There are hundreds of “How To Start A Successful Blog” posts that portray blogging as an easy way to make big money online.
Most of those posts are really just promotional posts, where the writer goes over how to sign up with a particular web host they’re promoting in the post. When you follow the instructions, you’ll have access to a new website and the writer is paid a commission for your sign up. I even have one myself, so if you haven’t taken the first step with starting your blog, you can check it out here.
That’s all fine and dandy, but then what? Sure you’ve taken the first step to creating a successful blog, but now you’re left with figuring out the rest of it on your own.
That’s just not how I like to do things. This post is going to tell you what else you need to do to get your new blog on the road to success.
This post may contain affiliate links for one or more of my favorite products. If you use my links to make a purchase I will receive a commission, so Thanks!
How To Start A Successful Blog – Beyond Getting Your Own Domain and Self-Hosted Website
Yes, it’s true, that if you want to build a successful and profitable blog, your first step should be to purchase your own custom domain and self-hosted website.
Once you’ve done that, it’s time to get everything else into place so that you’ll actually get people to read your content. Unfortunately, just because you build it, does NOT mean they will come.
According to Worldometers on the day this is being written, there are over 4 million blog posts published every day. If you think your brand new blog is just going to get “found” without the right strategies in place, hang it up now. It doesn’t “just happen”.
That doesn’t mean you can’t build a successful and profitable blog, it just means you have a lot of work ahead of you. But don’t worry, you’ve got me now to help you get there.
Know Your Audience
The most successful bloggers know exactly who their target audience is, and it’s a very specific audience that they write for.
Choose A Niche
It’s important that you choose a targeted niche, and it’s one that you are passionate about.
You may assume that trying to appeal to everyone is the best way to grow your blog, but actually the opposite is true. The more targeted your niche is, the better your chance to build a loyal audience.
As you add content to your blog, you’ll be building your reputation as an expert in your niche. This sets you up for offering products and services that you know your audience will be interested in.
Understand Your Reader
Once you have your niche figured out, you’ll want to understand who you will be writing your content for.
The best way to understand your audience is to create a Target Reader Avatar.
This exercise is a known marketing strategy used by businesses everywhere. In order to provide value to your audience, you have to know who they are, how they live, and what problems you can help them solve as it relates to your niche.
To learn more about creating your Target Reader Avatar, I go over the process in detail here.
Once you have a clear idea of your niche and who you’re writing for, it’s time to create your content.
Remember, don’t try to appeal to everyone or you will appeal to no one. Write every single blog post for your target reader.
Your blog content can make or break your blog’s success. From the very beginning, you should write with the intention of providing valuable content for your audience.
Do your research and provide solutions for your readers.
You should aim for writing epic content with every single post. That means long-form content, over 1,200 words. If you can’t write at least 1,200 words on a topic, don’t bother writing it at all.
Related Post: 13 Elements of an Epic Blog Post
Now that you have your own domain, you’ll want to create your blog’s branding.
Create a logo for your blog, or hire someone to create one for you. You don’t have to spend a lot of money, but if your design skills are not the best, hire a pro. I used Fiverr and had my logo created within two days.
Colors & Fonts
One of the best ways to start growing your audience is to create branding that is recognizable across all platforms. That means being consistent with your logo, colors and fonts from your website to your Instagram feed.
Find a color palette of 1-3 colors that will best represent your blog’s brand. If you already have a logo, your color palette should compliment or match those colors.
Canva’s palette generator is a free tool that allows you upload a photo (your logo) then creates a palette that matches perfectly.
Font pairing can sometimes get overwhelming if you try to get too creative. Keep it simple. Choose one font to use for headings and another for text. I use Source Sans Pro as the primary font on my website, and it works well.
Claim Your Name
Even though I do not recommend using every social media platform at once to promote your blog, it’s important to claim your username as soon as possible.
Make sure that you claim your username on Pinterest, Twitter, a Facebook Page and Instagram.
Your domain name should also be your first choice for a username on every platform. It it’s not available or it’s too long, get as close as possible, and try to be consistent across all platforms.
Even if you don’t get active on Twitter, you don’t want someone else using your name and causing confusion for your readers.
Optimize Your Website
When you start driving traffic to your website, you’ll want to make the most of the traffic that’s showing up there.
Optimizing your website so that readers will engage with your content and come back to your blog is essential.
Social Share Buttons
Word-of-mouth is an excellent source of traffic no matter what your niche is. Make it easy for your readers to share your content with their friends and social media followers by adding social share buttons to your posts and pages.
