Blogging is an excellent way to share your passion. Whether you have a product to sell, a service to offer, or you want to tell the world about a compelling interest, starting a blog will help you reach the ideal people.
If you have a personal website, you can connect with a like-minded audience. Generate a readership by writing consistently and authoritatively about your subject. Over time, you’ll learn to hone your blog posts to maximize your engagement with readers and increase your site’s popularity.
If you have a business, then a corporate blog is essential. Modern businesses don’t just look for customers. They make it easy for their customers to find them and they establish relationships that can last a lifetime. Blogging can attract valuable organic traffic to your site.
If you’re a journalist, don’t rely on publications to increase your standing. Your blog is your platform, independent of previous or future publications. With the right methods, you will attract readers who want not only the information in your articles but your voice. You can also establish your authority, connect with editors, and land long-term writing work.
If these reasons aren’t compelling enough, you can also use your blog to make money regardless of whether or not you have a product or service.
Become a freelance blogger to hire out your growing talents to other blogs. Or, monetize your own blog, say, by incorporating advertising or selling affiliate products.
Sounds great, right? Lots of potential. So, what’s the problem?
With so many reasons for blogging, and so many ways of doing it, there is a ton of information out there. Where do you start?
Many websites specialize on blogging for businesses and entrepreneurs. They are heavy on jargon, with a sharp focus on sales and marketing. Others provide a plethora of practical tips to help potential bloggers tell a story with their online content, but knowing what to learn first - or whose methods to trust – can be unclear.
Which approach is best for you – marketing or sharing a story?
The best bloggers do both. And, so can you.
With this post, we aim to turn down the noise on blogging. Here’s how we’ve simplified things.
Of the many websites that teach their recommended blogging strategies, here are some of our favorites. Check out these links. We trust them. And don’t forget to dip into both sides. A balanced approach to your blogging will ensure that you communicate well with your readers while also inspiring them to take action, whether that action is buying a product, watching a video, making a donation, or signing up to receive updates from you.
General Blogging Advice
Marketing Focused Blogging Advice
Want more? Try using AllTop's blogging category.
If you don’t want to spend your time link-hopping in what might feel like an uncontrolled order, reading a book on the subject is a good way to get comprehensive, clearly organized information on blogging.
Here are our top recommendations for books on blogging.
21 Writing Hacks: A Cheat Sheet for Writing Kick-Ass Blog Posts that Will Open Doors and Land You Clients
Top Blogging Coach, Theodore Nwangene, gets straight to the point in this book, asking: “[Do You] Want to Stop Writing Mediocre Blog Posts that Suck?” Citing the wisdom of top bloggers in the industry, Nwangene covers 21 hacks that bloggers can use to make their posts more persuasive, interactive, and purposeful.
So You Think You Can Write? The Definitive Guide to Successful Online Writing
Julia McAvoy breaks online content writing down into 7 categories.
1. Web Content
3. Social Media
4. Advertising/Sales Copy
5. Industry Writing
7. Creative Writing
This illustrated book has almost 200 pages of guidance and information. It manages to be comprehensive at the same time as being easy to understand.
Epic Content Marketing: How to Tell a Different Story, Break through the Clutter, and Win More Customers by Marketing Less
If you want to stand out from other bloggers, then this might be the book for you. Proclaiming that ‘publishing is the new marketing,’ Joe Pulizzi will show you how to create top quality content every time you post. You’ll learn how to convince your visitors to take action without coming across as heavy-handed.
How To Blog For Profit: Without Selling Your Soul
In this expanded edition of the original title, Ruth Soukup writes from personal experience about how she grew her online business to one million visitors per month, without losing her integrity or her mind. Give this a try to discover wit, wisdom, and the way to blog success.
ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income
Described as the professional blogger’s bible, this guide is written by two of the most successful bloggers in the world. Darren Rowse and Chris Garrett collaborate to share clear, proven, and up to date advice.
Blog, Inc.: Blogging for Passion, Profit, and to Create Community
According to BlogPulse, 95,000 blogs are started every day. In this book, Joy Cho tells readers everything they need to know to get started with their own blog. You’ll learn everything from choosing the right blogging platform to developing your voice to going full-time with a blogging career.
For those who like a classroom feel or a more dynamic learning experience, we recommend these online courses.
Course leaders Kat, Shauna, and Gala have taught close to 1000 women how to make money through their blogging in a way that is stylish, lively, and authentic. Learn over the weekend or over several months – the course materials, based on the founders’ extremely popular workshops, are available to use at your own pace.
Accessible via Facebook, the online class does not give you the instant feedback and interaction of attending a workshop. If you want to monetize your blog, while digging deep and finding your blogging center, then this is the course for you.
Cost: $497 or 2 installments of $250
Writers Digest University
This course is also suitable for beginners, covering all aspects of blogging. As a Writer’s Digest course, you can expect expert writing advice, as well as feedback from other writers and students.
Top instructors, including Dan Blank, Director of Content Strategy & Development at Reed Business Information, will guide you through the entire blogging process. Blank’s blogging expertise has already helped more than 300 professionals create and manage their blogs. He has worked with more than 40 magazine brands, including Library Journal and Publishers Weekly.
Cost: $249.99 for a 4-week session.
Writers.com - How to Start a Blog
This course is created by Jessica Festa, a travel and lifestyle blogger who has worked with General Motors, Microsoft, and American Airlines among others. As a journalist, writer, and photographer, she has appeared in numerous publications online and brings a wealth of experience to this learning.
The course starts with setting up WordPress, then considers branding, content plans, promoting, and finally – in Week 5 - how to use story forms to deliver your message.
Expect case studies, homework, and useful links to required reading.
Cost: $215 for a 5-week course.
quistic - Write Great Blog Posts
Penelope Trunk is a successful author who is known for her captivating prose in various genres. Testimonials point to her success as a blog instructor.
Here, you’ll learn how to write posts that go viral. Posts that catch the public imagination are not the end, but can lead to opportunities, such as interviews and long-term writing gigs.
This course includes email-based course materials and four days of on-demand video sessions.
Cost: $195 gives you access anytime.
Lynda - Creating Better Blog Content
This is another good blogging course for beginners, teaching the basics of setting up a blog and generating ideas, through to execution of your plans. Finish up by learning ways to maximize the reach of your content by using social media and dynamic content forms.
If you want to learn a lot and fast, note that this course is only one hour and 9 minutes long.
Cost: Learning with the Lynda platform incurs a fee of $14.95 per month (basic) or $24.95 per month (premium). It also comes with a free ten-day trial, however, which should be more than enough time to get some valuable information from this video course
Start Your Own Blog
Our final tip to help you learn to blog is: set up your platform and start writing.
There are many free blog platforms available. And the sooner you begin writing content for your site, the better you will be 6 months from now. In a year’s time, you may find yourself being asked to give blogging advice to newbies.
Whatever advice you follow, every blogger meets the challenge of the blank page one word at a time. Start practicing now.
Don’t be afraid to start blogging. It’s not like shark fishing. The best way to learn really is to dive in.
You’ll get the most from websites, books, and online courses on blogging if you balance their accumulated wisdom with practical experience.
If you find yourself floundering in the sea of it all, remember that our curated resources are out there. And so are your potential visitors.
What are you waiting for? Start blogging!