HOW TO MEASURE THE SUCCESS OF YOUR BLOG

HOW TO MEASURE THE SUCCESS OF YOUR BLOG

Imagine getting 100k pageviews a month. Yay, right?!

But what if you dig deeper and found out that 95% of those visitors leave right after they land on your blog? Not so yay, right?

So, if the number of hits your blog is getting isn’t the number to focus on, what are the blog metrics that matter?

Let me start by saying that you need data to measure your success as a blogger. Data that go beyond pageviews. So, let’s have a look at how to measure the success of your blog and how to analyze your blog’s performance.


DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links. That means that if you make a purchase through one of those links, I’ll receive a commission. For more information visit my Affiliate Disclosure.


What are KPIs?

You’re going to hear the abbreviation KPI a lot in regard to blog growth KPI stands for key performance indicators and they are the measurable metrics that indicate the performance of your blog.

How to measure the success of your blog

As a blogger, you need to keep track of several areas. Blogging isn’t only about driving traffic to your blog.

That’s why we’ll be talking about the traffic coming to your blog, your SEO, your social media, the revenue of your blog, and the success indicators of your content. So, let’s have a look at some of the most important blog KPIs.

1. Traffic

There are several analytics services that measure your traffic. The single most widely used is Google Analytics, just because it offers a lot of metrics to measure and is accurate. So, how do we measure traffic?

To measure your blog traffic accurately, you need to keep in mind that there are quantitative and qualitative metrics.

There isn’t just one particular metric to focus on. You need to keep an eye on all of them to get a better idea of the quantity and quality of your traffic.

Google analytics traffic report to measure the success of your blog BLOGOLOGY

1.1 Pageviews

Pageviews represent the number of times a specific page was viewed. This is a good metric to keep an eye on, but as I said, it doesn’t give you much value without knowing some other data.

1.2 Sessions

Sessions is the number of visits to your website. A session can include more than one pageview since some of your visitors will visit more than one page on your blog. On Google Analytics, sessions are represented as unique visits.

1.3 Bounce rate

The bounce rate is a percentage of people who “bounce” off your blog.

Google Analytics bounce rate

What does that mean?

Essentially, it’s the percentage of users who reach your site, view one page, don’t interact with your content and leave. But there are a few scenarios as to what might have happened:

  1. The user leaves before the link even loads
  2. The user lands on the page and leaves straight away
  3. The user lands on the page, scrolls through the article and leaves
  4. The user lands on the page, stays there for over 10 minutes without clicking anything, the session times out, which is when the session starts counting as a bounce

A bounce is represented as 100% in Google Analytics.

What can cause a high bounce rate?

  • Your website loads slow
  • The article wasn’t what the user was expecting
  • There’s something about your web design that puts your visitors off
  • Too many opt-ins
  • The content isn’t skimmable
  • Your content contains all the answers the visitor was looking for

NOTE: Some pages will naturally have higher bounce rates. Those are your landing pages where the visitor just fills a form or your contact page.

As you can tell from the information above, in some cases, the bounce rate isn’t the best indicator. That’s why there is another metric you need to keep in mind when looking at your bounce rate:

1.4 Time spent on page

You might have heard about dwell time and average time spent on page. Both of them are different.

As the name suggests, the average time on page is the average of the time Google Analytics collected.

Dwell time is the actual amount of time a visitor spent your blog.

Google Analytics average time on page

In my opinion, time spent on page is the metric that tells you the most about the behavior of your visitors and the quality of your traffic.

The issue is that it’s a difficult one to track.

The reason is that Google Analytics needs the second click to estimate the time spent on page. If the visitor clicks on something, let’s say a link to another page, then the session is tracked.

Also, by default, the last page the user visits is measured as 0 seconds.

1.5 Pages per visit

As the name suggests, pages per visit are the number of pages a single visitor views per visit. As you can probably tell by what I’ve mentioned above, pages per visit are directly correlated with the bounce rate and time spent on page.

1.6 Returning visitors

Returning visitors is the percentage of people who have viewed your blog before and came back.

Obviously, if your blog is new, you won’t have a lot of returning visitors. But over time, the number is going to increase.

Returning visitor rate is a great indication of how successful your blog is.

According to Monster Insights, a good returning visitor rate is 30% on average.

Google Analytics returning visitors

1.7 Traffic sources

You’re most likely using more than one way to drive traffic to your blog. You need to keep track of which sources bring you the most traffic. Those are most likely the ones to focus on.

Google Analytics traffic sources

2. SEO

It goes without saying that if you want your blog to be successful, you need to learn SEO.

Although it takes time to see some traction from your SEO attempts, there is a way to track it.

We’re going to use mostly the Google Search Console for that.

2.1 Ranking keywords

The first thing to track in the Google Search Console are ranking keywords. You not only need to keep track of what those keywords are but also your average position.

Google search console SEO

2.2 Impressions and clicks

Impressions are the number of times someone saw your link.

Obviously, clicks are the number of times a user clicked on your link.

If you want to increase the number of clicks, you need to work on your titles.

Google search console ranking keywords

2.3 DA

DA stands for domain authority and is used to determine where your website can appear in the search.

This metric isn’t an official metric from Google, and apparently, Google doesn’t use it to determine your position in search.

This metric was created by Moz, although there are now quite a few companies that have created their own similar metrics.

You can track your domain authority in Moz.

MOZ analytics DA backlinks

2.4 Linking domains

An important aspect of SEO are backlinks (also called inbound links).

They are important for Google as they tell the search engine how authoritative your site is. If you have a lot of sites linking to your blog, your content must be of good quality, right? 

You can track your backlinks, the dofollow/nofollow ratio, and where they come from in Moz.

2.5 Site speed

Site speed isn’t an indicator of the success of your blog. But it is an important metric to keep an eye on.

That’s why I’m including this metric here.

You can track your site speed in Google Sitespeed Insights or GT Metrix. Both websites give you suggestions for improvements.

Here’s a video from Google Webmasters on site speed myth-busting. They talk about the importance of good loading speed and that if there are two similar pages competing for a spot on Google, the one that’s loading faster will win.

3. Social media

On social media, it’s a bit more difficult. Each channel works differently and wants users to do something different. That’s why I’ll go through some of the most popular platforms where bloggers promote their blogs and focus on the most popular metrics.

I feel like a lot of people are focusing on the vanity metrics on social media. Think likes and followers. But those are certainly not the metrics to focus on.

Before we get any further, you have to understand that the main goals of each of those platforms is to retain users for as long as possible.

3.1 Instagram, Facebook, Twitter

I spent two years posting on Instagram every single day promoting my previous blog. I grew the account to over 6.5k followers until I stopped posting and the number started dropping.

If I learned anything in those two years, it’s that followers and likes aren’t that important. And also that Instagram isn’t the best platform to drive traffic to your blog.

Yes, Instagram can be a great tool to spread awareness of your brand, but you should rely on it as a traffic source.

Instagram is a classic example of what I mentioned above: Instagram wants to retain its users on the platform. You can’t add links to your captions. The only places where you can is your bio and stories (if you have over 10k followers).

So, what’s the most important metric on Instagram and any social platform?

The engagements. Specifically, the comments. And I don’t mean the “so cute!” type of comments. I’m talking about genuine comments from people who love your content.

So, what about followers? Why is everyone trying to reach the highest number of followers?

Well, because a higher number looks nicer.

But what sounds more appealing to you?

100k of uninterested followers who don’t engage with your content, or 1k followers who love your content and genuinely care about what you have to say?

With Facebook and Twitter, it’s essentially the same. All those platforms are driven by engagement. If your post gets genuine engagement such as likes, comments, and shares, your post is going to be pushed by the algorithm in front of the eyes of more people.

3.2 Pinterest

Pinterest is a little different from the other platforms.

It’s often labeled as social media. That’s why it’s here. But, it’s actually not. It’s a visual search engine.

It started out as an app for inspiration for recipes and DIYs. The app has grown over the years and is now one of the go-to places for bloggers to promote their blogs.

Pinterest analytics

Of all the social media platforms mentioned here, Pinterest is the most friendly one for driving traffic to your blog.

Why?

  1. It rewards new fresh content
  2. It doesn’t mind users leaving the platform to visit your site (I mean, that’s what it’s for)
  3. The timespan of your post is way longer than on other social media platforms

So, what’s the metric to focus on Pinterest?

A lot of people focus on monthly unique visitors. That’s the number you see underneath your username on your profile.

But this is the number of the overall people who came across your content on the platform. The issue is that those people might not have even interacted with your content whatsoever.

The metric to focus on is link clicks!

After all, that’s why you’re promoting your blog, right?

The bottom line is: impressions and engagements are important metrics to focus on social media. But even more important are link clicks.

4. Email marketing

Collecting emails is essential to building a loyal readership of your blog.

It’s a great way of retaining visitors as you can notify them each time you publish a new post. It’s also a great way for your biggest fans to keep up with you.

I’m using ConvertKit to collect emails, so that’s where the screenshot is from. But really, the metrics are the same.

ConvertKit email marketing metrics

4.1 Subscribers

Obviously, the number one metric to focus on are subscribers. None of the metrics mentioned below will matter if you have no subscribers.

4.2 Unsubscribers

Don’t take it personally is people unsubscribe from your email list.

Some people realize they don’t want to be on your email list for various reasons and that’s fine. It’s also completely normal for some people to sign up for your email list to get your freebie and then unsubscribe right away.

But if you get a sudden spike of unsubscribers after you sent out an email, it’s an indication that the content didn’t resonate with them or that you might have said something offensive.

4.3 Open rates

The open rate is the percentage of people on your list who received your email and opened it.

This is an important metric to track.

If your numbers are low, your content probably isn’t what your subscribers are looking for, or you’re not using action-enticing subject lines.

According to Campaign Monitor, the average open rate is 17.8% for 2020.

4.4 Email CTRs

CTR, or click-through-rate, is the number of people who clicked on your link.

In email marketing, the CTR depends on whether the reader wants to know more about the subject. If the reader isn’t enticed by the email campaign, they won’t click through.

In the link above, you’ll notice that the average email CTR is 2.6%.

4.5 Conversion rates of your opt-ins

One thing you need to track are conversion rates of your opt-ins.

You need to get people on your email list somehow. You’re going to do that with opt-ins.

Email opt-in

But don’t expect people to just give you their email address. You need to offer something in return.

If your forms are not performing, there might be several reasons behind it:

  • Perhaps the offer isn’t enticing
  • The opt-in copy doesn’t speak to the visitor

In marketing, how things look is very important. You can simply change the color of the button, and the conversion rate increases. It’s incredible.

5. Content

Keeping track of how your content performs is crucial to you as a content creator. It tells you what kind of content resonates with your audience and what you should keep producing.

5.1 Most popular posts

This simple metric will tell you which content your audience likes seeing on your blog, and most likely wants more of.

5.2 Average comments, likes, social shares, and average inbound links per post

Keeping track of your averages will tell you if a post is performing below or above average.

If your blog post performs below average, you might have been promoting it less than your other content. But it also might be a sign that this isn’t the content your audience is interested in.

5.3 Content rating

You might not have this feature, but I think it’s a great indicator as to whether your visitors like your content or not. Not all visitors will go into your comments and tell you their opinion.

I have a plugin called WP Discuzz and at the end of each post, there’s a content ranking, where my visitors can give the article a number of stars depending on their opinion on the article.

But then, of course, to see how your content is performing, head over to Google Analytics, and keep track of your bounce rate and average time on page.

Ideally, keep track of those on specific pages to see which content performs the best and which needs improvement.

Of course, there are some exceptions, such as your contact page, where your visitors most likely won’t be spending 4 minutes on average.

How often should you check your metrics?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. It depends on your traffic and how often you publish new content.

A good frequency would be once a day. But don’t get obsessed with it.

Why do you need to focus on one metric at a time?

Depending on where you are in your blogging journey, you’ll be focusing on a different metric.

If you already have some traffic coming to your blog, you have an overview as to which areas need improvement. By focusing on improving one metric at a time, you beat the overwhelm and you’ll improve the metric faster than if you tried improving all of them at once.

RECOMMENDED READING: 14 Essential Metrics Every Blogger Needs to Track

Conclusion

Tracking your web analytics and collecting data is crucial if you want to measure your blog performance.

You need to keep in mind that there are quantitative and qualitative analytics to measure that, when combined, will give you a well-rounded overview of the performance of your blog.

Don’t forget that if you want to improve your performance, focus on one area at a time.

Which metrics are you currently trying to improve? Let me know!

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    how to measure the success of your blog BLOGOLOGY
    THE MOST DETAILED FIRST MONTH OF BLOGGING REPORT YOU’VE EVER READ

    THE MOST DETAILED FIRST MONTH OF BLOGGING REPORT YOU’VE EVER READ

    What happened in my first month of blogging? Quite a lot of things!

    Before we begin, this isn’t your traditional “first month of blogging” income and traffic report. This is probably the most detailed “first month of blogging” report you’ve ever read.

    My aim with this report is to show you what it’s like to run a blog and what it’s like to be a blogger.

    I feel like there’s this misconception that blogging is mainly writing. It’s not.

    I want to start publishing super-detailed monthly reports to take you behind the scenes of running a blog.
    I want to be fully transparent with you about everything that’s happening on this blog.

    Perhaps, if you haven’t started a blog, it will give you an idea about what to expect in your first month of blogging.

    Before we get any further, I’d like to put here a few disclaimers.

    DISCLAIMER NO. 1: This is not exactly my first month of blogging. I’ve been blogging on and off since 2008, professionally from late 2018. In early 2020, I decided to leave my fashion blog SaraViktorie.com. Then, there were quite a few months when I was working on Blogology, before I officially launched it. By now, I completely abandoned my previous blog, but here’s my Instagram account I’m trying to revive, and here’s an interview with me from a company I used to work with. I was cringing a bit when I was rereading my answers, so don’t read it if you don’t have to haha!

    DISCLAIMER NO. 2: I’m not a blogging expert. I do have experience with starting and running blogs, but I don’t know everything that comes into blogging. I only teach what I know. In the venues where I’m still lacking, I provide you with other resources.

    AND

    DISCLOSURE: This blog post contains affiliate links. That means that if you make a purchase through one of my links, I’ll receive a commission. Read my Affiliate Disclosure for more information.

    And now, let’s get into it!

    Spoiler alert! Yes, I did make some money.

    Why I started Blogology

    Now that we’ve got all disclaimers out of the way let’s address why I started this project.

    About a year ago, I started toying with the idea of starting this “the science of blogging” thing. After all, I’ve been blogging for quite some time, and I find blogging fascinating. I feel like at some point, having a blog has become a part of my identity.

    So, I started researching the existing competition and started developing a unique vision for the blog. Not gonna lie, I’m still working on the uniqueness. It takes time haha!

    I got really excited about this project, but then, my self-doubts were holding me back. I thought I wasn’t the right person to create this thing. After all, there are much more knowledgeable bloggers who achieved way more than me in a shorter time.

    But then, at some point, I said, “screw it!” and started working on the project.

    Long story short, Blogology is a project where I’m introducing aspiring bloggers into the world of blogging while testing various growth strategies.

    I want to teach you what I know while taking you behind the scenes of running a blog.

    The concept of Blogology isn’t about “how I did it”, but more so “how I’m doing it”.

    Before starting the blog

    Before I started working on Blogology, I spent months planning the blog, determining how to make the blog different from the thousands of other blogs, identifying and researching my competitors, and defining my target audience.

    After all, I decided that this time, I’m going to do “everything right”. Now, that’s an ambitious and unrealistic goal. You are going to make mistakes. And that’s okay. But there’s nothing wrong with wanting to avoid mistakes.

    Alongside that, I was learning as much as I could about SEO. My biggest mistake with my previous blog was not implementing SEO and email marketing. That’s changed with this blog.

    Then I spent months working on the website itself.

    Before I launched Blogology, I set up social media channels, mainly to grab the handles so no one would steal them. After all, I’m not the first person to come up with the word “Blogology”. That’s why almost all of my handles are @theblogology, if you must know.

    I also started setting up my Pinterest account, creating boards, and pinning other people’s pins. But I’m going to go through my growth strategies in detail later on.

    Content

    In May, I started uploading the content I’ve written to the blog while having a coming soon page on.

    At the time of launching, I had four pillar pages:

    • How to start a blog
    • How to write a blog post
    • How to promote your blog
    • Ways to make money blogging

    Those are based on high competition keywords, and I don’t expect to be ranking for them anytime soon.

    Then, at the time of launching, I had a Tools page with the tools I’m using to run my blog, and these ten blog posts:

    • What is a blog?
    • 12 things you need to do before starting a blog
    • 10 skills every blogger needs
    • Beginner’s guide to the WordPress dashboard
    • How to plan your blog before you launch it
    • How to find the right niche for your blog
    • How to choose a blog name you won’t regret
    • How to define a target audience for your blog
    • How to research your blog competitors
    • What to do if you can’t find your blog niche

    Most of the content is based around a single topic – starting a blog. This is the topic clusters strategy from HubSpot. Also, interlinking related content is good for SEO.

    Blog traffic report

    I officially launched Blogology on July 1st.

    From my experience, I know that I can get caught up in the numbers. I can check the analytics at least ten times a day. So, I decided that I wouldn’t check my analytics the entire month.

