What Is The Best Blogging Course For 2020?

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Updated: December 12, 2020
Interested in getting started with blogging?

Blogging has been popular for years now and it’s common all around the Internet. Yet, there are still people who don’t understand what blogs are and how reading them and building one can change their lives.

The following guide is meant to explain blogs to beginners. We will discuss what a blog is, how to structure one, and what platforms you can use to blog. 

What Exactly is a Blog?

A blog is defined as a web page or website that’s updated regularly and generally ran by one person or a small group of people.

The tone of a blog is conversational or informal, and it’s comparable to an online journal. The information contained in a blog post depends on the topic of the blog. 

Here’s a fun fact: Blogs actually began like online journals where people started sharing life updates online. 

Learn How to Make a WordPress Blog in this step by step video tutorial.

What Can you Do with a Blog?

This is an important question with a simple answer. You can literally do whatever you want with a blog. 

With a blog you can:
  • Write daily updates about aspects of your life
  • Write regular posts on a topic that interests you
  • Provide insight into a specific industry
  • Write products reviews – you can also monetize these using affiliate links
  • Provide examples of your work regularly
  • Share tutorials or educational guides about subjects of your choice

Basically, you can do anything with a blog. Some like to keep their blog personal, while others use it to grow a brand and earn extra income.

You can also use one to increase website traffic, or simply build your brand by showing authority in your niche. 

What is the Difference Between a Website and a Blog?

It’s not always easy to distinguish between a website and a blog. This is especially true because many businesses integrate blogs into their sites to reach more potential customers. Even more, today’s tools make it easy to make a website look like a blog and vice versa. 

However, blogs do differ from websites because they require regular updates. This is mainly because blogs are meant to engage readers through the use of comments. For example, a cooking blog will post multiple new recipes per week to keep visitors coming back. 

A blog has many parts that are updated often where a website is static and doesn’t change. Furthermore, a website doesn’t give visitors much of a chance to interact or voice an opinion. 

The main elements of a blog are:
  • Tags and Categories
  • Comment Section
  • Publish Dates
  • Author Bylines

You’ll find that websites rarely have these elements, as they don’t usually change once they are launched. 

Popular Platforms for Blogging

There are many platforms you can use to blog. Such platforms are known as Content Management Systems or CMS. They are basically services or software that you can use to publish content to the Internet.

Most platforms are free to use, but some require you to pay for the premium service. Here are a few of the most popular. 

WordPress

This is probably the most popular CMS in the world. It powers over 30% of the websites you’ll find on the Internet. You can use WordPress two ways:

  • Org: This is the open source version that’s free to use. You can install it on your own hosting service and you own 100% of the content. 
  • Com:  This is a service that’s hosted on WordPress servers and is for-profit. Monetization choices are limited and the content you post is owned by WordPress. 

If you want full control, then choose the self-hosting option. WordPress is a great option because they have tons of templates and plug-ins you can use. 

Ghost

Ghost is an open-source and non-profit service. You can use it to power online magazines and blogs. Ghost is simpler and lighter than WordPress, but doesn’t allow you to create websites that are as complicated.

This service either requires you to host their software on your server or pay for Ghost Pro. The benefit of this service is that you can get started blogging much quicker because they automate the setup process. 

Blogger

Blogger is a free service owned by Google. It’s a great choice for new bloggers as it’s completely free to use. They have lots of designs so you can customize your blog to look how you wish.

Additionally, it connects to most of Google’s services. The only thing to keep in mind is that the content you upload will not belong to you. Google will own it. 

If you want to grow a blog, this may not be the best option as Google can deny you access at any time if you violate terms of service. 

Squarespace

This is a comprehensive builder for blogs and websites of all kinds. It is truly a WordPress competitor.

In fact, when it comes to structure and style it’s very similar, however, it lacks some control and flexibility that WordPress offers. This is also a hosted service, so you will not own your content with this Squarespace either. 

Still, it offers nice templates that will make your website look great. It’s also easy to integrate with email marketing services, your own domain, and social media. 

Understanding the Structure of a Blog

Most blogs feature the same structural components and a similar layout. The following items are all components your blog should feature:

Homepage

The homepage should consist of either a static page that contains modules or your recent blog post feed. 

This page usually begins with a header area that includes the logo, name of the blog, and a tagline. You will also find the menu which allows readers to navigate sections and pages. 

The next part will be the content. If you have your recent articles showing it will show a list of posts with an image, author, date, and headline for each. 

A static page will display modules with different information. For example, you may include modules for an introduction, call to action, testimonials, and a feed of recent blog posts. 

Your homepage will also feature a sidebar that contains information such as the newsletter, social profile links, blog authors, or a form to subscribe to emails. 

At the bottom you’ll find a footer. In this area you can add information that doesn’t fit anywhere else on the page. Common information included in the footer is a privacy statement, contact information, cookies policy, and website owner info.

Content Pages

Every blog should have a few specific static pages. These pages will contain information about your blog and be easy to navigate to.

For example, you may want to include an about page,  contact page, blog page, disclosure, cookie policy, and privacy policy.

Creating a Great Blog Post

Perhaps the most important thing a blogger should understand is how to create a good blog post. If you try to cut corners in the beginning and never really learn the essentials every blog post should contain, it will make it harder for you to improve as you go. 

First, you should always start with a clear idea and know exactly what you’re trying to convey in the blog post. The best way to build your audience is to bring value to your reader. 

Consider the topic of your blog and brainstorm a problem your readers may face. You can then write about the solution in your post. It’s best to do a bit of keyword research to make your content easier to find using a search engine. 

Once you’ve completed the writing be sure to come up with a catchy headline or title for your post. Titles that include numbers and statistics do well, just remember to keep it around 60 characters. 

When writing the blog post, include subheadings in the form of h2 or h3 tags. Making the subheadings bold helps the reader scan the content to quickly find the information they want.

It’s also a great idea to include images into your posts. This helps break up text and makes the post more interesting. To draw the reader in even more you can use a featured image at the top that illustrates the point of your post.  

When you reach the end of writing, include a conclusion paragraph that summarizes the overall idea of your post.

You can take it even further and add a call to action if you have one. This is a phrase where you encourage your reader to complete an action such as subscribe or share your blog post. 

In conclusion, a blog can be a great way to make extra money or create a following on a topic that interests you.

So, if you like to write and interact with an audience, don’t wait any longer – start a blog today! For more information on how to create a blog check out this video

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