Creating blogs, a good idea?

Have you just ended up on a blog post about starting your own blog? Sure you did! That's because we here at Combell have already figured out the great value of creating your own blog. Maybe you want to create a personal blog or rather one for marketing your company? With our tips, you can do so immediately and successfully.

Why create a blog?

We'll get right to the point: yes, it's a good idea to start an online blog. There you have your answer to the title of this blog page. Were you thinking of clicking away right away? Think again. Creating your own blog (website) involves a lot of things. So stick around for much more information and concrete tips about creating a blog.

Starting a personal blog

You can actually blog in two types of ways: as a hobby to share thoughts and ideas with others. Or as a business owner to communicate with your customers. Or sometimes one comes from the other ...

Creating a private blog is a way to express yourself online. Not only are you doing self-expression, you are also reaching like-minded souls with it. Who knows, you might turn out to be a real influencer! Feel the urge to write? Then starting your own blog is a smart way to develop your writing talent.

Your blog posts can later form your own portfolio. That way, you can immediately put something concrete on the table when you go to apply for that job of your dreams. Say you have your own fashion blog and hope to work at a fashion magazine someday. Then you are already one step ahead of the other candidates!

Making a business blog

Starting a business blog does not mean writing everything boring and solemn. No, we mean that you can start a blog to communicate with your customers as a business.

In fact, a blog is a powerful tool for building authority and credibility in your industry. For example, you can write articles about possible problems that your customers may well face. If you also provide solutions, that will only improve customer satisfaction.

By regularly writing and sharing blog posts that are clearly linked to your field, you as a business owner can position yourself as an expert within the industry. For example, a sports store with a blog full of tips, facts and interviews about healthy living and exercise. Starting an online blog (also sometimes called "creating a weblog"), by the way, is also a way to get more internet traffic on your business website.

If you write valuable and relevant content, you will appear higher in the search results of Google and others. You can even give that ranking a helping hand, by using search engine optimization (SEO).

Actually, a blog should be a part of your business marketing. Because with your blog page, you are betting on different forms of business communication: promotion, feedback, customer trust, expertise ...

Benefits of blog creation

Five major benefits of creating a blog nicely put together:

Greater brand awareness and name recognition. With a blog, you stand out from the crowd. In return for all those blog posts, you get more traffic to your site, more leads AND more customers.
Solid communication. Blog creation is a way to communicate directly with your customers. This is because the style of a blog is more personal. Readers are more likely to give feedback or suggest ideas. Which is good for your relationship with your customers.
Improved SEO. Both a "why" and a benefit: the better search engine optimization (SEO) of your website. Rank higher in search engines like Google by regularly posting new articles online. This will help you attract more traffic to your website and increase your online visibility.
Be seen as an expert. By blogging about your knowledge and expertise, clients and partners see you as an authority in your field. That credibility and trust is invaluable for the growth of your business.
Keep up with trends and developments. As an entrepreneur, you can write articles about the latest trends and developments within your market. This way you keep your target audience up to date with the latest developments in the industry while showing that your company is always up-to-date with the latest technologies.

Create your own blog: choose a subject

How do I create a blog? By knowing what you are going to write about! ๐Ÿ˜„ For a company blog, it's pretty simple: respond to what's going on with your target audience. For example, as a hosting provider, Combell will not suddenly start writing about snooker or vegan cat food. Although we would stand out, right? ๐Ÿ˜„

Here, you can read all the benefits of buying a domain name from Combell, what costs webshops entail, working in the cloud... All things you can count on with Combell and which we are only too happy to inform you about.

Be passionate

So to choose the topic of your blog, the main thing you need to know is what you are good at or have a lot to say about. Ideally so passionate that you want to write regularly posts about it. What is your favorite hobby, what does your mouth not stop talking about for five minutes? First and foremost, write about something that excites you.

That not only works to motivate you, you can more easily determine your target audience. Ah yes, because you are part of it yourself! An even better idea: create a blog on a topic you have a lot of knowledge about.

It's a good idea to blog on topics in which you have a certain amount of expertise. That way, you will put valuable and credible content online, and you will position yourself as a trusted source.

If you are knowledgeable and passionate, you will probably know of other blogs that create similar content. Analyze them and find out what topics are popular. Or immediately discover an original angle that no one is currently talking about.

Looking for more inspiration? Then hold a brainstorming session with yourself, write down all your ideas or - for advanced users - do some keyword research.

Blog-content
You can make money with your blog if you post exclusive content online.

How to create a blog?

Immediately, a big step: creating a blog page. There's a lot involved in this, but fortunately it doesn't have to be complicated. Once you know what you want to write about, choose a nice name for your blog.

