There are a lot of things noone tells you when start blogging, and you kinda have to make mistakes and learn along the way. Some things are just not that obvious while others can be missed because you don’t do enough research before starting a blog.
I’ve seen a lot of newbies rush into starting blogs without giving it much thought, planning or research. Sometimes the idea of starting a blog or being a blogger fascinates people. So they just jump straight into it without much thought. The result of this is that most people fail a short while after starting the blog and never really go far.
If you did that it’s okay, and here are some few tips you might want to put into practice to help you going forward if you want to succeed.
- Pick a niche and focus on it
This is a mistake most beginner bloggers make, they blog about everything and anything and end up with no sense of style or direction for their blog. If you do this please stop. Pick a niche and focus on it so that you can be known for something specific. It will help your blog have a consistent pattern and people can easily remember it for that specific niche. It’s better to be known as an expert in one area than to try a lot of things you are not that good at.
- Plan your blog
From the theme, the platform you use, the sequence of your blog’s posts, how you intend to promote your blog, how frequently you’ll post and all those details, it is always important to plan. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. So plan how you are going to manage your blog, and stick to your plans.
- Personalize your blog
The theme of your blog could play a big role in your success. If your readers are able to see content on your blog clearly and if your theme protrays a bit of personality just by the way it looks, it could help build some of trust and interest, and this will make them want to engage with you.
- Be realistic and relatable
While a lot of celebrities and models are famous for their seemingly perfect lives, a lot of people are looking for people who they can relate to. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable in your content, don’t try to pose as a perfect person otherwise your readers will just admire you and not be able to relate to you in any way.
If they can’t relate with you or your story then they will most likely not engage. This tip is especially for bloggers who blog about personal content.
- Do a lot of research
This is probably one of the most important tips. Do research before you start a blog and continue researching after you’ve started one. The internet has a great amount of knowledge and resources for bloggers, use them to grow yourself as a blogger and to grow your blog.
Research on your posts before you post so you know what content is already available to help you provide richer content, research what people are searching for related to your niche, research how other bloggers are growing their blogs and any blog communities you can join, research the opportunities you have as a blogger etc. This is how you can best grow.
- Know your audience
It’s important to know your audience and have them in mind when working on your bog posts. If what you are blogging about is not helping them, inspiring them or entertaining them then there’s no reason for them to come back. Knowing your audience will help you blog about relevant things and will help you grow a faithful following.
For self-hosted blogs, plugins like Jetpack and Google Analytics will help you know your audience, how they are arriving to your blog (what’s driving traffic to your blog), how much time they are spending on your blog and even which part of the world they are viewing your blog from. These details are important to have in mind, and will help you in providing good content, as well as encourage you because they let you know that someone is actually reading your content.
- Take your blog seriously
If you take your blog as just a hobby then it will only be just that. It will not grow as much s it should because you won’t put in as much content into growing it, it will not grow you and it will not develop into its potential either. Take your blog seriously and it will not be the only thing growing but you will too.
If you take it as a business, it has a chance to grow into a successful one because you will be putting in the effort. In the process it will expose you to many opportunities. But if you neglect it and don’t take it seriously, well it will not grow as much.
- Be consistent
If you want your blog to fail easily and quickly then don’t follow this tip. Consistency is very important if growth is one of your goals. Be consistent, plan how many times a week or in a month you post so that your audience can remain engaged.
Plan this based on your schedule, be as realistic as possible in your planning and stick to what you plan. Maximize on days you think your audience will most likely engage and have a clear pattern for your posts.
- Put your best into each post
Whatever you do put your best into it. Ever heard of that saying? Well it’s a good one to apply to your blogging as well. If you want to see results you should put a significant amount of effort into your blog.
Most times it is evident that you spent two minutes on a post or you put no effort at all into your posts. This will not get you far as a blogger if it becomes a habit, and may cost you your reputation as a blogger if done too frequently.
- Build an email list
This is the best way to keep your audience coming back. Giving your audience an opportunity to subscribe to your content will help you maintain a faithful following, and will help you update your audience automatically each time you have a new blog post. It’s also a good way to measure your blog growth.
- Prioritize quality over quantity
Sometimes you can look at other people’s blogs and wish you had as much content as they do and so you posting too many posts that are not that good just to fill up your blog. Remember that quality is better than quantity. Your readers will come back if your content is good quality and is valuable to them in some way.
