Now I know what it needs, to start a successful blog, a blog that reaches audiences and resonates with their expectation. The main ingredient of a successful blog and things surrounding it are all listed below. There are few things to know before starting a blog. In order to have a successful blog, you must sort out these things before launching your blog.
If you guys are not aware then this is not my first blog. I started a blog last year and it failed. You can read the reasons why my blog failed here and avoid those mistakes. It failed because I didn’t know about few important things to start a successful blog.
When I started my old blog, I was supercharged and jumped into it without much preparation and my energy disappeared soon because I was not prepared for what came my way.
I didn’t research enough to find things that would’ve helped me to start a successful blog. Soon, I lost focus and became directionless, there was no anchor to pull me to the shore, I drowned.
I’m glad that I started a blog, made mistakes and learned a lesson from it. But, you don’t have to go through that process, because I’m going to share all my learnings here. I’m going to tell you everything that you must know to start a blog.
I don’t want you to go through the frustration, loss of income and self-confidence that I went through.
No doubt, there is a light at the end of the tunnel but now that we know that there is a better route so why go through that dark tunnel? Make sense?
Before you start a blog, there are few things that you need to prepare. Things that will make your journey way better, focused and successful.
9 important things to Know Before starting a blog
(Please note that this post contains affiliate links, which means that when you buy any product /services using my link then I’ll earn a small commission at no EXTRA cost to you. Thank You!)
1. Find your Topic/Niche
You can blog about the whole world, anything, and everything but if you are planning to make a successful blog, a blog that makes money then you need to focus on a topic.
Find a niche or topic that you can write about for months, a topic that interests you and is profitable too.
This is one of the most important things to know before starting a blog. Many bloggers fail because they choose a wrong niche or is unclear about it.
Choose a topic that you enjoy, would be able to talk about it for a long time as blogging is a long-term process. You need to write a lot of content to establish your authority and remain interesting.
Again, it’s your blog and there is no hard and fast rule that your niche cannot evolve. Yes, you can write about whatever the hell you want, it’s your blog, your business. But the right way is to first establish your foundation, build a relationship with your readers, make them join your tribe and slowly increase your niche boundary or narrow it down depending on your readers.
There are many successful lifestyle blogs which write about many topics at the same time but these topics are somewhat related and in the same niche. There are also, many companies that started writing about bigger niche and as they discovered their readers, narrow down their niche to match their readers’ interest. So, you see, it can go both ways if you plan properly and find out your readers’ interest.
You have to establish your authority in that niche to gain the trust of your audience. Read more about Niche selection here.
2. Be YourSelf, be Unique
There are thousands of blog and none of the topics are unique. Every idea or niche has been taken and shaken. You probably won’t be the first person to blog about the topic you choose. It’s almost guaranteed someone else has thought of it before you.
There is hardly any way to be unique in terms of the content. Almost every blog has how to start a blog post, start a blog with SiteGround or BlueHost, make money blogging, Pinterest information, etc.
The best and a successful way to be unique in this huge online world is to be yourself. Present the same content in your style, in a different way – your angle, your voice.
It’s ok if you don’t get the hang of your style from the day one….keep going slowly you’ll find your voice and style.
3.Create your Blog Goal
Creating a Goal will help you to check your progress, the strength, and the area that needs attention. Your Goal will keep you focused. It’ll motivate you and help you to stay on your path, in the right direction.
Every month when you analyze your blog progress with your Goal, you’ll be able to figure out your weak points where you need to work on and your plus points where you need to FOCUS MORE.
Work on your weakness and FOCUS on your Strength….new mantra.
My first-month goal was to launch my blog on the set date, have 15 useful blog posts, an email opt-in, gain 50 subscribers, Grow Pinterest followers to 200. Join 20 Pinterest board and earn $20(not a focus but would be nice)
Let’s be honest, its good to set BIG goals but it’s better to set PRACTICAL goals.
Goals that are achievable because accomplishment pumps your motivation level.
Don’t get me wrong, I am a big follower of pushing your boundaries and dreaming for the STARS but I also know that blogging is a long race and you have to play it strategically.
SLOW and STEADY always WINS.
Tip: write down your goal for this month or for the next three months and tick every time you achieve it. Pat yourself and be proud of your achievements.
4.Positive Mindset with a Realistic Expectation
I want to make this explicatively clear that Blogging is by no means an easy way to make money.
If you are starting a blog with a mindset that it’s a quick money-making scheme then you better stick to your 9-5 job. least there you have an assurance that every month you have a fixed amount coming to your bank.
But, here in Blogging World, things are very different.
