Becoming a successful blogger isn’t as easy as it seems. Some create blogs because they have a passion for writing and want to share their work. Others have a business to run and start a blog to support their marketing efforts and online presence. Whatever reason you may have, becoming a successful blogger requires self-discipline, perseverance, and patience. Here are some tips to get you started.
Please note: This is a contributed post, but all opinions are my own. View full disclosure policy.
Get Yourself Organized
You may or may not realize it yet, but blogging is a full-time job. One that requires at least as much time as it takes to create the content. It’s also important to realize that blogging is a business, something that other people may be depending on you to provide. Therefore, if you really want to make a sustainable living out of this, you have to get organized.
The first step, should you choose to take it, is getting a blog set up on a platform of your choice. If you’re using WordPress, you can easily create your own blog from scratch, or you can choose a ready-made template. Either way, you’d be wise to take a little time to set your blog up the way you want it before posting content.
You’ll also want to consider your blogging needs, both now and in the future. What are your blogging goals? What types of content do you want to produce? What do you hope to learn while writing your blog? These are just a few questions you should ask yourself before diving into the process.
Find Your Blogging Niche
A niche is nothing more than an area of interest or a sub-topic within a broader topic. It’s the first step to finding a subject with the most potential to draw an audience to your blog. A blogging niche can be as broad as sports or as specific as travel, parenting, or food. After you find an appropriate niche, you’ll have a clear direction for your blog.
Research, Research, Research, And More Research
A blog is a product. Like any other product, you want to make sure you know everything about it before you start selling it to others. Therefore, when you first begin researching blogging, start with a thorough search for similar blogs.
In addition to the obvious terms like “blogging” and “content marketing,” you want to look for blogs in your niche. Look into what topics they write about and the types of posts they have. You can also use a site like BuzzSumo to see what issues are being discussed on Twitter and what topics are trending.
Build Your Email List Before Building Your Blog
Before publishing blog posts, you want to ensure you have a well-developed list of readers. Successful bloggers create a highly engaged email list before they start publishing. The best way to ensure a steady flow of readers is to make a sign-up form for your email list. Make sure your form is easy to use, has a clear call-to-action, and encourages readers to sign-up. Once you have an email list, keep it as active as possible. You can do this by sending emails to your list before, during, and after you publish blog posts.
Decide What You’re Going To Monetize First
There’s no doubt blogging is rewarding and can be fun. But it’s important to be realistic about your blogging goals and what you can expect to make from your efforts. The first thing you should do is determine what you want to monetize first if you plan on making money from your blog. If you’re just blogging for your own enjoyment, you don’t have to worry about monetization unless you want to.
For a profitable blog, you want to create content that targets specific demographics and/or topics. In this case, it would make sense to determine these demographics and issues. And then build your blog around them to maximize the number of people who visit your site.
You want to create numerous types of content, from blog posts to audio/visual content and/or products, to give your readers a variety of content to read and interact with. In this case, it would be best to break down your costs for each type of content to determine how much you need to make to cover your expenses. And how much you can reasonably expect to earn from the ads you place.
Update Frequently And Consistently
You will not build a strong readership if you’re not consistently publishing content. You might write great content, but publishing consistently keeps people coming back. The best bloggers can publish content that readers find interesting, informative, and helpful. If you struggle to generate fresh ideas for blog posts, you might consider hiring a consultant to help you build up a content calendar or idea bank.
And make sure the content you’re providing is high quality. Because there’s no point in publishing a lot of articles if they’re sub-standard. You’ll need great topics, information, and images to create high-quality content. Many bloggers find searching for good stock photos tedious, but it does matter. Visual content helps break up text and encourages readers to continue reading and remain engaged. Whether you’re writing about your yoga routine and taking your own photos of different poses or want to use Thanksgiving stock photos to pair with a post about family-friendly Thanksgiving activities, incorporating quality images in your content is worth the time it takes.
Blogging is a creative outlet that lets people get their thoughts and ideas out in the open for others to read and share. Add creativity, imagination, and a dash of storytelling, and you have a successful blog. But making it in the blogging world is not as easy as it sounds. You must find your niche, create interesting and helpful blog posts, create an engaging blog, and cultivate an engaged readership.