Starting a Blog in 2021: What You Need to Know

Starting a Blog in 2021: What You Need to Know

Blogging can be quite fun and lucrative if done correctly. While some people blog for fun, others have taken it as a career. Some people blog full-time while others blog part-time. All these are ways on how to make an extra buck out of blogging. But what is blogging? You might ask. In layman’s terms, blogging can be described as a web-based journey where bloggers share their thoughts on various issues or topics, be it financial, family, law, or entertainment. 

Interestingly, there are so many people who’ve made blogging their main source of income and are enjoying the fruits of their labor this way. All it takes is time to find relatable topics you can engage your audience with and you are good to go. But there’s more to blogging than meets the eye. These might have to do with the logistics that come with it as well as the other nitty gritties that will be discussed below. Here’s what you need to know if you are looking to start blogging in 2021. 

Learn SEO

Before you even start your blog, you should have the basic knowledge of how SEO (search engine optimization) will affect your blog site. Not so many bloggers realize this but SEO is the bread and butter of most if not all blogs. This is among the ways you can improve and boost your online presence without much of a sweat. 

Today, and as it turns out, content is still king! There are so many people who are after quality content and if you have not invested in the right SEO practices for your blog, then you might as well quit. Sadaf, the blog owner at https://massilah.com, provides good blogging tips and insights as well as the best SEO practices to utilize if you are to generate more traffic from the known search engines. Among such practices include:

  • Ensure that your URLs are specific, meaningful, and relevant
  • Include post titles that are eye-catching and compelling
  • Keyword placement is also a major area of concern as those placed within the first paragraphs help to rank your posts higher on search engines
  • Ensure that your content is top-notch stuff
  • When using images, be sure that the images are optimized for search engines
  • Do not compromise on your blog’s loading speeds

Identify Your Niche

To start a blog, you need to identify a niche, which means coming up with relative topics that you’ll be good at. Your blog posts should have a theme and to find one, you need to address issues that affect you or topics that your audience can relate with. Think of it as a marketing platform. Most bloggers will concentrate their posts on their passions, talents, or hobbies. However, it would be best if you started with an area you are passionate about because come to think about it, you can not go wrong with following your dreams. This helps to ensure consistency and originality. 

When it comes to choosing your niche, choose your niche based on the audience revenue potential. Your niche should enable you to solve most of the problems your audience encounters. The challenges you solve also need to be too dire that your audience can be willing to spend some money and time on. 

Most people have gone into affiliate marketing as a result of blogging. Affiliate marketers will recommend consumers to businesses, products, and services. This means that at the end of the day, they’ll be making commissions on every sale made through them. You could also maximize your professional leverage by having a deeper understanding of your clients’ needs. By this, it means researching the most competitive keywords.

Write Down The Goals Of Your Blog

Starting a new blog requires a lot of discipline and consistency. Once you’ve identified your niche, you need to keep track of everything including your motivations, content, goals, and ideas. Set specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely goals. Build the profile of your blog through unique value propositions. Write down your blog’s headline and subheadings. Create your blog’s elevator pitch on how you would market your blog to an audience in a few seconds. Consider your clients’ needs and how you are going to categorize your blog. 

Come Up With A Domain Name

You’ll, of course, want to be associated with your blog and this is mainly the identifying factor when creating a blog. A blog extension name will be key to your audience identifying with your content. This will be your brand and it’s of utmost importance that you invest heavily in it to ensure that it will resonate in the minds of your audience for time to come. Your domain name should be catchy, short to the point, must include specific keywords, and should be easy to type. 

Create A Budget

There will be costs to be met when starting a blog. You’ll most definitely need hosting services from the best web hosting companies if you are to get the most out of your blogging. Needless to mention is the fact that it costs to create an effective and efficient domain name. Other costs to factor in include:

  • Hardware costs
  • Marketing tools
  • Content creation
  • Creating a website
  • Plugin development
  • Managing your blogging team

Launching Your First Blog Post

It will cost you time and money to see your first blog post go online. It will cost you even more if you are to see your blog posts attract more traffic. But with advancements in technology and the various paid blogging services, this shouldn’t take time. As a newbie, you might consider utilizing the WordPress blog option. But then again, it would still be meaningless if you’ll not have invested the time to create a great domain name, marketing yourself, or creating quality content. 

You might, while at it, consider enlisting a blogging company to help provide you with the services you need in consistently supplying your audience with quality content, in social engagement, and in meeting your objectives and goals. 

To start a blog, you need to have a profitable niche where you can use your passion, professional experience, and skills to fill. Having measurable goals is key to helping you achieve the focus of your blog. The audience, marketability, and knowledge should guide your choice of a blog.