Its way more complicated and lots and lots of HARD WORK. You’ll be working your ass-off for every penny you earn.
Seriously, I want to present it as IT IS, no sugar coating.
This is no way to discourage you but to prepare you for your new journey.
In the beginning, there are lots of learning, challenges, and ocean full of information to go through. You’ll be wearing multiple hats from content writer to SEO tech to social media manager etc. The list is long.
Blogging requires lots of patience and Positive mindset. On an average, it takes about 6-12 months to make money from your blog. Also, most bloggers quit within 6-12 months of blogging.
Don’t expect to see instant success and please do not compare your journey with someone else’s. You don’t know what they are going through.
You’ll be facing frustration, anxiety, and confusion during your initial phase as a new blogger and the only way to bet these monsters is by keeping a positive mindset.
I want to tell you that it’s Perfectly OKAY to feel that way. Yes, ma’am, it’s Fine. Even the successful blogger and entrepreneurs at the top have felt like a failure sometimes. We all do, just be positive and BELIEVE in YOURSELF.
5.Number of a blog post
There are different views on this one. Many people say that you launch your blog as soon as you have a post. While some suggest having 10-15 posts on the launch day.
What I would say, the day you set up your blog, your blog is launched. It may be unknown to others yet but it is born. The main point here is how many blogs post you should have before promoting your blog, before beating your DRUM?
Last time when I started a blog, I couldn’t hold my horses and told my family and friends about my new blog with just one post and asked them to visit my blog. It was good, I received lots of appreciation and comment on that post and that was it. I couldn’t utilize my launch hype and it died down.
You think for an instance; a new boutique has opened up in your area and you are so excited to see their collections.
When you visit the boutique, there is a stunning black dress on the rack, you are impressed and you want to see more but wait what there are no other dresses, bags or anything else??? That’s the only item in the store.
How would you feel?
Not good, forget about the store, newbie.
But let’s tweak a little: add few more dresses, partyware, gowns, and bags, you enter the boutique, there is a stunning black dress, beautiful partyware collection, you go through their other collections, check their price and you might buy a dress as well. (signup for newsletter).
Do you see the difference?
When you have more posts then there are more chances of showcasing your style, your product, and your way of presenting different angle to the same topic.
This time, I published 5 posts with 4 sign up forms and one large email opt-in (with 10posts in the pipeline, waiting for images) before promoting my blog because I want to grab the opportunity and start building my audience from the day one.
I am not asking you to start with 15 or 20 posts but not less than 5 posts. Ideally, 10-15 is perfect so that you get more chance to promote your posts and keep your visitor on your blog for a longer time.
Also, if you start with 10-15 posts then you’ll not feel much pressure to publish post after post.
You can get away by publishing 1 post per week and sometimes when you are tied up then 1 per two weeks but I encourage you to be consistent and produce at least 1 post per week especially in the beginning.
Some new blogger also believes that they need to produce content every day to increase their traffic but I wouldn’t do that.
If you have about 10 pillar post or post with lots of useful information and are consistently producing 1or 2 posts per week then you are doing good.
But if you are not able to hold your horses and want to go ahead with just one or two posts which is fine but please, please, please have few posts in the pipeline. Or, at least few topics in mind and rough ideas of at least 4-5 posts so that you don’t have to search for new ideas on Pinterest every day. Also, you’ll save yourself from lots of stress.
The secret to a successful blogging is producing a valuable content to your readers. Content that is in-depth, full of helpful tips and easy to read and digest.
Everything else comes after that.
If you blog with an intention to produce value for your readers then money will follow automatically. It might take some time but eventually, it will come. This is a very important thing to remember.
Don’t blog for money but blog for creating a value to your readers…..it’s my mantra too.
Start collecting subscribers from the day one. If you can create opt-in (aka freebies) it would be great as it converts better otherwise start with the subscriber button- You must start building the email list from the day you launch your blog.
I know you must have read it many times and I am going to repeat the same things that email subscribers list is the only thing that is truly yours.
A single change in the Facebook algorithm can make a huge impact on your business, the recent example being the company name littlething.com closing down after FB changes its business page algorithm.
So, don’t rely solely on social media. Start building your own list. I can’t Stress how important it is.
In a simple term- More subscriber means more money.
The best place to put your best opt-in is at the top of the home screen of your blog. You can also place one in the sidebar and another one within the post.
In my recent post on I write an in-depth guide on how to grow your email list faster. I encourage you to read it to get all the information about growing your email list.