You can then use that name for your domain name. Because you need to register a domain name when you start using web space at a hosting provider. But more on that later.

Finally, you need to design your blog and start publishing posts. With the right effort and strategy, you can create a successful blog that is a valuable source of information and inspiration for your readers. ๐Ÿ˜€

Have a blog created or build your own

Picked a domain name? Check! Now you have to ask yourself the question whether you are going to build that blog yourself or have it created by a reliable agency. The biggest difference is - you might guess - the cost at the end of the day.

Of course, the custom-built blog has several advantages. For example, you get a unique design that you have full control over, as well as all kinds of plugins to expand your blog and a blog that is also strong technically.

Not to mention all the time you can save because you don't have to create your blog page yourself.

Before outsourcing, be sure to create your own bill first. It may well be that such an expensive (but useful) investment is beyond your means for now. Therefore, it is worth taking other paths: namely, building your own blog.

Choose a blogging platform

You can start your own blog thanks to a blogging platform. That's basically the "blog software" that your own blog runs on. This is an important decision. After all, the blog platform you choose determines the features, appearance and user experience of your blog.

So think carefully about the right blogging platform. Choose software that fits the blog you have in mind. What is important to your blog? What experience do you want to give your readers? With the right blogging platform, you can take your own blog page to the next level.

Combell recommends two blogging platforms. With WordPress and SiteBuilder, you can create the best blogs. Learn more about each blog platform:

Create your own blog with WordPress

WordPress is one of the easiest ways to create your own website, for those with a small technical base. WordPress is by far the most popular Content Management System (CMS). Such a CMS makes it easy for you to build your own website. It is a tool that helps you manage and create content on your website.

The biggest advantage of WordPress is that the platform itself is completely free: you don't have to pay anything for the CMS itself. And there are many free WordPress themes and plugins available, which can give your website a lot of extra functionality.

Tip

Want to use WordPress? Then all you need is a domain name. And hosting! With Combell, you can choose web hosting on which you can install WordPress yourself with just one click and/or for WordPress hosting where WordPress is already pre-installed. With our WordPress hosting, a number of other things are also optimized for the performance and security of your WordPress blog.

WordPress has an easy-to-use editor as well.

Advantages WordPress:

Usability: WordPress is easy to use, even for beginners. You don't need advanced technical skills to set up and manage your blog.
Flexibility and customizability. With WordPress, you have access to thousands of themes and plugins that allow you to customize the look and feel and functionality of your blog. So you can fully personalize your blog to fit your own unique style.
Many features. You can count on a wide range of functionalities that you can use to improve your blog, such as search engine optimization (SEO), social media plugins ... This allows you to grow and expand your blog whenever you want.
Community and support. WordPress is constantly being improved by devotees of the platform: that's what we call Open Source software. That means everyone has access to the code that WordPress is made up of. The large WordPress community is constantly providing new themes and plugins (extensions), many of which are free to use.
Scalability. WordPress is scalable, which means you can grow your blog as you get more blog posts and visitors. Whether you have a small personal blog or want to create a larger business blog, WordPress can grow with your needs.

Disadvantages WordPress:

Tech basics. WordPress' control panel may be as user-friendly as it is, but a little technical knowledge is required. Installing themes and plugins, fixing technical problems and keeping up with updates can be quite tough for starters without a technical background.

Tip

How do I create a blog with technical support? With Combell, of course! All our customers have access to our excellent 24/7 support. Our colleagues will help you with any problems and questions.

Security risks: WordPress is so popular that the blogging platform is regularly targeted by hackers. It is therefore important to regularly update (or have updated) and take security measures to ensure the security of your blog. A hosting company such as Combell supports you in these steps.
Frequent maintenance: WordPress requires regular maintenance, such as updating themes, plugins and the WordPress software itself. This can be time-consuming and you need to make sure you always stay up-to-date to keep your blog's performance, security and operation on point.

Tip

Don't feel like having to deal with that endless stream of WordPress updates? With Managed WordPress hosting, that's completely a thing of the past. We keep your website in top condition, while you don't have to worry about it anymore.

Potential costs. Although the WordPress software itself is free, the cost of building and maintaining a WordPress blog can add up. You may have costs for hosting, premium themes, paid plugins ...
Way too many choices. Because of the countless WordPress options, it can sometimes be difficult to make the right choices and set up your blog as efficiently as possible. Although that's actually nitpicking.

Create your own blog with SiteBuilder

SiteBuilder is Combell's golden tip for anyone who wants to start a blog easily, quickly and, above all, on a budget. Feel free to call it our alternative to Wix.

