10 Things You Need to Know Before Starting a Blog
As an old saying goes, the game is the game. After all, blogging is the exact game with different rules for different people, where different bloggers like to play things differently. Anyway, before you leap into the fray though, there’s something super-secret that you don’t know about. It’s not all rainbows and butterflies. Blogging is hard. In order to succeed you need to wear many hats – writer, editor, promoter, social media manager, even accountant. One hat that you have missed on your to-do- list is a designer.
To save you troubles & costly mistakes, we’ve come up with 10 things to focus on before the plunge. The idea behind is that once you see the big picture of everything you need to start a successful blog, it’ll become much easier to tap into this burgeoning market.
#1 Why Blog?
Sure thing, blogging has taken the world by storm. Yet, with over 505 million blogs as of 2018, everyone has their own reason to blog. That number didn’t stop there though… Competition is part of blogging, indeed, but that is why finding the reason why to blog is key to win. Perhaps you are a seasoned professional looking to start a new business, a thought leader full of awesome share-worthy tips or a freelancer providing a creative outlet, it’s time to let the cat out of the bag.
The bad? Who knows where to start? Well, as long as you keep your eye on the prize, WordPress fits the bill. You might not be technically inclined, but the skill gap should not be a barrier to starting a blog. Moreover, this insanely powerful platform offers you a whole host of advanced features and customization options that can ease your developing pet peeve at the start. If you’re just starting out, test the waters of free WordPress themes before sticking to one winning solution. Need more flexibility and freedom in terms of customization? Head on to premium designs.
#2 Traffic is King
At this point, you are concerned that content is king. Well, that’s great. Yet, don’t fall for the content trap without understanding the impact of traffic in its entirety. Traffic is what keeps your blog alive and without readers, no matter how great your content is, your blog is bound to fail. Don’t miss out on a large chunk of readers with a low-traffic website.
As long as you consider yourself a professional who is blogging to find and win new business in your market space, you can’t remain unknown and unfound. So, if you plan to use your blog to earn income, without traffic, it becomes next to impossible to affect the bottom line. Go ahead, test different approaches before sticking to one winning formula. As a result, you can get your name out there and become visible.
#3 Use Call to Actions
Not leveraging call to actions CTAs on your blog is one of the common mistakes most blog beginners make. As one of the most critical components of your blog’s lead generation process, CTAs can help get your readers to take the next step in their online journey. No matter what exactly you want them to take action on, whether to subscribe to a newsletter, reading another post, or making a purchase, CTA is key to a win.
So, if you want to increase your blog subscriber base, make sure your CTAs are as clear and easy to fill out as possible. The less visitors have to fill out, the more likely they are to subscribe to your blog. Say, if you want them to get your free book, one click will probably convert them. But twenty fields of demographic information will most likely turn them off. Feel the difference between a second of commitment or a minute of commitment. So, give what your user wants – minimal investment for maximal reward.
#4 Start Networking Immediately
To shake off the isolation, networking can help find cheerleaders in the people who’ve walked the path you’re on. The best thing is that people in your network can be a link to ideal readers elsewhere. Indeed, it doesn’t happen after a single interaction. Yet, the more your network grows, the easier it becomes to promote your project. At the end of the day, the more opportunities naturally will come your way.
On the other hand, networking is essential not only for building an audience but also for keeping up with the latest news and thinking in your niche. The better you use your blog as a networking tool, the bigger your network can grow. On top of that, put yourself in touch with other bloggers just because most bloggers love to check out other blogs.
So, raise your blogger networking game to help benefit everyone who’s part of it. Don’t have a LinkedIn profile? Then you’re missing a hub of potential connections you can make using it. So, make sure you’re in. Click here, connect there, and watch your numbers grow.
#5 There Are Plenty of Helping Hands
Don’t kid yourself that blogging requires you to be a computer geek who knows how to code. As long as you go with WordPress, that’s not the case. If you’re thinking about to give WordPress a try, the time is now. The best thing is that all of the complicated things behind the scenes are handled without you ever having to touch a piece of code. Moreover, sometimes it’s really better if you don’t.
Again, thanks to both free and premium WordPress themes, variety abounds. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, WordPress can do the trick, and for good reason. And what’s more important is that you don’t have to be afraid to reach out if you need any help. There’ll always be someone who’s ready to help.
#6 Take Your Blog to the Next Level with Plugins
To get you up to speed, without those handy little additions called plugins, your blog simply can’t do wonders. Having oodles of plugins to choose from is always a good thing. The trick is, yet, to find which ones can add a few bells & whistles to your blog. With over 500,000 both free and premium plugins, things are not all that easy. However, it depends. These plugins can do everything from adding share buttons to making things run faster behind the scenes. That’s why failing to notice premium WordPress themes with out-of-the-box functionality is a big miss.
Don’t limit your blog. The sky is the limit to what it can do. Want to have the ability to monitor hits and traffic? Thinking about selling your products or services online? Make sure, there’s a plugin for that. Never miss a beat of the potential that handy plugins offer. Empower your blog with all that extras to gain traction and leads.
#7 Quality over Quantity
Without a shadow of a doubt, keeping your posts relevant and filled with quality content is key to successful blogging. Generally, it’s up to you how often to write. Important is that if you’ve made a commitment to writing a new post say, every week, provide value for your readers. Indeed, quantity matters to increase traffic but without quality, your follow-up post matters nothing. In times wherein you’re empty-handed, quality always wins. As long as you provide your readers with quality content, they’ll be loyal to your writing.
Give your blog a voice that differentiates you from competitors. Be a spark. It’s okay if you miss a day, but you write something compelling, something that sticks in your reader’s mind. So, if you want to turn the mundane things into something engaging, provide value from the information in your posts.
#8 Engaging Videos Never Hurt
What is the easiest way to increase a visitor’s time on your blog? Definitely, adding video content can do the trick. What’s more important, don’t do it for the sake of it. If your end goal is to create a valuable and memorable experience for your audience, find out whether it makes sense at all. When video adds value and makes sense for your blog, get shooting.
If you’re just starting out, having a smartphone is more than enough. Indeed, a professional camera, tripod and an external mic can help boost the quality, but they’re not imperative. At last, adding video to your blog benefits SEO and drives organic traffic, in fact. Are you a camera shy? Don’t fret, you’re not alone. Animated videos are your greatest ally.
#9 Get Social
Remember, people don’t find blogs. It’s your job to put your blog in front of people. The sad truth is that when you’re just starting out, no one will find your articles through search engines. The best way to get noticed is to start your blog with a kick-off event. Otherwise, use social media to promote your posts. No matter what platform you will use – Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, promote yourself. If you’re smart about it, it won’t be expensive. Narrowing down your target audience is another way to give your blog a shoutout.
#10 Great Design is a Must
No secret, first impression counts. The more impressive the blog design, the bigger the chances to make the first impression. If you’re still confused with the design of your blog, put your best feet forward with one of the numerous awesome WordPress themes available on the market today. Ready to take the first step starting a blog? Then a reputable theme provider and a collection of regularly updated WordPress themes will give you a boost of creativity to get started.
Well, anyone can start a blog. The truth is that it’s not for everyone. So, if there’s something you’re really passionate about, go with that. Good luck!