Whether you are a product owner, an entrepreneur, or just a tech enthusiast interested in writing, launching a blog has certainly crossed your mind once or twice. A well-organized blog can lay the foundation for marketing campaigns and help get your brand noticed on the web. It can also become a funny way to promote your product while getting your creative juices flowing.
But in fact, blogging isn’t just about writing. There are many steps to launching a knowledge base which may seem overwhelming at first. Luckily, we have created a step-by-step guide along with actionable tips on creating and maintaining a successful blog.
Without any further ado, let’s get started.
7 Essential Steps to Launch a Blog from Scratch
Step 1. Plan and visualize your target audience (TA)
Before launching a blog, you must first understand why you need it on the whole and who your readers will be. Thus, the planning stage should include goal setting and a general research of your target audience.
When you have clear objectives in mind and can visualize your potential readers, creating relevant content will become that much easier.
Pro tip: create some buyer personas for your different types of readers using specialized templates, such as ones from HubSpot. Provide such basic information as users’ gender, age range, career, hobbies, and other important characteristics.
Once you have created a few reader profiles, it’s time for extensive research. Analyze statistics and customer sentiment to figure out what type of content these people like to read. This will help you come up with a list of topics that may gain traction on your blog.
Having finished your planning work, you are ready to move on to the technical blog implementation.
Step 2. Prepare blog design, domain, and hosting
When the overall blogging strategy is developed, you’re good to start working on technical aspects of launching a blog. The core operations include the creation of the blog design, selection of the domain name, and hosting.
Just as above, this step also requires some research on your end, as the options for domain and web hosting are endless. We recommend that all beginners use WordPress because this platform is highly user-friendly. Your chosen hosting option should ideally be compatible with WordPress and offer a free registered domain, high bandwidth, and an SSL certificate.
If you have chosen a WordPress-optimized host, then you will most likely get started with an easy installation of WordPress with a single click. After this, everything is as simple as putting two and two together.
WordPress is also a perfect solution for creating an appealing blog design. Its easy-to-use functionality allows you to play around with various themes without any required programming or web design skills. Then, you can start customizing the chosen blog theme with plugins to create your dream website.
There are a lot of tutorials and resources to help you find your way around blog design on WordPress.
Pro tip: If you put a blog on a separate domain outside your corporate site, keep in mind that users must be able to easily search for and remember your domain name. We recommend keeping the name simple, catchy, and evoking some vivid associations. Avoid using any special characters and difficult-to-spell words.
Step 3. Craft a content strategy
Now that the website is ready to use, it’s time to outline a general content strategy. Bring out the broad topic list you created in the first step and make it more detailed. Here you should competently combine search engine optimization tendencies and readers’ intent.
If you choose topics that are too broad, there will be too much competition, and your blog is likely to drown in the search results. Otherwise, if you select a too-narrow niche, you won’t be able to reach a wide audience.
So how do you create a well-balanced content strategy? Conduct market research. In this way, you’ll understand whether the topics you have selected are profitable and interesting enough.
Pro tip: Start by searching up the general topics on Google Trends to see what the trends in your industry are and how many people actually Google these topics. You will notice a graph that will demonstrate how interest in your chosen topic has fluctuated or been maintained over time. If the graph is steady or climbing, this means you have found a topic with an audience that will surely bring traffic.
Next, do a general search for the phrase on Google. Right above the provided links, you will notice the number of page results. With simple phrases like “cooking” or “financial consulting,” it can be difficult to beat out the established big websites.
Here is why you should try searching for alternative and more niche topics to see which have less competition. At the bottom of the results page, you will notice more specific related topics which you can focus on. You can also take a look at the ‘People Also Ask’ boxes for some not-so-obvious keyword ideas.
You can also use Google keyword planner to analyze different queries to see the average number of searches per month and get a scope of your competition.
Step 4. Do some SEO magic
SEO is an extensive topic which we couldn’t possibly cover in one post. And that’s not our core topic. So, let’s just touch on the most basic SEO guidelines that are absolutely necessary for an efficient blog.
