We live in a world of open digital space, where every person has all the tools and opportunities to become an author. However, this is exactly what makes beginners so confused: everything is at hand, and you can start anytime, but how can you do that? What are the secrets of becoming a successful blogger with thousands of subscribers?
Well, it is worth saying that every popular blogger was a beginner at some point. There is no ultimate recipe of success, still hard work and smart approach will surely increase your chances. In this post, we are going to discuss some valuable advice on how to start a blog and which direction to take if you already have one. So read on and get some insights!
Come up with a title
Starting a blog, you have to think up a simple name, which is easy to remember. The name should be strongly related to the topic of the blog and your potential audience. Make sure that the name of your blog clearly reflects the content and captures the ideas you are going to develop. To do so, just write down a couple of variants that come to your head and then choose the one that seems the most original and eye-catching to you.
Choose the platform
The next step is a registration of your domain on a blogging platform. There is a wide range of various host-sites available online, some are free, the others require a small fee. As a rule, those platforms that require payment allow users to store more files, videos and images. So if you are about to locate a lot of visual content, you should consider a paid option.
One of the most popular hosting sites used by millions of bloggers is WordPress. With its help, you can create a blog or a website and manage it the way you want. It has numerous free plugins as well as paid tools. At WordPress, you will have to purchase a domain name and pay for hosting every month. The second popular platform is Bluehost, which is an official hosting provider recommended and supported by WordPress. Both resources are search-engine friendly.
If you are looking for a free option, you may try Blogger. It has significantly fewer tools and design options than the platforms described above, however, it is a perfect variant for non-tech-savvy beginners.
Make it personalized
Most platforms have ready-made design options to choose from. Again, some themes are free, and the others are paid, still inexpensive (once you purchase a theme, you will own it forever). In most cases, choosing a default theme is not enough to make your blog personalized, so you are recommended to spend some time modifying it.
The visual part of your blog is no less important than the content you are going to publish. The best option is to create your own logotype for a blog to make it recognizable. If you are not very good at design, try hiring a freelance artist to draw a logo for you or use free images found online (just don’t grab hold of the copyrighted content). Besides the logotype, you can locate a photo of yourself on the main page – this will make your future readers more loyal and identified with you.
Statistics and plugins are important
Before you start posting, make sure that you create a subscription button for your future fans. Google has a special tool for email subscriptions called FeedBurner. Also, don’t forget to get yourself a Google Analytics account to keep an eye on the statistics.
Check the chosen blog platform for some plugins and choose the coolest ones. There is a great variety of them, so you will certainly find the ones that suit you best. Installation won’t take you more than a couple of minutes.
Write valuable content and do it regularly
You have to create blog that brings value or entertain the readers since these are two main reasons for them to subscribe. Usually, people want to get some practical advice that can help them become better at something or just have some fun.
Indeed, your audience is the first thing to consider here. However, it is no less important to think about yourself. Of course, you should not be a good dissertation writer or creative writer to produce valuable content, all you need is to have any passion for it. First and foremost, your blog must be devoted to something that interests you.
Choosing important topics
It might be easy to say that you should produce valuable content to attract the attention of your potential audience and make it grow. But how do you know which topic is more interesting than the other ones? When choosing a theme for a post, think about the following questions:
- What are the common questions people asking about?
To answer this question, you can do quick research. Check some forums and blogs that are related to your main topic and read the comments and questions of the readers. If a few users ask the same question, then you can provide them with an answer in your post.
- Do you mind about debating on the topic?
The sphere of blogging is all about discussions. Get ready that some readers won’t agree with your thoughts, while the others will criticize your position or express their own vision of the point. Actually, having active audience ready to discuss the question from all angles is amazing. Just make sure that you are not too sensitive about the topic.
- Do you have some problem solutions to share?
No matter what the main idea of your blog is, chances are that it may have some challenges common for everyone. In fact, people are similar in a lot of ways, so if you can share some solutions that have helped you deal with some important issues, chances are that your readers will find them useful and interesting, too.
