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Start blog: Tips & topics, building reach as a beginner

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Blogs and bloggers are an integral part of the media landscape today. And the number of blogs is growing. Whether applicants, freelancers or specialists who want to earn money with blogs: Whoever wants to start a blog does not need much. Here we show you the best tips and tricks for bloggers and beginners, how to find topics and how to build your first reach ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

10 warning signs not to blog

Even if blogging has numerous advantages, there are also good reasons that speak against blogging. A carelessly run blog or for the wrong reasons can quickly turn into full-blown reputational damage. A lack of engagement in your own blog sends a clear message - but unfortunately the wrong one. So before you start planning or creating a blog, we recommend that you check your goals and expectations against the following warning signs.

  • You are fundamentally enthusiastic about the possibilities of a blog - but you rule out experiments or new formats from the outset.
  • One article per month is enough. You definitely don't want to invest more time.
  • They assume that your blog and articles are all about you and about.
  • Comments and feedback are very welcome - critical comments should, however, be deleted immediately or not activated at all.
  • You want to see results after three to four months at the latest, otherwise the blog has failed from your point of view.
  • You are aware that other blogs are also writing about the topics you have chosen. And you see the relevant bloggers as competitors, not network partners.
  • You do not even plan active networking around the blog. In your opinion, good content has to speak for itself.
  • Link other blogs? No way! You're not helping the competition.
  • They think SEO is a new social network or board game.
  • Active monitoring? Much too expensive.

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Start blog: where do I start?

You have decided to start blogging, are ready to invest the time and effort in your blog and get serious about it, now you are wondering how to get started. At the beginning there is the question: What do I want to blog about? Take enough time to answer this question. The answer includes thinking about the area in which your interests lie. What inspires and moves you? But that alone is not enough. In addition to interest, you also need a background of knowledge in order to be able to write useful and to exchange ideas with other bloggers and readers.

Once you have answered the first question, you now have to decide what form your blog should take. Should it be a video blog, microblog or text blog? Of course, formats can be combined and a blog can also be set up using multimedia, but you should still decide how you want to communicate. Should it be the classic variant, you have to choose a hosting service. There are two options here:

They use a free hosting service.

If you want to set up a blog quickly and free of charge, you can use blog hosting services such as blogger.com or wordpress.com. However, these have the disadvantage that only selected designs and plugins are available and the domain refers to the service, e.g. xy.wordpress.com.

You host your blog yourself.

At wordpress.org you can download the technical system free of charge to install your blog yourself on a web server. At the beginning this is a little more complex, but the longer you blog, the more you will appreciate the design options.

You use a managed WordPress hosting provider.

If you want to use the full range of functions of WordPress without having to worry about hosting yourself, a provider specializing in hosting WordPress sites is ideal. In general, there are four areas that distinguish a WordPress host from a normal hosting provider:

  • Support. The team of a managed WordPress host usually consists of professionals with specific expertise in WordPress core software, themes and plugins. This allows technical WordPress problems to be resolved faster and more efficiently.
  • Updates. Automatic updates of the WordPress software, plugins and themes are included in many managed hosting packages. This closes security gaps promptly and the website is always up to date.
  • Caching. Caching ensures faster page delivery by holding individual pages in the cache. Caching is included in the hosting offer of many managed packages. Some WordPress hosters also rely on proven solutions from third-party providers (for example CloudFlare.com) in order to be able to offer a wide range of functions.
  • Flexibility. The advantages of managed WordPress hosting lie in the technical and contractual flexibility. Resources can be added or reduced upon request. There are no limits on storage space, traffic or the number of WordPress installations. Even peak loads can be easily compensated thanks to the special server configuration. Flexible managed hosting is especially important if short-term peak loads are to be expected on the blog - for example because of a TV commercial or reports in media with high reach. Providers also have contractual freedoms: contracts can often be terminated on a monthly basis.

Note: Karrierebibel.de also runs through such a managed WordPress hosting provider: We use HostPress, for example. They also offer a free relocation and installation service and help with questions about setting up a WordPress blog. We are very happy with it.

