Before I started my blog, I had only really a rough idea of the things I’d like to write about.
I knew about online marketing and SEO as I was a website designer for many years prior.
But that was pretty much it.
I had no idea how long it would take to get my blog off the ground, get traffic, how long it would take to write a decent post, or that I had to always have a clear head in order to write and what that would entail.
Below are eleven of my best personal tips when it comes to making your blog a resounding success as soon as possible:
1. Consider Getting a General Domain Name
Obviously, if you’re completely, totally and utterly obsessed with your niche and you know that you’ll want to blog about it for at least the next decade, go for a niche-specific domain.
BUT, if you think you might want to write about other stuff one day….
Get a more general domain name for your blog.
By general, I mean avoid including words clearly referring to your niche, such as:
I’d advise this because some domain names just don’t work very well under certain niches. A domain name like any of the above just might not work all that well when also blogging about non related topics such as parenting, recipes, and DIY.
This is not to say that you absolutely CAN’T blog about those things and more under that domain name, of course you can. There would be nothing to stop you, and you would still get traffic, AND INDEED, there are some blogs out there that have very niche-specific domain names that DO blog about those things, but to me, and maybe to random visitors, it might just look a bit weird.
So if you opt for a more general domain name, you can easily blog about other stuff too that may or may not be very closely related.
There are also people who blog under their own names.
Sarah Titus blogs under sarahtitus.com, for example. She writes about things like parenting, recipes, and she sells printables and much more.
Alternatively, you could just use your first name followed by a relevant word or two. The travel blog, annaeverywhere.com is a great example.
Again, your choice of domain name probably won’t hurt your traffic, following or growth that much as so many people still blog about whatever they desire to despite their domains, but it probably just looks better and makes more sense to readers if you have a more general domain name if you might start blogging about different things down the road.
It’s more or less just food for thought type of advice.
2. Put Some Kind of Marketing Plan into Place
Uby Yanes/ Unsplash
You might not be ready to start promoting your content on Pinterest or ranking your posts on Google yet. And if you’re not, Don’t worry. You’re definitely not alone. I think most people really struggle to pluck up the confidence to get out there off the bat. I know I did.
However, I would suggest buying an online marketing course when you’re just starting out, purely to get a rough idea of the marketing strategies available to you. You’ll be better prepared to get traffic to your blog once it looks good and has some great content on it.
If you’re eyeing Pinterest for traffic, super! Go for a course like Pinteresting Strategies.
If you’re thinking about ranking on Google, there are tonnes and tonnes of websites out there with incredibly helpful (and usually, free!) information about how to rank your posts.
3. Don’t Make Your URLs Too Long
This is something I see soooo many new bloggers do.
Google isn’t massively keen on super long URLs. They also look pretty messy in address bars.
I’m sure you’ve noticed that the more pro bloggers who’ve been around for a while have shorter URLs. Try to limit your post URLs to two to four words tops so they look good and possibly stand a better chance of ranking well on Google.
How can you edit your URLs? If you’re using WordPress, your URL (or ‘permalink’) will be just under the title area of your post page.
4. Only Have One H1 Tag Per Post
H1 tags – and all H tags really, are simply headlines.
The number next to the letter H indicates the size of the header. H1 tags are the largest of all the headers.
You can have multiple H2, H3, H4, H5 and H6 tags in posts, but forget having more than one H1 tag. That is super confusing to Google as it looks at your H1 tag to evaluate what you would like to rank for in its results pages. If it sees more than one, it probably won’t know what to rank you for.
5. Watch Your Diet
Chips are great. Coffee is great. Chocolate is great.
Junk food and caffeine, in moderation, are also great…
Sitting in front of the laptop day in day out, typing away while you’ve barely noticed that you’re on your sixth coffee and fourth cereal bar for the day…
Hmm… not so good! And that’s exactly what I did. For months on end.
My skin was terrible, I had low energy and a foggy head pretty much all the time.
I honestly can’t stress enough how you need to be in good shape to run a blog. It may seem crazy, but if you think about it, your head needs to be clear so you can communicate your thoughts and research effectively.
If you have a foggy head from consuming too much sugar, caffeine, or a generally poor diet over time, you’ll feel sluggish and you’ll be unable to write good quality content.
6. Keep up with Your Social Life
Paige Cody / Unsplash
Please don’t forget about a healthy work-life balance!
Mine went completely out of the window when I first started blogging because I REALLY wanted to escape my day job and the only way to do that was to get the blog up with lots of content ASAP.
But in all honesty, it kind of trashed my social life in the process and if I could go back in time, I would definitely not allow that to happen again.
7. Have the Correct Posture When Typing
If you only take my advice on ONE thing in this post, PLEASE take this.
With appropriate and healthy posture, your back will stay in good shape, you’ll be pain-free, you’ll breathe better and that can lead to better writing and allow creative ideas to flow to you with far greater ease.
Have a look online at websites like my Health to find out how best to sit in front of the computer for long periods of time when typing.
8. Mediate and Clear Your Aura
For far greater focus and concentration, meditate for just 10-20 minutes and clear your mind and your auric field of any unwanted energies each morning.
If you’re a spiritual person, you can ask your angels or guides to help you with this.
If you prefer a more hands-on method (I like both), you can use an aura cleansing spray such as plain Rosewater.
9. Don’t Apply to the Google Adsense Program Too Soon
You’re going to need quite a few good quality posts on your blog before you apply to the Adsense program. Probably around 30 to be on the safe side.
Yes, I completely understand that you might be in a hurry to make some money with your blog but if you apply too soon, you might be rejected.
You can reapply, but considering the waiting period for acceptance can be up to a month or sometimes longer, it’s probably best to get it right the first time around.
So, what are their requirements? See them here.
Make sure your blog meets them and that you’re regularly adding high-quality content with plenty of copy (800+ words per post), with good formatting and good quality accompanying images (from stock photography sites or your own).
10. Don’t Make Too Many Roundup Posts
Roundup posts, also known as curated posts are simply posts which contain images and brief descriptions of other people’s work.
Roundup posts look amazing, are often fascinating and let’s face it, they attract tonnes of views collectively because you can curate bucket loads of them super fast.
BUT here’s the catch; too many links out per post on posts that contain low word counts aren’t great for your blog’s rankings and Google sometimes even penalizes sites with too many curated posts that don’t contain many words.
Also, don’t forget to ask if you can use images from other people’s instagram posts and blogs and what is required when referencing their work. Contacting other bloggers in the Blogosphere in this way is also great for creating relationships with new people! It’s also just good form and will stop you from potentially landing in hot water.
11. Only Tell Those Closest to You About Your Blog
You might be a really confident person and have zero issues with going out and telling everyone and anyone that you now have a blog, and if so, that is truly awesome — and inspiring!
BUT, if you’re a bit shy and worried about people’s reactions (like I am) or that they may put you off continuing with negative comments about it like “Oh, when will you get a proper job?”, then perhaps wait until you’re comfortable with your blog’s progress to mention it to anyone.
I hope you found some of those points helpful. We’re all different and so we go about building blogs and other doing other stuff in life differently. I just hope you found some value in a point or two.