I am completely passionate about blogging.
It’s always been my passion for years and years, and I feel really excited every time I write a new blog post knowing it is going to help many people.
Along the years I have tried and tested many different things about having a successful blog, and in this blog post today I tell you the top 10 things to do for a successful blog.
They are not all the things one needs to do of course, as there are many more, but I feel these are really important to get it done and they will get you A-MA-ZING results:
1. Choose a specific niche
This is the most important thing about your blog, you need to choose a specific niche.
And I know this can be tricky sometimes because we love sooooo many different things!
But in order to have a successful blog (to make money from it, get followers, get a good ranking on Google and be seen as an authority) you need to focus on one niche.
This doesn’t mean you can only write about one topic! For example, if you choose mompreneurs as your niche, you don’t have to only write about being a successful mom and having a business.
You can write about other related stuff such as parenting, travelling with kids, etc, but keeping being a mompreneur as your main niche and topic.
Just keep in mind that the blogs that are very specific tend to be seen as an authority faster and gain the trust of their followers much easier.
2. Purchase a domain and hosting
If you want to be a professional blogger (have it as your business and make money from it), you need to see it seriously as a business.
This means investing money in it. This means getting out of the mindset of lack as in having a blog on Because by doing that you are basically limiting yourself: you cannot use plugins, you cannot design and customize your blog as you want, etc, etc.
And you want the opposite of limiting yourself: you want EXPANSION! You want to grow.
So step into a mindset of abundance instead, knowing that when you spend money on your business, you are telling the Universe you are ready. You are serious about it. Your are fully commited to make it a success.
So go on and buy the domain you love. And buy the hosting for it, because that way you can whatever you please with your blog.
Take some time though to think about the name of the domain you want. It can be just your name, in case you are a coach or want to build a reputation around yourself, but it can also be something related to your niche or topics.
The best thing is trying to include your main keyword(s) in the domain name. For example, if you have a travel blog about Ibiza where you share tips and great info, you can have a domain name such as www.ibizatravelsecrets.com, where you have your two main keywords in there: travel and Ibiza.
It helps Google rank your blog much better, and increase the chances of someone searching for “travel to Ibiza” to find your blog.
Write a few different names, check if they are available, and go with the one that you truly love.
And yes, you should choose .com and not any other option.
3. Be on social media but choose the right channels for you
You should definitely be on social media, but I see many bloggers completely overwhelmed with it because they believe they need to be everywhere: on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, Linkedin, etc.
And then feel this is just too time consuming to feed all these channels every day and don’t see much results with it.
The truth is, the top bloggers are not everywhere. They carefully choose 1, 2 or 3 social networks where their audience is really interacting the most and they focus their efforts in them.
This means less time dedicating to social media and each time they show up in there, they show an amazing energy. This brings much better results than being everywhere and feeling completely lost and exhausted.
A few tips to choose the best social media channels for you:
- Do a search on each channel by keywords and hashtags and see if there are conversations around your topics
- Check top bloggers on your niche and see which social media channels they are using
- Go with your gut and choose the social media channels you truly love and enjoy
4. Create a plan
In order to have a successful blog and business, you need to write down a plan of how you feel about it, what are your goals, etc.
Basically you need to answer questions such as:
- Who are you writing for?
- What problem(s) are you solving?
- How many days a week will you write?
- Which social media channels will you use?
- How will you monetize your blog?
- Is your blog general or very specific?
- And many others…
A plan is not set-in-stone! It is an organic thing that will evolve and change as you evolve and change.
But sitting down and taking your time to answer these questions will give you direction and focus in where you are now and where you want to go.
It will also make you realize maybe you want something different than what you were thinking before, or give you great new ideas.
5. Set up Google Analytics
You need to know what’s happening in your blog, and Google Analytics is the way to go.
It will tell you about your traffic sources, demographics about your visitors, which pages have more visits, and many other great info.
You need to do know this so you know what’s working and what’s not, and invest more of your efforts in what is.
6. Set up Email Marketing
Email marketing is very much alive and kicking and still one of the best ways to engage your audience and communicate with them.
So set up an email marketing account – I use Mailchimp but there are many others you can use – and start getting subscribers.
