When it comes to being a new marketer, senior or otherwise, simplicity is what most people crave. There are so many learning curves and difficult decisions to be made that when a process is presented as something easy to implement, it’s a big relief.
Blogging is one online endeavor where you can make money from your efforts without going to great lengths to build your business. There are some important concepts, such as serving your audience’s needs and being consistent, but the technical and strategic elements aren’t hard to learn or implement.
Blogs can be your home base for many different online business models. Whether you choose to work as a freelance service provider, info product creator, kindle author, affiliate marketer or other career, it can provide you with a place to brand yourself and promote your offers.
Stick to a Simple Set Up
There are two ways to create a blog for your business online – the easy way or the hard way. Some people make it much more difficult than it has to be. It’s not your fault, either.
Expert blog teachers are often touting a variety of plugins and themes or strategies you simply must use in order to succeed as a blogger. But the truth is, a basic, clean-slate can perform very well.
You can slowly add on elements of advanced blogging over time. But trying to select and use these when you’re just getting started can be overwhelming and confusing. Learn the basics and then as it becomes second-nature to you, you can consider making changes.
Start with a good, free theme for your blog. Choose one that reflects the kind of layout you envision for your site. You may need one that highlights the text-based portion of your creations, or one that showcases images a bit more.
When it comes to plugins, you can first deactivate and delete anything you don’t want to use right away. You can always reinstall it later, but some installations are very bloated with unnecessary plugin options right off the bat.
You know you’ll need some basics for your blog to function and present its best version possible to your visitors. Start with a good spam filter, like Akismet. There are many different ones, but you want something that will keep most of the spam comments off of your blog.
Another plugin you’ll want to use is a contact form so that you can set up a way for people to contact you on a page of your blog. This is done in place of simply linking your email publicly, because then your email inbox will be filled with spam.
Social sharing buttons are crucial to your viral success as a blogger. You don’t want to rely on people copying and pasting the URL of your blog post. It’s much better (and easier) for them if they can simply share a button, such as a Facebook button, and share it with their audience.
Last, you may want some sort of SEO (search engine optimization) plugin if you’d like to start off catering to the various search engines that will be ranking you for their audience. This isn’t necessary, but it can sometimes help you remember important aspects of SEO that you may have forgotten otherwise.
Don’t Create Navigational Clutter
A busy blog can be a blessing or a curse. If it’s busy in terms of having lots of great value-based content for your visitors, then that’s a wonderful thing. But if it’s busy as in cluttered, then you’ll make a poor impression on both the search engine bots and human visitors alike.
Navigation is something search bots will be analyzing on your blog to see how well people can get around your site and find the information they’re looking for. This means you not only need to set everything up properly, but maintain it over time, too.
Start by mapping out the categories for your blog posts. No matter what niche you’re in, you can usually drill it down into a variety of topics that will help readers find what they need.
For example, online marketing is a broad topic, which you might be blogging about – but you can have categories for things like affiliate marketing, info product creation, traffic, list building, and more.
Even under those main “parent” categories, you can have sub-categories. If you had a parent category about affiliate marketing, you could create a few sub-categories such as product review tips, unboxing profits, and more.
Navigation is also important when it comes to your pages. Your pages are usually listed under the header of your blog, so you don’t want too many of them cluttering up the top of your site.
Have a few simple pages, such as your About page, Contact page, Product page, etc. Just as you can have parent categories and sub-categories, you can do the same with your pages, so that a drop-down menu will appear, keeping the site looking clean, but also providing your visitors with the opportunity to pinpoint where they want to go next.
So for example, you might have a page explaining what types of info products you create. Then, you could have sub-pages to showcase things like traffic products, list building products, blog products, and so on.
Develop a Doable Publishing Schedule
Keeping up with a blog is one of the single most important, fundamental aspects of this career that you have. Many people go through the process of installing a blog and setting it up, post a couple of times and then abandon it because of a lack of inspiration and planning.
To combat the desire to give up, it’s important that you make the planning process for posting blogs a natural part of your schedule each month. You can choose a day at the beginning of each month to brainstorm your topics and the schedule on which they’ll be posted.
Think of everything that goes into creating a good blog post and contemplate how much time that will take you. You’ll need to start with some time spent on thinking up ideas for your posts.
Then, you’ll need to research the topic so that you present a well-rounded account of the concept. This may include curating a few quotes or passages from others that you can share and then discuss to either back up your stance or present a differing view.
You may need time to edit your post before it goes live. You can use free tools like Grammarly to fix the basics, but you can also take time to clean it up in other ways. Sometimes people write the initial blog post and realize later that it’s very sterile, lacking personalization – so this can be inserted after the first draft is complete.
