2017 is around the corner and that means there will be many new blogs coming out. I’m excited for the mass wave of newbies(whether they are new to blogging or creating new blogs/re-branding/re-launching)!
I’m creating a little how-to guide on having a successful blog and telling you my personal experiences to help you along if you’re completely new or just need a refresher!
I think this is the top misunderstanding that new bloggers have when starting out from scratch (I know I was one of them). Your blog is not easily monetized and you cannot easily nor quickly make income/profit from your blog unless you’re already financially set and can afford a completely high designed website with a team of promoters, marketers, and what not. If you’re like me, and a lot of other bloggers I know, and blogging was just a hobby or an outlet of sort that you decided one day you wanted to make money from, it’s going to be a time-consuming and long road.
That is not to say that you can’t make money quickly from your blog, it’s just harder if you’re starting from a small budget (like anything else in the world honestly). I have read many bloggers gaining a monthly page view of 30,000+ in only three months of starting their blog. What did they do?
Have your niche in mind. Broad or detailed.
They had a plan. I didn’t have a plan. I started this blog as just an outlet of my expressions and feelings, a journal of sorts. I then got readers and a few commentators and subscribers. That’s when I decided to make this into a lifestyle blog. I knew I didn’t want one niche because my mind is too active to focus on one topic. I chose lifestyle because I can talk about my future travels, my favorites, my nerdy-techy side, and all my food experiences (soon to come). I added beauty in the mix because I started using makeup in 2015 and fell in love with the art and skill it takes. I feel with my lifestyle blog, I can feature all of those topics and still stay in my niche, which is broad.
Once I stuck with this broad-ish niche, I started getting a lot of more engagement on my blog and social media all around because my audience knew what to expect from me and weren’t surprised by random “rant journals” anymore.
Have your brand in mind also. Possibly before you publish your blog.
Another thing I didn’t have. I didn’t know how I wanted my blog to look, what the message would be, what my logo should look like, or what ‘voice’ I wanted my readers to hear when visiting my blog. It took me literally from August 2015 until about June 2016 to figure out what I wanted my brand to look like and I still had it updated and changed some important features on it just last week.
It’s important to have your brand down and created so you can immediately start marketing your brand/blog when you first publish. This can happen overtime as you start to generate income from your blog as it can get expensive(as I did with mine). But just try to have a mock up, so to speak, of what your brand will look like. Also, it’s completely okay to re-brand your blog/business if you feel it’s needed.
Please be careful with this one. I cannot stress enough how important it is to do your research so much until you feel you’re a hosting provider. Do not go with the “recommended” hosting providers just because you see a lot of successful blogs(with 30,000+ monthly views and what not, for the sake of this post) say it’s good. I tried Hostgator following that rule and I had a horrible experience with them. I know other bloggers who have had problems with HG as well.
This isn’t to be taken literally. If you want to try HostGator, Bluehost, etc, definitely go ahead. Just research and trust your gut! I’m not knocking HostGator because a lot of people do use them and love them. I’m just telling you that I had a bad experience with them. I’m now with Siteground and so far, I love them.
I’m not leaving any links to the above hosting providers because I want you to do your research and decide for yourself what hosting you might want to go with. There are MANY other companies out there as well. These three are the ones I know of and have tried/experienced.
This is a another important step to having a successful blog. I didn’t have any blogger friends starting out and it took forever to get my first few readers/subscribers/comments. I wasn’t expecting them in the first place but once I did get an audience, I decided I wanted this to be more than my journal, I wanted the attention and love and support. It was hard getting it without having blogger friends I could talk to for tips and suggestions and even collaborations.
Once I did find my group of blog friends (Beauties On Fire, CGGS, and Elisabeth. I really wouldn’t have been this far if it were for Elisabeth, shout outs to you girl!) I found that my knowledge and confidence in blogging grew quickly, as well as my audience!
There are many FaceBook blogging groups you can join to start finding blogging friends. It’s also a good idea to have friends in and out of your blog niche!
I know that was a lengthy post but I really wanted to get out the main preparations to blogging for all the new and re-branding bloggers out there! There’s a lot of good information here so bookmark it if you need to and share it on social media for future references!
Thanks for reading and happy holidays!