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How To Start A Blog And Make It Successful

Posted on April 23 by in Tips & Tricks | 73 comments

How To Start A Blog And Make It Successful

Thousands of new blogs are launched every day by aspiring bloggers and people who want a place to share their thoughts online. Yet few of these blogs are actively updated a few months later and even less go on to become successful.

There are a number of reasons for this.

Many bloggers have an unrealistic idea of what it takes to build a successful blog. You may look at a popular blog and think “I can do that!”…and you can. However, you need to understand that it takes a lot of work to develop a blog to a point where it is successful.

It could take you several months of updating your blog three times a week before you get any financial return and even longer before it is generating a full time income for you. Do not be under any illusions that your blog will become successful right away. You may spend several hours writing an article and then it receives no views, comments, or shares. That will be true for most of your articles until you establish a readership.

You therefore need to be completely focused on your blog in order to make it a success. Unless you have a large budget to hire others to write for you, you are going to have to make sacrifices in your personal life in order to make your blog successful. Be prepared to work on your blog when you would rather be watching television, going to the cinema, or hanging out with friends.

If you are willing to persevere and work hard on your blog, it will become successful. I have no doubt about that. And while there are a lot of things to learn about blogging, there is really no aspect of blogging that is difficult.

I first started using WordPress to build websites in 2006 and later launched my first serious blog, BloggingTips.com, in 2007. I have been actively blogging ever since and it continues to be my main source of income from working online. BloggingTips was later sold in 2010 for $60,000 in order for me to focus on a new blog I was launching entitled WPMods.com (that focused on WordPress). In 2012, I sold WPMods.com for $80,000 as I was planning on traveling South America and wanted to free up my time.

I have experienced all of the highs and lows that blogging has to offer. I have made mistakes, got lucky with some high traffic articles, and had to deal with authors who failed to deliver. Though I have become a more competent blogger because of it all.

Today, I would like to share my experience of blogging for seven years and show you how to develop a blog and make it successful. I hope you find the article useful :)

1. Choose a Topic You Are Passionate About

Many bloggers focus their first blog on a topic that they have no interest in because they believe it will make them more money. This is a big mistake.

You need to be passionate about the subject your blog focuses on. If you launch a blog about something that you do not care about, you will lose interest very quickly and inevitably stop updating it. This is particularly true if you are writing the majority of the content for your blog.

Think about the websites and blogs that you read on a weekly basis. This will give you an indication of the topic you should focus on. For example, I could start a blog on MMA, mobile phones, gadgets, and traveling; as those are topics that I enjoy reading about myself. If I started a blog about shopping or ice hockey, I would lose interest in the blog quickly; even if I knew there was money to be made.

In short: Follow your passion.

Follow Your Passion

Do not start a blog on a subject that you have no passion for. You will lose interest in the blog very quickly.

2. Think About Your Long Term Business Model

When a good idea strikes, it is tempting to buy a domain name, launch your blog, and start publishing articles. Though it pays to be patient.

You will have a better change of making your blog successful if you do a lot of research beforehand.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Who are your competitors?
  • How do your competitors make money?
  • How will your blog make money?
  • How long will it take you to monetize your blog?
  • What will your blog do differently to stand out?
  • What problems do you envision for your blog after launching?

Think about all of these issues before you launch your blog so that you do not face any unexpected problems.

3. Choose a Great Domain Name

Finding a good domain name can be a pain, however it is an essential part of branding your blog. COM remains the best domain name extension, but if you find a great domain that uses something different, it may be worth opting for that instead.

Domain name generators such as Panabee or Wordoid can be used to help you find a domain. Before you register a domain, check that the appropriate social media account usernames are available for your domain using a service such as KnowEm or BrandChecker.

Once you have decided on a suitable domain name, you should register it using a service such as NameCheap or Hover (GoDaddy is ok if you can handle their pushy sales tactics).

4. Choose a Reliable Blog Host

It is important to host your blog with a company that is reliable and offers fast response times. A cheap shared hosting account at $4.99 per month might be fine for the first few months, however you should upgrade to better hosting solution once you start getting traffic.

Check out Joyce’s WordPress Hosting Review for a comparison of dedicated WordPress hosting companies.