10 Common Copywriting Templates to Use in Marketing

10 Common Copywriting Templates to Use in Marketing

Ask any marketer who’s responsible for copywriting about their writing process, and you’ll quickly find out that there’s no specific process to follow.

Additionally, copywriting varies depending on your audience, purpose, and format — copywriting for an Instagram post, for instance, is entirely different than copywriting for a press release.

At HubSpot, we know the struggle. Copywriting demands creativity, inspiration, and hard work — and it can be difficult to find all three, day-in and day-out.

To help with writer’s block, we’ve put together 10 copywriting templates you might use for any of your marketing efforts, including blogging, social media, email marketing, and even internal memos.

Let’s dive in.

→ Download Now: 6 Free Blog Post Templates

10 Copywriting Templates to Use in Marketing

1. Email Marketing

First, you’ll need to determine what type of email you’re writing to ensure you’re speaking to the right audience. Coordinate with your team to see if this is a one-off marketing email like a monthly newsletter, or if you’re being asked to write for a series of emails, like a nurture campaign.

As you’re drafting your copy, consider how your email will encourage the reader to take a desired action, like clicking a link to purchase or scheduling a call with a sales rep to learn more about your services.

If you’re not aiming for the reader to take a specific action and instead just want to send a general update, like a company announcement, you’ll want the copy to easily and clearly communicate the core of your message to your reader.

Here’s an example of a template you might use to welcome new subscribers to your newsletter:

Hi [First Name],

Thank you for signing up for [include what someone just signed up for like a blog subscription, newsletter subscription, company services, etc.]

At [Company Name] we’re working to [list a few of your company’s core goals, or include your mission statement]. We highly encourage you to check out [suggest a few recommendations so the reader can continue learning more about your company].

If you ever have any questions please feel free to contact us at [Contact information].

Thank you,

[Company Name, or individual sender’s name]

Featured Resource: 15 Email Templates for Marketing and Sales

We’ve considered the types of emails marketers and salespeople are likely to send on a repeat basis, and crafted templates that can help eliminate that time.template for an email pitch to a company

Download these templates

2. Blogging

Blogs give copywriters a chance to dive deeper into topics in a way that isn’t captured through emails, ads, or social media posts. There are so many different types of blogs you might write, so be sure to develop your blog strategy to keep a close pulse on what types of blog posts and clusters perform best for your business.

Since blogs tend to be longer than other types of copy, you want to make sure you’re keeping your audience engaged. Consider what your reader is reading your post for and center your post on answering the topic-related questions readers are most likely to ask.

This blog post template is an example of a product or service review.

Title

Introduction

[Introduce the product/service that you’re reviewing and relevant background information about the company the product/service is from. Clearly state what the reader will gain from reading the post.]

Subheading

[Write a brief using keywords. Use headings throughout the post to break up the key sections your post]

Body

[A few paragraphs will cover the bulk of the review here. If there are multiple features to the product/service section them separately as you review. Be detailed and answer as many questions you think your audience may have about the product or service]

  • How is the functionality?
  • How was the customer service?
  • Are you recommending the product/service?
  • Who would benefit from using the product/service?

Conclusion

[Wrap up your post with final thoughts and a CTA if you want readers to check out the product/service.]

Featured Resource: 6 Free Blog Post Templates

We’ve put together six essential blog post templates every marketer needs — from how-to posts to listicles.

image of hubspot's free blog post templates

Download these templates

3. Social Media

Writing copy for social media depends on the social platform. If you’re writing copy for Twitter, you have a strict character count, so the copy has to be brief but still appealing enough to get the attention of someone scrolling.

Similar to Twitter, Instagram is known for catchy captions. Character count isn’t as much of a concern on Instagram. However, since the social media powerhouse is visually oriented, you’ll want to write a caption that echoes the image or video in a post.

Overall, the primary goal when copywriting for social media is to thoroughly understand the different use cases of the social media platform for which you’re writing. Here’s an example of an outreach template you could use for another major social media platform, LinkedIn.

Hi [First Name], I just finished [reading/watching your post, reading/watching a post you shared, reading a comment you left on a post, etc.] I found it interesting that [include a few brief key points you found interesting, or anything that you feel showcases some common ground]. I also noticed that we share a few mutual connections like [list mutual connections].

Let’s connect and keep sharing great content with each other!

Featured Resource: Social Media Templates

social media template

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4. Website Copy

Copywriting for websites is about staying true to the business’ overall brand, while making it easy for users to navigate the site. The copy that makes it to a site plays a huge role in setting the tone for a brand’s voice. When writing website copy, then, it’s critical you collaborate with key decision-makers for feedback to ensure your copy is on brand.