Find blog topics: What should I write about?

Now we can start. You have decided on a main topic, but where can you find ideas for your articles and contributions? Here is some help:

  • Other blogs and websites in your subject area
  • English article and blogs, the content of which serves as inspiration and a free basis for translation - of course not without your own ideas and additions
  • Magazines, (Specialist) magazines and books
  • Youtube Channels and Podcasts
  • conversations and discussions with colleagues or business partners
  • Experiences in the workplace or in a professional context
  • Situations and circumstances that at first glance have nothing to do with your topic

Record inspiration and ideas

The list shows what you probably already knew: Ideas and topics for new blog posts can arise from almost all life situations and situations. However, the best ideas usually come to you when you don't expect them at all. Who doesn't know the brilliant idea when shopping for the weekend or in the shower? In order to capture and use these fleeting ideas, it is crucial that you write them down in a timely manner. Whether you use pen and paper, the note application on your smartphone, Evernote, voice notes, a photo or other methods is of secondary importance. It is only important that ...

  • You later from the note Derive topic can.
  • you in every situation Be able to hold onto ideas.
  • the expenditure for a note is minimal.
  • The notes later systematically discard and use it for your topic planning.
  • You for decide a method and use them consistently.

Prepared in this way, you can also use spontaneous ideas and sudden bursts of inspiration to find a topic. However, in order to take your topic search to the next level, one quality is essential: the right view. No matter what you hear, see, experience - the question arises: Can it be blogged?

The Perfect Blog Article: This Is What It Looks Like?

Anyone can blog, but nobody likes to read. Many bloggers experience this sobering experience every day. It's extremely frustrating to put in the time and effort and still be able to count the number of readers on one hand. That is why the top rule is: Good blogs offer readers added value on interesting and exciting topics.

What does added value mean in this context?

  • Insights in companies and work processes.
  • Practical tips and tricks from the respective specialist area.
  • Possible solutions for specific problems.
  • inspiration and food for thought.
  • Reason and help for reflection and course correction.
  • Worth knowing and little known information and aspects.
  • Portraits and information from employees or known people.
  • Testimonialsthat can serve as a role model.
  • Good entertainment and appealing humor.

How to write blog articles worth reading

  • Write an interesting headline. Choose a headline that is exciting, promising, provocative, or entertaining. Make it short and sweet and take your time. A good title often determines whether your readers even pay attention to the article. You can find out exactly what a good headline needs here.
  • Keep the promise you make. With your headline you stir up expectations and make a promise to your readers. Do it! In other words: If the title promises practical tips, these must also be included in the article. Otherwise you will lose your readers.
  • Build in pictures. We can't say it enough: blog articles without pictures are boring. You can offer the best content, but with pure text desert you hardly attract readers.
  • Think about the layout. Speaking of text desert: In addition to the images, the layout and design of your articles also play a role. Subheadings, highlighted sentences or keywords, text boxes and lists loosen up an article and make it easier to read.
  • Speak the language of your readers. Write clearly and choose appropriate wording. If you use unnecessary technical terms or too much Denglish, you are often effectively driving readers away.
  • Structure your texts. This applies not only to the optics and layout, but also to the content. Make it easy for readers to follow the common thread.
  • Bring examples and experiences. Valuable information is good, but if you enrich it with your own experiences, it will be even better received by readers - in our experience.
  • Write with wit and humor. Humor or irony may not be appropriate in all articles, but they can make text more engaging and put a smile on your readers' faces.
  • Use different formats. Checklists, guides, tutorials, practical examples - all of these are article formats and elements with which you can make your contributions more interesting.

