Are you interested in starting a blog, or you have just launched one? Do you want to know more about managing blogs? You’ve landed on the perfect page!
We, the team behind WP Webify, have launched a few blogs in the last five years. Some of the blogs have been very successful, while others were failures. It would have helped us know a few things before launching them, but we learned them the hard way.
Don’t follow our path. Save time and resources by carefully reading the following tips. We wish we had known these before launching our blogs.
It’s a Business, Not a Site
A blog is not just a site if you want to earn money from it, so treat your blog like a business. Plenty of wannabe bloggers make this mistake. They believe that it’s enough to starting a blog. Some of them know that pumping out quality content is mandatory, but sadly, only a few treat it as a business.
Before taking any action to launch your blog, ask yourself if you are prepared to run a business. You have to be more like an entrepreneur than a blogger to run a successful blog.
Establish a Niche
Your ultimate goal is to make people visit your site repeatedly. It’s a near-impossible mission because people have so many options. Being a jack of all trades isn’t a solution.
You don’t have any choice but to publish high-quality and original content related to your niche. In theory, it’s quite simple to do, but in reality, it’s not easy to produce outstanding content. Hence, choose a specific niche you feel confident in and write about it.
You can cover more niches if only you have a large and skilled team. When you’re on your own, focus on the most experienced topic and write the best blog posts possible.
Passion Is Everything
You’ve probably read stories about successful bloggers that inspired you to launch a blog. Indeed, many bloggers make serious amounts of money from their blogs.
However, they are only the tip of the iceberg. The vast majority of the bloggers barely cover the costs of running their sites. Most likely, your enthusiasm will dip in the first six months. You’ll start motivated, but the multiple challenges you will encounter will discourage you. As a result, you may lack passion and quit.
Are you genuinely passionate about blogging and your niche? Would you give up Netflix binging to write a new post? If you aren’t sure about these questions’ answers, you don’t have big chances of launching a successful blog.
Prepare for Hard Work
Passion alone is not enough, but passion and hard work together is 51% of a blog’s success. Creating quality content isn’t easy. You have to research your topic to write compelling articles thoroughly.
Even if your blog looks nice in the beginning, you will need to update the design regularly. These small changes will drain your energy in the long run. Writing emails, replying to comments, testing new plugins, checking the analytics, and trying new ways to make money requires a lot of work.
If you think that successful bloggers manage their sites from the sunny beaches of Thailand, you are mostly wrong. There are a few ones who do, but most successful bloggers work day and night.
Plan, Plan, Plan
You may be tempted to believe that having a plan in the early stages is not essential. But as Benjamin Franklin once said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”
It would help if you have a plan to succeed. A plan contains the steps required to grow your business and what to do after reaching each milestone. A lack of a plan generates confusion, and you won’t evaluate the site’s growth.
Hosting Is Capital
Webmasters try to reduce their operational costs as much as possible. That’s why many webmasters chose the cheapest hosting plans. Cheap doesn’t automatically mean low-quality services, but in most cases, it does.
Hosting plays a huge role in a blog’s success. The host is responsible for the site’s uptime, speed, and security. You’ll sacrifice your site’s uptime, speed, and security for a few bucks by choosing a bad host.
Luckily, there are more and more quality hosts available at affordable prices. Do your research before purchasing hosting services. It will impact your site more than you think.
Even though you haven’t published a post yet, you should know that almost half of the visitors access your site from mobile devices. Unfortunately, mobile users aren’t patient; a four-second delay is too long for most of them.
Do your best to satisfy mobile users. Start by choosing a responsive and fast-loading theme. Go for a simple design and optimize your images. Don’t clutter the layout, and ensure the most significant user experience possible. Test your site from different viewports before launching it.
No matter how much work you put into the content, people won’t consume it unless the site’s design is user-friendly. We suggest choosing a theme from the WordPress repository, but you can buy a premium theme from well-known sellers. No matter your choice, pay attention to the theme you use because it will affect your layout design.
A blog is a complex website, and you’ll need plenty of customization options. Multipurpose themes suit blogs best, but you can go for a dedicated blogging theme. Customize the theme to suit your audience and not your taste. Make sure that the site’s design reflects the content. For instance, go for a futurist design if you blog about technology, but don’t go with it for a food blog.
Never Stop Learning
You have to produce useful and attractive content to stay competitive and relevant. It’s a common saying that you should read ten blog posts before writing a new one amongst bloggers.
Successful bloggers write about the latest news, techniques, and technologies in their field. Hence, it would help if you stay updated on what’s new, which requires many hours of self-preparation.
At the beginning of your blogging journey, you maybe be tempted to believe that your experience is enough. Over time, however, you will spend more and more time learning new things to inform and entertain your audience.
It all circles back to the previous two tips: passion and hard work. You won’t succeed if your blog topic isn’t something you’re interested in, and you aren’t motivated to work hard and keep learning.
Consistency Is the Key
It is no secret that consistency separates the winners and losers. As a blogger, you have to be consistent in multiple areas.
