Blogs have been around for many years now and they are one of the most popular ways to get information and opinions across. Blogs can vary in form; they can contain short pieces that tell about how the author’s day was or they can be longer and more detailed articles that explain certain things or provide an opinion. When you think about it, at present, it can be very hard to imagine a world without blogs. Blogs can be good or bad and anyone who has a computer or a smart device with access to the internet is likely to be familiar with blogging. In fact, most people with access to the internet have thought of creating their own blog, contributing to an existing blog or simply spending their time reading, commenting and sharing on other blogs. During the early days of the internet, it was the professionally made websites that provided information. Now anyone with with a good grasp of basic computing can create their blog site/website by using content management systems. Let us further elaborate on how a content management system works with blogging.

Blogger and WordPress logos. Image credit: swallowsndaggers.net

Blogger and WordPress logos. Image credit: swallowsndaggers.net

Content  Management System Defined

A content management system or CMS is a type of computer application that allows a user to create, edit, modify and publish content. It’s also used in organizing, deleting, and maintaining all content using a central interface. CMS provides procedures in managing the workflow of content creation and publishing in a collaborative environment. Most content management systems are used to run and manage websites that contain news, blogs, information gathering and sharing, for marketing and other business applications.

A web content management system or web CMS on the other hand is a stand alone or bundled application used in creating, deploying, managing and storing content on web pages. Content for web CMS is similar to CMS which include text, photos, embedded graphics, audio and video that displays content and interacts with the user.

Blog Defined

A blog has many definitions, but let’s begin with one of its earliest definitions. A blog is a frequently updated online personal journal or diary. A blog is a place where you can express yourself to the world with just a few clicks of a button. A blog can also be considered a personal website  that a user will regularly update on a continuous basis. Blog is shorthand for weblog in which blog and weblog can be used interchangeably. A blog can also be described as “the first journalistic model that will actually harness and not exploit the true democratic nature of the world wide web” as quoted by Andrew Sullivan. According to Meg Hourihan “a blog is a collection of posts.  It can be short, informal, controversial or personal with the newest information at the top”.

Why Do People Blog?

The internet is a medium with unparalleled reach and never before has the average person been able to reach a global audience with little trouble. Every human has a voice that wishes to be heard, and the internet has become that tool. Blogging created the opportunity for thousands of people to be heard every day. Some people may want to share every detail that happens in their daily lives, some will not post any private things about their lives but instead post about their hobbies or interest. For a business or organization, blogging allows them to reach out to their customers and potential clients. Comments and feedback is encouraged so that businesses will be able to cater to their customer’s needs.

10 Beginner Tips For Blog Creation And Managing Your CMS

Now, if you have decided to publish your own blog, there are several ways to make your blog interesting and attract people to visit it. There are many content management systems available to choose from when creating your first blog. Don’t worry because you don’t need to do any programming when creating your blog. Some of the most popular CMS’s today include WordPress and Blogger. These systems are designed for the average, non-technical user so literally anyone can pick it up. These CMS’s provide ready made templates for your blog, as well as colour and design themes to choose from once you have registered in their domain. As a newbie, you can implement these effective tips from top bloggers to make your blog just as important and relevant as theirs.

1. Get fresh ideas from your audience

According to Dave Larson, you need to create blog posts that answer the most interesting questions from people that you have engaged with on social media, specifically Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. It’s a great way to gather possible topics that your audience would like to read about. You can do this through blog comments. tweets or replies.

2. Understand your audience

You need to understand your audience better than they understand themselves, according to Brian Clark of Copyblogger. It will take a lot of research and may be difficult at the start, but it will pay off. You can directly ask your audience on your social media accounts. If people respond to it, then it may be a good topic.

3. Love what you’re doing and focus on it

This one is obvious, but some bloggers at the beginning are worried about bringing more traffic than what is most important in a blog – good content. If you’re creating and posting content half-heartedly, it will show in your writing. It will not generate any excitement and your readers will see right through it. Treat your readers like the intelligent people they are.

4. Write it and they will come

First and foremost, you have to write for yourself and ignore the fact that an audience will read what you write, according to Adii Pienaar of PublicBeta. Focus on your ideas, thoughts, and opinions before putting them into words. When you write for yourself, you will notice that you will write and publish more often.

5. Make content sharing easy

Now, if you’re interested in increasing your blog traffic and getting your blog content out there, make it easy for your readers to share it. Enable social media buttons at the bottom or at the top of your post. It also is an easy way for your audience to get the latest updates from your blog.

Share buttons for your content. Image credit: http://eleventygroup.com/

Share buttons for your content. Image credit: http://eleventygroup.com/

6. Build an email list

Even if you’re selling a product or service, start building an email list from day one. This will allow you to promote your new content to your target audience directly without worrying about online roadblocks like search rankings and social media. When asking your audience to sign up for your email listing, try experimenting with different language. For example, instead of putting “subscribe by email” try writing “gets jobs by email”.

7. Stop comparing yourself to other bloggers

Every blogger is unique and so are you. You have your own style and vibe. You may be tempted to compare your photos, traffic and popularity, but this can drive you crazy if you think of it all the time. It’s just your first time doing the blogging business, your time will come. Just set your goals, create great content and everything will fall into place. Love what you have created and be proud of it.

8. Love your existing audience and loyal readers

If you have established a connection with a loyal fan base, no matter how small it may be, you have to love the readers that you already have. Don’t be too obsessed with getting and finding new readers to the point of ignoring the ones that you already have. Yes, you have to get traffic, but show your current fan base that you value them. If your readers see and feel that you’re giving value, they will help you to make your blog bigger, according to Darren Rowse of ProBlogger.

9. Be consistent

Most bloggers tend to forget this, especially when they have been doing it for a long time. Consistency is one the most important things bloggers tend to forget. Losing your bog traffic is easier than building them up so you have to make sure that you are consistent in blogging. A study by Hubspot has shown that consistency actually leads to higher traffic and subscriber growth.

10. Catchy headlines will catch attention

No matter how wonderful your content is, if it doesn’t have a catchy headline, it won’t matter. If the headline doesn’t catch the reader’s interest, your readers may wander somewhere else. People only have a split second to decide if they want to click on your post or not. Your headline will push them over the fence. Headlines are important for people to share your content. Keep your headlines simple, useful, powerful, direct and to the point.

Follow these useful tips and blog away!

About Author

Jon specialises in research and content creation for content marketing campaigns. He’s worked on campaigns for some of Australia's largest brands including across Technology, Cloud Computing, Renewable energy and Corporate event management. He’s an avid scooterist and musician.