This post was most recently updated on March 5th, 2019
Blogging 101 is about how to get traction in your first year.
That's what I show in this article...so keep reading!
If there's one Blogging 101 technique I recommend to all first year bloggers it's round up posts (Blogging Tip #6). That's virtually all I did in my first year.
It gets you massive numbers of social media shares, it gets you known by the key influencers in your niche, and it builds relationship. And relationships are what blogging is all about.
Here are the Blogging 101 articles and blog posts that I've found most helpful, organized by category:
Blogging 101 Tip #1 - WordPress
The blogging platform you use is crucial to your success.
WordPress is far and away the most popular blogging platform. In the US 50% of bloggers prefer WordPress over any other platform. According to Code In WP, WordPress now runs a staggering 30% of the Internet.
This means that when you use WordPress you're joining a massive eco-system that has developed more plugins and add-ons than any other platform out there. And most of them are free!
- WPBeginner - Ultimate Guide: How to Start a WordPress Blog (Step by Step)
- Sarah Peterson - 13 WordPress Plugins That’ll Save You a Ton of Time
- WordPress Jedi - 6 Awesome Post Navigation Plugins for WordPress
- Website Setup - How to Add Google Analytics to Your WordPress Blog
Blogging 101 Tip #2 - Blogger Outreach
Celebrity blogger Jon Morrow tells the story of how he failed with his first blog. And his second. Finally, he decided to quit blogging altogether.
But before taking down his site, he asked a blogging expert to do a 'post mortem' on his blog site - he wanted to know what he'd done wrong.
The answer, when it came, was simple: "you tried to do it on your own, and that's not how blogging works".
Blogging 101 Tip #3 - Branding
Visual branding is hugely important in blogging. Just as you need to find your own niche and your own voice, you also need to find your own visual style - visual elements that your readers come to associate with you and your blog.
- Neil Patel - The Marketer’s Checklist for Establishing a Personal Brand
- The Branded SoloPreneur - 7 Essential Ingredients For Branding A Blog
- Heidi Cohen - 20 Tips to Brand Your Blog
Blogging 101 Tip #4 - Copywriting
Copywriting is the art of writing text that pulls your readers in. And on the Internet it's a skill you simply must have. If you don't already have it, you can learn it:
Blogging 101 Tip #5 - Email Marketing
Email marketing is the engine house of a successful blog. Every blogger should be building a list from Day One and learning how to set up email automations and segments based on what your subscribers are interested in, or where they are in the sales funnel:
- Rob Powell - How Email Marketing Works in 2018 – The Definitive Guide
- Nathan Hangen - A Beginner’s Guide to Successful Email Marketing
- Beth Haven - Your Step-by-Step Email Marketing Strategy Guide [Free Checklist]
- Optin Monster - The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing for Beginners
Blogging 101 Tip #6 - Expert Roundup Posts
Expert roundups are the one technique that I believe every blogger, in whatever niche, should focus on.
They quickly get you known by the Influencers in your field and they allow you to tap into massive audiences because the Influencers who share your roundup posts have huge social media followings.
Roundup posts are virtually all I did in my first year of blogging:
Blogging 101 Tip #7 - Graphic Design
Every blog needs graphic design. It doesn't matter how good your writing is, the appeal of your blog will always be partly visual.
I use Sketchapp to create my blog title graphics and my Infographics and I highly recommend it.
Here are some helpful articles:
- DesignYourOwnBlog - How To Create Stunning Blog Post Title Images With Resources
- Puranjay Singh - How To Make The Best Blog Graphics (For Non-Designers)
- Andy Libunao - 3 Simple Blog Graphics You Can Create (Even if You’re Not a Designer)
Blogging 101 Tip #8 - Guest Posting
I don't do much guest posting anymore but it was a key strategy in my first year for building confidence, getting myself known and building my list. In my opinion it's another Blogging 101 strategy:
Blogging 101 Tip #9 - Influencer Marketing
- Kristen Matthews - The Definitive Guide to Influencer Targeting
- Neil Patel - How to Get Promoted by Social Media Influencers When You’re a Nobody
- Lilach Bullock - How Influencer Marketing Can Help You Become a More Successful Blogger
Blogging 101 Tip #10 - Link Building
In spite of the changes that are sweeping through SEO, link building is still ranked as one of the top 3 SEO strategies in 2018. Simply put, the better your link profile, the higher your blog posts will rank in Google.
Here are some helpful articles:
- Neil Patel - Google Hates Link Building. Here’s How to Do It the Right Way
- Brian Dean - Link Building For Seo: The Definitive Guide (2017 Update)
- Neil Patel & Brian Dean - The Advanced Guide To Look Building
Blogging 101 Tip #11 - List Building
List building is the lifeblood of any blog. Without a list, your blog could disappear with the next major Google algorithm.
List building is about building a community of fans who value your content and will one day purchase your products.
Here are some good tips on list building:
- Alex Turnbull - How We Got 1,000+ Subscribers from a Single Blog Post in 24 Hours
- Sue Anne Dunlevie - 6 Lead Magnets That Will Skyrocket Your Email List
- Stef Gonzaga - 9 Irresistible Incentives That’ll Grow Your Email List Like Crazy
Blogging 101 Tip #12 - Podcasting
Blogging Tip #13 - Promote Your Blog Post
They say you should spend at least as much time promoting your blog posts as you do writing them. Some bloggers go further and say you should spend 20% of your time writing and 80% of your time promoting.
Whatever the ratio, promoting your blog posts is essential. Here are some useful resources:
- Robbie Richards - How To Promote Your Blog: 559,402 Visits & 25,309 Social Shares (with 27 Posts)
- Mary Fernandez - 10 Things You Need to Do After You Publish Your Blog Post
- Neil Patel & Aaron Agius - The Complete Guide To Building Your Blog Audience
Blogging 101 Tip #14 - Repurposing Your Content
Blogging 101 Tip #15 - Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Blogging 101 Tip #16 - Writing Blog Posts
Naturally, this is the bread-and-butter of any blogger.
To succeed in the blogosphere (whatever your niche is) you have to stand out from the crowd. And that means you've got to produce unusually good content.
Like anything, it's a skill you can learn. Here are some tips on how to do it:
Blogging 101 Tip #17 - Writing List Posts
List posts are hands down the most popular type of online content. Many bloggers have made their fortunes with this one type of blog post.
Here are some pointers on how to write good list posts:
- Michael Dunlop - How I Get Over 100,000 Visitors a Month With Top List Articles
- Sonia Simone - The 7 Keys to List Posts that Are Worth Writing (and Reading)
- David Schneider - The Quickest and Easiest Way to Create a List Post That Goes Viral