HOW TO SET YOUR BLOG UP FOR SUCCESS
Blogging is a lot of hard work, and there is a bit that goes into setting up your blog for success. What i’m going to talk to you about today is everything that I think will help you bring success to your blog.
*contains affiliate links
A FEW KEY FACTORS TO REMEMBER
- Patience: Blogging takes a lot of patience. Yes, you can bring your blog to success BUT sometimes it takes time. You need to have patience and accept the fact that your success may come at a slower pace than others.
- Dedication: You need to be dedicated to your blog in order to bring it to success. You have to work at it day and night. Sleep is a lost cause, you will spend hours awake at night. Even if you have a full time job, you need to make time for your blog.
- Consistency: Keeping your blog consistent, especially when it comes to posting is SO important. Set a schedule for your blog and stick to it.
START YOUR BLOG ON THE RIGHT PLATFORM
Picking the right platform to use for your blog is important. In my honest, and personal opinion, I think it’s best to invest in your blog. Self hosting is by far one of the BEST decisions I have made for my blog. I have a whole dedicated blog post as to why I found self hosting to be the best option. – here –
To put it brief, self hosting gives you full control & ownership over your blog which is a big deal especially if you ever want to monetize and make money from your blog or create a business. Self hosting would give you wordpress .org which comes already installed with use of plugins (something you don’t get on free wordpress .com)
Plugins have helped transform my blog so much! I was able to get an email list builder & grew my mail list quickly, I was amazed! Self hosting has also helped my SEO – it has doubled since making the switch to self hosting!
The self host I use is Site Ground and they are AMAZING & affordable! Their support team is quick responding and helpful! They transferred my site from wordpress .com to .org for no additional cost and their plans start at 3.95 a month/ 48$ for a whole year via my link here – I went with them because I have heard others complain of server errors and slow server speed through other hosting, and I have yet to have any issues in this department so far!
CREATE A BOSS ABOUT ME
When it comes to creating an about me, it is important to make sure that it has the right elements! You want an about me that will capture the audience’s attention but will also explain who you are, what your about, and what you are offering. You should also make sure to have your email address present so that brands or others wanting to reach out to you, know where to contact you. I’ve noticed that others tend to relate and connect more to a face. If you make an image of yourself present in your about me, it may help to create a more personal connection with your audience.
HAVE AN EMAIL LIST BUILDER – AND AN OPT IN
It’s important to grow your email list. You want a place where you have all of your subscribers emails so that you can keep them updated on your blog, events, deals, news, new blog posts, whatever it is that you need to contact your subscribers about, this is a great way to be able to! The email list builder that I use is MailerLite. I love mailerlite because it is so easy to use! it is free until 1,000 subscribers. They have an easy drag/drop setup and you can create opt ins!
What’s an opt in? – It’s essentially, a “freebie” you give to your subscribers for “signing up” to your email list. For example – the opt in that I offer is a free “28 day blog challenge.” Once I offered this opt in my email list grew! & it grew quick! People are more likely to sign up for something if there is something they get in return that will benefit them.
How to have a perfect/successful opt it? Make sure you think of your audience. What is it that they are going to your blog for? Do you offer fashion posts? Blog tip posts? Travel posts? Here are some ideas to get you thinking,
Style tips – A Fashion Quiz (what’s your style) – How to Rock (specific) Trend – Top 10 Fashion Hacks
Makeup Tutorials – Top 10 Beauty Product must haves – Beauty quiz (what beauty routine fits you) – A list of Dupes (expensive products for less) – 10 Beauty hacks
Blog challenge – How to grow your opt in – Blog Resources – How to grow your following – Social Media Strategies – SEO advice
Free printables – Journal pages (ideas) – 10 ways to be happier – Motivational quotes list – Daily Mantras – 30 day challenge to being a happier you
Recipes – 10 vegan Recipes you NEED to try – 10 ways to life a healthier lifestyle – Workout routines – Meal prep ideas – 10 quick and healthy dinners
Travel: How to Travel on a budget -Travel budget tips – How to pack light (packing tips) – Travel Hacks – 10 Must travel to places – Bucket List Travel Ideas
10 parenting hacks – 10 products EVERY parent needs – Printable color pages or worksheets for toddlers
MAKE SURE YOUR OPT IN DOESN’T ANNOY
What I mean by this is, a lot of bloggers like to utilize a POP UP opt in. It’s important that your opt in doesn’t pop up right away. You want to give your reader the time to read a little about you, get to know who you are, that way they will feel more connected and are wanting to sign up. If you don’t give them the chance to know who you are and what you are offering, then they will be more likely to pass up on your opt in.
