As a result of the many questions I receive concerning personal blogging for beginners and online business in general, I decided to come up with this post where I share some blogging tips for beginners.
If done properly, blogging is one of the online businesses that can earn you a decent income. But you need to work smart and learn to do it the right way.
You can’t just wake up, set up a blog and start publishing contents expecting to make money within a short time. Making money blogging is a gradual process. There are certain principles you will have to follow before you can start getting positive results.
Below are some of the factors you need to fulfill so as to grow your personal blog to make money.
Personal Blogging for Beginners: 11 Important Things You Should Know
1. Write What You Know
A lot of guys get into blogging because they find others doing it. Thus, they tend to blog about the same topic everyone else is talking about. Blog about a subject in which you are knowledgeable or a topic you are interested in and willing to learn.
Perhaps some folks must have told you that some niches are more profitable than the others and as a result, you decide to create your blog around the so-called profitable niches.
Now get this straight; you can make money blogging in any niche. Do not make the mistake of copying others and then you start blogging on a niche where you know nothing. You may have an exceptional knowledge about fashion and styles, but due to the fact that you heard of the health niche being very profitable, you now move all your attention towards the health niche and start blogging about a topic where you do not have any expertise.
If you blog in a niche not familiar to you, creating contents becomes a big problem. You end up producing crappy contents, rewriting the works of other bloggers. This is appalling for your readers and your blog as well. I have been there; I know how it feels.
I started my first blog in the entertainment niche. I couldn’t sustain the blog for a year. All my posts were plagiarized articles. Creating valuable contents was a big challenge, I had to abandon that topic, and then I started writing about computers and gadgets where I knew I could produce contents without passing through all that stress.
When starting out blogging, learn to write what you know. Do not chase those competitive niches; your voice won’t be heard. I always advise newbies to go for the unpopular niches that are less competitive.
However, if your area of expertise falls among the competitive and popular niches like health, fitness, law, etc., then there is no harm in building your blog around that topic. You will succeed as long as you have ample knowledge about the topic. All you have to do is focus on the low competitive topics around your niche.
2. Do Not Try to be Everywhere
Another mistake most beginner bloggers make is trying to blog about a whole lot of topics. This isn’t the right way for beginners. I know you might have come across some sites that write about multiple topics but do not try to imitate that. Such websites have multiple editors who publish hundreds of articles on a monthly basis.
Just like I have said in point #1, get a topic you are passionate about, stick to that niche, and you will be glad you did. As you can see, I am so much interested in making money online, and I bet you will never find on this blog, an article that says something else other than tips and systems that will fetch you money via the internet.
Do not be greedy by trying to write about everything. It will only do you more harm than good. Your readers will be confused as to what actually is the topic of your blog.
Your blog needs to be known for something. If you are passionate about technology, then your blog should represent that so whenever someone visits your blog, such a person won’t need anyone coming to explain what the blog idea is. The blog contents must have solved that issue already.
More so, Google tends to favor niche-targetted blogs over multiple-niche blogs. Blogging on a single niche is one of the criteria that can help you rank your new blog on Google quickly.
3. Avoid Broad and Competitive Topics
Research shows that there are about 152 million blogs on the internet as of the year 2013. It is certain that the number of blogs for 2019 will be a lot more than just 152 million. So you see how tough the competition could be? Although not all of these blogs are active till date, some of them are abandoned by the owners. Whereas, some others are not getting any exposure.
How do you ensure your new blog don’t fall among the pile of blogs that aren’t getting exposure? You have to avoid competition. A lot of blogs have been there before you. Do not go for the popular and generic terms like health, travel, sports, technology, etc.
Narrow your blog topic and try to make it as specific as possible. If you are in the technology niche then what exactly are you passionate about in tech? Are mobile phones your passion? Then I suggest you narrow it down to the brand of phone or an operating system. Maybe Samsung phones, or even Android OS or iOS.
You can even dig in the dip to any of these products and get a more specific topic. Just try to be as explicit as possible. For instance “Best Android Action Games.” Here I am interested in android games, not just any kind of android games but action games on Android. You get the drift right?
After you start getting results with the less competitive topics around your niche, you can consider trying the big topics as you grow.
4. Identify Your Target Audience
Knowing your target audience is a vital factor to consider while building your blog. You need to know the category of people you wish to serve; they must be people who share the same passion with you and are interested in the topic you are writing.
Do not focus on just driving traffic to your blog; you need your articles to get to the right people and not just everybody. Of course, it feels good to check your site stats and see lots of visits but what is the essence of getting such traffic from people who don’t give a damn about what you are writing? You won’t be able to convert traffic if it isn’t targetted.
To make your contents valuable to your readers, think of the following questions:
What do your readers like or enjoy about your niche or topic?
What do they hate about your niche?
What are the common problems or challenges your readers usually encounter?
What kind of readers usually visit your blog? What are their characters?
