Fancy starting a blog but don’t know where to begin? Discover the six ingredients you need to make it a success!
These days, just about anyone can set up a blog in no time at all – all you really need is an idea, an internet connection and a laptop.
Sounds easy right? Well, in some ways it really is, although there are some things that may require a little time and effort – as blogger Emily McLaren explains.
Setting up your blog is the easy bit – this is something that can be done within minutes. However, building your following is more of a long term process. The process can be a challenge but there’s real value in terms of what your blog gets in return: engagement, traffic and trust.
Six ingredients for launching a successful blog
So what is the recipe to building a successful blog? Here are my six ingredients.
1) Be passionate
I’m sure many bloggers would agree with me that being passionate about what you are writing about is essential – nobody wants to fall asleep at their keyboard.
If you write about your hobbies and interests, you may find that your passion and enthusiasm really comes through in the writing. This in turn will help gain the trust of your readers, who will see you’re the ‘real deal’ – making them more likely to connect with you, and helping your blog to grow its audience and authority.
2) Keep it interesting
Choosing a niche subject or taking a different approach to a topic can bring excitement and originality to the subject. If you’ve done some really interesting things in your lifetime then why not share your story?
Among many inspirational blogs out there, there are blogs that aim to help people find their way – like this one which takes a different approach and helps you to ‘deal with suckiness’.
There are also blogs that share beautiful travel stories or blogs that are simply designed for the style conscious mother. Whatever your story, knowledge or experience – there will be a gap in the market for your blog.
If you need more tips on writing an interesting blog that people will want to read, check out these articles:
- How to write a blog people will want to read.
- Why you don’t need to be interesting to write a great blog.
3) Know what you want to write about
It’s helpful to think about at least five to 10 articles that you would like to write about. Perhaps even start by writing a few of them and see how you get on.
There’s no point investing the time, effort and money in launching a blog if in your first attempt at writing, you draw a blank and realise that you can’t get your creative juices flowing. Writing isn’t for everyone after all!
I come from a family of accountants and mathematicians – I struggle to work out percentages in the same way that they struggle to form expressive words that speak to an audience. Everyone’s talents lie differently – there’s no shame in that!
That being said, you don’t need to be the next JK Rowling and your first few articles don’t need to be a work of art. It takes practice, patience and time to find your voice.
Whilst finding your voice may take time, it is important to establish your tone of voice prior to the launch of your blog. Deciding to put a funny spin on something then later realising it doesn’t work will only make your blog look inconsistent and will confuse your readers.
Saying that though, if you’ve got the gift of the gab then why not take that challenge to make something typically dreary, funny? Like this blog – who knew budgets could be ‘sexy’ and finance could be fun?
4) Form the essentials
Choose a title for your blog, select a domain name and write a mission statement. A mission statement doesn’t need to be anything too lengthy. It’s a catchy short sentence that will neatly summarise your blog and will help aid you in times when you may lose sight of what to write about.
Choosing a title is a large part of the planning process, as is choosing a domain name. The name you choose should be reflective of the content you will be producing – in other words, don’t name your blog ‘Cheese and Bacon’ if in fact it’s going to be about the latest fashion accessories.
It’s also important to invest in your own custom domain (www.example.com) as it looks far more professional! Word of warning though – when thinking up a domain name, don’t get your heart set on one as there is a very high chance that the domain has already been taken and exists somewhere else in the big World Wide Web.
So to avoid disappointment, come up with a few of your favourite options and check what hasn’t already been nabbed.
5) Plan ahead
The best thing that you can do is be organised. Start by creating an editorial calendar – decide on article topics, titles and photos that you’d like to include and note down any important events or holidays that you may be writing content around, for example Valentine’s Day, Easter, Christmas and so on.
Having a plan for the first few months (and onwards if possible) will keep you focused and allow you to work to a schedule. It’s best to always be prepared and write content ahead of time, schedule your posts in advance and then prepare for any social media outreach around this.
6) Be social
This brings me to my next point – be social in all aspects of the word. Connect with bloggers, engage in comments and try to set yourself a 48 hour window to respond to emails. Being quick to respond to messages shows you are trustworthy and will help you earn some extra loyalty points!
Don’t forget to set up important social media accounts such as Facebook and Twitter and aim to keep active on them – without force-feeding your audience or clogging up their news feed on a daily basis. Subtlety is key!
And if you use one of the many analytical tools available online, you will be able to monitor when your followers are most active and then strike whilst the iron’s still hot! Be sure to also utilise online tools such as If This Then That – if used properly, it can save an enormous amount of time.
Are you ready to start your blog?
So do you think you have what it takes to be the next blogging success story?
With a recent study revealing that 90% of mums would like to start their own business, why not make 2015 the year of ‘doing’ instead of ‘wanting’ and launch your blog today?
Learn more about starting a successful blog
You can read more tips on getting smart at audience-building and social media in these articles:
- How to build a blog audience for free – our experience.
- A beginner’s guide to Twitter for business.
- The beginner’s guide to growing your blog traffic.
- 10 common social media mistakes – and how to avoid them.
- A 30-second guide to building a blog audience for free.
If you need inspiration, just read how successful bloggers Slummy Single Mummy and Stressy Mummy got started. You can also learn more about launching a blog in our three part guide by Clare Greig from Breathe Online – How to turn a beautiful blog into a profitable business.
Emily McLaren is a travel and fitness blogger. You can read her blog here.Emily McLaren