There’s so many different components of a website, so start with clarifying what type of page you’re writing for on the site. This may include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Home page
  • About Us page
  • Contact page
  • Product or Service category page(s)
  • FAQ page
  • Blog page

Let’s take a look at one of the most necessary pages to include on your site, the About Us page:

[Company name] was founded in [Year] by [Founder’s name]. When [Founder’s name] began building [Company name] [he/she/they was/were] determined to [help ,build, create] a company that offers [include the solution that the company problem solves for].

[Include as much or as little about the founders of your company. Sharing personable stories about how your company was founded is a great way to connect with readers and provide more insight into the people behind your brand.]

[Company name] helps people with [identified pain points of your buyer persona(s)]. To give our customers the best [product or service] we focus on [value proposition #1], [value proposition #2], and [value proposition #3].

[Company name] takes pride in working with people like you to provide quality [product/s or service/s] and exceptional customer service. We look forward to having you as a valued customer.

[Closing Signature]

Featured Resource: About Us Pages Guide + Lookbook

Get inspired by these awesome ‘About Us’ page examples and learn how to make yours great, too.

about-cover-1

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5. Ebooks

Ebooks are one of the most common types of content copywriters can create. Since ebooks are meant to contain extensive information, it’s best to take the drafting process one section at a time.

Here’s an example of a general ebook template.

Cover/Title Page

[In addition to including the title of your ebook, you’ll also include your cover image. If this is a company resource also add your company’s logo. If it’s a resource coming directly from an individual contributor, include the author’s name.]

Table of Contents

[The table of contents should clearly include a list of all the chapters or sections in the ebook, with the corresponding page numbers.]

Introduction
[Introduce the ebook topic with relevant background information and clearly state what the reader will gain from reading the ebook.]

Chapter/Section Pages

[This is the best part of your ebook because it’s where the core of your information will be for your readers. Break the writing into digestible paragraphs for better readability, and include relevant images to help break up the copy and fill excessive white space.]

Conclusion Page

[This is the closing of your ebook. The goal of your conclusion should emphasize what the reader has gained, and any actionable steps they can use to put their new knowledge to good use.]

Optional pages to include:

About the Author page

[This page helps readers learn more about the author. The background information can vary depending on the author’s level of comfortability, but overall the tone should be personable. This is also an opportunity to speak to the author’s credibility of the ebook topic.]

Interactive pages

[Interactive pages can help keep your readers engaged. These pages may include: quizzes, worksheets, checklists etc. Including an interactive page in each chapter or section can help your reader feel they’re actively learning as they read.]

Resources page

[You’ve most likely referenced tons of sources to help you get the final version of your ebook. Include the most important resources on this page for readers that may want to do further exploration on their own.]

Featured Resource: Ebook Templates

Let us take care of the design for you. We’ve created six free ebook design templates — available for PowerPoint, Google Slides, and InDesign — for a total of 18 templates.

Ebook-Templates-2-2

Download these templates

6. Crisis Communications

If you’ve been tasked with writing for a crisis, you’ll need to be especially attentive since this type of content is usually addressing serious or sensitive matters.

Developing clear messaging for crisis communications requires a special level of detail. You’ll want to convey an empathetic tone that appropriately addresses the crisis. It’s a good idea to collaborate with team members to ensure the overall message is properly aligned with your company’s brand.

You may end up creating several pieces of content for a crisis including blog posts, social media posts, emails, an announcement from the CEO, a newsletter, etc. The following template is an overview of what to address:

An overview of the crisis

[Clearly identify the crisis and share detailed background information on what has occurred. If you’re addressing something that includes individuals use discretion. Check with your company’s legal team to ensure all documents are following proper protocol.]

Plan of action and timeline

[Create a plan that includes a timeline of how the events have developed and how your team will be addressing the issue/s at hand. Consider the types of questions media outlets could ask and write prepared statements the company, leadership, and general team members can use to respond.]

Contact information

[Share the best contact information people can use to learn more about what’s happening and ask any additional questions. This could be your company’s PR team or agency or an internal customer service or support team.]

Featured Resource: Crisis Management and Communication Kit

The templates in this crisis communication kit will help your crisis management team prepare for how to handle a crisis and respond to the media during the difficult time. Having clear lanes gives your team to operate effectively during times of crisis.

cover image of hubspot's crisis management and communications kit

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7. Customer Communications

Customer service is an essential part of any business. Writing to better understand and better communicate with your customers is necessary to foster stronger connections. One of the best ways to better understand your customers is by creating buyer personas. Buyer personas are semi-fictional representations of your ideal customers based on data and research.

