Create A Blog: The Introverted Blogger’s Guide

how to build a successful blogI’m starting a new blog and I’m overwhelmed with all the things I need to do!

Every single week, without fail, I see people in several social media groups I am a part of ask this very question, plus or minus a few details.

I agree that it can get overwhelming really quickly if you’re a newbie to blogging and every one of the 1 million blogs on blogging out there is telling you to do something different every day.

I’m not saying that any of the advice you’re reading out there is bad. Actually these days, I find it hard to come across a piece of content that is not absolutely fabulous and super actionable.

As a newbie blogger, however there are certain elements of the blogging process that should be at the fore-front of the long queue of things you will do all throughout your blogging career.

What I discuss in this blog post answers the question “What should I be focusing on as a new blogger?”

Ready ? Let’s dive into it.

The Newbie Blogger’s Blueprint to Building And Growing A Successful Blog (a.k.a, things you should do beyond buying a domain name from your web host of choice)

Start Networking

This very simple fact of blogging was lost on me when I started my first blog in 2011. I had no idea I could network and even if I did, I simply did not know where to start. That changed for me after I read Ryan Biddulph’s Book How To Build A Blogging Empire Through Blog Commenting.

Reading that book was definitely an eye opener to the possibilities that abound out there if you are willing to get out of your comfort zone and build some meaningful relationships with other bloggers – some bigger and maybe ones even smaller than you. The mutual benefits are too many to list but it certainly can get you on the radar of some of the popular bloggers in your niche. And that my friends is where some big things can begin to happen for you, including:

  • Guest post opportunities
  • Podcast interviews
  • Promotion of your content and products to their audiences

Don’t be a recluse when you start blogging. No matter how great your content is, retreating from all human contact will only hurt your blog.

Practical Ways To Start Connecting With Other Bloggers

  • Read & comment on their blogs. Sue has a great post written on this very subject. It’s worth the read if you would like to add this to your arsenal.
  • Subscribe to their blogs and connect with them via e-mail by asking insightful questions, offering them your opinion on a blog post you read or telling them about results you’ve obtained by putting their content into action
  • Follow them on social media and engage

“But Gertrude”, you say, “I am an introvert and I HATE getting out of my comfort zone. Can’t I just blog in my corner until I get noticed? ”

I hear you loud and clear, my fellow introvert.

While you could stay in your corner and blog away and become famous when a movie star comes across your blog by pure chance and shares it with their 20 million fans, what are the odds of that happening, really?

My suggestion for my fellow introverts is to brave it.

At least that is what I did.

I was afraid of being rejected and ignored. I have been rejected and ignored. But guess what? In hindsight, I realize I went about networking all wrong. So I deserved it.

Even when I thought I did it the right way, I still have been ignored by some. It just ended up being a learning experience that enriched me and helped me get better at networking.

When you put yourself out there, your feelings will get hurt but it is absolutely important not to take it personally, learn what you did wrong and move on.

Leverage your relationships for guest post opportunities.

This point builds on the first.

Jon Morrow has been instrumental to helping me realize the importance of guest blogging as a new blogger.

Here’s the brutal truth: when you first start blogging, nobody knows you. People don’t trust you just yet. Sure, you might get a trickle of traffic here and there from sharing your post on Twitter but one of the areas you need to start spending some of your energy is putting out guest posts on blogs bigger than yours.

Guest posting strategically positions your content in front of an established audience and sets you up as an authority on your chosen topic.

Sumitha Bhandarkar of A Fine Parent collected over 1300 e-mails before she launched her blog. She used guest posting and a “coming soon” page that also collected e-mails of prospective readers. She had a targeted and hungry audience by the time she launched and which certainly allowed her blog to grow quickly. 

Stick to a regular writing/posting schedule.

Now you have blogger friends and hopefully you have some content out there to prove you know what you’re talking about and your e-mail list is now gaining subscribers.  We are not going to stop doing these things, but it sure helped you get started, doesn’t it?

