In this Blogging 101 guide you'll discover 17 tips for starting a successful blog in 2021.
In blogging there are a lot of moving parts and it can take a while to get them all in place and working together.
These 17 tips will help you build the foundation for a successful blog.
Listen to a podcast of this article: 'Blogging 101 – How To Start A Successful Blog in 2021'
#1 - Use 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!
So this is your first Blogging 101 action step: create a self-hosted WordPress website.
TIPS FOR USING WORDPRESS
- 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
#2 - Connect With Other Bloggers (aka 'Blogger Outreach')
Blogging expert 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".
TIPS FOR BLOGGER OUTREACH
#3 - Brand Your Blog
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.
Create a visual brand so that when people see one of your blog posts, they'll know its you from the colors, the layout, and the font.
TIPS FOR BRANDING YOUR BLOG
#4 - Learn Copywriting
Copywriting is the art of writing text that pulls your readers in. And on the Internet it's a skill you must have. If you don't already have it, you can learn it.
TIPS FOR COPYWRITING
#5 - Learn 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.
TIPS FOR EMAIL MARKETING
#6 - Publish Expert Roundup Posts
Expert roundups are a fantastic way of getting traction in your first year of blogging.
Expert roundups connect you with the Influencers in your field. They allow you to tap into large 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.
TIPS FOR DOING ROUNDUP POSTS
#7 - Learn Some Basic 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.
TIPS FOR GRAPHIC DESIGN
#8 - Do Some Guest Posting
Guest posting was a key strategy in my first year for building confidence, getting myself known and building my list. It's another key blogging 101 strategy.
TIPS FOR GUEST BLOGGING
#9 - Team Up With Influencers
Influencer marketing is a form of social media marketing where you get endorsements from social media influencers. The focus in Influencer Marketing is changing from 'macro influencers' to 'micro influencers' - people with 1000 to 3000 social media followers.
These influencers know their audience inside out and so if you can collaborate with them, they know exactly how to pitch your offers to their audience.
TIPS FOR INFLUENCER MARKETING
#10 - Do Some Link Building
In spite of the changes that are sweeping through SEO, link building is still considered one of the top 3 SEO ranking factors in 2021. Simply put, the better your link profile, the higher your blog posts will rank in Google.
TIPS FOR LINK BUILDING
- 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 Link Building
#11 - Build Your List
An email list 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. This is another key 'blogging 1o1' strategy - it's a must!
TIPS FOR LIST BUILDING
#12 - Try Your Hand at Podcasting
Not everyone likes reading. So why not turn your articles into podcasts and reach a completely new audience segment. Or interview experts within your niche.
TIPS FOR PODCASTING
#13 - Promote Your Blog Post
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.
TIPS FOR PROMOTING BLOG POSTS
#14 - Repurpose Your Content
Your content starts life as a blog post. But if you stop there, you're leaving a lot of opportunity on the table. Take your content and repurpose it into different formats. Each format will appeal to a different audience. With repurposing, you get more mileage out of each piece of content but you also expand your reach.
TIPS FOR REPURPOSING CONTENT
#16 - Write Better Blog Posts
To succeed in blogging, you have to stand out from the crowd. And that means you've got to produce outstanding content. Creating amazing content is a skill that you can learn, like anything else. So why not consider brushing up on your writing skills?
TIPS FOR WRITING BLOG POSTS
#17 - Write List Posts or Listicles
List posts are hands down the most popular type of online content. People love them because they can scan them quickly and find the bits that are relevant to them. And remember, nearly everything can be turned into a list.
TIPS FOR WRITING LIST POSTS
Extra Blogging 101 Tip: Do Some Social Media
Social media is another great way to get your blog noticed. Twitter, in particular, is a fantastic platform for building relationships. Here's a good article on how to use Twitter to connect with your audience and grow a larger following: The Blogger's Guide to Twitter (The Definitive Guide).
Blogging 101: Summing Up
Here again are the 17 tips for starting a successful blog in 2021:
- Use WordPress
- Do Some Blogger Outreach
- Brand Your Blog
- Learn Copywriting
- Learn Email Marketing
- Do Some Expert Roundup Posts
- Learn Some Basic Graphic Design
- Do Some Guest Posting
- Do Some Influencer Marketing
- Do Some Link Building
- Build Your List
- Try Your Hand at Podcasting
- Promote Your Blog Post
- Repurpose Your Content
- Do Some SEO
- Write Better Blog Posts
- Write List Posts (Listicles)
- Title Tag Optimization – How To Write Better SEO Titles - April 29, 2021
- How To Use Categories and Tags in WordPress – Best Practices for SEO - April 19, 2021
- 17 Great Meta Description Examples + Tips On How To Write Them - April 10, 2021