Having a successful blog has many perks: as a freelancer, you can get new clients from your blog readers, as a business owner, you can promote your products or services, you can also earn passive income. But besides these, there are many other scenarios when having a blog can help you. Let’s talk about how to get serious about blogging in 2019!
You might’ve read similar blog posts with tips along the lines “treat your blog like a business”, “create schedule”, “write many blog posts” and so on. In this post, I’ll give you several actionable steps you should take to get serious about blogging.
Let’s get started!
Disclaimer: This blog post includes affiliate links. They won’t add any additional costs for you but might reward me with my daily dose of coffee. Thank you!
Actionable steps to get serious about blogging and grow your blog faster
IDEA #0 (if you really haven’t already) – Start a self-hosted blog with your own domain
Well, let’s be honest. You should’ve done this already if you’re really getting serious about blogging.
There are many benefits of having a self-hosted website and if you’re planning to monetize your website, a self-hosted website really is the only way to go.
The steps to take are not that hard and the process is rather easy (getting started is the hardest part!):
- Start hosting + purchase domain name
- Install WordPress
- Setup WordPress + choose the theme
- Export your old blog
- Import into the new one
WordPress really is the only way to go if you’re serious about your blog! It has many customization options, all the features you might need and the learning curve is not that crazy! Here are some useful resources to get started with:
- What is website hosting and why I choose Siteground?
- 5 step guide to your own self-hosted website with WordPress + Siteground
- What to keep in mind when choosing a WordPress theme? + Several theme suggestions
This was one of the most exciting steps I took when I decided to get serious about blogging.
The first SEO tool I started using was Yoast SEO. Yoast SEO is a free WordPress plugin and it will help you to work with search engine optimization for your blog.
Learn more about SEO basics for bloggers if you have no idea what I’m talking about!
This plugin will help you not only write better-ranking posts but will also inspire you to take better care of your blog posts, reminding you all of the most important things: write a decent amount of text, include images, add descriptions and good title and much more!
Eventually, I moved on from Yoast SEO to a new plugin (still absolutely free!) called Rank Math. Read more on why I made the move and how it improved my SEO ranking.
[bctt tweet=”Installing a SEO plugin will help you not only write better-ranking posts but will also inspire you to take better care of your blog posts!” username=”ievalaicane”]
IDEA #2 Use Grammarly to write better blog posts
Oh, Grammarly, what would I do without you! I won’t get much into why exactly I love this addon SO much but it really has saved my blog.
Grammarly is a free extension for your browser and it automatically catches mistakes in your text. ISN’T THAT FREAKING AMAZING? It really is.
Since I’m not a native English speaker, my English is always a work in progress. And Grammarly has helped me big time! I not only spot my own mistakes more easily but learn along the way.
You can read more about my experience with Grammarly.
IDEA #3 Do research for your blog posts
The best blog posts are the ones that provide TONS of value. And for tons of value, it’s not always enough with your knowledge alone, you should do some additional research.
Make sure to add third-party links, for example, useful resources, other blogger posts or products your users might find valuable.
Decent research can also make your blog posts longer which is important not only for the SEO ranking but also for the value your readers will get from you. Adding your opinion alone might not give the value that facts and proof will!
IDEA #4 Keep your website’s theme updated
Is your blog easy to read? Is your theme up to date? Is it brand-aligned? And, after all, is it user-friendly? If not, you should consider changing it!
Having a decent theme is important not only for the sake of the design but also because of your readers. It’s always a pleasure to be on a blog that’s user-friendly and easy to navigate.
I have shared more tips on how to choose the best WordPress theme.
IDEA #5 Add relevant opt-ins
This definitely could be a completely other blog post but let me keep it short. Adding RELEVANT opt-ins to your blog posts will give your readers even more value AND it will also grow your email list. I
t’s an absolute win-win, especially, since opt-in is always an option so it’s not like all of your readers WILL have to sign up…
Opt-in usually is a free incentive that gives your readers a reason to sign up for your mailing list. Usually, those can be free e-books, free insights in online products (a chapter of your book, a module of your course, etc), stock photos, graphics templates, email templates, guides, courses or literally anything else.
The trick for this one is simple: make relevant opt-ins for your most popular blog posts.
For example, my blog post about Pinterest went viral within a week or two and that’s when I added “List of 40+ Pinterest group boards to join” in this blog post. First, I know people are interested in the topic. Second, my advice mentioned using group boards. They get additional value, I get more people on my mailing list who are actually interested in what I have to share!
If you have no opt-ins at this moment, don’t hesitate to make at least one. Check out which of your blog posts are the most popular ones and consider what additional value can you give. It will take a while to make it happen but the range of the work you put into your opt-in varies: it can be a quick cheat sheet or a few module online course. It’s up to you!
IDEA #6 Spice it up with videos and podcasts
Reading is amazing but blog posts with videos or podcast episodes as an addition can reach an even bigger audience! This is not something you should push yourself for if it’s just not your jam but it’s definitely a great approach if you’re into these things.
One of the best ways to get serious about blogging is to add your unique personality to your blog. And what better way there is than video or audio to let people know more about you and get to know you better?
There are many different approaches to this. For example, if you already have a video made for your Facebook page, Youtube or any other platform, you can use it and write a blog post based on this video. Afterward, the video can be added to the post and voila!
Another approach would be to write a blog post and then create a voiceover for it from which you can make a podcast episode. 2 in 1 solution!
There are many different people around us and while someone definitely prefers reading, you could reach a new audience with the option to listen to what you have to say.
IDEA #7 Add “click to tweet” and/or shareable quotes
There’s an actual plugin called “Click to Tweet” for WordPress that can be used to create excerpts from your blog – ready to be tweeted! They’re not only a great way to get your content more shared but works also as an interesting blog element.
Another approach to get your message more shared is shareable quotes! You can either use Canva.com, Photoshop or Paint to create brand-aligned quote images to add your blog posts.
Both of these give you an additional option to get your content shared more easily.
IDEA #8 Create a sidebar if you don’t already have one!
For years, I’ve been in a love-hate relationship with sidebars. But, along the way, I’ve made my decision – even though there are many (!) mobile readers who might not see my sidebar, it is a very functional feature to have.
Yes, it might distract your readers. But it’s also a lot easier to navigate away from a blog that has no sidebar.
After all, it’s just my personal preference but I definitely suggest using your sidebar at its best. Here are a few ideas:
- Add About info. I love getting a quick introduction to a blogger I might not now. I rarely have any time to actually wander around and find About page, therefore, having this info on a sidebar can grab my interest and make me hang around for longer!
- Create a category section. An amazing way to help your readers navigate your site and find the topics they’re truly interested in.
- Promote your own offers. Either it’s a free opt-in, a new course or an e-book you’re selling – feel free to create your own ads and promote your offers on a sidebar!
There really is no one right formula for a successful sidebar. Do what feels the best for you and the most crucial for your audience!
I hope you got some new ideas. If you’ve still got some questions, you know where to find me!