With this user-friendly package, you can immediately create your own blog. And no, you do not need to have any technical knowledge. Still stuck? We are ready to help you day and night. And how about free training!

Try it yourself first before outsourcing your website. SiteBuilder is affordable, it's well worth the investment.

Read Vanessa's experience

You build your own blog whenever and wherever you want. You are in charge. You don't have to bother anyone when you want to update the blog pages. SiteBuilder totally lives up to its name as a website builder. With this blog software you get all the building blocks to create your blog.

Benefits SiteBuilder:

SiteBuilder is a user-friendly platform that allows you to create a professional blog without technical knowledge.
Lots of templates and designs, allowing you to quickly build a blog that fits your business or idea.
Many options to further customize and personalize your website, such as adding free images and texts.
Last but not least: Combell offers hosting and domain name registration in one package, which allows you to quickly and easily launch a full SiteBuilder blog.
Combell guarantees good support and guidance during the entire process of creating a blog.

Disadvantages of SiteBuilder:

SiteBuilder is less suitable for large, complex websites with many features and extras.
This tool offers fewer options for customization and adjustments than some other website builders.
Less flexible than some other software to build a blog with.

P.S.: There are, of course, other platforms and packages. For example, with paid subscriptions (premium subscriptions), you can start blogging right away there too.

How to create a free blog?

"'What is Combell babbling about creating a blog? I can just start a free blog, right?" We shouldn't sound silly about that. You can indeed create a free blog on several platforms. But that's actually not such a good idea. Especially not for entrepreneurs who create a blog to present themselves professionally.

It starts with your own domain name. Starting a blog for free means you only have a subdomain. No domain of your own. So the brand of the free blogging platform will always appear along in the address bar of your blog. That looks rather clumsy.

Example URL free blog.

Your blog will also be filled with advertising. Of which the income goes to the blogging platform. Or even worse, the free blogging platform will shut down and you will lose access to your own blog.

Create a blog for free? Yes, but with limitations

Creating a free blog also entails limitations. Not much disk space, limited possibilities to personalize your blog page, slower loading time compared to a professional blog ...

Plus, SEO features are limited, so your blog won't rank super high in Google. Oh, and don't think you will be able to count on as good support as with Combell. In other words, we are not fans of a free blog (site). And no, we are not saying that because we are a hosting provider ourselves.

For us, it is quite simple: your own blog - whether it is a small hobby project or a company blog - must have the best facilities. As a matter of fact, there are plenty of Ugly Belgian Websites already. Though even within a good setting, a dreadfully ugly website can always be made.

Starting your own blog: start designing it!

So we can only recommend choosing a solid blogging platform. After that, it's time to design your blog. The details depend on the software you have chosen. Regardless of your chosen blog platform, it is very important to think carefully about the exact design of your blog. Because the layout determines the look and feel of your blog. And you know what they say about that first impression ...

Choose a template

Most startups without much technical knowledge choose a template. That's a kind of preliminary design that doesn't require you to start from scratch.Take the time to browse through the different templates. It will help you eventually choose a blog template with the right features, menus, plugins ... that suit your blog.

sitebuilder-themes
SiteBuilder's templates allow you to try out different layouts.

Adjust colors and fonts

The one thing you shouldn't overlook: your blog's color scheme and font. It might well be that the original colors of the template do not match your online look.

For example, it would be very strange if you start blogging about love and relationships and only black colors show up on your blog page. With the right colors, you will be able to convey atmosphere and emotion. Tell me: you prefer a visually appealing blog too, don't you?

Plus, the right font is important for the readability of your blog. Test out different fonts (don't do it while your blog is already online). Although you may skip Comic Sans right away. ๐Ÿ˜‰

With consistency in font and color usage, you can build a recognizable brand identity and set your blog apart from others. Bottom line: an appropriate font and colors contribute to the professionalism, readability and visual appeal of your blog.

Tip

We assume you want to create a visually appealing blog. Right? Then check out our 8 tips for a beautiful website!

Add images and other media

Let us give you a tip right away: don't play around too lavishly with images and other media on your blog. The number actually depends on the type of blog. If your blog is about photography, then of course it is obvious that there will be a lot of pictures.

Videos quickly make your blog page heavy. Not just figuratively, also literally. Websites with slow load times often have to load way too many media files.

For adding images, your chosen blog platform again plays an important role. At SiteBuilder, for example, you can add images to your blog for free. Other platforms even have special plugins for it.

Posting content on your own blog

Stretch those fingers. Time to put that first blog post online! Once you've defined your topic, you'll immediately know what to write about. Unleash your creativity. Share your story with your audience.

