The ultimate beginners guide to creating a successful blog
Have you been thinking about creating a blog but don’t know where to start? You’re not alone. Most people think it’s easy to create a blog but are quickly overwhelmed by the knowledge it takes to create successful blogs. This guide will show you exactly what you need to do, what to avoid, and how to easily promote your new blog.
The first thing you need to do is choose a niche
Choosing the right niche for your blog is the most crucial decision you’ll ever make. For a successful blog, you need to choose a niche that will provide unique content, target people with money to spend and be easy for you to rank. Let’s say you start a blog about dogs. While this could be a profitable niche, hundreds, if not thousands, of other blogs are on the same subject.
You must enter a niche that you know something about
You must be familiar with the niche to be able to write about it. If you’ve never owned dogs before starting a blog about them, you’ll have to do some research. You should know not only about the animals but also how to train them, the best food you can buy and any other details about the niche. For some people, this will be either too time-consuming or difficult. That’s why it might be best to stick with a niche you know something about.
This is not the time to fake it until you make it
The problem most bloggers have with pretending to be an expert at something they’re not is, usually they can’t do it. Even if they can, the blogger gets tired of writing hundreds of articles about a subject that doesn’t fascinate them. It’s better to write about what you love. If it’s something you love, the words will flow easily, and you’ll have a lot of passion for your work, which will bring in the readers.
Search Google to see if your niche is oversaturated
Once you’ve narrowed down a niche that you know something about, search Google to see how many blogs are already on the same subject. If there are thousands, it might be best to choose a more specific niche or come up with a different angle. For instance, if you want to blog about dog training, maybe you should write specifically about dogs that don’t typically follow commands. This way, you will be the only one writing this type of content and therefore get more traffic.
Niche down and go ultra-niche to zero in on a specific target audience
You can niche down even further by researching the most hardcore fans of the niche. For example, if you get into dog training, you might find out there is a particular breed of dogs who have problems learning how to behave properly. You could then create a blog that focuses solely on this breed. This way, you’re not only the only one that writes about it; you’ve also got a very specific target potential reader.
Now it’s time to come up with a domain name
Once you’ve chosen a niche, you should then come up with a domain name. Try to come up with something catchy but also one that is easy to remember. This will be crucial for bringing in the traffic and making sure your readers won’t forget about you. Some people use their name or a variation of it. That means they have an easier time remembering the domain name and have an easier time recalling it to their visitors. If you don’t want to use your name, be sure to make the domain name easy to remember.
Your domain name should be short and a .com
Try to avoid using numbers and long words in your domain name. These will be hard for readers to type as well as remember. You also want to avoid any extension that isn’t .com. No one remembers domains that aren’t .com. Also, some of the other extensions can be quite pricey when it comes time to renew them.
Use Keywords in your domain name
Include some keywords or phrases related to your niche in the domain name. You can use this to your advantage when it comes time to promote the blog. This will help readers find your content and also help search engines make sure that you’re relevant to the niche you’re writing about. A couple of keywords or phrases in the domain name are enough to help your blog rank higher.
Don’t waste your time trying to find the perfect unregistered domain
All of the good domain names were taken years ago. That’s the fact that you’re going to have to get over. You can spend all day long trying to come up with a .com that is perfect, but you’ll quickly learn that they’re all taken. You can buy auction domains, but it’s best to avoid those because they can be quite costly. Choose the best shortest .com you can find without spending too much time dwelling over the fact that the perfect doesn’t exist.
Do a quick check to make sure that your domain hasn’t been spammed
A quick search using the Way Back Machine or Ahrefs is all it takes to see if your domain has been spammed. You want to pay close attention to see if the domain has a million backlinks pointed to it or if it was once a site with Chinese text on it. If you see either of those two things, it’s safe to say that the domain was spammed, and there’s probably some penalty associated with it in Google.
Without a doubt, WordPress is the only CMS worth considering
Even though there are other blogging platforms out there, WordPress is the most beginner-friendly and the best regarded. There’s a lot of support material, and it will make it easy for you to avoid most problems associated with blogging. However, if you’re starting as a blogger and you don’t know anything about WordPress, there are some excellent free resources available for you.
The theme you choose is vital because it will dictate how your site looks
Before you make your choice, be sure to look at the latest trends. This will help you to figure out what people are looking at so that you can create a site that they can relate to. Any time you choose a particular look, be sure to make your site easily accessible to your readers. You also need to take into consideration how fast or slow the theme loads. Some themes will dramatically decrease your load times, and that’s not good.
Try to use as few WordPress plugins as possible at the beginning
Plugins, too can cause your site to slow down, and it’s generally advised that you use as few of them as possible. Keeping your plugins to a minimum will give you the best chance of making your site fast and secure. It’s also important to do this because if you have too many plugins, it might crash. If your site loads slowly or is buggy with terrible coding, Google will penalize you for it.
The internet is flooded with WordPress hosting
Finding a web host for WordPress is super easy. All you have to do is Google it, and there will be thousands of results for you to choose from. WordPress is the most widely used CMS, and web hosting companies are doing their very best to offer the greatest deals possible for bloggers. Some of them will even offer a free domain name, and you get to choose the package that suits your needs most.
