What Is Blogging? Your Ultimate Guide

What is blogging? Is it worth your time? Blogging is the act of publishing articles on your website.

What Is Blogging? Your Ultimate Guide | Hannah Haefele

You can use a blog to make money or to build your reputation in your industry. Read on to learn more about blogging and how to get started.

But first, this post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy to learn more.

What Is Blogging?

Blogging is when you write articles (also called blog posts) to publish to your website. Typically, you publish articles consistently to help fill the blog with content.

You can blog about almost anything, from your life to music to business. However, personal blogs tend not to do as well as blogs that focus on something else.

Blog readers want to learn from the posts they view. So if you’re only ever talking about yourself, you might not see success.

What Is a Blog Post?

A blog post is one article that you publish within the great blog section of your website. Some blog posts are short and sweet, while others are much longer and cover a topic in more depth.

You can write content for blog posts, of course. But some of the best blog posts also contain other elements, such as images or videos.

Either way, a blog post usually focuses on one topic. You can answer a question within your industry or publish a tutorial. Each blog post you publish can focus on something a bit different but still revolve around your business.

What Is a Niche Blog?

Some blogs are fairly general and cover multiple topics. For example, a blog might cover college life, personal finance, and relationships.

While that strategy can work for some blogs, other blog owners decide to start a niche blog. A niche is a topic or area of expertise that you choose for your content or business.

Some niches are very narrow, such as a vegan recipe blog. Other niches might be more broad, such as a string instrument blog. But both of those niches are smaller than a topic like recipes or music.

What Is a Niche?

As I mentioned, a niche is your chosen topic for your blog. You can find blogs in almost any niche you can think of. Popular niches include health, finance, and business.

Because they’re so popular, those niches are also more competitive. That can make it harder to stand out. However, you can choose a sub-niche within those areas to make your blog unique.

Choosing blog topics may be a bit more difficult, but the smaller niche can help you differentiate yourself from the bigger blogs in your industry.

Best Blogging Platforms

Another essential part of blogging is blogging platforms. The platform is where you upload and post the content.

Some blog platforms are free while others cost money. In some cases, you’ll need to host your blog with website hosting, while other platforms include the hosting.

Consider the following platforms when starting your blog.


WordPress is the most popular website builder, and it’s the platform that over 40% of all websites use. It’s also a fantastic tool for blogs because it’s very flexible.

Now, it can also be confusing because there are two different versions of WordPress. WordPress.com is a platform and host in one, but it has a lot of restrictions.

On the other hand, WordPress.org is simply the software to run a website. To use it, you’ll need to purchase hosting through a third-party company, such as SiteGround.


Blogger used to be BlogSpot, which is the website many Blogger blogs use for their domain. However, you can connect your own domain to the service to make your blog more professional.

Google owns Blogger, so setting up the platform is easy. It also includes hosting for free, so you don’t need to spend money to get started.

Like WordPress.com, though, Blogger has some limitations. I started my first couple of blogs on Blogger but moved them to WordPress.org after they started seeing some success.


Another blogging platform to consider is Medium. You don’t have to create a website like with the other tools. That makes it easy to get started quickly.

Once you sign up for an account, you can write your first post and publish it. You don’t have to worry about hosting or choosing a design for your blog.

However, you can only customize your Medium profile so much. You might want to eventually start a blog on Blogger or WordPress once you get a following on Medium.

Why Start a Blog

It’s one thing to know, “what is blogging?” However, that doesn’t necessarily explain why you should start a blog.

If you’re considering starting a blog, you’re in a good place. But maybe you have some doubts about the project.

Here are a few reasons why you should go through with your plans.

Grow Your Online Presence

Blogging can help you grow your online presence for your brand and business. You can use blog posts to showcase your expertise in your niche, which can help you get clients or customers.

If you use search engine optimization (SEO), your blog posts can show up in search results. That way, you can attract website traffic even when people aren’t looking to buy from you.

But they might learn about you, and your blog post could help them. If that happens, they may remember your site. When they are ready to buy, they can seek you out and hire you or purchase a product.

Separate Topics

Maybe you already have a website for one business or topic you enjoy. You can start a blog on a separate domain for another business or topic you want to cover.

