8 New Blogger Tips That Can Help Grow Your Blog From Scratch
Are you looking to build a profitable blog but you have no idea on where to start? I will provide 8 new blogger tips that can help your blog grow from scratch.
Well, let this guide be your guiding light to your next blog venture. I will not only tell you how you can create a profitable blog I will show you what tools and resources I use to make my business and customers blogs successful.
Let’s get right to it, shall we?
1. Buy A Domain That People Can Remember
Picking a domain is really tough for many people. Inexperienced bloggers will go with something like sallysbestdietingfoods.com. This is not only hard to remember but a very long domain name which can hurt SEO.
I would recommend something like dietingwithsally.com or sallysnutrition.com. It’s short and when you add on your blog titles the URL will not be as long and easier to remember. This also helps with SEO.
I recommend getting a $1 domain name from 1&1. They are a cheap place to start and will give you a year for $1. Can’t really beat that and once your blog is earning some good income you can pay the next years price. You can use that extra money to reinvest into your blogs hosting, advertising or design.
2. Get A Host With Great Speed, Customer Support, and Price
I have tried every host under the sun. Only two hosts out of the many I tried even came close to fitting my needs as far as speed, customer service, and price.
The one I use now and will use for as long as they keep up their high standards is TMD Hosting. I found TMD hosting about 6 years back. I was using them for my personal sites but the company I was working for at the time used everything from Blue Host to Host Gator.
While their hosting was cheap it was also very slow and the customer support wasn’t very good at all. (One time I was on the phone for 3 hours with Blue Host before they were like oh we found the problem. We accidently shut off FTP connections to your server. After telling me for 3 hours it was on my end.)
So I used TMD Hosting for years. I did decide to try a hosting company for a year that a friend recommended called Inmotion Hosting. As far as speed and initial customer support go they are second on my list of hosting companies. There was a major problem with them at the end. They are well priced though and have good site speeds.
So after leaving TMD hosting for a year I came back. I found out over the course of that year they updated their server speeds to be even faster as well as came out with a cloud hosting service that I have been using and absolutely love. (There is no need to get cloud hosting if you only have one site. I have nearly 20.)
So site speed will help your blog rank better and give your customers a better user experience.
3. Use WordPress
There are many options for using a blogging platform. There are some good ones out there but the only great one I have found is WordPress.
WordPress offers so many features that the other blogging platforms do not have yet.
- Plugins – There are millions of plugins for the WordPress platform that can fit almost any need you may have. From contact forms to social media sharing and even setting up your Google Analytics and Search Console. These will make your blogging life easier. Just don’t overdo it because it can slow down your site if you get conflicting plugins or just too many.
- Themes – There are more themes for WordPress than you can shake a stick at. I recommend using Themeforest. They have themes for every situation. I would never recommend using free themes only due to the fact they may not get updated regularly and could have major security flaws if not updated. No one wants a hacked site. I have been using Themeforest since 2008 and bought over 50 themes and plugins. Never had an issue with any of them. They have very high standards.
- Ease of use – Blogging on WordPress is very easy. Just go to post and add new in the backend and you can start making your post. Most blogging themes come with demos you can install to set the theme up just like the one you viewed on Themeforest. There are drag and drop editors such as Visual Composer that make things even easier where they have a live editor that you can see the changes while you make them. Pretty neat huh.
- Proof – Here is a great post called “14 Surprising Statistics About WordPress Usage” that will help you learn more on why.
4. Pick A Niche
Here is a topic I believe is really important yet can be discouraging to many people early on. Many people Google online and try to find profitable niches and write about them.
The problem with this is they have very little knowledge about the subject and get burnt out very quickly. The market they choose is already saturated with blogs and really hard to make a name for yourself.
So here are some tips I would recommend when picking a niche.
- Is this niche something you are passionate about? If your answer is no that should instantly be a red flag for you. You want to be passionate about what you write about so you never get burnt out or tired writing about it.
- Is there a micro niche that hasn’t been explored too much? What I mean by micro-niche is a sub niche to what your main topic could be about. For example, Brian Dean of Backlinko started off writing only about backlink building. In many major circles, people knew him as the backlink guy. After getting a decent following teaching people how to backlink he now has the options to write about other areas of SEO that can help his passionate followers. So if you have a blog on pet food, maybe you should start off with “Canary Food” or “Organic Cat Food” then branch out when your following grows. This helps your rank for less competitive keywords and allows you to be found quicker by your potential audience.
- How do you want to make your income? For blogging, I do many things to bring in cash. My main business is my internet marketing and web design company Rank Hiker. On my personal blogs, I like to focus on affiliate marketing and AdSense and maybe some consulting. I will explain in a future blog post how to make money through blogging and how to get people to actually buy your products and services.
These questions are highly important on moving forward in your blogging career. If you go into blogging without any strategy then you are expecting to fail before you start. At least know that this is something you can do for a long period of time and can grow your audience. Just focus on growth and keep testing and learning from your mistakes. You will eventually figure out your niche market and learn do amazing things with it.
