Writing a WordPress Blog for Fun and Profit
Those of you with sharp eyes and website smarts may notice is that this article on writing a WordPress blog is not hosted on a WordPress site. Friendslr.com is a Joomla site, at least for now. However, the blog article itself was written in WordPress. Confused yet? No worries, I'll explain this later in the article. It will make sense, I promise.
In this article, I'll give some tips on how to go about writing a blog for whatever purpose you want, be it a vanity article, or a working article. More on that later as well. However, the talent to write a blog is something you need to supply.
Lastly, for this section, anyway, I will point you to some tools I regularly use on my blogs. These are seriously vital to have in your blog-writing arsenal.
What do you know about WordPress Blogs, scribbler man?
I have written a few blog articles. Maybe 200? Maybe less. However, I do not track most of them. These articles are scattered all over the internet, on various websites, and under various personas. You see, most are just vanity articles. I also operate maybe a dozen website at (down from 40+, the upkeep was too expensive, server costs, domains, time!) most of which were hand coded by me personally. In other words, I used to write all the code for my websites, or I would re-write code I got elsewhere, but use an existing framework to work inside of. PHPMotion was one I seriously tweeked for my own use. In doing so I utilized a lot of knowledge from the PHPMotion community, as well.
But when it comes to blogs, you will find it is all you. Your current of thought runs like a river, and it's that river, in that moment, that you are putting to words. I write blogs for my day job as well. I do not choose the topic, so I do not refine the end product. I'm not privy to the target, so it's pointless to aim.
Then I Switched
I began using WordPress to ween myself off of writing websites. Site creation is tedious. If you have ever written a website, you know what I mean; you change 1 value on 1 item and the whole site goes down. One misplaced <div> and forget it, you just lost an hour of finding and fixing. Yet, that is how you learn: write it, break it, fix it.
When you visit a website, like this one, you don't have to mess with back end code. Nor do you have to do much of that when you use WordPress. You can, however, monkey with the coding in WP, if you're one of those people that like to tinker. Point is, you don't have to.
Joomla, on the other hand, is slicker overall, but requires more work. Joomla is terrible for blogging, in my opinion. WordPress blog 1, Joomla 0.
What is a vanity (blog) article?
I'll get to working articles later, but a vanity article is something you write just because you want to. Or you feel like it. Or you think it's something that needs to be said. The point is, a vanity article has no real target. It does not seek goal, no real objective. Maybe the writer just has a few minutes to burn. For me, most vanity articles come to life in my morning shower. That's where I do most of my thinking and musing for the day. You write a vanity article just for fun.
What is WordPress?
If you are, at all, involved in web development, or have been, then you know what WordPress is. I wrote an article some time ago comparing WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. You can read it here. 3000+ reads, not too bad for being an article on a, then, brand new, no-name website.
Wordpress is a portal program. A portal program is that which you build a website in, with all the framework there with which to build a website. Facebook is a user end portal. Wordpress is a user and creation portal, but it can also be used to create display websites, online stores, pretty much anything. Additions can be made via plugins, WP tries to be everything to everyone, but really, at its core, it is a blogging platform.
What is a Blog, and Blogging? What About Vlogs?
Should you know, don't tell the others. Just smile and nod, then move on to the next section.
Blog is internet shorthand for Weblog.
A weblog is, literally, a "log" of the web - a diary-style site, in which the author (a "blogger") links to other web pages he or she finds interesting using entries posted in reverse chronological order.
So blogging is the act of writing a blog, or blogs. And a Vlog is a portmanteau of Video Log, or Video Blog, if you will.
A Working WordPress Blog
A working blog is different than a vanity blog, although a vanity can be a working blog, and vice versa. This type of blog has a target, or several targets, in mind when it is written. Here is a short list I use as a guide when prepping an article:
- What is your target or objective?
- Know your blog topic, or
- Research the heck out of your article topic.
- How is the topic related to the objective?
- Can this topic be made compelling in a blog?
- Is there a little room for a couple jots of humor?
