This is the definitive resource of successful blogging tips to help you get from zero to 300 dollars in earning.
Yes, I said 300 dollars and not some astronomical figure because every successful blogger had to complete this milestone first.
This isn’t an article that contains random blogging tips and tricks, but only those things that matter.
You might be wondering,
What’s the secret to making your blog a success?
It’s not an easy question to answer.
But every successful blog out there is built on few fundamental pillars that eventually propel it to success.
In this guide, you will find information that could save months of your time and effort and point you in the correct direction.
If I could go back in time, to the day I was searching for the similar query when I started blogging, I would happily give myself this guide.
Without further ado, let’s dive right in.
- 1. Select the right niche
- 2. Focus on the process
- 3. Make reader your ultimate focus
- 4. Improve your Blog Writing Skills
- 5. Build your Email List
- 6. Make it through the “Dark Tunnel of Blogging”
- 7. Leverage the power of Social Media
- 8. Don’t neglect SEO
- 9. Secret Ingredient – Blog Design
- 10. The Winning Mindset
1. Select the right niche
Selecting a right niche is absolutely crucial to the success of your blog.
If you just try to imitate some successful blogger shredding every piece of your individuality, you’ll neither be a good imitation nor be yourself.
It’s a terrible thing to say, but your blog will be stuck in a no man’s land where even ghosts might be afraid to pay a visit.
Because who needs imitation when they can just go to the original.
Selecting the right niche needs to be the good blend of what you are passionate about and what the people are looking for.
If you are still stuck at finding your passion, I recommend you to check out this article from Oliver Emberton.
It’s okay to have a lot of ideas when you begin with this exercise, but I highly recommend you to stick to just one topic that satisfies these 3 criteria:
1. Consistent level of interest
Having a blog is a long time commitment. Will you be as passionate writing about it after some months?
Stick with something you truly care about and write super helpful and informative content for people who are searching for that topic.
2. Look for gaps in the market
You are bound to find some competition no matter what topic you pick.
Can you provide what people are looking for in your own unique way?
Look for outdated content and gaps in the information your competitors are providing.
And try to fill those gaps in your own unique way.
3. Commercial viability
Everyone wants their blogging journey to be rewarding, not only personally but also financially.
You can do a quick research to find what monetization programmes other successful bloggers in your niche are using to test the commercial viability of your niche.
2. Focus on the process
If you just focus on the outcome, you are more likely to lose your motivation midway.
This is true not just for blogging, but in every sphere of life.
Blogging gives you a lot of freedom to live your life just the way you want, but it also gives you added responsibility to be accountable for your actions.
It’s a simple logic, if someone becomes so obsessed with what might happen in future, they are going to be unhappy in the present.
Instead, focus on actions you need to take each day and let completing them be your sole goal.
Celebrate small victories like getting your first email subscriber or getting your first 100 followers on your social media profile.
And despite what people say, there will be days when you just want to lie on a bed and stare at the ceiling.
And it’s completely okay to take a day off and come back when you have the motivation.
Set a goal like writing 30 high-quality articles and don’t quit until you get there.
3. Make reader your ultimate focus
The reader should be the prime focus of your article.
Just asking yourself these 3 questions before you start writing a blog post and this single technique can save you so much time and effort:
Who is your target audience?
If the first answer that comes to your mind is “people”, then you are doing this wrong.
Narrow down your audience to a very small group of people who are looking for certain kind of content or information.
Narrowing down your audience will help you to step into their shoes and think from their perspective.
What are they looking for?
Dig deeper into their thought process and determine what specific information or content will provide value to them.
How can you solve their problem?
Now once you have the above two things figured out, you can be the savior they are looking for and have the chance to provide them just what they need and more.
Yes, think about what information they will look for once they have finished reading your article and try to answer these questions within your blog post as well.
Doing these 3 things correctly will not only make your content super rich and but it will also help you differentiate yourself from the competition.
4. Improve your Blog Writing Skills
Content is the king but it’s your blog writing skills that actually compels a reader to read till the end.
And just like any other skill, it gets better with practice.
Writing a blog is very different from writing in an academic setting.
A blog is more personal and your writing style should represent you as a person.
Using fancy words, impeccable grammar and lots of facts might work like charm in academics, but it’s a different story while writing a blog.
Establishing a connect with the reader is the single biggest indicator of a successful blog post.
I recommend reading On Writing by Stephen King which offers really good advice on writing.
5. Build your Email List
This is something that you need to start doing from the first day itself.
Everyone keeps saying that Money is in the list and that building an Email List is the most important thing for your blog, but Why is that?
For this you need to understand a few fundamental things, the only thing that you have complete control over is writing your blog posts.
For traffic, you are completely at the mercy of platforms like Google, Facebook, Twitter etc.
And as we have seen in the past, these platforms won’t ask you before making any changes in their algorithm or the way they send traffic to your blog.
The email list is the second best thing that you have complete control over and for which you are not dependent on any platform.
Email Marketing gives you an opportunity to nurture relationship and trust with your existing readers.
People who subscribe to your mailing list are the ones who are already interested in what you are offering and you can easily market your products and inform them about new articles.
6. Make it through the “Dark Tunnel of Blogging”
Not a lot of people talk about this phase, yet every blog in every competitive niche goes through this.
This is the phase when your blog is new and Google does not have enough trust in your site to send some traffic because of a variety of reasons that are irrelevant from the point of view of this article.
You are literally writing for crickets in this period.
The sad thing is not a lot of blogs are able to see the light at the end of this tunnel and quit midway.
I know it’s sad to spend hours writing and perfecting your blog post, only to find that no one’s reading.