    And that was a mistake.

    On July 22nd, I got a strong urge to check my Google Analytics, and this is what I saw:

    First month of blogging BLOGOLOGY Google Analytics error

    Now, I knew that I wasn’t receiving any traffic at all. I was getting comments from visitors, and I might have been tracking the link clicks in my Pinterest analytics. I might have also been checking the impressions on my opt-ins in ConvertKit haha!

    I’m going to address the error in Google Analytics that happened later on in Struggles.

    So, here are my analytics from Jetpack:

    first month of blogging BLOGOLOGY Jetpack traffic report

    As you can see, I received 792 pageviews from 485 visitors.

    I’m really upset about the Google Analytics error as I wanted to give you a more in-depth overview of my traffic, such as bounce rate, and what I should do to improve it.

    Growth strategies

    Let’s have a look at how I was driving traffic to my blog in July 2020. To avoid being overwhelmed with social media, I decided to focus on Pinterest and Instagram.

    Mid-month, I decided to switch Instagram for Twitter. I was also Facebook a bit, and I started submitting my posts to blogging communities.

    Apart from that, I optimized my blog for SEO to my best knowledge and was collecting emails.

    SEO

    SEO isn’t my forte. I’ve been focusing on creating long-form keyword-rich content.

    As a beginner, my main focus is on-page SEO.

    In terms of technical SEO, I’m making sure my website is mobile-friendly, and I’ve been trying to keep my site as fast as possible, but more about that in Struggles.

    In July, I didn’t have any backlink campaigns yet apart from commenting on other blogs.

    Those are my results from the Google Search Console:

    first month of blogging Blogology Google search Console traffic report

    At the time of writing, I have 12 ranking keywords. But the only one where I’m ranking on the first page is Blogology.

    Pinterest

    I started building my Pinterest account in May. I started creating boards related to my niche and optimized the account for Pinterest SEO. I started filling my boards with other bloggers’ pins so that Pinterest could understand what my account is about.

    In June 2020, I started creating pins that were linked to my blog posts. I knew it would take time for Pinterest to start distributing my pins, so I started doing it this early.

    At first, my account wasn’t growing, but it changed in mid-June.

    Then in July, I launched the blog, and my pins started getting traction. I’m now at around 600k unique monthly viewers.

    At the beginning of July, I invested in Tailwind.

    At first, I was building upon the existing pins and was creating 15 to 20 new pins a week, pinning them into at least five related boards, the most related one being first. All while pinning a lot of other bloggers’ content.

    I was using a Pinterest group board to submit my pins. I tried contacting more group board owners but with no response. I was also adding my pins to a few Tailwind tribes.

    But then, the Pinterest algorithm changed, and the strategy with it. Pinterest now favors “fresh pins”. I started coming across advice that you should be creating around 100 fresh pins a week. With the algorithm change, Pinterest wants us to be focusing on creating new content instead of pinning other peoples’ content.

    So, I ditched the group board and Tailwind tribes.

    As you can tell, creating 100 pins a week is f***ing difficult, tiring, time-consuming, and unattainable.

    So, in my last week, I decided to pin just four fresh pins a day. Those pins are a combination of blog posts, landing pages for my freebies, and affiliate links. I pin them into 3 to 5 boards.

    I joined two new group boards and started using Tailwind tribes again. I do a combination of pinning from both Pinterest and Tailwind. In general, I try to pin at least one pin a day from Pinterest.

    In terms of descriptions, I generally write descriptions three sentences long, containing 3 to 5 keywords. I’m also using 5 to 8 hashtags in my descriptions.

    At first, I was using a combination of static and video pins. Now I’m using only video pins.

    I noticed that my pins were getting impressions, but they weren’t getting a lot of link clicks. So, in the last week of July, I decided to step out of my visual branding comfort zone (black, white, and red) and started experimenting with different colors, fonts, and layouts.

    But we’ll see how that goes in the future.

    So, these are my stats for July:

    Pinterest impressions Blogology
    Pinterest link clicks Blogology July 2020

    The first are impressions and the latter are link clicks.

    In July 2020, I grew my Pinterest account to 124 followers.

    Instagram

    My initial intent was to post on Instagram every day to build the feed and then start posting every other day.

    Well, I was promoting SaraViktorie.com mainly on Instagram, and after two years of posting every single day, I developed a toxic relationship with the platform.

    After a few days, I stopped.

    I also wanted to post a new photo on my Sara Viktorie account, where I haven’t posted in around six months, updating everyone on where I’ve been and casually mention Blogology.

    Long story short, I. Just. Can’t.

    My main issue with Instagram is that you need to keep creating posts for your main feed, stories, and IG TV to grow your account.

    Now, you don’t have the option to add links to your feed posts, and the swipe up feature in stories is just for accounts with more than 10k followers.

    As you can tell, it’s not the best platform for website traffic. Instagram is one of those platforms that grow as a result of your brand growing, and not the other way around.

    Twitter

    I decided to replace Instagram with Twitter. Now, I didn’t have a strategy for it as I do with Pinterest.

    After all, Pinterest is my main focus apart from SEO.

    So, all I did here was tweeting about my new posts, using a retweeting account to get more eyes on my content, and participating in blog comments Twitter threads.

    Facebook

    On Facebook, I have a page set up, but I’m not getting traffic from that.

    What’s working very well are blog comments threads in Facebook groups. Now, this is not a viable long-term strategy, but if you’re just starting out and are trying to lift your blog off the ground, it can help tremendously.

    Some of those visitors from Facebook translated into email subscribers.

    Also, a big part of my growth strategy is getting my content in front of existing audiences. Generally, that’s guest posting.

    But, in my mind, submitting my content to Facebook groups for bloggers is getting it in front of the eyes of existing audiences.

    After all, all of them are bloggers, and many of them are looking for blogging advice.

    Those are my favorite Facebook groups:

    Blogging communities

    I was also submitting my content to blogging communities.

    Those were:

    During the entire month, I received just four clicks from Blog Post Vote Up. I’m going to keep submitting my content to those communities, and perhaps I’m going to see more traction from them in the future.

    It’s fair to say that I wasn’t using Mix and Bloglovin’ actively, so there’s no wonder I didn’t see results from them.

    Email marketing

    I’ve already mentioned that I wasn’t collecting emails on my previous blog, so this is entirely new to me.

    I’m using ConvertKit for email marketing. Now, I send a weekly newsletter to my list. It contains tips related to my latest blog post. If there are updates in the blogging industry, I let them know as well.

    At the moment, my freebies are a blog launch checklist and a blog post checklist. I’m going to change these over the course of July for more exciting offers.

    During July, I gained 15 email subscribers and lost 2. I was also checking the unconfirmed subscribers, and there’s quite a few.

    If you didn’t know, your subscribers need to confirm that they want to be on your email list.

    As for the opt-ins I’m using, I have one or two opt-ins in the content and after, and I also have a pop up opt-in that appears after the user scrolls down to 30% of the page.

    ConvertKit email subscribers BLOGOLOGY July 2020

    Blog income report

    I’m monetizing Blogology with Google AdSense and affiliate marketing.

    How am I promoting my affiliate links?

    I have them on my Tools page, I add them to appropriate blog posts, and I promote some of them on Pinterest. For now, that’s it.

    My affiliate links did get a few clicks, but none of them has translated into a sale yet.

    As for Google AdSense, it’s the ad you saw at the beginning of the article. AdSense is a PPC provider, which means you only earn a commission if someone clicks on the advertisement.

    So, in July, I earned £4.45. I was living in the UK when I was applying for AdSense, that’s why it’s in GBP. Unfortunately, I can’t change the currency of my account. At the time of publishing (Aug 3rd), this translates to $5.82.

    Blogology first month of blogging income report Google AdSense

    NOTE: There’s a threshold of £60 or $100 I need to pass before I’m eligible to receive the payment

    Expenses

    Since I’m talking about how much I’ve earned, it’s also fair to mention how much I spent.

    In my opinion, I invested quite a lot. Keep in mind that some of those purchases happened prior to the blog launch.

    This is what I invested in (tax included):

    • Domain – Namecheap – $8.88
    • Web hosting – SiteGround (I was only upgrading to the Grow Big plan) – £57.60 = $75.49
    • Tailwind – $119.88
    • Legal templates from A Self Guru (I wasn’t going to buy it yet, but she had a 4th of July sale) – $247 (it’s the premium bundle)
    • Elegant Themes (I’m using the Divi theme) – $96.80

    So, if I include what I’ve earned, in total, I lost $542.23.

    I don’t have any plans to purchase anything in the upcoming month. I’d like to invest in the paid ConvertKit plan and upgrade the Tooltip Glossary plugin, but as you can tell, running a blog can be quite expensive.

    Struggles

    Let’s get into what bugging me off in my first month of blogging.

    1. Hacker email

    On June 29th, two days before the launch, I received this email:

    It’s safe to say that I was terrified.

    I ran through several crawls to find some trace of actual hacking, and I didn’t find anything.

    I’m using Wordfence Security to protect my blog. As far as I know, my reputation isn’t being destroyed, but I’m still wary.

    According to some articles on Google, it’s just a Bitcoin scam.

    That being said, I’m noticing a lot of blocked malicious attempts, but no one has hacked my blog.

    2. Page speed

    So, page speed has been a big issue. No matter what I’m doing, my blog doesn’t seem to speed up.

    Mid-July, I installed Cloudflare. Well, I did it wrong, and my site was down for a few hours. I contacted SiteGround, and they resolved the issue immediately.

    I also started deleting and replacing some plugins with more lightweight ones, which is also the reason for the Google Analytics error. One of the first plugins that I removed was Monster Insights. I figured that I could check the Google Analytics app instead of having it displayed on my dashboard.

    Well, I forgot that Monster Insights was connecting my blog to the analytics, and without it, it couldn’t track anything. I already fixed the issue by adding the HTML code to the Headers and Footers plugin.

    Now, some of you who are more aware of this might be wondering: “So, you deleted Monster Insights to speed up your site, but kept Jetpack?”

    Yes, I did. As I said, I was worried about the hacker attack, so I kept any plugin that had an anti-malware function.

    3. Someone with the same blog name

    A few days ago, I noticed a blog on WordPress.com with the same name as my blog’s.

    I did a lot of research before picking the name The Blogology and made sure there was no blog called this particular name and that it wasn’t trademarked.

    What can I say?

    Pick a different name, dude!

    4. Starting a business

    I was very busy in July. I’m starting another blog and online business. So, yeah. I thought I’d release more and better freebies, but yeah.

    5. Social media aversion

    Despite posting on IG for two years straight, I’m not a social media girl. I’ve always been on everything but were hardly ever active. I’m shy and introverted, so his social media and networking don’t come naturally to me.

    6. Pinterest changing their algorithm

    I’ve mentioned that Pinterest has changed the algorithm, and with that came some struggle.

    Like I said, creating a 100 pins a week just isn’t doable for me. I’d much rather create fewer good-quality pins than a lot of low-quality ones.

    7. HelloBar integration error

    At first, I was using HelloBar for my pop up opt-in.

    Even though I connected it to ConvertKit, for some reason, the emails weren’t showing in my ConvertKit dashboard. I’ve since switched to ConvertKit’s forms.

    8. Missing sequences in the free version of ConvertKit

    I’ve mentioned that I’m using the free version of ConvertKit for up to 1000 subscribers.

    The only issue I have with the free version is that it doesn’t have the sequences function. That means that I can’t set a welcome email that would be sent automatically to new subscribers.

    Instead, I have to send them manually, often hours after the signup.

    9. Tooltip Glossary plugin

    You might have noticed that there’s a tooltip function on my blog.

    Some expressions such as niche, bounce rate, or SEO, display the definitions on hover. I thought this would be a cool feature.

    The thing is that the free version shows the meanings of the expression on all pages every time it’s mentioned. The issue with that is that I have two blog posts about blog niches, where I’m mentioning the word “niche” a lot.

    See what I mean?

    Now, this isn’t a huge problem, but I’m going to invest in the premium version sometime in the future. But you’ve seen my expenses, so it’ll take some time.

    10. Crafting clickable headlines

    I’m still struggling with crafting “sexy” titles for my blog posts. It’s a skill I’m trying to learn.

    11. Self-doubts

    I’d say that self-doubts have been my main struggle.

    I’m still comparing myself to other bloggers even though I’m trying not to. I feel like there are many bloggers who know way more than me about blogging, so I shouldn’t be doing this.

    But at the same time, I feel like I have my own unique perspective, and I know that there are people who will benefit from my content.

    Argh!

    12. Finding low-competition high-volume keywords

    Finding low-competition high-volume keywords is a real struggle for me. I’m still trying to develop this skill.

    Conclusion

    In July, I received 792 pageviews from 485 visitors.

    I gained 12 email subscribers.

    I earned $5.82.

    After deducing what I invested, I lost $542.23.

    Looking back, I’m very happy with my first month of blogging. I didn’t have high expectations whatsoever. Even though there are blogs getting much more traffic in their first months, this is my most successful first month of blogging to date.

    I’m expanding my growth strategies in August, so stay tuned for that!

    If you want to keep up with my strategies, sign up below!

    RECOMMENDED READING:
    How to Start a Blog

    READ NEXT:
    How I Made My First Affiliate Sale in My Second Month of Blogging

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    Join my newsletter to get access to exclusive tips and be the first one to hear about what’s happenning behind the scenes!

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      FIRST MONTH OF BLOGGING PIN

      Featured image courtesy of Andrea Picquadio via Pexels.

      10 ACTION-INSPIRING WAYS TO END YOUR NEXT BLOG POST

      10 ACTION-INSPIRING WAYS TO END YOUR NEXT BLOG POST

      Did you know that the conclusions are where your readers take action most? Yes, and it makes sense.

      After all, in most cases, the reader wants to understand the topic as a whole before signing up for your email list or buying whatever you’re selling.

      Writing compelling blog post conclusions isn’t rocket science. And despite that, I see a lot of bloggers omitting them entirely. There’s nothing wrong with saying, “Hope you liked it! See you next time!” at the end of your blog post. It’s better than ending your article abruptly. But there are better ways to wrap up your blog posts.

      That being said, let’s have a look at some of the best ways to end a blog post.


      DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links. That means that if you make a purchase through one of my links, I’ll receive a commission at no additional cost to you. For more information, visit my affiliate disclosure.


      Why Are Blog Post Conclusions So Important?

      First and foremost, the primary role of any conclusion is to summarize the points you’ve made in the article. Conclusions give your blog posts a closure.

      But there’s more.

      A well-written strong conclusion propels the reader to take further action.

      A good conclusion includes a call to action. Even though you can have a call to action in the middle of the article, CTAs at the end are generally more powerful.

      Why?

      The visitor has just finished reading the blog post, knows what the main points are, and is ready to take the action you want him/her to.

      Or not.

      Not every visitor is going to convert. And that’s okay.

      How to End Your Blog Post

      Before we dive into the ways to finish off your blog posts, there are some best practices when writing your conclusions:

      1. Keep It Short

      There’s no need to be stretching your blog post conclusions.

      It doesn’t matter whether you’re writing short posts or are focusing on producing long-form content; long wrap-ups are generally tedious and unnecessary.

      Keep it just a few sentences long.

      2. Start with “Conclusion”

      Even though your readers can probably tell that you’re finishing off the blog post, it’s a good idea to start the conclusion with an H2 tag saying “Conclusion,” “Key Takeaways,” or something along those lines.

      Not only does the H2 tag divide your article, but it’s also a good visual cue for the reader.

      After all, if you were writing an essay, you’d include a clear conclusion. I don’t like comparing content writing to essay writing, but there are similarities.

      3. Summarize the Main Points

      I’ve already made it clear that this is one of the primary purposes of a blog post conclusion

      The chances are that you’ve made a lot of points in your article you’d like the reader to take away. It’s easier for the reader to see them somewhere grouped.

      This is especially true for long-form content.

      What were the most important points you’ve made in your article? What do you want the reader to take away?

      As I mention in my tips for writing better blog posts, you should highlight the important information throughout the article using bulk fonts.

      The conclusion is a place to summarize these points. If you’re writing a guide, you can repeat the steps.

      4. Add a CTA

      Like I’ve already mentioned, a good conclusion propels the reader to do something. Whether that’s to read another blog post of yours, sign up to your newsletter, purchase your products or something else entirely.

      What are some examples of CTAs?
      Depending on what you want the reader to do, you can use the examples below:

      • Join the newsletter
      • Grab the [freebie]
      • Share the blog post on social media
      • Leave a comment

      Get creative! Think outside of the box and craft a call to action tailored for your target audience.

      5. No Pictures

      A conclusion isn’t a place for images. I find that images in the blog post conclusion take away from the email sign-up form.

      I must admit that I’m guilty of this as I sometimes add a Pinterest image after my conclusions.

      You can simply avoid this by using the Tasty Pins plugin that will hide the image. If someone wants to share your post on Pinterest via your social sharing buttons, it will show them all the hidden pictures.

      Check out this article if you’d like to know more about how to hide pins in your blog posts.

      6. Express Personal Opinion

      Now, I wouldn’t call this one a part of the best practices, as this point is optional.

