The final impressions those interested in blogging get is that starting a blog has never been easier. There are so many platforms, tools, and online tutorials to guide you through the process, even if you are entirely new to this digital marketing world.
At the same time, blogging has never been more difficult. Numerous challenges might get in your way, but what is most difficult is to stay in the game. So many blogs start every minute, covering all sorts of topics you might imagine. One would think that the blogosphere has become so crowded that one more blog would hardly make any difference. More importantly, it will barely have any influence.
Although these are obvious challenges, when you start a blog, you must not cave in to such thoughts. You have to believe in your idea and your blog, to strive to achieve your goals and succeed in the online world.
Here are some final thoughts to think about.
Blogging and online marketing
On several occasions in this ebook, you have noticed how online marketing and blogging are connected. First, you have SEO, as a necessary step to position your blog content. Then there are social networks, as a way to share your content with online audience. Other areas, you should explore, include:
One of the most powerful weapons of bloggers is their mailing list. Many types of research have confirmed that email marketing brings the highest ROI out of all online marketing sectors. This is why building a mailing list should be one of your top priorities from the start.
When you have a mailing list of high quality, with subscribers who are genuinely interested in hearing from you, you will have the tool to turn this influence and your blog into something more. You will build a following that will promote you as a blogger and open so many new opportunities to grow your blog.
Search engine marketing
Search engine ads are definitely a quick solution to attract new visitors when you first start, and you hardly see any visits from organic reach. However, do not use these campaigns just for the sake of few new visits.
Instead, create a marketing campaign with specific goals which you will achieve through this kind of paid online promotion. Also, make sure you understand the process of setting up search engines ads, as well as the best ways to target and customize your ads.
Another type of online marketing which is often linked to blogging is affiliate marketing. In essence, this is the type of online marketing that is focused on the promotion of products and services of other businesses (called merchants). A blogger is an affiliate (or publisher) who shares affiliate links which generate commission based on the percentage of sale price.
Having a successful blog and lots of trust among your visitors increases the likelihood of them clicking on these links. As a result, you are able to get better deals and increase the number of conversions you achieve.
Being a successful blogger does not only require being a good writer. To succeed as a blogger, you need to be a marketer as well. Knowledge about online marketing is extremely helpful for boosting the performance of your blog and improving your blogging strategy. Therefore, the next step for you is to explore each segment of online marketing in more details. This will help you extend your knowledge of online practices and how blogging is an inseparable part of the online world.
The importance of community lies in interaction. There are two aspects of communities to have in mind. Firstly, as a blogger, you are a member of a broader community known as the blogosphere. Through interaction on social networks, blog commenting, collaborations and blogger meetups, you get to become a member of blogging communities from your niche, from your local town, etc. Having these connections is very helpful for building your influence and discovering potential opportunities. It is also useful for exchanging experience.
The other aspect of community building is the community you create with your blog visitors. Working on building respect and good relationships with your visitors is a strategy that can help you with boosting your blog performance. Having a community offers exclusiveness and motive for people to take part. It can also come with additional perks such as early access to premium content, exclusive downloadable materials, etc.
Along the line, there is an option to monetize community by introducing membership fee, or simply by advertising paid content or products to the community members. Unlike regular visitors, they are more likely to buy from you because they know you and they trust your opinion.
Planning and documenting
Regardless if you start blogging as a hobby or you plan to become the influencer in your industry and make a living through your blog, planning and documenting your blogging strategy should be a routine you adopt early on.
All that documentation and reporting might seem too corporate and business-oriented for you, but here is the thing. You cannot evaluate any of your performance without comparing the results with the plan. Furthermore, you cannot find the formula for success unless you document everything which allows you to detect the good and the bad of the strategy you are currently implementing.
These are two main documents you need to have:
This will list all of the goals you want to achieve, as well as the actions that you will implement to achieve those goals. A plan will be your roadmap to help you keep your blogging activity focused on the goals.
As you start implementing your planned strategy, document the results along the way. Let this be a sort of a blogging journal for you. Things like “[post title] got lots of social shares”, “collaboration with [influencer] was a success, resulting in [number] of leads”, or “poor sign-up rate using the signup button”, etc. are only some ideas what your documentation should include. Basically, anything that can be helpful to evaluate your blog performance should be here.
In the end, compare the two documents, to detect both the strengths and weaknesses of your blogging strategy. Use the information to refine your blogging and discover new ways how you can grow your blog and improve your career of being a blogger.
Reasons to start a blog
Although blog monetization is a common motive for starting a blog, it is not the only one. People start blogging for many different reasons, and those often include:
- Share what you know
- Inspire others
- Promote what you do
- Build your reputation
- Reach online users (potential clients or customers)
- Attract specific audience (meet new people, stay connected with people you know)
- Create opportunities (such as job opportunity, possibility to travel, participate in conferences, etc.)
- Become a better writer and more comfortable with exposure
- Personal development (stay active, become knowledgeable, improve your skills)
- Professional development (keep up with the industry-related events, conferences, follow the new practices and relevant standards, etc.)
Each of these can be a motive for you to start blogging, but at the end of the day, you need to explore the topic of blogging to be able to create a blog that performs well and stands out.
To summarize everything, and create a sort of a template you can follow for your blog posting, here is a quick blogging checklist.
√ Come up with a topic (or check your content calendar if you already have defined topics you want to write about)
√ Research the topic on the internet
√ Brainstorm the ideas
√ Start writing content following the best practices
√ Edit and proofread the content
√ Optimize the content for search engines
√ Find or design visual elements to accompany this blog post
√ Create a new draft page on your blogging platform
√ Upload the article
√ Choose the adequate settings (category, tags, publishing date, etc.)
√ Publish the content on your blog and proofread again (check if links work, images are displayed correctly, etc.)
√ Share the article on your social media profiles
√ Share the article with your subscribers
√ Consider other ways for the promotion of the article
Feel free to adapt and adjust this list to make a custom checklist to help you when creating and promoting your blog content.
The final thought
Everything you create as a blogger should be based on your understanding of the target audience. After all, the feedback you get from your readers is the most relevant metric you should have in mind. Regardless if you try is to teach them, to entertain them, to help them solve a problem. Your goal is always to reach and affect online users.
All of the practice above, including SEO and paid promotions, are also designed with this goal in mind.
Finally, your content is what is going to be a deciding factor in how successful your blog is. Focus on creating content of an outstanding quality that will appeal to your target group. Only then will you be able to make loyal following and discover true possibilities of becoming an influential blogger.