Have you ever been tempted to start your own blog? And do you want to build a successful blog? Would you like to earn an income by blogging? Many people are looking at blogging now as a feasible income stream and there is a good reason for that. Anyone can start a blog, yes anyone. You can start one now, today, if you want to. It is easy to start blogging and it is an opportunity that is open to everyone.
If you don’t have a blog or website yet, make sure you check out this post first: 4 simple steps to starting a WordPress blog from scratch if you have zero technical knowledge if you want to know how to start a successful blog check out the Ultimate Guide To Blogging.
The 10 surprising things you need to get a successful blog
If you do manage to make an income from your blog, you will also be earning from working from home, choosing your own hours and selecting your own content and promotions. If this appeals to you, then do read on as we share with you 10 steps to a successful blog.
- Prepare yourself
If this is a completely new world to you, then you need to prepare yourself as you are about to embark on quite the adventure.
You need to think realistically about the amount of time that you have available to dedicate to building your blog. It will take a lot of work in the early months as you need to establish your blog and you will have so much to learn and master.
You will need to learn how to use your chosen blogging platform, you will need to work on how to promote your content and you will need to develop your own style and writing.
You will probably find that some of this comes more easily to you than other aspects. For example, you might struggle with the technical side of blogging but love the social media interaction, or you might struggle with self-promotion but really enjoy creating the content. It will all click together for you eventually, just be prepared that it will take hard work and time.
- Understand your potential income streams for a successful blog
Before you even begin working out what you are going to blog about and how you will make it successful, it is useful to understand your potential income streams.
There are several ways to make money through your blog. The most common ways are through ad placement, sponsored articles, affiliate income and selling your own products such as ebooks, merchandise and courses. Of course this list is not exhaustive, but it should give you a good idea of the more popular ways to earn money.
In all cases the same remains true; the more traffic you get, the more engaged readers you have, the more you generally earn. This will depend on how you choose to monetise, but it is a useful rule of thumb to work with at the outset.
- Decide on your niche
The first thing that you need to do is decide on what you want to blog about. It is usually best to work with something that you know. What do you love talking about? What do you know a lot about? What are your passions? You can choose to blog within a small niche or you can keep things more general and there are pros and cons to both kinds of blog so go with your own preference on this one.
When you are planning to turn your blog into a business, you need to think about how content like this will then convert to an income. How do you plan to make money from your blog? Is there a demand for it and can you see how you could develop it over the long term?
- Choose your blog name
When you have decided on the kind of blog that you want to write, you can choose a blog name.
You will want to think up something that is distinctive and memorable, and ideally personal to you and what you will be blogging about.
When you have come up with a few names, take a look and check to see whether they are available as domains. If they are, go one step further and search for them as social media handles and hashtags. This will give you a good idea of whether you are using something original and it is always best to have your social media handles named after your blog.
When you have settled on the name, you can register and start your blog on your chosen blogging platform.
- Hone your writing skills
The content that you create for your blog will have the greatest impact on how successful you are. The content is what will bring readers to you and the content is what keeps them coming back.
Spend some time thinking up at least a dozen ideas for posts initially, and then work on the titles. You can spend quite some time on the title if you need to, it is important to get that one right. You can then write your content, and if possible, get someone you trust to check it over and give you feedback initially. This will help to guide you in future writing.
If you plan to work with brands and agencies, you will need to develop your writing skills. You might be asked to write about child support one minute and the next you could be sharing tips on how to prune your roses, so you need to be ready to adapt to the variety and show yourself to be versatile.
- Build up your readers and followers
Now that you have some content on your blog that you are happy with, you need to build up your readers and followers.
Start building your newsletter and email subscribers from day one, as it makes sense to capture any interest from the very beginning. This audience will prove to be invaluable to you as you can send content directly into their inbox.
You should then set up social media channels to promote your blog. Most bloggers can be found on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook at least, so it is worthwhile looking into these platforms first.