Do something most authors won’t do
If you have time and inspiration to create a longer or deeper post – do it! Detailed and large texts are not only good sources for your readers. They are also more preferred by Google as the best answers to the questions people are asking. Put your best efforts to create better content than regular bloggers do. Most of them usually write a list of quick tips or basic information. Such blog posts rarely contain any extras, like additional research, high level of expertise, and personal experience. Be different and provide something special to your audience and see how the number of your subscribers grow.
Stay on track not to run out of ideas
Most bloggers, especially those that make their first steps, are worried about running out of ideas. It is quite natural to have anxiety like that: you feel some kind of responsibility about blogging and want to reassure yourself that you will keep on going in the long run. Here are some useful recommendations on how to stay tuned all the time:
- Have a notebook or mobile phone notes at hand
Make sure that there is a minimum time gap between the moment an idea comes to you and the moment you write it down. Don’t rely on your memory, because this is the best way to lose your best ideas and never find them again. Even if you are not sure that you will use it or that it is good enough – write it down anyway. You will decide whether it is valuable or not later. Keep a notebook in your pocket or just use the notes on your mobile phone to fix your ideas and rework them later.
- Make your knowledge deeper
Even if you think of yourself as an expert of your niche, always stay to update. Most niches never stop moving and changing, so you need to be in the loop. Read new articles, books and blogs related to your sphere of interest, and you will always come up with something new to write about. You can even use these materials as a basis of your posts, sharing and analyzing what you have learned from them.
- Books, movies, people
Be sure that these are three never-ending sources of inspiration. There are so many themes and streams of thought you can find in books and films, so why don’t you use them? As for the conversations of the real people, we bet that you will get surprised once you start having the ear for them.
- Revisit the same topics
It’s okay to come back to the topics you have already written about. You may observe them from different angles and provide deeper expertise. The old readers will appreciate the reminder and accuracy; the new ones will read about something they might have missed.
- Discover the subtopics
A large and interesting topic is like a labyrinth: you can always follow another corridor and see it having even more corridors. Think about the smaller topics related to a central theme and develop them into full-fledged posts.
Make the headlines attractive
Do you remember those moments when you scroll some informational resource and suddenly click on the headline of the article because you just cannot resist it? What is more, the content of the article may be mediocre, but you find yourself reading it already. Well, this is something that really works and makes a huge difference.
People pay attention to headlines when they sound interesting. We strongly recommend you to research this topic better and find some blogging tips that reveal more information about the headlines. Get enough information and come up with your own recipe of creating attractive titles. In general, there are some keywords and word combinations that always arrest sights. They are:
- How to
- Expert’s/Celebrity’s Advice
These are truly magical words to get more readers, but make sure that you use them properly and thoughtfully.
If you cannot produce a post every week, then don’t push yourself
You will find millions of experts who claim that posting at least once a week is crucial. They say that unless you write posts that often, you will not only lose the existing subscribers but won’t get any new ones. On the one hand, writing regularly is a good practice. On the other hand, the quantity of your subscribers doesn’t have direct bonds of the regularity of your posts.
It is much better to spend more time creating better and larger articles for your blog and post them only 2 or 3 times a month than producing weaker content more frequently. Actually, readers value the quality of content more than the number of posts per month, so move on your own time. Write better instead of writing faster.
Ensure readability of your posts
Readers are not comfortable with massive texts. If you don’t want them to heave a groan and close your blog once and forever, make sure that you make your texts readable. Break them into small paragraphs, use titles and subtitles, include pictures, add points and lists. These are the basic formatting elements you cannot do without.
Include a FAQ page
If you are just a beginner, you might think about a small list of questions that your readers will certainly have about your blog and its main theme. Create a FAQ page and list those questions along with the answers. For example, you may start with some organizational ones that relate to guest posting, advertising, or link swapping. It is especially useful if you don’t plan to do anything like that. Later, you will expand the list of questions if some of them will repeat in the comments section or in the messages you receive via email.
Follow these steps and make sure that you come back to them any time you have questions about your blog. No more procrastination: start writing it today!
Nicole Cowart is a professional academic writer. She assists college and university students to write better texts of all types. She has a PhD degree in Sociology and a number of professionally-written academic texts on the related topics. Also, Nicole is fond of sharing her thoughts and ideas in her personal blog.