So you want to start a blog but you don’t know how to make sure it’ll be successful. First of all: congrats for getting this far! Know this: you can start a successful blog today. And more importantly: it’s easier than you think, trust me. Therefore, in this post I’ll share the best tips for starting a successful blog as a total beginner.
You’re probably excited about starting a blog – keep that up! But I know you don’t want to screw things up in the beginning. What you need is (1) great ideas, (2) a solid technical setup for your blog, and (3) a plan for promoting and growing your blog. And that’s exactly what I’m here to help you out with, so keep reading!
If you’re not quite sure how to start a blog, check out my step-by-step tutorial on how to start a blog from scratch for beginners. It’ll walk you through the entire setup so that you can start your blog today!
Alright, let’s get started with the tips!
Here are a couple of helpful posts you may want to read, too:
- How to Start a Successful Blog? 6 Essential Steps for Blogging Beginners
- The Best Blogging Resources for Beginners
- 101 Profitable Blog Niche Ideas that Make Money
8 Tips for Starting a Successful Blog TODAY
Tip #1: Choose a Topic You Feel Passionate About
Congrats on getting this far! If you’re just about to start blogging, the first thing you need to figure out is the topic for your blog.
Every blogger out there knows how difficult it can be when you first start a blog. I mean, every successful blogger knows that they will spend a lot of time with their blog.
So how can you make sure you will still feel like writing for your blog in 2 years, let alone 5 or 10 years?
The answer is very simple: you need to be passionate about your blog’s topic.
If you think about your readers, they will quickly notice whether you’re really interested in your topic by reading your posts.
The only way to make sure things work out well in the end is to pour your heart and soul into your blog. Speak from your heart, put all you have into it, and your readers will appreciate your efforts.
If you’re just starting out, here’s a helpful post to help you find your niche: What to Blog About? How to Find the Perfect Blog Topic.
Tip #2: Stay Focused on One Topic
The most important part of starting a blog is to find a topic you feel passionate about enough to produce enough content in the long run.
Whatever your topic is, make sure you focus your blog on it 100%. Every successful blog out there has one thing in common:
They focus on a niche and maintain that focus. Forever.
This is sort of self-explanatory, but it’s the most important lesson you can learn right away.
Think about it from your readers’ perspective. They keep coming back to your blog because you provide them with helpful content on a specific topic. Therefore, what really matters for your readers is that they can be sure that each post you publish is another useful piece of content they want to read.
Maintaining this interest is your #1 priority when you start a blog, trust me!
Tip #3: Know What Your Readers Want
Ok, so you’ve found your blog niche and you know you must stick to it. Great!
So how do you make the most out of the niche you’ve chosen? What can you do to make your blog posts generate TONS of traffic?
In short: give people what they want!
Your readers are online because they are looking for something. All you need to do is give them exactly that!
Related: 5 Powerful Ways for Finding Blog Post Ideas Quickly
I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: you should focus on three things with every post you write:
- Help your readers
- Answer their questions
- Give them valuable information
That’s really all there is to it.
Remember: we all browse the Web for content we are interested in. We need it to be valuable to us. Just like the time we spend reading something is valuable, we want to get a return on that “investment”.
There are a couple of easy and quick ways to find out what your target audience is interested in. If you want to create one awesome post after the other, check out How to Find Blog Post Topics that Generate Traffic.
Tip #4: Do NOT Start Your Blog on a Free Blogging Platform
I repeat: do NOT start a blog on a free platform.
Because you are not the owner of your content if you do. If you start a blog on WordPress.com, for example, you give up all control over your content to them.
It might look like it’s your blog, yes. It has your name on it. But that’s pretty much it.
Here are just a few drawbacks from using a free blogging platform:
- You don’t “own” the traffic. All the traffic to your blog you work so hard for point to WordPress.com, not to your own domain name.
- Your entire blog could be deleted overnight. If you start on a free platform and the company is sold, who knows what will happen to your blog posts?
- Your readers will not take you seriously. Remember: your blog is a business and you need to think of it as one. Using a free blogging platform does not give a professional first impression. If you want to build a brand for your blog online, free blogging platforms are not the solution for you.
To be honest, I don’t see any advantages from using a free platform. Zero. That’s just how the world of blogging works – there are no free lunches.
Therefore: please start your blog on your own domain using a self-hosted blogging platform right from the beginning.
Which Blogging Platform Should You Use?
There are a few good platforms you can choose from. My recommendation would be to go with WordPress. It’s the most popular blogging software worldwide, and it’s very easy to use even for total beginners.
I use self-hosted WordPress solutions for all of my blogs and websites.
WordPress is easy to learn how to use and most blog hosting providers have a quick 1-click installation tool you can use. In other words, you can get your WordPress blog up and running in a matter of minutes.
Exclusive Blog Hosting Deal for My Readers:
For starting a WordPress blog I recommend setting it up and hosting it on Bluehost.com.
Now, I know you don’t want to spend more money than necessary on starting your first blog. That’s why I’ve negotiated an exclusive deal for all my readers with Bluehost:
With Blogging Explorer, you have access to an exclusive blog hosting package starting at $2.95 per month (that’s a 60% discount!) – including a FREE domain name for your blog:
I use Bluehost for a bunch of websites (including this one!) and I know they have the easiest, most beginner-friendly product you can find. You don’t want to choose the wrong hosting provider just to spend sleepless nights trying to get your blog back online after an error in your hosting.