Use this template outline to begin developing your buyer personas.

Background

[Create a background for your persona that best exemplifies the types of customers you have. This can include their job title, career path, and family life.]

Demographics

[Include age, gender, salary range, location, and anything else that best represents your customer persona.]

Identifiers

[Identifiers can include your personas general demeanor or communication preferences. This type of information is vital because it helps businesses build a more curated approach for their customers.]

Featured Resource: 17 Templates to Help You Put the Customer First

To help you foster better relationships with delighted customers, we put together this collection of templates — buyer persona templates, email templates, and survey templates — that put the customer first.

image of hubspot's templates to help readers put the customer first

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8. Case Studies

Potential customers often turn to case studies when they’re researching a product or service they’re interested in buying. Case studies provide evidence as to how a product or service has helped customers by identifying a pain point and providing a solution. They’re a great resource for copywriters to show off their interview skills and boast strong statistics.

The key components of a case study are listed in the following template:

Executive Summary

[Provide a mini headline to grab your reader’s attention. Then, underneath this headline, write 2–4 sentences (under 50 words) summarizing the whole story, making sure to include the most relevant points of the case study.]

About the Client

[Share a brief description of the company you’re featuring in the case study. This should include the name of the company, when the company was founded, what the company does, and any other relevant information you think would be helpful for readers.]

The Challenges

[Write 2–3 short paragraphs describing the pain points your client was experiencing before they bought from you, the challenges this presented and/ the goals that were trying to be achieved.]

The Solution

[Write 2–3 short paragraphs describing how your company worked with your customer to find a solution to their challenges and implement a winning strategy. Use this space to describe how they are now using your product or service to solve their challenges from the previous section.]

Results

[Write a 2–3 paragraph conclusion to prove that your product/service impacted the customer’s business and helped them to achieve their goals, especially if they’ve been able to quantify or speak to the ROI of their investment.]

Call-to-Action

[Use your CTA to lead your prospect to a landing page or a contact form. This will give you more information on who’s reading your case study and who’s interested in your company.]

Featured Resource: Case Study Template

Need help getting your first case study off the ground? Look no further. We’ve put together a comprehensive guide, complete with templates, designed to make the process a whole lot easier.

Case-Study-Cover

Download this template

9. Call-to-Action

A call-to-action (CTA) is an image or line of text that’s included in different types of content to encourage leads and/or customers to take action. In short, you want someone to click your CTA to carry out a desired action.

Add CTAs to blogs, emails, ebooks, and anywhere else you want a lead to complete a certain action to push them to the next stage of the buyer’s journey.

Featured Resource: CTA Templates

These resources will empower you to create an impressive call-to-action strategy by helping you understand how CTAs work across different use cases, while also providing you with the means to create them for your own website.

image of hubspot cta templates

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10. Memos

A memorandum, or memo, is used to address internal communications within an organization. Think about the type of message you’re aiming to communicate. If you’re sharing minutes from a meeting, or detailing new policies and procedures, or communicating anything that people may need to refer back to in the future, a memo is likely a good idea.

Memos tend to be longer and more formal than emails (although you may attach a memo to an announcement email) and may be formatted according to your company’s style guidelines.

Use this general memo template to get started.

Memo: [Memo Title]

Date: [Date of sending]

Memo To: [Individual(s), Department(s), or Organization(s) the memo is being sent to]

From: [Your Name, or the Name of the Department on whose behalf the memo is being sent]

Subject: [Enter a brief, 5-10 word subject line to describe the purpose’s memo]

Introduction

Provide an executive summary of this memo in one-two paragraphs, highlighting the change that is happening, when it is effective, and what the key takeaways are for the memo recipient.

Background

Explain the background for this organizational change in one-two paragraphs. Some questions to answer in this section might be:

  • Why was this idea pursued in the first place?
  • What data, research, or background information informed this decision?
  • What are the intended results of this organizational change?

Overview and Timeline

Describe the organizational change in clear, direct language. Specify the following:

  • Who will be responsible for driving the change.
  • When the changes will go into effect.

Closing

Close things out with a final note on:

  • Why employees should feel excited and motivated about this change.
  • Where and when employees should submit questions, comments, and/or concerns.

Featured Resource: 4 Free Memo Templates

We’ve drafted up four free memo templates for general, organizational, financial, and problem-solving updates. We’ve also included a best practices checklist for you to review before sending your memo out.

image of hubspot's memo templates

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Adding these templates to your marketing arsenal can help you save time during your drafting process. Copywriters are shifting gears from blogs to case studies to emails all the time.

