Using a Commercial Hosting Site Such as Blogger, Tumblr, or WordPress
Many individuals use the internet to create and share content. The majority of these people use blogs, where they can post their thoughts and opinions on a variety of topics. Some use them to share anecdotes; some to promote a business or brand, and many use them to simply educate and entertain themselves and others.
One of the biggest issues that people face when it comes to blogging is ensuring that their content is easily discoverable by their target audience. For those who use free blogs hosted on third-party platforms such as Blogger or WordPress.com, this can be a significant challenge. After all, these hosts can control the amount of traffic that users receive, and they can also decide whether or not to approve content.
Fortunately, there are solutions to this problem. One of the most effective (and free) strategies is to build a niche site around a single topic. Building a small site like this can be a lot of work, but the potential for growth is significant.
Why build a niche site? Well, the more specific the topic, the more likely you are to have the correct information that someone may be searching for. Also, you can take advantage of the various plugins and extensions that are available for WordPress to further optimize your site’s performance and make it more functional and user-friendly.
For example, if you are passionate about online marketing and want to share your knowledge and experience with others, you can use a niche site to build a reference point. The key is to find a topic that you are familiar with and that has enough weight and authority to become a go-to-resource for your target audience.
To give you a better idea of how this process works, take a look at the blog that I co-founded, Copyblogger.
As the name would imply, Copyblogger’s focus is on teaching users how to write better, more effective articles for blogs and websites. Because of this focus, we have developed quite a large library of in-demand resources, including articles, checklists, and cheat sheets that can all be found on our blog. In fact, a recent Buzzfeed News article ranked us as the 12th most popular blog for marketing and sales professionals.
Even though we have a specific focus, Copyblogger is still a general-purpose blog that can be used to share any type of content. The key is to find a topic that you are passionate about and that is relevant to your target audience.
The Four Most Popular Blogging Platforms
We’ll briefly discuss some of the biggest and most popular blogging platforms so that you can get an idea of what type of content people are producing and sharing on a daily basis. Let’s take a look at the four platforms and what sets them apart from one another.
First, we have Blogger. Google owned this platform long before they purchased the company outright for $307 million in 2015. As the name would imply, Blogger allows users to build and manage their own blogs.
One of the things that makes Blogger so popular is that it is super-easy to use. Anyone can pick up a computer and log on to Blogger with relative ease. Once you have your blog, all you need to do is populate it with content and promote it on social media channels.
The second most popular blogging platform is WordPress.com. Much like Blogger, WordPress.com was also purchased by Google for $307 million back in 2015. As its name would imply, WordPress.com allows users to build and manage blogs via a web-interface.
The difference between Blogger and WordPress.com is that the former is free while the latter costs money. As a result, much of the content that you’ll find on WordPress.com is supplied by professional writers who specialize in creating content for brands and businesses. In fact, a lot of brands choose to outsource their blog content to WordPress.com, as it is extremely cost-effective as compared to having in-house content teams.
The third most popular blogging platform is Tumblr. Similar to Blogger and WordPress.com, Tumblr was also purchased by Google back in 2015 for a whopping $30 million. You’ll often find that the content on Tumblr is short-form — generally measuring up to a few hundred words. As a result, if you’re looking for established bloggers and writers who can supply content for your niche site, you may want to consider visiting Tumblr to see what’s available.
The final and perhaps the most popular blogging platform is Medium.com. Much like WordPress.com and Tumblr, Medium.com was also purchased by Google in 2015 for a price tag of $30 million. The difference here is that Medium.com specializes in publishing long-form content, such as blogs and magazine articles. This is the type of content that would be ideal for a niche site that you’re planning to build.
Each of these platforms gives you the basics of blogging and encourages you to explore more features. For example, if you’re looking for a free platform that gives you the ability to import content from other sites and social media channels, you might want to consider looking into Blogger. Alternatively, if you’re wanting to build a business blog and take advantage of the various features that WordPress.com offers, you may want to check out the affiliate program, which enables you to earn a commission from any sales that you make with affiliate links on your blog.
How To Choose The Right Niche
If you’re reading this, I assume that you’re either already well on your way to creating a quality blog or that you’re about to jump right into the process. Either way, congratulations! This is an important milestone, and hopefully, the beginning of a lifelong adventure that you and your blog join.
Before you begin your journey, it’s important to choose the right niche. This is the field or subject matter that you’ll be writing about on your blog. There are many topics that you could cover, from technology and science to sports, music, and fashion. Think of the most interesting topic that you’re passionate about and that you think may be relevant to your target audience.
As we mentioned above, building a popular blog in a small niche doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll become incredibly wealthy or successful. However, it can lead to increased credibility and trust for your business or brand. For example, if you’re a fashion blogger who’s writing about style, you might want to consider focusing on styling tips or fashion advice rather than just listing the brands that you love. The key is to find a way to leverage your existing interests and passions into a coherent and comprehensive guide that can assist others in a way that you feel will make a difference.
The Importance Of Building An Audience
Another critical factor to consider when building a blog is creating an audience. Even though you may be excited about the prospect of attracting a large audience and gaining authority in your niche, this won’t happen overnight. You may need to spend a lot of time gaining trust and credibility with your audience before you can expect them to come back for more.
To begin with, you’ll want to accumulate a small audience. Ideally, you’ll want to build a list of no more than 500 email addresses that you can use to contact people who are interested in your content. Even a relatively small audience can be effective if you engage with your readers, provide value, and give them something that’s worth talking about. In addition, you can use tools such as Google Analytics to track the traffic that comes to your site. This way, you can see how many visitors you’re getting and how they’re engaging with your content.
Although you may want to build a sizable audience as quickly as possible, you should also remember that Google and other search engines place a lot of value on the content that you create. As a result, it may take time for your blog to climb the search engine rankings. Once it does, however, you’ll see a dramatic increase in your audience.
Make Money With Affiliate Marketing
Another option that you have is to use affiliate marketing to monetize your blog. With affiliate marketing, you’ll often find that you’ll be asked to promote products or services that are relevant to your niche. For example, if you are an expert fashion blogger, you might be asked to promote fashion accessories or clothing items that fit the theme of your blog. Or, if you are an advice-based blog, you might be asked to promote beauty products or diet supplements that are approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration)
When you’re asked to promote a product or service that you know nothing about, it can be difficult to say no. The truth is that you may not be able to make much money from affiliate marketing unless you’re already established. If you’re just starting out, consider using something like affiliate monetization via Shopify or other platforms to first gain experience and then move on to more professional websites.