A few tips to get the most of your email marketing:
- Offer something free and appealing on your blog in exchange of people subscribing: an ebook, a free printable, a guide, a discount, an e-course, etc. Something that people can get immediately.
For example, I offer free Blogging Guides here.
You need to create this offer based on something that solve a problem for your audience, is appealing to them and delivers great value. And make it simple.
- Only send emails that deliver value. So if you are telling your subscribers about your new blog post, or a new product or service, don’t just brag about it. Tell them “what’s in it for them”. What are the benefits of clicking through and go to your website to know more.
- And yes, please do include a call-to-action and a link to a specific place on your website: the new blog post, a new product, a discount, etc. You want people to take action and actually visit your blog. And include just one or maximum two calls-to-action per email, to make it simple and clear.
Test your links to make sure they go to the right places on your website and there’s no broken links.
And last but not least, have a strategy in place of what kind of content you want to send and how often: make a calendar if it helps you.
You want to be consistent in sending emails because that helps keeping you on top of their minds and builds trust.
Don’t worry if you lose any subscribers along the way, that happens with every blogger and every business. You want to have a mailing list of only people that trust you and click through.
7. Promote the s*** out of your blog posts
When you finish and publish a new blog post, it’s time to shout out loud to the world about it.
Don’t just let the articles sit there on your blog, actively promote them.
There are many things you can do: share it on social media, send an email to your mailing list inviting them to read it, add the links to the blog post on bookmarking sites such as Stumbleupon or Digg, share it on Quora, promote it through paid adverts, etc.
8. Be on Pinterest
If you are a blogger, you need to be on Pinterest. As mentioned before, you do not need to be on all social media channels, but Pinterest is a non-negotiable for a blogger.
Did you know that a pin on Pinterest stays there FOR-EVER?
Whilst a post on Facebook or Twitter has only a few hours to live, a pin on Pinterest stays there for weeks, months and even years driving traffic to your blog.
And if gets viral (with many people pining it), it basically means traffic and more traffic for months without you having to do anything else about that pin.
I have several pins that went viral and are driving an insane amount of traffic to my blog, please check it out:
One of key things to achieve this on Pinterest is to pin your blog posts into popular group boards.
Find group boards on your niche, ask to become a contributor to them and start pining. There are also many general “share your blog” group boards where you can share your pins and get exposure.
9. Be on Quora
Not many people know about Quora, which can be an advantage for you because you are reading this and now you know!
Quora is a Q&A website, where people ask questions on any niche and topics, and get answers.
You can create a profile in there and choose which topics you are an expert in. Then search for popular questions and start answering!
How can that help your blog? Well basically the goal here is to provide great value to people through your answers, really help them through great advice, tips, info, etc. And when you do provide that value, at the end of your answer, you can say something like: “if you wish to know more, click here and read the blog post I wrote about it”.
When you provide great value and help people, yes they do want to know more and are happy to click through to read your blog because they are aware you actually know what you are talking about.
And a popular question on Quora can also go viral in there and have thousands of viewers – see the potential for a large amount of targeted traffic?
If you consistently give great answers you can become be a top expert in there and be recommended by Quora to people asking questions on your niche.
I have myself answered many questions in there, and sometimes I even wrote new blog posts so I can link them to my answers:
You can see on the right hand side that currently I have around 17.9k answer views on my answers. And yes this is sending a great amount of traffic to my blog.
Please don’t think that you have to be answering questions on Quora every day! That would be very time consuming.
Just a few times per week or even per month is enough. The focus is on helping others and delivering great value. It’s quality, not quantity that matters.
Quora is also a great place to get inspiration for writing new blog posts. You can check the questions people in your niche are asking and this will give you great ideas.
10. Guest blog and make partnerships with other blogs and magazines
Blogging is not an island and one of the great ways to increase exposure and reach for your blog (and help more people in the process) is guest blogging on other blogs.
Basically you write blog posts that are published on other blog on your niche or online magazines that are linked to your blog. Very often you can also include a brief bio of yourself and links to your social media profiles.
And yes, you should do the same and accept blog posts from other bloggers on your own blog.
Just be careful though to only accept publishing your articles in high quality places that have a good reputation and where the audience is the same as yours.
Doing this is also great for SEO, because you get your blog links in other high quality places that are on the same niche. And that’s exactly how you get to the top of Google searches.