It’s no secret that we all strive to start a successful blog in 2021 and beyond, especially if our efforts haven’t worked out the way we hoped.
So, let me ask you some hard questions:
Have you reached whatever goal you had initially set out to accomplish?
On the other hand, have you ever thought of abandoning your blog altogether? Does it feel like everyone but you is successful? Do you feel hopeless (and even envious) of other bloggers who are crushing it?
I don’t blame you one bit. This is actually what the average blogger goes through (even the pros; remember success didn’t come easy for them).
Don’t be fooled by the title of this article, as it’s NOT aimed at “starting a new blog” or blogging for complete beginners.
Today’s guide focuses on those who have a blog but just can’t seem to really get it off the ground. In other words, today’s guide is meant for a *very large* percentage of bloggers on the web.
Let’s go over everything you can do to ensure your blog gains the success it deserves in 2021 and far beyond.
Break Down Your Goals Individually
We all have a general set of ideas in mind when it comes to blogging – such as making money, getting people to share our content, and growing our social media (or organic) traffic.
Can you spot the problem with the above goals, though?
These dreams are often left so broad that it prevents people from getting anything truly accomplished. This ultimately keeps you scattered and only obtaining a little bit of everything (as opposed to being abundantly satisfied).
We really have to break everything down to stop being a jack of all trades.
Ask yourself, “Is my blog just a hobby or do I intend to popularize / monetize it?” If you’re blogging merely for fun, then things are generally a lot easier than the latter option.
Ask yourself, “Assuming it’s not just a hobby, does it have the potential to become profitable? Is my passion monetizable? Can I potentially sell products or services?” Sadly, not every passion leads to profits, so these questions are important.
Ask yourself, “Am I willing to tackle a niche that’s outside of my comfort zone if my previously chosen subject doesn’t pan out?”
Ask yourself, “How can I make my first dollar? What about my first $10? What can I do to increase it without it being just a fluke?”
“How can I gain 5 – 50 new social media followers each week or gain X amount of traffic?
As you can see, there’s a lot of work involved when you really break things down. Try not to stretch yourself too thin by performing too many things at once…
Focus on making that first dollar, work on gaining those ten weekly social media followers, and so on.
We’ll go over actionable steps to accomplish these goals later in this article.
Create Content People Keep Visiting
It’s obvious that you should create “high quality content” and blah, blah, blah. So I won’t bore you with that generic advice.
To be more specific, can you come up with something that people will remember you for? Here are some examples:
Can you manage to interview interesting people in your niche at least once per month? Imagine if people come to expect an excellent interview on the first Monday of every month….without fail.
Can you publish a detailed overview of someone who makes X amount of income in your niche? Again, imagine if your readers come to expect this regularly. For example, a title could read, “This is How Michelle Created a 5-Figure Fashion YouTube Channel in Just 9 Months.”
Would you be willing to host contests and giveaways regularly? This is an easy one, and people love getting things for free. What if you give a $20 gift card to a random blog commenter every month?
Can you publish the largest list of resources based on something people are always searching for? Think of a list that’s so large, so detailed, and so well-maintained that everyone would naturally share it with others and keep visiting it themselves regularly.
Once again, all of the above have the power to make people keep coming back for more.
Sit back and think of something, as this helps your blog become more memorable and much more popular.
Speaking of recognition…
Work On Your Brand
The above examples can inadvertently help launch your blog brand. In other words, people would come to know your website as “the blog that hosts many contests” or “the only blog on the Web that has a monumental list of specific FREE resources.”
There are other things you can do to further develop that brand.
Add a watermark to your featured images: Insert your domain name into them, as this is the first thing people notice prior to clicking the article. The point is to gradually ingrain your name (or blog name) in people’s heads and associate a specific niche with your blog.
Show your face, an attractive “insignia” or create a mascot for your blog. Don’t like showing your face? That’s quite okay; many blogs have focused on popularizing a cartoony mascot to great success. Social Media Examiner is a prime example of this.
Plan a Realistic Content Strategy
In other words, plan a posting schedule that won’t overwhelm you.
BloggingPro sticks to a strict posting strategy, which has made this blog extremely successful over the years.
Can you develop enough discipline to publish new content every week or biweekly? And remember, content can be just about anything as long as your blogging schedule is predictable.
For example, post a traditional article every other Monday followed by a niche video in between (borrowed or embedded from YouTube; it doesn’t have to be your own video). Or perhaps post some of the aforementioned suggestions in between (contests, interviews, etc).
Reminder: It’s okay to fall off the wagon here and there. Just resume posting as soon as you can.
Place Major Focus on Networking & Promoting
The average blogger focuses more on publishing new content than promoting it. We do this for one or several reasons:
- We’re in control of the content, so it’s easier
- We fear being ignored (or insulted) when networking or promoting
- Shyness may prevent us from reaching out
- We don’t like to bother anyone
- We fear that our content isn’t good enough yet
If any of these are true for you, then you must really, really work on overcoming these issues. Reaching out to others is scary, but remember that you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.
Cliche, I know, but that phrase is eerily accurate.
If you’re someone who focuses on more quantity than quality, try some of the following:
Quality, not quantity: Slow down your publishing frequency and focus on creating the best content possible. This means no cookie-cutter fluff if you really aim to start a successful blog in 2021. Include detailed examples, verifiable statistics, important quotes from influencers, rely on facts and back things up. Even if it takes you multiple days to complete one article.
Meet other bloggers: Get to know others and befriend them; develop a genuine interest in their content, follow and support them and just be a good sport (and actually mean it). Include these people in your future articles.
Connect: Always try to contact the person(s) you mention in your articles and kindly ask if they’d be willing to share your content on their respective social media profiles. Even if you don’t ask, some bloggers will naturally reference your content after knowing you for a while.
Yes, guest blogging is still a thing: Consider guest blogging on related websites, which is still a tried-and-true strategy even now in 2021. In fact, I have compiled a list of 5,000 blogs that accept guest posts to get you started.
Rinse and repeat: Don’t just share your content once, but repeat the process over several months like clockwork.
Lastly, consider paid advertising if you can afford it. Can you spare $20 per month and experiment with Facebook, Instagram, or Google Ads? This strategy doesn’t have to break the bank, so think about it and take it seriously.
Focus on one primary social network: Create a secondary source of traffic and potential income, but don’t create a bunch of social media profiles. Instead, focus on really growing just one. Many blogs now have an accompanying YouTube or Instagram account with thousands of followers, for instance.
Try to outsource some tasks if you’re overwhelmed: If you don’t have much money to spare, consider hiring a contractor for small tasks such as finding blog images and watermarking them. Any small amount of help can help you move forward and lowers the chances of burnout.
As you can see, successful blogging isn’t necessarily rocket science.
It’s NOT easy, but the overall strategy is fairly straightforward.
The main steps essentially revolve around planning and then remaining consistent. If certain things are too overwhelming or technical, consider hiring affordable help for your blog.
I truly hope this guide has helped you (in fact, bookmark it and re-read it often). Start planning your strategy today to tackle the year 2021 (and far beyond) successfully.
Author: Elvis Michael
Elvis Michael is an avid blogger and e-trepreneur, endlessly exploring new ideas and effective ways to inspire.