Everybody and their dog has a blog nowadays. It’s easy to create one (there are free options, not to mention a domain name and a small hosting account are very cheap these days), so you can literally start blogging in under an hour. Some bloggers are insanely successful, others are now starting out, while many just enjoy the ride and don’t care for huge accomplishments and accolades.
I have been blogging in my country for the past 6 years already and, while I’m not the biggest blogger there, I am surely pretty well known. So here are some of my ideas that would help you get your blog into a ‘bigger league’ if you want to work on it more seriously and maybe get even better results (traffic, activity and advertising revenue). Don’t think that, if you haven’t started the blog in 2005 you stand no chance. Any good site can succeed, if you’re willing to put in the work and understand what will make your blog stand out better.
1. Is your blog PREMIUM?
I know it sounds a little tacky, but what I mean by ‘premium’ is to have a blog that’s really a serious project, with good original content that attracts people and impresses both your readers and your potential advertising clients.
Don’t go with copy-paste articles, don’t hire cheap content writers who can barely write a sentence, don’t steal content. There’s a crapload of HORRIBLE blogs, that are just created to spam a keyword and maybe get some adsense revenue. Don’t do this. If you have nothing to say, avoid the topic. It’s better to have few ideas and provide some excellent articles and tips for your readers than just go blindly for ‘quantity’ and post all kinds of junk content.
None of the big blogs were grown on bad content. Sure, some of them might seem to have slowed down. Maybe they’re re-hashing the same ideas, maybe they write too many paid articles, maybe not all their guest bloggers raise to the occasion. But their initial effort, that made an entire world notice them, was based on GOOD ORIGINAL content. Weird enough, what worked back in 2007, works in 2013, too.
Try to set up a proper blog based on a nice catchy domain name and get a small hosting plan. It’s a small investment, but you’re gonna look better in the eyes of your audience if you’re dojoblog.net for instance and not dojoblognet.blogspot.com or dojoblognet.wordpress.com. I know the free blogging platforms seem like a good deal (nothing beats free, right?), but, if you have any serious plans, make the switch to your own blog. It’s easy, cheap and amazingly rewarding.
If you cannot afford some custom theme designs (which would be the best option), get yourself a nice free/premium theme for the time being and start writing. Choose a theme that’s responsive (many visitors come from smartphones and tablets) and clean. No bells, no whistles, keep it simple and let the content shine.
Ah, and the content .. write about the things you are passionate about, research your niches and try to provide, with each article, something USEFUL and good to the people who visit/read your blog. That’s you audience, that’s the secret to make them come back again tomorrow. Consistency is also important, try to write based on a schedule so that your readers don’t leave your blog ’empty handed’.
2. Stay away from the drama
The problem with people online is that they are really ‘brave’, when they should just mind their business. I am sure that, once you’ll pick off speed with your blog (get to have some bigger traffic and following), you’ll have some ‘friends’ who’ll try to bite you with any occasion.
The best thing you can do is ignore the idiots and just mind your own project. I have been a blogger for years and was able to avoid quite some scandals. Don’t think I wasn’t being attacked. I was. But I decided to just stick to my writing, manage my small community and let them see who I really am, without trying to convince anyone I’m right. You know .. some battles are not worth winning.
Once you’ll be strong enough to really matter and attract some clients for advertising or even the services you provide (if you’re also running a small business and use the blog to drive in some sales), you’ll notice that for the client what matters is THE QUALITY of your ideas and blog. And many of them might be put off by you being the center of attention in any given online ‘war’. Don’t think clients are stupid and cannot do a Google search, believe me they can. And, if you’re constantly in all kinds of ‘battles’, being mean to other bloggers and usually having a bad attitude your ‘brave’ behavior might cost you dearly.
3. Get out of your ivory tower
One of the main concerns I have as a blogger is to make sure I’m not staying just on my blog. I like visiting many others, I love commenting there and sharing ideas. Don’t just post articles and expect people to find you. Be present in other similar blogs, forge partnerships with other bloggers and make sure people see you.
Is there an event in your city? Go there and get some ideas for your blog. Network with other people, say ‘hello’, learn about their projects and ideas. It doesn’t matter who you are or how you look, if you are a nice friendly person you’ll have a lot to win from this situation, as people love a good conversation and won’t say ‘no’ to another good blog they might bookmark.
4. Don’t sell ‘yourself’ cheaply
There’s a new trend in blogging to sell paid posts or advertising for few bucks. While a cheap banner might not break your readership too much, having to post many paid posts just to pay the bills might mess up your blog forever.
While 5 bucks might sound OK (it’s money in the bank and not money spent, right?), it might be a steep price to pay if it means making your visitors stop coming to your blog. Say you’d want to secure $100/month from paid reviews. If you sell them cheaply, you’d need 20/month to get to this revenue. This would mean almost all your content is not original and useful to your readers. So, maybe it’s a better idea to hold off monetizing for few months or 1-2 years, until you get to a decent traffic. Maybe you’ll get $100 for a paid review, which means that you’ll write one and then post your own original content.
The calculations vary, but the idea is the same: don’t fill the blog with banners, links and paid articles if you cannot get a decent rate on them. Keep it clean and nice, then start charging top dollar for the ad campaigns. Believe me, if your blog will grow nicely and be respected, you will get top dollars to promote other sites on it.
None of these tips are hard to think of or implement, but they can really make a difference. Having a nice enticing domain name, a professional look, some excellent content and being active both on your blog and others, will ensure that your online project is slowly rising to the ‘next level’. This is where you’ll be able to find success and, why not, even monetize it.
What other tips and ideas do you have in this matter? What worked for you?