July 21 2015

Important Questions Every Content Writer India Should Ask Himself Just before Blogging

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Ever since the introduction of blogs, the idea has spread like wildfire. From promotional blogs for a firm, to Ezine and self-help blogs, millions of blogs have made their way into the cyberspace. However, most people haven’t picked up the basic concepts- the results of their efforts being blogs which are poorly designed, have abysmal page ranks on search engines, and are seldom read. It is a shame that with so many top-notch platforms coming up, a staggeringly large portion of users do not leverage the full potential of the blog. If you do intend to take up blogging, you must first ask yourself as well as some trusted sources a few relevant blogging questions.

#1: Why are you blogging?

Please note that “everyone else is” or similar bandwagon-related answers are not considered satisfactory. The one thing every blog needs above everything else is purpose and direction. The reason need not be conventional, but there needs to be one. Maybe you are a comedian, posting anecdotes from your everyday life. Maybe you are a stay-at-home mum, posting pictures of activities with her kids, new food, places and things to do. Maybe you’re a writer, posting samples of your work to attract readers or publishers; or an entrepreneur or inventor trying to pitch a new idea. From branding and promotion, to being a creative outlet, a blog can be used for a huge range of purposes. You need to have a passion, a drive; blogging is not a duty or a chore.

#2: Who are your target audience?

Besides the purpose of the blog, another thing you need to consider is the target audience. It is a good idea to know what demographic your blog is to be aimed at, and produce customized audience-specific content. This way, you can build a larger audience and get more views, because your target audience could share or recommend it to their peers.

#3: What platform should a content writer India choose?

This is the very next among the blogging questions you should be asking. This question has confused bloggers and ignited Internet wars several times in the past. It is a pivotal decision, because you’re stuck with it till the end of time. Most beginners prefer WordPress or Blogger, and for good reason. Blogger is Google’s own service, which means it is fully integrated with all Google apps and is search engine friendly too, which gives your blog a slight edge over the rest. However, you are stuck with a bland and rather unappealing theme and template for the blog and all customization can only be done by tweaking the HTML. If you do know HTML basics, you can go ahead with this. Blogger is the simplest platform out there, and is completely free of cost.

Next comes WordPress. Most prefer this over Blogger due to the design freedom. There are thousands of incredible themes and layouts you can implement. You could also download more plugins and apps to run on the site, adding a lot more functionality than any other platform. The WordPress users’ community is huge too, so any issues you come across can be resolved easily. It is available in two options- WordPress.com, the basic, free version, which has access to all basic functionality and a bunch of themes, but you cannot install custom themes or plugins on it. Your blog is stored on WordPress servers and will be of the format .wordpress.com.

The other is WordPress.org, the most advanced CMS there is. The platform is free, but it is meant to be hosted on external servers, so you will have to purchase a domain name and pay hosting fees. It has a slightly steep learning curve for installation onto the domain through FTP or CPanel, but once you are set up, it provides you a world of freedom. If you plan to make money out of your blog, want all the freedom you can get, and are willing to invest a little start-up money, definitely go for WordPress.org (upgradation from wordpress.com to .org is possible and rather simple). However, if you are an author or are blogging as a hobby, WordPress.com is more than enough for you. Both are SEO-friendly as well.

Beyond the two giants, there are still several providers. Tumblr is a free hosting site, with a host of features available, and open, customizable HTML templates and themes. Some themes can be purchased as well. Its limitations are that it will be .tumblr.com, and it won’t attract as much traffic as you would want right away. Another excellent free provider is Medium, but its biggest strength is also its biggest weakness – a standard non-customizable template. Paid options include TypePad, SquareSpace, Joomla, Drupal, Weebly and many more.

#4: How often should I post?

It is important for you to be posting regularly, so that your viewers do not think you are inactive and leave, and also so that Google’s algorithms recognize your site to be a regularly updated one and rank it higher. The best thing you can do is to plan beforehand. Make a real or a virtual blogging calendar, which will help you to plan and publish regularly, and this way you could also allocate yourself enough time for research and content creation. It is a good idea to plan two weeks to a month ahead, and then keep going.

If you are making a magazine, or a news/sports/tech related blog, you should be posting daily, and there is no harm in posting multiple posts on a single day. For most other blogs, including those for business, twice or thrice a week is good enough. If you are an author, and your creative process is a long one, posting once weekly is alright too.

#4: What makes a good blog post?

This is the quintessential blogging question. There are hundreds of thousands of posts being posted every second, and your post needs to stand out against the billions on search engines as well as in your audience. It must be a “high quality” post, in terms of language and content. It should be very informative, and beat around the bush as less as possible. Plain text doesn’t cut it anymore. Technical articles should be supported by Infographics, and other articles with relevant pictures or videos. A bit of humor is always appreciated, except on posts which are meant to be absolutely serious. Think out of the box. Also, for your title, identify and use “keywords” which would get you better rankings.

#5: How do I become a successful blogger and make money?

The answer to this is simple: Forget about that for a year. Till you build the blog completely, post a lot, and build a significantly large fan base. Then you can consider monetization models.
Monetization models are blueprints which allow you to outline exactly what you want to achieve with your blog, and how you can use your blog to achieve the same.

Once these questions are answered, you could definitely be on your way to being a full-fledged blogger and content writer India. In the end, there is one question only- “When should I start?” The answer is, now.

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