How To Start a Successful Blog: Step By Step

September 28, 2016 by Nedim Talović

How to start a successful blog
Start Your Free Trial Today!

How to start a new blog is the question that has been asked a million times.

Search for how to start a successful blog site:quora.com and you’ll see about 162,000 results.

Quora: How to start a blog

That’s only on Quora.

Being a successful blogger gives you tons of opportunities – from earning money to getting new friends all around the world. But it’s a long way to become one.

People see a successful blogger and they think Oh great, I’ll write a blog and be like him. Well, it doesn’t go that way. There are dozens of questions you’re about to get answered, including the most frequent one – how to start a blog and make money.

You are at the right place and after reading this blog post, you’ll know:

  • How to be a blogger.
  • How to choose a niche for the blog.
  • Where to buy a domain and which hosting to choose.
  • How to set up a new blog for small money.
  • How to find writing ideas
  • How to earn money from blogging.

and basically, everything you need to succeed.

The first step is to create your own blog.

#1 Choose a Niche For The Blog

This is your starting point, not the web hosting or anything else but this.

In order to choose a right niche for the blog, you need to think about:

  • Knowledge. What skills in a specific niche you got?
  • Competition. You need to write a better content. If you can’t, you’ll fail.
  • Profitability. How much money, in targeted niche, other people make?

I share the opinion with Ashley Faulkes who said that you need to like what you do, otherwise you will not enjoy it.

Ashley Faulkes

It makes perfect sense. If you want to be a successful food blogger because your friend is, but you don’t enjoy cooking generally don’t have a clue about it, you’ll fail. Trust me, I’ve been there. When I was writing about food and recipes I failed because I hated it.

I couldn’t produce enough of quality content, even with a new Nikon Digital Camera.

Nikon Digital Camera

With around 3 million food blogs you simply need a PASSION to breakthrough.

Now we’re coming to the next big thing – competition .

According to SimilarWeb, earlier mentioned NicheHacks has almost 600K visits per month.

NicheHacks.com

If I decide to write about niche ideas, I think it would be very hard to succeed because this blog is very competitive and it has the topic which is so narrow. Thumbs up, Stuart.

How to find top blogs in the specific industry or niche?

Here is what I did.

I’ve searched for top food bloggers in Google and found the list of 32 must-follow food and nutrition blogs (this was the first result in Google SERP).

There are also a few articles about this topic on Huffington Post, so you can easily find other food bloggers and what they’re doing.

That’s how I’ve found a stunning blog called Naturally Ella! My first impression was I must go to eat something.

Naturally Ella Home Page

The strong first impression is exactly what we are looking for.

I’m not sure how much you’re familiar with SEO (Search Engine Optimization), but let me just say that there are 200 Google ranking factors and one of the most important is backlinks. The more links you get, the better ranking you’ll achieve. This is a general rule of thumb and it doesn’t include spammy links.

OK, stop there…Proceed to checkoutwhy’re you talking about SEO now?

Put Ella’s site in Open Site Explorer and you’ll see how competitive her blog is.

Naturally Ella Moz Metrics

Her blog has a domain authority of 63.

Domain Authority Description

Basically, it tells me that Ella’s site is highly competitive.

The competition doesn’t mean that entrance in this niche is impossible. On the contrary, if you learn a bit about SEO and stuff like that, there is room for everyone.

The competitive domain is also a chance for you to learn from them.

Finally, you need to know how you’re going to make the money. OK, it’s not about the money, the point is to write about something you love, but let me ask you:

Why wouldn’t you do write your favorite topics and make enough money for living  at the same time?

Blog Ads

There are different models of blog monetization, from affiliate marketing, selling consulting services, to selling real physical products. We will get back to this later.

If you hit enough visits you’ll earn money and figure out what your audience want. Keep producing valuable content and make sure that a number of visits continue to increase.

Lesson: Write about something that you love. Check who are the most visited websites in targeted niche, so you can learn from the. Try to do similar or make something better.

#2 B2B vs B2C: Which Business Model To Take?

When you start writing a new blog you need to know who is your audience. Do you plan to sell services to other businesses or consumers? In other words, you need to figure out your business model.

If you’re writing about something like digital marketing, you’re in B2B (Business-to-Business) model since your audience are other businesses (companies).

On the other hand, if you’re writing about themes like food your business model is B2C (Business-to-Consumer).

Which model is better for blogging, B2B or B2C?

Well, it depends. B2B marketing is different. For example, B2C needs larger target market then B2B. Smaller business target makes the whole job much easier.

