So you’ve practiced around enough and realized you have the writing skills, expertise, and enough interest on a subject to start a blog. For that reason, you secured a domain name with hosting and you’re just ready to dig in and become a valued authority on the subject. Great! Congratulations to you!
Although it’s a great thing to have the writing skills and expertise on topics you intend to write about, there’s more to blogging than just those two. Many bloggers venture into the terrain unprepared, and once they encounter a few truths about maintaining a blog, they lose interest and the blog dies. That shouldn’t be your story, so here we present to you some important info you’ll need to start a blog and keep it alive for a long time.
Things To Consider When You Start A Blog
Know The Keyword or Theme To Build Your Blog Around
A constant mistake that new bloggers make is to fall for the temptation to write about any and everything. I get it; you want to have content that would drive traffic to your blog, and that need for traffic is not wrong. However, would you want to take investment advice from your lotto staking cousin, or you’d opt for the professional advice of a stock broker and trader? See the difference?
Inasmuch as you want to have something for everyone, it doesn’t benefit you in the end as your visitors cannot get to binge read on the blog. All they can get from you is an unsatisfied craving and before you realize it, no one rates your site as a preferred source of information.
Build your blog around a theme that is of interest to people. It doesn’t necessarily have to be popular (entertainment and gossip). Rather, you can focus on a niche like travel and lifestyle. Of course, it begins with you having interest in the subject.
Provide Valuable Content
Now that you’ve chosen a keyword for your blog, you would have content to deal with next. You shouldn’t just write for the sake of it. Take time to do your research so you can write informed articles that readers would be more likely to use as references, or share to their Facebook timelines.
The more valuable and informative your pieces are, the more you establish yourself as an authority on the subject. That would cause readers to seek your expertise on that and related topics or issues. And yes, content should be developed based on keywords too. You wouldn’t want to write a killer article that gets lost in the jungle because of unfavorable keywords and SEO.
Related: Become An Aspirational Brand
Guest Blogging Does Wonders
So you’ve gone ahead to start a blog. Great! What next? You’re unknown, and just as you wouldn’t want to get into an Uber with a lowly rated driver, search engines would not want to pay attention to you because your blog has no authority.
The solution to the above dilemma is to build backlinks by guest blogging for more authoritative sites. Again, it all comes down to the quality of your content. Authoritative websites would readily allow you to link with their pages when they know that your content is decent enough.
Create and Use High Quality Images
If you are like me, low quality and pixelated images are a sad sight for otherwise quality articles to have. High quality images tend to keep people interested in your articles as they stimulate their visual senses. Thankfully, creating beautiful images is not a difficult thing.
Make Use of Social Media
Sometimes readers don’t get to visit your site until an interesting article floats through their Facebook or Twitter timeline — making them click or tap the link. Social media is important for promoting your content.
Imagine just 10% of your over 4000 Facebook friends interacting with your posts and clicking links. That adds up to make a beautiful number, right? But that is not all there is to it.
You can use your social media community to test the waters if you decide to give the blog a new direction. Running surveys that inform you about what your readership want to be served would go a long way in helping increase your blog’s reach because you know just what to draw them in with.
Don’t Clickbait, But Be Creative With Headlines
You know, one of the biggest turnoffs for me personally is when I come across sensational headlines that have no relation to the story in the least. Click bait would certainly get you clicks for some time, but soon enough, people would see through your act and your blog would be ignored. That’s a painful experience you wouldn’t want to have.
Avoid Being Too Focused On Analytics in The Beginning
When I started writing on my design site, I loved how the first post got 100 hits. That made me look forward to the next post. But something changed. I only had 41 hits on the next and between that and my fifth post, it kept dwindling till we ended at 19 hits. I was devastated.
Don’t do that to yourself. It’s a waste of time when you’re just starting out. Of course, in the future when you’re running paid campaigns, you’d be right to want to do some real-time monitoring but not before then.
Rather than doing daily checks from the moment you start a blog, schedule a day in the week for monitoring your blog’s analytics.
Update Old Content
One of the first things you do when you start a blog is to publish a couple of articles. And more often than not, those earliest articles are the most neglected when it comes to updating the content. Unfortunately, so long as it is online, someone would stumble on it someday and read a lot of things that may no longer be accurate to the prevailing situation.
Always make it a point to revisit your older articles, read through them, and make edits or corrections where necessary. Remember, you want to be a credible and authoritative blogger.
Remember Your Internal Links
You know how good it feels when you’re done digesting an article and you spot a ‘Related: XYZ’ so you click on that link and continue reading? Yes, that’s one importance of having internal links; helping people navigate through your site.
The second is that it helps Google and other search engines to rank your site and posts. How? Assuming that one of your posts gets a lot of traction and is therefore highly ranked, the internal links to other articles also get a better ranking via association. See how good that sounds? Link up more often.
Be Mindful of Site Security
Site security is often one overlooked aspect for most people in the early days when they start a blog. That shouldn’t be you. While some things like server crashes are out of your control, others are very much in your hands to be in charge of.
For example, you need to keep your site and its plugins updated to protect yourself from getting hacked through obsolete software.
Also, when you get notifications about failed, or forced login attempts, please pay attention.