Hey guys! Welcome back, this is the second part of the series I started on explaining in full details, how to start a a successful blog. Make sure to read the first part by clicking here, if you have not read it.
In this part, I will be explaining further on the the preliminary steps you have to take to get technical.
Here are some tips to follow so you can make the right decision from the get-go.
Choose a full-featured platform:
There are many blogging platforms out there today. The best of them are those that have the best features, plugins and themes that makes your job easier.
As a beginner blogger, you might want to go for a platform that you can easily carry out most of the development jobs yourself. This means that the platform’s interface has to be very user-friendly and easy to use.
I highly recommend using WordPress.org, because it is the most widely used, they have the best plugins and themes as well as communities and lots of documentations to make life very easy for you.
Draw your site appearance:
Another great advice is that you should have a clear idea what you want your website to look like, you can find ideas by checking out what other blogs look just like, then you can use that to sketch your own blog’s appearance on paper.
By doing this, you will not only be planning where you want each buttons to be placed, where you want your menus and post blocks, but you will also be giving yourself ease from the headache you might potentially suffer if you had just jumped into designing it without a laid out plan.
Create the relevant pages:
You want your audience to trust you, because without trust nobody will stick around, keep returning to read your content or even signup for your newsletters.
As we also know, nobody will easily trust someone they know nothing about. This is why you should connect your audience with yourself to an extent by creating the ‘About Page’, ‘Privacy Page’, ‘Disclaimer or Disclosure Page’, ‘Contact Page’.
These pages will be enough to give your audience a valuable insight into whom they are dealing with, and that alone will earn you a certain level of trust.
It is also best to include your photo in the about page as this will show your readers who they are dealing with.
You should also tell them about yourself to a depth, because your readers will want to know exactly why they should listen to you, what is it that makes you an authority in your niche.
Create a ‘Start Here’ Page:
This is similar to the about page because the about page tells your readers about you, the author, while the start here page tells your audience about your blog.
The start here page should be the cornerstone page of your blog that conveys the true purpose of your blog.
It should contain all the resources that makes your blog relevant, from links to the most popular and most relevant posts to e-courses and masterclasses and also downloadable content and all.
The START HERE page should be above the fold of every page on your blog. So, no matter where the reader is on your blog, it will always be in their faces that here’s the real place to start in case you really want to get started.
Create Great Valuable Content:
The fact is that your readers will always expect you to provide valuable content that can provide solutions to their problems with intricacy.
That is why short posts wont cut it for you, except you are a poet though. If you are writing content that is meant to help people, then you should always take your time to discuss in-depth details into the subject matter.
Trust me, nobody loves to waste their time reading an article that has no real value to them and infact a short article wont give you the basis to branch out into other different topics that might be of very good use to your audience.
You can take a look at this great article by Ali Luke on SmartBlogger.com where he discusses how to write an Ebook: 21 Dumb mistakes to avoid in 2019.
This is a very long read that is very detailed and will effectively guide you to take the right steps.
Creating a great content should involve:
1: In-depth research into the post topic
2: Giving examples to drive home the point
3: Always add photos, videos, illustrations, infographics e.t.c to you post so as to visually explain your content.
You cannot just write topics that suck your audience in, only to disappoint them with the looseness of your content.
You have to be able to match-up the provocative topics with fully-loaded that content. Else, you will be setting the precedent for losing new readers and followers wont want to stay any longer.
The best way to create valuable content is to write about the questions that your readers have asked in the comment section or via emails.
You can even check other blogs of in your niche to checkout what their readers are asking in the comment section then you can create an in-depth, well detailed post on it. That is how you provide value in exchange for your readers’ time.
Find your Anchor:
This is one of the best ways to keep your blog lively and make your audience always waiting to read your newest article.
You should have a specific post type that you publish same time every week or every 2 weeks.
This anchor post become the nucleus of your blog while the other posts are the electrons that you publish anytime between each anchor posts. It could be an interview with other bloggers or a video tutorial.
Peg Patricks used to do live interviews on twitter with social media luminaries every 2 weeks. Then she will publish the transcript of those interviews on her blog with the title “Twitter 20 Series”.
Mack Collier used to have an anchor at the viral garden where he would rank social media blogs by the number of their RSS subscribers.
These anchor posts will give your readers a sense of expectations, as they will be looking forward to seeing the next episode of that anchor.
Develop a Unique Writing Style:
Finding inspiration by reading other blogs in your niche is half of the content creation job.
When it boils down to creating content, you have to invest your heart and self into it. You have to develop a style that is unique to yourself only as this will help you achieve 2 things.
1: Uniqueness in the face of competition
There are so many blogs out there today, and you can be 100% sure that there are thousands of blogs in your niche that are doing well or even better than you.
So how do you stay relevant in your niche? First of all, you stay relevant by being unique.
As much as there are tons of blogs already writing about the same topic as yourself, readers love reading variety.
They love reading and comparing views and information from different sources. This is your entry point, if you really want to turn new readers into loyal readers that will keep coming back, then you have to show them why you are different from the host of other bloggers they have read their blogs.
2: It makes your readers feel like they know you personally.
When you write from your own experiences and knowledge and you give references and anecdotes in your content, your audience start to feel integrated into your own self.
They will start to empathize with you and they will start to relate with you based on the contexts of your content. Uniqueness and Authenticity are some of the most powerful words in the blogging realm.
You should always try to be unique and authentic in your own way. When a writer can compose an idea in a specific way that demonstrates a distinct personality and style then that writer is using authenticity”.
This is the second part in the series How To Start A Successful Blog, you can click here to read the first part or click here to read the third/concluding part of the series where I continue to explain the steps you have to take when you’re starting your new blog.