That can keep you from confusing your existing audience. This is especially important if your current and new topics are very different. For example, I started this site to focus on blogging.

My other blog and business revolves around the flute and flute music. It wouldn’t make sense to write about blogging on the same site.

Drive Website Traffic

You might have an existing website and no desire to create a second one. But if your current site doesn’t have a blog, you could miss out on traffic.

Every new blog post you publish is another page that can rank in search engine results. That means each blog posts gives you more opportunities to show up when people use Google.

You don’t have to post a new blog post every day. However, publishing new content regularly can show search engines that you’re active. Then, you can get more views on your site.

Make Money

A lot of people start blogs with the main goal of making money. And sure, that can happen, but it will take a lot of time and effort.

Luckily, you can use your blog to promote your existing products and services. That way, you might see a return on your investment more quickly than from ads or other monetization methods.

No matter how you monetize a blog, it could eventually become a very lucrative venture. Then, you can repeat the process of blogging to increase your earning potential even more.

How to Start a Blog

You may have more questions as you wonder about, “what is blogging?” Knowing how to start a blog is one of those things that comes up a lot for new bloggers.

Here are some steps to take before you launch your first or next blog.

Research Niches

I already talked about what a niche is. If you have an idea for a blog you want to start, do some research. You want to make sure there’s a need for that type of content.

However, you also have to consider what you know about. I started two music blogs because that’s what I studied in college. Now that I’ve been a freelance SEO writer for four years, I’m starting this blog.

So you don’t need a degree, but you do need knowledge of the subject. And you need to make sure it will be profitable, assuming that your goal is to make money from it.

Use tools like Google, Pinterest, and YouTube to see what topics are popular. Search for Facebook groups to see if there are any large groups for the blog niche you’re considering.

Once you find something with potential, you can move to the next step with starting a blog.

Choose One Main Topic

It can be tempting to blog about everything you love. However, each blog you start should have one main topic. You can always start a second blog later to write about new things.

For now, figure out which of your interests has the most profit potential. Then, you can use that to help come up with a blog name.

Buy the domain for that name, or use your name. Either option can work, so choose what works for you. If you want to use WordPress, you’ll also need to buy website hosting and install WordPress.

Brainstorm Post Ideas

After you select a topic, you need to come up with ideas for blog posts to write. I’d recommend brainstorming at least 20 to 30 topic ideas.

Then, you can use a tool like the Google Keyword Planner to find keywords for those posts. When your blog is new, look for keywords or phrases that have little or no competition.

That will give you a better chance of getting your content to rank on the first page. You might also want to target long-tail keywords, which have multiple words in them, since those are less competitive.

Use a spreadsheet or document to keep track of your post ideas and the keywords you plan to use. Then, you can reference that document when it’s time to write your posts.

Write the Initial Content

Before you launch your blog, write at least a few of the posts. You can write as few as five articles or as many as you want. I wouldn’t write a ton before you launch because that can keep you from launching the blog.

However, having a few ready to go is great. If people find your blog, you’ll already have a few pages on it. And you can start linking between those initial posts to help keep people on your site.

If you’re not much of a writer, you can hire a blog writer. They’ll be able to create the content for you. And they can use SEO techniques to help get the post to rank in search results.

Promote the Posts

Once you launch your blog, you’ll need to spend just as much time promoting it as you do writing the posts. Even if you use SEO, it can take a few months for Google to index your site.

That means you probably won’t get much search traffic for a while. It will be up to you to tell people about your blog.

You can use Pinterest, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram to share your blog and specific posts. Think about your ideal audience, and use the platforms they’re on to help get your posts in front of the right people.

What to Share on Your Blog

Deciding what to cover is a big part of blogging. Of course, you should already have a niche in mind. That will help you narrow down what topics to write about.

However, there are few different post types you can share. Consider the following options when coming up with blog post ideas.

Tips and Tricks

One of the best options is to share tips and tricks within your niche. If you’ve learned how to do something, you can write about it.

For example, I might write about tips to write a blog post more quickly. That helps you manage your time without sacrificing on the quality of your content.

Think about any tips you’ve learned that you can share. Then, you can add those to your list of blog post ideas.


What is blogging if it doesn’t involve a bit of teaching? You can write tutorials for different things within your chosen topic. A great example of this is recipe blogs.