This can be done easily with a free plugin called Sumo. Sumo offers customizable share buttons that are obvious but not obnoxious, to encourage readers to share your posts. I use them here, which you’ll notice on the left of the screen if on desktop, or at the bottom on mobile.
Learn more or download Sumo here..
Related Post: Skyrocket Your Blog’s Growth With One Free Tool
Start An Email List
I work with bloggers every day as a blogging coach and more often than not, they do not have an email list set up. If they have one set up, they’re not doing anything with it.
Starting an email list and nurturing it from day one is an important step for growing your new blog.
I know when you’re just getting started, blogging becomes an overwhelming experience fairly quickly. I’m pretty sure that’s why so many bloggers put off starting their email list.
If you want a successful and profitable blog, you need to start your email list now and start developing a relationship with the awesome people who are visiting your blog. Without capturing their email address, they may never visit your blog again.
Choosing Your ESP
MailerLite is an excellent choice for your email service provider. They have a very user-friendly platform that will make it easy to get started with collecting new subscribers and automating emails.
You may have heard of MailChimp in the Blogosphere because they offer free email marketing tools for beginners. I found their platform to be cumbersome and hard to navigate, with few customization features.
MailerLite is also free, up to 1,000 subscribers, and you get access to all of their features right away. They offer premium features that other ESP’s charge for, including:
- Custom Sign-up forms and Landing Pages
- Email sequences
- Email automations
- Custom email templates
- Email campaigns
This may all seem foreign to you as a beginner, but trust me, you want these features! MailerLite makes these features easy to navigate and implement for your subscribers.
Please Note: Before you can get your website approved with an email service provider, your website must be live and have content published on it. Otherwise, your account will not be approved. This rule is in place to prevent spammers and is required from all email service providers.
Get started with MailerLite now, which is free for up to 1,000 subscribers.
Once you set up your MailerLite account, you’ll need to create a sign-up form that you can add to your website. This is how your readers will sign up for your email list.
You can learn how to create a pop-up form in MailerLite for your website here.
Your First Email
Once you create your form, you’ll want to also create a Welcome Email that will go out to your subscribers as soon as they sign up. You can set this up in MailerLite, too. Check out the MailerLite video below for more information about email automation.
Email Marketing Strategy
There’s a lot more that goes into creating an effective email marketing strategy. This post is just to get you started, so that you can start building your list right away.
As you become more familiar with blogging, you’ll want to learn more about strategies to increase your email sign-up conversions and building email sequences.
By starting with MailerLite now, you’re laying the foundation for your future as a successful blogger.
Build Your Tribe
It might seem a little scary, but getting to know other bloggers is going to be key to the growth and success of your blog.
One of my favorite things about being a blogger is our sense of community. So don’t be shy!
There are going to be days in your very near future where you are questioning your choice to start a blog, and doubting your ability to pull it off. Your friends and family probably won’t understand what you’re going through, and you’ll feel like giving up.
Don’t. You’re now part of the blogging community, and you’ll want to lean on other bloggers for a variety of reasons. That is how you will learn, blossom, and find your confidence.
I do suggest not trying to connect with A-listers, since they have a staff of people helping them run their business. Do reach out to other new bloggers and those that are further along than you but still growing (like me!).
If you want to learn more about how to connect with other bloggers and the benefits of doing so, check out these posts:
- Why Building Your Blogger Tribe Is Key To Your Success
- How To Build A Loyal Blogger Tribe That Rocks!
Get Some Help
If you’re still not confident that you know how to pull this blogging thing off, or if you want to get on the fast track to success, I can help!
I offer blog coaching, which is one-on-one support to walk you through creating a successful and profitable blog. I can help you with any of these steps and so much more.
As your blogging coach, I’ll teach you everything you need to know, and customize your coaching to fit your level of understanding and e work at your pace.
Within your first month of coaching, you will grow your audience, get more traffic and more email subscribers. You’ll learn how to crush it on social media and marketing strategies that will build your branding and authority in your niche. I’ll even help you monetize your blog, so you can start making money sooner rather than later.
You can schedule a free consultation call now, and we’ll decide on the best plan-of-action to meet your goals.
Starting a new blog is an exciting new opportunity for you to be creative and share your talents with the world.
By implementing the tips in this post, you will create a solid foundation for your blog from the beginning.
You’re on your way to building a successful and profitable blog and a step ahead of most new bloggers.
I’d love to know if you found these tips helpful and if you learned something new. Please leave your answers in the comment section below. I love getting your feedback on my blog posts, and am happy to answer questions left in the comments, too.
I’d love to connect with you on Twitter or drop by my Facebook Page and say hello! If you found this post helpful, I’d love it if you’d share it on social media for other bloggers. You rock.