Remember what it felt like to start your blog from scratch? Choosing the URL (if you haven’t done that yet, this post will help), what we would write about, and the themes we would choose for our blogs were three of the many questions we asked ourselves as we created our blogs. Once a blog is created, it can be taken in many directions. After struggling in the beginning and learning as I continued in my journey, my blog has now become a successful blog that routinely gets tens of thousands of visitors every month.
Making your blog become successful at a quick rate requires you to have direction early in the process. It took me a long time to acquire the knowledge that I know now, so I wanted to share with you how you can build a successful blog regardless of whether you have been writing blog posts for years or if you just created your blog a few days ago.
Getting Everything Set Up
Preparing yourself for success is just as important as putting in the work that will allow you to become successful. Right when you set up your blog, you must write a compelling About Me Page that tells your story, where you came from, where you are now, and your expertise.
After you write an About Me Page, you must develop a structure for your blog posts. What will they be about? How will you start them off? What will the body of your typical blog post look like? How will you conclude your blog posts? How will you get pictures on your blog (I use Canva)? How long will your blog posts be? These are some of the questions that you must ask yourself as you set up the structure of your blog posts. If you do not know how to set up your blog posts, then look at other bloggers for inspiration. I read hundreds of blog posts written by different bloggers, and after reading those blog posts, I got exposed to many different blog post structures and styles of writing, that when combined with my unique style, I came up with my own blog post structure that I go by for every blog post I write. Establishing your structure in the beginning will make it easier for you to write high value content.
Your best bet to getting traffic in the beginning is to use social media. Twitter alone led to the transformation of this blog. In 2013, this blog almost got 15,000 visitors for the year. In 2014, this same blog almost got 250,000 visitors for the year, and Twitter led the massive transformation. SEO traffic also dramatically increased, but the main reason my SEO traffic increased was because my Twitter traffic dramatically increased. The best and easiest way to increase your SEO traffic is to get more social media traffic because social media plays a big role in how much traffic you get from the search engines. The more active you are on the social networks, and the more time your content gets shared on various social networks, the more search engine traffic your blog will get.
Based on my experience of accumulating hundreds of thousands of social media followers, the best thing you can do for your social media strategy is to focus all of your time on social media towards growing one of your social media accounts.
Optimizing Your Blog For Subscribers
One of the things you should focus on right from the start is growing your email list. This is the one factor I missed for a long time, and it cost me thousands of subscribers. Because my blog was not optimized for getting subscribers, my first 150,000 visitors only resulted in 300 subscribers. I knew that I could do better than that, and I was reading more and more blog posts that included the famous phrase, “The money is in the list.”
After reading enough of those blog posts, I decided to create an account on iContact, create an emailing list, and then optimize my blog for getting more subscribers. The advantage of using a service like iContact or Aweber is that you have more control over what emails get sent to your subscribers, you can use tools with these services that you can’t use with a free service, and you get access to powerful email marketing features such as autoresponders and segments.
A few days after I joined iContact, I had my own landing page. I used Optimize Press to create my first landing page and the other landing pages on my blog. Optimize Press makes landing page creation simple, and right when I had my landing page, I promoted it on social media. In a few weeks, I found myself going from gaining no subscribers every day to gaining 10 subscribers every day. The quick transformation occurred in part because I already had over 100,000 Twitter followers at that point, and I gained a steady 200-500 new followers every day.
The first way most bloggers promote their products is by displaying those products on the sidebar. Although product placement on a blog’s sidebar does lead to some sales, most of the top bloggers rely on email marketing and state that email marketing is more successful at getting sales than a blog’s sidebar by a long shot. This is why growing your email list is so important.
As you grow your email list, you must communicate with the people on your email list. Set up a week long autoresponder that automatically sends a series of emails to anyone who joins your email list. In this autoresponder, you should let people know about your story, provide advice, and then do a product pitch at the very end of the email.
Not only can you get more sales with an autoresponder, but you can also send an email blast to your list in which you do a product promotion. You should be routinely communicating with your email list once per week and providing them with value, but every 6-12 weeks, don’t feel shy to promote one of your products. Part of the reason you build your email list is to accumulate more revenue so your message can survive and spread. You get that revenue by promoting your products and getting sales. Whether you choose to rely on affiliate marketing, your own products, or both of them is your call, but I recommend creating at least one product so you have more control over how much revenue that product generates.
Building a blogging empire from scratch requires you to know just enough about building a blogging empire from scratch. The other requirement is that you implement the knowledge and learn along the way. You just need to start out with enough knowledge in the beginning because you will acquire enough knowledge later in your journey that will allow you to turn your blog into a massive success.
Did you just start your blog? Do you remember the first blog post you published and how you felt? How is your blogging empire going? What tips do you have for us so we can grow our blogging empires? Please share your thoughts and advice below.