With over 100 million blogs in the world, you are going to need to make sure your’s is pretty special if it’s going to compete. Of the 100 million plus blogs that are out there, you can probably say a great majority of them are not only pretty bad… but also dead with old content, no unique design and little to no traffic. This is where you can use your vast knowledge in blogging to get ahead of the game.
How to Start a Successful Blog
In this post we are going to be highlighting some of the most important things you need to setup and have in place before going live with your new blog. Of course your blog will be “live” while setting each of these areas up, but you are going to want to make sure they are all completed before actively promoting your site and creating any new content of value. While some of these methods can be implemented later, it’s best to have them in place from the start so you can have a strong foundation for your blog.
Let’s get started!
– Still need to setup your WordPress blog? This post will show you how in just minutes.
About Me Page
Most people are surprised to learn that the ABOUT ME PAGE is one of the most highly sought after pages when people visit your site. However, when you think about it, it really does make sense. If you are creating great content that people find value in, they are going to want to learn more about you and what your story is.
So the important thing to remember here is to make your about me page awesome! The last thing you want to do is get someone to your site and have them read your amazing content, then fall asleep on your about me page. Add videos, pictures and keep it interesting!
Resource: Most sites have an “About Me” page, but many of them aren’t good. Michael Hyatt has a perfect example of a great about me page on his blog, which includes, text, video, bio, personal highlights, top posts and more.
We already know people are going to visit the content on your site, and they are going to read your about me page to learn more about you — the next step in the process is for them to contact you directly. This means you need to place a contact form on your site.
Resource: Since WordPress is so awesome and has plugins and features out the wazoo, adding a contact form is no problem at all. Just head over to your WordPress Admin and search for “Contact Form 7” and you’ll be ready to go!
Create a Site Map
Every site owner and blogger wants their site to rank at the top of the search engines and one of the best ways to make sure this can happen is through the use of a sitemap. With Google constantly crawling billions of sites across the internet, having a sitemap will allow Google to easily find all of your pages and let them know your site is setup properly.
Resource: To setup a sitemap for your WordPress site, all you need to do is login to your dashboard and search for “Google XML Sitemaps” in the plugins area.
Install Google Analytics
In addition to setting up a sitemap for Google, you should also install Google Analytics on your site as well. Through the use of this free tracking tool from Google you can track and analyze the traffic flowing through your site and also where and how people are getting to your site.
Resource: Be sure to setup each of your sites within Google Analytics, as you will want to track the performance of each site seperately.
Setup Google Webmaster Tools
Along with Google Analytics, you should also consider using Google Webmaster Tools to manage your site’s performance as well. After adding your URL, you can run performance reports and speed tests to improve the overall speed and user experience for your site. Google Webmaster Tools is also useful for monitoring if your site is ever slapped or penalized by any recent updates.
In addition to everything else, you can also submit your site urls, create a profile for each and also submit their sitemaps to Google for easier and faster indexing.
Resource: Google Webmaster Tools is easily accessible and already built into your Google / Gmail account if you already have one.
Premium WordPress Theme
One of the best ways to stand out from a crowd of anything is to be unique. Everyone’s blog starts off with the same boring WordPress theme, however this doesn’t mean you should keep it that way.
There are thousands of free and premium WordPress themes for you to choose from. Take the time to visit sites like ElegantThemes to see what type of themes are out there and pick the one that best fits your audience and niche. Many of these themes are fully customizable without the need to hire a programmer or design.
Resource: In terms of size, cost and quality… you can’t go wrong with ElegantThemes. They already have over 287,000 customers and once you sign up to their site for a low fee, you will have full access to their 87+ themes, which also includes unlimited usage.
Create Social Media Profiles
You probably already have social media profiles for yourself, but you should also set one up for each of your sites as well. A Facebook Fan Page is a great way to grow your social following and you can also add a widget to your site as well, so people can follow your updates with a simple click. You will want to do the same for Twitter and Google+ as well. Depending on the niche and focus on your site, you should also consider LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest.
Resource: If you haven’t yet secured your username or account across all of the major social networks, you can use a site called knowem to perform a quick and simple search to see if your desired username is available across 500 different social networks.
Build a Mailing List
You blog is brand new and you may not even have any visitors to your site yet, but it’s never too early to start building up your mailing list. Unfortunately, of all the people that come to your site for the first time, over 70% of them will never come back. The best way to keep them coming back for more is to get them on your mailing list. One of the most effective ways of doing this is through the use of a popup window, especially the ones offered by OptInMonster.
Resource: As mentioned, OptinMonster is one of the best ways to increase signups to your mailing list through the use of creative popup windows like the one shown below. This isn’t your average popup window software. Site owners can also setup “exit-intent” popups, which only show when the person is trying to leave your site… and the software also has full split testing functionality.
Writing Your First Blog Posts
Now that all of the boring specifics are out of the way, you can start to focus your efforts on actually writing content for your blog. The most important thing to remember when writing content for your blog, is to provide value. Whether you are writing for fun or business, you only have one first impression to keep your audience happy and possibly bring them back for more.
Resource: I’ve been blogging for over seven years now, but I still remember when I went live with my first post on ZacJohnson.com.
Creating a Blog Editorial Calendar
The longterm success of your blog lies within the time, research and blog content that you can continually produce over the coming months and years. By having an editorial calendar (also a plugin which can be installed within WordPress), you can pre-plan out content for the next several weeks. It’s not just about writing your articles all at once, but planning ahead, even if it’s just a title and a few notes.
Building an Authority & Successful Blog
As mentioned at the beginning of the post, there are over 100 million blogs in the world today. If you want to be able to compete and stand out from the crowd, it’s crucial that you get your blog off to the best start possible — which is done by following the simple steps above.
To learn more about how to create a super successful and extremely popular blog, be sure to join the Blogging.org training program and get the coaching and mentorship you deserve!