10 most commonly asked blogging questions answered
It’s super exciting to start your new blog… but there comes a point where you sit back and maybe start to feel a little overwhelmed at the prospect of all you don’t know vs where you want to be!
But, I’m here to help you. In this post we’ll explore the 10 most asked blogging questions from newbie bloggers, give you the answers to your burning blogging questions and hopefully giving you a wee headstart on your journey!
I’m a writer, a blogger and a CMO, I’ve built businesses and blogs and run marketing teams for some of the most successful companies in the country. I know what a good blog looks like, and I know how to start driving traffic in the right direction.
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1. What should my first blog post be?
This question is asked over and over again in the blogging groups I’m a member of. And the answer is always the same.
Not an about me/ introductory kind of post.
Making your first post a post all about you is a major mistake. Think about SEO and how people find your blog. How many people will be searching for who is Mary and why has she started a blog? Ha ha ha
Kinda funny, but you get my drift here.
Start as you plan to continue. By servicing your audience and giving them the content that will keep them coming back. So, what should your first blog post be?
Answer your intended audiences’ questions.
and… provide…. Value value value.
The place to go to town on you and your story is your About me page. This can be quite dynamic! So go wild there.
2. What should I blog about?
Ha ha ha … well this one might seem obvious. You’ve started your own blog right? So, why now are you wondering what to blog about?
But, the thing is… even if you’re madly passionate about a topic or are an expert in your field. Staring down a blank page can be daunting.
Planning is your friend. And spreadsheets are also your friend.
Start by making yourself a list of all the buckets that relate to your overall niche.
For me… my blogging buckets look something like this
- Content marketing
- Social media marketing
- Pinterest marketing
- Start a blog
- Habit building
- Female entrepreneurs
- Wellbeing for entrepreneurs
Try to be pretty specific with your buckets… that way you’re not making your niche too large.
From here, take these bucket lists… and add 5 or 6 content ideas per bucket.
You can do some research on Google or Pinterest to find relevant topics associated with your buckets for inspiration.
It’s so easy to get stuck! But making yourself a roadmap and planning out your content will definitely help get you on your way.
Stuck for ideas? Check out our list of over 100 blog post ideas
3. How many times a week should I post on my blog?
This ones controversial at best. But there’s one thing here that I want you to remember.
Consistency wins over quantity every single time.
Google loves consistency, and will get to know your schedule pretty well over time. Crawling your site more often if you’re constantly posting a certain number of times per week, and less often if it knows you only post once a month.
So give Google its cues. Set yourself realistic targets for the number of times you want to post per week or per month.
Initially, I recommend trying to get your blog to 55 blog posts as fast as you can while maintaining quality over your posts.
The magic number for the amount of posts on a blog to get Google to start paying attention to you is thought to be around 55-70 blog posts. So I recommend to get to this number as fast as you can.
I post 3 times per week on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday as a rule. This way I know what I need to get done and by when.
So remember, be consistent. And aim for high quality. If you need to drop the number of posts per week to do this, then do so!
4. What is the right length for blog posts?
I’ve been in marketing and a writer for as long as I can remember and the tide has definitely changed over the years as to what constitutes a good post length. Gone are the days when you could get away with a 400-600 word post and Google would love you for it.
Now, you want to make your posts nice and meaty. Give value first and foremost but also think about making them at least 800 words long.
I like to make sure my blog has a couple of anchor or cornerstone pieces of content on it to start with. That is posts that are at least 2500 words, but preferably 3000 or more.
The rest of my posts are at least 1200 words. Every now and then I might do an 800 word one if the subject matter means that the post needn’t be long.
Remember though, that it’s always quality over quantity. So, if the post is perfect at 800 words. Then so be it.
5. Where can I find good stock images for my blog for free?
Both sites offer free stock imagery and they are updated daily with new images and video content.
Both also have an iphone app that’s super handy.
You can sign up for these sites and create yourself a profile completely free. Then create collections for yourself so that you can add your favourite images to collections for ease of use later on.
I have 3 or 4 collections on each site and regularly scan the new additions to add great stock to my collections so i’m never short on images to use on my blog and in Pins and other social media.
I will also mention Canva here… they have a great selection of stock photos. Both on the free plan and more on the pro version. But, the Pro version of Canva literally saves me A BUTT LOAD OF TIME. So many images right here where I need them. I use Canva for ALL THE THINGS. So, if you are looking for a tool to streamline your workflow. Canva is defo it. Trust me on this one.
