Blogging can be a great way to become financially free, but only if done right.
Follow the wrong advice or take the wrong steps and something that should have been easy will become hard and time consuming. You must look at blogging as a business and something to give your all to. giving half assed work will result in failure.
These are the tips I wish I knew when I first started blogging. These are tips that I have learned and applied in my journey to help you start and build a successful blog. I have also listed some of the best tools a blogger should use.
Writing everything in full detail would be too much so I have simplified it to make it easier to digest.
Tips to start
- Select a niche to go after.
- Choose a domain name – one that is unique & memorable.
- Register your domain with a trusted registrar.
- Select a quality and dependable host. I recommend Siteground based off experience.
- Install the best hosting platform – WordPress runs 25% of the web.
- Select the best plugins to install – I go into details here on which plugins are best.
- Create contact and about pages.
- Add copyright to the footer.
- Blog on topics that bring your readers value.
- Make posts evergreen.
- Read other blogs to learn and find inspiration.
- Plan posts ahead of time and be consistent.
- Create daily backups of your site.
Setup site structure & optimize layouts
- Choose an amazing theme that is powerful and easy to customize – I Recommend Elegant Themes.
- Create a logo – 99designs is really awesome for this.
- Add a site title and description.
- Choose brand color to stand out from everyone else.
- Create an easy to navigate header area.
- Be sure that your site is mobile friendly.
- Add social sharing and social follow buttons.
- Use an all in one tool to capture email – I recommend Thrive Leads.
- display related posts in every post footer.
- Add a search box.
- Add most popular posts to sidebar.
- View your site in different windows.
- Use Akismet for comment spam and Thrive comments to encourage better engagement.
- Use Yoast to create a sitemap for your blog.
- Create a custom 404 page.
- Use “redirection plugin” for post URLs that have been changed.
- Validate your site with Google webmasters.
Create spectacular content
- Create an amazing headline. use co-schedule to do this and Thrive headline optimizer to test different versions of the same title against itself for the best one.
- Write quality content that brings value.
- Break paragraphs to 2-5 lines for readability.
- Use relevant images – find free images at pexels, unsplash and Pixabay.
- Make content scannable by using headings and subheadings.
- Publish post under specific categories.
- Write lengthy content with no fluff.
- Create and fill out your author box.
- Check spelling before publishing – use Grammarly. (I suck at spelling.)
- Add CTA at the end of every post.
Secure your site
- Add ssl to your site. Transfer from http to https.
- Change login landing page URL.
- Use a strong password.
- Only use compatible and up to date plugins.
- Make sure all plugins and themes are up to date.
- Use Sucuri for security and as a cdn they are great
- Use a vpn when on a public network.
Optimize for SEO (Search engine optimization)
- Select a preferred domain name – www or no www. It’s a matter of preference.
- Create and submit a sitemap to webmasters.
- Create google analytics and connect it with your webmasters.
- Claim site name on social media platforms
- Use “post name” in permalinks. Go to settings then permalinks to change.
- Install an seo plugin – Yoast is best.
- Use alt and title for images.
- Use keyword in permalinks, title, meta description and throughout post.
- Analyze your competitor’s keywords and backlinks.
- Do not over use keywords by stuffing them.
- Check for and fix all broken links.
- Add internal links to your other posts.
- Add external links to authority sites.
- Aim to have a low bounce rate – I show you how to do this here.
- Write 800 words minimum – the longer the better.
- Submit sitemap to search engines – Bing if you have no account.
- Avoid link farms, link exchange and paying for links.
- Build quality backlinks.
Optimize site for speed
- Optimize image before uploading to your site – use Tinypng.
- Optimize image after uploading to site – use shortpixel.
- Use cache plugin – I recommend WP Rocket
- Use a cdn – I canceled Cloudflare and Maxcdn and now use Sucuri (faster speed and better security)
- Test your speed using Pingdom, and Gtmetrix.
- Install under 20 plugins – less is best.
- Use a lightweight theme that comes pre-compressed like Divi.
- Use fewer ads.
Sharing and Promoting your site
- Make it easy for readers to follow you. Display follow buttons at the top, bottom, and sidebar.
- Use tailwind to double your traffic with Pinterest.
- Add share buttons to your posts. The best tool that’ll double your share counts especially if you use Pinterest is social warfare.
- Share post to social sites right after publishing.
- Find the best time to post to social media – Tailwind does a great job of this for Pinterest.
- Create an Rss feed with Feedburner.
- Notify your subscribers when you publish a new post.
- Follow your competition to see what is working.
- Join Facebook group communities.
- Do guest posts on other quality blogs.
- If you have the budget, do some paid traffic.
What do you think about these tips, did you find them useful? If you did be sure to give it a share.