This is the era of content marketing and the best time to own a blog.
The benefits of blogging are so enticing it would be unwise not to start one for yourself or your business.
But we know that behind the scenes of all the blogging success stories we hear, there are even more that fail.
In this post, I’ll like to walk you through 7 things you must do to become a successful blogger.
#1 – Make up your mind to win
Why do many blogs fail? If you investigate, you’ll find out it’s not because the owners aren’t brilliant.
I once heard a story about a couple who were hoping to have a child after 13 years of marriage.
Ike, the husband, is an engineer and the only male child of his parents. Ike loves his wife, Tochi, but is under pressure from his family to give them a child through his wife or marry another wife. They’ve both tried modern and traditional medicine and both seem to have failed.
After 13 years, husband began to yield to the pressure from his family to marry a second wife. His attitude to his wife changed.
One night, he came back home drunk, picked quarrel and set his wife out of his home. Just two weeks later, he got a call from the wife’s sister that Tochi, his wife was one month pregnant.
Many who start out blogging are like Ike. They start out with great enthusiasm and high expectations of how successful they want their blog (marriage) to be. Then, they face some challenges and feel the pressure to give up. Gradually, they yield under the pressure and give up.
No matter what you read online and how easy they tell you blogging is, blogging comes with its own challenges. Crafting good content for your blog comes with a lot of effort. Getting it to be read by thousands on a monthly takes even more time and patience.
So before you start your blog, resolve to win no matter the challenge you face and no matter how long it takes. That is the first step to becoming a successful blogger.
#2 – Have a clear goal
If you intend to become a successful blogger, you need to define what you want to achieve with your blog from the start. Without having a clear goal for your blog, your blog will lack direction and will fail.
I remember when I started a blog on ‘Everything Office’ – that was my website tagline. I knew I wanted to write on things related to office but I couldn’t make it clear on which area I want to focus on and what I wanted to achieve with the blog. I was writing about life in the office, office equipment and reviewing office apps. But what I wanted to achieve with all that was not clear to me and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t clear to my visitors either.
With time, It became more difficult to focus and I lost direction. Of course, the blog failed.
You need to have a clear specific goal of what you want your blog to achieve. Then you can set up smaller goals to achieve the bigger goal.
For instance, your goal might be to teach your audience how to fish. In writing your content, each blog post should add to achieiving the objectives of your ultimate goal. You can have content on the best time to fish, the fishing gadgets used by some locals and why, a new fishing gadget you just discovered, how to place a bait for a fish etc.
#3 – Purchase a good house
Get a good house for your content. By this I mean a good website. There are a lot of platforms but I recommend the self-hosted WordPress. Get a good hosting and theme.
It won’t be good if you have all that great content and no solid platform to showcase it. Having your own WordPress blog will show you off as someone who means business.
Choose a design that is balanced and colors that work together. Simple is always better.
#4 – Focus on delivering good content
This is probably one of the deciding factors that determine whether you will become a successful blogger or not. It is the pillar of every blog. You cannot compromise it.
Blogging is getting more competitive by the day. Without great content, you won’t stand a chance.
The days of 500word posts is quickly passing by. You need to create longer posts with great content, otherwise it will look like you are not putting enough effort.
Include images, videos, infographic where necessary. These things make your content look rich and also have SEO value. See our comprehensive guide on writing great blog posts.
#5 – A Little SEO
A write for humans and not search engines, it might pay slowly but it will surely win against all odds. Search engines constantly change their algorithms in other to project posts that humans value. So, if you always write for humans, you will always be a winner.
It’s easy to get caught up with SEO tactics which can adversely affect the kind of content you create and the manner you create it. Does it mean you should not write posts that will be useful to your visitors because the topic seems competitive? That will be selfish.
If you are just starting out, go for low competition keywords – if you must use it at all. I prefer to use keyword research to understand what my target audience is interested in – their needs, hobby, problems etc. rather than for stuffing my posts. Then, I write my posts after getting a need I want to fulfill for my target audience or a problem I want to help them solve.
If you need an extensive guide on SEO, check out this extensive guide by Neil Patel.
#6 – Spread the word
If I’m to use a ratio for preparing good content versus advertising your content, I’ll give it 70:30 respectively. You must make out at least 30% of your time to advertise your blog post.
Place share buttons where it can easily be seen by your visitors who will find your content valuable and will want to share.
Aside that, promote your posts on your social media channels as well as to your email subscribers.
When answering questions on forums or groups, refer people to any of your relevant blog posts as a resource they can find solution in.
#7 – Keep improving yourself
It’s an ever-changing world, you must keep reading, attending workshops, seminars, participating and interacting with people in your field. These are very necessary to help you grow into a successful blogger.
Grow with them.
Remember that you can only give what you have. If you write on a topic you don’t know much about, your content will be full of fluff and your reader will notice. You don’t want that.
You may not be perfect, but you can learn and get better with time.