Starting a blog is the easy part. You can read my free blogging 101 guide “How To Start A Blog In 2020“, set up your blog and be ready to write your first post in next to no-time. But if it’s so easy, why aren’t all bloggers swaggering around with their pockets lined with gold? How do you start a successful blog?
Surely you just start a blog, write and let the money roll in? I’m afraid not my friends. Instead, you need to know “How To Start A Successful Blog In 2020”.
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- Pick A Successful Blog Topic
- Build A Successful Blogging Brand
- Set Up Your Successful Blog
- Writing Great Content
- Spread The Word (Getting Visitors To Your Blog)
- Build Your Email List
- Optimise Your Blog For Search Engines
- Build A Secure Blog
- Make Your Blog Easy To Use
- Spend A Bit To Grow A Bit
- Focus On Making Money
- Two Ingredients To Start A Successful Blog
#1. Pick A Successful Blog Topic
Tip 1. Pick a topic you’re knowledgeable about. You don’t have to be an expert, it’s okay to research your topic to find subjects to write about. BUT if you start with a topic you don’t know anything about, you’re going to waste a lot of time.
Tip 2. Make sure other people are interested in your topic! Sounds obvious? It’s surprising how many people start a blog and wonder why they can’t find followers when their topic is really obscure such as “antique roof guttering”.
Tip 3. Is it a topic that will make money? Assuming you’re measuring your blog success in terms of making money it’s best to find a niche with a clear monetisation path. Are other people already making money from your chosen topic? If so it’s a good sign.
Tip 4. You don’t have to blog about blogging to make money. (In fact blogging about blogging is a tough niche to crack). Health & fitness, interior decor, travel, fashion and craft products are all examples of profitable blogging topics.
Tip 5. Pick a topic you will enjoy writing about. Arguably this isn’t essential but it will certainly help if you enjoy your blogging. You’re more likely to stick at it.
#2. Build A Successful Blogging Brand
Tip 6. Find a domain name that represents the subject of your blog. It doesn’t have to be the best name in the World but it does need to be easy to remember.
Tip 7. Choose the look, colours and fonts for your brand and stick to them. Develop a clear brand message across all media. You want your brand to be easily recognised
Tip 8. Get a logo. You can make one for free using Canva or find someone to produce a professional logo on Fiverr.
#3. Set Up Your Successful Blog
Tip 9. Choose your blogging platform. My hands down favourite for blogging is WordPress. It’s used by 28% of all websites and is designed specifically for blogging.
Tip 10. Pick a hosting platform. I recommend Bluehost for your first blog. It’s fast, reliable and secure. Best of all it’s easy to set up and comes with 24/7 support.
Tip 11. Choose a theme for your blog. This can be one of the thousands of free themes available (I love GeneratePress) or a paid theme. StudioPress have themes to suit all types of blogs and websites. Paid themes have better support and are kept up-to-date.
Tip 12. Make sure the theme you choose matches how you want your blog to look. It’s best to avoid customising your blog as far as possible. Keep things simple by going for a theme that already ticks all the boxes on your required feature list.
Tip 13. Pick a theme with lots of scope for adding Calls To Action. You want to get visitors signing up for your newsletter or downloading your freebies.
Tip 14. You need a theme that’s mobile-friendly. There’s a huge trend towards using your mobile for everything. Make sure your blog works well on all types of devices.
Tip 15. Check the theme is works well with the Gutenberg editor. The Gutenberg WordPress editor was released in December 2018. Unlike StudioPress, not all themes have fully embraced this feature rich new editor.
#4. Writing Great Content.
Tip 16. Check forums, Reddit and FaceBook groups to discover the concerns of your typical readers. Write great content to solve your readers’ problems.
Tip 17. Keep a notebook handy to jot down ideas for your blog posts.
Tip 18. Put yourself in the shoes of your readers. What would you want to know in their position?
Tip 19. Try and write in a lively style. You don’t want to send your readers to sleep! Be original and transparent.
Tip 20. Use white space. Lots of dense text is hard to read on a screen. Break your writing up with lots of paragraphs. Try to keep each paragraph to 2-3 sentences.
Tip 21. Images are a great way to maintain interest. You can access lots of Royalty free images for FREE from Unsplash.
Tip 22. Search around your subject to find powerful topics to write about. Explore other blogs in your niche for ideas. Just don’t copy!