B2B vs B2C Marketing

In B2B you’re building long-term relationships with your customers. You can build a blog in B2B and realize that your audience might be interested in some software your engineer have built.
This way, you’ll make long-term relationships – apps are being paid per month and average churn rate is less than 1% per month.

When it comes to Business-to-Consumer model (B2C) you need a lot of visitors to earn $100,000.

Specifically, in most consumer niches you’ll have to generate between 1,000,000 and 1,500,000 monthly visitors to start seeing numbers like $100,000 a month in income.

If you check out this survey from ProBlogger, only 4% of people are able to earn more than $10,000 per month.

Blog Earnings

What do you think how many people are able to make more than $100,000 from the blog? I would say less than 1% but don’t let this scare you off from blogging.

Personally, I believe that it’s easier to succeed in B2B because you don’t need so many visitors. For example, Neil Patel says that for every unique 100,000 B2B visitors in should be able to make between $80,000 and $100,000 per month.

Assuming that you’re an accountant, you can give free tax advice for everyone and as a result, you’ll see how one small percentage of visitors gets interested in your professional services.

Lesson: In B2B model, you need 10x times fewer visitors to earn $100,000. B2C is harder but there is much more search volume. I prefer B2B, but that’s my cup of tea. You should follow your passion and find out in what industry or niche you can fit.

#3 How To Come Up With a Blog Name: Choosing a Domain Name

A couple of years ago, SEO was about keyword sniffing where people were buying generic domains instead of branded ones. The reason was desire to manipulate Google and get high ranks, even if it wasn’t deserved.

For example, an NYC web design agency could buy nycwebdesignagency.com and get top rank. But that’s not the case anymore. If you don’t believe me, search for NYC web design agency and see the best rankings

nyc-web-design-agency-query

There is no nycwebedsignacency.com.

The thing is that targeted keywords don’t have a strong correlation with rankings, while branded domains look great and professional.

Keep in mind that you can always buy a domain that is on the sale. This way you can achieve better rankings much faster comparing to new, never used, domain.

Take a look at Nutrition Secrets challenge, where Neil Patel shared his experienced with buying an existing one.

Nutrition Secrets Project

In fact, buying new domain means a slower growth rate.

Now, let’s see how to find a used domain. The biggest marketplaces are Sedo, Godaddy Auctions, and Flippa.

Open Sedo, in the menu, go on BUY DOMAINS and click on Domain Search.

Sedo

With more than 1,000 domains you can buy, there are enough opportunities.

On the left side, you can filter domains by specific criteria. I filtered by price range – decided to show domains that cost up to $1,000, but you can filter it by category or length, too.

Sedo Filter

sitetraffic.com seems to be a great opportunity for people who’re going to write about digital marketing.

On the flip side, the real threat is buying a domain that has been penalized by Google. So, we need to check links pointing to this domain.

Firstly, I’ll open Ahrefs and type sitetraffic.com in Site Explorer.

This domain has total 492 backlinks from 44 referring domains.

Sitetraffic Ahrefs Stats

I’ve analyzed some of the 492 backlinks and I couldn’t find any spams. Still, if I decide to buy this domain, I’d definitely spend much more time on the link analysis.

Have a look at Open Site Explorer metrics for this domain.

Sitetraffic Moz

If you’re still wondering why buying a new domain might be a good opportunity, think about Domain Authority. It would take you a couple of months to achieve this DA.

When you’re buying an existing domain, please keep in mind that you can also use Google Search Console to check if manual actions were taken from Google.

In Search Traffic menu, go to Manual Actions.

Google Search Console: Manual Actions

This suggests that domain from example has not penalized. Unfortunately, you don’t have an access to Google Search Console until you buy (and verify) a domain, so you can only do Ahrefs and Moz analysis.

Never forget a wayback machine where you simply enter the domain and see what was there.

For example, sitetraffic.com was a creative studio in the Houston. They were offering web design, logo design, 360-degree panoramas, etc.

Sitetraffic.com Web Archive

According to WHOIS record, the domain history says there were 127 records since December 2001. Very old domain, isn’t it?

Sitetraffic WHOIS History

Older domains tend to rank higher in Google.

On the other side, if you decide to buy a new domain, you still can succeed, but the journey will probably be longer.

Now let’s see how to check if the desired domain is available.

Again, open GoDaddy or Enom, and enter desired domain.

I’ll open GoDaddy, enter a domain startinganewblog.com (this is an imaginary domain name) and click on Search Domain.

