How To Set Up Your Blog For Success (No Matter What Stage You’re In!)
We all want to succeed online. Yes, we might all define success differently; not everyone out there is trying to make their blog a full time income, or gain millions of followers (although let's face it, that'd be great!). But we all do want more traffic and acknowledgement for our work. It's natural. So, how can you set up your blog for success, no matter what stage blogger you are?
Despite what anyone says, you most likely want more traffic. The truth is, more traffic means more of what you really want: followers, subscribers, readers, and yes, even money. Whether you're just beginning or an old pro, you want to make sure you've set your blog up to continue gaining more traffic.
No matter what your goals are for your blog (and hell yes you should have some!) there are a few key things you need in order to succeed and continue creating a great blog.
1. Write kick ass content, in YOUR unique voice
This is something that I think is highly overlooked. We are constantly berated with “find you niche” and “only post about one subject”. I say… BORING. It's true, I don't believe in niches and I think you can have a successful blog, no matter what topics you post about.
I think, and can prove, that when you focus on a few different topics and write about them well, in your style, then you will create a following that counts. So… what is kick ass content? I define this content as foundational content that is interesting, connects with the readers, and is beneficial in some way. It's different from anything else out there, and it's content that they can't find anywhere else out there like it. When you create content that matters, that people can connect with, they will continue coming back to your blog again and again.
But I follow that up with your voice or style. It can be so hard to find a style of writing that represents you. My advice is to spend some time writing, look at those you do love to read, and piece together your unique style. I promise that over time you'll be able to clarify your writing style into something that is undeniably you. And people will LOVE it.
Further Reading: How and Why to Create Foundational Content
2. Create a Community
I am a HUGE advocate of having a blogging community. The reason why I started Blog Boss Babe was because I wanted an infusion of blogging knowledge plus community in order for bloggers to connect and thrive.
It can be hard to “break” into the online world of bloggers and can often feel exclusive. Most of the time, it's just about starting the right kind of relationships.
I remember when I first stated blogging I had hardly any comments or followers. Then, I started making a real effort to establish connections with other bloggers. I commented on other blogs with meaningful comments, followed on social media, and joined groups. Luckily, the world of blogging has changed a bit since when I started, and there are communities in place to help you get started.
But no matter what, having these connections will help to build your blog, give you advice, and support you in your endeavors. If you don't have people that care about your blog you can't make money, influence, or continue to grow.
Further Reading: 5 Things I did that Exploded my Blog
3. Use Social Media Strategically
Social media is essential. You already know that, I'm sure. But it's not just about sending a few tweets and a Facebook post. There is strategy behind it. It doesn't need to take up all your time. But once you can master some key tricks and understand what works for you, you can make a HUGE difference with your blog.
Take me for example, when I started, like everyone else, I started at 0. I began gaining some traction online but it was very slow growing. When I started taking more courses and using my knowledge from working in social media and marketing, I noticed a HUGE difference. I tripled my followings, and now, I feel confident that I will continue to grow. And not just have useless followers that don't care about what I do, but engaged, active followers that read what I write and even buy my products.
I have multiple courses that I offer on social media, including one called Triple Your Twitter which is currently included in the Genius Blogger's Toolkit along with 60+ other blogging courses and tools for only $97.
So how can you manage all of the social media tasks? My advice is to create a plan and strategy on social media that works for you. Use scheduling tools, pay attention to your stats, and even take a course to help you really grow and understand what works for bloggers online.
Further Reading: 8 Top Tips for Growing Your Social Media
4. Have a rock solid blog
The truth is, if you want people to read your blog and keep coming back for more, you need a few things:
- Easy to read
- Easy to follow and share links
- A good looking blog
You do NOT need to spend $1,000s of dollars in order to create a great looking blog. You can learn to design it yourself, or pay very little for templates to create a great blog. In my post on the best blogging tools for your blog, I lay out every thing I use on my blog. Some of the tools I use (like my social share buttons, plugins, and more) are totally free.
I'll be honest with you. I am a professional blogger and I did not pay $1,000s for this blog design. In fact, I paid under $200. And I love it! There are resources out there for you that will help you figure out what design you like and what works for you, without breaking the bank.
Further reading: 8 Things You're Doing That Hurt Your Blog
5. Transition to making money and achieving your goals
No matter what you might think, many bloggers would like to make the transition of making a real income online. It's only natural. You put in so much time and effort into creating a blog, building a following, taking photos, and all the other details.
When I started blogging, I had absolutely no intention of becoming a “full time blogger.” But as I continued, I realized that I was so passionate about working with bloggers and companies, taking pictures, growing my following, and of course, writing. Blogging is a unique outlet that lets you be creative, influential, and create content in a way that inspires others.
Did I work my butt off to get here? Yes. Of course. But one thing is for sure, I had help along the way. Learning the secrets of others online is what helped me to become successful. You can absolutely make money as a blogger. To me, there a few ways you can monetize your blog. I outline those in this post about making money as a blogger. But, in order to do that you need to have all of the above.
I believe in diversifying your income streams and trying out new opportunities. And of course, never leave behind your voice and sense of style in the name of making money. It's inauthentic and not worth it. Whether you work with sponsors or advertisers, other bloggers, or develop your own products, you should remain true to yourself and what you are passionate about.
Further reading: Blogging Income Report, How I Made $12,000 from my Blog
6. Continue to Learn
My parents, reporters turned college professors, have always instilled in me the value of education. I graduated with a degree in corporate communications. I took on jobs where the learning gap was large, and I was forced to learn new skills. Now, as a blogger, I continue to take courses, teach others, and I am constantly trying to gobble up new information.
The world of bloggers and online media IS constantly changing. I don't think I'll ever stop learning and continuing my education. That's what makes blogging interesting to me. There is so much information out there to devour.
One thing that is frustrating: there is SO MUCH out there. And it can be really expensive. That's why I suggest joining a community AND learning experience, Blog Boss Babe.
The thing is, there is so so much content out there. The beauty of Blog Boss Babe is that there are products and services from the top bloggers out there. Professional bloggers that I look up to and admire, and I give you access to ALL my resources.
Hope this helps you in your quest for blogging success!
FREE EBOOK! 14 Days to A Better Blog
Free, 32 Page eBook to help you grow your blog.