Varied content: ideas for different formats

Once you start blogging regularly, you will find that a lot depends on how you prepare content. Always following the scheme F will quickly become boring not only for the reader, but also for you as the author. Ideas on how to prepare your articles:

  • Analyzes. Take a closer look at current developments and events in your industry and give your professional opinion.
  • Summaries. Is there a hot topic? Then collect good articles and reports on them and link them - with a comment - in your own article.
  • Recommendations. Do you read other blogs that your readers could benefit from? Then an article in which you recommend and link other bloggers is obvious.
  • Reviews. Of course, you should also read specialist books to keep up to date. There is nothing wrong with reviewing recommended literature on the blog.
  • Reviews. You can also present gadgets, techniques or courses that have offered you added value in reviews.
  • Checklists. Checklists with the most important tips on certain topics are always popular. In general, it is clever to convert such lists into PDFs from time to time and to encourage them as downloads. For two reasons: reader service & SEO.
  • Infographics. If you find thematically suitable infographics, you can use them to knit equally excellent articles. Or, if the author allows this, include the graphics at the same time. Attention only with the image rights!
  • Videos. Videos of good technical quality are also a good basis for articles. Pay particular attention to the quality.
  • Interviews. Use contacts to respected specialists or experts and present them in interviews.
  • Error. Speaking of learning experiences: feel free to describe mistakes you have made and show what you have learned from them.
  • Comments. You can comment on current events or articles in specialist magazines - of course professionally well-founded.
  • ABCs. Instead of checklists, you can also present an ABC of the most important technical basics and terms.
  • Comment responses. You can also use articles to respond to incoming reader comments and show that you care about your readers' concerns.
  • Retrospectives. A review of the development of your industry or technical methods can also be useful as an article.
  • Messages. It doesn't always have to be in-depth articles. Sometimes a reference to a current development is enough.
  • Event report. Do you visit trade fairs and congresses? Then blog about it and share it with your readers.
  • Quotes. Well-known or memorable quotes are great starting points for articles. Please note the applicable quotation law.
  • Parabolas. Educational parables and similes can also enrich blogs.
  • Irony. Ironic articles can add variety to your content. Please make sure that the irony is recognizable.
  • Comparisons. Compare different methods and techniques in your industry and present the advantages and disadvantages.
  • Instructions. If you keep getting questions on a particular topic, you should use them as a basis for instructions that you can then post on the blog.

Start blog: build reach and network

Good quality articles with high user relevance are certainly the basis for a high reach, but are not enough on their own. In addition to good content, the design of the blog and the development of the community also have a decisive influence on your reach and visibility.

For example, prominently integrated social media sharing buttons are essential to encourage readers to share and recommend articles. An appealing design, a clear and clear layout of the articles and a clear call-to-action at the end of an article can also help to make the article attractive for readers and encourage them to share. In order to give the blog maximum visibility, you should consider a few more points. This includes…

  • the Linking your relevant social media presence on your blog.
  • linking your blog from your social media channels.
  • the targeted and active use of your YouTube channelthat you are referring to the blog from.
  • the active sharing of your posts on your social media channels.
  • at irregular intervals the Ask for feedback and comments.

After optimizing your blog and your articles and actively using your social media channels, there is still extensive and important work waiting for you: the targeted community development. Only by actively building relationships, new contacts and networks can you increase the reach and visibility of your blog permanently and sustainably. Participate in discussions in forums and social networks, comment on other blogs, answer questions and get involved as an active and valuable part of the community.

There are two ways to do this:

  1. Guest articles. With the right strategy, guest articles on other blogs can noticeably increase the reach of your blog and sustainably strengthen your reputation and networking. However, those who distribute their guest posts too generously on a wide variety of blogs not only dilute their profile, but also often damage their reputation.
  2. Blog parades. Basically, a blog parade is an invitation. A blogger calls on other bloggers to blog on a specific topic within a clearly defined period of time. In principle, every blogger can participate. Why should you do this? Because it can increase the visibility of your blog, connect with other bloggers and stimulate discussion.

More about blogging

[Photo credit: Roman Samborskyi by Shutterstock.com]

★★★★★ Rating: 4.95 / 5 - 6874 ratings.
October 25, 2020Author: Jochen Mai

Jochen Mai is the founder and editor-in-chief of the career bible. The author of several books lectures at the TH Köln and is a sought-after keynote speaker, coach and consultant.

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