Starting a blog isn’t easy, and if you’re going to invest all that time, money, and effort into building one, then you need to ensure that you not only build it on a solid foundation but that you also use best practices to ensure the success of your blog over the long term.
The 5 blogging recommendations listed below are based on my years of experience and research:
- Make sure that you’re blogging with a purpose
- Choose the topic for your blog carefully
- Forget all conventional writing lessons
- Expand your blog’s core features
- Pay to drive traffic to your blog, at least initially
Let’s take a deeper look at each one of these, shall we?
1. Make sure that you’re blogging with a purpose
This may sound like a no-brainer, but you’ll be surprised at just how many people start a blog simply for the sake of doing so.
They never consider what it is that they actually want to achieve with that blog. Having a purpose is critical to your blog’s success.
If you don’t establish one from the get-go, you’ll move around aimlessly and lose direction. Over time, this will cause your inspiration to fade, which will ultimately result in you giving up.
Some of the main reasons why people start blogs include:
#1: The main one – Blogging To Make Money Online
This is the single goal of most bloggers, and when you use the right business model, you can actually turn your blog into a semi-passive source of income where you’re making money from it even when you’re not actively working on, or updating it.
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, then you know which one I prefer!
#2: Personal Blogging/Journal
Some people simply want to document things that are going on around them so they have a way of keeping track of their progress toward a particular goal.
It helps them connect with other like-minded people and build strong, long-lasting relationships in their community.
#3: To Establish Yourself as an Authority in Your Niche
The digital era that we’re in is getting more and more crowded each day, and blogging is a great way of standing out by demonstrating your expertise and establishing yourself as an authority in your industry.
In order to achieve this, you need to be constantly focused on the various trends within your niche, and blog about them consistently.
Make sure that you include tips and recommendations to your audience on a regular basis so that they realize that your blog is the go-to resource for everything that is related to your niche.
2. Choose the Topic For Your Blog Carefully
There are many different methods that you can use to help you choose the right topic for you to blog about, and you can find some posts on our blog to help you in this regard.
When you start a blog, it’s crucial to keep in mind that blogging is more of a marathon and not a sprint.
This means that if you want to succeed in the long run, you’ll need to be persistent.
And to increase the likelihood of you being persistent over time, you need to consider the following factors when choosing the topic for your blog:
As previously mentioned, your blog has to have a purpose if you want it to be successful, and your purpose will guide you in the process of selecting a topic for your blog.
I don’t advise picking a blog topic based on passion alone, but it does help to blog about something you love (even if only for the fact that when times are tough, you’ll keep at it simply because you love what you’re doing…)
- Traffic Volume:
You may love a topic, but just because you’re passionate about it doesn’t make it a great choice for your blog. If there’s low traffic volume, then you need to reconsider the topic.
3. Forget All Conventional Writing Lessons
Now is the time to unlearn all those writing lessons from school. When it comes to blogging, you’re not writing in the same way that you were taught in high school English class.
For instance, when writing for the web or blogging, it’s usually best to keep the sentences and paragraphs short so that your readers can more easily consume your content. This is due to the fact that people have much shorter attention spans online.
Yet another difference is that writers are often encouraged to write in the third person by print editors, but bloggers are typically expected to use first person voice which allows them to talk directly to their audience in a friendly and informal way, just as they would with their friends.
Write And Publish Optimized Blog Posts
Besides talking to your audience directly, you also need to optimize all your blog posts so that the search engines can find and index your content.
This helps you attract more search engine or organic traffic to your site.
If you’re not sure what types of posts you need to write, here are a few that are proven to work:
- How-to guides and tutorials:
Use these to explain how to do something step-by-step. Break down complex concepts into small, easy to follow steps.
- List Posts:
Listicles are among the most popular and commonly shared content online because they are so easy to digest.
- Controversial Subjects:
Tackling controversy is a great way of bringing readers to your blog. However, you have to proceed with caution as controversy can cause highly emotional reactions.
- Latest Industry News:
Blog about what’s new in your industry. Explain what each new trend means to your average reader, and how they can more easily embrace those changes.
4. Expand the core features of your blog by using the right blogging tools
In terms of content, audience, design, and features, each and every blog is unique.
That’s why you need to add the right set of plugins to your toolbox to ensure that you expand the core features of your blog.