HAVE A PRESENTABLE APPEARANCE
You want a theme that looks classy and professional. When I am on a site I want to make sure that it is organized and that I know where to find exactly what it is i’m looking for. Make sure to set up your website so that if you have categories – they are searchable. (lifestyle, beauty, blog tips). You should also make sure you have a search bar present too, in case your readers would like to search for something in particular. I also find that if you don’t have your blog post settings set to (excerpts) it can create an overwhelming appearance and makes it harder for your audience to search through your posts.
Keep in mind the less busy your theme is the better. You don’t want 5 ads popping up everywhere, a subscribe pop up, and a navigation bar all at the same time. Things like this can be distracting, overwhelming and are a huge turn off.
I also want to point out that having your social links present on your homepage is key. This will let your audience know what social media they can connect with you on and will also help you to grow your social media too.
GROW YOUR BLOG TRAFFIC
If you want a successful blog you need to learn the best strategies that work for you + your blog when it comes to growing your traffic.
This has been one of my most effective sources of blog traffic. When I tell others that they can use Pinterest to grow their blog traffic they think i’m lying. It’s TRUE! Pinterest can help you grow your traffic immensely! I have a dedicated blog post that talks about the most effective ways to grow your blog traffic with pinterest – here –
I have had so much success with facebook groups! I think it’s important to join facebook groups that focus on growing success, collaborating with others, succeeding with others, and any groups that allow you to promote your blog. I also found that creating my OWN facebook group has helped me grow my blog traffic immensely as well! If you are interested in creating your own facebook group or want to learn how to grow your already made facebook group – check out this post here.
The facebook group I created is called Boss Girl Bloggers – it’s a group of female bloggers and entrepreneurs who are all supporting one another, getting blogging and success questions answered, a place where boss babes connect and support! Over 20,000 members and always looking for me! Click here to join for free!
I love using instagram as a way to promote the beauty side of my blog. Instagram is very heavy on visual imagery so I find that it works best for those in fashion/travel/beauty niches. But for any niche you can use Instagram to help promote your blog! Post and let your following know when you have a new blog post up on your blog! Leave your new blog post link in your bio. I have a post on how to grow your instagram following and engagement – here –
Twitter is a great way to share with your following when you have a new blog post. It’s also a great way to interact and get the attention of brands you may want to collaborate with in the near future! If you don’t already have a twitter for your blog you should definitely create one! Feel free to check out mine.
Facebook Business Page
Creating a business page and growing this page is HUGE for driving blog traffic. I know it may seem difficult to grow your business page following but here are a few tips that have worked for me!
Promote in facebook groups that you are allowed to promote it in.
Make sure to link your facebook business page on your blog and at the end of blog posts – you can even use the facebook like plugin that will let your readers like your page right from your blog!
When updating your email list, let them know to show support over on your facebook business page
Invite others to like your page – they either will or won’t but this is pretty effective
If you have a facebook group of your own, connect your business page to your group (helps so much!)