The recipe tells you how to make the dish. Some food bloggers will also include their experience making the food.

But you can write tutorials on anything from using Instagram to organizing your kitchen. Look at some other blogs in your niche to see what tutorials they’ve shared to get some ideas.

Buying Guides

If you want to make money from your blog, you should post buying guides in your niche. This category can include reviews, top 10 lists, and comparison posts.

You can write about products and services in your niche. When possible, stick to products you’ve used. That will help you write better content that educates your readers on the tool.

Buying guides can also help you make money from affiliate links. You can join programs for a lot of brands. Then, when you mention the product in a blog post, you can link to it with a special link to get a commission.

Answer Questions

Some of the best blog posts answer questions, like this post you’re reading. New bloggers may wonder “what is blogging?” I wrote this post to help those people learn the basics.

You can answer some more basic questions in your niche. As you build your blog, you might also answer more specific queries. That way, you can further help people.

If anyone ever asks you something about your niche, write that question down. Do some keyword research to choose the right keyword to use, and you can write your next great article.

Ways a Blog Can Make Money

Once you start blogging, you can monetize it in a few ways. The most successful blogs can make six or even seven figures a year.

Now, you shouldn’t expect those results overnight, if at all. You’re going to need to put in a lot of time to build your blog.

However, keep these monetization ideas in mind. You might not implement them all now, but it’s worth knowing they exist to help plan out your blog strategy.

Display Ads

Many blogs make money through display ads. If someone clicks on an ad on your blog, you’ll get a small amount. You might also make a bit of money from ad impressions, though the rate is much lower.

To use display ads, you’ll need to get into an ad network. Google AdSense is popular for beginners, but sites with more traffic can use Mediavine or AdThrive.

You’ll usually need to have quite a few posts on your blog before you apply to an ad network. The network wants to ensure you have quality content that will work for their advertisers.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is when you make money promoting another company’s product or service. You’ll get a special link that you can share on your blog.

Whenever someone clicks that link and makes a purchase, you’ll get a cut of the sale. Some affiliate programs pay a percentage of every sale, while others will pay a flat dollar amount.

I already mentioned that you can use affiliate marketing to make money from buying guides. However, you can use affiliate links almost anywhere on your site.

You can also join as many programs as you want. That way, you’ll have more opportunities to earn money.

Sponsored Posts

As your blog traffic grows, you can start working with sponsors. This is where a company pays you a flat rate to mention their product or service in an article.

You might also use an affiliate link, but you don’t have to. However, you will usually have to submit your draft to the sponsor for approval. Once they approve the article, you can publish it on your site.

I’d recommend against doing sponsorships for every post. That can make your audience feel like you’re only in it for the money. You should also only promote brands you use and love to help maintain trust with your readers.

Digital Products

Another income stream to add is digital products, such as eBooks and courses. You can create the product once and sell it to as many people who want to buy it.

Digital products can pay way more than ads and affiliate commissions. But they also take more work to create before you can make money from them.

For that reason, I’d wait until you have an audience. You may also want to wait until you’re making good money from ads and affiliate links. That way, you can justify spending time creating a product.


If you’re looking to make money from your blog right away, services are a great way to do that. You can offer a service for a lot of different niches.

For example, I offer SEO content writing services. This blog helps me market those services. On my music blog, I offer commissions for sheet music arrangements.

If you blog about pets, you might offer a pet sitting service. Just make sure you don’t offer services that require education or certification that you don’t have.

How Often Should You Blog?

You should blog as often as you can sustain. For some people, that does mean posting every day or multiple times a week.

But for others, once a week or once every other week is all they can do. No schedule is right for everyone, so play around with your options and do what works for you.

What If I’m Not a Good Writer?

If you’re not a good writer, you can still start a blog. But you’ll either need to learn to write better or hire a writer.

That way, you can publish quality content on your blog.

What Is Blogging? In Review

What is blogging and is it right for you? Blogging can be an excellent way to showcase your expertise and make money.

It’s not an easy thing, though, and it’s far from a get rich quick scheme. You’ll need to choose the right niche and publish content consistently to see results from your efforts.

Do you need a blog writer? Contact me to learn how I can help!

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