Compile your answers to these questions, and you will be able to produce contents that will get your readers coming back.
Study your audience, know what they are interested in and learn to offer much value with your posts. Occasionally, you can provide surveys to your readers, seeking from them; suggestions that will help you serve them better.
A simple search on Google will help you find free and cheap online survey tools you can start using today.
5. Speak Your Voice and Be Honest
While writing a blog post, learn to speak your voice. You have unique knowledge about your blog topic, and that is the idea you are meant to unleash. Do not try to imitate other bloggers in your niche. Try to be creative.
Learn to develop your blogging voice, the way you write should be the way you speak. Although it may not be easy to master this act, consistent practice will just land you there. You have to always practice that whenever you publish a new post.
Write in a conversational tone. Leave your readers with a call to action at the end of your blog posts. It could be a question or any form of action they are meant to complete.
This will enhance your blog engagement and readership. Always reply to the comments of your readers, it is crucial.
Responding to comments frequently, make your readers know that you care about them. It gives them the confidence that you are interested in proffering solutions to their problems.
Avoid the habit of putting up a blog post and then disappearing into thin air leaving your readers hanging.
Appreciate those who must have taken their time to read and leave a comment, and then ensure your provide sufficient answers to the questions of your readers.
Furthermore, be honest with your readers. Always speak the truth. When making a review of a particular product or service on your blog, tell the truth. Do not try to conceal the negative sides of a product or service simply because you want to enjoy those commissions from your advertisers.
Dishonesty stinks. It kills a blog very fast. When you recommend a bad product or service to your readers, they will lose trust in you and will not come back again.
As a beginner blogger, having the interest of your readers at heart should be your paramount priority. Forget about chasing money! It is too early. Focus on earning the trust of your readers first; this will enable you to build a long lasting relationship with your audience.
It is an inarguable fact that your new blog will attract little or no readership within the first few weeks or even months. You need to work on improving the stats; it is required of you to endeavor to reach out to as many people as possible.
Do not underestimate the power of Social Media. You can attract visitors to your blog even when your site hasn’t been indexed by search engines.
As a newbie with a new blog, your blog will not attract search engine traffic immediately. You need to utilize the power of social media to its fullest. Encourage your readers to share your blog post. No doubt, they will always do so if you can put up great contents that they find valuable.
Position your share buttons in strategic positions where the audience will find them. Just as you can see here on my blog, I have my share buttons at the end of every post. You won’t have a hard time trying to share my post since my share buttons are well displayed.
It won’t be nice that after a reader finishes reading your compelling article and decides to get it shared on social media, then they discover there are no share buttons on your website.
Most wordpress themes come with pre-installed share buttons. Otherwise, you can search on the wordpress plugins library; there are lots of free social sharing plugins you can start using today.
7. Do Not Neglect The Power Of Search Engines
As a blogger, you should be very much concerned about SEO. Make the search engines your good friend – Google most especially.
Truth be told, the highest percentage of the internet world prefer Google to any other search engine. Thus, to reach out to that large amount of people, you have to work as hard as possible, to get your site on Google’s first page for your niche.
For you to make money online you need traffic, if no one is coming to your blog, you will not make a dime with such blog. This is why you need the search engine; every minute people are searching for information on Google. They are searching for excellent products and services to buy.
If you can get your blog on Google’s first page for your niche, then you are sure to make money with your blog while you sleep. Check out Neil Patel’s Step-by-Step Guide to SEO.
8. Build Relationship With Fellow Bloggers in Your Niche
Relationship building is another strategy to help grow your blog quickly. As a new blogger with little or no experience, ranking your blog on Google could take some time. Getting acquainted with like-minded bloggers will help you build more exposure for your blog.
How do I build a relationship with other bloggers?
Start with leaving comments on their blogs. Not just any kind of comment, but thoughtful comments that will add value to their contents. Hook them up on social media and share their posts. They will always reciprocate that act.
Offer to guest post on their blogs. Guest posting gives you more exposure and is also a means for you to rank on Google since you may get a link or two links back to your blog. A backlink is a vital factor when it comes to SEO.
9. Build Your Email List
This is is by far the most important factor for running a successful blog. The money is in the list.
While working towards attracting an audience to your blog via Google, Social media and maybe guest posting, it is pertinent to have those visitors always coming back. You can only achieve that when you get them into your email list.
When you share your post on social media, you attract visitors to your blog. How do you keep those visitors coming back?
It is improper for visitors to read your posts and leave your blog without returning. You have to convert those visitors into loyal subscribers. Get your email opt-in form in strategic positions of your blog.
The same thing happens when you get organic traffic (visitors from search engines). Before a reader gets to your blog from Google for the first time, such a person may never have any idea that such a blog exist.
You were just lucky to have this person come straight to your blog from Google. Now you have to make those visitors readers of your blog and have them coming back all the time. Try to save their emails to your list. Your email list is your most powerful tool as a blogger. Do not neglect that.