GoDaddy Search

It looks this domain is available, so I’ll click on Select.

Godaddy: Domain Available

Then click on Continue To Cart button, and Proceed to Checkout.

Proceed to checkout

If you’re buying a domain for the first time, you need to enter your billing information. After you’re done, you need to choose Payment information.

GoDaddy Payment Information

Probably the most used payment methods are Credit/Debit/Prepaid Card and PayPal.

Choose a preferred method and click on Place Your Order.

However, before buying a new domain on GoDaddy (or somewhere else), I can use Whois Lookup from Domain Tools.

I’ll type jellymetrics.com so I can see what will happen.

Whois Lookup

Obviously, this domain has already been taken, I’m writing about this because of the box you can see above domain information.

It’s the box where I can see related domains for sale or at auction.

Whois Lookup Related

There’s a domain saasmetrics.com which is great for businesses like Baremetrics or ChartMogul.

#4 Choose Your Web Hosting Provider

Once you’ve bought a domain, it’s time to think about web hosting.

Setting up a blog doesn’t require expensive hosting because, in the beginning, you won’t have so many visitors and your bandwidth requirements will be very low.

However, there are many things you should consider, like:

  • Price
  • Support
  • Uptime
  • Platform you’re going to use

Price is extremely important because most of the bloggers won’t have any income in the first months.

According to TopTenReviews, here is the list of top ten web hosting providers:

Top ten hosting providers

Personally, I have some experience with Bluehost, GoDaddy, and HostGator. I’m not affiliated with any of these companies, but I’m mentioning them because I want to compare prices.

As you can see, it starts from $1.99 per month.

Price is not the only important thing.

In an ideal world, it would be great if you pay hosting services a few dollars per month and get good support.

Different hosting providers have different reviews. Some people have great experiences while others talking horrible things in the reviews.

Anyway, a great support is necessary because sometimes there will be some issues with your blog.

BlueHost Support

This is a support page from Bluehost. They offer WordPress Assistance which is definitely a big plus.

If you decide to go with WordPress you should read WPBeginner hosting guide. It’s the place where you can get informed about WP hosting. Also, there are dozens of reviews that you can read, mostly from their customers.

I strongly recommend to go with WordPress because it’s undoubtedly the best platform you can use today unless you decide to build something custom, but I think it would be the waste of your time.

Here is the comparison from WP Site Care.

WordPress Hosting Compare

If you’re still thinking about picking a right platform, I’ll talk about WordPress vs other platforms later.

If you have some technical skills I’d suggest you think between Linode and DigitalOcean. I use both and I think they’re great. With a couple of clicks, you design a VPS as you wish.

However, if you don’t have any technical skills it would be better to pick services like Bluehost, HostGator, GoDaddy, etc.

DigitalOcean was founded in June 2011 and they had extremely high growth rate since.

DigitalOcean World Rank

On the other side, Linode was founded in 2003 and they’re definitely a great choice. But, as said earlier, without technical skills, you should avoid them.

Uptime is something that really matters. Always check what uptime guarantee a hosting provider offer. It’s not real to expect 100% uptime guarantee, but 99.99% is what we’re looking for.

Here’s what Host Benchmarker says.

Host Benchmarker

Now, I’ll show you how to check uptime of your own website (once you get online).

Open Uptime Robot and register there.

Uptime Robot

After you register, click on Add New Monitor.

Add new monitor

There are four different monitor types:

  • HTTP(s)
  • Keyword
  • Ping
  • Port

I won’t explain each of them, I’ll just choose Ping type.

Jellymetrics Monitor

I chose monitor interval for every 5 minutes and I chose to send an alert to notify me on my email.

After that, just click on Create Monitor and monitoring can start.

Now I can track whenever it gets down, so I can send a message to my server administrator.

There are other commercial services like Pingdom who offers SMS alerts, which is also nice.

Lesson: I’m not affiliated with any of these hosting providers, so I won’t make any suggestion. Whatever you choose, you won’t make a mistake. Just think about price, uptime, and support.

#5 WordPress vs Joomla vs Drupal: Which One To Choose?

Again, WordPress is the most powerful platform and the most used in the world for a reason.

Wordpress vs Joomla vs Drupal

The majority of the websites use WordPress as its CMS.

For example, 206,005 of top 1,000,000 websites use WordPress. 29,120 use Joomla and 23,361 use Drupal.

CMS: Top Websites

According to Google Trends, interests for WordPress, over the time 5 years, has always been in the first place. After that, comes Joomla and Drupal.

