If you are thinking of starting a blog, I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this, but my recommendation is that you don’t. Seriously, get the idea out of your head and get on to something else. And it is very nice to think about what you could achieve with your blog, but the question is, do you have what it takes to lead your blog to success? Probably not…
95% of the blogs that are created end up dying in the first year of life. Now do you understand my reasoning. Not only must you get to be in the 5% of blogs that continue, but your goal must be to reach the top of the ranking. And my friend, this is not going to be easy.
Going to the sports simile, it is one thing to be a sports fan and quite another to win an Olympic medal. If you are still one of those who does not give up (congratulations on it & read on.
In this post I am going to give you some tips that will help you on the hard road ahead of you to become a successful professional blogger. It will not be easy, but at least you will have my support.
What is a successful blog?
Before going any further, we may need to first understand what we want to achieve. The truth is that there is no global definition with the characteristics that a successful blog should have. However, in my view a successful blog should subscribe to most of the following statements:
- It has tens of thousands of visits every month.
- Appears when people search Google or the like.
- Its contents generate value for readers.
- Its contents are mentioned and shared on the Internet.
- Generate income directly or indirectly.
As you can see, there is a lot of common sense in all this. And I would like to highlight above all the last statement. As Taco commented in the interview” if you don’t make money with it, it is a hobby “.
However, when you start a blog, you cannot only aim to earn money overnight. Achieving this is not easy (in fact, I would say it is impossible) and can lead to frustration. But what you do have to be clear about is how you are going to monetize your content later. Or rather, how are you going to convert all the effort you put into the blog into tangible benefits for you or your organization.
7 recommendations to start a blog on the right foot
If you Google recommendations for people who want to start a new blog, you will find a lot of articles with lists of magic tricks that are likely to leave your head fuming. My goal today is to make it very easy for you, giving you only 7 basic tips that you should keep in mind. If you put them into practice, your blog will start off on the right foot . And since the road is going to be long, it is always good to start it with a clear direction, without hesitation. In this way, seeking success will make much more sense.
Find a topic you are passionate about
A blog requires a lot of sacrifice . You will have to write regularly on one or more topics. Therefore, if you choose a theme that does not excite you and encourages you to write, sooner rather than later you will abandon the initiative, throwing away your initial effort.
You shouldn’t choose something very specific , like mating the blackbird in the fall season. Many times it is better to take a broader topic, such as the field of birds, in general, since it will allow you to give more play to the ideas you want to talk about.
In the case of the blog in front of us, we started talking only about WordPress, but we quickly realized that this limited us a lot . If we wanted to talk about web development in general or marketing issues, we did not see clearly how this could fit within the WordPress world… with what we were self-censoring.
If it is already difficult to find motivation to write new entries regularly, imagine if you limit your subject too much, causing you to be unable to write what you want at any given time!
In short, choose a subject area that you know will not tire you, that allows you to talk about many different things, that may interest people and in which your knowledge can add additional value .
Know your audience
“If I have not started mounting the blog yet, how will I know what audience I will have?” Well, although the question makes all the sense in the world, the truth is that it is not so difficult to answer. Today you have a multitude of communication channels that can help you greatly to estimate the personality of your visitors to get to know them better .
On the one hand you have social networks, forums and other online communities . Access them and look for information on the theme you have chosen for your blog. I am sure that you will be able to identify who are the main actors (the influencers ), the way things are communicated (more or less formal communication, for example) and what topics they like more or generate more controversy.
Also, once you have the blog running don’t forget to study its analytics. Tools like Google Analytics can give you an immense amount of information. In addition, you can create a portrait-robot of your types of visitors: the Buyer Persona.
The important thing is that you are always active and continue studying your audience . The better you know it, the easier it will be for you to generate much more targeted content and that will add more value to your visitors.
Use an attractive design
All kinds of people will access your blog . They will take a quick look at your website, and if they do not like the style it is very possible that they will leave and never return. Design matters more than you think .
Do the test yourself. Very quickly make a list with 6 or 7 blogs that talk about the same topic as you. I am sure you will find designs of all kinds , some more modern and others that look like they were taken from 10 years ago.