There are some email servicing products out there that allow you to use their service for free. But you will have a limited number of subscribers and start paying when your subscribers exceed the limit.
If you are on a tight budget, I recommend trying Mailerlite that allows you to use the platform for free if you have less than 1000 subscribers.
You can only start paying for the service after your number of subscribers grow above 1000. Since you are just starting, you probably wouldn’t have more than 1000 subscribers so you can rock this service for free.
Mail Chimp also offers similar service like Mailer lite. So do well to try out any of these email marketing services.
If you can take care of the fees, I recommend ConvertKit. It is an excellent autoresponder and you get 14 days of free trial.
To improve your email opt-in rate, you have to make free offers to your readers in exchange for their email. This strategy works 100%.
The usual“Subscribe to my newsletter and receive updates to your email.” is old fashioned and doesn’t produce good results anymore.
People are tired of getting their emails bombarded with messages all the time.
Offer them valuable stuff for free and give them so much value to make them remain on your list.
10. Get a Personal Blogging Calendar
Consistency is one of the traits of every successful blogger. Do not form the habit of blogging “anytime you feel like.” It wouldn’t be an excellent idea to make your readers believe that your blog has been abandoned, and this is the impression they get when you do not blog consistently.
Depending on your schedule, you can choose to publish your posts, monthly, weekly daily, or even two or three times a week. As a new blogger, I recommend you publish posts at least twice a week. However, there is nothing wrong with blogging just once a week. The main aim is to make sure the posts are valuable to your readers.
You should focus on quality rather than quality. So if you feel you will need up to a week to compose a beautiful and informative article, then publish your post weekly. If you can write a nice article within some hours and publish daily, that is fine as well.
However you choose to post, just make sure they are of high value to your audience. Do not blog whenever you feel like. Get a working timetable, discipline yourself and make sure you follow the timetable you prepared for yourself.
Obeying your blogging calendar should be seen as an obligation. Just the way your adhere strictly to your working hours as an employee or your lecture hours as a student that is the same way you should be disciplined about the hours that you dedicate to your blog.
For your blogging calendar, you can use an Excel spreadsheet.
11. Monetize Your Blog
After you must have fulfilled all the tips stated above, you should be getting some reasonable amount of traffic to your blog. You can now go ahead to monetize.
One mistake I see newbies make is integrating Google AdSense on their blogs very early. You have to build your readership first before placing those ads. Most beginner bloggers get their blogs littered with ads even when those ads aren’t fetching them any money.
What is the essence of distracting your readers and chasing them away with ads that do not bring you money? Build a community of loyal readers after which you can start working on monetizing. Making money with a blog takes some time.
Now let’s see some excellent ways of monetizing your blog.
Selling products is by far the best means of making money from a blog. You can create a product and sell to your readers. This can be a physical or digital product. Suppose you are in the Weight loss niche, you can write an ebook where you reveal some practical tips that will help your readers lose weight.
Once you can build trust with your readers, they won’t be skeptical about purchasing your product. They will buy and go as far as telling their friends about the product as long as the tips you explained in your book are efficient.
Do not forget to tell other bloggers in your niche to help you review and market your product on their blogs. If you have succeeded in building that strong relationship with them just as I have explained, they won’t hesitate to grant you that little request.
What if I cannot create a product?
If you are unable to create a product of your own, you can sell the product of other people as long as it is related to your niche. This act of selling other people’s product and earning commissions is known as affiliate marketing.
Another way of making money with your blog is by selling advertising space to advertisers. This is where Google AdSense comes in. You can apply for Google AdSense and put up those ads on your blog and then make money.
You can also offer to sell ads space on your blog to advertisers.
Big brands will want to get their products and services in front of potential customers. You can make real money by allowing them to display their adverts on your blog for money. This method of earning is easy since you need not to write any promotional post of any kind.
‘All you need to do is collect the ads banner from your advertiser, get it fixed on your blog and continue with your day to day blogging activities. It’s as simple as that! You don’t need any additional effort.
What I do on some of my blogs is to look for those potential advertisers and email them. I tell them about my blog and the number of visitors I receive monthly and then invite them to buy ads space on my blog. This has worked for me on different occasions. You can try that on your blog as well.
Making money with your blog is very easy if you have already built a community of loyal readers around your blog. That is why I advise newbies to first and foremost, invest much of their time in building a sustainable relationship with their readers by delivering rich and valuable contents.
There is more to blogging than just putting up a blog and publishing contents frequently and then fold your arms, expecting money to pump in. Creating a blog is very easy but building a money making blog requires a bit of hard work and dedication.
If you follow the tips covered in this post, you are guaranteed of building a blog that will be able to pay your bills in the long run.
If you have any questions do well to drop it in the comment box below. If you like this post, kindly share it across your social media channels.