This step mostly involves searching for and selecting strategic keywords for blog content that will help you rank high in search results. Start by discovering quick-win phrases in a keyword research tool such as Ahrefs, Moz, or another. There, you’ll be able to find out their monthly search volumes showing how popular they are among your TA, competition difficulty, and other essential SEO parameters.
Keyword tools will also recommend similar terms that you can insert into your content to reinforce the primary keyword.
Pro tip: Use a mix of both high and low competition keywords in the beginning. This will help you cover the popular topics through the phrases with accessible keyword difficulty.
Another important part of SEO work is the tech site audit. This is basically a ‘doctor’s checkup for your website’s health’ which must be regularly performed. The factors to check for are mobile-friendliness, speed, on-page optimization (content quality, metadata), quality of internal and external links, and so on.
We won’t dive too deeply into how to perform an audit as it is mostly essential once the blog is up and running, but there are many resources and tools on the Internet which can help you in this process.
Step 5. Form a blogging calendar
The times of chaotic writing and publishing have passed. Now, a blogging calendar is one of the most important items in a blogger’s toolbox.
There are many reasons why it is important to schedule your content. First and foremost, it keeps you organized. Jotting down ideas and research of random post-it notes and stray notebook pages means these are never going to be used. A content calendar will help organize your blog neatly. It is also going to help you always have an idea of what you are writing next, so you are never overwhelmed at the prospect of a deadline.
Not only will it make you stay consistent, but finding holes and faults in your content strategy will also become that much easier.
A blogging calendar is an all-in-one tool to help outline your future strategies and plans. Some suggestions for possible calendar sections include topics, headlines, ideas, research, keywords, sources for images, first edit, and publishing date.
Of course, this calendar is made to be followed, and tracking the work progress of your team’s content creators is just as important as creating the calendar. Here, you can use a progress tracking app to keep the process organized and boost your team’s performance.
Step 6. Write content
Every blog is unique, and the content is what makes it so. This is why we can’t provide any strict guidelines when it comes time to finally write the blog articles. All we can do is provide a few tips to help you get started with efficient copywriting.
Remember, you are writing for an audience of real people. You must always make sure your content is dynamic and engaging so as not to bore the reader and make them click off. Try to imagine the reader sitting in front of you and speak to the reader.
Whenever you can, include facts and statistics in your articles. This is going to build the reader’s trust in you and solidify everything you are saying.
Lastly, always keep it short and sweet. Don’t forget that you are writing an article for the average person and not an academic book. Keep your sentences short, simple, and understandable, just like we have been doing in this article!
Step 7. Publish and distribute
Once you have your website up and your blog articles are being published, you have to ensure that they reach your target audience. That’s when you have to put some effort into link building and outreach marketing.
Try to find other blogs that may be interested in your material and negotiate with their editors on publication. Another technique is preparing top-notch infographics depicting the content of your post and pitching it to other reputable sites with the aim of getting a backlink to your original article.
There are many methods of outreach marketing that you can read about online and easily apply. Regardless of the tactics you choose, we want to encourage you with a piece of valuable advice —never let rejection affect you; keep reaching out as you don’t know where great opportunities await you!
Well, all words are said, so it’s high time to get started working on that blog you have been meaning to create! As you can see, it really isn’t all too difficult once you get down to the details. With a little research and patience, we promise you will see growth in no time. We wish you all the luck in your blogging endeavors!
How to Use UX Research to Help Your Company Grow: 3 Proven Tips
Who knows your target audience better than your team? Your clients themselves. Users with their demands, likings, and desires are mostly the voices that go unnoticed as companies seek to have a smooth user experience.
Having a good team’s commitment, enthusiasm, and hard work will not compensate for the gap in knowledge between what your customers need and what your team believes they will require.
User experience (UX) research overpasses this imbalance throughout the UX design process, making sure that your company ends up saving resources, expanding loyalty, and providing the best UX for each and every user. Discover more about UX research, its solid business importance, and what to test first.