5. Use a Professional Design

Whether you like it or not, visitors will make a judgement about your blog within seconds of it loading. You only get one chance to make a good first impression; which is why it is so important to use a professional blog design.

I recommend using a clean design such as Divi. Be sure to include a search bar, a list of recent posts, and an archive page. This will help visitors find your content easily.

Try and avoid cluttering up your blog design with too many banners. While it may be worth adding banners later to help monetize your blog, in the beginning, your main aim is to establish a readership.

Divi WordPress Theme

Your blog design influences how visitors perceive you and your blog.

6. Speed Up Your Blog

A slow loading blog design will frustrate readers and increase the likelihood of them clicking the back button on their browser before your page even loads. It is therefore vital that you optimize your blog so that pages load quickly. Search engines also rank fast loading websites higher, therefore optimizing your blog design will help your blog gain more search engine traffic.

There are a number of ways in which you can speed up your blog:

  • Choose a web host with fast response times
  • Optimize your images
  • Remove any WordPress plugins that affect performance
  • Reduce the number of saved post revisions
  • Use a caching plugin such as W3 Total Cache
  • Use a Content Delivery Network

For more information on how to optimize WordPress ,please read my article “Optimize Your WordPress Website Using These Simple Tips“.

7. Optimize Your Blog for Search Engines

The core version of WordPress has some good SEO features such as the ability to use pretty permalinks and the option to change your article page slug; however you can optimize your blog further.

I recommend installing an SEO WordPress plugin such as WordPress SEO or All in One SEO Pack. Adding a sitemap will also help search engines index your content.

A large percentage of your traffic will come from search engines, so optimizing your blog for search engines should be made a priority.

8. Know Your Subject

You are going to be writing about one or two key topics on a weekly basis. It therefore pays to be knowledgable about what you are writing about. If you are blogging about something you are passionate about, you should already have knowledge about the topic, but do not assume that this means you are an expert.

To run a successful blog, you need to research your articles thoroughly and be able to support your viewpoint with facts and figures.

Therefore you should actively:

  • Stay up to date with the latest news in your niche
  • Subscribe to good blogs in your niche
  • Read books about your topic

The long term goal is to become an authority on your subject and be the one who is leading the discussion.

9. Write Great Content

In 1996, Bill Gates famously published an article entitled “Content is King“. He rightly believed that, like television, the big money was in content.

Blogs live and die by their content. If you want to develop a successful blog, you will need to focus on publishing high quality content on a regular basis. It is therefore in your interest to improve your craft.

  • Spend time improving your writing skills
  • Proofread your articles to ensure that there are no grammatical errors or spelling mistakes
  • Be honest in your writing and give your opinion on issues you feel strongly about
  • Be original – Do not try and imitate someone else and attempt to be something you are not
  • Learn from the best – Follow other bloggers and look at what they do well and adapt it into your own writing style

The key is to give value to readers. You can do this through reviews, tutorials, news, and views. If you can help a reader in some way, they will be grateful and more likely to subscribe to your future articles.

Be sure to maintain a high standard on your blog. If a post is not ready, do not publish it. It is always better to come back to an article the following day and work on it some more.

You should also spend time writing linkbait articles and in-depth featured articles. These articles will have a better chance of being shared by visitors and being linked from other blogs; which in turn will rank them high in search engines and generate more traffic to your blog.

Content is King

High quality content is at the heart of every great blog.

10. Publish Articles on a Consistent Basis

Readers get used to the frequency in which you publish articles on your blog. It is therefore in your best interests to choose a posting frequency and stick to it.

A common mistake that beginners make is to publish too often when a blog is first launched. Their enthusiasm for their new blog gets the better of them and they post once or even twice per day. Ultimately, it can be difficult to maintain this posting frequency when you are also trying to promote your new blog. Posting frequency, and the quality of posts being published, are usually affected because of it.

Rather than publish articles every day for two weeks and then not publish any more articles for a few weeks, it is better to stick to a posting schedule that can be easily maintained in the future e.g. three times a week. If you find that you have too many articles scheduled for publication, you could increase posting frequency to four or five times a week.

