I’ve made blogs. A lot of blogs. So many blogs that I feel like I should be an expert on the subject, but I still have a lot to learn. That’s why I’ve spent the last few days reading a lot of articles, “Pinning” a lot of infographs, reading a bunch of helpful blog posts, and designing (and immediately deleting) a lot of logos. I even attended a Webinar. Super fancy, huh?
If the people of the internet are to be believed, then here is what you need to do to be a successful blogger.
- Be Consistent.
Post on a regular schedule, provide a lot of related, useful content (i.e. find your “niche”), and make sure the way you look on all of your online platforms is the same. You don’t have to use the exact same profile picture on all your platforms, but similar color schemes, a logo, etc. can make your personal brand recognizable. Think of yourself as a type of meme.
- If you want to make money, sell a course.
Pay-per-click ads, affiliate links, all those things you think will make you money… probably won’t. Unless you have millions of readers already, don’t count on anyone clicking on ads. Remember that brands can be fickle. Instead, design a course and charge top dollar for it. If you’re already a big blogger, make a course where you “sell your secret” to making it big, help people design their own courses, then lean back and count your cash.
- Participate in Blogging Communities.
Get your posts out there by engaging with an established audience.
- Give things away.
No one actually likes you. You need to bribe people with freebies or they won’t subscribe. Don’t worry that your emails are going to go straight to their spam folder. Trust me, they just need a little push to start reading your drivel every day.
- Link to yourself everywhere.
Drive traffic to your site by having accounts on every single social networking site out there. Don’t forget to include pretty images so that all of your posts are Pinterest worthy. (And then shamelessly self-promote your posts, obviously.)
- Use Keywords and #Hashtags as they were meant to be used.
Don’t use keywords just because they’re trending. Your content needs to add value to whatever bandwagon you’re jumping on.
- You don’t actually have to be that good.
Take a deep breath and stop pressuring yourself. You would be surprised at how many sites look horrible but have hundreds of thousands of followers. Don’t lower your own standards, but just remember that it’s the internet. People are wrong here all the time.
- There are peak days of the week and times of day on every platform.
Learn when you should post. Though, still keep in mind that you need to stick to your schedule.
- Stop obsessing over the numbers.
One engaged reader is worth 100 one-off visitors. Don’t make click bait. You need to retain the readers you have. However, don’t make the entirety of your posts available via email or the WordPress reader. Get your readers to your actual site.
- Stop regurgitating everything you come across online.
Your readers already have Google. Your readers can just as easily follow the same sites that you do. Find your voice and do your own thing.
*Points made with varying degrees of seriousness. Success not guaranteed. Attribute failure to bad luck. Just don’t give up.