CMS Google Trends

Have a look at the chart above and these data from Google Trends – they definitely have a strong correlation.

Here’s what WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal have in common:

  • PHP. They are built in PHP and it means you need a Linux based hosting.
  • mySQL. WordPress supports only PHP while Drupal and Joomla support other databases.
  • Open-source. Source code is available for everyone and your contribution is more than welcome.

WordPress is very easy to use and what’s more, it has strong SEO capabilities.

WordPress vs Joomla vs Drupal

In fact, 2500+ themes mean that there are very good chances that you’ll find something that fits your needs.

If not, you can always buy a new theme and they’re not so expensive.

In my opinion, Hooray is a beautiful theme. One of the most growing blogs in the nutrition industry, NutritionSecrets.com uses Hooray.

Horaay

Trust me, you don’t need to hire a web designer to get a WordPress page. Here are four steps:

  1. Buy a domain
  2. Choose a hosting provider
  3. Buy a new theme (or find a free one)
  4. Install WordPress

It’s very easy! Please keep in mind, there are lots of providers who offer you 1-click WordPress installation.

You should always update WordPress to the latest version due security reasons. But that’s not the only reason.

How To Speed Up a WordPress Site

Every version of WordPress is becoming faster and faster. Furthermore, every major WP release comes with new features and fixed bugs.

Did you know that you can speed up a WordPress site as a non-tech?

I’ve been writing about that. For instance, optimizing images may help your blog.

Compressor.io

Image compression lets you reduce file size and also keep the image quality.

Extra tip: Never install too many WordPress plugins. They’ll make your website slower.

Lesson: Choose WordPress because that is the best solution you currently have. Joomla and Drupal are good, but WordPress is the best.

#6 Learn SEO Basics

Starting a blog without SEO is useless.

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and it’s a set of strategies and tactics of increasing search rankings. When I say SEO I only mean Google, not Yahoo, Bing or any other (sorry guys).

Google handles at least 2 trillion searches per year.

Every single second there are around 63,000 searches. Every minute 3.8 million and every hour 228 million. Huge numbers and huge opportunities.

It has data centers all around the world.

Google Data Centers

This is how one of their data centers looks.

Data center

Currently, there are around 200 Google ranking factors, splitted into two groups:

  • On-Page SEO
  • Off-Page SEO

Let’s see what you can do to achieve better rankings.

On-Page SEO

On-Page SEO is everything about the page you’re trying to rank, such as title, URL, content.

This suggests that when we talk about On-Page SEO, you can fix everything about specific page because it’s all in your hands.

Title

Years ago, there was a strong correlation between ranking position and title of the page. Today, the correlation is very low, almost non-existing.

Google became smarter over the time and it can understand every piece of content.

Google is becoming smarter

Although there is no strong correlation, the title is still important. It’s because it influences on CTR in Google SERP.

In other words, your job is to create the most attractive title.

Content

This is definitely the most important On-Page factor. Period.

Content Is The King

Content is the king.

The better content you have, the better ranking you achieve.

If you create a wonderful content, you’ll rank high. Trust me on this. Great content attracts quality backlinks, and they’re still the most important ranking factor. It’s the Off-Page factor, by the way.

Average content length of top ten results

Notice how you should write +2,000 words articles to reach high rankings.

Website Speed

Firstly, your site needs to be fast because of your visitors and secondly because of search engines.

Use different tools to test your site speed.

For example, open Pingdom and enter your site’s URL.

Pingdom Website Speed

After a couple of seconds, you’ll see the results.

Pingdom Results

Mobile Responsivity

Google rolled out the mobile-friendly update in April 2015.

In fact, this update affects only search rankings on mobile devices and individual pages, not entire websites, and all languages.

Mobile-Friendly Update Rolled

Even Facebook revenue comes mostly from mobile advertising – 78% of their advertising revenue.

Facebook revenue by segment

This was unthinkable a few years ago.

Checking if some page is mobile optimized is very easy.

Open Google Mobile-Friendly Test, type the URL and click on Analyze.

Mobile Friendly Test

This isn’t what we don’t want to see.

Not Mobile Friendly

This is what we want.

Mobile Friendly

Off-Page SEO

Off-Page SEO is something that is hard to influence.

Backlinks

I strongly believe they are the most important Google ranking factor.

On-Page vs Off-Page SEO

Think about backlinks as a vote from page A to page B. Now it may seem that you can get lots of backlinks within a few hours.