Whether you publish once a day or once a week, I recommend sticking to the same posting frequency so that readers become accustomed to when more articles will be published.

11. Develop a Following on Social Media

After search engines, social media services will probably be your largest source of traffic. It is therefore important to leverage social media on your blog and make it easy for visitors to share your articles.

There are a lot of social media services available, however I believe that for most blogs the most relevant services to be active on are Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. You should create an account for these services and use a plugin such as Social Networks Auto-Poster to automatically update your accounts with your latest posts.

Make a point of displaying links to your social media profiles prominently in your sidebar to encourage readers to follow you. If you can generate a large following on social media, you will be in a position to increase sharing of your articles and generate more traffic to your blog.

12. Build an Email List

A targeted email list can be the catalyst that drives your blog into the big time. When someone signs up to your blog’s email newsletter, they are giving you a strong vote of confidence and advising you that they are happy for you to contact them directly. That is why an email subscriber is worth more than a social media follower.

Visitors will subscribe to your email list if they enjoy your content, however you can increase email sign up rates significantly by baiting them with an offer such as a free eBook.

Once you have developed a targeted email list, you can drive traffic to key articles and promote related products and services to them.

13. Engage with Your Readers

Blogging is not a one way street. A big part of being a successful blogger is connecting with your readers. You should actively try and engage with your readers in comments, social media, your email list, and of course, through your writing. You can also use podcasts and video to speak directly to your audience.

This will help you grow a loyal readership that spreads the word about your blog. It also makes readers more responsive to any products and services you promote in the future.

14. Market Your Blog

Nothing is more discouraging than writing high quality articles every week and not seeing your readership grow. The reality is that a professional blog design and consistently publishing good content every day will not guarantee you a successful blog. You need to market your blog in order to gain readers.

There are a number of ways to do this:

  • Network with other bloggers
  • Guest blogging on blogs within your niche
  • Commenting on related blogs and forums
  • Be active on social media
  • Competitions

When you are interacting on social media and commenting on blogs and forums, do not make the mistake of promoting you and your blog. If your comments are not marked as spam, they will probably just be ignored. You will paint yourself in a better light if you contribute to the discussion rather than just spamming. People will want to visit your blog and find out more about you if you contribute something original.

Market Your Blog

There are many ways in which you can market a blog.

15. Set Yourself Goals and Work Towards Them

Checking stats too frequently can be counterproductive, however it is important to analyze your blog on a monthly basis and review traffic, readership, social media followers, and income.

Set yourself a target every month so that you have something to work towards. Whether you reach that goal or not is not always important. What is important is that you look at what areas of your blog can be improved and then work towards addressing them.

16. Develop a Thick Skin

A blog allows you to share your views with the world. If comments are enabled, others can share their views with you. These views may conflict with yours.

In order to develop a successful blog, you need to develop a thick skin and not take criticism to heart. Banning commenters who disagree with you is a sure fire way of alienating your readers (and the likelihood of being compared to Hitler!).

While I recommend that you delete hateful comments, it is in your interest to have an open commenting policy that allows readers to share their views (however, be mindful that hot topics such as religion and politics can upset people).

17. Monetize Your Blog

Ideally, you should plan how you will monetize your blog before it is launched. This will help you gear your blog towards the business model you are adopting.

While affiliate products can be promoted through your articles from the start of your blog’s life, most monetization strategies should only be implemented once you have established a readership. When you do have sufficient readers, you will be in a position to market your own products and services to them. You will also be able to make money through sponsored reviews, paid posts, premium content, and more.

Banner space can be sold to advertisers or used to promote your own products or affiliate products. Just be careful not to oversaturate your design with advertisements as it may drive readers away.

ZenHabits

ZenHabits has a minimalist design with no advertisements. The blog makes money through book sales and online courses.

18. Bring in People to Help Maintain Your Blog

Many blogs are maintained by one person. They are responsible for writing articles, responding to emails, fixing technical errors, marketing their blog, and much more.

Yet there is only so much that one person can do.

If you want to take your blog to the next level, you should invest a percentage of blog profits back into your blog. Authors can be hired to help increase posting frequency or reduce your own writing responsibilities. You could also hire an assistant to handle all emails and hire a whole team to develop a product for you.