      You see, apart from being a summary, a conclusion is a great place to express your personal opinion on the topic of your blog post.

      If you didn’t have the opportunity to express your own thoughts in the article, you can do it at the end of the blog post.

      Ways to End a Blog Post

      So, now that we’ve established the role of a conclusion, let’s dive into how you can finish off a blog post.

      1. Add Links to Related Posts

      After you’ve summarized your points, you can add a list of related posts.

      This is great if the reader wants further information. It’s also a fantastic way to reduce your bounce rate.

      If you didn’t know, the bounce rate is measured by the action of the user. If the visitor just scrolls through your article without clicking anything, it will be displayed as a 100% bounce rate in your Google Analytics.

      Now, I don’t want to go in-depth on the bounce rate, so I’m just scratching the surface.

      If you want to know more about the bounce rate, check out this article.

      Now, the best way to grab your reader’s attention with related content is to make it attention-grabbing. Consider writing “related posts” in all caps.

      2. Add an Email Opt-in for a Content Upgrade

      As a blogger, you should be collecting email addresses. Generally speaking, your biggest fans are on your email list.

      That being said, if you’re collecting emails, you need to offer something in return. You see, your visitors won’t just give you their email addresses.

      You can add an opt-in for your newsletter, but the chances are that you’ll need a better offer than only a newsletter.

      You can increase your chances of collecting emails by offering a content upgrade your audience finds valuable.

      What’s a content upgrade anyway?

      A content upgrade is an additional piece of content that makes it easier for the reader to accomplish or understand whatever was discussed in the main article. You can also find this under the names “freebie” and “lead magnet.”

      Think checklists, templates, ebooks, email courses, etc.

      So, is there something your audience is struggling with? Can you offer something that would solve this issue?

      3. Ask a Question

      One of my best tips to end a blog post is to ask your readers a question.

      After all, it’s easier to leave a comment on a blog post, when it’s clear what to comment on. This is especially important if you want to get genuine comments instead of the kind of “Great post!”

      The smartest thing to ask your readers is, “what is your main struggle with this topic?”

      Your readers will give you a better idea as to what their pain points are, but they’re also giving you ideas for new content.

      4. End with a Cliffhanger

      You may have heard about cliffhangers in relation to story-telling.

      Well, you can use them in blog writing as well.

      What’s a cliffhanger anyway?

      It’s a way of ending where some questions remain unanswered.

      Now, if you’re writing a blog post on a specific topic, answer all related questions. But if there’s a topic that’s related but doesn’t necessarily need to be explained in the blog post, you can mention it in the conclusion, and when you write the blog post, you can interlink those two articles. As you can see, this relates to point number one.

      EXAMPLE:
      “As I’ve mentioned, writing compelling blog post titles is crucial for the success of your content. But that’s a story for another time.”

      5. Ask Your Readers to Share Your Article

      Having social media sharing buttons at the end of your blog post is a fantastic way for your readers to promote your content for you.

      But you can also remind your readers to share it.

      Now, I haven’t tried this one myself, so I’m not sure if it works.

      But I’ve seen a lot of bloggers add the ubiquitous “sharing is caring” to their blog posts, and it seems to be working.

      The recurring theme here is that if you don’t remind the readers to take action, they won’t do it. And it seems to be the case for social media sharing.

      6. Promote Your Offerings

      If you have a product or services you are selling; you can remind your readers in the conclusion.

      This works best in blog posts that are related to your offering.

      Depending on the offering, you can add an email sign up or a link to a page where your visitors can purchase the product.

      If your offering is service-based, such as coaching or consulting, you can imbed a contact form.

      7. Add Links to Useful Resources

      This is very similar to linking related content within your blog.

      But you don’t have to link to internal resources only. If there are some other articles you think your audience would benefit from reading, you can link them throughout the blog post.

      If it didn’t make sense to add those resources in the body of the article, add them at the end.

      I like to link to external resources that explain the topic better than I would, or the topic is something I don’t feel qualified to be talking about or to back up my claims.

      In fact, linking out to relevant high authority resources is good for SEO.

      8. Make an Opposing Statement

      A great way to spark conversation in your comments section is by making an opposing statement.

      I’m not saying you have to make a 180-turn. But there is often more than one side of the coin.

      Whatever you are saying, there’s always going to be someone who has a different opinion. Making an opposing statement in your conclusion is an opportunity to acknowledge those opinions and express that you’re open to those opinions.

      EXAMPLE:
      “Some people might disagree with me. And that’s okay.”

      9. Add Action Points

      Adding an action point at the end of your blog post is a great way to engage the reader.

      Let’s say you’re writing a recipe. In your conclusion, you can write something along those lines of “And now it’s your turn! Send me images of your recipes by tagging me on Instagram at @yourusername and add the hashtag #yourbrandedhashtag for the opportunity to get reposted.”

      The key here is to give the reader something they’ll get in return. There are a lot of people who want free exposure on social media from someone they’re following.

      OR

      If you’re teaching something, let’s say coding, you could say something like this: “Here’s your homework: create a simple web page using HTML.”

      You might want to give your readers more instructions, but hopefully, you get the point.

      10. Invite Your Readers to Get in Touch

      You can ask your readers to get in touch.

      I like using this call to action to ask my readers to contact me if they have struggles regarding the topic of the particular blog post. This is similar to asking your readers to leave a comment, but you’re taking it to another level.

      Asking your readers to contact you also gives you the chance to get to know some of your readers personally and even better understand their needs and struggles.

      As a blogger, it’s your job to understand your audience so you can create better content.

      EXAMPLE:
      “Are you struggling with this? Leave a comment down below or contact me so we can figure it out together.”

      Conclusion

      Wrapping up a blog post isn’t difficult. Just summarize your main points, keep it short, images-free, and don’t forget to add a call to action.

      In summary, these are the best ways to end a blog post:

      • Add links to related posts
      • Add an email opt-in for a content upgrade
      • Ask a question
      • End with a cliffhanger
      • Ask your readers to share your article
      • Promote your offerings
      • Add links to useful resources
      • Make an opposing statement
      • Add action points
      • Invite your readers to get in touch

      What is your favorite way to end your blog posts? Let me know!

      RELATED:
      How to Write a Blog Post Step-by-Step

      How to Write Clickable Blog Post Titles
      How to Write a Blog Post Outline

      Want to write the perfect blog post?

      Grab my free and printable blog post checklist to make sure you don’t forget anything!

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        13 TIPS TO BEAT THE BEGINNER BLOGGER OVERWHELM ONCE AND FOR ALL

        13 TIPS TO BEAT THE BEGINNER BLOGGER OVERWHELM ONCE AND FOR ALL

        Perhaps you want to start a blog, or maybe you’ve already commenced your blogging journey, but feel a bit overwhelmed, right? And by “a bit,” I mean a lot.

        And rightfully so.

        There’s so much that goes into blogging. So much to learn and so much to do. It’s insane, right? There’s no wonder that the beginner blogger overwhelm is so common.

        • You’re trying to make sense of SEO
        • You’re trying to figure out social media algorithms
        • You’re trying to decide what your core message is
        • You’re trying to come up with ideas for blog posts your target readers want to
        • At the same time, they need to have a high search volume and low competition
        • You’re trying to collect email addresses
        • You’re trying to figure out why the hell is your website slow, and no matter what you do, it’s still not loading as fast as you want it
        • And then, when you’re trying to make sense of all of it, there’s Google Search Console notifying you that there’s a problem with the mobile-friendliness of your website. So, you do some Googling and find out that the solution is to add a code to your website’s core.

        And then, there’s your target audience. Who are they? Where do I find them?

        You should also be networking with other bloggers. But how on Earth are you supposed to focus on growing your blog, producing the best quality content your target audience wants to read, keeping everything SEO-friendly on your website, and stay sane?!

        And now you’ve read this list, are even more anxious and overwhelmed, and want to click away.

        Hang on a second!

        What I’m trying to say is that I get it. I’ve been there. Every single blogger out there has been there.

        Let me guess…

        • You’re reading all the articles on blogging out there, and consequently, you’re dealing with a bad case of information overload.
        • You’re unhappy with everything you create.
        • You’re feeling like a fraud among all the bloggers who seem to have everything figured out.
        • You don’t know what to focus on first.
        • As a result of your overwhelm, you’re feeling discouraged.

        Well, my dear, you’re showing the symptoms of the beginner blogger overwhelm.

        And you know what?

        It’s a good thing!

        Since you’re overwhelmed, it tells me that you’re taking this blogging thing seriously. It tells me that your blog is important to you and that you’re eager to make it your full-time job.

        You’re probably working hard on your blog, and you want to know as much about blogging as you possibly can. You just have to learn how to make an order in your head, so you don’t go crazy.

        HOW TO BEAT THE BEGINNER BLOGGER OVERWHELM?

        Step 1: Take a deep breath

        Seriously, take a few deep breaths right now.

        Inhale.

        Exhale.

        Inhale.

        Exhale.

        Inhale.

        Exhale.

        If you can, lie down and completely relax your body. Sprawl in your chair, sofa, wherever you are.

        If you’re in public, just lie back and let your body’s weight fall off you.

        Better?

        No?

        Read on!

        Step 2: Figure out why you are overwhelmed

        One of the best things to do when beating the blogger overwhelm is to identify why you’re feeling overwhelmed in the first place.

        1. Is it because you’re consuming too much information? You see, every article tells you something different based on the author’s opinions and experience.
        2. Are you overwhelmed because you want to succeed as a blogger as soon as possible? There’s nothing wrong with that. All of us do. But you’ll need a bit more patience. Blogging isn’t a get rich quick scheme.
        3. Are you overwhelmed because you’re a perfectionist? Because you want everything, you create as perfect as it can be? It doesn’t have to be perfect! Just put it out and adjust it later. Every single blog post can be re-edited. And a little secret: No one knows what the end goal should look like besides you.
        4. Are you overwhelmed with all the steps you need to take? Well, in that case…

        Step 3: Write it all down

        Grab a pen and paper and write down everything that has to be done and everything you have to learn.

        Doing this will help you clear your head. It’s much more digestible seeing your thoughts on a piece of paper than cluttering your mind.

        Seriously, it’s almost like magic. I do this every time I’m feeling overwhelmed, and it always helps.

        TAKE ACTION: Write down everything that’s been on your mind. What you need to do, thoughts that have been holding you back, worries, etc.

        Step 4: Write a detailed to-do list

        Now that you’ve written down everything that needs to be done write a detailed to-do list.

        Divide it into sections. You can go by content, by everything that needs to be done on the website, by social media channels, etc.

        If you’re a new blogger, I suggest you don’t do more than one or two big tasks a day.

        I suppose you have a job, are going to school, or just have other commitments that prevent you from working on your blog full-time.

        And, since you’re just getting started, you don’t know how much time you’re going to spend on a task. Remember that things might take longer to accomplish than you think, especially at the beginning.

        TAKE ACTION: Write a to-do list of everything you need to accomplish and learn. To each point, write a few sub-points AKA the smaller steps that need to be done to finish the task.
        For example:

        Write a blog post -> come up with a headline, write an outline, find relevant sources, write the article, write an intro and a conclusion, add images, etc.

        Step 5: Don’t try to do all of it at once

        Now, carrying with the previous step, don’t start working on all of it at once.

        Start a task, finish it, and then move on to another one. You have to take it step by step.

        If you’re overwhelmed when starting a blog, you might find that you just don’t know what to focus on first.

        When it comes to promoting your blog, don’t try to master all social media channels at once. I’m not saying you can’t be on everything eventually. But focus on one social channel at a time, and when you’ve mastered it, move on to the next one.

        Blogging requires you to be learning all the time. Algorithms change. When you’ve finally mastered the last one, a new algorithm is released. And when an algorithm changes, the strategies change as well.

        Instead of trying to do everything at once, focus on the most important tasks. You can mark the tasks on your to-do list based on priority.

        What’s the most critical task at the moment? Start working on this particular task first.

        If you haven’t started your blog yet and are overwhelmed with everything you need to do before you start blogging, I have a guide that walks you through starting a blog step-by-step.

        TAKE ACTION: Start a task and don’t begin working on another until you’ve finished the first one.

        Step 6: Let go of perfection

        It doesn’t have to be perfect, especially in the beginning.

        It’s easy to see the established blogs, what they’ve created, and wanting to recreate that. No one’s blog was perfect at the beginning. It takes time.

        When I started Blogology, I was obsessed with getting the blog as perfect as it could be to the point where I kept pushing the launch date because I still wasn’t happy with what I’ve built.

        As a creator, you probably are obsessed with perfection. But let me break it to you: you’ll never be entirely happy with whatever you put out. And that’s completely normal.

        But you know what? Your audience doesn’t care about the details of your work. I’ve never come to a blog thinking: “Hmm, I don’t like the H2 tags. Just three more pixels, and they’d be perfect.”

        It genuinely doesn’t have to be perfect. Trust the process.

        As a creator, there’s nothing worse than working on a project, perfecting it, and finding out that your audience doesn’t even care about it.

        Check out this post from Trello on letting go of perfectionism.

        TAKE ACTION: Whenever you’re creating something and are not entirely happy with it, leave it for a few days. Go back to it, edit it, and just put it out there.
        And check out this video from Sunny Lenarduzzi. It’s eye-opening.

        Step 7: Be patient

        Blogging takes time. It’s a process.

        And unfortunately, you can’t speed up the process.

        It takes time to drive traffic to your blog. It takes time to convert those visitors into email subscribers.

        It’s okay not to post every single day. It’s okay to take it slow. It’s better to create something thoughtfully and carefully instead of rushing it without any thought.

        The result will lack quality, and in blogging and any business, quality is more important than quantity.

        If your blog posts or graphics or whatever you’re doing are not as good as you’d like them to be, it’s okay. It’s a part of the process.

        Every time you write or design something new, your craft is improving.

        Steps 8: Clear your head

        I bet you’ve been working your ass off.

        You’re probably thinking about your blog all the time, thinking about what to do, how to do it, and what could be done better.

        Take a break!

        There’s nothing worse than dealing with insomnia because your brain just can’t shut up about your blog.

        Take a few hours or a day to do something that will clear your mind.

        I guarantee you that your blog will survive it. The world isn’t going to end.

        Do something that gets your mind off of your blog. Read a book. See a friend. Do anything you enjoy.

        If your problem is that you have difficulties falling asleep because you can’t stop thinking about your blog, try meditation. I’ve been just getting into it, and it helps tremendously.

        TAKE ACTION: After finishing reading this article, go for a walk.

        Step 9: Get back to work

        As important as it is to clear your mind and take a break, it won’t get done by itself.

        It needs you to do it.

        So, get back to the grind and start ticking points off of your to-do list.

        You can be clearing your mind for as long as you want to, but it won’t do the work for you. It’s your job to dig through the pile of all the things you need to do.

        TAKE ACTION: After you’ve returned from your walk, start working on the most important task.

        Step 10: Create a schedule

        After you’ve played around with how long it takes you to finish a task, you can create a schedule that works for you.

        Take into account:

        • your daily life
        • how long it takes you to accomplish a task
        • when you tend to be most productive

        I can tell you to wake up at 4:30 am every single day to work on your blog. But you might find that you prefer working on your blog in the evening.

        Play around to see when your productivity levels are highest and stick with that.

        Check out this article to find out your most productive time of day.

        TAKE ACTION: Test out how long it takes you to accomplish a task, and when you are most productive. Then create a daily schedule and stick to it.

        Step 11: Remember why you started your blog in the first place

        With overwhelm comes discouragement.

        Blogging is difficult, and it takes time to get your blog off the ground. You’ve probably heard that time and time again.

        But you never know how hard it is until you try it yourself.

        You’re going to hit highs and lows on your journey to blogging success. And since you’ve ended up being an overwhelmed blogger (once again, everyone does), you’ve already hit a low.

        And you know what?

        It can only go up from here.

        So, what do you do now?

        Go back and remember why you embarked on this journey. Why did you start a blog? What do you want to achieve? If you haven’t already started a blog, why do you want to start it?

        TAKE ACTION: Write down your goal and pin it somewhere you can see it. Every time you’re feeling overwhelmed or down, remember why you started.

        Step 12: Don’t compare yourself to others

        We’ve all read those “first month of blogging” reports where the blogger generated thousands of pageviews and earned hundreds of dollars.

        Good for them.

        But don’t let that discourage you if you’re not getting the same results.

        Let me guess, you’ve been reading successes of other bloggers, and you’re not quite there yet. You’re trying to figure out how to get there, and the more information you consume, the more overwhelmed you are.

        Now, one thing to keep in mind is that it’s easy for a blogger to lie. I’m not saying that everyone is lying in their blog reports. But if you see a spreadsheet of the blogger’s results without any proof of their claims, I’d take it with a grain of salt.

        Just saying.

        TAKE ACTION: Stop reading income reports if you find they discourage you instead of motivating you.

        Step 13: Connect with other bloggers

        The issue might be that you’re feeling alone.

        Even though it seems like everyone is blogging these days, chances are you don’t actually know any bloggers.

        Join communities on Facebook to find supportive bloggers.

        I bet that if you reach out to other bloggers in a Facebook group, opening up about your situation, you’ll find dozens of other bloggers in the same position.

