There are a lot of A-list bloggers out there. We intend to guide you with 15 tips that will help take your blog content to the next level this year.
Just open your Instagram app, and it’s obvious: There are a lot of bloggers out there. Influencers sharing content on a myriad of topics — from paleo diets to patio furniture — seem to occupy every inch of internet real estate, sharing travel tips and gardening how-tos. With glossy photos and witty copy, it seems they’ve got it figured out. They’re real bloggers, right?
Is there even room for aspiring bloggers like you and me?
Short answer? Yes!
According to WordPress ,nearly 409 million people view more than 20 billion pages each month, . 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.
Luckily, we’ve got that in spades.
We’ve done the legwork for you, talking with the web’s blogging elite and garnering their best tips. Consider these 15 tips an all-inclusive handbook to blogging success, chock-full of guidance on various blogging matters. These expert tips will instruct you on the keys to blogging success: how to get the ball rolling, create quality content, and stay dedicated, even in an evolving blogging environment.
1 It’s All About 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.
According to a survey of more than a thousand bloggers, a typical blog post takes nearly four hours to create. The same study reveals that a large number of bloggers write outside of regular “work hours,” including on weekends and at night. Bloggers are always on; blogging is their lifestyle, and it requires quality time to produce success.
And writing blog posts is just the beginning; in addition to creating content, bloggers must optimize for search engines, make time for social media, market their content, network, and engage with readers.
Not being fully committed is what separates amateur bloggers from the pros.
You can’t do anything halfway in the blogging industry and expect to be successful. I see a lot of people start blogs, post a few things over a couple of months, and then wonder why they aren’t getting any traffic. Commit to a topic and a posting schedule and show your readers that you are dedicated to providing great content .
2 Invest in Good Gear
When you decide to start a blog, use whatever tools you have to get the ball rolling. But when you are financially able, your blog will benefit from getting your hands on some professional equipment.
The look of your blog definitely will get a lot better when you invest in a real camera rather than using your phone, which I totally did in the early days of my blog.And you don’t have to spend a fortune.
A few other popular blogging tools: WordPress software, the Adobe Suite, a web hosting package, email marketing software, and useful plugins. The more professional and put together your blog, the more trust you’ll earn from readers.
3. Your Mission
You’ve got a burning passion for blogging, yes? Well, first, take a breath.
It’s crucial that you figure out a few things first, like what your blog is all about and what you want to do with it. Having a kick-butt blog is a good goal, but let’s dig deeper.
Ever heard of a mission statement? It’s commonly used by businesses to identify values, goals, and purpose — typically in a few easy-to-remember sentences. And it’s critical to the success of your blog.
If you’re looking to make money, you will write differently than someone who does it just for fun. Create a focused mission statement in order to know what your content should be and who your audience is.
Let’s look at a few examples of mission statements.
- Amazon: “Our vision is to be earth’s most customer-centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”
- IKEA: “Our vision is to create a better everyday life for the many people. Our business idea supports this vision by offering a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them.”
- Nike: “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world.”
Can you see how these concise statements guide how each business operates, shepherding big decisions to even the tiniest ones? It works the same way with your blog.
Take creating content, for example.
“Before we write a single post, we ask ourselves, ‘Does this help our readers make or save money?That’s key for us. We’re content creators, but we only want to publish a story if we think it’s truly helpful or interesting for our readers.”
Ideally, a well-crafted mission statement will inspire and steer — but not confine — your choices and provide a roadmap for content, structure, and voice.
Great! Now. Where to start? Begin by pondering the following questions:
- Why did you start blogging?
- Who is your target audience or blogging niche?
- What questions do you want to answer?
- What are you passionate about?
- In what way is your voice unique?
Next, try to organize these answers into a few short statements that summarize your goals. Try the Twitter approach — spelling out your purpose and goals in 280 characters or less. You could even try this fill-in-the-blank formula:
My mission is to _______ for _______ through _______.
Things to keep in mind:
- Keep it short and sweet, grammar-and-spell-checked, specific but jargon-free, realistic, and focused.
- Put it where you can see it — preferably in BIG, bold letters.
- Refer to it often and adjust as needed.
4. Just Get Started
Achieving top-tier blogging status can seem like a long shot. But every successful blogger started somewhere.
