If you're reading this you will already know what ChatGPT is to some degree. You've probably seen posts in various places about how it will replace everyone's jobs. Or how you can use it to boost your productivity 1000%, or other fantastical claims.
Will it replace everyone's job? No - it's not there to do so. Will it boost your productivity 1000%? Yes, but only if you are massively unproductive anyway.
However, you can use it to help you with your workflow. To generate some ideas, and get some additional points to work through. It's more like a creative assistant and researcher. But what if you did use it to write your blog, what would it look like?
Well, for the rest of this post, I'm going to do just that. I'll use ChatGPT to write a blog on how to start blogging. My questions/prompts to it will be section headings, with regular content after that being the response as it comes from the tool.
Once you have read it, think about what the post would look like without the headings. The content itself is not entierly concice and neatly structured - I used the questions which came into my head as I was copying the content out. But if I had a more clear outline at the start of the process, I could have potentially had more coherent content.
The entire "session" with ChatCPT took approximately 8 minutes (I asked it). That's a lot of output in a short space of time, which worries some people. Honestly, I've not checked the full content it created. I skimmed bits and used some of it for prompts for other parts, but it illustrates the type of content it creates; easily digestable lists. It is not something to be feared, it's a tool to be embraced. A skill, like using Google.
Would I use it to generate the full content of a blog post again? Not on this blog - this is purely an experiment. But I can see how it would be tempting to use it to churn out content quickly and easily, and to potentially monetize it. Now there's some ethical quandary!
Here's the ChatCPT Blog post:
What is blogging?
Blogging is the act of writing and publishing content on a blog or personal website. A blog is a type of website that allows individuals or organizations to regularly publish content in the form of articles or posts. Blogging can cover a wide range of topics, such as personal experiences, news, opinions, tutorials, reviews, and more.
Blogs typically include features such as comment sections, social media sharing buttons, and archives of older posts. Many bloggers use their blogs to share their thoughts and ideas with others, to build their personal brand or online presence, to establish themselves as experts in a particular field, or to generate income through advertising or affiliate marketing. Blogging has become increasingly popular over the years, and there are now millions of blogs covering a vast array of topics.
How do I blog?
To start blogging, you will need to follow these general steps:
- Choose a niche or topic for your blog: This can be anything that you are passionate about, have expertise in or want to learn more about.
- Choose a blogging platform: There are various platforms to choose from, such as WordPress, Blogger, Wix, or Squarespace. Research and select one that suits your needs.
- Choose a domain name and hosting: Your domain name is the address where your blog can be found, and hosting is where your website is stored. Consider a name that is easy to remember, unique, and related to your niche.
- Design your blog: Choose a theme that represents your brand or style, and customize it to fit your preferences.
- Create content: Start writing blog posts that provide value to your readers, using a tone that suits your audience and your niche.
- Promote your blog: Use social media, email newsletters, and other marketing strategies to promote your blog and drive traffic to your website.
- Engage with your audience: Respond to comments, answer questions, and build relationships with your readers.
- Monetize your blog: Once you have a significant following, you can monetize your blog through advertising, sponsored content, or affiliate marketing.
Remember, the key to a successful blog is consistency and providing value to your readers. Keep publishing content regularly, and always strive to improve your writing and design skills.
Which blogging platform is best?
There is no one "best" blogging platform, as each one has its own strengths and weaknesses, and the choice depends on your specific needs and preferences. Here are some popular blogging platforms:
- WordPress: WordPress is the most popular blogging platform, powering over 40% of all websites. It is highly customizable, flexible, and scalable, with a vast array of plugins and themes available. It is free and open-source, but you will need to pay for hosting and a domain name.
- Blogger: Blogger is a free blogging platform owned by Google. It is easy to use, with simple drag-and-drop design tools and templates. It is a good option for beginners, but it has limited customization options.
- Wix: Wix is a website builder that allows you to create a blog as well. It is user-friendly, with drag-and-drop design tools and templates. It is a paid platform, with a free plan available, but it has limited SEO capabilities.
- Squarespace: Squarespace is a website builder that also includes blogging functionality. It has a sleek, modern design, and is known for its high-quality templates. It is a paid platform, but it includes hosting and a domain name.
Other popular blogging platforms include Medium, Tumblr, and Ghost. Ultimately, the choice depends on your specific needs and preferences, such as your level of technical skill, budget, and design preferences.
Okay, I've heard of WordPress so I'll use that. How do I store it online?
To use WordPress, you will need to choose a hosting provider and a domain name. Here are the steps to get started:
- Choose a hosting provider: There are many hosting providers that offer WordPress hosting, such as Bluehost, SiteGround, and WP Engine. Research and choose a provider that suits your needs and budget.
- Choose a domain name: Your domain name is the address where your blog can be found, such as "www.yourblogname.com." Choose a name that is easy to remember, unique, and related to your niche. You can purchase a domain name from your hosting provider or a domain registrar such as GoDaddy.
- Install WordPress: Many hosting providers offer one-click WordPress installation, which makes it easy to set up your website. Alternatively, you can download WordPress from the official website and manually install it on your hosting account.
- Customize your website: Choose a theme, customize your design, and add plugins to enhance your website's functionality.
- Create content: Start creating content for your blog, such as blog posts, pages, and categories.
