First and foremost, I want to put out there that I am in no way an expert when it comes to blogging. I have only been at it for four months now. However, every single day I am immersing myself into the community and learning every single thing I can about blogging. To me, this isn't just a hobby. Maybe, it's the perfectionist in me but I like doing things full force and not half-assing things. Screw my french.. because let us be honest here. There are thousands of other competitors out there.
What are you going to do to make your blog stand out? What sets you apart from other people? Those are the first two things I ask myself every day while working on my blog. For me, I like to work hard on my passions and being successful at it. I am sure that I am not in the minority here.
With that being said, here are some of the tricks and things I have learned over the last four months or so that can help you when starting your very first blog. Before you do anything, decide first what you want to write about. This may be the hardest thing. What are your passions? What are you good at? Think about what you love more than anything. What do you spend most of your time doing? What types of people do you get along with? Who is your so to speak "tribe?" For me, this was the easiest thing to come up with because I love books more than anything in this world. Also, why are you wanting to start a blog? To meet new people, make income, promoting another business, or do you want a social media following? I always set goals before doing anything. I like looking at things from a long-term standpoint on where I want to be in so many years or months. Do some goal planning before you even start or open up the blog.
So you've come up with a topic, established goals, came up with a name for your blog that will set you apart, and you have opened up your hosting. Think of a blog name you will not regret in the future or want to change. Something, you would want to use for years. This way readers will always be able to find you.
1. Make all social accounts and establish a following on other sites.
Claim your blog on bloglovin' this is going to be a huge promoting tool for you. Literally, follow hundreds of other blogs in the same topic. This is a huge way you are going to create readers for your blog. People like to read about the same things they are interested in. It's a pretty basic concept. I like reading other book blogs. I like making friends with book people. Book people are my tribe. If other blogs love your blog you can always link each other's blogs on your pages and gain some of their readers as well. It's good to cross-promote.
You for sure need to have a twitter, Pinterest, Facebook page for your blog, and Instagram. Add all people similar once again. The cycle just keeps going on and on. Social media is crucial in running a successful blog. But I am sure you already knew that. Most importantly, engage with people! Make some new friends with similar interests because those people are going to be your readers.
2. Have pictures on all blog posts.
Most people are visual and like looking at pretty professional looking posts. Think about your favorite websites or stores go to their pages and look at their ads and posts. Everything has pictures. Pictures make people more engaged.
3. Have a nice professional theme.
Make your blog look functional and easy to use. A lot of people use their cell-phones while browsing nowadays so make sure you have a mobile theme as well. Link all of your social media accounts on the sidebars of your theme. That way readers can easily access them and follow you.
4. Have an email subscription widget on your sidebar
This will let you get in touch with your readers. Also, this is a great way to notify them when you have new posts on your blog and will help drive the views on your blog. You will be able to create newsletters and promote anything you wish. Many blogs use this function and make loads of money when emailing people to promote a product etc.
5. Write content that you believe in.
Don't just write anything. Write about what you know and what you think sells. Put some thought into each post you make. I am way more likely to return to a blog that has fewer posts but exceptional ideas and writing. Don't just post anything randomly. Post something you would want to read. This is where Pinterest comes in handy for me and where I get most of my inspiration on posts.
6. Make sure your site has google analytics
As a blogger, you want to track your page views. What posts gain the most traffic etc. It's a good way to research what your readers like seeing and what they are not as interested in.
7. Make sure your blog has important pages
All blogs need a contact page. This is how people will get in touch with you if they have any questions. With that being said, please set up an email strictly for your blog that is professional. For example, don't use an email like email@example.com that does not look professional. For me, I get hundreds of emails a day on my personal email from Target, Walmart, etc. So it's nice having a separate email just for bookish mail and inquiries from authors.
Have an about me page. People want to know who is behind the blog. These can be short and sweet or even on your sidebar. Just have an about me somewhere that is displayed.
You also need to have a disclosure or policy page. Apparently, this is the law if you are wanting to make a profit out of your blog. It also shows your audience that you are an honest and trustworthy person. You need to have a statement somewhere on your blog saying you are making money from a product etc.
8. Post consistently.
If you don't post for a long time people will not return to your blog or forget about you. They will move along to another blog. Keep your name in their minds. The same goes with your social media accounts. Make sure you are posting to twitter, instagram, and pinterest daily.
Well, those are all the basics in starting a successful blog. I hope this helped you in some way. I am starting a new series on my blog about blogging tips etc. If you liked this post please comment down below and let me know what kind of tips or tricks you would like to learn about. I hope you are having a fabulous day.