5. Quality Website Design
Here is something that can turn a reader off instantly to your blog. If it’s hard to read or just doesn’t look visually pleasing then they will most like not stay long or come back. Your website doesn’t have to be fancy, just make sure that it looks presentable.
If you saw a blog like the picture above would you want to come back and read their content? The answer is no. It could be the best content in the world but since it is a pain to read then what’s the point. This is why Themeforest is a good choice for picking your blog theme because their themes almost all come with demos and a great design.
If you look at some of the top blogs they are not super fancy, just very user-friendly. A site that is a great example even though it isn’t a blog is Facebook. Very basic but easy to see, read, and user-friendly.
6. Start Generating An Email List
This is by far the highest conversion rate technique in all of marketing. This feature right here can push your blog into the next level. As you start building your email list you have a chance to bring in return visitors who may have forgotten about your blog. This is one way to always stay in your reader’s minds.
I always focus on trying to give them information that would bring them back to my blog. For example, I would say, Here are 20 Free Blog Enhancement and Marketing Tools You May Not Have Known About. How many people wouldn’t want free tools to help make their blog better and market it better? The answer is not many. So this email will draw my subscribers back to my blog.
This allows more chances for them to sign up for my affiliates or click on a banner ad or hire me for a service. Remember that blogging is a business. Your blog if you want it to be profitable is a business and you are an entrepreneur. So focusing on generating income should never be frowned upon. That being said I recommend to never affiliate with a company or product you have never tried. If you tell someone to sign up to a bad company or product then you may lose a lot of your credibility.
7. Market Research
Market research is really hard for bloggers who want to make their blogs profitable. First reason is because they don’t have the experience on where to research, to begin with. Second reason is because they are told the myth if you build it they will come.
I tell every single one of my clients whether it be a business or a blog that a site without marketing is like putting a 5-star hotel in the most remote part of the desert and hope a ton of people drive by and find it.
The fact is they won’t drive by and the traffic will be going to places that build their business on a busy highway rather than in the desert.
So knowing where to market is the first big step.
Let’s start with Social Media. I love how people say if you’re not on all the major social medias then you are missing out on a ton of traffic. That couldn’t be more false. Let me throw another analogy at you.
85% of your market is on Twitter, Linkedin, and Reddit. The rest of the 15% are spending time on other social media sites like Facebook and Instagram. Now knowing these statistics would you spend the exact same amount of time on each of the social media sites marketing or would you focus on where the large majority of your market is.
I really hope you said the majority of your time on the 85% of the market. No need to neglect the rest of the market. Just tell them you spend most of your time on Twitter, Linkedin and Reddit and most of them will go there just to be a part of the conversation.
Now what I recommend is testing each social media outlet and see what works for you. I usually test 2-3 at a time for a period of 45 days. I check my site statistics and see where a majority of my traffic comes from. If I see one not doing so hot I add another one in its place. You may have 5-6 outlets that are getting high traffic so don’t just stick to 2-3 forever. Just its easier to test analytics that way if you are doing a few at a time. Keep adding on as your testing grows. Just because one doesn’t work well now doesn’t mean it won’t work well later.
Twitter is a great example of this. At one point my entire business market was on Facebook and Linkedin. Now Facebook barely gets me any results and Twitter is my top performer. I had to come back to test the market there after an extended period of time and it blew me away. (Facebook’s like changes for pages really allowed this to come to fruition.)
8. A MOTIVATED YOU!
I can’t say this enough. You are the key to your blogs success. I am in love with the Reddit Blogging Community. The people there are amazing and really try hard to help each other be successful.
One of the things I see a lot on there is people will say something like “I saw someone who’s blog is 3 months old and getting more traffic than my blog that is 5 months old.” Even though this may be the case there are a lot of factors here that come into play.
- How popular a niche is.
- How much marketing experience the blogger has.
- Connections the blogger had before starting a blog.
- How much time each blogger had to spend on their blog. (Many bloggers have full-time jobs)
These are just to name a few. So don’t compare yourself to other bloggers. You have your own unique perspective on your niche that no one else may have. You may be new to marketing your blog but that is just a part of learning to grow your blog.
Another factor that most new bloggers lose motivation on is writing. Neil Patel said he wasn’t a very good writer when he started blogging. He just kept at it and kept writing and writing. Now he is one of the most popular bloggers in the world. You don’t have to be a wordsmith to be a blogger. People just care about the quality of content. They want something that can help solve their problem or help their lives.
So don’t stop writing. Force yourself to do it even if you don’t want to or feel like it. I wouldn’t even take a day off. Even if you want to write 250 words about how your day went as practice it will help. Just keep at it and it will eventually become second nature to you.
What struggles do you have when trying to start a blog? Type in the comments section below. If it is something you want me to cover or go more in depth please let me know and I will write a post about it.
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July 12, 2015
January 10, 2017