If you’re considering starting a blog, or you’ve already started one, and you’re looking for a few blogging secrets to speed up your success, you are in the right spot. In this post, I’m going to reveal 5 blogging secrets every beginner needs to know in order to build a successful blog.
You see, over the last couple years, I have spent every day working on this blog in some form or fashion. And throughout that time, I have made a lot of mistakes that slowed down my progress. And while nothing can replace that experience, there are a few really simple things I wish I would have known early on in my journey.
And that’s what brings us here today.
But before we go any further, I want to say a few things to all you new, or prospective bloggers out there.
First of all, no matter what anybody tells you, blogging is not a thing of the past. In fact, of all the business opportunities out there these days, my absolute favorite is blogging. Between the low startup-cost, wide reach, and massive income potential the internet makes possible, it’s hard to find a business venture that competes. (Seriously, a few years from now, you could be one of those bloggers making 7-figures per year. Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.)
That said, and I’m going to be blunt here, blogging is not easy, nor is it for the faint of heart. Rather, creating a successful blog is a difficult, time-consuming venture that requires all sorts of effort, consistency and perseverance. Beyond that, it takes experience–something, I’m sad to say, you can only develop by working on your blog for a long time.
The good news is, if you’re willing to commit the time (we’re talking years) and effort (we’re talking a minimum of 10-15 hours of work per week) to work on your blog, then you have the potential to do amazing things in the wild and crazy world of blogging.
Oh, and it just so happens that you have arrived at the perfect article to help you do just that. (Convenient, right?)
In all seriousness, if you want to be a successful blogger, there are a few things you need to know. And that’s exactly what we’re about to cover.
Let’s dive in!
1. Long-form Content Is King
Ok, of all the points I’m going to make in this article, this is the one you need to really absorb. If you want to be a successful blogger, you need to put out awesome, long-form content that dominates the competition.
And when I say long-form, I’m talking an absolute minimum of 1,000 words.
Now, if you are a naturally prolific writer, then this probably isn’t a shock for you. However, in my experience, almost every time I tell a new blogger that they need to write 1,000+ word articles, they look at me like I’m asking them to scale Everest. But that’s only because they’ve never done it before.
Here’s the thing, everything in blogging will feel daunting at first–EVERYTHING. Whether you’re filming your first YouTube video, writing your first 1,500-word article, or just launching a self-hosted WordPress website for the first time ever, it is not going to be easy. But the thing that separates successful bloggers from amateur bloggers, is that they aren’t afraid to take on the challenges that stop other people in their tracks.
Put simply, if you want to be a successful blogger, you need to beat all the other bloggers out there competing for their spot in the blogging hall of fame (I don’t think that really exists). And the only way to do that is to focus your efforts on long-form, informative, awesome content.
Oh, and don’t be afraid to take on big challenges. When other people think something is impossible, make it your business to go do it.
“Go! Confront The Problem! Fight! Win! And call me when you get back, darling. I enjoy our visits.” — Edna Mode, The Incredibles
2. Post At Least Twice Per Week
For the first 9-months of my blogging journey, I posted approximately once a week.
Since I was focusing on long-form content, and was pretty nervous about publishing something that wasn’t polished to perfection, it took me an average of 5 days to write each post. Tack on another day or two for editing, creating pinterest images and other graphics and 7 days were slipping by between each post.
Now, that’s better than nothing, but unfortunately, it didn’t generate much traffic. Seriously, after nine months, I was only getting about 1,000 users per month.
Then, one day, I read an article by another blogger that had started his blog the same exact month I did, only he was getting over 30,000 monthly users. Now, to be completely honest, his content wasn’t any better than mine. In fact, I felt like my content was much more thorough. The only difference was that he was posting 3 times per week.
Now, to all you math nerds out there, you are probably thinking, “Well, if he was putting out 3 times the content, then shouldn’t he only have been getting 3 times the monthly users?”
Well, that logic might make sense on the surface, but the truth is, internet traffic is not a linear kind of thing. It’s exponential.
You see, every time you publish a post on your blog, it gets indexed by search engines. And the more content you create–especially long-form, informative, awesome content–the more likely search engines are to serve your content in search results. And the more people see your post, the more likely they are to share it, pin it, and promote it to their friends. Combine all that with a growing email list, and what you get is exponential growth.
It’s like compound interest, but with blog users. And it’s freaking impressive!
So, what did I do? I started waking up at 4:45 AM so I could squeeze-in a couple extra hours of writing each day and publish 3, long-form posts per week.
Was it tiring? Yes.
Did I question my sanity at times? You bet it.
Was it worth it? Abso-freakin-lutely!
Because only 7 months later, I was getting over 60,000 monthly organic users to my blog.