A few years ago, maybe. Not anymore. Today, you can’t just visit different forums and paste links. No spam.

Your site might get penalized.

What can I do?

You can produce great content and find out what pages link similar content. Next, you can outreach them and ask for the link.

3 – 4% of people will link you back. If not, here are two main reasons:

  1. Your content is horrible.
  2. You’re outreaching sites that are too authoritative.

You need to go step by step.

Creating different tools attracts much more backlinks than normal articles.

I’ve created a Readability Test Tool, where you just paste your text and get readability scores:

  • Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease
  • Automated Readability Index
  • Coleman-Liau Index
  • Dale-Chall Score
  • Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level
  • Gunning-Fog Score
  • SMOG Index
  • Spache Score

It’s great for content marketers because readability has a solid correlation with ranking positions.

This tool brought me links from sites with Domain Authority of 100, 75, 65, 55 and so on.

That increased my rankings.

Bounce Rate

When someone visits your site and go back without further interactions, we identify that user as someone who bounced.

Your blog will have a bounce rate between 70 – 98%. The less bounce rate you have, the better ranking you get.Simple as that.

It’s actually a signal to Google that visitors are satisfied with your content. If they open your page, and go return to a search engine, and they click the next result, it means that result is probably better than yours.

You can’t influence on bounce rate like influencing on the title, but what you can do is to create amazing content.

Social Media

The number of shares and likes don’t directly affect on ranking positions because Google doesn’t use it in its algorithm, but there are many benefits of social media.

When you get many shares and likes, your content may become viral and the reason for new backlinks. Create a shareable content and you’ll definitely see SEO benefits.

Moz correlation study shows us a solid correlation between social and brand features.

Moz Correlation Study Social

As you can see, social shares will definitely help your brand and generally SEO rankings.

Remember, correlation is not a causation.

Lesson: Creating great content will always be a path to the success. People love great content and they link it and links are still the most important Google ranking factor.

#7 Generate Content Ideas

Now, when we were talking about creating great content, we need to see how to handle ideas. That’s the reason why I’ve written the article called How To Generate More Content Marketing Ideas For Your Blog.

However, I haven’t written everything about generating blog post ideas in that article. I saved some tips for other blog posts.

Now, let’s open Content Idea Generator and type head term related to your business.

I’ll type email marketing into the text input.

Content Idea Generator

This is the idea I just got: What Experts Are Saying About Email Marketing.

What experts are saying about email marketing

The truth is that this phrase has 0 searches per month, but remember, it’s not about the title. It doesn’t correlate well anyway.

The key thing is content that you’re going to write.

If you interview 150 experts and collect all interesting quotes on email marketing, I bet you’ll rank high for terms like email marketing quotes and quotes about email marketing.

There is no such article that has +150 expert quotes. The whole idea is creating something that adds value and because of that, Google will reward you.

Earlier, I mentioned that creating a tool is a great way of attracting new backlinks.

Content Idea Generator Ahrefs

This tool has attracted +9,580 backlinks from +3,000 domains.

I don’t think there are so many articles that can do this.

Another way of generating ideas for the blog post is HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator.

There are three fields with terms (preferably nouns). I’ll type email marketing in the first field and click on GIVE ME BLOG TOPICS!

HubSpot idea generator

Here are five topics I just got.

Hubspot Blog Post Generator Ideas

Specifically, I like the third topic because I think it’s possible to create a great article about biggest problems in email marketing.

For example, earning new subscribers in the biggest challenge and also, increasing open rates.

the-biggest-email-marketing-challenge

I think now you understand how these tools can help you with generating new ideas.

Also, the latest blog topic is great because quizzes are great for collecting new subscribers, which we’ll talk about a bit later.

Finally, a third way of generating new ideas is BuzzSumo.

With BuzzSumo, you can easily find the most shared content across different social networks.

For example, if I search for Fitness I’ll get something like this:

Fitness at BuzzSumo

The most shared article is about fitness motivation.

When I realize that people are interested in fitness motivation, I can create the next blog posts like:

  • 67 Fitness Photos For Getting Motivation During Difficult Times
  • What Are Some Of The Best Fitness Motivation Movies Ever?
  • What Inspiring Things Do You Tell Yourself During Workout?

Personally, I just need one topic to generate tons of ideas. It’s something that comes over the time and it might be difficult at first, but trust me, you won’t have any problems either.

Lesson: Generating new ideas will be easier over the time. At first, you can use different tools which will definitely help, but later you won’t need anything.

