We all start blogs for different reasons- to make money, to create an audience around a topic we’re passionate about, to build a professional resume, to enhance our writing skills – the list is endless. But it goes deeper than that. Nearly 409 million people view more than 20 billion pages each month, according to WordPress. That’s a lot of opportunities. If you’re looking to enter the blogosphere (or increase the success of your already-established blog), you might think you need a lot of luck to make it happen. But there’s no need to buy lotto tickets or wish on shooting stars. You just need some expert advice.
1. Invest in Your Team
The reason behind the success of every blog is the investment of time, energy, money, and ideas. For example, Jon Morrow of SmartBlogger has been one of the most consistently successful bloggers in the industry since 2012. His prolific, high-quality posts and writing advice have been a lifeline for many who are just getting into the field. But when I had him on my podcast a few months ago, he said one of the most impactful decisions he’s ever made, was is building a team around his blog.
2. Focus on How to Monetize First
It’s easy to go into blogging backward if you’re not careful. You uncover a topic area or keyword opportunity you think will drive a ton of traffic to your site, and then figure out how to make a living from it—instead of purposefully choosing a niche that you both enjoy and has clear revenue potential. Traffic is a super vanity metric because the number doesn’t mean anything until you try to monetize it.
3. Build Your Email List
An email list is more valuable than any social following because you own the emails and can reach people directly in their own inbox, rather than hoping a network like Facebook or Twitter will display your content to your community. It’s also a very effective way to build trust because you can add a personal touch. An email has been a successful channel for just about every blogger and marketing team, especially when it comes to driving consistent traffic to new articles and helping to better monetize a site.
4. Take Charge of Your Promotion Efforts
As we head into 2020, there are already more than 31.7 million bloggers competing for people’s attention in the U.S. alone. One of the best ways to stand out from the pack, is by competing directly for people’s attention, instead of standing around hoping to be discovered. Whether it’s through interacting with your email list, releasing an online course, speaking at in-person conferences, or something else entirely, building a network is more important than ever. Find where your people spend their time online and work hard to get in front of them.
5. Create Smart Habits
Set a pace that you can sustain with publishing new articles, and don’t worry so much about the results in the short-term. In the beginning, it didn’t matter if I thought an article was good or bad, if the response to it was good or bad if it was long or short—all that mattered was that I published an article every Monday and Thursday. This consistency has worked well for Clear, and it has for many others too.
6. Start Today
Just get started today and know that your site doesn’t have to be perfect. Even if it’s not the most visually appealing blog right now, what matters most is that you start taking steps in the right direction—and strive to solve meaningful problems in the best possible way for your future readers. If you can build a strong connection with a particular audience, based on your ability to help them successfully navigate a subject, then you’re well on your way to growing a profitable blog.
7. Be Your Own Reader
When you want to have a successful blog, you really should put yourself in a new pair of shoes, the shoes of your reader, that is. While you are blogging to share a passion, you’ve got to stay focused on your blog visitors and how your content can appeal to their needs and questions.
8. Think twice before hit publish
Prepare your post for publishing by working through a checklist (or a WP plugin) to help you optimize the content, a tool like Naytev works well and make it appeal to search engines (48% of consumers start mobile research with a search engine) and readers. Take time to make sure you’re citing sources correctly and that you haven’t overlooked glaring grammar mistakes (don’t make the off-putting their/they’re/there error). This extra time is a worthwhile investment.
9. Talk About Yourself
It may seem like a silly thing but talking about yourself on your blog is important. And by this, I mean, don’t neglect your blog’s “About Me” page. This page is crucial for helping readers to get to know you, your purpose, and what they can expect to find on your site. This is one of the most highly trafficked pages on any blog because it tells people who you are, gives your background, and explains why someone should follow you.
10. Contribution and time
Before you even think of pursuing a blog with the intent to make money blogging or simply as a hobby, you have to be real with yourself. Know your capabilities, as far as time and availability go. Successful blogging requires time, dedication, and some strategic planning.
As you can see, learning how to start a blog is pretty easy, but you need to consider your options carefully.
You can also outsource your blog management in case you’re not much experienced. Turning your blog into a profitable money-making business requires a smarter approach, SEO mastery, consistency, and hard work. To monetize your blog, make sure to go through my guide on How to Make Money Blogging, where I talk about in-depth on how you can scale up your content creation process and earn money with affiliate marketing, courses, a podcast, Google AdSense, selling your products, and more.