If you are passionate about a topic, then know that the internet is a great way for you to share your passion for users. For this, you can choose to create a blog that will be your way to publish your articles and share your knowledge. So I wanted my turn to help people who want to know how to start a successful blog, and all the necessary steps. This guide will be divided into several parts in order to make it more easily understandable. Know that even if you are a beginner, you can still create your blog, because all the required knowledge will be given in this guide.
How to start a successful blog, the complete guide
Start a successful blog is not something difficult, it takes work and regularity. So you need before starting this guide know which subject or what theme you will make your blog. You must preferably make your blog on a topic you control, so you have something to say. Finally, start a blog does not require a large financial investment. I’ll show you all the steps to follow for you to have all the odds on your side so that your blog meets success.
Part 1 – CMS choice:
A CMS or Content Management System is a tool that will allow you to easily set up the base of your website. With a few clicks, you can set up a blog and start posting articles. There are many CMS, among the most famous are WordPress, Joomla or Dotclear. In my case, I work with WordPress because it has a very large community and allows to do everything I want. Thus, for this guide, I will use WordPress and you also recommend using this CMS. It is very simple to use, very easy to understand, offers essential plugins (including for SEO) and very complete. You can download it by visiting the official website. However, in the next part of this guide I will present a web host that has an option to automatically install WordPress. In general, you should know that WordPress is recommended by most of the professionals. You do not need knowledge in languages like PHP or HTML to understand how it works, because with its interface you will be able to publish all the content you want in just few clicks. You can also find out about other CMS, but I highly recommend choosing WordPress.
Part 2 – The hosting:
The hosting of your website is a crucial element that you should consider. Indeed, you must choose an hosting according to your financial means but also take account the performances and options that are offered by the hosting provider. I recommend the hosting provider A2 Hosting, which offers a package starting from $ 3.95 per month, which is perfect if you do not have a big budget. Similarly A2 Hosting offers very good performances which is a real plus to make your blog faster. This will allow your visitors to have greater comfort but also to have better SEO because the speed is a parameter that is taken into account by search engines. Similarly, it has an option “1-Click WordPress” which will allow you to install WordPress easily. You must, with your host, choose the domain name of your blog. That is the web address that will be enter by visitors to access your site. I advise you to choose a domain name in connection with the theme of your blog, a short and simple name to remember if possible. Once you have subscribed to the offer of the hoster, you can install WordPress by clicking the button.
You will have access to your newly installed blog. In the next part we will see the basic configuration that I recommend.
Part 3 – Configuration & Plugins and Theme
WordPress force is that it is both easy to configure and allows it to do many things. Once you have installed your WordPress blog, you will have to do some basic settings. I will present the settings I make on each of my blogs, so that they are more efficient, more comfortable and more suitable for SEO. First, you must enable URL Rewriting. For this you go to Settings -> Permalinks and I advise you to choose “Post name” like structure. This will give you the URL more user friendly and more suitable for SEO.
Then, in order to analyze traffic to your blog, I advise you to install Google Analytics on your blog. To do this, simply go to the official website of Google Analytics, create an account and install the code that will be given. This will allow you to know the source of your visitors, the more pages viewed, the average length of sessions and other important information.
WordPress is a CMS that allows you to add plugins to increase functionality. Two plugins I advise you to install: Yoast SEO and Contact Form 7.
Yoast SEO is undoubtedly the plugin for SEO the most efficient. It will allow you to make your blog and his articles are optimized for SEO. Yoast base settings are sufficient, but you can change them by going to the “SEO” section that appears once you have installed the plugin.
Contact Form 7 is a plugin that allows you to add contact forms, to put your visitors to contact you. This is very important and gives trust to your visitors.
To install a plugin, you must go to the Plugins section -> Add New and then search for the plugin you want to install. Plugins are installed in a few clicks, everything is indicated on the screen and this is very simple to do.
Finally, it may be that you want to customize the template of your blog. For this you have to go to the Appearance section -> Themes -> Add new. You can then view the available templates and install one that suits you best.
These steps are very important, it not only allows you to customize your blog to match as much as possible about your blog, but also to make it efficient for both your visitors and search engines. To start a successful blog, it’s really important to customize it carefully.
Part 4 – Importance of Content & tips for writing articles
The content is the most important part of a website. This is why you should particularly take care of the articles you will write in your blog. It is advisable to have at least 400 to 500 words in an article. WordPress includes a word counter for you to know how many words you have in your article. I advise you to follow the recommendations of the plugin “Yoast” are displayed at the bottom of the article editor. You will be able to see the points you need to improve your article to be as perfect as possible.
You must ensure that each article of your blog deals with a different topic so that you cover as many keywords as possible (that is called LongTrail). If possible, you should have a keyword = a article. You will have all the odds in your favor for the content that you write is best ranked in the search engines.