Once your blog is taking up all of your time, it is better to start bringing in people to help you maintain your blog. This will allow you to focus on other tasks and scale the growth of your blog more intelligently.

19. Do Not Become Complacent

I know of many blogs in which the owner has taken their foot of the pedal once they have taken it to a certain level. It can be tempting to work less frequently on a blog if it generates money on auto pilot, however it can also be detrimental to its future.

You should not take your readers for granted. I have seen many successful blogs lose readers because they stopped focusing on high quality content. If you want your blog to continue growing, you need to stay focused and ensure your articles are fresh and innovative.

20. Take Time Off to Enjoy Life

A hectic blogging schedule and a focus on making your blog successful at all costs can have a negative effect on you and your blog. Many bloggers burnout by working too many hours and not taking time off to relax.

If your blog is to be a success in the long term, you need to incorporate leisure time into your schedule. Working too much will reduce the quality of your articles, burn you out, and discourage you from blogging altogether.

Try and keep a healthy balance between work and play. Exercise, sleep well, stay healthy, and make a point of reducing your workload if you are feeling stressed. This will help you stay enthusiastic about your blog and make you a happier blogger :)

Kevin in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Blogging has allowed me to travel the world with nothing more than a 40 litre bag and a 12″ laptop! Remember that life is for living!

I hope you have enjoyed this look at how to make a blog successful.

What is your number one tip for developing a successful blog? Please share with us in the comment area below :)

Article thumbnail image by Lunarus / shutterstock.com

73 Comments

  1. Wow, this is really an extensive list and you have covered so many important areas. I also think it is very important to build a network of like minded bloggers where you can share ideas, articles, and support each other.

  2. Thanks for a quick refresher course on blogging :-) if you ever noticed companies are a lot of times the blog on their site and it has three or four post that they never update again. People need to think about blogging differently related to their business. It’s a core part of their promotion.

    I had a super successful blog a few years ago. Unfortunately it was an anonymous blog that criticized a public figure had been doing wrong (think Bernie madoff). That Blog was not only a learning process bu was one of my greatest accomplishments. I wish I could’ve monetized that blog because I would’ve made scads of cash.

    Blogging is an art from and it takes a while to master but when you have dedicated followers that really enjoy reading your expertise it’s extremely fulfilling!

    • Kevin Muldoon

      Companies generally do not commit the resources to a blog in order to get any benefit from having one (by resources I mean time and money).

      If you can develop a blog that is popular in its own right, it not only raises the profile of the main company (or product/service), it also leads to more sales of your product.

      I think Elegant Themes are doing everything the right way with their blog (of course, I am biased in this view). They are publishing content that helps customers and non-customers alike.

      The hardest part about blogging is getting it started. Getting the first few thousand followers is the hardest, but when you get there, it is just an issue of keeping the momentum going and reinvesting back into the blog.

      :)

      Kevin

  3. Hello Kevin,

    Thanks for this article. I think that 2 of the most important things in this list are :

    1. networking with other bloggers in your niche
    2. building an email list

    Of course you need engaging, unique and useful content. But if you don’t promote it nobody will read it. Building an email list is, in my opinion, essential to monetize your blog. I made this mistake when I just started blogging. It was a real eye opener. Also make sure you have a great free giveaway to convince people to sign up (I am writing my Ebook at the moment).

    On my blog I just wrote an article about mistakes beginning bloggers make. Maybe it’s a good addition to this article. Here is the link if you guys are interested: http://want2discover.com/how-to-blog-effectively-making-19-beginner-mistakes/

    Ow yeah also a good tip about using Divi. I really like this theme and I recently switched to it (I used modest before)

    Cheers,

    Bastiaan

    • Kevin Muldoon

      Don’t feel bad. I made the mistake too :)

      I didn’t start collecting emails seriously for a year or so after starting. I could probably have a list of over ten thousand if I kept it going from the start.

      Good article. Be sure to add social media sharing links so that others can share it. Be sure to change your favicon too. You are using the favicon for HostGator at the moment :)

  4. Considering that I just launched a blog, this post is an eye opener for me. Thanks a lot for taking time to share your valuable tips with us.