Now it’s time to stick to a regular blog post writing/posting schedule. Many posts have been written on how many times it is ideal to write a blog post. There are arguments for and against each – twice a day, once a day, twice a week, once a week, once a month.

Personally, I think this depends on 1) how much time you actually have 2) what niche you’re in.

Some niches like coupon blogs have to post every day. You don’t have to do that if you don’t have the time or bandwidth to do so. I have heard of people batch-writing 3-4 posts at a time and posting one every week. I think it’s a smart strategy if you can do it.

I keep a list of blog ideas in a notebook with mini-outlines that I pull out when I am ready to write a new post.

The bottom line is to find what works for YOU so you don’t burn out or give up on blogging altogether.

Pick a regular schedule. Create your content. Stick to it.

MY PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION FOR YOU  Winna, Winna, Winna!! [You Can Be Too!.. Read On...]

Create a content promotion plan

Writing blog posts is only the first step.

There are always fresh eyes out there in the world who have never read your content. Thus, it is important for every blogger to develop a content promotion plan. Derek Halpern has a fantastic post on focusing 80% of your energies on promoting your blog content.

It does not have to be elaborate but having at least 3 modes of sharing your content will certainly help you on your journey to blog stardom. My 4 favorite ways to do this are:

  • Emailing my list to let them know of the new post
  • Updating my social media profiles with the new post
  • Emailing any bloggers who were mentioned in the post and letting them know I included their content in the post (with the hopes they will share it with their audience – it won’t always happen but when it does, it is super).
  • Participating in groups/social media platforms where I can promote my content

Build your email list

I touched on this earlier, but I wanted to reiterate because occasionally I will come across bloggers who want nothing to do with list-building and email marketing.

An email list gives provides you with a laser-targeted group of people who are interested in what you have to say. This is an audience who is more likely to buy from you when you are ready to sell products and who will become enthusiastic ambassadors for your brand.

Building your list does not have to wait until you have 10 or 25 posts up on your blog. It can start on day one or even before like I suggested above. Even if you don’t have an opt-in magnet just yet, have people sign up to receive updates from you.

That being said, I am not a fan of having to sign up for “updates” or “newsletters” but if you have not created a sign-up-worthy bribe, this will do just fine.

There is simply nothing that should stand in your way of building an e-mail list these days. Tools for it abound. For beginners I would recommend:

  • SumoMe suite of tools that’s absolutely free ($20/month if you want to unlock some more features)
  • Mailchimp
  • Google Docs/Dropbox for creating and delivering PDFs or Wistia for delivering video content

Get the basics of SEO down pat

One name: Brian Dean. Go to his blog. Study his stuff and take action.

Always be learning, testing and tweaking (but stay away from worrying about minutiae).

I’m a big believer in the phrase “As long as you are alive, you haven’t arrived at the top”.

It’s absolutely important to keep abreast with what is going on in your niche so you can be a go-to source of information on your blog. You’ll also have to keep up with learning the latest blogging, social media and SEO techniques that can take your blog to the next level. Invest in your education with books and courses. It pays off.

A word of caution here – learning new information constantly can paradoxically cause “analysis paralysis by information overload”. Too much knowledge comes with its adverse effects.

Secondly, test everything on your blog.

I’ll give you an example from my own blog.

Last month, I noticed the bounce rate on my blog was increasing. I also noticed that the average amount of time people were spending on my blog went down from 1.5 minutes to 31 seconds! Something was wrong and I had to figure it out. After a bit of investigation, I found out I was losing a lot of people who were landing on my welcome home page but unfortunately were not clicking on the page that actually contained my posts.

I immediately got rid of the page and lo and behold, the time people spend on my site began increasing again.

What may work for one blog perfectly may not work for yours. So test, test and test some more (this also means you need to have a good handle on your numbers using tools such as Google Analytics and Google Webmaster) and tweak things based on your data.

Last but not least, install data analytics software.

I probably should have put this one at number 4 or 5 but hey, better late than never right?