        TAKE ACTION: Join blogger communities on Facebook. I recommend these three communities: Boss Girl Bloggers, Blogging Newbs, Blogging for New Bloggers.
        OR
        Reach out to me! I’d be happy to chat with you. Go to my Contact page and leave me a message.

        CONCLUSION

        Being overwhelmed with blogging is entirely normal. After all, you’re responsible for literally everything, and chances are you don’t have anyone to be watching over your shoulder if you’re doing it right.

        So, in conclusion, here’s how to beat the beginner blogger overwhelm once and for all:

        1. Take a deep breath
        2. Figure out why you are overwhelmed
        3. Write it all down
        4. Write a detailed to-do list
        5. Don’t try to do it all at once
        6. Let go of perfection
        7. Be patient
        8. Clear your head
        9. Get back to work
        10. Create a schedule that works for you
        11. Remember why you started your blog in the first place
        12. Don’t compare yourself to others
        13. Connect with other bloggers

        I don’t know where you are in your blogging journey. Let me know in the comments where you are and what you’re struggling with or reach out to me personally, and we’ll try to figure it out.

        Featured image courtesy of Andrea Piacquadio via Pexels

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          20 TIPS FOR WRITING BETTER BLOG POSTS

          20 TIPS FOR WRITING BETTER BLOG POSTS

          Every blogger wants to know how to drive more traffic to their blog and how to monetize it. But did you know that the quality of your content might be what’s putting off your visitors?

          If they don’t like what they see, they’ll click away and increase your bounce rate. For this reason, knowing how to write better blog posts is crucial for every single blogger.

          Yes, this is the old “content is king” cliché. Is content really a king? I don’t know. What I do know is that as a blogger, it’s your job to produce good-quality blog content.

          I have an article on how to write a blog post from start to finish. But today, I’ll share with you my tips for writing better blog posts.


          DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links. That means that if you make a purchase through one of the links, I’ll receive a commission. For more info, read my Affiliate Disclosure.


          20 TIPS FOR WRITING BETTER BLOG POSTS

          1. Plan your blog content in advance

          My first tip for writing better blog posts is planning your blog content.

          You’ll save yourself a lot of pain and quality writing. You see, it’s much easier for you to think about your content in advance and outline it if planned at least a few weeks before the publish date.

          Think about it, if you have a new blog post due tomorrow, but still don’t know what it’s going to be about, you’ll most likely write a low-quality piece you’ll not be happy with.

          Or, you’re not going to publish anything at all.

          2. Outline your blog posts

          Carrying with the thought of planning your blog content, you should also outline your blog posts.

          Why do you need to outline your blog posts?

          Because crafting an outline will help you produce more organized articles.

          How to outline a blog post?

          There’s no need to write complex outlines. Simply take the topics you want to write about in your article and organize them into a logical order.

          RECOMMENDED READING: How to Write a Blog Post Outline

          3. Write to solve a problem

          Before you start writing your blog post, you should know its purpose and who it’s for.

          • Who is your target audience?
          • What are they struggling with?
          • Does this blog post help them overcome a problem?

          You need to write useful content that helps the reader solve a problem.

          NOTE: Don’t write about yourself unless it’s about how you overcame something.

          4. Do keyword research

          Before you start writing a blog post, make sure to do keyword research.

          Now, I’m not an SEO expert, so I’m just going to tell you what I do.

          1. First, I come up with a concept for a blog post idea.
          2. I keep Googling different queries related to the concept. If the autosuggest doesn’t fill the query, I dismiss the keyword. If it does, I take it into account.
          3. I look at the results on the first page of Google. If the results are recent articles, it most likely isn’t the right keyword to target for my new website. If there are old results, results from forums, or if the articles don’t quite match the search query, it’s a good keyword to target.
          4. I look at the related results and the content of those raking articles to find related keywords.
          5. I also use AnswerThePublic to find queries I might have missed.
          6. I then type the keywords I’ve found into a keyword research tool. I tend to use Ubersuggest the most.

          Now, this technique is based on this video from Income School.

          If you want a keyword research tutorial from real SEO experts, check out this article from Moz.

          5. Choose a call to action before you start writing

          What is a call to action?

          A call to action is a sentence that tells the reader to do something.

          You can ask your readers to:

          • sign up to your email list
          • grab a freebie
          • leave a comment
          • share your post
          • follow you on social media
          • etc.

          You should decide what your call to action is before you start writing your blog post. You’ll know what the direction of the article is.

          How many times should you mention the CTA in the blog post?

          I’d say once or twice is enough. You don’t want to be telling your visitors to subscribe to your email list in every paragraph.

          Can you use more than one type of CTA in a blog post?

          Generally speaking, you should pick just one CTA. But, in some cases, you can use more than one. I add an email sign up form to every single one of my blog posts. But most of the time, I also ask my readers to leave a comment.

          6. Come up with a headline before you start writing

          What’s the essential part of any article?

          The headline, of course!

          Why?

          Because it’s the first thing a person sees when he or she comes across your blog post. The title determines whether they click to read your blog post or not.

          So yes, you should craft titles people are going to click on.

          But you should also decide what your headline is going to be before you start writing.

          Why?

          If you have a headline already crafted, it’s easier for you to stick to the intent of the blog post.

          RECOMMENDED READING: How to Write Clickable Blog Post Titles

          7. Don’t skip the intro

          I’ve been reading a lot of blog posts recently, and it surprised me how many of them skipped the intro altogether. If your headline is the most crucial part of your blog post, then the intro is the second most important aspect.

          Why?

          It sets the tone of the article, tells the reader what to expect from the blog post, and, if done right, hooks the reader.

          How to hook the reader in your intro?

          • Ask a question
          • Include a fact or a statistic
          • Tell a story
          • Include a metaphor
          • Add a quote
          • Make a strong claim your reader doesn’t expect

          8. Write conclusions

          Conclusions are the second part some bloggers keep omitting.

          Whenever you’re writing an essay, you need a conclusion to summarize your points.

          Now, I’m not saying that writing blog posts is like writing essays.

          But there are similarities. Like in an essay, you need to write a conclusion at the end of your blog post.

          Summarize your main key points or anything you want the reader to take away. This is especially important if you’re writing mainly long-form content.

          9. Write the body of your blog post first

          Even though the intro and conclusion are essential parts of your article, you should first write the main body.

          You can craft your intro and conclusion based on the body of your blog post.

          Your introductions and conclusions will get the point across better if you write them after writing the main body.

          10. Start the body of your blog post by introducing the topic

          If you’re writing a blog post on how something works, it’s good to tell the readers what the thing is exactly.

          For example, if I were writing an article on how to increase your email subscribers, I’d start with a definition of email marketing right after the introduction.

          Why?

          Well, not everyone who lands on the article knows it, or fully understands the concept.

          11. Write short paragraphs

          What’s easier for you to read?

          When I’m writing like this? In short paragraphs?

          OR

          When I’m writing like this? Writing long bulky paragraphs that intimidate you? Including as much information as you can in a single paragraph? Stuffing long sentences into an enormous paragraph that could and should be divided into a series of shorter sections? Yeah, I don’t know what else to include, so I’m just writing random stuff to make this paragraph even longer than it should be.

          You get my point, right?

          You see, most people don’t read your content word for word. Most people just skim your blog posts to find the information they’re looking for.

          Also, most people find long paragraphs intimidating, and when they see bulky writing, they click away to find the information somewhere else.

          12. Use simple vocabulary

          I sometimes see bloggers wanting to look so professional and educated in their writing that they use super complex vocabulary the average person doesn’t even understand.

          Sometimes it’s just the way they speak, and that’s okay.

          The thing is that not everyone on the internet has the same education as you. Not everyone who’s reading your content is a native speaker of your language.

          Apparently, your blog posts should be written as if they’re for an 8th grader.

          13. Don’t write as you speak

          I’ve seen this advice floating around: write as you speak.

          My advice?

          Don’t write as you speak!

          When people talk, they use long, complex sentences. They also use redundant words, such as:

          • actually
          • very
          • really
          • like

          Although it’s okay to use those words sparingly in your writing, when overused, they’ll turn your blog post into a hot mess.

          Aim to write short sentences.

          And yeah, I’m still trying to learn this one too.

          14. Use bullet points and numbered lists

          To make your blog posts more interesting and user friendly, you should format your content properly.

          Use bullet points, numbered lists, blockquotes, etc. to make your blog posts easier to read.

          Bullet points make your blog posts:

          • Scannable
          • Easier to read
          • Easier to find the information the reader is looking for
          • Easier to navigate
          • They grab the reader’s attention

          Now, imagine if I wrote those points in sentences and wrote them in a single paragraph. It would look somewhat like this:

          Bullet points make your blog posts easier to read. Your readers will find it easier to find the exact information they’re looking for because bullet points make your articles more scannable. Also, when a visitor is skimming through your blog post, they grab his or her attention.

          That’s some awkward writing over here, but you get the point.

          Now, I’m not saying that the second way is inherently wrong. But judge for yourself, which one do you prefer?

          15. Highlight important information

          Highlight your key points.

          See what I did there?

          It’s going to distinguish the most important information from the rest. Also, the visual part will make it easier for your readers to take away the exact information you want them to remember.

          How can you highlight important information in your blog posts?

          • Bulk fonts
          • Cursive
          • Different colors
          • Different fonts

          But don’t go overboard. If everything is highlighted, nothing is highlighted.

          NOTE: Stay away from underlining important information. Why? Because your visitors can think it’s a link.

          16. Use images

          Personally, this one is the most difficult one for me. Some blog posts just don’t call for images.

          But, images break up your articles into smaller sections, making them more digestible.

          What images can you use in your blog posts?

          That depends on what kind of blog post you’re writing.

          • If you’re writing a recipe, include photos of the meal. If it’s a review, include images of whatever you’re reviewing.
          • If it’s a software review, or you’re showing your readers around the software, use screenshots.
          • You can also use infographics to get the point across or to create a visual demonstration. Infographics can be highly shareable, which means that if you have a great infographic, other bloggers can use it as well, and you can earn backlinks this way.

          If none of the mentioned above apply to your blog post, you can use stock images. You can find those on sites like Shutterstock, Unsplash, or Pexels.

          You can also imbed videos to your blog posts.

          17. Proofread your blog posts

          If you want to write better blog content, you need to proofread your blog posts before publishing them. I’m not saying that your writing has to be perfect.

          A grammatical error or a misspelling every now and then is acceptable. But if that happens in almost every single sentence, it can be off-putting.

          Sometimes, no matter how many times you proofread your blog posts yourself, some misspellings can go unnoticed.

          What you can do is to ask someone you know to proofread your articles for you. But that can be a bit annoying, and, if you’re like me, you might not even have someone who’d be willing to check your blog posts for you.

          If that’s the case, you can use a tool that will proofread your articles for you.

          I use Grammarly for that.

          I’ve been using it since 2016 when I started studying at a university in the UK, and I can’t recommend it enough.

          What’s a Grammarly?

          It’s a spellchecker, and it also detects plagiarism.

          Tips to write better blog posts Grammarly

          18. Remove the fluff

          When editing your blog post, don’t be afraid to be a throat-cutter. Remove fluff words and expressions such as:

          • Very
          • Really
          • Actually
          • In order to
          • Like

          You won’t be able to stop using them altogether. Just keep them to a minimum.

          Don’t be afraid to exclude redundant information. Is everything you’re mentioning in the article necessary to understand the concept?

          I once read this piece of advice from Amy Lynn Andrews. I can’t remember where exactly it was, but it went something like this: “I see the whole article as fluff. Then I cherry-pick the most important information.”

          19. Let the blog post sit before you publish it

          I’ve written hundreds of blog posts in my life, and one thing is sure – you’ll never be entirely happy with whatever you produce.

          After you draft and edit your blog post, let it sit for at least a day. You’ll see it in a different light. You might find new sections that should be rewritten, or you’ll find out that the article is actually better than what you thought it was.

          It’s happened to me before. I was writing a blog post, and no matter what I did, I just wasn’t happy with it. I decided to give it some time. I let it sit for a few days, and when I reread it, it wasn’t that bad after all.

          20. Be personable and authentic

          My last blog writing tip is to be personable and authentic. None of the tips mentioned above will work if you’re trying to portray some kind of fake persona or are lying to your audience.

          You see, in blogging, people want to know who’s behind the blog. They want to know the real you.

          This is especially true with personal blogs.

          KEY TAKEAWAYS

          Knowing how to write good blog posts is essential for every blogger. So, here are my tips for writing better blog posts:

          1. Plan your content in advance
          2. Outline your blog posts
          3. Write to solve a problem
          4. Do keyword research
          5. Choose a CTA before you start writing
          6. Come up with a headline before you start writing
          7. Don’t skip the intro
          8. Write a conclusion
          9. Write the body of your blog post before you write an intro and conclusion
          10. Start the body of your blog posts by introducing the topic
          11. Write short paragraphs
          12. Use simple vocabulary
          13. Don’t write as you speak
          14. Use bullet points and numbered lists
          15. Highlight important information
          16. Use images
          17. Proofread your blog posts
          18. Remove the fluff
          19. Let the blog post sit for a while before you publish it
          20. Be personable and authentic

          FUN FACT: This was supposed to be a short post of 5 to 7 blog writing tips. Well, here we go!

          What’s your main struggle when writing blog posts? Let me know!

          RELATED:
          10 Action-Inspiring Ways to End Your Next Blog Post

          Featured image courtesy of Burst via Pexels

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            STILL CAN’T FIND A NICHE FOR YOUR BLOG?

            STILL CAN’T FIND A NICHE FOR YOUR BLOG?

            Are you still struggling to pick a niche for your blog? Perhaps you’ve read my article on finding the right niche for your blog, and you still can’t figure out what to blog about.

            Maybe you’re thinking, “Hey girl, this is nice, but I’m still lost.”

            First, I want you to know that finding the right niche for your blog can take time. Starting a blog is a commitment, and you want to be very sure that the niche you’ve picked is the one you can stick with for the long run.

            In today’s post, I’ll try to help you if you still can’t find a niche for your blog.

            Before we begin, you need to identify why you can’t find a blog niche.

            Is it because:

            1. You have too many interests and can’t pick the right one
            2. You have no interests
            3. You have an interest you’d like to write about but not an expertise

            You need to identify your situation because my answer will be different for each of these options.

            If you have too many interests:

            1. You can start several blogs

            You could start multiple blogs, each one about a different interest of yours. But I’m afraid it would be too overwhelming.

            If you do go with this option, first focus on one blog and then start another one.

            2. You can start a multi-niche blog

            If you can combine your interests, you can start a multi-niche blog. You see, some niches go together better than other ones.

            If you look at some of the lifestyle blogs, they feature niches such as how to make money online, healthy living, and traveling.

            But if you wanted to start a blog on, for example, healthy living and ninja comix recommendations, it would probably be a random combo.

            Having said that, I still recommend starting a niche blog.

            Why?

            For starters, with a niche blog, it’s going to be much easier for you to build an engaged audience interested in all your content. With a multi-niche blog, it might not always be the case.

            3. Start submitting articles to Medium

            In my opinion, this is the best option if you really struggle to pick a blog niche.

            Medium is a platform where anyone can publish their articles.

            You can create your own publication on a specific topic, you can submit articles to existing publications, or you can just publish articles regardless of a publication.

            What I like about Medium the most is that you can write about virtually anything. You don’t need to stick to only one niche.

            The best thing is that is you’re a part of the Medium Partner Program; you can earn money from your writing.

            If you have a lot of interests or random thoughts, publish them on Medium until you figure out your niche.

            On Medium, you might gain an audience who will also be interested in your blog once you start it.

            still can't find a niche for your blog BLOGOLOGY

            If you have no interests:

            Everybody has interests. But not everyone has interests they’d like to write about. I have a few questions for you:

            • Do you have so many little interests that you don’t know which one is the main one?
            • Or do you genuinely feel like you don’t have any interests at all?

            If it’s the first case, I suggest you do what I mentioned in the first part of this article. Specifically, create an account on Medium and publish posts on any topic you like.

            Everyone has interests

            If you feel like you don’t have any interests whatsoever, I guarantee you that you do. As I said, everybody has interests.

            The good thing about blogging is that you can write literally about anything. I’ve seen people start blogs in the most random niches.

            If you’re worried that your niche isn’t popular, it’s okay. Don’t start a blog in a niche with no competition, though.

            That being said, it’s completely okay to start a blog in a low-competition niche. It might be easier for you to become an authority in that niche.

            TAKE ACTION:

            • Write a list of your hobbies and everything you’re interested in. From making money online to care for domestic cats. It doesn’t matter how small those interests are.
            • Then narrow it down to the interests you’d enjoy writing about.
            • Write a list of blog post ideas for each topic without looking them up. The more the better. Aim for at least 20.
            • The one with most ideas is the winner.

            Are you afraid you won’t be able to monetize your niche blog?

            If you’re afraid that you won’t be able to monetize the niche, don’t worry. There’s always a way.

            • You can create courses or write ebooks
            • You can create any other products your audience would find helpful or would enjoy
            • You can offer consulting services
            • You can recommend third-party products through affiliate marketing
            • And, if your niche isn’t considered sensitive, you can always place ads on your blog
            can't find a blog niche BLOGOLOGY

            If you have interests but no expertise:

            Perhaps you would love to start a blog on a blog niche you’re genuinely interested in, but the word “expertise” in all the articles you’ve read scared you off.