  5. I especially love #20. Its a very important detail that most people forget from time to time.

    • Kevin Muldoon

      I forget it myself from time to time. Though when work has to be done, it has to be done :)

  6. Thanks for this article Kevin. I started several blogs 3-5 years ago, none of which exist today. I think people under-estimate the work required – I sure did. However, I see people today that work on their blog 10+ hours a week and have nothing to show for it – even with huge followings. Conversion is the key IMO – building a list and selling something to that list – whether it is a book a necklace, lotion, whatever.

    • Kevin Muldoon

      You are right on the money with that. People underestimate the work required.

      I developed the two blogs I sold to a level where they generated over $2,000 a month. However, to get there, I essentially worked on them like it was my full time job. I took a pride in those blogs and was always looking for ways to improve them. That kind of dedicated is needed to make a blog successful – well, unless you have a large budget :)

      As you say, conversions are key. I think it is vital to think about the business model from the start and plan ahead. Through my personal blog, I am using it to promote my discussion forum, though I will also be making money through affiliate commissions and paid reviews.

  7. Very nice article. Real valuable suggestions. Thanks a lot.
    tom

  8. This is a great article, with really essential points. Especially like #1 and #10. Right on target. Thank you!

  9. Excellent post Kevin… Thanks, I.

  10. Hi Kevin,

    Wow, you’re a prolific blogger. And your topics are so practical and useful. This one was great.

    Do you have any secrets for producing good quality long posts so quickly?

    Thanks for continuing to produce such helpful articles.

    Laura

    • Kevin Muldoon

      Hi Laura,

      Who said I produce them quickly :):)

      I normally spend most of the day writing the articles I publish on Elegant Themes. I need to spend time researching the article, cropping images, testing plugins/services etc. Then I need to proofread everything at the end to try and pick up my own errors (sometimes the odd error slips through – that I am only human!).

      When writing long posts, I think it is important to structure the post out beforehand. If not, it is easy to go on a tangent and not focus on what is important.

      For example, for a post like this I broke down what I considered to be the main points. Then I try and ensure that each point is of a similar length. This is obviously not an exact science; but it makes no sense to have one point that is ten paragraphs long and another that is only one. There needs to be some consistency.

      Kevin

  11. A lot of premium tips kevin, you did it again! I love your write up and WPMods is really a good site. However, I got informed about this;

    “While it may be worth adding banners later to help monetize your blog, in the beginning, your main aim is to establish a readership”

    Its a wonderful tip and that is what I was missing when I setup 2 blogs withing 4 years and non made money online but made money offline because I start teaching people around me and selling ebooks and software with setting up WordPress.

    With ET powerful tips and lovely responsive themes, I have no excuse not to succeed on this new one. You can’t stop me Kevin on blogging on the way of life (Christianity) which I’m passionate about… :D.

    Thank you very much for your premium tips.

    • Kevin Muldoon

      WPMods.com was actually merged into WPHub.com. I still write for them occasionally too. They’re run by some great guys.

      Glad you enjoyed the post. I used to try and monetize blogs from the first day, but in hindsight, this was not always the best thing to do. It is usually better to try and focus on content and not distract readers; particularly as banners will not bring in any significant revenue at the start anyway.

      Kevin

  12. Very inspiring article kevin (enjoyed your look :) )

    These days many people start blogging just to make money and they fail, if making money is the primary goal of a blogger then the chances of getting success is very low.
    When we consider blogging as passion and a medium to share our thoughts and creativity success is yours.

    “Money is a powerful motivational tool, but passion is what really motivates you”

    • Kevin Muldoon

      Yeah I think that whilst we all need to work for money, you do need to still enjoy the act of blogging itself. I see a lot of people trying to make money from blogging and they hate writing. Makes no sense :)

  13. Oh my! This blog post is so needed for every newbie to blogging and for people like me who are 18 months plus into blogging.

    SHOUT FROM THE ROOFTOPS — Blogging takes time. Good blogging needs MORE time. Excellent blogging … see “good” and add experience. I had read that a good blog took time. And I had done several Intranet “blogs”. But I had no idea.