#8 Writing a First Blog Post

Writing a blog post requires putting a lot of efforts on research because you need fresh and accurate information.

But, before that, let’s see what is the best tool for writing blog posts.

Personally, I write my blog posts in Google Docs because I don’t need to worry about backups or spelling.

Google Docs

One of the biggest benefits of Google Docs is that you can easily share documents with your colleagues, so they’ll easy collaborate.

However, there are other tools as well. For example, Zoho Writer is also a great app with supporting various formats including ODT, HTML, and docx.

Zoho Writer

You can even embed YouTube videos if you would like to add YouTube videos in writing documents.

If you’re still an old-school computer user and a lover of Microsoft Word, then you should try with Office Online.

Office Online

Basically, the app is identical to desktop version, and the only difference is that it’s in the cloud, which makes collaboration and backups easier.

When it comes to writing your first blog post, my suggestion is to create a structure of your future blog post firstly.

This way, you’ll know how your blog post is going to look like, even before you write a single word. For example, if you’re targeting +2,000 words, you can split your blog post into a few headings:

Introduction

Heading 1

Heading 2

Heading 3

Heading 4

Heading 5

Conclusion

You can leave 250 words for introduction and conclusion which means you have 1,500 words left. It means you need to write 300 words per heading. Please respect this because it’s not the best practice if you have 3 headings with 350 words, and two with 225, for example. Small deviations are fine.

Check this photo from Venture Accelerator Partners:

Blog structure

Note this Download Now.

Including Call-to-Action is always a good thing. For example, content upgrade or downloading an eBook will increase your email conversion rates.

Plus, you should always include lots of images in your blog posts and also share authority links.

Why?

It’s because when you include authoritative external links your ranking will increase. Yes, there is a correlation but more than that, visitors will be thankful and know that your site is the place of useful sources.

Always think about your target audience and their needs and be accurate. Never share something that you’re not 100% sure. You need to be a trustful source of information.

When starting sentences, I often use phrases like:

  • I’ll show you …
  • Let me introduce you …
  • If I were you, I’d …

Using I & You makes your blog posts more personal. You’re not writing an essay for your school homework. Write in the first person.

You should always press enter after a few sentences. Don’t write paragraphs with too many sentences.

As for me, the best app I use when I do blogging is Grammarly. It helps me with grammar and spelling. After I finish writing in Google Docs, I just copy the text into Grammarly, so I can see if there are some critical issues.

Grammarly Fixing Errors

An extension for Google Chrome and Firefox Mozilla is also available, but unfortunately, it doesn’t support Google Docs.

One of the ways I check how many words I wrote is pressing CTRL (CMD) + SHIFT + C.

Google Docs: Writing Count

This way, you’ll always be introduced a number of words. If you don’t like shortcuts, you can always go to Tools – Word count.

Lesson: Use apps like Google Docs for writing your blog posts, write in the first person and never create too long paragraphs because they are hard to read.

#9 Promoting The First Blog Post

Now that you’ve written your first blog post, it’s time to make your audience see it. Even if you got the right keywords and valuable content, it will take some time to reach high rankings.

Good news is that you can speed up the process. Acquiring quality backlinks will give you that boost. But it’s not that simple.

To get the backlinks that count, you have to do precise and efficient promotion. This is where social media marketing will show it’s all glitter.

Here is how B2B and B2C businesses are using social media.

B2B vs B2C marketing

So, what this comparison means to your promotion? If you are writing for other businesses companies, you should give the top priority to LinkedIn, while Facebook is more suitable for a wider audience (non-business customers).

Again, don’t think for a second that only one marketing channel is enough. This stats is just showing results of the Content Marketing Institute research that give you initial directions.

Now, let’s see how to promote blog via social media.

LinkedIn

This social network is all about business, so for B2B it’s a must-have but it can be useful for B2C too.

Firstly, make your profile professional but personal. Include links to your website and blog.

Join the different professional groups where many might be interested in your blog posts. Among 1.5 million groups on LinkedIn, you’ll find your niche.

Let’s assume that you’re working that industry and see how to join to nutrition industry groups.

In the search input, type Nutrition:

LinkedIn: Nutrition Search

You can find jobs requiring nutrition skills, people with nutrition skills and finally, groups about nutrition.

Here are groups about nutrition:

LinkedIn: Nutrition Groups

As you can see, there are 1,794 groups that contain Nutrition in its name. From these 1,794 groups, 1,702 groups are in English.

Simply join these groups and contribute. It’s the perfect place where you can answer on different questions, help other people, join discussions, etc. The most popular group has 53,178 members.

