Starting your own blog doesn't have to be as daunting as it sounds. You'll have to put in your time and effort, just like any other business, but when you look at the long-term benefits, it will all be worthwhile. This article will show you how you can start a successful blog from scratch.
Be consistent with your content.
So, you’ve started a blog. That’s awesome! Now comes the hard part: maintaining your momentum and growing your blog.
While there are no set-in-stone rules about how often you should post to your blog, it should be at least once per week (unless you're a brand new blogger—then try once every two weeks). As you gain traction and establish a reader base, increase frequency to three times per week or more. If you post too frequently, people may struggle to keep up with all of the content; if it's infrequent, they may not come back.
Keeping an editorial calendar is a great way to stay focused on your writing goals while still allowing yourself some wiggle room. In your editorial calendar:
List the days that you'll publish posts (and stick to them!)
Note any major holidays or other events that might impact the kinds of posts you write and schedule those in advance so that you can focus on timely content when necessary
Be consistent in how you present your content.
You can structure your content however you like, but it needs to make sense. If you decide to do step-by-step guides, don't write long-form how-to posts that are missing a step or two and aren’t in the right format. If you decide to do listicles, make sure all of them follow a similar theme and don't mix in too many different lists (i.e., don’t mix “how to” with “top 10 reasons why”).
Another important aspect is formatting. You don't have to make your blog look exactly the same every time, but you should find a style that works for your audience and stick with it. For example, if you use numbers in bold text for steps during one article but then switch to using bullet points for another article on the same topic, consider combining the two formats into something cohesive (like using numbered steps) so people can get familiar with your style.
Always think about your audience.
Ask yourself some questions before you start writing. Who is this for? Are they going to be interested in what I'm writing about? What's important to them and how can I connect with them? The answers to these questions will help shape your content and ensure that it's relevant to your audience. Writing a blog post that goes over the head of your audience or doesn't relate to them at all will lead to low engagement rates, even if it's well written.
Put yourself in their shoes. Try Googling some of the things that their problems are and see what comes up. How can you help them solve those problems with your content? This is how you make sure that it resonates with them!
Make use of keywords to make your blog searchable.
I'm sure you've heard of a little company called Google. It's kind of a big deal. If you're serious about starting a blog, then you should be serious about making that blog searchable by whatever means necessary.
One of the best ways to optimize your blog is to use the right keywords throughout your articles and titles. Keywords are words or phrases that are relevant to your industry and that people frequently search in Google or other search engines. Using keywords will help make it easier for people to find your content via search results, both organically as well as through ads (paid).
If you want to get really fancy, use Google's keyword planning tool (available in AdWords) to help determine what keywords might work for you. This tool can also tell you how many searches that keyword gets per month and give SEO tips on how to improve!
Make it easy for readers to share your content.
Take it upon yourself to make your work easy to share by installing social media buttons. Whether you're a wordpress user or not, there are plenty of plugins that make the process seamless. And if you've already got a shareable content strategy in place, why not take it one step further by stylizing those buttons? The more eye-popping, the better! Give users an option to promote themselves with a simple click of their chosen social media button (e.g., Facebook, Twitter) and give them every opportunity for followers and friends to share your content with their own networks.
Don't be afraid to get personal, within reason.
One of the best things about blogging is that you're not a robot. You can write naturally and be yourself, especially when your writing style is based on your personality.
I understand if you have fears about writing in your own voice. When I started my blog, I was scared to write in any way that didn't sound ultra-professional and scholarly, like I was writing for a college newspaper or something. In time, that tone faded away and I began to write in the same way I speak: bluntly, honestly, enthusiastically and casually.
I wouldn't recommend being so casual and informal that you're not being clear (like how we just discussed). But it's worth noting that bloggers who speak more casually are more relatable—and people tend to trust relatable people more than they do uptight ones. For example:
"Personally, I prefer the classic blue bottle." Instead of... "The new version of this product is inferior to the original."
Use social media to grow your audience and drive traffic to your website.
Using social media is a great way to promote your blog, drive traffic to your website, and interact with your audience on a more personal level. If you want to be successful, you'll need to be present on the platforms where the majority of your target audience spend their time.
To start promoting your blog on social media:
Add links to all of your social media channels on every page of your website. This way people can find and follow you easily without having to search.
Use a scheduling tool like Buffer or Hootsuite so that you can schedule blog posts in advance and don't have to post manually during peak times. When creating content for social media, always include images as well as hashtags so that it stands out from the crowd and gets seen by more people. And don't forget to link back to each new post in order for people reading on social media platforms to discover and visit your site if they're interested in reading more!
You should aim for consistency when using social media because this gives people something reliable they can look forward too; it will also increase brand awareness over time.
I'm not saying that you should immediately dive into a blog with the intention of turning it into a multi-million-dollar business. But I am firmly convinced that if your goal is to create something truly worthwhile and long lasting, you need to start by thinking big. Give yourself some time to dream about what your blog could be in a few years, even if you have no idea how to get there. Set a mission for yourself and figure out what it will take for you to achieve it.
If your dream requires more time than you have at this very moment, don't worry about it. Your goals can evolve as time passes and life changes occur—but having them in mind from the beginning gives you something to work towards when times get tough or motivation starts running low (yes, blogging is hard work).
In addition, figuring out how much work is required will help you decide whether or not your dream really feasible in the first place. You may discover that certain things would require too much money or too many resources—at which point it's up to you whether or not those things are necessary or whether they can be replaced with alternatives that won't break the bank (or do an even better job!).
These tips will help you start a successful blog from the ground up.
Here's what you should do with all this information:
Apply these tips to your own blog.
Start writing about the topics that you’re most passionate about.
Think about how you can apply these tips to your own blog. And don't worry if you make a mistake or need some extra help along the way - we’re here for you every step of the way!