            You don’t have to be an expert to start a blog

            To be honest with you, I’m using the word “expertise” with caution.

            I don’t think you have to be an expert to start a blog. Of course, there are few exceptions, but in general, you can blog about anything you want.

            You just have to be upfront about your experience with your readers.

            You see, I’m reading the other guides on how to find a blog niche, and I feel like a lot of them assume that everyone who wants to start a blog has a ton of experience in topics they want to write about.

            If you’re a nutritionist and want to start a blog about healthy eating, do it!

            But what if your only work experience is waiting tables and want to start a blog to make living something you enjoy, what are you supposed to do then?

            I believe that anyone can start a blog, and I also believe that anyone can teach something. Everyone has their own unique life experience anyone can learn from. So, look beyond your work experience.

            • What has been some obstacle you had to overcome?
            • How did you overcome it?
            • Can someone learn from your experience?

            I’m going to repeat myself, but you don’t have to be an expert.

            Focus on your experience instead of expertise

            Instead of focusing on your expertise, focus on your experience.

            After all, even a few months are an experience ;). I mean it, there’s always someone who knows less than you and can learn from you.

            You see, I’m not an expert at blogging. I started my first blog when I was 12, and you can imagine the amount of strategy that went into that blog ;).

            Since then, I started multiple other blogs. The majority of them failed, but one of them started making money.

            But considering what I achieved in those twelve years, and what other bloggers achieved in significantly shorter amounts of time, I’m still quite a newbie.

            That’s why I only teach what I know because what I know might be helpful to someone who knows less than me.

            My point is that you don’t have to know everything about your niche. You just have to know more than your audience and learn as you go.

            I could be learning from all the blogging resources out there. But how do you learn to blog? By blogging, of course!

            What to do if you don’t know enough about your niche?

            If you feel like you don’t know enough about your niche, you have four options:

            1. Start a blog aimed at complete beginners and teach them what you know
            2. Document your journey of learning the topic
            3. Take some time to learn the subject, gain experience, and then start the blog
            4. Hire a content writer to write the content for you

            Not all of these options might apply to you.

            Just a quick note to the fourth option, you can be the figure behind the blog and have other people create the content. You can do all the marketing work, and eventually sell the blog. Even that’s an option.

            But if you want to start a blog and run it by yourself, remember that no matter how much you know, you’ll always be an expert in someone’s eyes. As I said, you just need to know more than your readers.

            Do you have a niche in mind, and are just secretly afraid to start the blog because of your lack of “expertise”?

            Conclusion

            If you still can’t find a niche for your blog, create an account on Medium and see what you enjoy writing about. Check out this article on how to start with Medium.

            I think that finding out what you enjoy writing about is your best option. After I abandoned my previous blog saraviktorie.com and started Blogology, I spent a few months trying to decide what my next blog should be. I concluded that what I enjoy writing about is blogging itself.

            Write down your thoughts and see if you can turn them into articles. Once you find a niche you enjoy the most, you can then start your own blog.

            Just don’t spend too much time on picking your blog niche. You’re only stealing yourself from the time you could have already been running your blog.

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              can't pick a blog niche BLOGOLOGY

              Featured image by Kelly Sikkema via Unsplash

              I’VE MADE 85 BLOGGING MISTAKES (+ How You Can Avoid Them)

              I’VE MADE 85 BLOGGING MISTAKES (+ How You Can Avoid Them)

              I’ve done a lot of blogging mistakes since I started my first ever blog. I started my first blog in 2007 and I was twelve. It was a blog about Ashley Tisdale and soon turned into a blog about anything that’s on a 12-year-old girl’s mind.

              I’m going to be covering mainly the mistakes I made on my two most recent blogs. One of them is LaVieEstBelleBySV, which I started in 2015 with the intention to make money from it. It flopped tremendously.

              The second one is SaraViktorie.com. I started this blog in 2018 and I managed to lift it off the ground and monetize it. It was a fashion blog and at the end of 2019, I realized that I don’t care about fashion, tried to rebrand it, and officially left it at the beginning of 2020.

              And so, here we are. Here are 85 blogging mistakes I’ve made and how you can avoid them. You have to understand that I went through stages of not caring and total obsession. Those mistakes include points from both of those stages.

               


              DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links. That means that if you purchase through one of those links, I’ll receive a commission. For more info, check out my affiliate disclosure.


               

               

              General blogging mistakes

              1. Waiting too long to start my blog

              It took me a long time to convince myself to start Blogology. I wasn’t sure if anyone would take me seriously.

              But you know what?

              If you want to start a blog, do it. Don’t let your self-doubts or whatever is holding you back stop you.

               

              2. Starting a blog without a strategy

              A lot of people start blogs without any plan as to where their blog is going to and how they are going to be promoting it.

              I was one of them.

              You see, you can’t expect the traffic to be flowing to your blog if you don’t do anything to make it happen.

              If you’re still in the stages of considering starting a blog create a simple strategy of who exactly is your target audience, where you see your blog in the long run, and how you are going to get there.

              If you’ve started your blog already and don’t have that in place yet, do it now!

               

              3. Starting a blog on WordPress.com

              If you’re starting a hobby blog or if you’re not sure what your niche is and you’re just testing the waters, starting a blog on a free platform such as WordPress.com might be a good option for you.

              But my mistake came from a misunderstanding.

              I read somewhere that the best place to start a blog was WordPress. Well, I mistook WordPress.com and WordPress.org.

              WordPress.org, also called the self-hosted WordPress, is a content management system. It’s what allows your blog to be viewed on the internet. You’ll need a web host for it. I recommend SiteGround.

              WordPress.com is a platform that combines web hosting and CMS. You can start a blog for free on WordPress.com, but it’s very restrictive.

              If you want to start a professional blog, start on WordPress.org.

              If you don’t know what your niche is, register with Medium, and write there.

               

              4. Waiting for the blog to be perfect to launch it

              Did you know it took me six months to launch Blogology? Well, it was more like a year.

              For six months, I was just toying with the idea, trying to convince my self-doubts that it would be a good idea to start this project, and brainstorming the project.

              The next six months were spent on creating the content, planning the whole thing, convincing my self-doubts that there surely are people out there who will listen to me, and perfecting the website.

              I got so caught up in the whole perfecting process that at some point I just said: Screw it! And decided to finally launch it.

               

              5. Obsessing over the web design

              Although it’s nice to have a beautiful web design, you have to understand that most visitors come to your blog to read the content, not to admire the web design.

              But I’m not saying you shouldn’t pay attention to the design of your blog at all!

              My long-term vision for Blogology is to create an easy to navigate website where bloggers can easily find all the information they are looking for. That’s an ambitious vision, I must admit. And it also calls for great web design.

              But if you’re just starting out, the design of your blog is not as important.

               

              6. Picking a bad domain name

              When I look back at some of my previous domain names, I can’t help it but cringe.

              Well, when I created my very first blog, I was 12. Everything about that blog was cringeworthy.

              As I mentioned in the intro, in 2015, I created my first blog with the intention to make money. And the name of the blog was LaVieEstBelleBySV.

              Quite difficult to remember, right? Especially if you can’t speak French.

              Keep your blog name short, easy to pronounce, easy to remember, and easy to spell.

              RECOMMENDED READING: How to Choose a Blog Name You Won’t Regret

               

              7. Not reading other blogs

              For the longest time, I wasn’t reading other blogs. I just couldn’t be bothered.

              I was expecting the traffic flowing to my blog, but I wasn’t giving it back.

              I’m not saying that reading other blogs is a magical way to promote your blog. But, if you read someone’s blog post and leave a meaningful comment, you might form a relationship with them.

               

              8. Comparing myself to other bloggers

              The grass is always greener on the other side, right?

              Well, before you start comparing yourself to other bloggers, keep in mind that some of them have been blogging for way longer than you. It most likely took them years to get where they are now.

              And if you see someone who’s had better results than you in less time?

              Screw it!

              Wish them the best and focus on your own journey.

               

              9. Considering other bloggers my competition

              Not only did I compare myself to other bloggers, but I was also considering them as competition.

              You see, that’s not the case.

              In case of personal blogs, other bloggers are more like your colleagues. You grow together. Network with other bloggers and support each other.

               

              10. Not researching my competitors

              Identifying and researching your competitors is a crucial part of your success as a blogger.

              You want to identify who your competitors are, what they are doing, how they are doing it, and how you can do it differently or better.

              Of course, I didn’t do that.

              RECOMMENDED READING: How to Research Your Blog Competitors

               

              11. Not defining a target audience

              To be completely fair, when I started blogging, I had no idea what a target audience was. Let alone defining who my ideal reader was.

              So, what is the target audience?

              Your target audience is the ideal reader you want to attract to your blog.

              The kind of reader who’s going to read every single one of your posts, subscribe to your email list, buy your products, and recommend your blog to their friends. It’s the reader all your content is addressed to.

              Think about who exactly your blog is for and write a target audience avatar.

              RECOMMENDED READING: How to Define a Target Audience for Your Blog in 3 Steps

               

              12. Not prioritizing my audience

              It’s all about your audience. Every single thing you do on your blog is done with your audience in mind. The products you sell and recommend. The freebies you offer. Everything.

              Of course, I wasn’t aware of that and was doing what I liked and wanted.

               

              13. Not sticking to a posting schedule

              There were countless times when I set myself an unrealistic posting schedule and wasn’t able to keep up with it.

              Like posting every single day, for example.

              Or, I didn’t have content planned in advance, so I didn’t have any ideas for new content. Make sure to set a realistic posting schedule and plan your content.

               

              14. Not paying attention to analytics

              With LaVieEstBelleBySV, I paid zero attention to my analytics.

              Yes, I was checking how many people came to my blog, but I didn’t care how many of them were just spammers, bots, and how long they stayed on my blog.

              Configure your website with Google Analytics  and Google Search Console to see how much traffic your blog is getting, where your visitors are coming from, who they are, how long they stay, and a lot of other important information.

               

              15. Obsessing over the vanity metrics

              I’m referring mainly to social media.

              When I started SaraViktorie.com, I was obsessed with vanity metrics.

              By vanity metrics, I mean the number of likes on my Instagram posts or the number of monthly viewers on Pinterest.

              Those numbers look nice when they’re high, but they don’t mean much.

              On Instagram, pay attention to your reach. On Pinterest, focus on the number of clicks your pins are generating. In terms of your blog, pay attention to your conversion rate and click-through rate.

               

              16. Not niching down at the beginning

              I’m a big advocate of starting a blog around a specific niche. You can always expand in the future.

              Well, that hasn’t always been the case.

              I have a lot of interests and I was trying to combine a lot of them in some of my previous blogs.

              If that’s the case for you, start submitting to Medium, where you can write articles on anything you like, and then, when you find a specific niche you enjoy writing about, start a blog on that.

               

              17. Not sticking to my niche

              Ahh, all those times when I started a blog on a specific niche and then not being able to stick to it.

              Yes, your blog needs a niche and you need to be able to stick to it.

              For that reason, you should start a blog on something you’re interested in. You can expand your niche later, but it should be related.

              If you’re started a blog about photography, and suddenly start writing about gardening, your readers will be confused and will probably lose interest.

              RECOMMENDED READING: How to Find the Right Niche for Your Blog

               

              18. Not investing money in my blog

              Even though I owned LaVieEsteBelleBySV and SaraViktorie.com for years, I never invested in them financially in any way.

              Yes, I’d buy a domain name and pay for web hosting, but that was it.

              And even though you can start a blog that way, over time, you should invest in it. Especially if you want to make money blogging.

              After all, it’s a business, and you need to invest in your business to keep it thriving.

              What are some things to invest in?

              A good web hosting service, custom legal pages, and an email service provider at the very least.

               

              19. Setting unrealistic goals

              We’ve all been there. We set overly ambitious goals we can’t achieve.

              Unless you’ve created a massive hype around your blog, you probably won’t get 5,000 pageviews in your first month of blogging.

              And, don’t forget that every single goal needs a plan. A goal without a plan is a wish, after all.

              You have to set achievable goals.

              Sure.

              But they also have to be specific.

              Which is something I never did. I would set goals such as “turn this blog into a money-making business”.

              Great!

              But how much money do I want it to make? By when do I want to achieve this? And what steps am I going to take to achieve this goal?

              Set SMART goals instead. Specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound.

               

              20. Trying to figure it out all by myself

              I’m the kind of person who’s never going to ask for help, mainly because I’m shy, and will try to figure it out by myself.

              There’s nothing wrong with asking someone you know or a Facebook group for help. It’s okay to purchase a course to help you solve a problem you’re struggling with.

               

              21. Giving up too early

              With some of my blogs, I just gave up too early.

              If I’d done some more research to overcome the issues I was struggling with, things might have been different.

              Never give up on something you believe in.

              Imagine you start in point A. You want to go to point C. But you get to point B, you decide you’ve had enough, and you quit. You never get to point C and you never find out how close you were.

              not giving up BLOGOLOGY

               

              22. Letting my mistakes consume me

              At this point, I’m calling myself the queen of blogging mistakes haha!

              And I’m telling you that it’s okay to make mistakes. You will make mistakes. But don’t get caught up in them. Make mistakes, learn from them, fix them, and move on.

              I made the mistake of thinking that making one mistake would hinder my blog forever. That’s not true!

               

              23. Trying not to do mistakes

              When I started Blogology, I was obsessed with the idea of doing everything the right way.

              But even that’s a mistake.

              As I said, make mistakes, fix them, and learn from them. That’s how you learn and grow.

               

              24. Doubting myself

              At this point, I feel like a broken record. I’ve mentioned my self-doubts around starting a blog a few times.

              We are all doubting ourselves.

              What if no one takes us seriously? What is no one shows up? What if no one listens to what we have to say?

              You know what?

              You’ll never know what could happen if you don’t even try.

              The only problem you have to overcome is yourself. Don’t let your self-doubts hold you back. Just tell them to shut up and prove them wrong!

               

              25. Trying to learn everything at once

              After I decided to leave SaraViktorie.com and start Blogology, I wanted to do “everything right” this time. And so, I started doing massive research.

              Doing everything right is an unachievable goal. There’s a lot of learning that goes into running a successful blog. But you don’t have to learn everything at once.

              You can learn as you go.

              Even though it was beneficial to be learning so much, it was also overwhelming.

              When you’re first starting out, I suggest you learn how to write a good piece of content, how to promote your blog, some basic SEO, and even a little bit of website structure.

               

              26. Not branding my blog

              When I started LaViesEstBelleBySV, I wasn’t aware that your blog is essentially your brand.

              I’d create a simple logo and that was it. I never put any thought to at least a tagline and mission statement.

              And trust me, that’s just the very least.

              Keep your logo simple if you want. There’s nothing wrong with that.

              But if you want to brand your blog (and you should), write a tagline, mission statement, and a compelling about me page at the very least.

               

              27. Not keeping my branding consistent

              The whole branding thing improved when I started SaraViktorie.com. But keeping it consistent was a whole other chapter.

              If you want your content to be recognizable, you should keep it consistent across the board. That includes your website, social media content, etc. You should keep your color palette the same, you should also keep your profile picture or logo the same.

               

              28. Not doing my research

              I wish I researched better what goes into blogging before I started LaVieEstBelleBySV.

              It would have saved me so much time, and I would have seen more success with the blog.

               

              29. Not taking breaks from blogging

              You see, when you run a blog, you think about it all the time.

              There’s always something that could be worked on at any given moment and there’s always something that could be improved. As a result, I found myself working on my blog every single day of the week.

              If I wasn’t working on it, I was thinking about it and trying to come up with new ideas. And then, I would burn out.

              Take breaks from blogging. Take some time each day not to think about your blog. I know it’s difficult, but it’ll be beneficial. If you take a break, you’ll be more creative.

               

              Technical and WordPress blogging mistakes

              30. Not using nofollow links

              When I first started blogging, I didn’t know about the importance of links. Let alone that there were different types of them.

              You should be using both dofollow and nofollow links.

              Use the nofollow tag on affiliate links, etc. and dofollow links on the rest.

              Check out this article on Elegant Themes about when and how to use dofollow and nofollow links.

               

              31. Not setting up a permalink structure before launching

              What is a permalink?

              Permalinks are your website’s URLs.

              You should keep the same structure on all of your links. You should keep them short, special character free, and without numbers such as dates.

              If you’re on WordPress, go to Settings > Permalinks > Permalink structure and set your permalinks to “Post name”.

              Here’s an article from HubSpot about the best permalink structure for SEO.

               

              32. Changing URLs after publishing the post

              This time, I’m not referring to the permalink structure.

              I published a blog post and then decided to change the URL. When you change a URL, you need to redirect the old one to the new one, Google has to re-index the page, and, if you don’t do the redirect, you’ll lose traffic from everywhere where you left the old link.

              Choose your URLs wisely before you publish anything.

               

              33. Using numbers in my URLs

              Using numbers, especially dates, pagination, etc. in your URLs is a big no-no.

              You should stick to short descriptive URLs. For the longest time, I was using URLs with dates and was wondering why they are so ugly.