Ideally, you should choose somewhere in between. You don’t have to go to the extreme of wanting to create a blog with a design that uses the latest CSS news and does a thousand tricks with hundreds of animations. But neither can we stay with a more Comic Sans style.
If you decide to set up your blog with WordPress, you will find a lot of very attractive themes but that do not bother or harm reading . Another tip that I give you is to use a typeface that is easy to read and is large enough so that people do not become short-sighted.
What do you think about the design of our blog?
Another issue that is often forgotten is that of accessibility . And I tell you from experience . If you use strange color combinations, a part of your audience may not be able to read your content easily. And also keep in mind that there are many people with vision problems who will need additional help. Do not leave them behind. It also doesn’t cost as much work.
Choose quality over quantity
How often should you publish new content? This is a very good question. And everyone will tell you that the best thing you can do is post a new post every day. But the truth is, can you keep up with such a beast publishing pace?
Although more publications is better, the quality of these should not be neglected. It is preferable that you publish a quality entry a week that has seven entries that nobody wants to read. The final publication rate will have to be set by yourself .
You know better than anyone what you can do and what you can’t. In our case, we publish two new posts a week, each in two different languages. And this is the maximum that we can do to ensure a minimum of quality. Could we post a daily entry? Surely. But this would compromise the quality of our content. And believe me, we don’t want to play with this.
If your audience stops perceiving the value that you generate through your content, they will stop visiting you. There’s no more. So keep a compromise between publishing more and publishing better. It is not about publishing more than anyone, but about publishing better than anyone .
Make yourself known
Starting a blog and posting content on it won’t help you if no one has heard . The beginning of your blog is the period in which its promotion is most important. You know, the beginnings are not easy and you cannot pretend to gain popularity out of nowhere .
Therefore, you must follow the 80/20 rule that I already mentioned in a previous post. In other words, you must spend 20% of your time generating new content and the remaining 80% promoting it .
Participate in local events so that people know you, mention your blog in forums, create social profiles in those networks in which your audience participates more (Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, …), get influencers to talk about you and try to make all this seem natural. Otherwise you can be branded as a spammer and this will not help anything either.
You will have to try very hard, and sometimes it will seem that all this is not worth it since you will not see results immediately . However, over time the results will end up coming. In many cases the promotions will not take effect until even months later. You could say you will have to simmer it. Little by little you will get people to know you more and your blog will begin to have the name it deserves.
Think about this: why should someone visit your blog and not anyone else? If you do not know how to answer this question, it is very difficult for you to achieve your goals.
On the Internet there are millions of blogs on all kinds of topics. Yours is just one more. Differentiating yourself from your competitors is an essential requirement to succeed, because being different is what makes visitors stay on your page, remember it and tell it to their friends.
Don’t do the same thing everyone else does. Study your competitors and find different ways to highlight your content. But believe me when I tell you that if you can differentiate yourself, the results you will achieve will have nothing to do with it.
Arm yourself with constancy
This is the most important recommendation of all. Perhaps you are not the best writer in the world or you do not know how to hit 100% with the choice of topics that will be of most interest to your audience. But if you persevere and, whatever happens, you continue publishing content following the previous recommendations, I assure you that you will be much better than most.
Also, over time you will improve . Just for the sake of writing often will improve your writing and your understanding of your audience. Each time you will be 1% better, and if you add up each small advance, in the end you will look back and you will be surprised at the road traveled.
Be consistent, persevere, don’t give up and continue.
Why you should start your blog today
At the beginning of everything I have told you that having a blog is hard work. But if you are determined to have yours, I will also tell you that the benefits you can get from it are many . You will be able to meet many new people, you will have the possibility to give your opinion freely on the topics that interest you, you will learn a great deal about communication and you will forge a public image that can help you professionally. Also, with a little luck and a lot of work you may even be able to monetize your blog and earn money from it.
If you want to achieve all this, start now . Today, right now. You are going to need time to reach the necessary level of success, so the sooner you start the better. Do it now!
If you made it this far, congratulations. Nobody is going to be able to guarantee your success , but at least your attitude is correct to become a great blogger . Start your blog as soon as possible taking advantage of the motivation that is in you. And do not forget to put into practice all the recommendations that I have been detailing. These ideas will take you on the right path and will prevent your blog from dying at the first change.