Often new bloggers struggle to get going once they have managed to get their blog set up and functioning.
A few may even expect to begin getting some traffic to their new site without doing anything else.
Through my own experience with a number of blogs I’ve created over the past fifteen plus years, and having worked with other new bloggers, I can tell you that no magic is going to happen unless the new blogger begins marketing what he/she has created.
For someone just starting out, I think it’s important to understand some basic principles about blogging and what is necessary if someone wants to create a meaningful and profitable blog.
This list is not all-encompassing. There are many other things that can be done. My purpose here is merely to get your brain working and the creative juices flowing regarding what anyone can do to start a successful blogging career.
- Understand who your targeted audience is, where they can be found online, and what types of problems/concerns they have. It’s important to gather an audience of like-minded people that can be given things that interest them. If your audience is too broad, their interests become too diverse and your goal should be to cater to the needs of the one as well as the group at the same time.
- Begin adding relevant, unique, and valuable posts to your blog so that the audience is fed current and best practices and information. You want to “engage” your blog readers – pull them into your conversation because you are giving them content that is valuable and relevant to their current situation.
- Begin building your list of subscribers and nourish that list so that you turn your followers into responsive and engaged members of your “tribe.” Create intuitive and easy to find sign-up boxes on your site and provide incentives for prospects to give you their contact information. Some bloggers have subscriber forms on every page of their web site.
- Understand your market and your niche competitors and employ methods to stand out from the other players in the niche. The days of no or little competition for subscribers are over. You must separate yourself from the crowds by being unique, of easily apparent value, and excellent customer service. Inventory your skills and talents and offer what you have that will be of value to your followers.
- Be customer oriented – provide the best user experience and customer care in your industry. I can assure you that prospects will notice and appreciate you and your individual care of them. Don’t hesitate to answer all questions that come your way and be open to inquiries and calls for help.
- Develop your own “voice” and persona. Be yourself and always be willing to share your own ideas, thoughts, views and passions. The Internet is a sea of anonymity and most all prospects appreciate authority figures online that are approachable and willing to meet them face-to-face. I have found that it’s difficult for prospects to give their loyalty and attention to faceless, personality-less, non-human businesses.
- Be consistent and fulfill expectations. Let your subscribers know how often you’ll be sending emails and information and be very prompt and dependable. Some bloggers maintain more than one subscriber list so they can meet the delivery expectations of those who want both more and fewer emails.
- Look for opportunities to promote via others in your niche – not necessarily direct competitors – but related businesses that already have built a “tribe” of followers. One easy way to start is to offer guest posting or reciprocal posting with another blogger in your same niche.
- Get more subscribers from paid articles or mailings by those who are established and respected in your niche. “Solo mailings” as they are called, allow you to access others’ lists of subscribers for a fee. This can be an effective way to increase your exposure in the niche.
- Employ both free and paid advertising to get prospects to your landing pages. Do article marketing and distribution. Do social media ads and posts. Do give-aways, contests, and press releases. Do joint ventures, solo ads, and directory advertising. Do it all – be in as many relevant places in your niche as you can to promote your brand and your business. Test and track your results. You will find some methods and strategies to be more effective than others. Some may even totally flop for you. Focus continued efforts in doing the things that seem to work the best.
- When you begin getting decent traffic to your blog, begin soft selling products and services. Learn about up sells, down sells, and cross selling and how it all works. Study how to employ a full range of monetization methods. Converting prospects with your offers is a whole new discussion; but the point here is this … it’s not too early to begin giving your audience suggestions and recommendations for paid products that you have used that you have found are of value.
All the while, stay involved in your marketplace as both a student and an expert. Always observe, keep track of market news, events, trends, and products. But at the same time, be the expert in your niche and be willing to share what you know and believe.
This should get you going and put you in a place where you can begin to be seen as an authority in your niche.
To your online business success,