Becoming a serious blogger starts with you being serious about your numbers. You cannot be serious about your numbers without analytics software.

At the very least, install and get familiar with Google Analytics and Google Webmaster.

These tools will give you insight to help you improve your blog immensely!

Wrapping it Up

If you are a new blogger overwhelmed about what to focus on, you know have your very own blueprint!

I’ll give you a hint that will help you execute this exact plan in the next 30-60 days for your own blog :

  • Study this post and the suggested posts in-depth. By “in-depth”, I mean print them out the posts, read and re-read them.
  • Do exactly what they say. If they give you an e-mail template for reaching out to influential bloggers for instance, follow that and write to 10 people in your niche.
  • Keep tabs on your data over the next 30-60 days.
  • Send me or Sue an email about your progress and we’ll cheer you on!

You’ve got this.

You don’t have to do all these things at once but putting things in place to make sure they get done will put you light years ahead of most bloggers who start out without a launch plan.

Gertrude is a scientist at a major university by day and blogs passionately at night. She uses her blog to share blogging tips, educational videos, and her excursions into sidepreneurship

48 thoughts on “Create A Blog: The Introverted Blogger’s Guide”

  1. [ Smiles ] Splendid advice!

    I liked the part about installing data analytics software, because it is one of the best methods to find out if one's blog is making any kind of progress and it would also give us a better idea as to which posts of ours that our readers are most interested in.

    • Thanks for taking the time to comment on this today Renard ! I really appreciate it.

      I am always amazed at individuals who have not taken the time to actually install software that will help them track their progress (or not). Numbers are EVERYTHING & will make or break your brand.

    • What a practical, helpful and comprehensive guide for newbies like me. Thank you for providing great direction for those of us who are unsure where to begin. You’ve boosted my self-confidence and given me an action plan. One of the best blogs I’ve read about for getting started!

  2. Hey, Sue

    wow! this is an incredible post ,this will help to learn a lot about Building a Successful Blog . i like you plan for content promotion, i like you idea about email marketing .this post will help The Newbie Blogger to make Successful Blog.

    Thank You

    Best Regards

  3. Hey Gertrude,

    This is a great resource for newbies. List building is something that most newbies ignore in the beginning, but it is the most important element when it comes to create a successful blog.

    Mailchimp and SumoMe are two fantastic tools, and are free, if you don't mind branding and some limitations.

    P.S Sue, you are really good at finding great writers ;), keep up the good work.

    • Hi Dev,

      Oh man thanks about the compliment on being a great writer. *grins from ear to ear*

      I hear you on the list-building bit. I actually recorded a show on Periscope earlier this morning talking about the exact thing !

      I love Mailchimp and SumoMe. I still use the free versions because they absolutely work for my purposes now and I continually recommend them because list-building does not get much easier than that.

      Thanks so much for taking a moment to comment on the post , Dev. Have a great day.

  4. I believe that is is really necessary to install subscription options and also analyze the day-to-day progress of your blog or website to understand where you need to do more to attract more people. There is no doubt that networking is the key to success.

  5. Good tips Gertrude – I was however disappointed that the article really didn't offer too much on blogging success for introverts as the title promised.

  6. Hello Jane,

    Thank you so much for coming over to comment.

    I am so sorry you are disappointed there were not as many tips for introverts as you expected.

    The part of the post that really addresses the difficulties introverts go through was the part concerning networking upon which EVERYTHING else is built. A lot of the other stuff are things anyone could do (e.g installing and tracking analytics) but which are necessarily all the same.

    Hence, once an introvert is able to get over that hump of reaching to other bloggers , building relationships and thus putting themselves out there (regardless of the turmoil one can feel inside. I KNOW. I HAVE BEEN THERE !) , the rest work together to help that blogger build a better and more useful blog.

    I hope that helps. Thanks all the same for taking a moment to comment.