What should you post on your facebook business page? Depending on your niche it could be really anything. You can link your instagram page to your facebook page so that everytime you post on Instagram, it’ll post to your page. Motivational quotes are good, recipes if you blog about food, your new blog posts, photos of places you travel to or new products you get. The suggestions are endless. As long as you’re posting about what makes you happy and what you enjoy talking about, you will attract others. Be YOURSELF.
check out my business Facebook page – EllDuclos
QUALITY IS IMPORTANT
Make sure that you are putting out high quality content. Make sure your blog posts are at least 300-400 words long. Take the extra time to proofread and catch any mistakes that you can. If you don’t take your work seriously, neither will your readers. The key is to turn your readers into subscribers so you want content that WOWS. Photos help a lot and investing in good quality cameras and lighting equipment isn’t always a bad idea!
My go to cameras & lightning equipment:
MUST HAVE PLUG INS
When it comes to using wordpress .org there are some plugins that you should definitely have installed to help your blog’s success
- Akismet – This is a spam blocker. This plug in will eliminate most of the spam comments that your blog receives or any spam activity! This saved my blog. For a while i’d be receiving so many spam comments and this helped to eliminate and block them all!
- Sumo – I love sumo because it is a “share” bar that I can add so that every new blog post I create gives my readers the option to share the blog post on social media. A great way to increase your blog traffic is to make sure you have share icons available.
- YOAST SEO – this is an amazing plug in that helps you to create perfect blog posts that are more able to rank higher on Search Engines. SEO is Search Engine Optimization which is how your blog would be found organically through getting searched on google etc. GAME CHANGER.
- INSTAGRAM FEED – I love this one because it allows me to have my instagram feed on my blog page which makes it even easier for my readers to follow me and connect on instagram!
SEO ( SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION)
This is pulled from a previous article that I wrote. SEO is Search Engine Optimization and it’s something that MANY struggle with! So I broke it down
“First! Install an SEO plugin. I use the popular YOAST SEO Plugin. This is such a helpful tool!
Second! You have to determine your keywords. Do Keyword research too if you have to! Choosing the right keywords is important. Use keywords that are searched often. Or you could use the “long tail keywords” trick. It’s a 3-4 phrase that is specific to what you are blogging about. There isn’t as much competition because it’s searched less, which makes for a better chance of ranking higher.
Third! Make sure through out your post you are using your key words & include key words in your meta description.
Fourth! Make sure you have subheadings. These subheadings let search engines know what your post is about. H2 heading is a go to.
Fifth! Make sure you are giving your images a title and ALT text. This let’s search engines know what your picture is about which helps with optimization.
Sixth! Link back to previous posts that you have done! Refer back to your old posts by linking them in your new post. This really helps optimization as well as getting readers to view older posts.”
MONEY ISN’T THE MOTIVE
It’s important that you go into blogging without money being your main focus! I say this because, making money blogging takes a lot of hard work and a lot of time. It definitely won’t happen over night! If money is your main focus you will most likely give up. Your main focus should be creating quality content and creating connections with your audience! These two things will eventually lead you to the money.
When you are ready to try and create some income, here is what you can do to monetize your blog.
- Affiliate Marketing: This is a great way to start off creating an income. Affiliate marketing is essentially using affiliate links to generate income. An affiliate link is a link that you use promoting a product. If someone purchases the product via your link, you will get a percentage of the sale (at no additional cost to the purchaser). I have a blog post dedicated to affiliate marketing that teaches you successful strategies for when it comes to succeeding in affiliate marketing. – here –
- ADS: Another easy yet successful way to make an income off your blog is using ads. for example Google Adsense. Each time someone views, clicks, interacts with your ads you get some money. It’s not much, especially in the beginning but it adds up and if you have a large enough audience you can see great results!