You may want to gather some multimedia elements for the post. This helps it attract attention when it’s shared on social sites, but it also helps break up heavy blocks of text for the reader so their eyes don’t feel drained.
You can find some images that reflect your post content on free sites like Pixabay, or pay for each one on sites like DepositPhotos or iStockPhotos. You may even want to embed a video into the blog post that you found on YouTube.
Of course, you can also create these media elements yourself. You can embed an image that you took or a video that you recorded. You don’t always have to use someone else’s work.
It’s beneficial if you lack time or talent to do it yourself, but it’s not necessary. If you have a blog for meal prepping, for example, you could post images of the bento boxes you’ve filled up for the week – or embed a video showing how you rapidly fill each one easily to prevent mindless snacking that ruins your diet.
Put yourself on a doable schedule that works for both yourself and your readers. They don’t want to go weeks or months without seeing anything new. So if you’re not capable of blogging a couple of times a week, then you may want to outsource it to someone or use private label rights as a springboard for your content.
Bring in Traffic with Trends and Strategic Keywords
As a blogger for your niche, you have a responsibility to provide good information, but that means paying attention to trends and helping them find it with the use of strategic keywords.
This is a fundamental step you have to take as a soon-to-be successful blogger. It’s not hard to do either of these things. It just requires you to consistently be on the lookout for the topics and wording your audience is looking for.
For example, if you types in the words diet trend and clicked on the News tab of Google, you’d find all sorts of things people are curious about – such as keto for kids (is it safe?), cooking fatigue (from people having to cook for themselves so much during the pandemic), and calorie counting (which is listed as a 2021 top diet trend).
Just because you see these trends and ideas and plan to blog about them, it doesn’t mean you have to blog in support of them. If you’re against keto for kids or calorie counting, for example, you can still blog about the concept to raise awareness and change minds – effectively presenting a different, better concept that you suggest instead.
You can also spot trends by looking at magazine covers and top selling books. No need to go buy them – you can simply go to the images tab for magazine or Amazon for books and see what all is hot at the moment.
Go to news and professional niche sites, too. These companies and blogs will often have a wealth of breaking information that you can use a springboard for ideas for your own blog.
For example, if you see an article about brain fog on Prevention Magazine’s website, you might add that topic to your list of blog post ideas. There are ways to make it relevant to many niches, such as anti-aging, health, nutrition, stress, and so on.
Look the topic up on social media and see what the latest conversations are about it. People will use hash tags and keywords to bring in the relevant audience. You may learn something new or see a lot you agree or disagree with.
When you see a topic trending, you want to do some initial keyword research so that you choose the wording that will bring in the most organic traffic for you. That’s not always the broadest word, either.
Sometimes trying to compete for broad keywords makes it more difficult for a new blogger to gain traction. So you can use keyword tools (free or paid) to help you find longtail keyword phrases that are easier to rank for.
For example, let’s say you don’t agree with calorie counting (or maybe you do). Instead of titling your blog post Calorie Counting, go with a longtail keyword phrase result such as: Calorie Counting and Weight Loss – Does It Work?
You can weave the broader wording into your content, as well as other phrases. But this title and use of a longer phrase allows you to get competitive in the early stages of your blog, before it’s achieved a position of authority on the topic.
Rotate Your Topics and Types of Posts
When you blog about a niche that has a lot of topics, it can be easy to veer off in one direction that you either know a lot about or have a stronger interest in. But this does a disservice to your readers.
You have to switch things up and give them some variety. For example, let’s say you want to start a blog about survival topics. You personally know a lot about canning, and it’s a hobby that you enjoy.
Before you know it, 20 out of the 30 posts on your blog are all about canning. You only have 10 that stray from the topic. Now this would be okay if it was a canning blog. But if you purport to be survival topic blog, then you need to rotate the topics so that you cover a wider range of issues for your audience.
You’ll want to create those initial categories we talked about before – which, for survival might be growing your own food, self-defense, first aid, water storage, and more. Even with the topic of growing your own food, you want to diversify that so that it’s not all canning.
With your publishing schedule, rotate the topics around so that each time, your readers see something new. If you publish three times a week on a marketing blog, then you might start with a post about mindset, one on blogging, and another about affiliate marketing.
The following week, you could cover keyword research, traffic generation, and info product development. Don’t focus solely on one topic because then readers will land on your blog and feel as if it’s not a good place to get a well-rounded education in the topic you’re blog promises to be about.
Keeping things simple in the beginning of your blog journey can help you achieve more in a shorter amount of time. Instead of getting bogged down in advanced measures, you’ll have a sustainable system in place that you can tweak a bit here and there as you feel more competent in the future.