Join the group on Linkedin

Click on Ask to join and post your articles regularly and provide useful links to other sites as well. Be careful not to be marked as spam.

Become an authority, remember?

Lesson: LinkedIn is great for B2B but it can be useful for B2C, too. This requires tons of work, but if you’re without funds, you don’t have other ways of increasing your traffic. In your first days of being a blogger, you won’t have so many visitors from Google.

Ego Building Strategy

Ego Building is a strategy where you need to mention influencers in your blog post. Once you mention them, you can send them a message and ask for a tweet.

For example, I’ve created a guide on making an interview with influencers.

This is the result of reaching out Jeff Bullas.

Jeff Tweet

This is how I did it.

I mentioned Jeff in my blog post and after publishing, I just sent a message to Jeff where I asked him to tweet it.

He did it.

Jeff's answer

It’s because I’ve shown Jeff as an expert (he truly is).

What can I do?

You can interview influencers in your strategy. If you’re not sure how to find influencers, I suggest you reading this blog post where you’ll learn everything about this topic.

Lesson: Ego building strategy works great. Trust me, I’ve tried it several times and I know it works perfectly. Go for it.

Quora

Quora

Quora is the biggest Q&A website where you can find questions about everything you can even imagine. In fact, it has more than 270M visits and +419,000 news questions per month.

Quora Visits by SimilarWeb

For example, if you’re writing on Fitness topic, you can open that topic at Quora and find questions that are waiting for answers.

Specifically, Fitness has more than 47,000 questions.

Quora FItness Stats

Once you publish a blog post, you can easily find out questions where you can mention your blog post. Please keep in mind that you shouldn’t do copy & paste of your blog post. You’ll always write at least 200 words answer and insert the link into the answer.

Here are some questions that you can answer.

Quora Fitness Questions

Don’t worry if there are other answers too. It doesn’t matter because one question can get lots of visits from Google, too.

I know this is a huge job, but it’s also a huge opportunity. This is especially good when you don’t have any budget to spend on Paid ads. I really mean that it’s better to hire someone whose job will be answering questions on Quora, instead of paying ads, for some cases.

Lesson: Quora is a goldmine of generating traffic for your blog posts. You can build a huge number of referral visitors from Quora, but also you can build followers and authority.

#10 Email Marketing: Why You Need To Collect Emails?

A total number of email accounts is increasing over the time.

It’s estimated that by 2017 there will be up to 4.9B email accounts, including 1.13B business accounts.

Email marketing has a lot of benefits:

  • ROI. For one $1 invested in email marketing, you can expect $40 in revenues.
  • Customer retention. Once you get a new subscriber, he will visit your blog again.
  • Personalization. Sending personalized emails is increasing engagement with potential customers.
  • Segmentation. You can send a newsletter to people who haven’t visited your email for weeks.
  • Measurability. You can know how many people opened your email, how many clicked, unsubscribed and so on.

Email marketing is something you need consider seriously. It takes a lot of efforts to build the list.

Now, let’s see some of the ways for increasing number of subscribers.

Modal Dialogs

When someone comes to your blog, you can ask him Do you want to be the healthiest person in the world?

Want to be your healthiest self

If he clicks No, it doesn’t matter. Ignore it.

But, if he clicks Yes, and a huge percentage of people will, you can ask him to sign up for your daily (or weekly) newsletter.

Want to be your healthiest self

The 2-step modal dialog is much better than asking someone to sign up immediately.

A big rule is to offer something in exchange for an email. You can’t just simply say: Sign up to my newsletter and learn everything about cooking.

Why would someone sign up? Give him a reason. You need to add a new value.

That’s why eBooks are so great for capturing new emails.

Slider

A modal dialog is not the only way of getting new emails. Bombarding your visitors with offers is the key to successful email collection.

Showing slider boxes in the right (or left) corner of your page is also something you should think about.

Do you remember Naturally Ella blog from earlier?

This is how she capture emails with a slider.

Naturally Ella Slider

She offers dinner inspiration, ingredient ideas, and pantry tips, once a week.

Quizzes

Have you ever been thinking about creating a quiz?

For example, Nutrition Secrets has a strong offer, on every page within the blog – Which Diet Is Right For Your Personality?

Nutrition Secrets Quiz

This way, Nutrition Secrets will collect many emails because people are curious.

When visitors spend a couple of minutes on answering the question, you should ask for an email in exchange for the results.

