Blogging for Web Copywriters
Blogging is one of the easiest ways to put your web content online or build and maintain a web copy business. For beginners or advanced online writers alike, weblogs offer a diverse and intuitive communication platform.
How to Use a Blog
As a steppingstone to a web copy career.
As one component in a whole strategic online web content business.
To make money.
To test content and headline ideas, measure traffic.
Build relevant links and readership.
Express your creative side.
Leading blog platforms include:
Can You Make Money Blogging?
Absolutely, but if you’re taking up blogging solely for revenue generation then you need to have all the facts. Plenty of bloggers earn money maintaining blogs, but if you think all there is to making money blogging is by investing a few minutes a day in a slapdash post, think again. Good money-making bloggers work very hard (long hours) at crafting timely, relevant and compelling blog posts—copy that attracts readers as well as responding to readers’ comments and participating in dialog in other Internet hinterlands.
Remember, the key to succeeding in an online web copy business is to drive traffic to your site, blog, etc. Any profitable blogging project must have a traffic plan.
Get Started Blogging for Free
Most popular blog platforms are Blogger and Wordpress. The hosted version of Wordpress, Wordpress.com, doesn’t let users monetize, but Blogger does and it’s Google-owned so serving AdSense also means more money in the Google pockets.
Sign up for a blog and Blogger and Wordpress will both automatically create your very first post with a simple “Hello World” greeting that you can later edit or delete. This traditional greeting has been a standard part of computer programming since the mid 1970s and is a common character string used to prove programming language viability.
Both Blogger and Wordpress.com get you off the ground and running within 5 to 10 minutes. So you can begin writing what it is you have been dying to share with the world.
Topics to Blog About
Ah, this is the crux of the problem for many bloggers: how to continue to create blog posts. The beauty of a blog is its dynamic content, or page content that is frequently being changed or updated. Imagine that if you blog on a topic within your industry that every time you write and publish a new blog post you have possibly created another fresh source for industry keywords?
Search robots are particularly fond of blog copy simply because the content is constantly being changed. In recent years many online business owners have been inspired to launch accompanying business blogs for the very reason that these online content vehicles have the potential to drive much more traffic than do static websites. New content attracts the search engine crawlers, drives traffic AND can help build your reputation within a niche market.
Mine fresh sources for blog post topics:
- Comment on a current news flash that has to do with your industry or blog subject matter.
- Keep a running list of blog post ideas as you come up with them.
- Post a follow up to a previous post.
- Check your blog stats for keywords and phrases readers used that led them to your blog—write on those topics.
- Freely and frequently link to other’s blog posts that may feature closely related content or a topic viewpoint distinctly different or even a blogger you admire.
Free Blog Platforms in a Nutshell
Google-owned Blogger is scalable, flexible, lets you monetize, customize and is completely FREE. If you know or learn HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) then you can really tweak and customize your Blogger blog. And the Google folks have made the task of dropping in AdSense ads a snap.
Wordpress comes in two versions: Wordpress.com and Wordpress.org. WP dot com is the free hosted version of Wordpress and is one of most elegant blogging platforms available. If you are expecting to monetize your blog, Wordpress does not permit users of its .com platform to include revenue-generating features. Also HTML customization is limited. Pay for an upgrade and you gain access to CSS and HTML code that gives you much more flexibility with design and more. The built in blog stats are quite nice with Wordpress.com.
Anatomy of a basic blog:
- Dashboard – like a car you manage one or more blogs directly from the dashboard, change account settings, blog layouts, general design features, and more.
- Templates – most blogging platforms come packaged with dozens of different blog templates or designs. You can choose from abstract designs, business oriented designs, pop-culture, topical, minimal and simple and even seasonal or event-inspired. Changing templates or designs is fairly simple as well.
- Post interface – where you write a new blog post is a fairly straightforward WYSISWYG (What You See IS What You Get) interface. Expect basic word processing features such as font selection, size and color; font embellishments (bold, italics, underlined); and tools that let you quickly upload images (photos, clipart, illustrations, logos, screenshots, etc) either from a file on your desktop or elsewhere on the Internet. Quickly create hyperlinks in your posts, as well. Determine post tags and maintain category lists for the topics you generally cover in your posts.
Promote Your Blog
Invite, attract and drive readers by adding your blog’s link (URL) to popular blog directories. Create an email signature if you don’t have one already and add to it your blog link. This is a perfect way to promote your web copy blog to friends, family and business acquaintances, contacts, potential clients, and peers.
Above all—keep your blog content fresh.