Whether you’re starting a blogging business or you’re blogging for your business, you won’t regret going through the following article.
If you’re just blogging for a hobby, you can skip this. Thank you! 🙂
Blogging in 2020 is quite the same except the competition is much bigger and the odds of getting success are low.
The Internet is packed with millions of bloggers. There are more than 500 million blogs to this date. More than 2 million posts are published every day. Sounds scary?
Odds of succeeding in the over-saturated market is very little to none.
But the good news is you can still succeed as a blogger. yay!
With every new technology, trend and events we will always have a lot of things to talk about. You can literally never run out of content to write about. But the only challenge is can everything you write about drive enough traffic to your blog?
It is almost impossible to build a successful blog that talks about everything in general in 2020.
Even the big authority sites focus on a certain larger/popular niche.
And if you are a solo entrepreneur just like me with a very small team, it may take years to even get your first break.
So instead of picking a very popular and larger niche, you can work on smaller niches and dig deeper into them. Find topics so specific that no one ever bothered to write about. Look for keywords that have very little search volume. That’s where you can easily rank your posts.
Provide richer content on smaller topics. Add videos, graphics, infographics, images, lists, etc. to create rich content around your topic.
Be more specialized rather than writing on a general topic. For example, You can write about “passive income ideas” which has a very high search volume.
But instead, write about “passive income ideas for housewives”. This way even if you’re just starting you may have decent traffic to your blog.
Now obviously, you are filled with many questions about how to go about.
I’ll try to answer all the questions I had to face when I started as a blogger.
From writing your first blog post to building a successful blog that makes money.
I’ll try to make it as simple as possible.
Do your Research
First thing, even before months you jump into working on your blog, make sure you do your research. At least a week to a month will be enough time to figure out what your blog should be about.
Because choosing the right niche determines how successful your blog will be.
I don’t want you to spend years creating content only to realize that you picked the wrong niche. Picking the over-saturated niche will only make it harder and will take longer to succeed.
According to Jim & Ricky of Income School, it takes 16 to 24 months to build a successful blog from scratch. Go check out their YouTube channel for amazing resources for bloggers.
Before you pick your niche, ask yourself these simple questions
- Is the niche too big
- Is it popular?
- Are people looking for the content in your niche?
- Are there already too many blogs in your niche?
- Do you have enough content in the niche you picked?
Do some simple research to find out how difficult it is to rank on your chosen keyword.
Find out long-tail keywords for your niche.
Google your ideas to see if the sites ranking on the first page are very high authority sites. You can pick the topic if the sites ranking have DA below 20.
Narrow down your search queries and find out what people are asking and the related keywords.
You can use keyword research tools like Uber Suggest to find the keyword difficulty.
Look for the online community around your niche in Reddit, Facebook, Tumblr and Instagram.
Don’t pick the most popular niche just because it has millions of search volume.
Because, the more the search volume, the bigger the competition will be.
Pick something with medium or easy difficulty.
List out at least 10 different niche ideas.
List out at least 30 topics under the niche you picked. just to see if you will have enough things to write about.
You can literally visualize how your blog will look like in the next 1 year just by going through this process.
Alright, let’s jump into the next step!
Write down all your ideas, pour it down on a piece of paper.
You will have a rough idea of where to start.
It is when you will be able to visualize how it is going to be.
You can still go back and pick something else in this stage at this stage.
Before you register your domain and start building.
Register a domain name and host your website
Pick a catchy domain name relevant to your niche.
Don’t pick a very long one which will only make your domain name look spammy.
Look for expired domains in your niche. You may find one with a good number of backlinks
Never pick a cheap hosting. Cheap is expensive.
If you’re here to stay, don’t pick cheaper options for your hosting. As you may face longer downtimes and slow loading speed later.
Even worse, some may just have unknown issues that take forever to be fixed.
Few amazing hosting companies, with shared hosting plans, are Siteground, Bluehost, and GoDaddy.
Godaddy is quite expensive compared to others.
Choose a WordPress theme
It’s very hard to pick one out of thousands of themes online.
I’d suggest picking a premium one with lesser options, if you can find one exactly built for your niche, it’s perfect!
Make sure to pick one with ad spaces and social sharing and some important features which I’ll be discussing here in this article.
How to pick a right WordPress theme for your blog
Don’t go with the free ones and if you have a tight budget pick one which can be upgraded to a premium version later.
Some of the most popular marketplaces are Themeforest.net and Wordpress.org.
Go through my best wordpress theme for bloggers list.
Simply, upload the WordPress theme, install, and activate.
Congratulations! For making this far. You are now ready to go.
Write your first WordPress post
Don’t overthink this one. You have a lot ahead Just write one. Anything.
Post it! You can always go back and edit your posts.