    Here is where I think (MHO, OC) the main time factor is how technical your blog is. My site is about genealogy & I did pick a niche that I felt was not being addressed — how to organize (and keep it that way) all the genealogy facts & files one accumulates. Lots of it is technical & if you as the blogger are making *recommendations* then they better be the best you can provide. I doubled the amount of time I thought it would take to do a good blog article & I was still off by 100%.

    I read that it is best to start your blog WITH the monetizing in place. Be aware that there are rules — government rules with liabilities — about working with affiliates. I choose to not sell spaces on my site. It tends to turn off the very people I want to attract. I also choose to ONLY have affiliates that pertained to genealogy. Personally I hate to go to a site that has ads all over the place for things that have nothing to do with the purpose of the site.

    I did not give it a few months — I gave it 12 months. A full year. And did not make ONE sale on several products that everyone either has or considers buying. Staying up with the affiliates — providing little extra ads, which might result in a sale, on a special offer took time. Sadly, some affiliates use 3rd party providers to handle their affiliate sales and those pepper you with emails trying to get you to sign up for ANYTHING they have. I still get them — even though they have been notified I pulled the plug.

    After a year, I stepped back and looked at my site as far as time needed. Was it being helpful to others? Yes. Was I satisfied with what I was providing? No. Was I able to stay faithful to my original niche? Not in the way that was satisfying to me. So what should I do? Drop the whole thing? Or morph? While on a three week vacation where I could NOT blog due to poor internet connectivity, I carefully went through my options.

    Wish I had this article when I was making the decisions. Facebook has a group that started last year that provides a LOT of organizing your genealogy information. The problem with it is older posts are lost. The good of it is reasonable, good — even great — responses to queries. Better than what I could have provided.

    I debated about giving up my site completely but decided not to. I already pay for the hosting services so that is not an extra expense. Only the domain renewal is. Because ET is the way it is with themes, a change of theme is not a cost factor either. The focus will still be on genealogy organization but will be on suggestions made by myself as well as others and results.

    I have a domain for life that has never been used properly. So I’m creating a general site in WordPress that will have sections on WP, Kindle books, travel, etc. THAT site will be *my* fun space & will provide some help to others. It’s taking some time to get there. Life tends to intervene where my time is concerned.

    Of course I use Elegant Themes. My host company is excellent. I did a LOT of things right. During the time above I was learning about WordPress as well. More knowledge about WP would have cut the time needed for blogging. Sooooo be aware new blogger, if you don’t know WP — don’t think you have to learn it first. Just be aware that it will take you more time for awhile to blog a new article.

    And take Kevin’s list seriously — VERY seriously. It’s excellent!

    • Kevin Muldoon

      Best of luck with your blog Lynda.

      It sounds like it is a good niche to target as there are few competitors. By focusing on a niche that is not saturated, you can gain a lead simply by being one of only players in town.

      If you can find the right business model, you could make good money through your blog.

  14. One of the things I love doing is taking my YouTube videos and turning the transcripts into a Blog Posts.

    That way I get to deliver both written and visual content, appealing to more people.

    The key to blogging is Content. Yes, it’s good to “be regular”, though we cannot always be. Success in Blogging comes from writing / producing content that’s SO GOOD people will wonder why they didn’t have to pay for it.

    It needs to be SO GOOD that it’s share-worthy. At least, that’s my take on it ;)

    • Kevin Muldoon

      Do you pay someone to convert your videos into transcripts?

  15. I’ve been blogging — with the same domain name — since the mid-late 90s, but I follow many of your tips. I guess I just picked them up along the way. Ironically, the one thing I have never done (and don’t ever plan to do) is monetize the blog. Mainly because I don’t want any ads, pop-ups, or anything else that interferes with the content.

    That’s not to say the blog doesn’t profit me. It’s one of the ways people in the aviation industry know my name, and it’s hard to put a price on that. I’ve written for magazines, other web sites, and major industry publications simply because people found the writing on <a href="http://www.rapp.org/my site worthwhile.

    So just because you’re not pulling in ad revenue from your web site doesn’t mean it can’t help you toward things that DO raise your profile, help you find work, and so on.

