Blogs have been around since the early 90s, just like Adobe Photoshop. They have been the core of the world wide web. They have given us insights into opinions and unique insights into different industries. In fact, blogs have also been a crucial part of many companies’ websites, especially in recent years, helping them reach their target audiences by answering their queries and increasing their overall presence on the web.
If you own a blog or looking to, here are twenty-five questions we have answered about running a blog.
Should I get a custom domain name?
Yes, you should. Custom domain names will help cement your brand name clearly and make your brand more professional from the get-go. However, before buying a custom domain name, think of the type of domain you will buy. For example, if you’re a British company, then co.uk is perfect. But if you’re based in America or global, then .com is the preferred option by many.
Also, make sure to check if any legal complications may occur with your domain name. For example, if you are naming your blog ‘Nike Shoes’ and buying a similar domain name, you are likely to run into trouble. Picking a unique name is recommended, precisely one that is not ranked for on the search engines. Do your checks before you buy and use your domain name to solidify your reputation.
Should I start from scratch, or can I buy an existing blog?
There are many existing blogs, so purchasing a blog is a choice for some. However, it won’t be cheap if the blog is prominent enough. You also have to realiserealise you will be taking over any previous controversies or mess-ups caused by the blog, so if you choose to buy, make sure to do your diligence.
Our recommendation would be to start from scratch as you will be in complete control of the blog’s image and its future without any baggage that comes with an existing blog.
Can I use videos as part of my blog?
Videos are great and are recommended for blogs. Video blogs, better known as vlogs, are fantastic and are a vital part of YouTube’s content. Videos make your content more digestible for a wider audience and also helps bring more eyes to your brand by being more accessible via multiple mediums.
Videos are also great because they convert into blogs, meaning your content planner will be easier to manage, and content ideas will be easier to develop.
Writing takes up a lot of my time. How can I write faster?
Practice, it’s simple as that. You will only get better in time, and that’s just how it goes. Everyone has a peak time for writing. So make sure to use it wisely and use other time for drafting and developing ideas. We can’t give specifics as everyone works differently, but we can say that practice makes perfect, so write more, and you will get better and faster.
If you are using Microsoft Word for writing, you can also use the ‘dictate’ feature, which will let you turn speech into text. This feature is excellent for quick drafting, especially if you have a million ideas running through your head.
How can I source images for my blog?
From Unsplash to Pixabay, there are many websites nowadays that offer royalty-free imagery for blogs. So, please don’t be shy and use these resources, as they are free.
If you’re willing to pay, then Shutterstock, Freepik and Getty Images are also viable options.
On the other hand, if your blog posts press releases, you can ask the publicist for some photos. Just make sure always to credit the photographer.
I write about sports. All the images are copyrighted, is there a way around it?
Not really. Copyright is copyright. Some blogs have been using stills from video clips, but the quality usually is heavily downgraded, and it still ends up in the grey area when it comes to copyright. We recommend using images that you either own the rights to or are royalty-free.
Should I use Amazon affiliate on my blog?
If you’re looking to make money, then why not. But be careful; make sure to state you are making money from Amazon affiliate and at no point mis-sell anything. Amazon affiliate is a fantastic way to money, especially if you are running a DIY or a hobby-based blog.
Should I allow guest posts?
Guest posts are a great way to get more content on your website without much extra work. So, yes, you should, but be careful about the type of people you allow to post content on your blog. We recommend always seeking out experts and people that have a proven record in your field. Otherwise, they might be simply link-building from your blog.
Guest posts should also have their category or section on your blog so people can differentiate between you and the guest author. This will help protect your image long-term and make your blog more transparent to your audience.
What things should I look out for when I run a blog so I don’t get scammed?
Watch out for dodgy companies asking for links, especially if they are asking for free link insertions. Also, don’t let anyone else use the backend of your blog, even if they are saying they are looking to help you.
If you’re using WordPress, like you probably should, then make sure to install WordFence to make sure the plugins you installed don’t change any of the core files that may infect your website. Other precautions to take are changing the default login page, having a complex username and password, and enabling captcha alongside that. Finally, make sure to have an SSL certificate installed on your website.
Should my blog name be short?
Yes..nt. We prefer shorter, but it doesn’t matter as long as it’s memorable. This goes the same for domain names. Short is better, but it doesn’t need to be short to work.
How much money is it to run a blog per month?
It can range from nothing to £2,000 per month or more, depending on your hosting, writers, and extra costs like plugins. If you’re starting, we’d say the only charges are your domain and hosting fees, which would probably average at about £10 per month.
Hosting platforms like 1&1 start from around £4 per month. The price of hosting platforms with more support and customisation, like Kinsta, start at about £21.
What is the best platform for blogging?
Due to its abundance of plugins and themes, WordPress makes it easy for you to create a professionally designed and optimised blog. It’s the perfect platform to get started and scale without having to worry that you will outgrow it.
How do I get content inspiration for my blog?
We recommend taking in as much content as possible. From podcasts to videos, if you look, you’ll find it. On the other hand, try writing out possible content ideas and writing as much as you can to become consistent, and then ideas will come naturally. One of the significant blog ideas for many blogs is answering questions asked by people. To find queries that you may answer, you can use Google. For example, if you’re selling bikes, you may want to answer common questions about bikes. Searching for “Why is my bike…” or “How can I fix my bike..” will help you understand what people want answering.