              Check out this article from Moz to learn about the best URL practices for SEO.

               

              34. Not interlinking content

              I had no idea how important it is to interlink your content.

              Interlinking relevant content on your blog helps the search engines crawl your website properly and index your content so it can appear in the search results.

              Make sure everything on your website is linked to something. You can check out the topic cluster strategy to interlink your articles by topic.

               

              35. Neglecting the website hierarchy

              Carrying with the previous point, I was completely neglecting the importance of your website’s hierarchy.

              What is the website hierarchy?

              It’s how the content of your website is interlinked. Your website hierarchy (also called website architecture or structure) is made of links.

              For ideal user experience, keep your website structure shallow. That means that anything on your website should be three or fewer clicks away from your homepage.

               

              36. Not paying attention to site speed 

              With all of my previous blogs, I didn’t give a damn about site speed.

              What’s site speed?

              It’s how fast your website loads.

              Good site speed is very important for SEO. I mean, if your site takes 10 seconds to load, Google most likely won’t rank your article on the first page.

              Go to Site Speed Insights and type in your URL. The tool will also give you suggestions for how to speed up your website.

               

              37. Not paying attention to mobile-friendliness

              Similarly to page speed, having a mobile-friendly website is crucial for SEO.

              Did you know that around 50% of users browse the internet on their mobile devices?

              Yeah, and if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, Google won’t show your website in the mobile search results, and you might lose a lot of traffic to that. Having a mobile-friendly theme is a must.

              Go to Mobile-Friendly Test to see if your website is mobile-friendly.

               

              38. Not compressing my images

              One of the main reasons why your website loads slowly can be the sizes of your images. The size of any image shouldn’t be higher than 100kb.

              As a fashion blogger, my blog posts featured a lot of imagery. Uncompressed imagery from my DSLR, to be precise.

              I wasn’t paying attention to my page speed then, so it didn’t bother me.

              Before you upload any images to WordPress, you have to compress them first. I use CompressJPEG for that.

               

              39. Not backing up my blog

              As you can probably tell, the technical side of blogging wasn’t exactly my forte for a long time.

              I would never back up my blog.

              Imagine working hard on your blog, then update or glitch happens, and your blog and all its data are gone.

              No, it’s never happened to me.

              Luckily.

              And if you make sure to regularly back up your blog, it won’t happen to you either.

              I recommend the UpdraftPlus plugin to back up your blog.

              How often to back up your blog?

              It depends on how often you are updating your blog, so I’d say every time you update or change something on your blog.

               

              40. Not protecting the blog against spammers

              Spammers gonna spam.

              I saw them coming to my blog, commenting on my blog posts, sending me emails through my contact form, and I just left it that way.

              Yes, spammers are a part of any blogger’s journey, but you can protect your blog against them.

              First of all, install an antispam plugin. I use Antispam Bee.

              I also use Honeypot for contact form 7, which is a plugin that adds a layer to your contact form (if you’re using the Contact form 7 plugin) and protects it against spam.

              I also use the Custom Referral Spam Blocker plugin to filter out specific traffic that comes from spam sites.

               

              41. Not paying attention to my bounce rate

              What is a bounce rate?

              It’s the percentage of people who come to your blog, skim through it and leave, or let the webpage expire, or never even reach the website.

              This then appears as a 100% bounce rate in your analytics.

              A good bounce rate is below 55%.

              How to reduce your bounce rate?

              Well, first of all, keep your website fast. Then you need to make your visitors click on something. Whether that’s a link or an opt-in.

               

              blogging mistakes BLOGOLOGY

               

              42. Writing my blog posts in MS Word

              Writing your blog posts in MS Word adds unnecessary HTML code to the content.

              Then when you upload it to WordPress, the formatting might look a bit off.

              I’m still trying to learn this one, as I’m writing this blog post in MS Word.

              So, where should you write your articles?

              Try Google Docs instead.

               

              43. Not clearing the formatting when uploading blog posts to WordPress

              Every time you upload a blog post to WordPress, highlight the whole thing and clear the formatting.

              This will remove any unnecessary HTML, even if you wrote your blog post in MS Word.

              I never did this and then was wondering why my articles looked nothing I wanted them to be.

               

              44. Switching between the visual and text editor in WP

              Both the block and classic editors on WordPress have two editors.

              The first one is the visual editor. This is where you can edit your article in the visual form.

              In the text editor, you’ll be editing the code of the blog post.

              You shouldn’t switch between those two. You should pick just one.

              If you switch between the visual and code editor, it might disrupt the code and your blog post will look nothing like you want it to.

              Of course, I didn’t know that. I was switching between those two editors and was wondering why my articles look a bit off.

               

              45. Creating too many main categories

              Having too many primary categories can be overwhelming to your visitors.

              Keep it minimal and don’t create more than 10 categories.

              You can create sub-categories for your main categories if you want to.

              In one of my earliest blogs, I created well over 20 categories. It wasn’t even a niche blog, but still.

               

              46. Using wrong anchor text

              For a long time, I had no idea that there were some best practices for using anchor text. Well, I didn’t even know what the anchor text was.

              What’s anchor text?

              It’s the displayed text of a link.

              The best practices for anchor texts for SEO purposes are that you shouldn’t use words like “here”. Instead, you should use 3 to 4 words related to the content of the link. But then, of course, sometimes you have to use more than 3 to 4 words.

               

              47. Not deleting inactive plugins

              This is not a serious mistake, but I thought I’d include it.

              A lot of bloggers think that inactive plugins will slow down their websites.

              That’s not true.

              If you’re using low-quality web hosting, it might indirectly add up to the issue. But if you don’t want to use the plugin in the future you might as well delete is.

              After all, it might add unnecessary clutter to your plugins page.

               

              48. Not using a static homepage

              Essentially, there are two options for your homepage.

              You can have your newest blog posts displayed, or you can have a static homepage. That’s the one where you introduce what your blog is about, display your testimonials, etc.

              Although using a posts page is not necessarily a mistake, a static homepage looks more professional.

              In 2019, I finally created my first static homepage for SaraViktorie.com.

              You can set a static homepage on your WordPress blog in Settings > Reading > Homepage > Static homepage.

               

              Mistakes when promoting my blog 

              49. Waiting for the readers to show up

              One of the worst pieces of blogging advice was from Chiara Ferragni. It went something like this: “Don’t spam other bloggers’ comments sections. The readers will eventually come.”

              Although I agree with the first part of the statement, readers won’t just come to your blog.

              At that time, Chiara was my idol, so I did exactly what she said.

              Spoiler alert, nothing happened. No one came.

              If you want the readers to come, you have to show them that your blog exists. You need to promote your blog if you want the readers to come.

               

              50. Not implementing SEO

              One of the most serious blogging mistakes I’ve done was not implementing SEO.

              Yes, SEO is difficult to learn, and it takes time to see results from it.

              But please, don’t skip it completely!

              If done right, it can drive free traffic to your blog for the years to come.

              What is SEO anyway?

              It stands for search engine optimization, and it’s a practice of optimizing your blog and its content so it can appear in the top search results for specific queries.

              If you want to learn more about SEO, I recommend this beginner SEO course from Moz.

               

              51. Not doing keyword research

              Well, since I wasn’t implementing SEO into my blogging strategy, I didn’t even bother with doing keyword research.

              Keyword research helps you find keywords and content ideas.

              You can also use keyword research tools that show you the volume and the difficulty of that keyword.

               

              52. Not trying to earn backlinks

              Since I decided to ditch SEO completely, I wasn’t aware of the importance of backlinks if you want to run a successful blog.

               

              53. Not collecting emails

              Gosh, before I started Blogology, I wasn’t collecting emails on any of my previous blogs. I just didn’t see the value of it.

              By collecting emails, I mean building my email list.

              Register with an email provider (I use ConvertKit) and set up email subscription opt-ins on your blog.

              Don’t forget that your visitors won’t just subscribe to your email list. You have to offer something.

               

              54. Relying on Instagram to drive traffic to my blog

              When I started LaVieEstBelleBySV, I had no idea how to promote the blog.

              I mean, with all of my previous blogs, I just didn’t care.

              It was a fashion blog, so it made sense for me to be on Instagram.

              The thing with Instagram is that it’s not the best platform to drive traffic to your blog. You can’t include a clickable link in your captions. You can only put a swipe up link in your stories if you have over 10K followers. Your best bet is the link in your bio.

              Having said that, what Instagram is good for is spreading awareness about your blog and building relationships with your audience.

              Think about where your target audience is and promote your blog there. But don’t rely on only one source of traffic.

               

              55. Not using Pinterest

              Depending on your niche, Pinterest might be one of the best ways to drive traffic to your blog.

              You see, Pinterest is a visual search engine. People search for inspiration on Pinterest.

              Considering my niche was fashion, I would have benefitted from Pinterest way more if I’d implemented it earlier.

              So, have a look at Pinterest and if you think your audience might be there, make the most of it. For some niches, Pinterest is like the butter for your bread of a blog.

               

              56. Trying to promote my blog on every social media platform

              At one point, I tried to promote my blog SaraViktorie.com on any social media networks I could think of.

              The result?

              I reached no one.

              Pick one platform, learn as much as you can about it, and when you get a hold of it, move on to another network.

               

              57. Not adding social sharing buttons

              I never understood what social sharing buttons were good for, mainly because I wasn’t using them myself.

              What social sharing buttons do is that if someone likes your blog post, they can click on one of the buttons and share the content on their social media, therefore, promoting the content for you.

              How to add social sharing buttons to your blog?

              If you’re on WordPress, there are a lot of plugins to choose from. I use the Shared Counts plugin.

               

              58. Not networking with other bloggers

              When I started LaVieEstBelleBySV, I didn’t network with other bloggers at all.

              It then improved with SaraViktorie.com. Mainly because I also started an Instagram account and I started shooting fashion photos with other bloggers.

              But to be completely honest, I wasn’t aware that I was networking.

              You see, blogging is a sociable activity. Be a part of the community and network with other bloggers on social media. It will help you grow your blog. You can find other bloggers in your niche to guest post with.

               

              59. Being afraid to put myself out there

              I love creating content. What I don’t like is putting myself out there.

              I’m naturally shy. Starting an Instagram account for my previous blog and posting pictures of myself every single day was out of character for me.

              The whole networking thing just doesn’t come naturally to me.

              Having said that, blogging and social media are closely tied. Although you can start a blog without social media, it’s going to be easier for you to grow it with social media presence.

               

              blogging mistakes BLOGOLOGY

               

              Mistakes when creating content for my blog

              60. Not writing outlines for my blog posts

              A good outline goes a long way. I could never be bothered with writing them.

              As a result, my blog posts would often miss a clear point.

              Create outlines for your blog posts to make sure you include all the information you want to include and to make sure your blog posts have structure.

               

              61. Not planning my content in advance

              I’d never plan my content. I’d set a weekly posting schedule and I wrote about whatever I felt like every single week.

              What I do now, is that I find keywords relevant to my niche and create a content plan for at least one month ahead.

               

              62. Not writing to solve a problem

              When I started blogging, I was writing about anything I wanted.

              This is okay for hobby blogs, but if you want to turn your blog into a business, you need to help your readers solve a problem.

              Each blog post should be written to overcome a specific problem your audience might face.

               

              63. Writing about myself

              Carrying with the point of not writing content to solve a problem, with most of my previous blogs, I was just writing about myself.

              That doesn’t have to necessarily be a bad thing if you can make it a helpful piece of content.

              But for the most part, don’t write about yourself or your life, unless your life is interesting, or you’ve overcome something your target audience is struggling with.

              Focus on writing helpful content that will help your readers overcome a problem they’re facing.

               

              64. Not editing blog my posts

              For the longest time, I would never edit any of my blog posts.

              The reason?

              I hate editing.

              But if you want to produce good quality content, you need to edit your blog posts before you publish them.

              Don’t be afraid to delete unnecessary information and fluff. Don’t forget to proofread your articles!

              I recommend Grammarly for that.

               

              65. Publishing short articles often

              When I was able to stick to my “blog post per day” posting schedule, I was publishing short-form low-quality content.

              I’m not saying that you have to only produce long-form content.

              The thing is that nowadays, long-form content is better for SEO.

              Of course, it depends on the topic of the blog post. Make sure to fully explain the topic.

               

              66. Obsessing over the quality of blog posts

              When I finally started editing my blog posts I began to obsess over the quality of my content.

              Let me break it to you, you’ll never be fully happy with whatever content your produce.

              Instead of obsessing over the quality of it, at some point just publish it. You can always do changes to your blog posts in the future.

               

              67. Not paying attention to my headlines

              The headlines of your blog posts are super important.

              After all, your headline is the first thing a user sees. The title is what makes him or her click.

              You should make your blog posts titles eye-catching. But don’t do clickbait or mislead your visitors.

               

              68. Not writing engaging blog intros

              If the headlines of your blog posts are the most important part, your intros are the second.

              Your intro sets the tone, tells what the blog post is about, what it’s going to cover, and, most importantly, hooks the reader in.

               

              69. Omitting conclusions

              I see other bloggers make this mistake quite often.

              And I’m guilty.

              You see, a blog post is in a way an essay. You need to summarize your key points in the conclusion at the end.

               

              70. Not using calls to action

              Every single blog post should include a call to action. What the call to action is, depends on what the blog post is about.

              The CTA can be something as simple as commenting. You can also ask the readers to subscribe to your email list, pick up a freebie, or purchase your paid product.

              One or two calls to action per post are well enough.

               

              71. Not formatting blog posts properly

              For the longest time, I didn’t pay attention to what my blog posts look like.

              But that was a mistake.

              You see, a lot of people won’t read your entire blog posts, they will just skim through them.

              For that reason, you should divide your blog posts into shorter sections separated by corresponding sub-headings and highlight the important information with bulk fonts or cursive.

              You should also keep your paragraphs short because bulky paragraphs will be overwhelming to your visitors.

               

              72. Posting blog posts without images

              Some blog posts just don’t call for images. But images help break the content a bit and divide it into smaller sections.

              When I started (unsuccessfully) rebranding SaraViktorie.com, I wasn’t using any images in my content.

              Even if the blog post doesn’t call for images, try to add some. You can use stock photos from sites like Unsplash or Pexels.

               

              73. Not batch-creating my content

              Batch-creating content can save you so much time. I’d start writing my blog posts in the order they should go up.

              What I do now, is that I write similar pieces of content together. Sometimes, I end up writing more blog posts than I intend to. It also saves a lot of time.

               

              74. Not repurposing my content

              Similarly to batch creating your content, repurposing content can go a long way.

              What I do now, is that I write a blog post and create pins for Pinterest. Then I take smaller parts of the blog post and turn them into Instagram posts.

              When I’m creating pins, I also create a few graphics that can be used as both pins and Instagram images.

               

              75. Trying to sound like someone else in my writing

              In my first drafts for Blogology, I was trying to sound so professional, that what I wrote didn’t even sound like me.

              Although there’s nothing wrong with trying to sound professional in your writing, you should stick to your natural writing tone.

              Even though writing blog posts is similar to writing essays, you’re not trying to impress anyone how professional or educated you are. Stick to what’s natural to you.

               

              76. Ignoring the search intent

              Each keyword has a search intent. That’s what the user is looking for when searching for a keyword.

              As you can probably tell, the search intent is important.

              When you are researching a keyword, check the search intent as well. Look up the keyword in Google and have a look at the results on the first page.

              Are they guides? List posts? Something else?

               

              77. Not implementing copywriting

              Copywriting is a type of writing where the writer is trying to nudge the reader to take action. Usually, copywriting is used to sell something.

              But that’s not always the case.

              As a blogger, you most likely are trying to sell something. If you want to be more persuasive in your writing, you should utilize copywriting.

               

              Mistakes when monetizing my blog 

              78. Trying to monetize my blog before building my audience

              When I started SaraViktorie.com, I was obsessed with monetizing my blog as soon as possible.

              I started promoting third-party products either via affiliate marketing or sponsored posts.

              Guess what! Nobody cared.

              Even though I made money from the sponsored posts, it didn’t look good since they didn’t get any conversion from me.

              First, focus on building your audience. Then try to monetize your blog.

              I’m not saying you can’t place display ads or affiliate links on your blog when you’re just starting the blog. Just don’t expect to make tons of money.

              You need to build trust with your audience.

               

              79. Relying on sponsored blog posts to make money blogging

              There are a lot of ways to monetize your blog.

              Sponsored posts are one of them, but I wouldn’t rely on that.

              You can sell your own products (digital and physical) and services or promote third-party products via affiliate marketing.

               

              80. Promoting products that were irrelevant to my niche

              As I mentioned, I was monetizing my previous blog mainly with sponsored posts.

              Despite being a fashion blogger, I got offers from various brands of various niches. I wanted to make as much money as possible from my blog and so I was accepting most of them, even though they didn’t go with my niche.

              Only promote products relevant to your niche. If you’re blogging about healthy eating, your readers most likely won’t be interested in spa equipment.

               

              Legal blogging mistakes

              81. Not having a privacy policy page

              To be completely honest with you, I wasn’t aware of the legal side of blogging at all. You need to have a privacy policy page where you disclose the information you collect about your visitors.

              That includes email addresses, IP addresses, etc.

