Blogging 101 – How To Start A Successful Blog in 2021

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.

blogging 101 - how to start 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.


#2 - Connect With Other Bloggers

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".


#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.


#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.


#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.

So start an email list today. Sign up for a free account with ConvertKit, an email marketing service designed specifically for bloggers.

#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.


#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.


#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.


#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.


#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.

blogging 101  - guide to email marketing

#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!


#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.


#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. 


repurpose content

#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.


#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?


#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.


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:

  1. Use WordPress
  2. Do Some Blogger Outreach
  3. Brand Your Blog
  4. Learn Copywriting
  5. Learn Email Marketing
  6. Do Some Expert Roundup Posts
  7. Learn Some Basic Graphic Design
  8. Do Some Guest Posting
  9. Do Some Influencer Marketing
  10. Do Some Link Building
  11. Build Your List
  12. Try Your Hand at Podcasting
  13. Promote Your Blog Post
  14. Repurpose Your Content
  15. Do Some SEO
  16. Write Better Blog Posts
  17. Write List Posts (Listicles)

Last updated on August 28th, 2021 at 09:36 am

Rob Powell
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4 thoughts on “Blogging 101 – How To Start A Successful Blog in 2021”

  1. Hi incredible resource. I launch my blog com on 01 October 2017. So this could not have come at a better time. Bookmarking it to use as a handy reference later.

  2. I enjoyed this blog post
    I launched my blog last year exactly August 2018 and the real challenge is dedication
    Especially if you have a wife and 2 little kids
    They are sucking your time so I fell like my 1 full year can be squeezed in (I would say) 3 months of work (If I was a single)

    Anyway I enjoy my family life but it comes with a price

  3. Thanks, Sam. It sounds like you’ve put in some hard work – good job. It is hard with family commitments. But well worth it. Keep going! Wishing you all the best, Rob.

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