Identifying the target and objective of your blog can be difficult, but it does not have to be. The objective of all the blogs on Friendslr is to draw traffic. As simple as that. I own Friendslr.com, and it being a relatively new and unknown social networking site, I utilize articles to get people in and looking around. Since I have not shoehorned Friendslr into a niche, I'm not making the articles niche focused yet. This gives me the latitude of picking and choosing my topics, sort of like a Vanity Blog. However, if the site was focused on, say, Frozen Viking Excrement from the Middle Ages, it is a sure bet that my blog articles would be focused on Viking poop, poop in the middle ages, preservation of said dookie, and the like. I could be wrong, but I really don't think there is much of a market for that sort of social networking website Poobook? Nah.
Your objective may be to sell a product. Maybe you're simply promoting your business. There are tricks to these too, and maybe I'll write another article later on these topics.
Once you have chosen your blog article topic, it's time to see what sort of traffic you might expect to get out of that topic. You can go to Google Adwords and see what sort of traffic you may get. Google Adwords is a Pay Per Click (PPC) program where people pay money to Google in order to have their ads placed in the search results for a given topic or keyword. I know Adwords well, I used to use it, and in fact I owned a couple PPC websites before as well.
So there's Google Adwords, but I prefer SEO Book.
Here is an image that shows you why. Picture = 1000 words.
Here you can see the traffic volume report that I generated just before sitting down to write this article. From left to right, you have Search Volume, Impressions, Clicks, Click Through Rate, Bids for this term, Cost Per Click, Spent on Ads, and what the traffic volume is worth.
"Woo hoo, look at the free money! It's like 40 pound chunks of pure gold waiting for me to pick them up off the ground!"
Hold on now, Sparky. Before you call your boss, tell him or her what a jerk they are and quit your day job, understand that you still have to:
- write the blog
- have Google spider the blog
- hope that it places high in searches
- realize that, if you're lucky, you might catch a very small percentage of that traffic.
Use Long Tail Search Terms and Phrases
Those really high numbers in the image above? They are only a sign post. Beneath each of those search terms awaits attainable traffic volume numbers.
I have been doing SEO and building websites since 1998. In fact when my day job started bandying about the idea of using long tail search terms, I had to smile. I have been doing this for a decade or more. As a matter of fact, I stopped giving SEO advice to one person because they were taking it to the big boss and claiming the information as their own. Like, yeah, they're a web guru, right? This is a fairly common practice there, and I'm sure in a lot of workplaces.
Anyway, recognize that Google is Focused on being Focused. The more focused and concise your article, and it's aim, is, the more Google will like it, and, consequently, the higher it will place in search results. you do your part, fucusing the article, and the search engines do theirs.
One is done - One is Fun
I could have keyworded this article you are reading as "WordPress Blogs - Optimize your Search Terms" or something like that. I did not. My article for the week is done, so this one is just for fun. This article is, as I said earlier, more or less a working vanity article.
Something I try to do in every blog article I write, working or vanity, is to include some light humor here or there. I have found that is you serve up something unexpected, generating at least a chuckle, the reader is much more apt to pay attention for a little longer. Too much, though, ans you will turn your reader off.
Write What you Know - Know What You Write
Knowing your blog topic is vital. Your reader instinctively knows, even if they don't show it, when you are shamming knowledge on your topic. And you'll know it too, deep inside. If you don't feel great about an article when you finish, your reader won't either.
So, know your blog topic, and/or research the snot out of it before even beginning the task of writing it. Google is your friend. Wikipedia is your friend. Hang out with them for an hour or so.
There's an (WordPress Blog) App for That
It's not really an app, I just wanted to type the app for that line, However, there is a WordPress plugin that measures everything you do as you write a blog article. It is called Yoast SEO. You tell it what your SEO target is, and it coaches you to that target. Best of all, the basic plugin is free. Or, you can pay $89 for the premium version. I have not done that. I use the freebie.