If you're launching a corporate blog, make thoughtful choices about your first posts. For instance, don't start right away writing about the most difficult topics. Keep it fun!

SEO in mind

You may need to be creative, but keep search engine optimization of your blog posts in mind as well. After all, you want to be read. Otherwise, you shouldn't create a private blog, but rather a diary. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

Take SEO into account by paying attention to your ( sub) titles, integrating keywords and tags in the SEO options of your blog platform. As a result, you will rank higher in the search results of Google, among others.

Therefore, through that way, audiences will land on your blog. There is also a good chance that those readers will immediately be interested in what you have to say. After all, they came to your blog via relevant keywords.

Building an audience

Dare to click the publish button? Your first blog post is online. Congratulations. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Still, you don't have time to rest on your laurels. After all, you need to advertise your blog. SEO does the trick, but it doesn't stop there.

First and foremost, share your blog page within your own network. So leverage your accounts on social media. Schedule your published posts at strategic times. After all, someone is more likely to read your post during their lunch break than at 2 p.m., in the middle of the day.

Do like other bloggers do and share your published posts on social media.

To find out who your readers are, which posts are popular ... you can use the statistics integrated in your blog software. Or make use of Google Analytics!

Using email marketing

Another effective way to promote your blog posts is e-mail marketing. Good news: every Combell customer gets a free Flexmail account.

flexmail

With Flexmail's email marketing tool, you design professional emails and campaigns and send them to the right contacts. Sending newsletters and promotions through Flexmail is a great example of taking control of your marketing.

Some other tips for promoting your blog:

Guest blogging: write guest blogs for other popular blogs and websites in your field. This will help you reach a new audience and position yourself as an expert in your niche. Don't forget to include relevant links to your own blog in your guest blogs. ๐Ÿ˜‰
Encourage interaction on your blog by encouraging comments, questions and discussions. Respond to comments and questions from your readers to build an engaged and active community. This increases the engagement and loyalty of your audience. Social media is great for this as well.
Provide visual content such as images, infographics and videos to make your blog posts more engaging and substantiated. Visual content attracts attention, elicits responses on social media and can help to better convey your message.
Attend conferences, events and online communities within your industry. Build relationships with other professionals and bloggers in your field. Showing yourself can increase your blog promotion.

How to start your own blog and make money with it

Making money with your personal blog? It's only logical that you have ears for that. There are several ways to get income from your blog. Although that should certainly not be your biggest motivation to start a blog page.

Blogs that are maintained with passion and have strong content will sooner or later be picked up. Who knows, maybe even by a generous sponsor.

Webshop-message

About the different business models:

  • You can sell advertising space on your blog to advertisers. You do this, for example, through Google AdSense or through direct partnerships with companies. Every time visitors click on the ads or the ads are displayed, you receive a (small) fee.
  • By including affiliate links in your blog posts, you can earn a commission when readers buy products or services through those links. You can sign up with different affiliate networks and promote products or services relevant to your niche audience. You can even become an Affiliate Partner of Combell!
  • You can collaborate with brands and companies to create sponsored content. So, like a real influencer. This means that you get paid to write blog posts that promote the sponsor's products, services or events. It is important to clearly state that the content is sponsored to remain transparent to your audience.
  • Starting a webshop. For example, do you blog about clothes, candles or other products? Then you can start selling them yourself, for example. You can use your blog to build authority and credibility and while promoting your digital products.

Tip

If you create your blog with WordPress or SiteBuilder, you can easily expand to a webshop.

Additional tips on starting your own blog

So! You now have all the knowledge you need to start your own blog. Here at Combell, we cannot wait to get started together. Registering your domain name, helping you find the best hosting, providing blog software... We have everything you need right here!

Here are four more tips for your blog!

Be consistent. Provide new content on your blog. This can be weekly, bi-weekly or monthly, depending on your schedule and time. This way you will build a loyal audience and keep your blog relevant for search engine optimization.
Mobile first! Make sure your blog is responsive and displays well on different devices, such as smartphones and tablets. More and more people are using such mobile devices to read blogs, so it is essential to have a mobile-friendly blog.
mobile-first
Use internal and external links. Place internal links to other relevant blog posts on your own blog. This not only helps engage your readers and keep them on your blog longer, but it also helps search engines index your blog better. In addition, you can use external links to point to other valuable resources and increase your credibility. ๐Ÿ˜‰
Gather feedback from your readers. Post surveys, ask questions in your blog posts or encourage readers to contact you. That way, you will find out what your audience appreciates, what they are waiting for and how you can improve your blog.

Frequently asked questions about blog creation