If you want your blog to be successful, you need to do more than hope and pray it happens. And by successful, I generally mean that people read it – a lot of people!
Just like any successful business, you need to have a strategic plan to grow your blog.
There’s a lot I’ve done right and a lot more I’ve done wrong over the last few years when it comes to blogging. You can learn from me and avoid some of the mistakes I’ve made and speed up your success in the process!
- Related: How to Start a Blog
My blog gets at a minimum of 150k pageviews/month, and I make anywhere between $2k-$3k/month from my blog. I’ve grown my social media platforms and email list to help me connect my blog to my readers, and I’m constantly learning about new ways to increase my reach and my income. My goal is to double my blog income (at the least) this year.
So, I’ve laid out 10 dos and 10 don’ts to grow your blog…
- Be authentic, genuine, unique, and honest. Know your voice. Your readers will love it if it’s truly you.
- Treat your blog like a legitimate business, not a hobby that you do whenever you feel like it. This means you have to have a strategic plan in place. (Learn how to turn your blog into a successful business here.)
- Plan to pour your heart and soul into your blog. Bloggin’ ain’t easy ;).
- Post consistently and prioritize quality over quantity. Whether it’s five times a week or once a month – be consistent. Produce really good stuff. You need to be the best out there (or working towards it).
- Get to know your audience realllllly well (this requires engaging with them regularly).
- Constantly learn new blogging strategies (marketing, social media, content, etc.). Blogging changes so fast that you have to stay on top of trends.
- Join mastermind groups and attend conferences with other bloggers. You’ll learn so much more from other bloggers than you will on your own.
- Build up and nurture your email list. It’s the one way that you can really build your platform without as much interference from algorithms, like on social media. I highly recommend ConvertKit for this.
- Write less, promote more. Blogging isn’t just writing – it’s about getting people to read what you write. In order to do that, you need to promote (or market) your stuff.
- Care about your readers. They’re what make your blog. Serve them well.
The biggest take away from the list above is that you need to be genuine and have a clear voice. You need to become friends with your readers (and talk to them as if you were their friend). If you care about what you’re writing about, and you put forth consistent effort, your readers will take notice. They will want to be part of what you have going on. Your readers are what define whether your blog grows, so know them and pay attention to them! You should constantly be asking yourself “how can I better serve my audience?”.
- Neglect the design of your site. How your site looks matters a lot!
- Be spammy. No one will follow you if they think you’re not genuine or only in it for yourself.
- Send mass emails to work with people. If you want to work with other bloggers, send thoughtful, personal emails. Mass emails are a turn-off.
- Under price or over price stuff you sell. Pricing is tricky so do your research!
- Stop learning. After you’ve been blogging for a little while, make sure you continue to learn. There’s always more. You’re never done learning.
- Put all your eggs in one basket. There is no one-size-fits-all with blogging, so focus on diversifying your traffic and building your revenue streams in many places.
- Be a jerk. Even though you are blogging online, you will build real relationships with bloggers. Like anything else, it helps if you get along well with people.
- Steal other people’s content. This should go without saying, but I’ve actually seen people do this quite a lot, unfortunately.
- Expect big results fast. Blogging, like anything worth it, is a lot of work. It takes time ad you need to be in it for the long haul. Be careful setting too unrealistic of expectations.
- Get in your own way. If you are blogging because you want to make money, be careful to stay focused on helping other people with something. Continue to serve your audience. If you get too obsessed with how you’re not making money yet, you may find yourself having trouble ever making money blogging.
The biggest take away from the list above is that you have to take your blog seriously if you want it to be successful. This means that you, as the creator, need to be 1) professional and likable and 2) good at what you do. Basically, be a good human and hone your skills.
A Final Note!
Don’t get discouraged if you’re having ebbs and flows with your blog. In fact, even if your blog is a massive failure right now, you can turn it around and be really successful.
Here are a few examples of not-so-smart things I’ve done with my blog:
- I created a cartoon logo for Financegirl
- I tried to learn how to code instead of paying a designer
- I focused on freelance writing (writing for other sites) to make money instead of focusing on my own blog
- I changed the type of business entity from sole prop to LLC only after one year (which was a huge pain)
- I accidentally registered the wrong domain name initially and had to call my host to get out of it
- I pretty much try to do everything myself instead of outsourcing
And with many more mistakes that aren’t mentioned, I still have a successful, profitable blog. I started blogging with no experience. And here I am today, loving every minute of it (and making money to help repay my student loan debt)! If I can do it, you can, too!
If you want to read more about how to how to turn a blog into a business, I recommend reading:
- How to Start a Blog: A Step-By-Step Guide
- How to Make Money Blogging
- 5 Books Every Blogger Needs to Read
- Join #SocialHack (my Facebook group for bloggers)
For more blogging posts, visit my Blogging Page!