  7. Very informative post. I have to say I don't think I have ever been an introvert, but I can relate to some of these items. I have not done a lot with the networking. This is something I need to work on. I have tried social media, but it seem that I get most of my enjoyment and results from Google+ so I hope it doesn't go away any time soon, as I have not received any engagement from Facebook. I am starting to get some from Twitter. I guess it just depends on how much you put into something.

    • Hello Rob,

      I love Social and I do agree that you get exactly how much you put into it. Facebook however really is tough these days because of their new algorithms. I would not discourage people from using it but I have not focused my energies there lately. I have heard great things about Google+ but never been a master at using it. Great to hear ti works for you !

      I currently LOVE Twitter and Pinterest as these two are where I get more engagement and traffic. I am also now addicted to Periscope and currently broadcasting each day. It's turning out to be a valuable source of traffic and e-mail subscribers to my blog.

      Thanks so much for taking a moment to leave a comment !

  8. Hi Gertrude and Sue,

    Very informative post. Thanks for sharing. I have read that book by Ryan as well and is absolute gold. All of Ryan's books are good. Ryan is very good at blog commenting and I have learned a great deal from him too.

    I couldn't agree more Gertrude in that you need to get out of your comfort zone and network, network, network. What's the point in writing epic content if there is no one to read it. Also, it is not always who you know, but who knows you!

    To me one thing to add to this awesome list is create in-depth, quality, rock star content that not only teaches, but may solve a problem for your readers. This in turn will result in more shares on social media and/or better search engine rankings. And last but not least more engagement from your audience. Thank you Gertrude.


      • Thanks for your insightful comment Kurt ! Yes, those in-depth articles by people like Sue, Boost Blog Traffic and Brian Dean are what have gotten me to this point. So that kind of content is DEFINITELY appreciated ! 😀

  9. Hi Gertrude (and Sue Anne 🙂 )

    I really enjoyed this post. It's so full of actionable, helpful information.

    I wish some of my clients could read it as I've had so many that don't seem to 'get' email signups and newsletters.

    I thought I'd managed to convince one until she started sending out the same identical newsletter every single day. I guess you can't win 'em all.

    I love your phrase “analysis paralysis by information overload”. That definitely deserves to be embroidered on a cushion!

    Thanks for a great post.

    • Sue, you have that cushion ?! Oh my, I thought that was funny. Maybe we can mass-produce these cushions and sell them as side income…(side-income brain working overtime here). Many bloggers need that cushion. I just might have a niche market here. 😀

      Mary, thank you so much for taking a moment to comment on the post. I really appreciate it.

      I also cannot wrap my head around the whole "I don't want to do e-mail sign-ups" or "I refuse to even learn to do e-mail marketing" people. I usually just shake my head in frustration and move on with my life. But get sad at all the readers and potential clients they are losing in the process.

      • Hey Gertrude,

        I'm all for the side hustle and I have one word for you re: the cushion idea…Zazzle. Or two words…

        You can put "analysis paralysis by information overload" (or anything else you like) on T-shirts, mugs, drinks coasters, mouse mats – the list is endless. The best part is that it doesn't cost you a penny and Zazzle do all the heavy lifting BUT you could sell them via your blog. Just an idea 🙂 What do you think Sue Anne?

        Love your blog by the way…Dr Gertrude? Wow, seriously impressed – now all we need to do is think of a way to work in the Microbiology & Immunology angle and you could probably retire by the end of the year 🙂

  10. Dear Introvert,

    Well done for coming out of your shell!

    You've shared some good solid practical advice here Gertrude. I remember reading some of those in-depth posts you refer to and I know what you mean, they are well worth a print and read!


    – David

  11. Hi Gertrude and Sue,

    When one starts to blog, even as an introvert, fear of so many things cannot stop you! We all have something that may hold us back, but we need to get out there and go to other people's blogs, read and comment and of course, share. Connect with others.

    I find that that as a long time blogger is something we constantly need to do. Even if we are "introverts" taking that plunge by giving to others will come back with reciprocity.

    I know some introvert bloggers, and one would never know it by their communication on blogs and social sites.