               

              82. Not having a terms of use page

              A terms of use, or terms and conditions page is another legal page you need to have on your blog if you want to avoid potential problems in the future.

              Of course, I didn’t have this page on any of my previous blogs.

              Luckily, I’ve fixed those mistakes. I highly recommend Amira’s Legal Bundle to protect your blog legally. Her basic bundle includes privacy policy, terms and conditions, and disclaimer.

               

              83. Not disclosing cookies

              If you’re hosting your blog on WordPress, your site uses Cookies.

              Cookies are small pieces of software that are placed on your visitor’s devices and collect information about them.

              It’s not necessarily a bad thing. You just need to disclose it.

              Well, I didn’t know that and wasn’t disclosing it.

              So, how do you disclose Cookies on your blog?

              You can use a GDPR pop-up banner where your visitors are notified and consent. I use the GDPR Cookie Consent Banner plugin.

               

              84. Using stock images without crediting them properly

              I love photography. But I don’t always shoot my own photos for my blogs.

              And that’s what stock images are for. But if you’re using stock images, you have to credit them properly.

              I’d just add a link to the website and that would be it. You want to link to the photographer’s profile as well.

               

              85. Using screenshots from other websites without their consent

              I saw a lot of other bloggers using screenshots from other blogs for demonstrational purposes, or to use an image of research that was done.

              So, I started using those screenshots as well.

              So, first of all, you need to add a link to the source. But you should also ask the owner of the blog if you can use the screenshot.

               

              Conclusion

              There are a lot of mistakes you can do when running a blog. I can think of a lot of other mistakes I see other bloggers make that I luckily haven’t made.

              Don’t let your mistakes put you off. Make mistakes, fix them, and learn from them.

              What are some blogging mistakes you’ve made? Let me know in the comments!

               

              RECOMMENDED READING:
              How to Start a Blog

               

              Featured image courtesy of Unsplash via Rupixen.com

               

              HOW TO RESEARCH YOUR BLOG COMPETITORS

              HOW TO RESEARCH YOUR BLOG COMPETITORS

              So, you want to improve your blog, right? DUH! Who doesn’t, am I right? And did you know that you can use competitor analysis to your advantage and improve your blog?

              Before I go even further, I’d like to put a disclaimer here. I’m using the word “competitors” with a bit of cringe here. You see, in blogging your competitors are not exactly your competitors. Blogging is a collaborative activity.

              Think about other bloggers in your niche as colleagues. You’re all in the same boat. Network with them and support each other. You’ll see that this is a recurring theme throughout this article.

              That being said, I’ll tell you exactly how to research your blog competitors, how to identify them, what to look for when analyzing your blog competitors, and what to do with the information you’ve gathered.

               

               

              What is blog competitor analysis?

              Competitor analysis is the assessment of your competitors’ strengths, weaknesses, audience, promotional strategies, and monetization methods.

              The goal of the competitor analysis is to find out what other bloggers in your niche are doing and how you can do it better or differently.

              Blog competitor analysis

               

              When to do competitor analysis?

              Ideally, you should start identifying who your competitors are before you start your blog. That being said, competitor research is an ongoing process. It takes more than an afternoon.

              IMPORTANT: Don’t get caught up in your competitor analysis. It’s very easy to start comparing yourself to the other bloggers in your niche. After all, bloggers in your niche are not really your competition, but more like your colleagues.

              RECOMMENDED READING: 12 Things You Need to do Before You Start Building Your Blog

               

              Why do you need to research your competition?

              Your competitor analysis will help you determine:

              • Information about your target audience
              • How your competitors are driving traffic to their blogs
              • Identify gaps in the market
              • How you can monetize your blog
              • How you can differentiate yourself from your competition
              • It’s also a crucial step before you brand your blog

              It will also allow you to create a more effective marketing and selling strategy.

              You’ll also find out where your target audience hangs out. You see, your competitors are where your target audience is.

              Identifying your competitors will also help you find bloggers to guest post with.

               

              Who should you consider as your blog competitors?

              Well, everyone in your niche is your competitor. Does that mean you have to analyze every single blog in your niche?

              No!

              Not every single blog in your niche is written for the same audience you are trying to attract.

              Let’s say you are starting a blog productivity tips for stay at home moms.

              A blog about productivity tips for business owners might be considered your competition as some of the tips probably will be similar, and some of the stay at home moms might be business owners.

              That being said, focus on analyzing other blogs about productivity tips for stay at home moms.

               

              How many competitors to analyze?

              It depends on the size of your niche.

              But I’d say that identifying 5 to 10 blogs that are close to what your blog is about, is a good amount to aim for.

              There’s no need to analyze every single blog in your niche.

               

              how to research your blog competitors

               

              How to research your blog competitors

              One thing before we dive into how to perform your blog competitor analysis: How long have they been blogging for?

              You see, I genuinely don’t want you to get caught up and start comparing yourself. It most likely took them years to get where they are now. So, don’t expect yourself to get where they are now in a few weeks or even months.

               

              1. Identify who your competitors are

              First things first, you need to identify who your competitors are.

               

              Where to find your blog competitors?

              Google

              The easiest way to find your competitors is to do a simple Google search. Just look up your niche and the keywords you are most interested in and see what comes out.

              You can also Google round-ups of the best blogs in your niche. This will help you identify the big names in your niche. Just look up “blogs about >your niche<”.

               

              Social media

              I guarantee you that your competitors are on social media. Just look up your niche on different social channels, and once again, see what comes out.

              You see, not every single blog is going to be included in those “best blogs about…” round-ups. I’ve found most of my competitors on Pinterest, for example.

              Join different social media channels. I’d say that Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram are the best ones.

              On Facebook, don’t forget to join groups in your niche.

               

              Think outside of the box

              Google and social media isn’t where it all ends.

              Are your competitors replying to questions on sites such as Reddit or Quora?

              Are they submitting their articles to Medium? Do they have a following there?

               

              If you’ve read my guide to defining your target audience, you’ve probably noticed that in terms of the places where you can find your competitors and target audience, they are pretty much the same.

              Well, of course!

              As I mentioned earlier, your competitors are where the audience is.

               

              2. Analyze your competitors’ websites

              Don’t forget to look at your competitor’s website as a whole.

              Those are some of the questions to ask when assessing the websites:

              • What is the structure of the website?
              • Is it easy to navigate?
              • Or is the website so cluttered that you can’t find anything?
              • What pages do they have on their blog?
              • Can you even find them?
              • What’s the whole web design like?
              • Are they using contrasting colors?
              • Or is it difficult to read anything?
              • What does the layout look like?
              • When you first entered the website, did it load fast?

              NOTE: You can analyze your competitors’ websites on both desktop and mobile devices as those two versions will most likely look a bit different.

               

              3. Analyze your competitor’s branding

              Your competitors’ logos, color palettes, and fonts won’t probably tell you much though.

              Pay closer attention to their tagline and mission statement.

              If they don’t state that on their homepage, it’s definitely going to be mentioned in the about page.

              If they took the time to write a good about me page, you’ll find valuable information there. You’ll know exactly who they are trying to target.

               

              4. Analyze your competitors’ content

              You need to analyze their content and content strategy.

              • Are they using long-form or short-form content?
              • Are they using other types of content such as video, podcast, infographics, etc.?
              • How often are they posting new content?
              • What does the content look like?
              • What’s their writing tone?
              • What’s their engagement?
              • Are people commenting, liking, and sharing the content?

               

              Have a look at your competitors’ social media channels as well.

              • What kind of content are they uploading?
              • Do they have a community of some sort?
              • A Facebook group?
              • What kind of posts are they sharing in the Facebook group?

               

              Subscribe to their email lists. Pay attention to their lead magnets.

              • What are those lead magnets?
              • What other content are they sending to their email list?
              • How often?
              • What do their opt-ins look like?
              • And what about their landing pages?

               

              5. Analyze your competitors’ promotional and marketing strategies

              Of course, every blogger promotes their blog somehow. You need to know how.

              • Where do your competitors promote their blogs?
              • Which social media channels are they using?
              • Are they also writing for other publications?
              • Are they active on sites such as Reddit or Quora?
              • How are they trying to capture email list subscribers?
              • What products/services/freebies are they offering?
              • How are they marketing them?

               

              6. Analyze your competitors’ audiences

              The easiest way to do it is to read through your competitors’ comments sections. Then go back to their social media channels and have a look at their subscribers and followers.

              • What are they commenting?
              • What do they like about your competitor’s content?
              • What are their audiences struggling with?

              Look at the demographics.

              • Are their followers predominantly men or women?
              • What ages are they?
              • Where do they live?

               

              7. Analyze your competitors’ SEO

              • What keywords are your competitors ranking for?
              • Have you seen your competitors appearing in rich snippets?
              • How many backlinks do they have?
              • What’s the dofollow/nofollow ratio?
              • Where those backlinks come from?

              To be completely honest with you, SEO is not exactly my forte. But I found this guide to SEO competitor analysis from Moz. It’s an amazing guide, so if you want to analyze your competitors’ SEO, definitely check it out.

               

              8. Analyze their web traffic

              There’s no way you can see exactly how much traffic your competitors are generating.

              What you can do though, is to look at their engagements. The number of comments their blog posts are getting can get you an idea.

              If they’re using social sharing buttons, you might be able to see the number of shares.

              Don’t forget to check out their followers, likes, comments, etc. on their social media. No, any of this data won’t tell you exactly how much traffic someone is getting to their blog.

              To get a clearer idea, use a tool such as SimilarWeb.

               

              9. Analyze how they are monetizing their blogs

              Now, we’ll have a look at how your competitors are monetizing their blogs. Just a simple scroll down will tell you if they’re monetizing their blog with display ads.

              If you read through some of their blog posts and see affiliate disclosures, you know that they are making money with affiliate marketing.

              But let’s go even further.

              Are they offering consulting services? You’ll most likely find out if they make money with coaching or consulting if they have a work with me/services page.

              Are they selling digital products? Or even physical products? If so, what kind of products are they?

              Use the information you find to determine how you can create a new original product.

               

               

              Tools to research your blog competitors

              Here’s a short and sweet list of blog competitor analysis tools that will make the whole process a lot easier for you. The majority of those tools are paid, but all of them have a free version or at least a free trial.

               

              Google

              Google is going to be your best friend when conducting your blog competitor analysis. After all, you need to first find your competitors, right?

              Google search

               

              SimilarWeb

              With SimilarWeb, you can compare your traffic volume, ranking, referral sources, and more to your competitors’ websites. You can also see insights into the visitors of the website.

              SimilarWeb is a paid tool, but they offer a free trial where you can see 5 results per metric, one month of mobile app data, and three months of web traffic data.

              SimilarWeb

               

              BuzzSumo

              BuzzSumo will tell you what the most popular articles on your competitors’ blogs are, as well as worldwide trends in any niche and any topic you like. You can also use this tool to find popular topics to create content.

              BuzzSumo is a paid tool, but they offer a limited free version which provides you with 10 searches per month.

               

              Moz and MozBar

              Moz is an all-in-one SEO analysis tool. Apart from being able to see your ranking keywords, backlinks, and lots more, it also has a feature where you can see your competitors.

              Moz also has a Chrome extension called MozBar, when you can see your competitors’ page authorities, domain authorities, and links on the go.

              Moz is a paid tool, but they offer a 30-day free trial.

               

               

               

              SEMrush

              On SEMrush, you can perform an SEO audit of your own blog as well as your competitors’ keyword strategies.

              SEMrush is a paid tool, but they offer a 7-day trial.

              SEMrush

               

              Ubersuggest

              Apart from being a keyword research tool, you can also use Ubersuggest to analyze your competition. You can see estimated domain traffic, ranking keywords, most popular blog posts, and more.

              Ubersuggest is a free tool.

              Ubersuggest

               

               

              What to do after you’ve analyzed your blog competitors?

              You could gather the information you’ve collected, and create a document. But I have a different suggestion for you.

              Now that you know who your competitors are, connect with them, and support each other.

              Yes, running a blog is like running a business. In fact, it is running a business. But in blogging, you grow with your competitors.

              You all have different messages, reasons why you started your blogs, who you want to help, and how you want to help your readers. All of you have different approaches and have different ways of how you appeal to your readers.

              Network with your competitors and support each other. 

              You can learn a whole lot from your competitors, and they can learn a whole lot from you.

               

              Conclusion

              Competitor research is a long-term process. It takes time to identify who your competitors are, what they are doing, what their strategies are, etc.

              Don’t get caught up and start comparing yourself. It’s for analytical purposes only. The goal of blog competitor analysis is to identify your competitors’ strengths, weaknesses, strategies, and how you can do them differently and better.

              That being said, your blog competitors are also your friends. You grow together. Identify your competitors, connect with them, and support each other.

               

              RECOMMENDED READING:
              How to Start a Blog
              How to Plan Your Blog Before You Launch It

               

              Featured image courtesy of Pexels via Andrea Piacquadio

               

              HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT NICHE FOR YOUR BLOG

              HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT NICHE FOR YOUR BLOG

              One of the biggest issues new bloggers face is finding a niche for their blogs. Is that your case as well?

              You decided to start a blog but now the question pops in your head: what to blog about?

              How to find the right niche for your blog? That’s the question that’s been occupying your mind, am I right?

              Don’t worry, because today I’ll tell you how to find the right niche for your blog and what to do if you’re interested in blogging about multiple niches.

               

               

              What is a niche?

              A niche is the topic of your blog. It’s what you are going to be writing about.

               

              Does your blog need a niche?

              Yes, your blog does need a niche if you want to attract an engaged audience and eventually monetize it. Your audience needs to know what to expect from your blog.

              Remember that if you’re trying to reach everyone, you’ll reach no one.

               

              Things to consider when picking a blog niche

              To find the right niche for your blog, there are several things to consider:

               

              #1 Consider your interests

              You should be blogging about something that interests you. It’s going to take time until you see some kind of return on your blog. If you pick the wrong niche, you might give up before your primetime comes.

              I see the word “passion” being thrown a lot regarding choosing a blog niche. To be completely fair, I don’t think you have to be passionate about your niche.

              Instead of focusing on your passions, think about what you’d like to write about. You’ll most likely find that you have a lot of interests. But which one of those interests would you like to write about?

              How long have you been interested in this topic?

              If you’ve just picked this niche because it’s popular and profitable, you won’t last long. Ideally, you should pick a niche you’ve been interested in for a while.

              You can start a blog on something you would enjoy learning about and document your journey. The issue might be that a few months into blogging, you might find out that you don’t enjoy that topic as much as you thought you would.

               

              #2 Consider your knowledge

              Interests are one thing, but what you know about that topic is also important. You see, blogging and teaching are very connected. Think about any blog. Chances are that the blog is teaching something. If not, they are just sharing information about something, right?

              To share good-quality information and build trust with your audience, you need to know your niche.

               

              Can you start a blog when you’re not an expert?

              You don’t have to be an expert in your niche to start a blog. You need to know more than your audience. Be honest about your level of knowledge with your audience. Your blog can target a type of audience that knows less than you about the topic.

               

              Do you need the education to teach this subject?

              That being said, some niches will require you to have a formal education. For example, if you want to start a blog where you’re going to be giving some medical or dietary advice, you should have an education.

               

              What to do if you want to start a blog about a niche you don’t know a lot about?

              There are two ways to go about it:

              I. Start the blog and document your journey of learning your niche

              There’s something powerful about documenting journeys. It also builds trust because your audience will be able to follow your journey from the beginning.

              II. Take some time to learn about the niche

              What if you took a few months to learn as much as you can about your niche?

              This approach doesn’t apply to all niches. Not all niches can be learned like that. If you can take some time to learn about your niche, definitely do that. You might even find that you’re not as interested in the niche as you previously thought.

              And that’s okay. You can always pick a different niche.

              For me, I’ve always wanted to try archery. Perhaps it’s my obsession with The Lord of The Rings and elves that draws me so much to archery.

              But I’ve never had the chance to try it.

              I haven’t done the market research, but it might be a great profitable niche I might enjoy writing about. Not too broad, but also fairly popular if I found the right audience.

              If I took some time to learn archery, I might be able to write about it.

               

              #3 Consider the popularity and demand

              Is there an audience for your niche?

              You could be writing the most amazing blog about shoe boxes. But how many people are that interested in shoe boxes to read a blog about them?

              To check if your niche is popular, you can do a simple Google search. Google your niche and see what comes out. If there are lots and lots of results, your niche is popular. This way, you can also start identifying your competitors.

              The more specific way to do that is to come up with a primary keyword that describes your niche and look it up in a tool such as WordTracker. It will give you a list of suggested keywords with a monthly search volume.

              You can also check Google Trends to see if your niche is on an incline, decline, or whether the popularity is stagnant.

              IMPORTANT: Don’t choose a non-competition niche. It might be easy for you to dominate that niche. The thing is that there is no demand for that niche.

               

              #4 Consider the profitability

              How to know if your niche is profitable? And what makes a niche profitable?

              The profitability of a niche depends on its popularity. If your niche is popular, there’s a demand. Therefore, it’s most likely a profitable niche.

              That being said, what makes a profitable niche is its audience. You need a paying audience. Is your audience willing to pay for the products and/or services you’ll be selling and/or recommending?

