Oh – so you run a blog?
Regardless of your niche, your presence is comparable to a grain of sand on a beach. According to statistics, there are currently 75 million WordPress websites existing to date – with around 50,000 new ones being brought to life daily. Take note that these figures don’t include sites created with other platforms such as Wix, SquareSpace, and custom web development environments.
If you blog merely as a creative outlet, then you can excuse yourself from all the troubles involved in optimizing your site. But if you fancy the idea of monetizing your blog, then you’re in for a ride.
Remember that the key to a successful blog is to be awesome across the board. You need to have stellar content, a brilliant site design, and an active following that spreads the word on your brand.
Of course, your journey to profitable blogging won’t be an easy one. But if you focus on one step at a time, you will get there – eventually.
Below are the essential steps to get you started:
1. Create Awesome Content
Great content is your bread and butter if you want an authoritative online presence. It is, after all, the only reason why internet users go to blogs. If you can’t offer them anything relevant, useful, or interesting in any way, don’t expect a steady stream of traffic anytime soon.
Truth be told, you’ll need creative flair and skill to produce entertaining blog posts that can keep readers hooked. Still, anyone can create great content if they live by the following fundamentals:
- Valuable – Make sure your content topics deal with the pain points of your target audience. To be in the know, you can use a content research tool like BuzzSumo to spot trends and popular discussions.
- Unique –Although a 100% unique article is nigh impossible to produce these days, you can make yours special by adding your views. This is one of the reasons why you should pick a blog niche you’re genuinely passionate about.
- Concise –A long wall of text can sometimes discourage readers from finishing a post. Sure, a few sentences that instill your personality in your article can be helpful, but you should never keep your readers waiting for the good stuff.
- Organized –Finally, be sure your content flowed well and organized via visible sections to help readers skim for useful information.
- Go Visual –If you have the time and, in some cases, extra funds, then you should consider adding visual elements to improve reader engagement.
2. Build Awesome Landing Pages
It doesn’t matter if you have an affiliate site, online store, or an informative niche blog – you need a lead generation strategy to grow your reader base. The first step is to design beautiful landing pages that captivate the attention of your audience and inspire them to take action.
Today, any blogger can create effective landing pages with only a handful of drag-and-drop tools. These enable you to add elements such as CTA buttons, plan comparisons, and checkout forms without writing a single line of code. Some of them also come equipped with split testing capabilities to help you with future CRO.
3. Foster an Awesome Community
The secret to maximum engagement rate is to provide your audience with the sense of belongingness whenever they visit your site. This is why lead generation is a crucial component of your strategy. To increase the value of your brand in your audience’s eyes, offer exclusivity through additional content delivered via emails or membership sections.
Installing the Simple Membership plugin for WordPress to create private content is a good idea, but it may not work for new blogs with little to no online presence. On the other hand, launching a newsletter campaign with the help of list-building tools can help you slowly—but surely—earn the trust of your audience.
4. Deliver Awesome Performance
A surefire way to ruin your readers’ day is to greet them with a site that takes ages to load. In fact, surveys indicate that 40% of users will instantly leave a site if it loads for more than 3 seconds.
The good news is, you can easily improve the speed of your website with a few simple optimizations. If you’re using WordPress, start by implementing browser caching with easy-to-use plugins. This ensures faster loading times to your repeat visitors. For more site fixes that can improve loading speed, head on to Google PageSpeed Insights for actionable recommendations.
5. Use Awesome Analytics Tools
Finally, a truly standout blog cannot be made overnight; it takes months of hard work to achieve its optimal profit potential. Even then, you shouldn’t stop monitoring its performance and looking for new ways to improve. And for this, you need to be armed with analytics tools to let data lead your blog’s growth.
Remember that analytics work by gauging the performance of every individual page in your blog. Doing so will help you determine the content your audience prefers, the best layout for conversions, and the worst practices you should avoid or replace. It’s a slow, ongoing process that weeds out the mediocre from the diligent bloggers who are capable of online success.
At this point, you need to ask yourself – am I still up for this? Finishing this post is a good sign, but be sure that you can accomplish the tasks outlined above on a consistent basis. It won’t be easy, but once you decided to blog for profit, then you have no other choice but to press on. Good luck!
Author: Christopher Jan Benitez
Content marketer during the day. Heavy sleeper at night. Dreams of non-existent brass rings. Writer by trade. Pro wrestling fan by choice (It’s still real to me, damnit!). Family man all the time.