Let’s get one thing out of the way:
Owning a blog is not hard. Not at all. In fact, it is one of the easiest things to do.
If not, why do we have no less than 1.89 billion websites in the world?
What can turn out to be hard, though, is successful blogging. That is one of the things you will find out in my post on how to start a successful blog for yourself.
The reason for that is not far-fetched. It is a common saying that there’s no gain without pain, so, why should this be an exception?
It’s for that reason that a very large percentage of those blogs that get added to the internet on a daily basis don’t last for longer than a year.
We don’t want that for you.
That is the sole reason why we have put up this post.
It has already been established that starting a blog is not the only thing that guarantees you success. You need to be prepared to absorb all the information that will make you better while weeding out the bad ones too.
To make the job easier on you, we have done just that. Never go into your blogging space without keeping all of these eleven (11) rules at the back of your mind.
You already know that the only way to get through to your audience is via the content you create. When doing so, the first thing you should keep in mind is what your audience wants.
You might be running the blog, but it is being run for your audience. That puts them in the driver seat of the vehicle – which is you.
Thus, you have to create what appeals to them, not what you like.
Besides, you should understand that your audience will only stick with you if you offer them something of value.
When creating content, keep the following in mind:
- Don’t write in an overly technical way
- Put yourself in a position where it seems like you are conversing with the audience. No one wants a know it all, but they will love it if you bring yourself to ‘speak’ with them
- Write in a clear and concise manner. Grammarly is one of the recommended apps you should totally try out to ensure better writing.
- Create long-form posts. It has been shown that content with over 2000 words ranks well in search engines like Google
- Consider proper formatting, especially when you work with a content builder or special theme.
True, we have talked about writing skills. One other thing that you need for successful blogging, though, is content creation skills.
When we say ‘content,’ a lot of people are quick to think of writing again. Of a truth, that is just one form of content.
Depending on your kind of audience and the message you want to pass, you should know the kind of content that they will prefer the most.
A blog that details how to walk through some certain stages in a game would be best rendered in video format. One that teaches how best to achieve one’s goals over the long term, though, will find peace with audience when presented in text format.
That does not mean each one of these cannot have been created under another mode of content. What it means is that the chosen formats are the ones best suited for its representation.
What is repurposing? You don’t always have to generate fresh content everywhere, when you could just present your great content to the audience in other forms.
Remember the goal-setting piece we talked about in #2 above? It could be repurposed into a video that would be shared on your social media channels. It could even be shared on the website itself.
Likewise, you can create a transcript of the workaround video for that game you are playing and let the audience have it in text form.
It is called the internet for a reason – and you are meant to see that.
It is highly possible to blog alone and not involve anyone at all. Doing that, though, you would be limiting yourself greatly.
Networking skills will allow you to meet with other bloggers from different niches. You can learn a thing or two from them, leverage their traffic to boost yours and in a way, boost sales too.
These skills also transcend you going to other bloggers. It involves being able to keep your audience engaged in-house.
Reply to as many comments as you can so that the audience feels at home. Should someone ask a question, don’t hesitate to provide an answer.
Don’t have all the answers? Lead them to where they’ll get it.
Slowly but surely, your blog will start building authority as the one-stop shop for problems in the niche you have chosen. That builds the trust of users, advances you in search engines and leads to conversions for you.
Hasn’t that always been the dream?
There is absolutely no point in creating all that amazing content and putting it on your blog if it won’t convert in the end.
It is true that your blog is there to give value to the readers. But then again, it is not there to be run as a charity.
Thus, it would be an absolute shame if all your effort had to go down the drain.
To ensure that doesn’t happen, you should spend a considerable amount of time understanding the right call to actions.
Get the pain point of those coming onto your website and provide a fix as soon as they come in. Only then can you truly have addressed the issue – thus converting an ordinary visitor into a prospect/ customer in the end.
It is not uncommon for bloggers, especially the newbies, to want to always be busy.
One minute, it could be that you feel the urge to redesign the user interface. The next minute, you are waiting on a Slack message that isn’t going to come in (yes, you know this too).
All of those things will bring you nothing. In fact, doing something at every point of the day does not guarantee success.
What does, is setting an actionable plan towards a goal and then working towards it.
By so doing, you always know the end result of what you are working towards. It gives you a better metric to judge whether or not what you have started worked out in the end.
You will also get more time to yourself and your family. In short, you don’t get burnt out and resentful of the blog in the end.