Not only will Yoast SEO guide your keyword targeting, it will also call you on faking knowledge of the topic itself. Not directly, no, it measures the use of the "Passive Voice" in your writing. People tend to use much more passive voice on a topic they don't know, than the expected Active Voice alternative. So if you don't know what you're talking about, it will know. Yoast SEO has yet to call me out in the writing of this article. However, when I do stray, it will tell me so. Visit their site at https://yoast.com/wordpress/plugins/seo/
Writing a WordPress Blog vs Writing a Joomla blog
Content is content, and content is king. I wrote a blog on Content is King like 12 years ago on Blogspot, or Blogger.com. Terrible article, lol. Anyway, what you're putting out there is key, right? Yes it is. However, HOW you put it together is every bit as important as WHAT you put together. Understand?
Important - with either WordPress or Joomla, you need a server. You can self serve, but it simpler to hire this out. I recommend InMotion Hosting. I am not going to cover how to set this all up, but it is seriously easy.
You can also host your WordPress website on wordpress.com for free. A word of caution though, you are on their server, and you do not have the same level of editing code, or adding plugins as you do with the self-hosted (and also free) version of WordPress, unless you pay them.
Here is another benefit of using WordPress: you can write anywhere you have internet connectivity. Start at home. Go down to Starbucks and continue. Finish on your phone. Where you are, it is as well.
The Tools Matter
Writing a WordPress Blog using the tools WordPress has is so much simpler than simply banging out an article blindly in Joomla. Yoast SEO is the best of the best. SEO Book is a stellar performer outside of WordPress.
So as I said at the top of the article, the part about a Joomla hosted blog article that was written using WordPress, remember that?
WordPress and Joomla?
I have often asked myself, "Why is Joomla so bad at blogs, and WordPress so good?" I'm sure many Joomla users have asked that too.
What I used to do is write my blog articles in other websites I own, which run on WordPress. From there I'd copy the article into a word doc to find any glaring grammar issues, save it, then recopy the article into pne of my Joomla websites like Friendslr.com or DelightfulCoffee.com. One has to be careful to never publish the blog article at the site you wrote it, though. If you do, you're basically plagiarizing yourself, but Google will look at it as one random website copying another random website's content, and punish one or the other (or both) websites for this infraction!
There has to be an easier way
I did not like the multiple steps of bouncing an article around just to publish it. Plus, if I had attached any images, I had to either reload them into the correct website, or feed them from the media folder of website I wrote the article at, to the place I presented them at, So the website I wrote the article in served up the images for the presenting website. That's a remarkably unclean way to do things.
So, I simply created a child WordPress website within Friendlsr.com, completely separate from Joomla and in another directory. Everything is in the same domain and server, and feeds itself within itself.
Write It Right
I'm fairly sure y'all are about sick of me by now, so I'll wrap it up here with just a few more tips.
Not everyone can write a blog. However, everyone can learn.
I know Yoast SEO says your 300 word article is passable, but honestly, it isn't. That's just being lazy. Be informative. Entertain your reader if you can. They are taking a slice of time out of their life to read your creation. Anything under 1600 words makes you a rotten egg. Finishing this up I'm at 2706 words.
Stephen King said"
"I like to get ten pages a day, which amounts to 2,000 words..."
Stephen King is, however, a 'little g' writing god.
In short, take the time to write it right. Aim for between 1600 and 2200 words. Yoast SEO counts them for you, by the way.
Writing for Profit
I almost forgot to include this part. You can write blogs for profit, There is a need out there for quality blogs, and there are people willing to pay you good, real money to write blogs for them, There are also agencies that hunt down people to write blogs for their clients. I have entertained the thought, but let's face it, I'm a scribbling hack, not a writer, sooo...
However, my articles do generate traffic for my sites, and I DO make money from Google ads. Not a lot, but that is growing as well.
It's a Wrap
So, reader/writer reading this, get out there and capture the world. Your writing is your creation. Let it reflect you. Shoot, maybe it even outlives you.
So take that stream of thought of yours and turn it into an excellent stream of words. I'll bet you can.
Did you know that Freindslr.com is a full on social media website? Check it! Go to the Community link up toward the top. Boom, you're in.
You can join Friendslr.com at https://friendslr.com/registration/
It's free to use, too! We only ask that if you're crass, foul mouthed (or keyboarded) or otherwise unpleasant that you stick with other social media sites. Friendslr is the clean network.