How can organizations employ UX research?
User experience research focuses on ensuring that your customers have a pleasurable interaction while using your service or product. It is critical to consider UX research from the start of any project, as making changes later can be costly and time-consuming.
Here are some ideas for how businesses can perform UX research:
- Ensure that you know who your intended audience is and what they require from your service or product.
- Spend some time learning about the user journey — what actions do they take to accomplish a task? Where do they become perplexed or disappointed?
- Data and feedback should be used to continuously enhance the user experience. Check your product or service with actual users on a regular basis and take note of their feedback.
- Don’t start from the beginning. To get started, there are various off-the-shelf methods and digital options for UX research.
- Ensure that your project has adequate resources.
Three useful practices in UX research
The UX research method plays an important role in your analysis. You need to consider the pros and cons of different techniques. For example, there are methods that are cheap and easy but can take a lot of time when it comes to analysis. Another limitation is your available resources, which will dictate when, how much and what type of UX research you can do. We selected a couple of methods for you that combine affordability and quality at the same time. Let’s take a closer look at each of them.
The process of evaluating a product or service by checking it with actual users is referred to as usability testing. Throughout a test, respondents will typically attempt to finish basic tasks while observers witness, listen, and take down notes. The goal is to pinpoint any design flaws, gather qualitative and quantitative data, and assess the person involved in overall product satisfaction.
Usability testing allows both design and development teams to discover issues prior to them being programmed. The sooner problems are discovered and resolved, the less pricey the modifications will be in aspects of both staff time and potential schedule impact.
Among the most widespread UX research methods for gathering both qualitative and quantitative feedback from your customers is the UX survey. It assists you in better comprehending customer habits and determining what appears to work and what does not, allowing you to prioritize adjustments to your product’s UX.
UX surveys provide a cost-effective way for a SaaS business offering long-term growth to gather customer feedback and make data-driven judgments. UX surveys can help you identify conflicting points in your product’s UX design and provide you with the information you need to improve the user experience.
Session recording is a descriptive research tool that records website visitor surfing sessions in real-time, allowing you to observe the recordings afterward to gain a deeper visitor behavior perspective. It allows marketers to comprehend a user’s entire route on their website, which includes clicks, scrolls, and mouse movements, among other things.
Session recording enables detailed evaluation and study of visitors’ browsing activity, the realization of experience breakage, and the identification of friction sectors, which then aids in the repair of what is damaged and the optimization of UX, resulting in higher conversion rates.
Session recording records your users’ actual life cycle on your webpage so you can find out which parts of it lure them the most, pushes them deeper into the sales funnel or causes them to fall out, diverts attention from a page’s primary CTA, resulting in low sales, and so on. Such information allows you to make confident, data-driven strategic decisions.
What are the consequences of skipping UX research?
Companies recognize the consequences of bad decisions: lost money, time, brand image, and occasionally even the entire organization.
Trying to skip user research will frequently result in poor corporate strategy based on anything other than factual customer feedback, such as:
- Preoccupation with fashion and design trends. Designers are frequently enamored with the newest trends and believe that if they do not implement them, they really aren’t in tune with the times.
- Emotional commitment. Creators and product owners frequently allow their own emotions to affect their capacity to recognize where enhancements could be made.
- Personal views. Many executives generate decisions based on deeply held values and allow their egos to take precedence over acknowledging user needs.
In the end, it is clear that implementing UX design can benefit companies in a variety of ways. In addition to increasing customer satisfaction and conversions, it can also contribute to lowering support and product production costs.
Moreover, satisfied clients are more likely to participate in favorable word-for-word marketing, which can support attracting additional business. As a result, companies that invest in UX design can anticipate seeing remarkable long-term growth.
No time to underestimate UX
In this blog we have considered a simple but important part of UX research. There are many other methods of conducting this analysis, but you can start with the basics. There is no need to doubt the importance and usefulness of UX research, so we advise you to start implementing it today!
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