going to tell you about five simple yet time-and-experts-tested steps to write an article that will bring you likes, shares, comments, and just some good reputation online.
But first, we should talk about the other crucial aspect of your blogging – your motivation for it.
Why You Should Start or Continue Blogging in 2018
If you want to become a famous author of a successful blog, you should first explain yourself clearly why you want that. The reasons like “just because my friend has a blog, and I decided to try too” won’t work for you, let alone millions of other Internet users. Crowd-pleasing blogs always help their creators pursue personal objectives – even when these objectives take their roots from pure craving for fame.
My personal experience and some things I learned from reputable bloggers have helped me come up with these four ideas, which might provide you with a better understanding of your own wish to blog.
1. You want (and need) to express and develop yourself
When you know something others don’t, when you have skills others can only dream of, when your experience can help or inspire others, you can be sure that you have a good reason to launch your own blog today. And that you’ll never run out of topics to write on.
At the same time, purposeful and dedicated writing for others strengthens your opinions, broadens and deepens your own knowledge, makes you upgrade the skills you share with readers, and just keeps your mind in good shape. While conveying ideas to your blog visitors in written form, you get better at and more confident about live communication and interaction with different people because you know how to express yourself.
2. You get an opportunity for collaboration and community
Nowadays blogging platforms connect hundreds of thousands of Internet users who have similar views or tastes and share their unique findings or experiences. As Darren Rowse mentions in his post, in blogosphere both bloggers and readers can amplify their own voices and find the ones they need to hear. This forms a community, featuring beneficial interactions and strong friendships.
3. You can make a good profit by blogging. One day.
Making money by writing proves to be a smart and feasible idea. But before you start bringing it into being, keep one simple truth in mind: turning a profit will take time and efforts, as well as creating high-quality and user-friendly content plus finding and engaging readers. But the results are worth it all.
How can blogging help you earn money? As soon as you feel that what you write does attract quite a lot of people, you can try looking for advertisers who would be ready to pay you for “interacting” with your audience.
Promoting your own products or services, supporting affiliate links to other sites, or running events can also become sources of ever-growing income from the blog.
4. You are likely to find meaning in the routine
However philosophical it sounds. Any of my brothers and sisters in the craft will tell you that quality and successful blogging helps realize the necessariness of their knowledge, skills, or ideas. I’ll tell you the same. It’s so good to feel sure that thousands of people want to hear your voice and are ready to add to it.
Understand 2018 Blogging Trends
So, the motivations for writing the first blog article are clear now. What else should you know for a confident and successful launch?
This year has set a few remarkable requirements for bloggers who want to stay trendy. If you’re just about to start, these tips will help you do everything right from the first:
- Follow the latest trends or create original content.
Keeping pace with the most recent news and public interests will earn you an extra chance to rank your blog higher. But there’s one more way to attract an audience: create something they have never seen and read before. The latter is rather difficult to bring to life. (Just remember the stats I’ve cited above.) But it’s still possible if you really have something that will make you stand out.
Experienced bloggers recommend using Buzzsumo.com to stay abreast of what people google and share today. Also, you can check what your potential competitors blog about to decide how you will differ from them.
- Find reliable and professional blogging and hosting platforms.
Basically, you can’t start without them. However, it’s not necessary to look for a hosting platform until you familiarize yourself with everything blogging features and requires. For that, you’ll simply need to find a free and reliable platform.
Although WordPress.com remains a number-one choice of many budding bloggers, you can also try Blogger.com, Tumblr.com, or Medium.com. You don’t need to pay anything to start on them until you wish to get more options and more readers.
- Focus on User Experience.
Usually abbreviated as U.X., user experience refers to a set of aspects characterizing consumer’s or user’s perception of and attitude to a particular product, service, or system. U.X. focuses on people’s needs, preferences, goals, and limitations. That’s why creating the content that would consider all these issues will pay off. At the same time, it proves once again that you should know your audience well enough to answer their questions or entertain them.
- Make your posts longer and even more helpful.
In 2018 bloggers recommend writing longer articles and stuffing them with more useful info. The latter can also include your unique personal experience, as long as it corresponds to your audience’s requests and interests.
Last year HubSpot tried to find out how many words web content should have in order to drive good organic traffic. Those guys based on the research by Medium.com demonstrating that an average adult user would spend about seven minutes on viewing one post. So, if per one minute an adult can read 300 words, then the ideal length of your article should be a little more than 2000 words but not more than 2500 words.
- Add videos, images, infographics, etc.
What’s more, your blog can contain only videos so that it will turn into a vlog. But in this article, we are focusing on “text blogs” solely.
Yet, speaking of videos, you’d better not include them in your post if you have other options, like charts or illustrations. First, videos can load slowly, and that does irritate most of the readers, making them leave your page. Second, it’s not always convenient to watch videos, not because of the slow Internet connection but simply because some of us can forget headphones at home. So, an image or graph will be a safer choice.
Finally, 5 Steps to Write an Outstanding Blog Article Today
Now it’s time to open a create a new file in MS Word, or whatever you prefer to use for work. Ready? Okay. Then take a sip of coffee, a deep breath, and these five simple steps. Good luck!
Step 1. Choose a topic and set a goal
You should write about things you are really interested in. Even if you can’t find them in lists of top trends on Buzzsumo, make sure you know a lot about the chosen issue or can share original experience relating to it.
Then think why you’re going to write. What do you want to say to people and why do you want to do it? Do you want to teach them something, sell them something, or just share some humor with them? Remember your goal while researching and writing. It will help you produce the expected effect.
Step 2. Search for keywords
When you are sure about the topic, you need to support it with keywords. And here Buzzsumo will stand in good stead.
For example, you’re going to write about modern technology. The last 24-hour trends concern Facebook, smartphones and new apps for them, something about bitcoin and artificial intelligence, and suchlike. Check the headings of the most shared articles, pay attention to the ways they are composed, follow the links and take a look at the whole texts. Such research can help you figure out what else you have to add to the topic and how to go original.
Step 3. Plan a structure and write
Now you can make an outline and start writing your own post. Drafting a structure first proves truly helpful. First, it doesn’t allow to deviate from the main idea. Second, it encourages readers to follow your train of thought.
Be ready that in the process of writing you’ll need to do some additional research or just check how to spell the name of someone famous. Taking into account the optimal length of a blog post and the research, it will likely take you from four to five hours to write one article.
Is it too long? Don’t worry. The average amount of time spent on composing one post is getting bigger among bloggers worldwide. Probably, that’s because creating 100% original and quality content requires studying more and more information.
Step 4. Add graphic elements and links
Images and graphs should catch readers’ attention and relate to the content of your post. It looks obvious, but some authors somehow forget about it.
Making references to reputable and credible online sources is also a good move to win users’ and Google’s trust. Such sources include peer-reviewed journals, education, and government sites, as well as sites with high editorial standards.
Step 5. Edit and let your good friend read it before publishing
So you’ll know for sure that the article is interesting, readable, and flawless. These are the key characteristics of well-shared web content. If your features have them, then you are ready and welcome to join global bloggers’ community.