    I have read Ryan's book and it is a great guideline for blog commenting. Commenting is the only way to gain traction on our own blogs.

    Great post and glad to connect with you Gertrude!


    • Hi Donna,

      Thanks for your thoughtful comment. I agree that you cannot tell from reading a blog if the writer is an introvert or extrovert. And I also enjoyed Ryan's book.


    • Hello Donna,

      I am so honored that you took the time to come and comment. *Takes a bow* Sue is so kind having me post on her blog ! It took me a while to even get in touch with her. Silly unfounded fears.

      And yes, I absolutely agree that from reading some people's blogs you'd never even guess their temperament. I am working my way towards that 😀

  12. A very useful article as always Sue,

    The problem with most newbie bloggers is that they usually start from the wrong side. Successful Blogging is a process and if you missed any of the process, you're doomed to fail.

    Indeed, the first step while starting is to create awareness, make friends and connect with influencers in your niche so they will help to promote you.

    Most of us started just by writing and publishing lots and lots of articles on our blog even when no one knows a shit about us. If you start this way, its just like shouting in an empty room where no one is hearing you and its really a bad start.

    Thanks for sharing Sue.

  13. Hi! First of all – thanks for this post, I think there are many people like me, who really appreciate taking care of this topic. Second – I have read it very carefully and I can see, that all steps you mentioned are really necessary for successfull blogging. The only thing is that they require reaching out, being open and socialize, but in an acceptable way I think. So I decided I will try. I have just started blogging, so I hope I will start it properly from scratch. Keep doing what you do, your tips are priceless!

    • Hi Molly, congrats on starting your very own blog ! You are in for a treat (and some occasional heart-ache but hey, who said life is fair ?)

      Of course, Sue's blog is such an excellent place to start and I suggest that you take her every word seriously and apply it.

      Looking forward to seeing you grow !

  14. Hey Gertrude,

    After seeing the title of this blog post I had to make a pit stop! Why? Because I'm an introvert and I like to see what other introverts have to say about blogging.

    I'm doing pretty much everything you mentioned here. At least this year so far and I tell you that it's working out a lot better than previous years.

    I just got into guest posting this year, and at first it was pretty nerve wrecking for me. I was afraid to write a bad post on someone else's blog, but eventually I got over the fear and rolled with the punches.

    Yes, us introverts like to be in our own spaces, but when it comes to blogging, we need to come out of our shell and connect with others. We don't have to put all our energy into networking, but doing little things like commenting, sharing other blogs, mentions, and doing roundups are great ways to connect!

    Thanks for sharing this awesome post Gertrude! Have a great weekend!

  15. Hello! I'm a big fan of your blog. This post reminded me of my first steps in blogging (I had some environment-related blog few years ago). It was a very interesting experience, now I am thinking about something new with some more original topic. If I make it happen, I will let you know. You do a really great job. Thank you.

  16. Thanks for sharing some awesome content Gertrude!

    You truly are providing some excellent action taking tips & strategies!

    And I absolutely love all of the excellent resources you're providing too!

    Because like you, I'll have my notebook handy and I'll be taking

    notes like crazy!

    And since I'm already familiar with practically every expert blogger you referenced, it will be

    a cinch to study their proven content.

    I also recently became a subscriber of Sue's as well!

    And I like others totally love her smooth and extremely practical teaching style as well!

    Thanks so much for providing such excellent and extremely straight forward content!

    I just recently found your excellent blog and have started studying and commenting there!

    And you'll definitely be seeing more of that going forward!

    And thank you Sue for featuring her awesome content!

  17. You wrote very interesting article actor provides exactly all about blogging. I am what is true is all known, but many times friends have asked me how to start and what is blogging. From now on when someone asks me to do it I'll send it to your article. Thank you for the dedicated time.

  18. As a new blogger, I just discovered this article after searching for guides online. There is so much to learn and so much to do to make a new blog a success. Thank you Gertrude for this informative article for new bloggers.

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