But don’t worry, this doesn’t mean that you have to hire a custom WordPress plugin developer to accomplish this.
In fact, unless you own a massive or really complex site, then you’ll find all of the tools that you need already made, and most of them you can use for free.
Just remember not to let yourself get overwhelmed by this. Only choose and install the ones you really need.
Some of the plugins that I recommend include the following:
- WPForms to build contact forms on your site
- MonsterInsights to connect your website with Google Analytics
- Yoast SEO to enhance your search engine optimization efforts
- Sucuri for an additional layer of security to your site
- W3 Total Cache to improve the performance of WordPress
- Updraft Plus to regularly back up your site
- Akismet to prevent spam comments on your blog
- OptinMonster to help you grow your subscribers and sales
5. Pay To Drive Traffic To Your Blog, At Least Initially
If you want to bring more life to your blog, then rather than waiting for weeks, months, or even years for search engines to favor your blog with some traffic, then simply pay to acquire high-quality targeted visitors to your blog.
There’s no value in a blog that doesn’t get visitors, and for the first few months, your blog will need all the help it can get to get people to see your content.
When paying for traffic, always do your best to only attract the right segment of people who will find tons of value in the type of content you created.
If the content isn’t tightly related to their wants, needs, or desires, then they probably won’t stick around for long and your blog won’t be profitable in the long run.
Some of the paid means of driving traffic to your blog include:
- Social Media Advertisement (SMA)
- Pay per Click (PPC) like Google AdWords, Bing Ads, etc.
- Pay Per View (PPV)
- Banner Ads
- Facebook Ads or Twitter Ads.
- Outbrain for advertising-focused content
- Sponsored content
- And so on
Of course, at the same time, you should not neglect your efforts in attracting organic traffic.
While the results may be a bit long in coming, they do come eventually, as long as you implement your strategies and tactics consistently.
Some of the methods you can use to drive search traffic to your site include:
- Search Engine Optimization:
- Email Outreach:
Come up with a list of successful bloggers in your niche and send each of them an email requesting a backlink to your site. This tactic is very effective for backlink building and generating traffic.
- Blog Commenting:
While not as effective as it used to be, actively commenting on popular blogs in your industry, and getting involved with the conversations will help you attract traffic to your blog when people click on your name.
- Social Media:
This channel works well for both paid and free traffic generation tactics. You can drive more social media traffic to your blog by encouraging your readers to share your posts on various social media networks.
The Foundation For Massive Blog Growth
Now, let’s talk about your foundation for growing your blog on a massive scale.
This is all about taking it to the next level. For instance, if you see that traffic is trickling in, then you could create a goal for driving your first 100, 1000, or 10,000 daily visitors (depending on where your blog is now, traffic-wise).
Once you’ve achieved that goal, you can then expand to bigger goals to help you drive even better results in your blogging business.
While growing your traffic and ultimately your revenue takes time, there are ways of speeding up the growth of your blog – some of which are listed below:
#1: Start Building An Email List
The vast majority of first-time visitors who land on your blog will never come back to your site after they leave.
That is one of the sad facts about our business, and it means that a lot of marketing efforts are going to waste.
But, if you’re smart about how you handle those visitors while they’re still on your site, you’ll be able to make the most of that traffic from the start.
To avoid losing that huge chunk of visitors every day, start building an email list.
#2: Grow Your Email List Exponentially
When I say add a sign-up form to your blog, I don’t mean simply paste a generic form on the sidebar.
Your lead generation will be rendered ineffective if you don’t take the time to make your signup boxes attractive and eye-catching.
Luckily, it’s very easy to tweak even the most boring default signup forms on your email provider’s platform.
OptinMonster is another great way to create superb signup forms that are guaranteed to increase your opt-ins quickly and easily.
This platform also allows you to choose from dozens of targeting options so that you can show the relevant forms to the right users at the right time, and on specific pages on your blog – all without frustrating your visitors.
#3: Invest in Facebook Ads
As I mentioned previously, paying to get your content seen is quite necessary in the beginning if you want to experience rapid growth.
And one of the easiest ways to acquire paid traffic is Facebook Ads.
As you can see, when it comes to building and growing your business, this isn’t a ‘once-and-done’ kind of thing. You have to continually work at it if you want to see fast and phenomenal success.
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Updated: Originally published November 21st 2018