How to Set Your Blog Up for Success
Blog success, or as we like to call it, the Garden of E-Blog-den, Blog-adise, Shangri-blog-la or even Blog-topia. But those titles wouldn’t exactly be the best for SEO now would they?
There are so many blog posts across the wide, wide web that explain how to start and build a blog all the way to success-ville. I’m sure you’ve heard a million times: don’t compare yourself to anyone, find a niche, engage with the audience and be consistent. All of those are very true but we know this by now. Let’s step outside of the box together and unveil some magic tricks of the trade.
We’ve broken it down to seven ways to snag a one-way ticket to fulfilling the American success dream in the US of B. (United States of Blog-merica).
1. Just another Manic Business
Make a schedule from the very beginning. Or at least try.
Why? Because otherwise, you and your blog will deteriorate like Britney Spears’ career in the 2000s. We just implemented a schedule a few weeks ago with Google Calendar and it’s been a godsend. Before that, we did whatever we wanted whenever we wanted. It worked for a while and before we knew it weeks had gone by and our blog was as dry as the Mojave.
Then, opportunities started flooding in with no Noah’s Ark in sight. We were missing deadlines, blogging all over the place and playing catch up.
Keeping a schedule will make it easier to organize tasks efficiently, set goals, and track progress. To top it off, there’s still time for all your Netflix binge-watching needs because you’ll be working smart in addition to working hard.
I would recommend Google Calendar because you can access from anywhere. Whether you’re at your in-laws for dinner or sitting in a space station. All I need to do is log in to my Gmail account and I’m good to go.
2. Why be a patchwork quilt when you could be melting pot?
There’s nothing wrong with looking at other blogs for inspiration but don’t try to be them. If all your time is spent trying to make your blog look like everygenericblog.com’s, any personality or authentic voice will get lost. I’ve seen so many blogs where I recognize the exact theme and stock photos. It gets boring!
Instead, take bits and pieces, tweak them, and turn them into your own. For example, we loved the idea of a heinously large landscape header like the Nomadic Boys but it just wasn’t working on our blog. It made our blog look like a big ol’ slab of cold lasagna. Instead, we discovered sticky headers and that’s been the best thing since pre-sliced cake because it gave us a happy medium.
Take the time to surf around different blogs, do some trial and error with ideas and find what fits your personality. make your blog stand out! What’s going to make more headlines: a naked streaker running across the field or another shirtless Joe-schmo wearing a cowboy hat in the crowd?
3. Drake’s right – you’ve gotta start from the bottom
Your first posts and ideas are probably going to suck. Seriously. Don’t believe me? Just look at these heinous logos we designed on Canva before realizing we needed a pro like Miranda to create one for us. Why? Because even though we saw ourselves improving we got tired of waiting for our strengths to grow to where we wanted them to be.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with recognizing what your strengths and weaknesses are and using them to your advantage. The main thing to keep in mind is that even if your first blog post is the worst thing since smooth peanut butter, it’s something you did to the best of your ability. That’s fine because everything you do after is only going to improve.
So embrace what you’ve accomplished, put it out there, be open to feedback, and grow from the advice and criticism you get. If you don’t share your masterpiece with the world, how can it improve?
4. Mirror, mirror on the web
The blog is a reflection of you and you alone. think of it like a first job interview.
Would you hire someone who walked into an interview wearing a chimp suit, munching on tree bark, wearing a banana peel necklace, and grooming their dry patches? Or would you hire someone who came in looking fresh with their hair brushed, clothes pressed, and black coffee with one milk and no sugar in tow? (People who drink coffee with one milk and no sugar mean business.)
Probably the second one.
In an interview, first impressions matter and the same goes for your blog. Display any aspirations, skills, and talents right off the bat.
- Good at scheduling? Be known as the reigning king of consistency in the blog jungle.
- Genius at drawing? Design all your icons yourself.
- Got a knack for organizing? Have an epic, easy-to-navigate blog layout.
We spent hours doing colour contrast tests for our logo to make sure the blog readability was the best it could be. The original colour was yellow, which looked great on the logo but if used for writing no one was going to be able to read anything!
Paying attention to those details matter because it makes all the difference in showing your dedication, work ethic, and eye for detail.
5. Join the Proud Family
Be proud of what you’re sharing with the troops and don’t just settle for good enough.
If you’re not your biggest fan, who’s going to be? The more effort put into the blog, the happier you’ll be with it and the more you’ll want to promote it and put it out there. People will recognize the pride and hard work. Here’s another imaginary scenario.
“Hey everyone. I started a blog about mops. It’s kind of boring but the mop industry is lacking information. Check it out if you want.”
If there’s one thing people know about me, it’s that I’m a mop queen. Nothing gets me going like a fresh Pinesol soaked mop: they clean, make my floors shiny, and keep those diseases at bay. I started this blog to share all my mopping tips and tricks over on lordofmops.com. Mop on over and check it out!
Which one are you more likely to click on? The second one of course.
People will only care if you care. So care.
6. Give people an experience
People don’t want spammy BuzzFeed posts like “Five Things I Wish I Knew About Squeegees” or “How to Build a Raft with Cotton”. People also don’t want just another basic lifestyle blog about OOTDs, beach-grams, and DIY didgeridoos.
Think of your blog as a counsellor. Are you more likely to go to a blog with the same information as every other blog in the world? Or are you more likely to go to a blog with new information conveyed with a unique voice?
Even if it’s something people already know about, like hammers, make it seem like it’s the most valuable and novel information. When people are on the Internet, they’re either looking for answers or entertainment. So why not combine both.
Here’s another thing. Make people feel like they’re being heard!
When we picked a blog layout, we had no idea that you couldn’t click on the picture to read the post. We never noticed that but other people did and complained about it so we’re going to change it!
Listen to people’s feedback and use it to improve. It shows you care what the audience thinks and they feel heard. At the end of the day, give people an experience that they can’t stay away from. That’s what will keep them coming back over and over again.
7. Prioritize your stacks
Try everything for free before deciding to toss stacks at things.
As a beginner, it doesn’t matter whether you have Canva, Tailwind, an email provider, a hosting site, a site designer, and a logo all rolled up into one gourmet sandwich. Blogging is all about building online relationships. Having all this will give a boost but if the writing isn’t engaging and you don’t form connections, all that money for the gourmet sandwich has gone to waste!
Prioritize what you spend your money on. As a lifestyle blogger, Pinterest might be perfect. As a news blogger, having a good email service provider might be more important. Or if you’re a burger enthusiast, a top-notch mallet magazine subscription could be vital to your success.
We decided to spend money on getting a logo designed because we wanted something to reflect our personality and our blog’s brand. The last thing we wanted was a pixelated, planet-shaped hot-dog logo designed on Canva.
So $ave Dat Money and spend it carefully.
Blogging isn’t going to be easy. There are going to be a ton of setbacks and bumps in the road. Like breaking your website or not getting that one affiliate.
It’s going to be more of a bumpy bus ride than a smooth Tesla autopilot journey. But there are things you can do to march your way up the ladder of success:
- Make a schedule
- Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there because you will improve
- Put your best face forward
- Be proud! You’ve worked hard to get where you are
- Spend your money where it matters.
- Be open to feedback! Listen to what people are saying and use it to improve.
What’s one piece of advice you’d add to this list? Or would you rather just have a pile of dogs around you while you work? Comment below or email at firstname.lastname@example.org