Another important point is the regularity in writing articles. You must publish articles regularly, whether an article a week, an article every two weeks, etc.
Visitors and search engines love when there is new content on a blog, so feel free to publish content. But the content you post should be good quality, if possible with images and videos to make the content even more attractive. So I urge you to follow the recommendations of the plugin “Yoast” so that your articles are written on a good bases. You can use softwares like Kontent Machine to help you.
Part 5 – Competitors & Keywords & Backlinks:
The backlinks are important for SEO. They allow your blog to gain popularity and therefore ranking in search engines. Similarly, you must define the keywords you want your blog ranks on. To help you find keywords, you can use a tool like SEMrush (tutorial) which will help you see the keywords of your competitors and give you ideas. For example you can create an Excel file in which you list the keywords that you will work on.
To acquire backlinks, there are several solutions. First, you should know that the backlinks should be quality ones , if possible from the websites of the same theme as your. To get them, you can contact the webmasters of blogs in your theme and you can offer them to write articles for them and in return you put a backlink to your website within articles. This method is called “Guest Blogging”. You can also submit your blog to directories, but be careful to choose and submit your blog only those with strict editorial rules. It is also possible to make the promotion of your blog on forums. Similarly, you can use software to help you create backlinks such as GSA Search Engine Ranker. I wrote an article that gives the best means of acquiring backlinks, you can read it here. Remember that it is also possible to spy on your competitors to know what their best backlinks. You can use tools like SemRush (tutorial) to do that.
Part 6 – Importance of social networks and newsletters:
Today, social networks have become very important. Almost all Internet users use at least one social network, be it Facebook or Twitter. That means you will need to create a Facebook page and a Twitter account for your blog. You will use these social networks to promote not only your articles but also to create a community. By creating a community, it will allow you to ensure a steady traffic and build an important relationship with your visitors. You can promote on social networks your latest articles but also to share with your fans some specific benefits to tempt your guests to join you on social networks.
Another very important element is the newsletter. Once you launch your blog, you need to set up a newsletter. There are services that are very affordable and you will collect the emails of your visitors to send your news. For example, you have Aweber which is undoubtedly the most used service to manage newsletter service. You can set up on your blog on a small form in which visitors enter their email address to receive your news. You should know that the newsletter has a high open rate, so you can enjoy it to broadcast your best articles. Please note, you must not spam your users, I suggest you send them your newsletter not more than once a week. If you want to start a successful blog, then you should not neglect the social networks and the newsletter.
Part 7 – Monetization:
Once you get traffic to your blog, you can monetize it in order to make money with your blog. There are many ways to monetize a blog, and it greatly depends on the theme of your blog. For example you can choose a platform that will pay you per click, ie each time one of your visitors clicks on one of your ads, you will earn money. The advertising agency best known for this model of monetization is Google Adsense. You simply sign up there and you get a code to place on your pages to display advertisements.
There are also CPA (Cost per Action) as monetization method. This means that when a visitor would click on an ad on your blog and then make a certain action as register on the target website, you earn a commission. For monetization in CPA, you have for example the advertising company Commission Junction.
You can also use affiliation method, ie each time a visitor goes through your links to purchase a product, you earn a commission. You have Amazon which offers a very profitable affiliate program.
You have to adapt the mode of monetization based on the theme of your blog and depending on your traffic. You can visit the blogs of your competitors to see how they monetize their blog.
Part 8 – Goals:
Finally, you must set goals according to your expectations and according to the theme of your blog when you start a successful blog. This is a very important part because you will thus have to work according to your goals. The more difficult they are, the more you have to work on your blog. The best way is to create a file in which you will rank your goals and you can maintain this file based on the achievement of these goals.
Everything You Need To Know When Starting Your First Successful Blog
Blogging is one of the most effective means to increasing website traffic, generating quality leads and conversions, boosting SEO ranking, and building website visitor engagement. These amazing benefits are why 76 percent of B2B businesses use blogging as a direct content marketing tactic. However, starting a new blog that actually gains traction is a monumental task that isn‘t always easy to accomplish. How to start a successful blog?
Only 38 percent of marketers rank their content marketing strategy effective, which includes blogging. The biggest challenges you face include lack of time, producing enough engaging content, measuring effectiveness, and developing a consistent strategy. Luckily, there are many key components to implement into your blogging strategy when starting a new blog, but success won‘t happen overnight.
Creating a Blog Strategy
The very core to your blog is your content. Quality content is king, so develop a content strategy that asserts your credibility in your specific industry, while delivering content that’s well written, compelling, and information. Your main objectives are to drive sales and leads, engage customers and influencers, and boost brand awareness. However, your readers need to be your top priority. You can’t just throw up a post and expect it to create a buzz because, according toDemandGen Report, only 40 percent of blog posts are shared.