    I think the best tip was to pace yourself. Hard to believe I’ve been blogging for nearly 17 years; just remember, it’s a marathon, definitely not a sprint.

    • Kevin Muldoon

      You do not need to place advertisements on your blog in order to make money from it. My own blog only has one banner, and that banner is for my own discussion forum.

      You can promote products and services through a blog without displaying advertisements throughout the design.

      However, it does sound like your the purpose of your blog is to raise your profile and generate more clients. If that is the case, then I can see why you may not want to display any ads.

      :)

  16. The ET Blog became such a wonderful resource in a very short time. It is now one of the few blogs I visit on an almost daily basis. I read a lot of articles like this one – and a few others – in the past, none satisfied me as much as what I can find here.

    Keep writing.

    • Kevin Muldoon

      Glad you are enjoying our articles Alexe. We will do our best to keep up the same standard of posts :)

  17. Great article! Now if only I had more hours in the day to keep improving my blog. I should really be reading articles on how to get my 4th baby to sleep through the night. You’re a smart guy. Got any ideas? ; )

    • Kevin Muldoon

      haha Sadly, that is not an area I have any experience in (yet). :)

  18. It’s great information. I start create my blog 7 months ago, I’m understand why my blog have a little traffic after read this post. Thank you Kevin for your sharing, I learn a lot from you.

  19. You are Awesome Kevin :)
    I have blog and I regularly post latest WordPress themes and plugins reviews on my blog, but I didn’t know deep knowledge that you share in this post.
    Such a useful information for me and other bloggers. Thanks for share

    • Kevin Muldoon

      Thanks for the tip Joseph. I am sure a lot of readers will find that useful :)

  20. Hello Kevin,

    I think you wrote a very useful article about/list of things to think about when you start a blog. It covers all important areas. Good job!

    Cheers!

    Rick

  21. Nicely said. I started a blog about my hometown and then later realized it would take me about 400 hours to put it completely together. Wow. And it stalled. So like you said I have to make a plan and be consistent. I’m going to keep going after I regroup but it reminds me of the phrase “a journey of a thousand miles starts with one step”. Every time I stall, I have to start the journey again. lol

    • Kevin Muldoon

      I have stalled on a lot of projects myself. There are so many hours in the day. :)

  22. Thanks for the inspiration! A lot of your tips above can also be applied to general website marketing. Great article, thanks!

    • Kevin Muldoon

      You’re welcome Jorge. Wish I was back. Will probably be going back to South America in June for a holiday :)

  23. I was about to clap and also to mourn at various points. Where I almost start to mourn I found what I needed to move to the next level with my blog. Thanks

  24. Number 18, in the 2nd sentence I believe you meant ‘responsible’ instead of ‘responsive’. That’s muscle memory for you hahaha!

    Thank you for posting the article! It’s fantastic to get such a holistic article about serious blogging.

    • Kevin Muldoon

      Thanks for spotting that William. I have used the word responsive so much in the last few years because I speak about WordPress so frequently. Will need to watch out for errors like that in future :)

  25. Thank you, Kevin! As a ‘new kid on the blogging scene’, I feel like a sponge, soaking up information about blogging from wherever I can. I feel like the more I learn about it, the less I know about it!! It’s like a parallel world out there LOL In any case, I found your tips extremely helpful! Much appreciated! :)

  26. This is the first and only blog I follow and I look forward to it daily. Keep up the good works that you and Elegant Themes do for us Rookies. I have learned so much in the last few months. Thank You

  27. For me, #9 , #10 and #13 are definitely key (next to the more obvious ones :D). Great interesting content in combination with regular updates on the blog is one of the keys to getting an active community around your blog.

    Networking with other bloggers helps evolve your blog as time moves on. However, I feel that sometimes bloggers seem to focus too much on this.

    #16 – agreed. If someone doesn’t agree with you…. that’s alright. In fact it’s kind of cool because they did take the time to argue.

    Monetizing a blog is in some parts overrated. If you follow #9 and #10, requests should come in automatically. Also, the strategy should be flexible. One monetization option might work for one blog but not for the other. My personal favorites are:
    1. Affiliate marketing – give various brands / products a try and see which one works best
    2. Sponsored Post – Be careful with Google here. Either you run the marked as “sponsored” with nofollow links strategy or you go all out with follow links. I can recommend teliad and linkworth here.

