I Started a Blog…Now What?!

Have you started a blog or already made your mind to do so but are confused about how to successfully monetize it? You’re not alone. At this point, it may seem impossible to transform your blog into your primary source of income. Trust me when I say, it’s possible.

Not too long ago, I was just like you. I didn’t know what approach to take to generate traffic to my blog posts. I was very green, and I felt so lonely out here on the World Wide Web. It wasn’t so hard to see why a huge number of blogs fail. In fact, according to and article in the New York Times, about 95% of all blogs die off because of lacking readership.

But I tell you what: there are several tried-and-tested tactics that you can use to improve your blog readership and make money. And here’s some more great news for you: they don’t need much technical experience, a journalism degree, or any coding and design skills. I learned these methods gradually through trial and error.

Today, I want to share these tactics with you. Provided you have the passion and willingness to learn, they shouldn’t be difficult to implement.

 

Let’s get started.

 

Install an SEO Plugin

SEO (search engine optimization) has to be a part of your strategy, since it will give the blog massive long-term gains. Therefore, you should get SEO services to get readership for the blog.

Many free and paid plugins are designed to help bloggers with their SEO efforts. Yoast SEO is my favorite. It helps me craft my blog’s content for improved online visibility. However, it’s important to note that installing it won’t bring SEO success on its own. Besides knowing how to use the plugin correctly, you also need to choose the right combination of keywords.

Research Keywords

So how do you choose the keywords to include in your content? The answer is, by doing keyword research. I used to think that I already knew the keywords to target. Unfortunately, I only ended up with high-quality content that very few people were interested in. I learned the hard way that keywords should influence the outline of your content and help you conceptualize your posts, not the other way around.

Google handles billions of searches every day. Without a doubt, you want to get a piece of this pie. That can only happen if you research the keywords that can actually bring in more traffic. These are the keywords that reflect what users are searching the web for.

I use the Google Keyword Planner Tool for my keyword research. I take a keyword related to what I want to write about, for example, “low carb diet plan” and plug it into the tool. The tool then shows me the related phrases that have high search volume and hence can bring in the most traffic. This helps me identify the best keywords to incorporate into my blog content.

I also recommend that you create an AdWords account. You can use this free tool to search for keywords and local search results. Once I get the relevant keywords list, I usually export it to Excel — which gives me the ability to remove the columns I deem unnecessary and rank the keywords. I then save the document for easy future reference.

Focus on One Keyword

A good rule that I follow after doing research is to choose one keyword and include it in certain parts of my blog post, namely:

  • Permalink
  • Page title
  • Page description
  • In the body of the post (repeated a few times)

This rule helps keep each of my posts focused on one clear goal and gain maximum exposure for optimization purposes.

Build an Email List

While your SEO efforts will bring people to your blog for the first time, it may not keep bringing them back. And that’s where an email list comes in. When you build an email database, you can always communicate with your visitors and drive traffic to your blog.

There are many tools that you can use to start and manage an email list. Fortunately, I’ve done lots of research and found some that have proven to stand out from the crowd. These include:

  • Constant Contact
  • GetResponse
  • Aweber
  • MailChimp
  • Popup plugins like OptinMonster and Popup Domination

I speed up the process of building mailing lists by giving free resources to those that subscribe. Some of the things that serve this purpose very well are:

  • Ebooks
  • Case studies
  • Special reports
  • Exclusive interviews
  • Premium content

Comment on Other People’s Blogs

Talking from personal experience, commenting on highly authoritative blogs can get you significant traffic. I identified all the top blogs in my niche and post comments of merit on them regularly. I engage in discussions and if I find someone who needs help with something I’m well versed with, I advise them appropriately and even refer them to my resources. As a result, bloggers and members of their community have noticed me and visited my blog, resulting in more traffic.

But you know what else? My interaction habits have made pitching guest posts much easier. Don’t be surprised if your comments earn you an invite to guest post on a blog.

Have a Social Sharing Strategy

Social media marketing is capable of working wonders for your blog provided you do it the right way. Firstly, you need to choose the few social traffic drivers that you’ll be focusing on. I highly recommend Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Google+. Be sure to post updates on these social media channels regularly.

According to research, you’ll get optimal results if you post 3 times per day on Google+ and Twitter, 2 times per day on Facebook, and 5 times per day on Pinterest.

Posting updates doesn’t imply only sharing your latest blog posts. You should also recycle your old articles. That’s because when you share the article for the first time, not everyone will get the initial communication.

For example, as soon as I’ve published an article, I can decide to tweet it and share it on Facebook and Google+. I tweet it again the next day and share it on Google+ after one week, and so on.

Analyze Your Traffic

When it comes to successful blogging, it’s essential to go where your audience mostly hangs out. Once your blog gains some readership, you’ll need to find out where this audience comes from so you can focus on building stronger referral links on those websites.

I use Google Analytics to know the websites that are driving most of my traffic. I then become more active on these sites. It’s also important to pay attention to the content that gets the most views. If I notice a trend with a particular type of content, I aim to do more of that kind of content.

Conclusion

Anyone can become a successful blogger. There are many ways to achieve that, but you’ll quickly burn out if you try all of them. The tips I’ve listed above can turn any blog into an SEO machine and cause traffic to skyrocket. The biggest investment you’ll have to make is that of time, and that’s it!