It’s better to have a few great posts than to have a lot of low quality ones. So make sure your posts are good quality, work on them so that they are good quality before posting them.
- Invest in your blog
If your finances currently do not allow you to invest into setting up a self-hosted blog or paying someone to do so for you then do use one of the good free platforms out there like WordPress.com and Blogger.com. But if you have the money then do invest in a good domain name, good hosting, a good theme, plugins and marketing for your blog to grow.
A mistake most bloggers make is not investing in their blog. Invest in it like it’s a business and it will pay off with time.
- Connect your blog to social media
Your audience wants to know where to find you other than your blog. They may want to get to know you more through your social media so connect your social media to your blog or have links they can click on to get to them. Also put social media sharing buttons so if they like your posts, they can share with their friends who are a potential addition to your blog audience.
You can also use your social media to notify your followers directly of new blog posts by sharing each new post on them. There are too many social platforms nowadays so focus on one, two or three, if you spread yourself too thin, you might end up overwhelming yourself with unnecessary work of keeping up with all of them or you might end up with neglected social accounts. Simply don’t overdo it.
- Monetize your blog
Whether passively or full time, a blog is a good way to earn extra income. You invested time and money into your blog, you deserve a return for all your hard work. And that is why you should apply one two ways of monetizing your blog so that you can earn money from it.
Sadly a lot of bloggers put a lot of effort into their blogs for no return. They either don’t know how or they just don’t know it’s an option.
Wouldn’t you want your blog to pay for your vacations some day? Well you start small and your income will grow with time. Most bloggers are known and envied for their luxurious travels around the world but their money doesn’t grow on trees it comes from monetizing their blogs.
If you don’t intend to ever monetize your blog then that’s fine too.
- Connect with other bloggers
Connecting with other bloggers is just like growing your network in business. This is how you find people to partner up with, blogger friends or buddies and how you get help, ideas or inspiration. There are several ways you can connect with other bloggers including Facebook groups, workshops or just following them on social media.
But don’t compare yourself to them in the process because that will do you no good, each person is on a different journey.
- Beware of piracy
Please please do not copy and paste other people’s blog posts without permission. Content curation is a thing but you need to know how it is done before you do it, or you might land yourself in trouble.
You can get ideas and inspiration from other people but don’t copy them word for word. It’s not good blogging practice. Work on your own work. Unless you are the original owner of the work, you cannot use other people’s work word for word.
The same applies to the pictures and quotes you use on your blog as well, there are lots of places to get great quality pictures with free licenses and without needing to credit the owner, I recommend you use those. Also remember to credit people for their quotes too.
- Be valuable to your readers
If you are not inspiring, encouraging, entertaining or helping your readers then you are not valuable to them. They will have no reason to come back or to be interested in your posts.
Now not everyone will like your content but if no one at all is showing interest or bothering to read them then you might want to consider providing better value through improving your content or changing your niche.
- Market, Market, Market
How else will people know about your blog unless you market it? Market your blog to your friends, family, relatives, and your social media platforms so that people can read your content. Marketing is the only way people will know about your blog.
Sometimes this might require you to spend some money on Facebook ads or blog SEO, but this is how you can expand your audience and grow your reach. Don’t be afraid to market, because when done well it will only help you grow your audience.
- Use SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is what makes your content appear on search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. It optimizes your content so that people who search for similar content can reach to you. Using SEO is totally worth it and if you are using a self-hosted site there are free plugins like Yoast that can help you do this, if you don’t know how.
With SEO, it will be easier for people to find your content, and this will help you expand your audience. I recommend you learn more about it, and see how you can maximize your blog’s SEO.
- Your blog will not be interesting to everyone
As your blog grows you will have positive reviews or feedback but there are times when there are negative ones. Or there may just be people who are not interested in your content or its niche. It’s common to have critiques here and there, or people who might discourage you. But don’t take it to heart, it doesn’t always have to be personal.
Handle the critiques in a respectful manner whether their criticism is public or private. If it’s public remember that other people are also seeing or reading your response, and how you respond may tarnish or build your reputation with them. Responding well, will maintain a good name for you and help you keep your cool.
Which of these haven’t you been applying? Or which one do you need to improve on. Leave your comment below.