At one point or another, every blogger writes an article containing advice for new bloggers. Blogging is a constant learning process and, although I’m still learning myself, I’ve come a long way since I first began. I’m finally ready to share with you, the blogging concepts that I think are most important for new bloggers.
Find the Content Management System (CMS) That Fits You
I chose to use WordPress as my CMS but that does not mean that it is the best choice for everyone. If you don’t consider yourself that technically inclined and would like to concentrate more on producing content, you may want to choose a more user friendly service like Tumblr or Blogger.
There are a lot of options when it comes to blogging platforms but it is important to do your research before you start blogging. It will be much more difficult to transfer all of your content from one system to another after you’ve started.
Producing Quality Content Should Be Your Top Priority
There are many things that can differentiate you from other bloggers but all successful bloggers have one thing in common: Top bloggers produce quality content.
Content is by far the most important aspect of blogging and I cannot stress enough how important it is to your success.
There are two main factors that are utterly important regarding your blog’s content:
Almost every blogger will tell you that the most important aspect of your blog’s content is the quality of that content. Although I agree, it is also true that quantity is an important factor as well.
Once you start blogging, it is important to publish articles on a regular basis. Even if you’re not producing everyday, your readers will learn your blogging habits and if they become irregular, your reader base will dwindle.
Reasons why quantity is an important factor of blogging:
- The more articles of high quality you have, the more chances you will have to show up in Google Search.
- You will have more opportunities to inlink your posts.
- You will begin to gain a reputation and benefit from word of mouth marketing.
- People like active websites. Even if your article is valuable, if you don’t have any other posts, readers will question your credibility.
- Search engines like websites that are updated on a regular basis.
As stated earlier, both quality and quantity are important factors of blogging but if it comes down to one or the other, choose quality.
Create a Flexible Plan Before You Begin
It is obvious that having a plan of action is a good idea when it comes to blogging. Decide which categories and topics you would like your blog to cover. It is also important to gain an idea of who your target market will be so you can market your blog accordingly.
Flexibility is also an important factor that should be included in your blog’s plan. Until you start publishing, it is nearly impossible to predict exactly how people will react to your content. The actual readers of your site may be from a very different demographic than you envisioned. When the above situation or a similar one occurs, it is important to be able to react and adjust your plan to fit the needs of your audience.
Information on the internet spreads like wildfire and things can change very rapidly. If you don’t include these sudden changes in the plan of your blog, it will inevitably fail due to an inability to innovate and react.
Blog for the Right Reasons (And Have Fun)
Any successful blogger will tell you that blogging is not easy. Blogging is not a get rich quick scheme. If you want to start a blog for the sole sake of making money, then you’re not going to be concentrating your efforts on what is important and your blog will suffer because of it.
People understand that in order to provide readers with quality content, you have to be able to support yourself; so making money from your blog is okay- as long as it isn’t at the expense of your content.
You should enjoy what you’re blogging about. If you don’t, you probably won’t ever be able to produce enough quality content to sustain yourself through blogging.
I have always looked at making money as one of the lowest priorities of my site. As you may have guessed from reading above, producing quality content and educating my readers is my top priority as a blogger.
I find the best way to determine whether or not I am producing quality content, is to evaluate my traffic statistics. If my traffic increases, I look at that as a reflection of the value of my content.
User interaction is also one of my top priorities. If people are talking about and commenting on my posts, then I know my content is stimulating and that is very important.
If you concentrate on the above factors, money will eventually come without it needing to be one of your top priorities.
Interact With Your Readers
The days of creating a static site and watching people flock to it without any interaction during or after their visits are over. To be successful in the blogging industry you need to communicate with your readers.
The most important aspects of interaction are having a personality, receiving feedback from your readers and creating a brand for your blog.
Personality is a huge aspect of blogging. If your personality, or at least parts of it, aren’t communicated through your blog, then differentiating your blog from others will be exponentially more difficult.
The most beneficial part of interacting with your readers is analyzing the feedback that you receive. Remember when I mentioned creating a flexible plan for your blog earlier? This is where that comes in to play.
Based on the feedback from your readers, you can adjust the direction of your blog. If you find that your readers really enjoy a certain type of post, you can concentrate your efforts on producing posts of that type.
Social media is becoming more and more important for bloggers every day. Even Google Search is using social statistics in calculating search results. Sign up for, and be active with, as many social networks as you can.
Interacting with your readers on social networks will increase your brand recognition, increase your credibility and provide a personality for your readers to associate with your blog.
People may not remember you from one of you blog posts but may remember something funny you posted on Twitter or Facebook. The next time you post a link to your blog, they may just click on it because they remember you from the funny post you made earlier.
Never Give Up
As I stated earlier, blogging is not easy. Not everyone is going to agree with your ideas. You are going to have weeks where traffic is down. In the beginning especially, there will be times when you feel as though all your hard work is for nothing.
No matter what you do, don’t stop blogging. I can’t tell you how many blogging advice articles I’ve read, written by very successful bloggers, that stress this point.
Your hard work will pay off. It may take a year or even 5 years but, if you keep producing quality content and learn from your mistakes, you will find success. If you give up at the first sign of trouble, you will never make it far enough to enjoy the benefits of blogging.
With the rise of social media, it is very easy to go from dreary to cheery if the right person tweets or shares one of your posts. If you give up, you may never write that one article that launches your blog into the upper echelon of the blogging world.