But there’s a different way of looking at this, Most people are afraid to make mistakes when they publish their blog and this phase gives you the opportunity to make mistakes and correct them without worrying about who’s watching.
A site usually takes 6 months to get out of this tunnel.
But just because Google is not sending traffic to your site does not mean you can’t get traffic to your site.
There are 2 ways you can get traffic to your site even in this phase:
1. Target Low Competition keywords
Target Low competition and low search volume keywords in this phase and write really helpful and long informative articles that people will happily share once they have finished reading it.
Even Google won’t be able to ignore such articles and you will start ranking on these low competition and low-moderate search volume keywords.
Once you have shown to Google you are worthy of being on the first page for these low competition keywords, you can start targeting moderate to high competition keywords and start building authority from there.
The second way to get traffic is an evergreen way of getting traffic to your blog and it does not matter which phase you are in. It’s also the next blogging tip.
Just one important thing before the next tip, “Don’t delete your blog before 6 months”.
7. Leverage the power of Social Media
Social Media is the new definition of internet considering people spend most of their surfing through these sites.
Any average internet user spends more time on social media sites as compared to other websites.
Social Media enables your content to reach the perfect audience without participating in the turtle race, that is SEO.
But getting traffic from social media is not that easy unless you know what you are doing.
People just create profiles for their blog on all the platforms and start posting mindlessly in hope that people will flock to read what they are posting.
But as we know, it does not work.
Before you even create your profile on any of these platforms, spend some time understanding that platform.
But to save you some time, let me just share what I have learned so that you don’t have to waste your time figuring this out by yourself.
The life of content is extremely short on Facebook pages and Twitter, which means if you post something today, it will become irrelevant in less than a week’s time.
Compared to this life of content is much longer on sites like Youtube, Pinterest, and Quora.
If you post really good content that works on these platforms, it will stay relevant and continue to bring traffic to your site for a very long period of time.
Before you begin contriving your own social media strategy, it’s important to revisit the point we discussed above about defining your target audience.
Once you know your target audience, you can evaluate which social media sites are they hanging out on.
Then you can start curating content that specifically works on those social media sites and this will start bringing quality traffic to your site.
Pro tip: Never focus on more than 2 Social Media Platforms at a time.
8. Don’t neglect SEO
SEO is definitely a turtle race, but it’s what connects your website to readers.
And as all of us might have heard “Slow and steady wins the race.”
There are blogs out there who claim that you can completely neglect the SEO, and just focus on one social media platform that’s bringing you the most traffic.
But it’s not a good long-term strategy.
Search engine traffic is the prime source of free traffic for almost every successful blog out there.
Many newbie bloggers are afraid of the term Search Engine Optimization and think the only geeks that can master it.
But this is a myth.
SEO is simply a bridge between your blog and your visitors.
And sure there a lot of experts who make it more technical than its intended to be, but I believe in the 80/20 Principle.
80% of your results will come from 20% of the effort you put in SEO.
And I’m just sharing some basics you need to follow to give 20% effort.
Basic SEO Tips
- Look out for exact phrases people are using to search for information by using free tools like Google keyword planner and Google trends.
- Install Yoast SEO plugin before you begin writing your blog post and learn the basics of inserting your keyword in the Title, URL and Blog post.
- Try to improve the page speed of your blog by following recommendations on gtmetrix.com
- Don’t forget to optimize your images and use alt tags before uploading them to your blog by using sites like tinypng.com.
- Link your website with Google Analytics and Google search console to find issues and keeping track of crucial data related to your site.
- Submit the sitemap to your site using Yoast SEO Plugin.
- And lastly, I recommend you to read SEO Starter Guide by Google which offers really useful information.
SEO might seem intimidating at first but once you know the basics, you will definitely start seeing positive results on your blog.
9. Secret Ingredient – Blog Design
The first thing that comes to our mind when we hear blog design is the “aesthetics”.
And sure the aesthetics helps in branding and creating a visual impact on readers, but I’m not talking about that.
I am talking about User Experience(UX) design.
I can say this with confidence that having a good site layout and architecture is not only beneficial for SEO purposes but it also helps the reader to easily navigate through your website.
Make sure that your content is properly organized in categories and ensure that readers face no difficulty in finding the information they are looking for.
You can avoid a lot of headache in future by investing in a good WordPress theme up front.
Your call to action(CTA) should be the first thing that users should find on your home page.
Use no more than 2-3 fonts on your site and try to cleverly use whitespace for better readability.
10. The Winning Mindset
It’s the single biggest factor that can make or break your blog.
This is something I struggled with in the beginning and I still do sometimes.
I am in the Web Design and Digital Marketing industry and despite having all the knowledge one needs to start a blog,
I somehow continued to delay launching my own blog thinking it was not perfect.
And I have seen this happen over and over again with newbies when they are just consuming information and delaying action in the pursuit of perfection.
But now I know, there’s no such thing as Perfection. Only small consistent and continuous efforts to make things better.
I have seen that people start rationalizing their reasons to quit when they are not getting traffic in the dark tunnel phase.
They fail to see the bigger picture and start doing reckless things like posting ads all over their blog or spamming their readers with affiliate links.
This makes them lose not only their readers, but it also sends wrong signals to Google.
You need to approach blogging with the right mindset and genuinely think about helping each reader that comes to your blog in the best way possible.
Invest in yourself and become a better blogger.
I hope this guide helps you to get rid of some of the limiting beliefs and motivates you to achieve success.
As a wise man once said, “We are bloggers, not brain surgeons. We can aspire to have some fun while blogging.”