To encourage more views and shares:
- The three most effective aspects in every post must include audience relevance, engaging and compelling information, and triggering a response.
- Always develop informative and well written content that offers a unique approach.
- Long blog posts outperform shortposts so aim for over 2,000 words because they are more likely to land on page one of Google.
- Don’t duplicate your content unless you want to end up with a Panda penalty.
- Don’t create thin content that’s keyword stuffed or you can expect a Google penalty.
- Keep the discussion going with an engaging post to encourage interaction, comments, and social shares.
- Make the content easily shareable.
- Leave your readers craving more to keep them coming back.
- Use different types of formats, such as lists and How-to posts.
Incorporate Visual Content
90 percent of the information we retain is through visuals, making visual content essential for building reader engagement. Not only will you communicate with readers more effectively, but visuals help build trust and encourage social sharing. Plus, many social networks favor visuals over text, including Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest.
As research shows that blogs utilizing visuals receive 94 percent more views than those without, remember to:
- Use a variety of visuals, including images, videos, and infographics.
- Incorporate keywords in the image file name to rank in Google image search.
- Add additional alt tags for higher ranking.
- Use the proper dimensions. Generally, the bigger your image, the better it will rank.
- Compress image files but maintain the image quality.
- Make sure images are original and unique for better ranking.
- For infographics, use an embeddable code for easy sharing to increase backlinks as infographics have a high engagement rate.
To make your blog posts highly visible, incorporate relevant keywords within each post. When making your keyword selections, research the keywords your competitors are using, in addition to selecting those that are most relevant to your industry.
When optimizing your blog posts:
- Use keywords as naturally as possible, especially with the rising use of spoken search from mobile devices.
- Incorporate attractive keywords in your headline and your headings.
- Place your keywords in the first 100 words and in the last paragraph. If possible, use your keywords a couple of times in the remainder of the text, but don’t keyword stuff.
Build Your Links
Not only will internal links within your blog aid site navigation, but will help you pass Page Rank between blog posts. The link authority you build with internal linking will help you rank higher on search engines with more relevant keywords.
When setting your internal links, remember:
- Use an appropriate anchor text, but don’t stuff the anchor text with too many keywords to maintain the flow of the content.
- Crosslink previous blog posts to new blog posts that are relevant, which will help build the ranking of your older posts.
- Periodically, go back to your old blog posts and link to your newer posts to allow older posts to maintain their authority.
- Only link to the most important pages and posts.
External links are used as a ranking signal to promote your page rank to drive traffic to your blog. However, external links are only effective when the connected content is relevant and linked to trustworthy sites.
To build external links:
- Link to relevant sources within your posts to develop links and build your credibility.
- When stating facts and important information, link to the source.
- Link to industry influencers and notify them to encourage social sharing.
- Use variations of anchor texts to link to the targeted pages.
Promote Mobile Optimization
With mobile searches exceeding that of PC searches, your blog must support mobile devices. This includes having a responsive and mobile optimized design that loads quickly. 73 percent of mobile internet users will leave a website if the content loads too slow, often within the first 4 seconds. Not to mention, Google takes the user experience seriously when ranking a website.
When designing your blog:
- Use a responsive, mobile-friendly design.
- Optimize media for load time. Consider using Google Page Speed to resolve any issues.
- Use easy to read texts as it’s the most frustrating aspect for blog readers.
Choose Appropriate Distribution
As a general rule of thumb, you should spend approximately 20 percent of your time creating content and the remaining 80 percent promoting it. Social media is among the top method used to promote blogs, with Facebook driving more referrals than any other social platform.
To successfully promote your blog:
- Choose appropriate social media networks.
- Integrate Google+ into your blog to establish authorship.
- Create engaging posts with images to encourage clicks and interaction.
- Build your email list.
- Post in LinkedIN groups instead of just sharing on your own timeline to attract more visitors.
Prepare for the Future
When you start a successful blog, you always want to be thinking ahead. Work to build big connections early on to maintain long term relationships that will benefit your blog in the future. However, be prepared for the growth of your blog as the larger your blog becomes, the more you’ll be at risk for security breaches. Be sure to install great security features, and keep backups of your website, blog, and files. Monitor the growth of your blog with analytic tools and metrics to keep you on the right path.
Conclusion of the guide: Start a successful blog
As we have seen in this guide, start a successful blog is not difficult. It needs work and discipline, which is accessible to everyone. You must follow all the steps to put the odds on your side. I meant to write this tutorial to make it understandable by the greatest number of people, beginner or not. Feel free to post in the comments if you need advice or have any questions, I’ll answer as best I can. Keep in mind that creating a blog is to be a long term project, you have to work to get results. You should not discourage you and persevere, it is the key to success on the internet.