Tip 23. Go the extra mile writing your posts. Write longer, in-depth posts to provide great information.
Tip 24. Break up your extra long posts with short snappy posts. It’s good to vary the length of your posts to give readers more variety.
#5 Spread The Word, Getting Visitors To Your Blog
Tip 25. Guest post on other blogs to attract visitors. Approach bloggers in your niche and just ask!
Tip 26. Pick one or two platforms on Social Media and make a big effort to build your presence. Don’t try and use ALL platforms at the same time – you’ll just be overwhelmed.
Tip 28. Spend as much time promoting your blog as you spend writing posts. There’s no point writing great content unless you attract some visitors.
Tip 29. Comment on FaceBook Groups in your niche to attract interest. Just remember to be helpful with your comments and not to spam.
#6 Build Your Email List
Tip 30. Your email list will be key to your success. Make sure you have a sign-up form prominent on your homepage.
Tip 31. An email list will help you build a relationship with your readers and establish trust. People buy from people they trust.
Tip 32. Use freebies (giveaways) to get people to sign up for your newsletter list. Delight your readers by exceeding their expectations.
Tip 33. Keep your email list warm by sending regular broadcasts. If people don’t hear from you for a long time you’ll be quickly forgotten.
Tip 34. Make your newsletter broadcasts useful. Provide free information to help your subscribers.
#7 Optimise Your Blog For Search Engines
Tip 35. Your blog needs to be fast. Search engines hate slow sites. Switch to a fast hosting company such as Bluehost.
Tip 36. Optimise your images to ensure they load quickly. Poor image optimisation is one of the greatest causes of slow loading times. Use TinyPNG.
Tip 37. Install the Yoast Plugin. (The free version has all the resources you need).
Tip 38. Write terrific headlines to entice your readers to click on posts. Engaging headlines will encourage your readers to explore your blog.
Tip 39. Write Search Engine friendly Titles and Meta Descriptions.
Tip 40. Research keywords for your blog posts such as “start a successful blog”. Use Ubersuggest to discover which phrases people are searching for in your niche.
Tip 41. Think of your Meta Description as an advert and write engaging text that entices people to click through to your post.
#8 Build A Secure Blog
Tip 42. Choose a hosting company with good security features. Bluehost ticks all the boxes.
Tip 43. Install a Security Certificate and make sure your domain address is https://your_domain_name not
#9 Make Your Blog Easy To Use
Tip 45. To start a successful blog, make sure it’s easy to navigate. Create a clear navigation system for all your key pages.
Tip 46. Tell your readers which page you want them to read first. Put yourself in their shoes and think about how they might explore your blog.
Tip 47. Write a good “About Page” that tells your readers what’s in it for them. An “About Page” isn’t a CV. Use it to engage with your readers.
Tip 48. Consider adding a “Frequently Asked Questions” section. This can be really helpful AND save you a lot of time replying to emails.
#10 Spend A Bit To Grow A Bit
Tip 49. Free isn’t always best. Free blog hosting is almost impossible to monetise. You can sign up for WordPress.com for free but kiss goodbye to being accepted for the best Affiliate Marketing Programmes.
Tip 50. Choosing WordPress.org and paying for hosting is the best choice if you’re serious about starting a successful blog. A fast blog is
Tip 51. Paying for a professional theme will impress brands you want to represent as well as your potential customers.
#11 Focus On Making Money
Tip 52. Identify how you’re going to make money early on. Put those ideas into action.
Tip 53. Build a conversion focused blog. Know your end goal and make sure your blog is focused on achieving that aim.
Tip 54. Build your blog around one niche with a few
Tip 55. Don’t be afraid to fail. If something you try doesn’t work, adjust and try again.
#12 Two Ingredients To Start A Successful Blog
Tip 56. It takes two ingredients to start a successful blog. Traffic and the means of making money. If you want your blog to be successful and make money blogging, you can’t have one without the other.
Tip 57. The main ways to make money from a blog are adverts, affiliate marketing, selling printables, selling services and selling online courses. Access my FREE guide to find out which is best.
I’m a believer that to Start A Successful Blog you need to take action. It’s all very well established and successful bloggers saying “just write, don’t try to make money and it might just happen anyway”.
I don’t buy it. Scratch beneath the surface of even the most carefree appearing bloggers and you’ll find someone with a strong work ethic.
It takes more that great content to be successful as a blogger. Having a plan in place and a focus to make money from your blog is just being honest…