    Keep up the work Kevin

  28. Hi Kevin, thanks a lot with this inspiring article. I’m really a new rambler on the blogosphere. Actually, I was convinced by my husband to make a blog for something that I’m passionate about (while try to (maybe can) monetize it), and now by reading this, I’m more encouraged to do better. Otherwice bothering your time to explain, (from point 5) does it no good if put up banners on the new blog just like I have?

    • Kevin Muldoon

      Hi Rheena,

      In the past, I used to think that there was no harm in adding banners to a blog from the start as people are used to advertisements being displayed on websites anyway.

      Now I can see the downsides to adding banners from the beginning.

      The main focus at the start of your blog’s life should be traffic and readership. Banners can affect this growth if your website design is saturated with ads. I do not believe that this is worthwhile as you will make very little money from the ads; therefore it is better to focus on growing your readers with a minimal design.

  29. Kevin, it’s been really helpful reading through the list of truly great content,
    comments and feedback.

    Forgive me if you feel my questions are in the wrong place. However, I’m going around in circles after weeks of research.

    For a someone who has never dipped their toes into wordpress websites and blogging.
    I’m trying to navigate the correct path and not waste time and money.

    Could anyone be kind enough to find as many holes or suggestions?
    I should consider.

    My background is in the I.T industry, designing and building datacentres. Power, cooling and infrastructure.
    Having been out of the industry for 5 yrs. So much has moved on, and the majority of my competitors no nothing about blogging or optin pages, let alone websites that work on mobiles etc.

    So, I’m trying to select the right approach and best practices to hopefully dominate my competitors who have more money than sense!
    (David and Goliath approach!)

    1- WP website-with a responsive corporate look and feel theme.

    2- Offer free relevant content or book to download through
    some kind of optin page plugin, linked to an autoresponder
    to collect email addresses.

    3- Record webinars or interviews of people or products to YouTube
    to get better higher google searches.

    4- Find a tech blogger to write relevent articles once a week for the company’s blog. (as you can tell my writing / grammar is not good enough)

    5- Use social media including Linkedin to engage and build more awareness. Or go down the streaming live route before it gets clogged up.

    Apologies to anyone who finds this is in the wrong place.
    The feedback here has been truly encouraging.

    All the very best
    Nick

    • Kevin Muldoon

      Hi Nick,

      Yes that sounds like a sound way of collecting email addresses and growing a newsletter.

      If you are only publishing one article per week, make sure it’s a good one, as that is a low posting frequency.

      Also, If the plugin you release is popular, you may find you can grow your list a lot faster than you imagined.

      :)

      Kevin

  30. Hi!
    Awesome it s a very inspiring article. Actually I am new in this field and trying to learn the art of blogging. Hope to get your continuous advice and info.

  31. Very useful information! Thank you!

  32. I really love your article. I created my website from scratch with the help of you tube tutorials and to you guys.. Thank you for assisting us with the questions that we have in mind. This is very helpful. I have a question, since I just created my own website I’m not sure if I created it with a specific niche or did I created it in a broad topic. If you have time kindly please visit my site if what can you comment about it I am more than happy to accept any comments because this will help me a lot. Here is my website http://www.lifestylenurse.com

    Kris

  33. Hi! Interesting and helpful article!
    I have a question for you. Is there a way to successfully launch a blog which addresses multiple topics?

  34. What about the trending and the syndicated articles? Do these play a role in the content? Are these useful for the growth of business?

  35. Great article. I had the same questions as Amelia Jones What about the trending and the syndicated articles? Do these play a role in the content? Are these useful for the growth of business?

    Thanks for sharing –
    Jenn

  36. Wow! I’m thrilled. I have been putting ideas together to enable me lunch my food blog this October and I’ve not summoned courage to do so until I stumbled across this article and all my fears of failure has disappeared having come to reality that readership takes time to grow . I’m now ready to kick start. Thank you very much for sharing this undiluted truth with us upcoming bloggers and im amazed at how u successfully replies your readers comments. I’ve learnt so much already.

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