And if you’re totally new to the technical stuff, don’t worry. I’ve written a full, step-by-step tutorial for starting a blog on Bluehost for total beginners.
Related: How Much Does It Cost to Start a Profitable Blog?
Tip #5: Connect With Your Readers
What makes blogging so great is the possibility of connecting with your readers and creating a conversation on your blog’s topic with each post you publish.
And that’s what starting a successful blog is all about, really. You write about topics your readers want to read about. They should find your content helpful and useful, so that you can slowly build a group of loyal readers that keep coming back to your blog.
So, here are a few tips for you to connect with your readers better:
- Write like you were having a conversation with a friend. That’s right, write like you speak. Here’s my tip: have a rubber duck on your desk. Yep, that’s right. Get a rubber duck and imagine it’s your most loyal reader. Simply start talking to it and writing at the same time. (It’s a trick programmers use to make sure they can explain what their computer code is doing. It helps!)
- Ask for comments, questions, and feedback from your readers. This is the best way to know what questions your readers have. Great for finding ideas for new blog posts.
- Make sure you respond to every comment. Promptly, consistently, every time you get a comment.
- Use e-mail marketing to build a relationship with your readers. But offer them something in return: create an e-book or write a thorough step-by-step tutorial that your readers can use. Use that as a giveaway in exchange for e-mail addresses. Then, actively connect with your subscribers to help them and build trust with them over time.
In shot: whatever you do, think about how you can help your readers.
Gather feedback and ideas from them and use that information to create new, awesome content they really need and want.
Related: 10 Instant Tips for Writing Better Blog Posts
Tip #6: Choose Quality Over Quantity
This is something I learned the very first day when I started my first blog a few years back.
Back then, my head was bursting with ideas for blog posts, I was thinking about writing all day long (and sometimes night, too). I just felt like I was all over the place.
I thought publishing a new post daily was the only way to succeed – but it’s not.
What matters the most is how you write, not how much. As soon as you find a good topic for your blog, you’re all good. You can’t start a successful blog overnight, so don’t feel like you need to publish new content every day.
Believe me, you’ll have plenty of post ideas and content to publish, so you don’t have to worry about running out of ideas.
Remember: your blog is all about helping your readers, offering them valuable information. Keep this in mind with each post you write. As long as the quality of your posts is good enough, your readers will stay loyal regardless of how often you push out new content.
Tip #7: Develop a Pattern For Writing Your Blog Posts
We all love producing new content to publish, right? If you wish to create high-quality content one post after the other, you need to figure out a process to do this. It’s going to make things so much easier for you. Also, it’ll help you maintain a consistent tone and structure in each post you write.
But most importantly, having a good writing process up your sleeve will save you time. A lot of it.
Here’s a little blueprint for writing a great blog post you can use:
- Start by doing some research. Find out what your target audience needs.
- Think of a specific problem you can solve for them. Don’t be afraid to write from a personal perspective.
- Structure your post carefully. Tell your readers how your post will help them in the first paragraph. Figure out the structure of the entire post before you start writing.
- Write like you speak. This creates a more personal, conversational tone that is easy and interesting to follow.
- Ask for feedback and comments! You must know if your post does its job and helps your readers well enough.
Focus on giving every post your all. Plan it well in advance, engage your readers, share a personal story, and match each post with you long-term goals.
This is a simple but powerful pattern for making sure your blog attracts the right kind of audience with each post you publish. And more importantly, your readers will keep coming back to your blog.
Tip #8: Choose the Right Tools to Promote and Grow Your Blog
If you want to start a successful blog, you must make sure that you can generate ton of traffic in the future.
We already talked about how you can find the perfect blog niche and topic in an earlier post.
Once that’s done, you should think about how you can promote your content. Obviously, you’re going to invest a lot of time in writing great blog posts. So it’s only reasonable to plan how you can find as many readers as possible.
So, where should you start? How can you find the right tools to grow your blog? Every blog has a slightly different set of tools that work best for promotion and marketing.
In general, you need to go where your target audience is. There are a bunch of way to increase traffic to your blog, but every niche has a different set of tools that work the best.
To help you get started, check out my post on 5 Essential Tools for Growing Your Blog.
Final Thoughts: Tips for Starting a Successful Blog TODAY
All you need to remember is this:
- The best time to start a blog is NOW
- Anyone can do it!
Use this post to get the most out of the starting phase of your blog. All you need to do is make the decision to start. So, what are you waiting for?
But how do I start a blog? I’m a tech wreck and I have no idea where I should start!
Don’t worry! I’m here to help you get started, remember?
When you ready, head over to my Step-by-Step Tutorial on How to Start a Blog in 15 Minutes. I know you don’t want anything to go wrong when you start your first blog. That’s why I’ve made it extremely easy to follow, so that you can be sure your blog is properly set up from the beginning.
That said, my guide is great for anyone who wants to start a blog without having to worry about the technical stuff. I’ll walk you through everything you need to do – all you need to do is follow each step and you’ll have your blog up and running today!
Here are a couple of helpful articles you may want to read, too:
- How to Choose the Perfect Blog Name in 20 Minutes
- Blog Hosting Review: How to Find the Best Blog Hosting?
If you liked this post with tips for starting a successful blog, share your thoughts in the comments below! I’d love to hear what’s on your mind!
P.S. Please share this post if you liked it, so that others can find it, too. Thanks so much for your support!
Happy blogging everyone! Catch you later!