- Working with Brands: One of my favorite ways to generate an income is working with brands! I ONLY work with brands whom I already love or whom I review and end up loving. I won’t promote products I don’t believe in because that ruins your blog reputation. There are so many different ways to get noticed by brands & even pitching to brands! If you want to read a dedicated post on how to work with brands you can find that – here –
- Create an Ebook: This is a great way to earn money easily and can be highly successful. Create an ebook that offers value or is a solution to a problem and your ebook will be successful for you! Self help ebooks, blog tip ebooks, motivational ebooks, whatever it is that you enjoy talking about, create it! Same with Ecourses. If you offer valuable information, you can succeed.
- Social Media Managing: If you are an expert at growing and managing social media, offer your services. There are always busy bloggers looking for a helping hand.
- Blog/Life Coaching: This is something I started offering and absolutely LOVE doing!
- Create Your Own Shop: Create and sell products. Create a shop!
This is a platform that I use and absolutely love! The founder of Style Collective – Annie Spano is so sweet and I will actually be featuring an interview with her soon! She is a real boss babe and created style collective as a place for female influencers to connect, grow, and learn how to be successful bloggers and entrepreneurs! – Kind of relatable to Boss Girl Bloggers – When I first started Boss Girl Bloggers I had no idea Style Collective existed until a friend reached out and told me how joining Style Collective helped her connect with others and grow her Instagram! I joined right away and have been loving it ever since! Especially if you are a fashion blogger this is perfect for you!
PASSION EQUALS PERFECTION
It’s important that you know there is no such thing as perfect. You can’t wait for your blog to be “perfect” before you decide to launch it. If you wait for it to be “perfect” you will NEVER end up launching it because you will always find something wrong. What makes your blog perfect is your passion! If you are writing passionately and only writing about things that you are passionate about, you will see great success! Stop focusing on creating a “perfect” blog and focus on creating a passionate blog instead.
PRACTICE TIME MANAGEMENT
Make sure you are utilizing your time wisely. It’s important to only focus on tasks that will help you reach your overall end result. If you are completing tasks that don’t help you reach your end result, then you are wasting your valuable time.
I found that prioritizing my tasks helped me to accomplish what was most important first! I set up my to do list in the order of what is most important to least important.
Create time limits. This helped me so much too! When I have a task like writing a blog post, i’ll set my timer for 1-2hrs and see how much I can get done in that amount of time. When the timer is up I will move onto my next task and go back to any task I didn’t get to complete in the allotted amount of time.
Utilizing a planner to help you keep up with deadlines and create a schedule is key. I would be lost without my planner. I will think up blog post ideas a month in advance and create my month. Then, try my best to make sure that I have each blog post up and ready by the date I chose. This really helps to stay on top of my blog posts. Writing the blog post ideas out a month in advance helps prevent writer’s block!
FIND YOUR PERSON TO KEEP YOU ACCOUNTABLE
Whether it be a significant other, best friend, family member, or blog coach – finding a person to keep you accountable of your work helps you to stay focused and on task. Create your deadlines and share it with your person and make sure they stay on you about meeting your deadlines. Make sure this person is encouraging and will help keep you motivated!
HOW TO TURN YOUR READERS INTO SUBSCRIBERS
My biggest tip is to create personal connections. If you have readers who are leaving comments, engaging with you, reaching out, make sure you acknowledge them! Let them know you appreciate them reaching out, engage back on their content, grow your connection. I also recommend to even get personal at times. People relate a lot better with someone who is open and sharing their experiences. You don’t have to get extremely personal but making specific things relate to your own experiences really helps others to feel connected. I also know a lot of bloggers who are afraid to put a face to their blog but sometimes it really helps the reader connect to the writer when they can put a face to the writing!
When it comes to your blog, your social media, your facebook group, it’s essential that you are present and active. Don’t go missing for days, be consistent. If something comes up you can let your audience know and they will understand. An audience grows trustworthy of a writer who is consistently there, putting out great content weekly, staying present and interacting as much as they can.
I hope that some of these tips will help you to make the best out of your blog and blogging journey to success!
If you are ever looking for a blog coach/mentor I do offer services now! email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
UNTIL NEXT TIME,