Choosing the right web host isn’t so difficult
When you choose a web host for your WordPress site, you have to be sure that they have the best infrastructure available. Many new bloggers get all worked up when choosing a host and make too big of a deal out of it. Choose a popular host and get it over with. You’ve got more pressing things to do, such as create content.
Don’t get suckered into deals that are too good to be true
If a web host is too cheap or offers something that sounds like something no company can deliver, it’s probably a scam. Compare other top hosts to see what they offer in terms of pricing, space, and bandwidth and compare the prices with them. If the price is way lower than what you can get from others, it’s probably not a good deal. You might have to dig into the company behind the cheap hosting. It’s more than likely a scam, and you should avoid it at all costs.
The three most important factors when choosing a host are:
The most important thing you should look for is the price. If you’re just starting, you might want to find a cheap host and then upgrade as your site grows. Also, consider the pricing options that will suit your budget if you’re just starting. Most offer excellent deals if you pay for an entire year in advance, and that’s the route you should go if you have the money.
Support is a big deal for people who don’t have experience with hosting. You can’t afford to have a host you don’t trust standing behind your site. The support must be 24/7 in that you can contact them day or night. A good host will have support available all day and night to ensure that if something is wrong with your blog, they have a person who can fix it for you.
Google cares about how fast your site loads. A host needs to be as fast as it possibly can be. If your site loads more quickly, it will get higher rankings. If your host can’t load fast, you might have to consider switching. If your posts load slowly, there’s nothing you can do to improve your rankings. The good news is, all the top hosts are fast, and speed shouldn’t be an issue.
Uptime should receive an honorable mention
The uptime of your host is essential. Uptime is how long your site is up and not down. Downtime can cost you money by losing out on potential customers down the line. No host can ever guarantee that your site will never go down. However, some hosts are notorious for being down, and you need to avoid them like the plague.
Now let’s turn our attention to content creation
The content of your blog is what will make or break your site. You must know how to write and learn how to engage the reader. Remember, people are coming to your site to be educated, not to hear you talk about how awesome you are. Overly promotional articles tend not to be as popular by readers. They want to read the information that helps them, not things that inflate your bigger-than-life persona.
Choosing the right keywords will determine your success as a blogger
Before you begin to write anything, be sure to do your keyword research. This will help you make sure that you’re writing for the right audience and that they are the ones finding what you have to say. You want your keywords to be as specific as possible. This way, you can rank at the top of the search engines without any problem. You’ll also want to use them in your title tag so that readers can find you faster and easier.
Don’t rely solely on keyword tools
Keyword tools are often wrong, and they don’t give you an accurate account as to how difficult it will be to rank for a specific keyword. No one knows this information other than Google. The traffic stats are always wrong with these tools, and they sometimes spit out keywords that no one searches for. Keyword tools are a useful tool, but you can’t rely on them to do all of your keyword research for you.
Google is your best friend when it comes to finding keywords
The best way to find keywords is to perform Google searches and see what comes up. Keep a list of these keywords, and you’ll start to notice trends. This will also help you figure out what is too difficult and what is doable for your site. That means you’ve got to get in the trenches and spend time searching Google. It’s a little more time-consuming than using a tool, but you’ll get much better results in the end.
Pay attention to the results when you type a keyword into Google
You’re looking for keywords that have a lot of traffic and are also easy to rank for. If the results from Google aren’t what you expected, then it’s not worth your time and effort. Keep searching until you find something that’s a good fit for you. Once you’ve found a keyword that’s popular and also easy to get ranked for, write an article around it. The hard work you put into finding keywords now will go a long way in helping your blog rank in the not-so-distant future.
The suggestions Google gives is an untapped gold mine
The auto-fill feature when typing something into Google provides a ton of valuable information. So does the People Also Ask section right below the top results and the Searches Related To at the very bottom of the results. Pay close attention to all three of these things because you’ll find keywords and common questions that users are having in your niche. No keyword tools can produce this information, and that’s why you should perform plenty of Google searches when coming up with the keywords to write blog posts about.
The best blog topics are those that have weak results
A weak result is either a forum post in the top three positions or pages with very little content. If you see a forum post in the top spot, that means you’ll be able to rank high for the keyword. Also, if the pages listed in the top three have very thin content, a well-written article will easily outrank it. These are the two things you must look into when you begin to decide what topics your blog posts will be about.
Snag the low hanging fruit when your blog is still new
The keywords with very little competition are what you need to go after when your blog is new. You want to rank high for these keywords so that Google begins to assign some authority to your domain. This is how you’ll be able to rank for bigger keywords in the future. It is definitely a good idea to go after keywords that have low competition early on. As your site grows in authority, you’ll then be able to attack the keywords that are more difficult to rank for.
Move onto keywords with more competition as your blog ages
When your blog becomes more mature, you’ll be able to rank for keywords with better search volume and more competition. The only thing holding you back at this point is the strength of your site in general. However, the advantage is that you have a strong domain and some authority from getting ranked for low competition keywords.
