Nowadays, everybody has a blog. And the number of blogs is at its all-time high, but this is not because blogging is the easiest thing in the world.
Keep in mind that having a blog is not the same as having a successful blog.
Most new bloggers make mistakes that prevent them from reaching a wide audience. Some of these mistakes are benign, but some can seriously harm your blogging efforts.
Here are the top five things you have to consider when starting a blog.
Choosing the Right Blogging Platform
You have to build your blog somewhere, which means that the first thing you should to do is choose your preferred blogging platform.
But this is not as easy as it seems because there are a number of factors you need to consider if you want to start off on the right foot.
Here are some features of blogging platforms that you should keep in mind:
- themes and layouts
- ease of interaction with your visitors
Now, this may seem like a lot of things to ask from a single platform, but there is one that offers all of these benefits?
WordPress is free and very user-friendly, allowing you to do many things with just a few clicks. It is an open platform that enables web developers to create and use countless plugins, and this is precisely what makes WordPress outshine other CMS applications.
Of course, there are other alternatives that you should consider like Wix, Blogger, Joomla, and so on. Make sure to research all the advantages and drawbacks of blogging platforms before deciding which one to use.
Focusing on Important Things
When we say you need to focus on important things, we mean you should do the following:
Define your target audience.
In other words, make sure you know who you are writing for: working-class people or millionaires, CEOs or single mothers, teenagers or the elderly.
Once you have an idea who your readers are, try writing blog posts that resonate with them by talking about things that matter to them, using their language and trying to help them solve their problems.
Develop a strong niche.
You can’t write about fitness and personal finance on the same blog. Focusing on a specific niche is incredibly important for building integrity and credibility with your audience.
So, come up with a few areas you are passionate about and choose the one you think you can present to your readers best.
Remember: Jack of all trades, master of none.
Have a clear blogging strategy.
Finally, when starting a blog, you should plan everything you can and leave nothing to chance. This includes setting clear goals, scheduling your blog posts, developing a content strategy, promoting your content and of course, staying true to yourself and your audience.
Working on SEO
If you want to be a blogger, you are probably ‘not a math person’. You probably hate numbers, analytics, graphs and anything that reminds you of your days back in elementary school.
But we live in a world where success is measured by numbers. If you want to have a competitive blog, you need to enter a race with other websites and outrun them. Otherwise, people won’t be able to discover your blog.
And for this, you need to work on your SEO, which includes a number of steps:
– keyword research and development
– link building
– optimizing your URLs
– writing high-quality content, etc.
All of these are important if you want to rank high in search engines results, so make sure you don’t ignore any of them.
Designing Your Blog
Would you trust a blog post that you find on a badly designed website? Probably not, and we completely understand you.
Beauty is something we all adore. Just like we tend to ascribe positive qualities to beautiful people and want to hang out with them, we are also more likely to believe what we read on well-designed websites and we spend more time on them.
Nowadays, designing a website is not difficult at all. In general, it is enough to choose a professional-looking theme which is easy to customize. That way, you can make a few small tweaks and get a beautiful website design in the blink of an eye.
In a word, the impact of website design on your organic traffic is huge. Make sure you use this to your advantage.
Starting an Email List
Many beginner bloggers tend to forget that blogging is not just about attracting new visitors to your blog. It is only when you convert those visitors to email subscribers that you can say: Well, I sure did a good job!
As the matter of fact, growing your list of email subscribers is among the main benefits and purposes of blogging. Your subscribers are your most loyal audience as they will always be the first ones to read your posts, propelling your blog’s long-term success.
To grow your email list, consider taking the following steps:
– set up a welcome email for new subscribers
– add subscription CTAs to your blog
– create a dedicated landing page for subscribers
All of these will help you increase the number of subscribers. However, your job is far from done here. Once you have acquired a lot of subscribers, it is important to keep them on your email list by reducing email unsubscribe rates.
Those were the most common things overlooked by beginner bloggers. Make sure you follow all our tips and correct all your mistakes as fast as you can if you really want to run a successful blog and attract a wide audience.
It may take you some time to implement some of these features on your blog if you are a beginner blogger. But you should know that you’re doing great as long as you are willing to learn from your own mistakes and correct them on time.
If you follow tips from this article, you will be able to correct your mistakes on your existing blog or completely avoid making them if you are just about to start a blog. And BTW, if you’re looking for some recommended resources, Sue has a bunch!
Have you been overlooking any of these key features on your own blog?
Dave Schneider is the marketing manager at Albacross, the free B2B lead generation platform. In 2012 he quit his job to travel the world and has visited over 65 countries. In his spare time, he writes about SaaS and business at DaveSchneider.me and runs the churn reduction app, LessChurn.