First, your blog design and branding—people should recognize your logo and design. Changing them frequently won’t help you in this regard.
Second, the blog content must be consistent, or else it will be almost impossible to create a community around your blog. For example, don’t mix blog posts about parenting and technology.
Third, you need to publish consistently. Strive for a single post model—if possible, keep the same style, length, and format for all your posts.
Write, Write, Write
Is this tip redundant? Isn’t it normal for a wannabee blogger to expect to write a lot of blog posts? Indeed, everyone knows that a successful blogger writes a lot. However, most people’s expectations are below what a successful blogger has to write.
I’m not referring to just writing posts. A blogger should update the posts, write guest articles, reply to emails and comments, and edit guest contributions.
Google Analytics and Google Search Console
As a blogger, Google Analytics (GA) and Google Search Console (GSC) are your best friends. In the early stages, you don’t need any expensive tools to check your traffic stats. Both of these tools provide countless data useful for evaluating your site’s evolution.
You should also enroll in a course teaching you how to get the most from GA and GSC. Expert bloggers use these tools’ complex filtering systems to determine how the audience consumes each blog post. Also, the data revealed by these tools give precious hints about what performs well and poorly on your site.
SEO Is a Must
You know that SEO is capital for launching a website. You are also aware that getting the top positions in the search results is a complicated task.
However, only a few bloggers realize that SEO is an ongoing process. Getting the first search position is not only about pumping out quality content. You have to update the posts periodically, do on-site SEO, acquire backlinks, and keep readers engaged.
Don’t make the mistake of considering SEO a fire-and-forget process. Google continually refines its ranking algorithm, and you have to update your SEO strategy to get in the search engine’s good graces.
Briefly, remember that you need to continually allocate time and resources for your blog’s SEO strategy. Making your blog search engine friendly as possible is a continuous process.
User satisfaction is a top priority for search engines. They favor blog posts with high engagement rates.
As a blogger, you have to do everything possible to publish engaging posts. How can you create engaging posts? Plenty of bloggers write for their ego, but you should write for your audience’s needs. Correlate your style with the audience.
For example, use simple and straightforward language if you are a food blogger. Use images and videos to show all the secrets of your recipe.
Conversely, use elevated language if you write about poetry. There is no universal model for an engaging post. It heavily depends on the audience’s needs and expectations.
It took us a lot of time to realize that syncing the content with the audience is as essential as the content’s quality. Don’t make the same mistake we did. Study your audience profile.
It’s unfair for people to judge the quality of blog posts based on their headlines. But that’s the cruel reality, and we should adapt to it.
New bloggers underestimate the importance of writing attention-grabbing headlines. Allocate enough time to craft an eye-catching title and refine it as many times as needed. Use a tool like Coschedule Headline Analyzer to write attractive titles.
Update Your Content
All your posts must be continuously updated to be relevant for readers. People will stop consuming your content if you don’t update the posts. Let them know when you last updated the post. In this way, the readers will know that the piece of content they read is relevant to their current situation.
Would you read a complete guide teaching you how to blog if you noticed a screenshot of the old WordPress editor? I doubt it. Carefully update your posts to keep them relevant to readers. Searching for updated content isn’t a fad. Readers want to consume relevant content.
Build an Email List
In a world with so much hype around social networks, email remains the best-performing channel in terms of return on investment. Please don’t waste the opportunity to collect readers’ email addresses and nurture your relationship with them.
Convince people to give you their email addresses by offering them a valuable product like an e-book, course, or downloadable asset. Don’t be salesy; it annoys people, and as a result, they won’t visit your blog.
Massively Promote Your Articles
It took us a long time to understand that even though we published the best articles in our space, it was not enough to generate plenty of traffic. We suspected that sharing the articles on social networks was a key factor, but sadly, we underestimated the role of distributing posts on every channel possible. Don’t ignore any possibility of promoting your articles because you may miss a good opportunity.
Networking and Partnerships
You will get partnership and collaboration offers once your blog gets traction. Bloggers in the same industry collaborate, and you should be active in this respect. Grow your network of friends, and consider any partnership opportunity. Politely reject all unfavorable proposals. Networking is a source of driving people to your site and recognizing you as an authority.
Delegate If Possible
Running a successful blog requires a tremendous amount of work. In the early stages, blogs are a one-man-show, but you have to develop a team to scale up the blog.
Delegate the tasks you don’t like doing or the ones that take too much time. Finding the right partner isn’t easy, and sometimes you may fail to hire the best contractor. Altogether, you limit yourself considerably if you don’t grow a team around your blog.
Over to You
Despite the many endeavors of managing a blog, it pays off in the long term. Read all the above suggestions and don’t make the same mistakes we did. In this way, you avoid wasting time and resources.
These tips are based on our past experiences, but clearly, the list isn’t exhaustive. Do you have other suggestions to add to this list about starting a blog? Please leave a comment with your ideas; we are deeply interested in your contribution.