Now let’s switch our attention to the art of content creation
As a blogger, the content you create will determine the success or failure of your blog. It’s vital that you have good writing skills and know how to engage the reader. The articles you write should be informative, and people should get something out of reading them. Overly promotional content is not as good as content that is informative. People will only read what you have to say if they feel like it will help them.
The best titles are short and sweet
Be sure to keep your titles short and sweet. Long titles will be cut off when people see them on their social media feeds or when they’re on Google. These are things you have to deal with when writing blog posts, so it’s best that you keep them short. As a rule of thumb, the title shouldn’t be longer than 60 characters. It’s also a good idea to add a question in your title to make people click to read more. This is something that will boost your CTR as well as the conversion rate of your post.
Allow your text to flow naturally without thinking about keyword density
Many bloggers are too hung up on the keyword density of their text. It’s something that they put too much emphasis on and doesn’t really matter when it comes to your post’s overall ranking. New bloggers have a tendency to keyword stuff their articles so much that it looks ridiculous. It’s not something you want to do because it will make your blog look spammy. You want to write for the reader, not Google.
Keep your paragraphs short and sweet
It’s best that you keep all of your paragraphs relatively short. The shorter they are, the better the user experience is. Long paragraphs also tend to make people skim over what you’ve written because it’s so difficult to read. It’s always best to keep your paragraphs short so that no one has a reason to skim over the content.
Explain how to do things in the simplest way possible
People don’t want to be confused or intimidated when they read your content. Most people don’t want to spend time educating themselves unless it’s something they need to do. This is why you should explain certain things in the simplest possible way. You can also add more pictures and graphics to help users see how to do something. This will help them understand what you’re saying and make them more likely to read more of your content.
Be on topic without venturing too far off
It’s important not to get off-topic in your articles. If you go on some crazy rant with nothing to do with the post, your readers will leave and never come back. You’ll also lose a lot of traffic in the process. You should write content on your blog that is related to the post you’re writing. Don’t go out of your way to tell readers about things that have nothing to do with what you’re talking about.
The danger of going off-topic is that you’ll confuse Google
Google doesn’t like off-topic content. If you have a post on mobile marketing and you start talking about dog training, Google will get confused. It will assume that your blog is not related to your niche and won’t rank you as highly. If you’re a blogger, your blog should be all about one niche, and you should stick to this. Don’t let your interests get the best of you, and start writing about everything. You’ll lose all of your traffic as a result.
Create content that helps users answer questions
It’s a good idea to create content that answers questions readers already have. This includes making blog posts that help users solve common problems that they face. The best way to do this is to search for questions that people are asking regarding your niche. It doesn’t always have to be about a product or a service; it can be about solving a problem.
Your job as a blogger is to help solve problems people have
This is a great way to make money, and it will also help you rank well in the search engines. People are more likely to buy something that you promote if you can convince them that they’ll find it useful. If you can help people solve their problems and answer questions they have, you’ll be on the fast track to success. However, you need to come up with ideas that are unique and actually solve a problem.
The length of your content is important, but don’t stretch it too far
The length of your content should be well thought out. Don’t create posts that are overly long because most people won’t read them. Also, don’t make them that is so short that it doesn’t answer the user’s question. The best content is somewhere in the middle of these two variables. You’ll want to create enough content so that people will be able to read what you have to say and learn something from it too.
Don’t worry about making money right out of the gate
It’s important not to worry about making money right away when you’re first starting. You’ll need to get an audience before you can start thinking about making money from your blog. You’re not going to make any money in the beginning, and that’s a reality all bloggers must face. Your blog needs time to become successful, and there’s no way you can speed up the process.
It takes Google a while before it sends you traffic
Google is quite slow, and it takes about six to nine months for Google to send traffic to a blog post after you’ve published it. Be patient because you’ll eventually see some traffic from Google. Every blogger faces this same reality, and it’s a part of the game that you must get used to. There’s no reason to stress out over it because you can’t change it.
You need at least 150 posts for a blog to become successful
If you have just started a blog, you’ll need at least 150 blog posts for it to become successful. This is a bare minimum, and you’ll have to keep on posting more content to get more traffic. It’s not an easy task to write this many posts, but the more you do, the better it will be for your site.
The length of time it takes for a blog to be profitable is up to two years
Yes, it will take roughly two years for your blog to become profitable after you begin to publish posts. You will have to keep on writing, and then you’ll be able to start making some money. Keep up the hard work and never give up because it’ll pay off in the end. Your blog will eventually bring in a good income for you, and that’s what matters at the end of the day.
Blogging is a challenging but consistent way to earn a living
You’re not going to get rich overnight blogging. It’s going to take plenty of hard work and dedication on your part. But, if you’re willing to sacrifice plenty of blood, sweat, and tears, you’ll end up with a blog that will turn into a full-time income. This is an achievable reality for you if you’re willing to put in the necessary work.
Get support and inspiration from other bloggers who have been in the same situation as you’re in now. There are plenty of bloggers out there who offer advice to people who are new to blogging. These are all people who have been in your shoes, and they help you succeed. Don’t be shy about asking questions and admitting failure. Being a blogger is about personal growth and learning something that you have little to no knowledge about.