If your goal is to attract and engage more traffic, start a blog. Companies that blog produce an average of 67% more leads per month and 97% more links to their website. So why don’t all businesses have blog content? One of the biggest factors holding them back is uncertainty — they’re not sure how to start a successful blog that generates traffic.
But blogging for beginners is a challenge you can master. All you need is a road map, some tips, and a handful of blog writing examples.
How to Start Blog Writing: A Step-by-Step Guide
Blogging for business only requires three things:
- A setup
- A strategy
Whether you're starting a personal blog or one for your business, the process is simple. The benefit of blog writing is that you can constantly improve and update any piece of content whenever you wish.
1. Get Set Up
The first step to blogging is to create a website. There are free blogging platforms, such as Blogger of WordPress, but if you want full control of your website, consider a paid platform and invest in self-hosting. When starting a blog from scratch, starting with a good self-hosted WordPress site can play a significant impact on your content and SEO. Examples of self-hosting include:
The exact process will depend on your web host or website builder, but all major providers create how-to guides for this common website need. In many builders popular with small businesses — such as Wix or Squarespace — you simply need to click a couple of buttons.
Name Your Blog
Do you want a distinct name for your blog? You don’t need one. “[Your business] blog” is perfectly acceptable. If you want to establish the blog under its own name, pick one with a clear relationship to your brand. For example, Target named its blog “A Bullseye View,” referring to the store’s well-known logo.
The name of your blog doesn't have to be related to your custom domain name. In fact, many websites just name their blog, "blog." However, if you plan to give it a specific name, it should be related to the type of content you create.
Design Your Page
The aesthetic of your page should go with your brand’s colors and style. You also want a clean layout that’s easy to scan. Invite people to spend time exploring attractive and properly-labeled content.
2. Strategize Content
What will be your focus as a blogger? What subjects will you cover? Who will contribute to content creation?
The trick is to carve out a niche with enough specificity to tie everything together — and ensure that visitors are good leads for your business — but enough breadth that you won’t struggle to find new topics.
Successful bloggers create content that are typically some blend of the following:
- Business updates. Trumpet your successes and let people know your plans for the future.
- New products or services. Spotlight new dishes on a restaurant menu or explain how a new package differs from an old one.
- Industry news. Report on the trends and discoveries that interest your customers.
- Personnel profiles and stories. Humanize your brand by introducing the people behind it.
- Case studies. Show off the impact you had on a previous client or project.
- Brand origins. Delve into the experiences and motivations that drive you.
- Thought leadership. Address the big questions about the past, present, and future of your industry.
- Product roundups. Cover the best books or tools that bear on a certain topic.
- How to pieces. Help others get the most out of your offerings and even handle simple problems themselves.
Identify the type of content you’ll provide and the writers who will take responsibility for it.
Create an Editorial Calendar
Develop an editorial calendar for your brand’s content, integrating your new blog but also covering any social media channels.
Answer the following questions:
- How often will you post new content and where?
- How will you support these primary posts through other channels?
- Which people do you want to involve and in what capacity?
- What types of blog articles will you produce?
- What themes will you cover? What role will different seasons or holidays play in your strategy?
Sketch out broad strokes for the coming months and map the general shape of your blog.
Create a Content Calendar
Your content calendar will be a constant work in progress as an agenda through which you plan and schedule blog posts and other major content pieces.
While there’s no limit to how detailed you can make your content calendar, you can get by with a simple list of topics with corresponding publication dates. Multi-person teams should also include the author for each piece.
Brainstorm ideas and put a few top contenders on the list to start.
3. Write Posts
You’re ready to start writing! A good blog post should be:
- Clearly relevant to your audience
- Well-researched and backed up by cited, reputable sources when needed
- Well-written and engaging
- Easy to read, scan, and understand
- Full of value-adding content rather than content fluff
Take your time. The average blogger spends 3.5 hours on a post — and that doesn’t include topic brainstorming, technical formatting, additional search engine optimization, or images.
How to Write a Blog That Increases Traffic: 3 Pro Tips
That’s how to start blog writing. The next step is to turn your blog into the traffic-generating force it can be. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.
1. Write What People Want to Read
Learn what your target audience desires and give it to them. Identify the best:
- Topics. Use tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner and Google Trends to discover popular search terms and subjects.
- Blog writing format. Embrace popular content types such as how-to guides, product reviews, and listicles.
- Titles. Craft attention-grabbing titles that advertise your content to the best effect.
You can also tap your current clientele for ideas. What would they most like to learn from you? Chances are they’re not alone.
2. Employ SEO Best Practices
Search engine optimization (SEO) is how you make sure that your painstakingly crafted posts rank for the right search terms. Blog writing for SEO includes:
- Using keywords organically throughout the article
- Placing your primary keyword in the title and headings
- Incorporating external and internal links
- Providing longer, in-depth pieces on competitive topics
- Writing clear meta descriptions that sum up content in a sentence or two
These are the tactics that improve visibility — and, therefore, traffic.
3. Make Posts Easy to Read
Both search engines and human readers reward clear, well-written content. Streamline your prose and simplify industry terms when possible. Use a grammar checker such as Grammarly, and rigorously proofread your text.
Most people have short attention spans, so make content scannable with headings, lists, and other easy-to-digest content blocks.
When writing for a screen (as opposed to print), keep paragraphs short. Big blocks of texts are difficult to read, and white space is your friend. Try to integrate images and other media forms to add variety and visual appeal, too.
How to Blog Well: 3 Blog Writing Examples
Is blogging easy? Yes and no. You can learn how to start blog writing by reading one or two short articles — something that can’t be said for playing the cello or designing spaceships. However, blogging well requires practice.
One of the best shortcuts to blogging brilliance is to read the work of brands that excel. Draw inspiration from blogs you personally follow and explore the work of others in your niche.
Here are a few top brands with valuable insights to help teach future bloggers.
1. King Arthur Flour Blog: Provide Value
The King Arthur Flour baking blog is one of the best out there. The brand:
- Explains the techniques and science of baking
- Provides recipes
- Addresses common problems
- Comments on important developments in the industry’s agricultural and social practices
All of this material is independently valuable — even if you don’t use King Arthur Flour. The content ensures a steady stream of flour-needing (and flour-kneading) traffic.
2. Function of Beauty Blog: Know Your Audience
F.Y.I. is the blog for the beauty brand Function of Beauty. They specialize in custom, vegan products. Their customers are:
- Primarily women
- Likely to be motivated by ecological and health concerns
- Curious about product ingredients
While another beauty blog might concentrate on styling tips, F.Y.I. focuses on hair and skin health and ingredient profiles. Every piece speaks to the audience most likely to be — or become — a customer.
3. Airbnb Blog: Tell Good Stories
The Airbnb Newsroom develops the brand’s community. It shares exceptional stays, local tips, and initiatives designed to improve the experiences of both hosts and guests.
Unlike many business blogs, which heavily feature how-to content, Airbnb prioritizes rich stories. It goes for the human touch, inviting its readers to participate in the lives of others.
Never underestimate the power of a good story.
How to Save Time Without Sacrificing Quality
The hope is that you feel energized by what you’ve read and determined to go forth and conquer the world of blogging. The reality is that you may simply feel tired. Many businesses don’t have the time or human resources to maintain a blogging schedule.
That’s okay. Remember that you can always replace or supplement your blogging with high-quality blog writing services. Hire professional writers with the experience to support your business goals.
You know how to start blog writing. The decision to do it on your own is entirely up to you.