Creating a Blog That Won’t Fade Into the Noise
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It’s hard to give an exact number of blogs on the Internet today, as millions are created and abandoned every day. Looking at Tumblr alone, there more than 291.7 million blog accounts as of April 2016. According to Marketing Profs, 2 million blog posts are written every day – so naturally, it’s easy for your blog to get lost in a sea of noise on the Internet.
How can you make sure yours doesn’t? Well, that takes strategy, effort, and dedication.
Start with Your Niche
If you can think of it, there’s a blog about it. Everything from parenting to addiction, to beauty, fashion, food, and beyond. Think about what you know well, won’t burn out on writing about a lot, and how you want to use the blog.
Are you a chef who wants to use the blog to showcase your recipe talent? Your blog can be where you direct clients to help book more catering events, or where you direct prospective investors to help fund your restaurant venture.
No matter what your expertise or end reason for blogging, think about how you can be different from all the other blogs in your niche. Your voice, experience, and point of view, all of these things make you different – but this is just the beginning.
To get you started, read this phenomenal guide on creating a blog from Neil Patel. Once you’ve chosen your niche, choose and purchase your domain name. Set it up on your hosting account, install WordPress, choose a theme, and get ready to move on to the next step.
Set Up Your Editorial Calendar
Next, you’ll want to create a plan for what you’ll write about, and how often you’ll write. Many bloggers get overwhelmed at the idea of having to write a post every single day, but studies show bloggers who post every day receive five times the traffic compared to those who don’t. Thankfully, WordPress has a scheduling feature that allows you to write and schedule as many posts in advance as you want.
When you build your editorial calendar, think about things people who are reading your blog would want to know. You want to make it friendly for the search engines so people can find you, so start with a basic list of ideas, and expand based on some keyword research.
Using tools like Google Keyword Planner, Keyword Tool, and WordStream can allow you to find out more about what people are searching, so you can use those words and phrases in your blog posts. Plus, it can help you vet a topic idea – if people aren’t searching for it, maybe it’s best to move on to another topic.
It’s also a good idea to search your topic to see how other blogs are covering it, so you can make yours fresh and different. Think about how your niche relates to holidays and events that you can tie into your blog.
Promote Your Blog
Blogging isn’t as simple as “if you build it, they will come.” And you can’t wait on the search engines to index your posts and become an overnight sensation because several factors play into search engine optimization (SEO) – not just the keywords you use. Promotion is the key to getting the traffic rolling in. How can you promote your blog?
- Create a Facebook Page and invite your friends to like it.
- Think about where your target reader audience is and create a presence there. Organically grow your followers and share relevant material outside of your blog, too.
- Leave comments on similar blogs.
- Join blogging engagement groups on Facebook to drop links. Engage with others there.
- Participate in blog link ups. These follow a theme and are hosted on another blog, where you can link to your post.
Link Out But Keep Your Audience
Using contextually relevant outbound links to authority resources in your posts is an excellent way to add value to your blog’s content experience. Linking out in this manner helps position you as a valuable resource, and if you do it as part of an influencer outreach strategy, it can help secure you backlinks as well.
The biggest pitfall associated with linking out, however, is that you’re essentially recommending that your audience leaves your blog, and there’s little to guarantee that they’ll ever come back. Start A Fire’s WordPress integration, however, takes this pitfall out of the picture. When you have the Start A Fire Chrome extension configured to work with your WordPress site, every outbound link you include in your blog posts will be automatically replaced with Start A Fire versions of the target URLs.
So instead of just seeing someone else’s content when people click on these links, they’ll see a version of that content a branded badge floating in the corner of the page. You can set your badge to promote whatever “also recommends” links you like, so that even your outbound links are capable of driving traffic back to you.
Network with Other Bloggers
Beyond Facebook groups where you can connect with like-minded bloggers for promotional purposes, those who are serious about turning their blog into a business may want to consider networking with other bloggers in person. There are a variety of conferences throughout the year held all over, including:
- Social Media Week – There are conferences held across the globe to help educate and inspire about social media.
- Type-A Parent – Not just for parent bloggers, but for any blogger who wants to learn more about the business and social media side.
- Bloggy Bootcamp – Ideal for novice to intermediate bloggers, this is a conference focused on helping you meet people and learn.
- Blogging Concentrated – This conference is better suited toward advanced bloggers but gives you something to aim toward.
- BlogHer – One of the largest blogging conferences, this is a great one no matter your niche. There is a lot of varying topic focus on niches like food, politics, fashion, and parenting.
And there are niche blog conferences, too – such as Bloggers at Midlife, which focuses on midlife women bloggers, or Warrior Mom Conference, focusing on Moms who’ve dealt with, or who are dealing with postpartum depression. Find a conference to help you learn, or connect with readers in your audience.
Monetize Your Blog
There are several ways to monetize. Many start with basic AdSense ads in their sidebar, but these won’t make you rich. Other monetization options include:
- Affiliate programs – ShareASale, Commission Junction, Amazon, etc.
- Sponsored Posts – getting paid to mention products or services
- Selling your products and services
- Selling your ads
- Creating a membership website
This guide is just the beginning, be sure to read the guide mentioned above from Neil Patel if you’re struggling with technical aspects. No, you won’t be making the big bucks in just 60 minutes, but you’ll have everything you need to get the wheels turning.
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