Despite the amount of visual online content people consume these days, blogging seems to thrive. What started out as a hobby has transformed into a crucial content strategy when Google rolled out the “Panda” algorithm in 2011.
This helped Google identify low-quality blogs and deem them less relevant, burying them further into Google’s results pages and ranking high-quality ones up on page one. Today, blogging is vital in driving site traffic and ranking websites on search engines.
But with millions of blogs published in a day, how do you even get started? And, why bother blogging in the first place?
4 Reasons You Should Start a Blog
You’re probably scratching your head thinking how hard blogging is and if it’s really worth it. Well, the list of good reasons can get quite expansive, but let’s focus on the really good ones.
Blogs drive traffic to your website
Every time you add a blog post, it’s one more indexed page on your website. This gives you an opportunity to show up in search engines and bring in traffic to your website in organic search.
Blogs will also prompt Google and other search engines that your website is active and that they should keep a close eye for new content on your site.
Blogs convert that traffic into leads
If you’re offering a product or service on top of your expertise, blogs can help you turn traffic into leads, and eventually, conversions. How? By adding call-to-action (CTA) buttons in every blog post.
CTAs can lead directly to the product or to a “lead magnet,” like a free webinar, downloadable, or product trial. A lead magnet is basically anything your visitors would be willing to exchange for their information. Give them an offer that they couldn’t resist.
Blogs give you an authoritative voice
Blogs are an excellent platform to showcase and share your expertise in a niche. The more valuable your content is to your target audience, the more they’ll see you as a thought leader and an authoritative figure.
But if you want to be the go-to person when it comes to a specific topic, you need to provide high-quality content to your audience as much as you can.
READ: How to Maintain the Perfect Blog for Your Target Audience
Blogs can give you long-term results
A single blog post, when done right, can drive traffic indefinitely. When you offer valuable content to your target audience and continue to update it through the years, it will continue to get clicks—and potentially earn you consistent leads!
If you practise good SEO on your blog posts, it’s easy to rank on search engines. And once a blog post gains popularity on search engine results, you can expect traffic and leads for the next days, weeks, months, and even years to come—especially if you’ve posted an evergreen piece.
So even if you’re sleeping or watching Netflix, you’re still reaping the rewards from the effort you’ve put into your blog from the start.
Free Blogging Platforms You Can Try
There are tons of blogging platforms available on the internet, both free and paid. If you don’t want to spend money on your blog, these top blogging platforms will get you started in no time:
While free blogging sites are friendly to your pockets, they’re not as friendly to your online presence. If you want to earn money from blogging by converting leads to customers, you’re not only going to need great content. You also have to make sure your content reaches your target audience.
Will you be able to reach that goal using a free blogging platform? The answer’s no. Here are other reasons why choosing a free platform isn’t a good idea.
Disadvantages of Free Blogging Platforms
- They make you look unprofessional. If you’re serious about blogging and hopefully earn money from it, free blogging platforms are not recommended. If you want to be taken seriously by potential customers, you need to create a professional-looking website.
- They limit your capabilities. There’s only so much you can do with a free blogging platform. Aside from limited themes and functions, you won’t have full control over your own blog. In fact, your website’s URL will be a subdomain of the blogging platform you’re using.
- They curb your monetisation potential. Free blogging platforms give you limited bandwidth, memory space, and advertising options. If you want to make a name for yourself through blogging and earn by allowing ads on your site, a paid blogging platform is the right option for you.
So, if you want to establish a great online presence with an opportunity to acquire new customers and earn money from it, you can start by choosing the right blogging platform that can give you your money’s worth.
Choose to Blog Professionally with WordPress
Now that you know the disadvantages of a free blogging platform, looking for a paid platform that’s worth the money is the hard part. You should look for a good content management system (CMS) like WordPress to help you easily post and manage your website content.
You might be wondering, is WordPress free or not? Yes and no. You can create your own free website under WordPress.com, but you can also use the WordPress software under a separate hosting plan.
- Easy to use. WordPress has a lot of ready–to0use layouts and templates. You can even create and customise your own templates. If you don’t have any coding background, the platform allows you to create and publish blogs using the Visual editor. You can simply copy and paste, finalise your work, then hit publish.
- Faster and simpler workflow. If you have a number of people on your team, WordPress can help ensure that all of your team members have the appropriate access. For instance, developers will have Admin access while writers get Editor access.
- Wide range of plugins. Free blogging platforms limit your website’s potential because they don’t allow you to install plugins. The self-hosted WordPress platform has thousands of plugins that can make you do more. From adding a contact form, improving SEO, increasing site speed, and even creating an e-commerce store, you can do everything and anything with WordPress plugins.
Blogging never goes out of style
Blogging may seem hard to do but with enough effort, blogs can drive traffic towards your website and can be a great source of qualified leads. Apart from that, it can make you an authoritative figure in your niche and give you long-lasting results.
What started out as a simple hobby for creatives is now an important strategy for small businesses for staying relevant in the competitive online world.