- Publish your website: Once you have customized your website and created content, you can publish it and make it available to the public.
Remember to keep your website secure by regularly updating WordPress, themes, and plugins, and using strong passwords.
Great, that's sorted. How often should I post?
The frequency of your blog posts depends on your goals, your niche, and your audience's preferences. Some bloggers post daily, while others post weekly or monthly. Here are some factors to consider when deciding on the frequency of your blog posts:
- Your goals: If your goal is to build a large following quickly, you may want to post more frequently to keep your readers engaged. If your goal is to establish yourself as an authority in your niche, you may want to focus on quality over quantity and post less frequently but with high-quality content.
- Your niche: Some niches, such as news or current events, may require more frequent posting to stay relevant, while others, such as in-depth analysis or tutorials, may require more time and research between posts.
- Your audience: Consider your audience's preferences and behavior. If they are active on social media and expect real-time updates, you may want to post more frequently. If they prefer in-depth articles and analysis, you may want to post less frequently but with longer, high-quality content.
As a general rule, it is best to be consistent with your posting frequency, whether it's daily, weekly, or monthly, to keep your readers engaged and build momentum for your blog.
Daily? That seems time consuming. How long should a blog post be?
The length of a blog post depends on your goals, your niche, and your audience's preferences. Some bloggers write short, concise posts of 300-500 words, while others write longer, in-depth articles of 1500-2000 words or more. Here are some factors to consider when deciding on the length of your blog posts:
- Your goals: If your goal is to attract a large audience quickly, shorter posts may be more effective, as they are quicker to read and share on social media. If your goal is to establish yourself as an authority in your niche, longer, more in-depth articles may be more effective, as they demonstrate your expertise and provide more value to your readers.
- Your niche: Some niches, such as news or current events, may require shorter, more timely posts, while others, such as tutorials or in-depth analysis, may require longer, more detailed articles.
- Your audience: Consider your audience's preferences and behavior. If they prefer shorter, more easily digestible content, shorter posts may be more effective. If they prefer longer, more in-depth articles, longer posts may be more effective.
As a general guideline, a blog post should be long enough to provide value to your readers and cover the topic thoroughly, but not so long that it becomes boring or difficult to read. Aim for a length that is appropriate for your niche and audience, and that allows you to cover the topic in sufficient detail. A good range to aim for is 1000-1500 words, but this is not a hard and fast rule. Ultimately, the length of your blog posts should be determined by your goals, your niche, and your audience's preferences.
I heard about needing SEO. What is it, and how do I do it with WordPress?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is the practice of optimizing your website and content to improve your visibility and ranking on search engines such as Google. Here are some tips for optimizing your WordPress website for SEO:
- Choose a SEO-friendly theme: Choose a theme that is optimized for SEO and mobile-friendly. Themes that are clean, fast, and well-coded can help your website rank better in search engine results pages.
- Install an SEO plugin: Plugins such as Yoast SEO or All in One SEO Pack can help you optimize your content for SEO. These plugins allow you to add meta descriptions, meta tags, and XML sitemaps, which can help search engines understand your website's structure and content.
- Use keywords: Research keywords related to your niche and use them naturally in your content, including in your titles, headlines, and subheadings. Avoid keyword stuffing, which is using too many keywords in an unnatural way, as this can hurt your SEO.
- Create high-quality content: Create high-quality, informative, and engaging content that provides value to your readers. Search engines value fresh, relevant content, so aim to publish new content regularly.
- Use internal linking: Link to other pages on your website using relevant anchor text. This can help search engines understand the structure of your website and the relationships between pages.
- Optimize images: Optimize your images by using descriptive file names, alt tags, and captions. This can help your images rank in Google Images and other search engines.
- Build backlinks: Backlinks are links from other websites to your website. Building high-quality backlinks from authoritative websites can help your website rank higher in search results.
Remember that SEO is a long-term process, and it takes time and effort to see results. By following these tips and creating high-quality, relevant content, you can improve your website's visibility and ranking on search engines.
Monetize your blog: How do I do that and how much money can I make?
Monetizing your blog means finding ways to earn money from your website traffic and content. Here are some common ways to monetize your blog:
- Display advertising: One of the most popular ways to monetize a blog is to display advertising on your site. Google AdSense is a popular advertising platform that allows you to display ads on your site and earn money based on clicks and impressions.
- Affiliate marketing: Affiliate marketing is a commission-based advertising model, where you earn a commission by promoting other people's products on your website. You can earn a commission when someone clicks on your affiliate link and makes a purchase.
- Sponsored content: You can also earn money by publishing sponsored content on your blog. This involves partnering with brands to create content that promotes their products or services.
- Digital products: If you have expertise in a particular area, you can create digital products such as ebooks, courses, or webinars and sell them on your blog.
- Membership sites: You can also create a membership site where you offer exclusive content or services to your members for a recurring fee.
The amount of money you can make from your blog depends on a variety of factors, including your traffic, niche, and monetization strategy. While some bloggers are able to earn a full-time income from their blog, it is important to remember that it takes time and effort to build a successful blog and monetize it effectively. As a general rule, it is best to focus on creating high-quality, valuable content that attracts and engages your audience, and then exploring different monetization options to find what works best for your niche and audience.