“Produce, produce, produce.Leave your perfectionism at the door and just put your work out there. Get feedback, adjust, move on. Without creating and putting your product or service out there, no one will find you and hire you. Just start.”
Begin with exercises to simply get you writing every day. This will help you form the habit that will make blogging easier.
For content ideas, try a brainstorming worksheet to collect your thoughts (you can do this on a device too).
“Write as often as you possibly can. This does not mean publish as often as you possibly can. Get in the habit, work on your craft. Discover your voice. It takes great practice and great patience. Do it anyway. Sit down in your chair and type it out. Edit later. Publish later. For now, just write.”
5. You Get What You Go After
If you’ve been around the block, you know that blogging involves two very crucial Cs: content and consistency. These skills may be the most vital keys to success. We already discussed the importance of creating. Now, let’s talk consistency.
It’s proven that marketers who prioritize blogging efforts are 13x more likely to see positive ROI. That’s a big deal. Consistency is an essential part of those efforts.
A common mistake early bloggers make is not posting on a consistent schedule. Yes, it can be tough, especially in the beginning when you might not have much of a readership, but it’s important for SEO and to build a community. Producing quality content and consistently has been essential to our growth. Like they say, if content is king, consistency is queen!
I think one of the best things you can do as a blogger is to keep your content constant and consistent.That consistency kept people coming back because they didn’t have to wonder if there was content.
If you want to be the authority, the go-to on a particular topic, your readership needs to trust that your blog will have the content they need. Your quality content, consistently posted, will draw a following. The two Cs really are inseparably connected.
There are a lot of more detailed keys to blogging success like photography, SEO, social media tips and tricks, etc., but the number one thing I always tell bloggers is that content is king.That can mean different things depending on the topic of your blog, but readers will always respond to quality content.
There a host of useful tools available online for planning posts and establishing a schedule.
An important key is to have a plan for what you are wanting to post rather than sitting down and writing every time.Tools like Asana or the WordPress plugin Edit Flow are great for planning out blog posts in advance.
6. 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.
Sure, while you’re slaving away at your keyboard, it’s easy to forget that someone is on the other side. But keeping your reader in mind will help you create attractive, useful content that draws a crowd.
7. Think (Twice) Before You Hit Publish
As tempting as it may be, resist the urge to hastily click “Submit” the instant you finish a blog post.
Once the blog posts are planned out, a common mistake is not going back through to take a look at some of the finer points of the blog post to ensure it reads well for your visitors as well as search engines.
Prep 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 appealing 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.
08. Think Mobile
It’s a pretty startling statistic: 80% of internet users own a smartphone.
Chances are good that readers are accessing your blog on a mobile device, likely while they’re commuting to work, sitting in a waiting room, or logging miles on the treadmill. So along with establishing a beautiful design, you’ve also got to optimize for mobile users.
Often, this means choosing a responsive template, but you can also utilize plugins to optimize a WordPress theme. You should consider the following as well:
- If using a pop-up opt-in form or ad, are mobile users able to navigate around it?
- Are outbound links mobile-friendly?
- Do your social media buttons work properly?
- If using video, does the player work? Some mobile devices don’t allow Flash.
- Is your comment platform still mobile-friendly?
- Are slideshows functional?
- Can users read infographics?
And really, the only sure way you have to analyze your site for effectiveness across devices is to test it.
09. Accept the Daily Grind
You’ve heard that the biggest part of success comes from showing up, right? Ask anyone at the top of their field — Michael Jordan, Martha Stewart, or Yo-Yo Ma — and we’re pretty sure they’d be the first to say that their success amounts to hours, days, and years of putting in hard work.
Well, that’s true in blogging too.
Determination is an essential quality to have as a blogger.There are no overnight successes with blogs, but when you write about what you are passionate about, they can be great successes.
Remember Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hours principle? Just like playing the piano, painting, or running sprints, honing your blogging skills requires lots of work.
Our keys to blogging success are practice, practice, practice.Seriously, it’s just about putting in the time to learn your skill and becoming an expert at what you do. We think it’s important to remember that the industry is always changing and content is king. Be original and adaptable and authentic. Don’t use bots. Focus on what makes you unique and tell your story in a way that people can relate to what you have to say.
Try a goal chart to keep you motivated when the going gets rough (blogger’s block is real). And of course, keep your mission statement close by. Sometimes all it takes is to remember why you started in the first place.
