At first, the entire thought of having a blog, maintaining it, and getting traffic will scare a lot of beginners. The reason beginners are scared is because they have no personal success to go by with their blog. A new blog has never raked in hundreds of daily visitors, does not have a powerful presence on the web, and does not have a lot of content. To make matters worse, when some new bloggers look at other people’s blogs, some of them adopt the “I wish that was me” attitude and end up more confused than ever. Here are 10 things about blogging you need to know right away:
- Have a picture of you on your blog. If your blog is for a business, have a picture of your business’ logo instead. My picture is on the top right sidebar of my blog which is where a lot of people will be able to see it.
- Directly under your picture should be your subscribe button. It is essential for any blogger, new or well-known, to give readers an easy-to-find option to subscribe to the blog. Having a subscription box that takes up space and is directly beneath the picture of you will help out towards getting more subscribers. These are other ways to get more subscribers to your blog.
- Focus on quality content before you focus on the traffic. This is a concept that many bloggers forget about. If you focus on the traffic, you will quickly be disappointed when you realize you are only getting 1 visitor (or none) every day. This blog started out very slow, and while it was growing slowly, I was getting more practice at writing quality content. Many of my first blog posts had typos (if you look at them now, you won’t see the typos, but many of my first blog posts are not close to the best I can do). After months of practice and daily blog posts, I had quality content to stand behind. Then, I focused on increasing my traffic since I had quality content. Earlier, I wrote a blog post about quality content not being enough. Some people think that getting big traffic numbers is better than writing quality content. In the end, quality content keeps your visitors on your blog and makes it more likely for that visitor to buy one of your products.
- Traffic can suddenly spike at any given notice. Although this will probably not happen for a few months, blog traffic does get sudden spikes. This inspirational picture is one example of a big spike in blog traffic. My blog was consistently getting 100 visitors a day, and then it jumped to 243 visitors one day, and then I was consistently getting 200 visitors every day. Furthermore, my blog was consistently getting 300 daily visitors, and then on one day, it got over 500 visitors. After that, my blog was consistently getting 350 daily visitors. The spikes do happen, and you never know when it is going to happen to you. Giving up on the blogging journey will never allow you to see the spike in traffic that catapults you to the next level.
- Start off by writing blog posts at a comfortable pace, but at least once a week. This will allow you to get the hang of blogging for the first time. As more time becomes available and you are able to write high quality blog posts faster, you should bump up the rate to 1 blog post every 3 days and work your way to publishing a blog post every day.
- Schedule your blog posts so they all get published at the same time. All of my blog posts are published at 9 am EST or 9 pm EST. The one time I tried to schedule a blog post at 6:30 am, my traffic for that day got cut in half. On the very next day, I scheduled a blog post at 9 am just like I had been, and then the traffic came back. If you schedule blog posts to be published at the same time of day spread throughout weeks, months, and years, your visitors will know exactly when you will publish another blog post. I’m sure there are people who visit my blog at 9:05 am EST because they know that there is new content up on my blog.
- Schedule a blog post for the early morning (6-10 am) or late night (9pm-12 am). Those are the times of day that most people are visiting blogs. Do not schedule blog posts in the afternoon because that’s when most people are at work. Scheduling your blog posts in the early morning or late at night are the two best times to publish blog posts in order to get more traffic.
- Build a stronger presence on social networks. Your social networks are a key component towards getting more blog traffic. By building a presence on your social networks, you will be able to build more connections, and get more visitors, subscribers, and customers. There are numerous blog posts right here on this blog that show you exactly how to grow a big following on various social networks. Here are some of those blog posts.
- Tell your friends about your blog. That traffic has to start from somewhere. Telling friends about your blog and having them subscribe also helps out towards staying motivated.
- Have an About Me page on your blog. After people go on your blog and read some of your blog posts, they will want to know more about you. This is where having an About Me page is very useful. When you create your About Me page, use it to create a powerful (but true) story about yourself. Tell people as much as you can about who you are, what you do on the web, and what you do off the web. Here is my About Me Page.
The beginning is always the most challenging process. The best form of motivation that I can give you to keep going is that I was a beginner too. Seth Godin was new to blogging at one point. So was Jeff Bullas. We can easily go even further and say that at one point, Mark Zuckerberg was new to the concept of social media. All of the successful people of our world started out as newbies. You may have just started to blog, and by doing so, you are following the footsteps of other people who are successful.