              For example, if your target audience is broke college students, the answer is most likely no.

               

              Profitable niches

              I believe that almost any niche can be profitable if you choose the right audience to target.

              However, Brandon Gaille researched blogging incomes and put together a list of the six most profitable niches:

              • Personal Finance
              • Marketing
              • Food
              • Lifestyle
              • Mommy
              • Travel

              Blog niches by income

               

              #5 Is the niche evergreen?

              If you want to see success in your niche in the long run, you need to pick an evergreen niche.

              What is an evergreen niche?

              It’s a kind of niche that’s always in demand. It doesn’t rely on seasonal trends.

              Don’t start a blog about trends. Do you think it would be wise to start a blog about fidget spinners? I don’t think so.

               

              #6 Do you want to be associated with this niche?

              You might have found a great niche you want to start your blog about. The problem is that you don’t want to be associated with it because it might cause you problems in your personal or professional life.

              That’s understandable and okay. You can either start your blog completely anonymously, or you can pick a nickname you’re going to be using. You can create an animated picture of yourself or a character, and you can be using that as your profile picture across your social media.

               

              How to find your blog niche

              How do I choose a blog niche?

              When choosing your niche, ask yourself those three questions:

              • What are my interests?
              • What can I teach?
              • What do I enjoy writing about?
              • Who do I want to help?

              I believe that there are three ways of identifying your niche:

               

              1. Based on your interests

              The first way is based on identifying your interests and going from there.

               

              I. Write down your interests

              First things first, grab a pen and paper and write down all the interests you can think of. They don’t have to be too specific. You can just write down general topics.

              Think about what you enjoy talking about.

               

              II. Pick your favorites

              After you’ve come up with a list of interests, look at your list and pick your favorites. Remove all interests you’re not that into.

               

              III. Which one do you know the most about?

              Now is the time to consider your expertise. I’m using the word “expertise” carefully here. I believe that you don’t have to be an expert in your niche, but let’s go with “expertise” for now.

              Which one of those interests can you talk about for hours?

              A great way to verify your knowledge is to write a list of possible blog post ideas. The more you can write, the better. I’d aim for at least 50 blog post ideas without researching them. Just grab a pen and paper, again, and write a list of ideas.

              If you can’t come up with those fifty ideas, it’s an indication that this isn’t the best niche for you.

              Look at the niches you’re left with. Which one are you confident about teaching? And which one would you enjoy writing about?

               

              2. Based on your expertise

              The second way is the first way but reversed. It’s based on identifying your expertise and going from there.

               

              I. Think about what you can teach

              Think about your knowledge you’ve gained throughout your life. Think about your studies and work experience. What can you teach?

              Write a list of topics you’re confident teaching.

               

              II. Which one are you interested in?

              Sometimes what you can teach isn’t what you’re interested in. Look at your list, and once again, remove anything that you’re not that into.

              Remember that blogging is for the long-run. You better enjoy what you’re doing.

               

              3. Based on a specific audience

              The third way is based on who you want to help.

              Pick a specific group of people you’d like to help. What are they struggling with? What kind of blog would they find helpful? What kind of content would they enjoy?

               

              What makes a great niche?

              Your ideal niche is a combination of all three aspects I’ve mentioned – your interests, knowledge, and an audience you want to help.

              Or even better, your ideal niche is a combination of your interests, your knowledge, and demand for the content you want to start creating, and the products you want to offer.

              So, when you put together your interests and expertise, find the right audience to target. Find the audience that is interested in what you have to say.

              how to find a niche for your blog BLOGOLOGY

               

              After you’ve found your niche

              1. Research your target audience

              After you’ve identified who you want to help, you need to research those people.

              • Read your competitors’ blogs and read the comments their readers are leaving.
              • Create social media accounts and read comments on your competitors’ posts.
              • Join Facebook groups in your niche and pay attention to what the people there are asking.
              • Go to Quora, Reddit, and forums and pay attention to what’s being asked and discussed.

              RECOMMENDED READING: How to Define Your Target Audience

               

              2. Niche down

              After you’ve identified your niche, it’s time to narrow it down. It might seem counterintuitive. Broad niches have larger audiences.

              But it’s also going to be harder for you to establish your blog.

               

              How to niche down?

              I. Pick a specific aspect of your niche

              Let’s say you want to start a blog on digital marketing.

              There’s a lot that goes into digital marketing. You have SEO, PPC, social media marketing, email marketing, content marketing, etc.

              In this case, most of those sub-niches are still quite broad.

              Look at social media marketing. Which social channel do you want to specialize in? Is it Facebook? Instagram? YouTube? LinkedIn?

               

              II. Pick a specific audience

              You can also niche down by targeting a specific audience. Let’s say you want to start a blog on Facebook marketing. But Facebook marketing to whom?

              You see, the advice might look a little different for big corporations than for an Etsy shop owner.

               

              III. Make your blog as unique as possible

              Perhaps no matter how much you niche down, your niche is still too competitive. That’s not a bad thing at all! But, you’ll have to think about how you’re going to differentiate yourself.

              Do all the blogs in your niche look kind of similar? Great! Do something different!

              • Make your blog load super fast.
              • Make your blog easy to navigate.
              • Write your blog posts differently than your competitors.
              • Include a short story into each of your blog posts.
              • If you’re a graphic designer, include graphics throughout your blog posts.
              • Add a few aspects to your blog your competitors are not using.

              That being said, don’t go too overboard. Adding too many aspects to your blog might end up being overwhelming and might even put off your visitors.

               

              What if you want to blog about more than one topic?

              Perhaps you have a lot of interests and can’t pick just one to blog about.

              There are two ways to go about it:

               

              1. Start multiple blogs

              You can either start several blogs, each on a specific topic.

              I don’t recommend this approach if you want to start all of them at once. It would be too overwhelming for you.

              Instead, you can start the first blog, grow it, then start a second one, grow it, and so on.

               

              2. Start a multi-niche blog

              At first, I was against multi-niche blogs. But I’m seeing more and more people starting multi-niche blogs and being successful with them.

              The secret to starting a successful multi-niche blog? The niches have to be connected in some way.

              Let me show you what I mean on an example. Have a look at Gathering Dreams. Sara’s blog is about making money online, traveling, and healthy eating. Which is a kind of lifestyle many people want to live. That’s why similar blogs are called lifestyle blogs.

              If you want to start a lifestyle blog, you have to keep in mind that your target audience is going to be someone interested in all the niches you’re writing about.

              You don’t necessarily have to start a lifestyle blog if you want to write about multiple niches.

              Another example of a successful multi-niche blog (and YouTube channel), that’s not a lifestyle blog, is Project Life Mastery. Stefan blogs and vlogs about online business and self-development.

              Some niches work very well together. Think digital photography and editing, for example. Or gardening and crafts.

               

              Still can’t find a blog niche?

              Are you still lost even after reading this?

              Now, do you feel like you can’t find a niche for your blog because:
              a) You have too many interests
              b) You have no interests you’d like to write about
              c) You don’t have the experience to write about a topic

              I go through all of these in Still Can’t Find a Niche For Your Blog?

               

              Key Takeaways

              Finding the right niche for your blog is the very first, and probably the most important step you need to do when starting a blog.

              Your perfect niche is a combination of your interests, expertise, and demand for that niche.

              Yes, you can start a multi-niche blog, but the topics have to be connected.

              If this is your first blog you want to start, look into your interests and go from there.

              After you’ve picked your blog niche, you can move one and choose a name for your blog.

              What’s been your main struggle when finding your blog niche? Let me know!

               

              RECOMMENDED READING:
              12 Things You Need to do Before You Start Building Your Blog
              How to Plan Your Blog
              How to Brand a Personal Blog

               

              Featured image courtesy of Pexels via Bongkarn Thanyakij

               

              HOW TO DEFINE A TARGET AUDIENCE FOR YOUR BLOG IN 3 STEPS

              HOW TO DEFINE A TARGET AUDIENCE FOR YOUR BLOG IN 3 STEPS

              You want to start a blog, right? You’ve heard that you should write content your audience wants to read. But how do you know who your audience is?

              And what is a target audience in the first place? Why do you need to define your target reader? And how to define a target audience for your blog?

              Today, I’ll answer all those questions and more. I’ll tell you why it’s important to define your target reader before you start a blog, how to define your target audience, how to find them, and what to do after you’ve found them.

              Identifying your target audience is a crucial step in starting a successful blog. Unfortunately, many bloggers skip this step. Defining and understanding your target reader is an ongoing process, but it’s also a crucial part of your success with blogging.

               

               

              What is the target audience?

              Target audience is a group of people with common characteristics you are trying to reach and attract to your blog.

              Think about your target audience as the ideal readers of your blog. They are the people who are going to keep coming back to your blog, subscribe to your email list, and buy your products or services.

              Anyone can read your blog and buy your products and services, but your target audience is your top priority.

               

              Why is it important to identify your target audience?

              Because everything you do on your blog should be done with your target audience in mind. From the branding of your blog, the type of content you publish, the way the content is written, when you publish new content, to where you are promoting your blog.

              It’s also a crucial step you need to do before you brand your blog.

               

              Benefits of identifying your target audience

              • You’ll know exactly who you are speaking to. The more specifically you know your target audience, the easier you can get in their minds and craft your content to their specific needs.
              • You can adjust the branding of your blog. First impressions matter and your branding can play a big role in whether the visitor leaves your blog straight away, read the whole blog post, and consider coming back.
              • You can create products based on their specific needs. If you know your target audience well, you’ll know exactly what type of paid product you’ll be offering to your readers.
              • You’ll be able to identify what the mission of your blog is.

               

              When should you identify your target audience?

              It’s important you identify your target audience at the very beginning. Ideally, before you even start building your blog. You’ll be able to implement effective marketing strategies from the very start.

              RECOMMENDED READING: 12 Things You Need to do Before You Start Building Your Blog

               

              How to define a target audience for your blog?

              #1 Think about who your blog is for

              What kind of audience would you like to attract? For now, basic information will be enough. Think about who your blog is going to be for. Who are you going to serve?

              Let’s say you want to start a blog on productivity tips. Productivity tips for whom? Freelancers? Workers in the corporate fields? Students?

               

              #2 Find your target audience

              You need to think about where your target audience hangs out online. Where do they spend their time? Where are they looking for information? Where are they searching for solutions to their problems?

               

              Where to find your target audience?

              Google

              When you are looking for a solution online, the first place you go to is a search engine, right?

               

              Social media

              Go through different social media channels and see if your audience is there. Go through the related posts, uploads, videos, hashtags, etc. If there’s a lot of them, your target audience is most likely there.

               

              Facebook groups

              There are Facebook groups dedicated to almost every topic out there. Join a few different Facebook groups in your niche. Don’t limit yourself to Facebook groups only. There are dedicated groups on other social channels as well.

               

              Quora, Reddit, Forums

              Quora is a questions/answers site. Reddit is a massive forum site.

              These two sites are great to find what you target audience us struggling with.

               

              Blog comments

              Read blog posts on your niche and scroll down to the comments. Take note of their questions and struggles.

               

              In general, sites, where questions are being asked, are a great place to find your target audience. Type in your niche and “forum” into Google.

               

              NOTE: Where you can find your target audience depends on your niche. I can say that Pinterest is a great place to find your target audience. But the reality is that women tend to use Pinterest more than men. For that reason, if your target audience consists predominantly of men, Pinterest most likely won’t be the best place for you. Perhaps your target audience spends more time on LinkedIn than Pinterest.

               

              #3 Create a target audience avatar

              What is the target audience avatar?

              It’s a semi-fictional profile of the ideal reader you want to attract to your blog.

              When writing your target persona profile, you should consider their demographics and psychographics from what you’ve observed in your search.

               

              What’s the difference between demographics and psychographics?

              As HubSpot puts it, demographics explain who your target reader is. Psychographics explain why your target readers do what he or she does.

               

              How to create a target audience avatar?

              After you’ve researched your target audience, you should have some data to work with. Specifically, now you know where they hang out and what they are struggling with.

               

              Questions to ask yourself when creating a target audience avatar:

              • How old are they?
              • What gender are they?
              • What is their marital status?
              • Where do they live?
              • What do they do for a living?
              • How much do they make?
              • Where they spend their time online?
              • What social media channels do they use?
              • What are their interests?
              • What are their hobbies?
              • What are their goals?
              • What motivates them?
              • What are they struggling with?

               

              In general, the more specific you can go with the profile, the better. That being said, in some of those aspects, you don’t have to be too detailed. For example, you don’t need to specify that your ideal reader is 26 years old. Let’s just say that your ideal reader is in their 20s.

               

              Target audience profile example

              This is an example target audience avatar for a minimalist lifestyle blog:

              Jane is a single young lady living in New York. She’s 29 years old and makes a living as a freelance investment consultant. Her salary is $75,000 per year

              She is interested in living with less and investing her money in experiences rather than material things. She wants to start decluttering her life so she can start traveling full-time but doesn’t know where to start. She owns too much stuff and the amount of it overwhelms her. She’s also attached to quite a few of her items and can’t imagine getting rid of them.

              In her free time, Jane goes to bars with her friends, reads self-help books about the minimalist lifestyle, watches travel vlogs on YouTube, and reads decluttering tips on Pinterest.

               

              IMPORTANT: When defining your target audience persona, keep their profitability in mind. If you want to make money blogging, you have to be selling something. But it doesn’t matter what you’re selling if your target audience doesn’t have the money to buy your products. For example, broke college students are most likely not the most profitable market.

               

              Can you have more than one target audience avatars?

              Yes, and you should. It’s called target audience segmentation.

               

              What is the target audience segmentation?

              It’s the process of identifying subgroups in your target audience. You can segment your target audience based on their demographics, but also based on their stage of the buyer’s journey.

              You’ll find that apart from your ideal target audience, you might also attract people who don’t fit into your description completely. By identifying sub-groups within your target audience, you’ll be able to create content to fit the needs of all your readers.

               

              What is the buyer’s journey?

              The buyer’s journey, or the sales funnel, are the stages your target audience goes through from first encountering your blog to buying your products. According to HubSpot, the stages are awareness, consideration, and decision.

               

              As your blog grows and you have products to sell, you’ll most likely create other avatars to correspond with different stages of the buyer’s journey.

              The most basic avatar is someone who you are just trying to attract.

              The second avatar is the person who already knows about your blog, but you want to turn them into a regular reader.

              The third person is considering purchasing your product.

              As a blogger, you will be attracting people in different stages of the buyer’s journey and you should adjust your content based on that. Ideally, when you’re writing a blog post, you should decide beforehand which stage it is written for.

              When you are first starting out, write just one avatar. As your blog grows and you release your own products or services, you’ll create more target audience avatars.

               

               

              What to do after you’ve defined your target audience?

              Now that you know who your target audience is and where to find them, you need to attract them to your blog.

               

              #1 Consider the branding of your blog

              Based on the data you’ve collected; you can now write your mission statement. That’s a short sentence that summarizes what the main purpose of your blog is.

              Think about the colors and fonts your target audience would find appealing. If your target audience is predominantly men, you won’t use the color combination of pink and gold, will you?

              Same thing with your writing style. Your audience’s age, gender, location, and other demographics determine their vocabulary.

              Men tend to be more technically proficient than women. For that reason, if your target audience is women, you are going to be explaining things differently than men.

              Write as if you are talking directly to the avatar. The more specific your profile is, the more you can get in the head of the character, and the better you can help them.

               

              #2 Write content they want to read

              Read their questions in those forums and sites I recommended above and create content that’s going to answer those questions.

               

              #3 Create a product that will solve their problems

              Now that you know who your target audience is and what they are struggling with, think of a product that will help them solve their issues. It has to be something they need.

               

              #4 Promote your content to your audience

              Even though the goal here is to attract your target audience, you have to let your target audience know that your blog exists in the first place.

              When you were searching for your target readers, where did you find the most?

              Go to the social media channels your target audience spends the most time on and promote your blog there.

              Go back to those forums and social media groups and answer their questions. If you have a blog post on that topic, you can send them a link.

               

              #5 Keep checking your analytics

              Keeping track of your analytics will help you understand your readers. Once your blog grows and you have a substantial amount of readers, you should keep checking your analytics.

              You might find that the demographics of your target audience and your actual audience are slightly different.

              And that’s okay.

              You can adjust your content to the needs of your audience.

              Are your visitors men or women?
              Do they prefer long-form or short-form content?
              Where does the majority of your audience come from?
              When are your readers most active?

              Check your Google Analytics and the analytics of your social media channels.

               

              Should you target your audience for your product or should you create a product based on your target audience?

              I believe that you don’t have to know exactly what your paid product or service is going to be when you’re first starting a blog. You should have an idea, but it’s going to depend on your target audience and competitor research. So, the latter.

               

              Conclusion

              Knowing who is your target audience before you start a blog is crucial. It will help you create a better blog strategy and craft content that will suit your readers’ needs. You’ll also be able to create paid products or services your readers genuinely NEED, which will increase your sales.

               

              What are your struggles with defining your target audience? Let me know in the comments!

               

              RECOMMENDED READING:
              How to Start a Blog
              How to Plan Your Blog
              How to Find the Right Niche for Your Blog
              How to Research Your Blog Competitors