Almost everywhere you turn today, there is someone telling you how important SEO is. You have turned to us now, and we are about to tell you the same thing.
What we will add on top of that is how SEO is only great when it is done right.
As a blogger, it is your duty to understand the timeline of SEO and how its changing. Know what the search engines are looking for in the long and short term.
Ensure you do it right too. One wrong turn can cost you a lot in rankings and business revenue when the algorithms change – and they will!
The good news that you don’t have to spend thousands of hours trying to figure SEO out. If that’s your thing, then go for it, but you should be able to get the basics in a couple of hours.
For an overview of the subject, ensure you:
- Research low to medium competition keywords to use in your posts, especially when you are just starting out.
- Ensure you don’t stuff the post with the keywords. That might have worked sometimes ago, but it will get your blog penalized today.
- Slot the keywords into the post in such a way that they appear as naturally as possible. In other words, your keyword should neither be out of place nor should they make a forced appearance.
- Spread the keyword out in such a way that it has a density of about 2 – 5% (we’re working with content of 2000+ words here, remember?)
- Put the keyword in the ‘alt text’ section of your images (for WordPress users)
- Make sure the primary keyword shows up in the URL of the page
- Don’t forget to put the keyword in the title/ SEO title
- The keyword must appear in the first 100 words
- While this might not be a strong metric as before, ensure the keyword still occurs in the meta description
- Avoid using your keyword in the tags. That can get you penalized
- Research a couple of secondary keywords to be sprinkled around the article
- Slot the keywords, if possible, into the post headings.
That is just for on-page SEO. You should look at how you can leverage off-page SEO too.
Facebook alone is known to house more than 2 billion users (on the average) every month. YouTube is fast climbing to that level, taking in no less than 1.9 billion active users.
As of the time of this writing, the numbers recorded by the likes of Instagram and Twitter are also amazing.
If that tells you anything, it’s that you have a ready audience in these places. Why then would you not want to employ social media for your blog?
One of the awesome things we love about social media is how you get feedback in real time. It also allows you engage with your audience directly.
More than that, social media is a great place to build a human connection for your blog. That would help more people connect to you than when they feel a robot is behind the blog posts.
All other things being equal, marketing skills is what differentiates many of the bloggers that succeed to the numbers that fail.
Those that don’t know how to properly promote and market the content they have created on their website will always fail.
The void which the lack of these skills will create will not be filled by creating even more amazing content. It will likewise not be addressed by editing your posts to make them fresh.
The only fix will be gaining the right skills you need to market your blog.
How then can you do that? We won’t tell you it’s simple, but we’ll tell you some of the things you should know:
- Connect with the influencers in your niche. A mention from someone who has a large following network could make your blog the next overnight success.
- Get more books on marketing and read them. You will be better off with those that teach buyer psychology and how to make that work for you
- No one is showing interest in your content? Don’t give up. You don’t answer to all the cold marketing calls you get, and they still close sales elsewhere anyways.
- Come up with an investment plan for your blog. Sometimes, you just have to spend money to make money.
Let’s assume you set a goal to have a certain number of visitors (on the average) visit your website every month. Do you just go about it by creating new content and stepping up SEO?
While that could work, it won’t give you what you desire. Same goes for other parts of your blogging business like social media and email marketing.
What you should do, instead, is get actionable metrics.
For the first goal of getting more visitors to your website , a tool like the Google Webmaster Tools could mean the difference for you. With that, you get to see what people are looking for the most and reinforce that content with even more of its kind.
You see which posts are getting the least engagement, pushing you to optimize them. You even see what pages have the highest bounce rates, telling you to dive deeper.
For your emails, AWeber provides one of the tightest analytics packages too. The sign in rate, view rate, open rate and so on will help you optimize your content so much, people won’t want to stop buying from you.
You don’t necessarily need to be on the level of the guys that handle graphics for CCoca-Cola You should, however, be able to get suitable images and graphics for your content.
After all, doesn’t a picture speak a thousand words on its own?
If you know a good place to find a lot of good images, videos, infographics and other related graphics, then good for you. If you don’t, there’s no problem with that.
You can outsource that part of your business to freelancers on Fiverr, Upwork, Unsplashed, etc.
It is not etched in stone that the above are the skills that will turn you into a pro blogger. However, they are very much important skills that will get you there in lesser time than you have imagined.
If you were wondering what better time to start incorporating these skills, we have a timeframe for you – now!
If you are reading this, which one of these skills have you developed, and which are you actively looking to add to your belt in the nearest future?