6. What is the best blogging platform for beginner bloggers?
Ahh this old chestnut! Well. There’s a few things to consider here. But in general I recommend a self hosted site on wordpress.org. This means that your site is your own and you pay for hosting with a company like Siteground.
If you’re totally new and want a really cheap (but still good!) hosting option. Then Bluehost is a great starter host. You can get underway for $3.95 per month – which is really great value if this is all really new to you.
WordPress.com is pretty cool if you’re a newbie. But can get expensive if you want to add plugins and other features to your blog. And if you’re planning to monetize your blog then definitely go for wordpress.org as you’re really limited with monetization options on wordpress.com.
Other platforms like Wix and Squarespace also exist and are pretty good. But I’d say they are better as website builders, not blog builders.
My advice. Go with Siteground. And WordPress.org. Literally the BEST combination for beginner bloggers and advanced bloggers alike.
This post might be helpful too:
7. How do I get traffic to my new blog?
This one’s biggy! But in general there are two types of traffic. Organic search and social. There’s also paid, referral and direct but I’ll address the first two here.
Organic search traffic is the best kind of traffic! This is traffic generated by search engines and means that the search engines are favouring your posts and serving them up as ranked on their SERPs..
You can get noticed on search engines by employing great SEO tactics.
There are two types of SEO… on site and off site…
On site refers to things like site speed, using keywords in your posts and using metadata. Make sure you have a host that supports your SEo efforts. A bad host will be slow and will hamper your efforts. A host like Siteground will help your ranking in SERPs.
Off site is things like guest posting, brand building and social media marketing.
The other type of traffic you can generate easily is social media traffic. This means you’re linking your blog posts to your social media channels and generating link click throughs that way. Like Facebook posts, Pinterest Pins and Instagam posts.
Social media traffic is great too… but you’re at the mercy of the platforms you choose. Pinterest for instance can be a great traffic generator. But, you have to keep up with the ever changing Pinterest algorithm!
Posts you might find helpful:
8. What sort of blogging tools should I be using?
The basic set of tools and resources you need are those that make your life easier, not harder in these first few months of blogging!
I use a social media scheduler called Buffer to post my blogs out to my social channels. I use Canva as a design tool (and also for content planning and scheduling to socials) and ConvertKit as my email marketing tool of choice.
All of these services come with a free option! Which is fantastic for newbies.
The Google suite is fabulous for all my productivity and organization tasks. I use Google docs to draft my posts, this way I’m not fussed about formatting until I copy the post to my CMS.
Set yourself up with Google Analytics and Search Console as well so you can track your blogs progress.
Posts you might find useful:
Boy do I have the scoop for you! I have investigated lots of different plugins to enable social sharing… And my most preferred option is … two options. Ha ha ha
I use the Jetpack social sharing option for the end of all my posts… and I use the Grow by Mediavine plugin as my top of post and sidebar floater option. Grow by Mediavine also has a handy share count which is great social proof.
You can also opt to hide the floating sidebar on mobile devices, which I do as it can be annoying for mobile users.
10. How do you make money blogging?
There’s a couple of ways you can make money from your blog.
Depending on your traffic of course, you can go down the advertising route where people pay you to advertise on your blog. You need to hit a minimum target of sessions per month for this type of thing to work however, so not so good for newbies.
You can create free and paid ebooks, online courses and masterclasses. These are the big kahunas of online products!
Creating an online course for your audience is a big deal, but can be really rewarding. The majority of bloggers who make serious money from their craft tend to do so with their courses and programs.
Or you can create great downloadable printables for your readers. Cheat sheets, workbooks, planners, calendars. Anything your readers can easily print out and fill in. Think template style with plenty of room for them to write, branded in your brand colours and aesthetically pleasing!
A great way to get started and grow your email subscriber list (so you’ve got someone to sell to later on) is to create high value freebies that your readers can get by giving you their email details. I highly recommend ConvertKit as your email provider. Super intuitive product, and you can even use their address if you don’t have a PO Box or physical business presence. I love ConvertKit so much that I actually wrote an entire post about them here.
Read more on How to Make money blogging:
Phew! That was a bit of a marathon! But, I hope these answers to common blogger questions help you to start your blogging journey with confidence!
Let me know in the comments if you have any more new blogger questions and I’ll do my very best to answer your questions!