If you have strong expertise in a particular area, are looking to establish yourself as a thought leader and be able to monetize your ideas, starting a blog is a great way to do it. Very many people have started off with a humble blog and have been able to turn that into a full time career vocation. Here are a few tips on how to be a successful blogger.
Choose a good domain name
The first step is to choose a good domain name. The domain name should represent the essence of what the blog is going to be all about. Take for instance the case of a financial advisor who has retired recently after a long stint in industry, and is looking to start a blog which would provide unbiased advice on investing and financial products. A blog name like investright.com would be a great fit. Clearly, a lot of the good names would be already taken. In such a scenario, you should spend some time to come up with a name that uniquely represents your enterprise.
Choose a leading provider
There are several good hosting providers such as InMotion, GoDaddy and Bluehost. While it is fairly easy to switch providers if needed, it pays to first spend some time looking at some sites hosted by the providers and finer details of their offerings. Some must-haves would be WordPress support, unlimited storage, unlimited data transfers and 24×7 server monitoring. Do ensure that you avail a plan with a money back guarantee so that you can monitor the up time and customer service for some time and can withdraw if it is not up to expectations.
Publish focused content
Content is king (we all know that). It is very important to choose a niche which allows you to publish posts in a focused area rather than choose a broad area which does not give you the desired impact. For instance, if the person who starts a blog chooses a broad area covering the entirety of their industry, then the blog is not likely to be successful. However, if the person chooses to focus only on a specific niche, then the blog has a much higher chance of succeeding.
Good UI and general design
The blog needs to have a clean, appealing UI which is visually excellent. A bad UI will greatly diminish your blog’s audience. Again, if the blog is too heavy on text, that also negatively impacts the readability. Use of appropriate images at the right places greatly enhances the appeal of your blog.
The same is true while opting for ad servings from the provider. If your blog is constantly serving advertisements that are irrelevant or is serving an excessive number of ads, it would only serve to put off your audience. It is important to be cautious while enabling ad servings from the provider. If the provider is not reputed, it could make sense to completely avoid sourcing free ads.
Employ an appealing writing style
The blog must be authored in a manner that is fresh and yet does not sound artificially amped up. The blog needs to speak to the audience in simple yet elegant language. Needless to say, the blog must be authored in a credible, expert manner that connects to readers. Always use pithy, interesting headlines for your blog posts in order to avoid traffic dropouts due to disinterest.
Make specific efforts to boost the value of the blog
There are a couple of things you can do to boost the value of your blog. One, you should have high profile guest authors post on your blog regularly. These guest posts bring in a unique dimension to the blog and position it higher. Also do make an effort to engage with commenters on the blog. Not only will this give you an idea of where your blog stands amidst the competition, it will also give you an opportunity to pull in leads for the products and services you are selling.
Optimize your blog content for SEO
There are a number of plugins available that can help you optimize blog content for search engines. Once you provide specific target keywords to these plugins, they will help you create appropriate meta descriptions, content, URLs and suitable post titles. These plugins can help you drive more traffic to your blog.
Use Social media
Use all social media platforms to publicise your blogs. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest audiences can greatly aid in increasing blog traffic. You can use some techniques like automated content sharing, reposting blog content, WordPress’s sharing option, and hashtags to increase traffic and branding.
Use free newsletters
The first step to increase revenue possibilities for your blog is to build an email list. The most effective way to building a high quality email list is by offering a couple of newsletters for free download. Once you provide value added content on a registration basis, you are able to add newer email IDs to the emailing list. You can then start to send weekly newsletters and information about other paid content available by tapping this list.
Tap affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is probably the best way to make your blog start earning money. When you sign up with a company like Click Bank or Commission Junction, you can apply to many companies, asking to be an affiliate marketer for their products and services. You will have to pick companies that are in the same niche as you. For instance, for a travel blog, hotels and airline companies would be a good bet. Bear in mind that you should apply for these programs preferably only after your blog has been live for at least a year with a history of quality content and a reasonable amount of traffic.
Author: Mauricio Prinzlau is the CEO of Cloudwards.net, a data and user feedback driven comparison engine for cloud apps and services. He enjoys writing and producing educational videos around the cloud to help people find the best cloud service for their needs. Get in touch with him on Google+.