You will probably need to concentrate on one channel at a time before moving onto the next one, but it makes sense to at least have your profiles set up on them. Pinterest is a little different to the others as it works more like a search engine than an interactive platform, so do spend some time understanding how this one works as it can drive a lot of traffic to your blog if you can master it.
When you are on social media, be yourself, be friendly and chat with others. Make those connections and be generous with sharing other people’s content. It will all help to build your own profile and you will be sharing useful content for your followers.
- Make connections
As soon as you are up and running, look at making connections with others in your field.
You might find blogs that you love to read, you might find people on Twitter that you find inspiring or you might follow others who blog in the same niche as you. Chat to them, comment on their blogs and social sites and share their content.
Do not spam them, leave meaningful comments as you will probably be finding common ground with them. The wonderful thing about blogging is that bloggers put themselves out there and that allows you to find things that you have in common with them and connect with them.
Over time, you will be making a name for yourself like this. Be positive, be supportive, and you will find that people start to return your page views and content sharing.
- Be yourself
You need to be genuine with your writing and your social media content. Be yourself and be authentic. Ensure that you act fairly at all times and disclose any adverts to your readers.
Just as people do in real life, people tend to gravitate towards bloggers who are real and honest, and if you throw in things like inspiring, informative or funny, then you are going to attract readers.
- Work on developing your own schedule
It will help your readers and the search engines if you can create a publishing schedule. For example, you might choose to publish a new post every Sunday and Thursday, and then your readers can lookout for it.
If you post regularly on a variety of subjects, it can be a good idea to post on certain topics on certain days. This is handy for your readers and for you as it will help you to structure your own content.
- Get out and about
Sometimes it can be difficult to keep on coming up with new content week after week, and yet you need to to remain successful. That is why we would suggest that you get out and about.
Inspiration for a new post can lie absolutely anywhere, and more often than not, you will find something to write about after you have changed your own environment.
Working alone at home can be isolating and it can lead to a blogging drought occasionally. Every blogger will hit a wall like this from time to time, so do not worry about it, but a change of scenery usually helps.
You might try out a new place in town, go on a day trip or buy something new that you can blog about. Alternatively, try taking your laptop to your local coffee shop and working there for a few hours.
Want to learn how I make a living as a professional blogger, without having millions of followers
I bet this is you…
- You want to make a living as a blogger
- It just hasn’t worked out yet. Just another set of ad campaigns, another guest post or another blog post and that will be your big breakthrough…
- You’re stuck with less than 10.000 followers on your social networks
- …and barely even attract 10.000 visitors a month to your blog.
- And (some more headaches):
- You focus on growing your following and visitors, but it just doesn’t work out. You’re publishing a lot of blog posts, but all you hear is crickets..
- You hear everybody talk about Pinterest, but you don’t understand how to have your pins seen and clicked on
- You wish you had a big following so you can reach out to brands to work with you. Right now you don’t have the courage and you don’t know how to work with brands like Disney, Universal, Samsung or L’Oreal (I did work with them!).
- You’re constantly switching your strategy and blog niche, trying new things by changing your direction. If you switch it up, the fame and money will come right?
- You feel uninspired and you need some new energy to kickstart your blog or biz if you wanna keep doing this the rest of your life (not just a quick buck today)
- You’re wondering how to spend zero on marketing and make the best out of free publicity.
- You need a monthly and proven strategy.
- You’re having a hard time keeping your blog stats consistent and stable. One month you really go for it with 50 blog posts and a lot of visitors, the next you publish two posts and see your visitor number drop
- You are tired of sending out hundreds of cold pitches every month to find new blog sponsors.
- You feel like a fakepreneur: you work hard, 24/7 but don’t make any or enough money. You did not make any money the past few months… you need to refocus!
- AND DUH, you cannot wait to make money with your passion
Do you relate to this? Yeah, me too, 8 years back. I tried hard to make it work, and I did! And I’m happy to help you with the strategies that I use today to work as a fulltime blogger!
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Make sure you read the Ultimate Guide To Blogging for all things blogging.
From starting a blog to building followers, create an income and grow. You’ll find it in this blog post.