I get emails every week with questions about blogging, so I’ve compiled the ten most frequently asked questions and answered them below.
1. How often should I blog?
There isn’t a perfect rule for this. You do NOT need to blog every day or three times a week, especially if your blog isn’t your business which it usually isn’t. If your blog is a tool to market your business and connect with your target market, try once a week.
Always choose quality over quantity.
2. Does my blog design really matter?
YES! You’ve got seven to ten seconds to make your first impression. Within those seconds, each person decides whether to spend more time with you or leave.
If you don’t hire a web designer, I recommend that you find a theme for your website that is simple and classy. And, do not add a bunch of clutter—less is more.
3. Should I start on a free platform or should I start with WordPress?
If you want your blog to look professional and you’re blogging for your business, you need your own website.
I recommend using WordPress. That means you need to: get a domain ($10+/year), pay for hosting ($5+/month) and pick a theme.
4. What theme are you using for your blog?
I use Canvas by WooThemes, because it’s completely customizable. I love it.
5. How do you deal with spam?
I use the plug-in, Askimet. It catches 99.9% of my spam comments. I have to delete about two spam comments a week which isn’t bad considering I would have to delete hundreds if I didn’t use Askimet.
6. How can I monetize my blog?
I spent an entire segment on monetization in my CreativeLive course, Build a Successful Creative Blog, because this a HUGE topic. To get you started, ads and promoted posts aren’t the way to go unless your business model is built on promoting other businesses.
If you’re a creative entrepreneur selling your own products or services, don’t include ads or promoted posts on your blog because it takes away from your business and that’s what you want your readers to focus on. Instead, use your blog to give your readers an inside look into your business and talk about your products in creative ways.
7. Can I use pictures I find online in my blog posts?
If they aren’t your pictures and they don’t have a creative commons license, you shouldn’t use them unless you get permission from the photographer. Don’t pull pictures off of Pinterest and use them on your blog unless you want to put yourself in a precarious legal position.
8. Where can I find pictures to use on my blog?
I suggest using your own pictures. It’s a way to strengthen your brand. If you don’t enjoy taking photos or don’t want to learn how to take good quality photos, you can purchase stock photos, find creative commons for commercial use photos, higher a photographer to provide photos or use free stock photos like the ones on Death to Stock Photo.
9. Do I need to pay attention to SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimization and is the process of affecting how your website is found with search engines like Google. Yes, you should pay attention to SEO, because you want people to find you by searching for keywords online but you don’t need to spend a ton of time on it. I use plug-ins (All in One SEO Pack and Scribe) to help me with SEO.
10. What are the best ways to get more readers?
First, publish high-quality blog posts that your readers love and can’t get enough of. If your blog posts are good, your readers will share them for you!
Second, you have to market your blog like you do your products and services. You can’t build it and expect that they’ll come. The things that brought me the most readers have been: guest posting, speaking engagements, interviews, hosting blog tours and using social media to promote my posts.