If you’re responsible for writing amazing copy for different types of content on a regular basis, using templates is a great way to get your creative juices flowing.

How to Create a Solid Landing Page That Converts

How to Create a Solid Landing Page That Converts

If you want to convince your visitors to take action on your website, you have to create a solid landing page.

A landing page is a special web page designed to promote your products or services to boost your sales and reach your conversion goals. Many marketers often confuse a landing page with a homepage. But the two are completely different.

A homepage is usually the first page of a website that is designed to provide information to its visitors.

A landing page, on the other hand, is not necessarily the first page of your website. The main objective of the landing page is to persuade a visitor to take a specific action.

This can be to make a purchase, subscribe to a newsletter, download a digital file, etc. It can be different for different businesses based on what their conversion goals are.

Landing pages are more about conversions and hence are directly related to the success of your business. That’s why it’s important that you create a solid landing page that can convince people to do what you want them to do.

Here are a few tips that can help you create a powerful landing page that converts.

1. Choose a Powerful Landing Page Builder

The first step to creating a solid landing page is to choose a powerful landing page builder. There are various page builders that’ll help you create beautiful landing pages for your website. But it’s important that you choose a page builder that suits your business needs and aligns with your designing skills.

Plugins like SeedProd can be a great option for all marketers, irrespective of their business goals.

This plugin is super easy to use and is highly flexible in terms of customizing your landing page designs. To make things simpler, it offers an intuitive drag and drop builder and some pre-built landing page templates too. You can either use these templates directly and tweak them a bit for the final result or create your own landing page from scratch.

SeedProd also offers various pre-built smart sections like headers, calls to action, FAQs, and more. You can simply drag the section you want and drop it on the landing page in your page builder. The good thing about this plugin is that you can use it to create a professional-looking landing page even if you have no designing skills at all.

2. Keep it Simple

The next important point to remember is to keep your landing page simple. It’s easy to design good-looking and complex landing pages when you have a good page builder.

But the problem is that when you offer too much information and several options on a single page, you end up confusing and distracting your visitor. As a result, they’ll take more time in making a decision.

If you don’t want that to happen, always keep your landing page as simple as possible. Keep your copy brief and try to keep things relevant and specific. You also need to ensure that your visitors aren’t distracted by any headers or links. The main motive here should be to highlight the core message of the page.

3. Add a Killer Headline

Your headline is the first thing that your visitors will notice on your landing page. This means that your headline will set the first impression on your audience. And based on that, they will either continue to read further or opt-out of your landing page.

The secret of good copy is to get your user to read every sentence one after the other until they reach the call-to-action. And the headline is the first sentence in this process. So make sure you have a powerful and catchy headline that hooks the visitors right away.

You can use tools like the IsItWP Headline Analyzer to find out how powerful your headline is. Just add your headline to the given field and click on the Analyze button. It will quickly analyze it for you and tell you how good it is by rating it on a scale of 100.

The higher this number is, the better your headline will be. It also checks the balance of words, the use of emotions, power words, etc., and tells you if it needs any improvement.

4. Add Social Proof

Another important element that can instantly make your landing page more powerful is strong social proof. These are small messages that show up on your website when a visitor engages with your brand and looks something like this –

These notifications trigger FOMO in your visitors, and they instantly respond to it.

FOMO or Fear of Missing Out is a psychological phenomenon that arises out of the belief that others are enjoying something without them.

So when they see social proof of others buying your product, they try to grab the opportunity in fear of missing out. Using social proof on your website is a very effective way of reaching your conversion goals.

Products like TrustPulse make it easy to add social proof on your website without coding a single line.

5. Use Videos

Videos always make your content more interesting. So using it on your landing pages can be a great way of catching your visitor’s attention.

The best thing about videos is that it lets you explain a complex product in a simple way within a very short span of time. Besides, it helps people understand the product better because they get to see how it appears in reality. So they know what to expect from it, and people are more likely to respond to such content.

You can simply create a video and upload it on YouTube and then embed it on your website. There are various tools that let you do that. But the best option is Smash Balloon. With this tool, embedding videos on your website becomes easy even if you have no prior experience with it.

These are some of the tips that can help you create a powerful landing page for your business. But remember, no landing page is complete without a well-optimized CTA. So make sure you add one that encourages people to click.

Syed Balkhi is an award-winning entrepreneur and online marketing expert. He is the co-founder of OptinMonster, WPBeginner, MonsterInsights, and WPForms.