Also, look at your competitors, analyse them, see what they are missing and focus on that. Fill the niches, and that will help expand your ideas for your blog.
Does my blog have to have terms and conditions?
Yes, it should — just like any website. Terms and conditions shouldn’t be difficult to read, and luckily there are tons of templates on the web that you can download for free and adapt to your blog.
Does my blog need a logo?
Your blog should have a logo, but it doesn’t have to be anything complex or high-end. The most important thing about your blog will be the content you will provide for your readers.
If you want to grow a more prominent brand whose blog is the core element, then getting a professional logo would be a good idea. Developing a solid image for your blog from the start will help later on when you start getting mentioned in other blogs and across social media.
Should I set up social media channels for my blog?
If your blog is the core channel, then of course. However, if you’re only using the blog as your company blog, then it’s probably not worth it, depending on how much content you will put out — of course.
If you use social media as part of the strategy to promote your blog, then develop a content planner. A content planner will help you keep on top of social media and make sure your social media presence isn’t stale.
How do I grow my blog organically?
Many tutorials and so-called experts are saying that their way is the only way of growing a blog. However, there is no correlation to any type of content that delivers 100% success from what we found. Generally, through our network of blogs, content that does well for us is long-form (1000+ words), question/answer content, and reviews/news. However, these all differ in terms of success. For example, extended essays and lists tend to have a long readership effect, meaning you can still get readers months and years after. However, news specifically in the celebrity space tends to have a short span of readership.
For example, if you are running a local newspaper website, your weekly most-read pieces might be an event during the week in your area. However, the most-read piece of the year most likely will be a list of some sort.
If you need help with your blog, we can provide some free tips specifically for your blog, all you have to do is get in touch, and one of our team members will get back to you with some free tips for your blog.
Does finding a niche help my blog?
Totally. We keep pushing this idea, but yes, niche helps a lot. If you can fill the gaps in your industry, then you will have success. It’s a no brainer. Work smarter, not harder.
If you compete in a blog-heavy industry, then pushing niche content will be your way to grow. For example, if you’re in car insurance, the most common questions will be hard to compete for, understandably. However, if you can find questions about particular cars or situations, you will likely rank higher, as they won’t be answered by anyone yet or much.
How do I optimise my blog, so it runs faster?
It’s also worth looking into your hosting provider, as your blog is likely running from a single server in one country. To prevent slow times in other countries, you can use a CDN (Content Delivery Network). Additionally, cheap hosting services tend to pile up your site in an overcrowded server, which can impact your website’s speed. Finally, use GT Metrix and Page Insights to see how your site performs and where you can improve.
How does a blog look like?
Imagine a news website, now make it simpler with one or two authors and typically less advertising. That’s a blog. A blog is originally a diary-type website that became flooded with eCommerce features, advertising, affiliate links, and video sections over the years. So if you need inspiration, look around at our blog or search around in your specific industry.
How does a blog make money?
There are many ways to make money with your blog, and by many, we mean many. From brand-sponsored posts to Google AdSense, there are various ways to optimise your blog. If you’re running a photography blog, you can sell the photos you publish. If you’re running a makeup blog, then use affiliate links to Amazon and other websites. If you’re out of ideas, then give us a shout.
We also recommend thinking of how you will optimise your blog before you begin and have realistic expectations. If you start your blog simply for revenue, you’ll have a tough road ahead. Blogs can make money, but your industry and the amount of content your produce will affect this hugely. Thus, before starting a blog, figure out a strategy to optimise your blog without hindering your content.
My blog isn’t getting traffic. How do I fix that?
Firstly, make sure your website is indexed in Google via search console. Secondly, Google your URL and see if it comes up. If it does, then it’s on Google. It simply has meagre authority. By producing quality content and collaborating with other blogs, you will gain positions. Of course, you will have to keep writing quality content and be patient — organic SEO takes time!
Apart from Google, we also recommend indexing your site on Bing and other search engines like Yahoo Search, Yandex, AOL and many more.
On the other hand, if you have a budget set to promote your blog, then it’s worth thinking about spending a specific budget on Google Ads or influencer marketing. Usually, we don’t push this for blogs, as they should be part of your organic reach strategy. However, if you are selling a service or a product, it’s worth thinking about partitioning your budget for that.
Can I run a blog for free?
You can, but it will be hard to grow without spending a penny. Blogspot is the place for you if you’re looking for a chance to post for free. WordPress.com is another platform that you can use for free.
If you’re already hosting a website, adding a blog should be free, especially if you are in charge of developing and running it.
Should my business have a blog?
Yes, it should. Businesses should have it, even if it’s just for minor Q&As of 300 words. Something is better than nothing. We even made a short blog post on why your business should have a blog. Blogs are a fantastic way to work on your SEO and increase leads and sales for your business, no matter the industry.
I can’t write well. Can I hire someone else to post on my blog?
Yes, many platforms like Fiverr and Freelancer allow for people to hire writers. They can cost from £5 to £200 per post, all depending on quality. If you’re starting a personal blog, then hiring a professional writer might be out of reach. Nevertheless, you can hire someone to proofread or use plugins like Grammarly, which can help massively. In the end, small mistakes will always happen, and even the most prominent blogs and news publications have them daily. So don’t be put off from writing, even if your writing skills are not there yet. Write, and you’ll get better over time.