- Getting Started in Blogging
Are you considering starting a homeschooling blog? It’s inspiring to see more families choose to homeschool which we know isn’t easy. Sharing your homeschooling journey can be very helpful and motivating to your readers. However, I understand blogging is on another scale of difficulty. I’m here to help you and guide you through what you need to start a blog successfully.
But first let me tell you my story, as a new blogger, mompreneur, and homeschooler, why I started.
One day, I received an email from a publisher. At the time, I wasn’t really looking to publish anything, BUT I had been sitting on a book idea for a few weeks already. The unexpected email made me ponder the idea for longer. I talked to my husband about it, and he suggested that if I really wanted to write a book, I should start with a blog and grow my audience first. His suggestion made sense to me and it wasn’t too daunting, as I already had some experience, even with website building. I felt excited and seriously considered it.
However, I knew that if I pursued it, I would need to set aside my “passive” business with only minimal attention. So, I worked on parking my business so I can pack up and go blog. Now, barely a month in, I am publishing 1-2 posts per day and learning a lot about how to do it right! Let’s see where this journey takes me.
Here are some tips that helped me get started to help YOU get started.
Getting Started in Blogging
1. Identify Goals and Your Commitment
Blogging has evolved over time and is no longer just a means of expressing creativity with words. Nowadays, people turn to search engines for answers and information they need. They prefer to be entertained on social media rather than on Google. So if you’re thinking of starting a blog, ask yourself first – WHY?
Since blogging has become more and more data-driven, you need to do more than just write good content. You also need to pay attention to technical things like using the right keywords, getting a good ranking in search engine results, and building links to your blog. And you need to write new posts quickly so you can build more links and get more traffic, which might help you make some money from your blog.
As you start, you need to have a clear goal in mind and a plan that you will commit to.
For me, it is increasing web traffic to 10k within a year and potentially earning through affiliate marketing. I’ve set my mind to publish at least 5x per week with the help of tools to identify what posts to write, keywords to use, and have quality content.
2. Know Your Audience, More Than Your Niche
Being in business taught me that knowing your customers is more important than knowing your niche. It’s better to know what people are already interested in or are willing to be interested in, rather than producing something that may never consume or want.
Your audience is usually interested in more than just one thing. For example, while you may be homeschooling, that’s not the only aspect of your life. You can share other interests and experiences that people in similar situations would be able to relate to or find useful.
In this blog, GraceDrivenMom, I write about topics such as homeschooling, motherhood, and being a work-at-home mom. These topics are connected for me, and may be for others too. And that’s great!
Create a blog based on you (not just your one interest, but anything that you yourself can write about).
The goal isn’t to cover everything that people may want to know about a certain area, but to answer questions and provide new information that is relevant to your readers today. This is why keyword research is important. You need to know what people are looking for!
3. Learn, Learn, Learn & Do
If you are like me who wants to do everything on your own (at least in the beginning), these are the some of the things you will need to take time learning (unless you would outsource), other than just content writing!
- Building a website
- Keyword research and content planning
- Search engine optimization
- Social media marketing
- Creating publicity materials
- Engaging with leads
- Affiliate marketing
- Showing ads
The sooner you learn these things, which often happens by actually doing them, the sooner you’ll feel settled and more focused on the content writing itself.
4. Build Your Platform
There are many options available for blogging platforms, such as WordPress, Blogger, and Squarespace. When making your choice, consider your technical skills and budget.
WordPress is a good choice if you want full control over your blog and are comfortable with some technical aspects of blogging. Blogger is a user-friendly platform that is free and easy to set up, making it great for beginners. Squarespace is a paid platform known for its sleek design and ease of use.
Even if you have no prior knowledge of creating a website, there are simple step-by-step guides available on YouTube that you can easily follow. This was the case for me, when I made my first website a year ago.
5. Create Quality Content
Focus on creating high-quality posts that will provide value to your readers. Be sure to include images and other media to make your content more engaging.
It’s important to think about your audience when creating content. Consider what questions and concerns your readers may have and address them in your posts. You can also use your own experiences with homeschooling to give examples and insights that will help connect with your readers.
It’s important to set a goal of regular posting to keep your readers engaged and coming back for more. Consistency is key when it comes to blogging, so create a content calendar and stick to it.
6. Optimize Your Posts
Even your great content will grow cobwebs if it doesn’t rank high on search results and no one sees it. You need to understand that every blog post is competing against other posts on ranking which is based on how optimized the post is for the search engine, or so we call “SEO”.
For starters, you will need to search for keywords and you will need to put those highly searched keywords with low competition in the titles, first few sentences of your post, the headings, the alt texts of images, the URL slug, and so on. Having an SEO plugin to your website, if you’re using WordPress, is a big help!
So far, I have found enough keywords to fill my content calendar using the free version of Semrush. Additionally, I regularly use the AIOSEO plugin for optimizing my titles and on-page SEO.
7. Add Internal and External Links As Much As Possible
Linking your posts or pages to another post within your website can help your readers extend their visits and increase your trustworthiness on the topic or niche.
Additionally, you have a great opportunity to guide them in making informed decisions regarding desired purchases by recommending or reviewing products or services within your posts. Make sure to include a link to the store so that users can easily access it.
Some businesses you recommend may have an affiliate program, so don’t miss out on the opportunity to earn commissions when your readers make a purchase through your link.
You can make it easier for your readers to share your post by adding a widget. I recommend using the Shareaholic plugin for WordPress.
8. Share Your Content
At the start, you’ll need to manually drive traffic to your site. Share your posts on social media, with a focus on Pinterest and Facebook groups, and reach out to other homeschool bloggers for collaboration opportunities. For every post you publish, include a vertical image that can be easily pinned. You can also repurpose this image for reels or stories on your other social media accounts.
To promote your blog and grow your audience, it’s important to be consistent and strategic. Develop a social media strategy that includes sharing your posts on relevant platforms, engaging with other homeschool bloggers and influencers, and participating in online communities related to your niche.
Affiliate marketing is also a good way to promote your blog and make some extra money. All you have to do is join affiliate programs with companies that sell products related to your blogposts, and you’ll get a commission for any sales made through your blog. It’s a great opportunity for everyone!
9. Engage with Your Readers
Engaging with your readers is essential for building a community around your blog. Be sure to respond to comments and emails, and consider hosting giveaways and other interactive events to keep your readers engaged.
In addition, ask your readers for feedback and suggestions for future content. Make sure your blog content is exactly what your audience wants to read. By tailoring your writing to their needs, you’ll keep them engaged and coming back for more!
Starting a homeschool blog can be both exciting and a bit challenging at first. With these steps, you’ll be on your way to creating a blog that not only connects you with other homeschoolers but also provides value to your readers and even earns you some extra cash through affiliate marketing. Don’t forget to set a goal of regular posting and most importantly, have fun and happy blogging!