7. Social Media/Online Platforms
For a successful online business, social media plays a vital role. The few popular ones with bloggers are facebook groups and pages, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Stumble Upon, Google+. You need social media to promote your work, to attract visitors and grow your business. Without social media presence, building a successful online business is a bit hard.
I get it, it’s a great idea to have your presence on as many social platforms as possible but is it Realistic??? YES & NO.
It’s very possible if you have a team of people handling social media/ online presence for you but if you are a soloprenuers or a budding biz owner then it’s not possible and a bad idea too.
Don’t overexert yourself by trying to be on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. Focus on only two or three platforms and try to master it.
As a blogger and a mum, I have so many things to do so to promote my blog I focus on Pinterest, my primary platform, and Facebook groups. I cannot handle more than these.
Spreading yourself too thin could be exhausting for you and your blog. Choose your social platform carefully.
Pinterest is the major player in the making of a successful blog. 90% of big bloggers get their main traffic from Pinterest.
It is a visual search engine with a small component of social media. I’ll give few important pointers about it here.
To begin with:
- Create a business account on Pinterest
- Set up your profile with a bit of what you’re offering.
- Verify your website
- Set up 15-20 boards in your niche with keywords and a brief description
- Create Rich pins
- Apply for group boards
- Create beautiful pins
- Start pinning pins on different boards
- Pinning strategy: manual + automation (tailwind and board booster)
There is a very interesting eBook on manual pinning strategies on Pinterest, Pinterest strategies by one of my favorite fellow mum blogger Carly. This book gives in-depth information about manual pinning strategies that Carly followed to grow her traffic exponentially and make money within 9 months of Blogging.
I have read many ebooks and courses and most of them talk about same things about Pinterest but Carly here is very different. She really wants to help and give everything that she knows. Her strategies are totally different and I myself have discovered so many different ways to check Pinterest traffic in Google Analytics or ways to promote pins which I was not aware of.
Read my Pinterest Beginners guide to set up your Pinterest business account from scratch. It has in-depth information with many examples.
9.Invest in Yourself and your Business
Blogging is one of the lowest startup business models. Unlike other businesses, you don’t need huge investment to start a blog.
The only thing that you need to begin with is a hosting plan and rest is your time and knowledge.
Blogging is all about continuous learning and improving your ideas so, to be a successful blogger you must invest in yourself.
For a new blogger, there are so much to learn and understand. From business side to the creative side to the technical part, you’ll be wearing all types of hats as an owner of a business.
Hence it’s imperative to learn and familiarize yourself with all areas of blogging.
You have few options here-
- Hire help or outsource some of your work
- Sacrifice your sleep and learn everything from the ocean of information (like I did earlier)
- Invest in few good courses, learn strategies that work and get ahead in time. Keep your sanity intact and produce value for your audience.
One of the reasons my last blog failed was because I was trying to do it all by myself. I was trying to save money and learn everything from the scratch. My thinking was when I’ll start earning money then I’ll invest that money in my business. I didn’t want to waste my money if it didn’t work (see the Negative Mindset)
So, to save few bucks I started working late nights, waking up at Zombies time and start reading blog posts after blog posts, not getting much information but definitely frustrated and tired.
Sound familiar??? Are you doing something like this, if Yes, STOP?
STOP right there!
That’s a wrong way, turn back.
Do you really think you can become successful by reading only free courses and tips published in a blog post?
Yes, you can !! but it’s going to take a very long time, lots of perseverance and a Truckloads of PATIENCE.
If you have nothing else to do then go ahead and follow this route. It’s a good way to make your foundation strong but I don’t have that luxury with two supercharged kids, chores, shopping list and laundry basket which never gets empty, and many other responsibilities.
I’m not saying that you won’t be successful by reading lots of blog posts and free courses, you may BUT it’s going to take LOTS OF TIME.
Is it really worth saving few bucks by delaying your success by many months? NOPE, it’s NOT, not me for 🙁
A good course will fast forward your success by few months, boost your skill and saves you from loads of Frustration.
So, the crux of the matter is to invest in yourself, you are the most valuable asset of your business. Invest in your business, get a good hosting plan, a beautiful and mobile responsive theme, some automation programmes like Tailwind and Board booster to save your limited time and of course some awesome Courses and eBooks.
My Investment this time: -.
Tailwind: 100 free pins to check it out. Many ways to pin. Affordable yearly plan. Pinterest approved
Board booster: 500 free pins to check. No contract. Month by month basis. Many ways to pin in boards and group boards.
I do hope that this post gives you some insight and helps you to start your blogging journey with a Bang.
If you have already started a blog, don’t worry you can still take lots of information from here and implement in your business.