I think the main quality that is essential for bloggers is passion.Blogging is not an easy business, and when the going gets tough, passion is the thing that keeps you motivated and working hard.
10. Have a Strategy
Say you’ve got great content and a snazzy site. How do you get people to see it? If you have social media platforms, then you have multiple channels to market your content.
According to consumers, the three characteristics of an effective social media strategy are:
- The brand shares new content.
- The brand’s content is relevant.
- The brand engages with followers.
That said, social media is the most effective digital marketing tactic for customer retention after email; it’s essential to choose the right social platforms to get your content in front of readers.
If you intend to manage your social media marketing on your own, then utilize tools like HootSuite or NUVI to manage and monitor on one dashboard. And there’s no shame in admitting that assembling a social team or hiring an agency to help distribute the content online could be best for your blog. You can only bootstrap so much, right?
11. Engage With Others
In the blogging game, it’s not you against the world. In other words, it’s not you against every other food/travel/tech blog in your field. Running a successful blog can be a collaborative, community effort that’s personally validating (as opposed to competitive). Go, team!
Good engagement starts with your content.
The great Bloggers recommend staying engaged by posting regularly. “Whether that means posting blog posts once a week or on Instagram every day, it’s important to keep your community involved in what’s going on and what you have to share.”
12. Go Easy with Analytics
Numbers say a lot. For instance, a game score tells us who’s on the winning side — and who’s not. The nutritional information in a meal tells us whether or not we can justify dessert.
Numbers are important. But they aren’t everything.
We know it’s tempting, but clicking the refresh button every 10 seconds on your website’s analytics page fuels an unhealthy obsession that won’t help your success as a blogger (or your blood pressure). Instead, focus on your content, prepare for fluctuations in the stats, and breathe.
“Forget stats,“People are not numbers. Readers are not stats. They are humans in all of their lovely complexities. Do not fret yourself over bounce rates and conversion metrics. There are plenty of other things to fret over, after all.”Keep an eye on a few metrics for goal purposes, but don’t obsess — numbers change.
13. Understand Revenue Sources
The ideal for most people is that their blog becomes a valid source of income. This won’t happen right away, so don’t panic . But, you should understand the different ways you can make money online, so you can decide how — and if — you want to incorporate those methods into your blog.
Consider using affiliate programs to earn a kickback for the products you promote on your site or running display ads with Google’s AdSense. These revenue streams increase as traffic increases. So if you want to make money by blogging, your first priority should be getting eyes on your content.
The more traffic your blog receives, the more money you can make with it.But it takes time to build an audience and grow traffic. Don’t focus on making money right away. Focus on building your audience.
14. Don’t Be a Copycat
Imitation may be the highest form of flattery, but in the blogosphere, it’s just plain ol’ copying. And it’s not going to do anything for your online rep — readers can see right through it. With the inundation of blogs and content creators out there, it can be H-A-R-D to produce content that’s new, fresh, and original. But for a quality blog, a loyal following, and a distinguished brand, it’s more than essential to think outside the box.
It’s important to remember that you need to create your own original conten.A lot of people go to the same places and pose in the exact same way as big travel bloggers. That’s not creative or original. That’s copying someone else’s work, which doesn’t tell anything about you or your story.
Build a blog that allows people to get to know you — and what you’re passionate about, not just posting a CTRL + C reproduction of similar work produced in your field or industry. Be aware of the exhausted been-there-done-that content. Followers will reward the extra effort you take to put your own touch on what you produce.
15. Lower Your Expectations
Yeah, we know how that sounds. But let us explain.
When getting started, “It’s important to not go into it with high expectations of becoming the next big blogger,” That pressure alone could ruin the whole experience for you. Starting a blog should be fun, and you should do it because you’re passionate about a topic(s)!
Blog because you love it. Of course, we know you have the potential to make it to the big leagues of blogging, but that name-in-lights mentality shouldn’t be the end-all, be-all of your efforts. Early on, establish your “why” and remain rooted in it. Not only will it help sustain your motivation through the hard moments, but it will keep your passion ignited.
Once you’re sure of your “why,” GET GOING. “Ask yourself, why am I creating this?” ,“If you can answer that question, then just start! I live by this quote: ‘Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will”.
Here we are.We hope that you enjoyed our blog.Feel free to leave your comment or suggestions to improve our blogs.