Although, you have to do your research to find potential topics that can easily rank for popular keywords.
Learn how to write posts that rank well in search engines.
Create Social profiles
When it comes to marketing your content to get more traffic to your blog, don’t miss out on any popular social networks and free blogging platforms where you can get yourself listed.
You may not get direct traffic from these but it’ll help you grow your domain authority. Higher Domain Authority means higher you get ranked. Eventually driving traffic to your website.
But hold on, it sounds easier than done.
Don’t expect too much for a few months or a year because it’ll only get you frustrated.
Don’t give hope too early either.
Just enjoy the journey. Remember Rome wasn’t built in a day 🙂
Some of the popular social sites to start with are:
Free website/blogging platforms
Set up Google Analytics and Search Console
You’ve built your first blog and started writing. Now what?
Obviously you want to reach out to more people. It’s where things get tough. You’re going to need tools to help you achieve that.
Google Analytics will help you track your traffic and set goals. Basically, it’ll help you figure out how are people interacting with your blog. Where are people landing? Which country are you getting the most traffic from? Is your audience spending enough time on your blog? Etc.
You can simply go to https://analytics.google.com/ and create a property and start tracking. All you have to do is paste the analytics code right after your body tag. You can use a plugin such as Google Analytics Dashboard as well to easily set up Google Analytics for your blog.
Search Console will track index stats of all the pages of your blog.
It will also help you track keywords that are driving traffic to your website or blog.
You can then start working on the potential keywords, for which you can rank higher in Google.
Simply, go to Google Webmaster Tools and sign up for your search console.
Link your search console to Google Analytics to discover your rankings for each keyword.
Simply go to your property settings in Google Analytics and click the “Adjust Search Console” button to link your search console property.
Equip your blog with useful WordPress plugins
Picking the right plugins for your WordPress theme is a tricky part. You can’t overdo it. You can enable social sharing, optimize website speed, compress images, and many more using WordPress plugins.
But picking the right ones from thousands of available plugins definitely takes time.
Go through my list of must have WordPress plugins for bloggers.
For instance, you can simply add an SEO plugin and fix your SEO issues in your blog posts. Even complicated features like drag and drop page editors are freely available as a WordPress plugin.
In my opinion, it’s the number of freely available great plugins that make WordPress the best blogging platform.
So, take advantage of these resources to make the most out of WordPress.
Submit your website to directories and search engines
Although your blog will be crawled by popular search engines automatically.
Submitting your blog sitemap to popular search engines will slightly speed up the process.
You can generate your sitemap using the Yoast SEO plugin, which is one of the must-have WP plugins for your blog
Even if you have written awesome content in your blog it will take time to rank in search engines.
Meanwhile, you can submit your link to the popular directories in your niche. Find Facebook groups and post your content there but make sure there are few things to follow while posting in Facebook groups or else you can easily get banned.
Submitting your website to popular directories will increase the chances of your target audience discovering your website. This way you can drive relevant traffic to your website before they even make it to the first page of search engines.
You will be doing yourself a favor by posting your blog to community sites, forums, and groups as well.
Just google your “your niche” + forum and join them.
Interacting with the groups in your niche will help you discover new topics and find people asking for help.
Google “your niche” + blog
Start interacting with other writers in your niche. Mention them in your blog if you find something that might be helpful to your readers.
After all it’s about building a community and helping people with whatever you have expertise in.
Build an email list
As soon as you start getting the traffic you would like to start building your email list.
Which is a very useful tool to get in touch with your audience.
Getting people to opt-in for your newsletter is quite tricky.
You give something in return for signing up. It can be a free ebook, free version of your product or access to your members-only resources.
Use a call to action section for sign up forms instead of splash screens.
There are some free mailing list builders out there.
You easily integrate the MailChimp sign up forms in your blog.
I am writing a detail article about how to make the most out of MailChimp
Monetize your blog
Don’t forget to monetize your blog from the start.
It’s never too early to monetize your blog.
But it will need some traffic to be approved by popular ad networks.
Don’t overdo “monetizing” whether it be ads or affiliates.
It will only make your blog look spammy and you might lose your audience trust.
There are many different ways to monetize your blog.
After you have enough content you can use the following ways to monetize your blog.
- Affiliate marketing
- Sell ad spaces
- Sponsored posts
- Sell your own products
Start a WordPress blog in 2020 is easy but it takes a lot of hard work to keep your blog active.
You cannot control how you will be ranked from the beginning. It takes about 6 months just to have your blog start having clicks from search engines.
Review your search analytics data to update your posts and add more content to your blog.
To be consistent, you must pick the niche of your interest. If you’re not passionate about what you are writing about, then you will run out of things to write in no time.
Follow your passion and success will follow.
Perseverance is the key