So, what’s the moral of this story? Simple, if you want to build a successful blog, you need to post a bare minimum of two, long-form posts per week–three if you have the stomach for a 4:45 alarm clock.
3. Do As Successful Bloggers Did – Not As Successful Bloggers Say
A while back, I picked-up on a trend among successful bloggers. Want to know what it is? Ok, here goes.
Nearly every blogger that makes a full-time living through their blog, likes to talk about the things they wish they would have done earlier in their journey.
For example, they say things like, “I wish I would have started my email list sooner!” or, “I wish I would have learned to use Pinterest earlier.”
And as a new blogger, it’s easy to hear things like that and think, “I’m going to go start my email list now”, or, “I’m going to spend the next three hours building-out my Pinterest account”. But here’s the thing I want you to understand, (and I’ve never heard anybody talk about this), all the successful bloggers out there, despite what they wish they would have done differently, are now SUCCESSFUL.
In fact, I would go as far as saying that the reason they are successful is because they didn’t allow themselves to get distracted with too many things early on.
For that reason, you should do your best to follow their path, not just their advice. In other words, don’t just do what bloggers tell you to do, rather, do what they did to achieve success.
I realize that’s ironic coming from the guy writing an article about blogging secrets. But I’m serious.
For instance, if a blogger you look up to tells you they spent so much time focusing on content early on that they didn’t even touch social media (even if they wish they would have), then follow that same path. Don’t redirect your efforts to social media when they have proven that focusing on content works!
Important: There are tons of bloggers out there that give awesome advice that you should definitely follow. Just use your best judgement. In other words, if a blogger is telling you to do something that doesn’t even remotely align with how they achieved success, stay away from it. They’re probably trying to sell you something. Oh, and if you’re looking for great, honest advice from legit bloggers, a few of my personal favorites are: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner, Pat Flynn, Jim Harmer, and Peter McKinnon (for all you YouTubers out there). Their blogging advice has never led me astray.
4. Don’t Pay For Traffic Or Promotion
Whether you are a personal finance blogger, tech blogger, baking blogger, fitness blogger, YouTuber, or just about any other online content creator, there is no reason for you to spend money on any kind of blog or vlog promotion.
Seriously, you can spend all the money you want, but ultimately, if your goal is to make money, then every dollar you spend will just dig you into a hole. And when you pay for promotion, you are essentially paying for people to come to your website, and then leave for free. (It’s a bad business model.)
Now, as with any business, there are certain expenses for which you will need to pay. For example, as a new blogger, you will need to purchase hosting (we recommend Bluehost), and maybe a photo editing service (we recommend Canva). You may also want to invest in a good blogging course to provide you with a clear guide to blogging success.
Side Note: There are a lot of great, reputable blogging courses out there, and with so much to learn, this route may actually save you a ton of time and money in the long run.
As a YouTuber, you will need some kind of video camera, a couple lights, and a decent mic to record quality sound. But that’s really it. As a blogger, you should always try to keep your expenses lean and mean.
To put it simply, the only things you should spend money on as a brand new blogger, are products and services that help you create better content–and even then, you should spend your money frugally. Don’t get impatient and try to pay for promotion early on. Until your blog has a good amount of content, and a solid audience base, promotion is a waste of money.
To be completely honest, I tried the paid promotion path very early on in my blogging journey (at the terrible advice of a very successful blogger that was just trying to make an affiliate commission), and it only cost me money, and hurt my search rankings for a long time.
- How Much Does It Cost To Start (And Run) A Blog?
- How Do Blogs Make Money (10 Proven Ways)
- Blog On A Budget: 10 Low-Cost Essentials For New Bloggers
5. Solve A Problem With Every Post
One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a blogger is creating content that nobody would ever type into a search engine.
For example, there is no point in writing a 1,000-word blog post titled, “Today Was A Bad Day At Work” where you talk about how your boss yelled at you for taking an excessively-long lunch break. Sure, it might help you get some things off your chest, but nobody is going to search for that.
You know what they will search?
“How to cope with a mean boss.”
That is a real problem that people actually have, and if you have experience dealing with that situation, then help them with their problem.
To put it simply, people don’t want to hear about your problems, they want you to help them solve theirs.
I realize that might sound a little harsh, and if you want to just write a blog about your personal life, go for it. I’m just saying, if you want to build a blog that generates revenue, you need people to find you online. And the only way to do that, is to make sure every piece of content you create solves a problem.
Despite what many people think, building a successful blog is a challenging road to travel. It takes dedication, perseverance, early mornings and late nights. (Seriously, as I’m writing these final sentences, the clock is coming up on 1:00 AM)
That said, if you have the stomach for it, it is a fantastic, incredibly rewarding way to make a living.
I just hope the blogging secrets in this article will help you make the most of your journey to success.
So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and start creating awesome content.