I never realized how much I loved talking about blogging UNTIL January 16, 2020.
I consider this the start of my business. Just over 2 years ago, I started Creative Purpose. Up until recently, it was called Samantha Laycock Blogging. As I stood at the library, giving a workshop on Blogging For Your Business.
I was so nervous that no one was going to show up. My beautiful friend Jody bought a ticket and then a few days before, I had a stranger purchase a ticket. As I stood in front of them, the nerves went away. It was at that moment that it felt like everything was falling into place.
The struggles of being an entrepreneur.
The struggles of knowing if I was doing the right thing.
Now the struggles of being an entrepreneur didn’t go away and they never will but life felt good. It felt easy. It felt like I was exactly where I was supposed to be. I was FINALLY creating a business that filled my creative side as well as my passionate side.
Two years later and I am still here, teaching women how to blog. Over the past six months, my business has added services that I never thought I would do. With the help of a small business program and the incredible participants with me in that program, they helped me to see more of my strengths and never once gave up on me.
41 OF YOUR MOST ASKED BLOGGING QUESTIONS ANSWERED
In this blog post, I am doing what I love the most. Some of these questions I have answered in their own separate blog posts so I will be linking to them. If there is a question that you need more clarity on, don’t hesitate to reach out or check out the other blog post about that topic.
This is a condensed version of all of these questions so that you can easily find an answer to what you are struggling with.
What is the best blogging platform?
This answer is going to be different from what other bloggers say. Most bloggers instantly jump and say WordPress. I get it. It is a great platform for blogging BUT it doesn’t mean that it is a platform for everyone.
WordPress has a HUGE learning curve and if you do not have the technical skills, you will struggle with it.
There are so many other options for website platforms out there including Wix, Squarespace, and GoDaddy. Wix is and always will be my recommendation for a website platform. It is easy to use and I love that it walks you through setting up your SEO. I work with beginner bloggers who don’t understand how SEO works so this is a great option.
However, every blogger is going to have different needs so there is no one size fits all to this question. If you are looking for help on how to figure out which platform you should use, check out my blog post on choosing your blogging platform. You will get access to the free workbook that I created to help you choose the platform that best suits your needs.
Should I use a free platform?
The easy answer is no but the more complicated answer is if you need to.
I don’t recommend using a free platform because you want to be able to customize your URL and you can’t do that with a free platform. However, I also don’t want money to be a reason that you don’t start your blog.
I started on a free platform because it was all I could do when I started blogging in 2014. So if you can, pay for your website platform. If you can’t, start on a free platform and switch to paid when you can.
What is a self-hosted blog?
My blog is a hosted blog because I use Wix. I want you to think of it as renting space. I pay Wix monthly or yearly to host my blog. On the other hand, if you use WordPress.org, your website will be self-hosted. That means that it is open-source software that you download and modify to how you want it to be.
Having a self-hosted blog means that the software is free but you will need to pay for them to host your website files on their servers and you will also need to purchase your domain. This option is great if you are great with technology. If not, it can be a harder option for you to build your own blog and website.
How can I make my blog easy to read?
There are many different ways that you can make your blog easier to read. Here are a few ways that will help. For more information, check out my blog post that breaks down in even more detail on how you can make your blog easier to read.
Easy to read text
Bold important words
Create sections for the main topics you are covering
Use headings to break up your main topics
How do I make my blog mobile-friendly?
Most of your blog readers will be on their mobile phones so you want to make sure that you make it easy for them to read.
This means that you need to ensure that your text is easy to read.
With Wix, I can edit my website as a mobile layout so that I know how it looks. I just had someone reach out to me and tell me that parts of my writing were off on my mobile layout. I am grateful they did because I didn’t even notice when I looked.
Have a friend check out your site once you edit it so that you know everything lines up. It will take a bit of time but it will keep people on your website.
How does my blog show up in search engines?
SEO. That is how your blog is going to show up in search engines. That doesn’t mean that you are instantly going to be on page 1 or even page 2 if you are doing your SEO correctly. It will still take time. Search engines are all about trust. They need to know that your website can be trusted and just like with people, trust takes time to build.
A few things to do to ensure that your SEO is working in your favor are…
Add a keyword in your meta description
Use a keyword in your blog post title
When you create graphics, use a keyword when you save it
Use a keyword in your URL
You do NOT want to keyword stuff. You want to make sure that the writing in your blog post sounds natural. There will be many different ways to say what your keyword focus is throughout your blog. Here is a guest blog post that was written for my website on how SEO works.
How do I choose a domain?
I just published a blog post on how to do this in detail. Your domain name is important and it can be one of the hardest things to do when starting your own blog.
To start with, think about words that are related to what you want to blog about. You will be able to take these words and combine them with other ones to create a unique domain name.
Read my blog post, how to choose your domain name to see the lists to make to help you.
What legal pages do I need to have on my website?
There are three legal pages that are must-haves on your website. Your legal pages not only protect you but are also going to protect your readers and clients.
Terms and Conditions
You need to have a terms and conditions page on your website. This page is a set of regulations to use your website.
The disclaimer page is to tell anyone who visits your site that the material on your website is for informational purposes only.
To read more on these three legal pages, grab my what to add to your blog to legally protect yourself blog post.
How do I get people to read my posts?
You need to give your readers what they want. Answer the questions to the problems that they are having. Be the solution.
There is more to it than this as well. Make sure that you are engaging with them. That engagement should be coming from your website as well as your social media platforms. Make sure that your readers and followers know that you care about what they are struggling with.
You also need to make sure to show your true self. Be true to who you are. Your readers won’t stick around if you are fake.
Read how to build your blogging audience blog post to help even more.
Where do I promote my blog posts?
This is where social media is going to come into play. You want to ensure that you are sharing your blog posts on the social media platforms that you are on.
Create a strategy to share your blog post. I suggest not sharing your blog post on every platform the same day that you publish. You want to keep sending traffic to your website.
You can also check out Blog Pros to help you build up your readers. This is a website that scans your blog and shares your blog post to relevant people on different social media platforms. For my latest campaign (my latest blog post), it has helped me share it 463 times.
What social media platforms should I use for my blog?
The question that is probably asked the most with my clients. They hear social media platforms and are instantly overwhelmed.
There is no specific answer to this question because it will be it depends. However, there are a few that I will recommend using.
I recommend creating a Facebook page for your blog. This way you can start to build up an audience for your blog on your page and eventually, you can run paid ads if you decide to do that.
I also recommend using Instagram. It is a great way to share your blog posts. What I have done is create a page on my website called Instagram. I have hidden it from my menu but it is a place where I have all the important links. That way, I am leading my followers to my website instead of using a third party like Milkshake (who by the way, I used to use and loved so they are a great option.)
This is not a social media platform but it is a search engine, Pinterest. Use Pinterest for your blog posts. You can create boards that are the keywords and categories on your website. You can create a board that is the name of your blog. I even have created a board that is the best of my blog.
You can also use…
Be sure that you are speaking to your ideal readers on these social media platforms. It will take work and consistency to build up an audience but it is possible.
How do I collaborate with other bloggers?
Reach out to them. It is scary and they can say no BUT they can also say yes.
I suggest that you look at who you follow on your social media platforms. Who in your niche has an active blog? You want to collaborate with other bloggers that are active so that it is beneficial to you as well as them.
Write a list of bloggers that you want to work with. Keep building your website up while you are reaching out to others. You can also collaborate with podcasters.
How many posts do I need to write a month?
I don’t want you to overthink this process. You need to be super honest with where you currently are in your life, what else you have going on, and how much time you have to dedicate to your blog.