Quiz Results

Maybe it’s not the nicest thing to avoid showing results without an email, but that’s a great way of lead generation.
Tools

I recommend you to start collecting emails as soon as possible. You can use different apps, and some of them are free.

Here are some tools that you can use:

All of them are great and they all have a free version, which is great for reducing costs when starting a new blog.

Lesson: Be creative and connect as much as possible emails. I mentioned only a couple of ways, but there are many others. Test different versions of CTAs and learn what works the best.

#11 Measuring Is the Reason Of Success And Failure

One of the reasons why you’ll succeed with your new blog is measuring. It’s also the reason why you maybe won’t succeed.

Here are some questions you need to know:

  • How many visitors come from search engines?
  • What are the top landing pages I have?
  • How many emails I collect per day?
  • What content type does have the lower engagement so I can do improve it?

Answer on these questions is possible with Google Analytics.

Google Analytics

If you’re not familiar with Google Analytics, I suggest you take a free Digital Analytics Fundamentals course from Google, where you can learn a lot about measuring.

What’s more, this is one of two courses that is enough to pass Google Analytics Individual Qualification exam. The second course is Google Analytics Platform Principles.

Once you prepare yourself, you can take the exam.

How to take Google exams

Google exams are free of charge and they’re expiring. Specifically, the validity period is 18 months.

Google Analytics Exam

You have 90 minutes to answer 70 questions with 80% passing score.

If your native language is not English, you can take it in simplified Chinese, Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Turkish.

Next, if you wish to practice in Google Analytics, you might be thinking that it’s impossible because your blog doesn’t have any traffic.

Yes, that was a problem until Google recently announced that GA data for their Merchandise Store is available for everyone.

Now, let’s see how many visitors come from search engines.

In the menu, go to AcquisitionAll TrafficChannels.

Google Analytics Channels

Here is what you’ll see.

Google Analytics Channels Overview

There are 25,288 organic visits (sessions) every month and all these sessions have a solid bounce rate – 41.64%.

In other words, 41.64% visits will come and leave without further interactions.

Now, if we click on Organic Search, we can see what are top landing pages from that channel and how much revenues these landing pages generate.

Top landing pages in Google Analytics

Basically, we can analyze everything on the website, blog, e-commerce, etc.

For the blog, you simply need to check out what content type (lists, definitive guides, quizzes, etc), brings the most visitors from search engine and what percentage converts into email subscriber.

Did you know that you can see for what queries your site rank?

Go to AcquisitionSearch ConsoleQueries.

Acquisition - Search Console - Queries

Here are search queries:

Search queries in Google Analytics

This is actually data from Google Search Console, and it’s with 3-days delay. If you want to see this data, you need to link your Google Search Console and Google Analytics accounts.

Go to AdminAll products (Product linking section).

Google Analytics Link Accounts

After that, you’ll see the list of Linked Products and the list of Unlinked Products.

Google Analytics Product Linking

In this case, Search Console has already been linked, but when you create your Google Analytics account, you’ll see it just as you see AdSense – in the group of unlinked products.

Lesson: Measure, measure, measure. That’s the key to creating success business. You should always do some changes, measure and after that, learn from the data. Otherwise, you’ll fail.

#12 Monetizing Your Blog

How to make money from your blog is the question asked so many times.

Finally, I’ll tell you everything about.

Here is the algorithm how to make money from the blog.

How blogs make money

Firstly, you get visits with the content you’ve published. There are several channels:

  • Direct
  • Organic Search
  • Social
  • Email
  • Referral
  • Paid Search

and a few others, less important.

After that, you just need to capture emails – it’s possible to have a lead rate up to 5% percentage.

Next, when you publish new blog posts you need to send a newsletter. This way, you’re building a trust.

Finally, offer a product or service to your subscribers.

Here are some types of things blogs can sell:

  • Digital goods
  • Education
  • Physical goods
  • Services

Types of things you can sell on your own blog

The hardest type is physical goods because you need to worry about logistics, shipping, returning policy and many other problems.

I suggest you to avoid selling physical goods unless you have a lot of visitors so you can handle this with hiring additional people. If not, better focus on producing great content.

As you know, I was writing about differences between B2B and B2C blogs. For example, professional services (Financial, Programming, Design, Copywriting, Marketing) is something more related to other businesses.

On the other hand, if you’re writing in nutrition space, which is B2C, there are great chances to sell seminars on weight loss topic, and so on.

Everything depends on your niche (you can sell seminars in B2B, too), but these are some general thoughts.

Affiliate Marketing

If you think you’re not ready to offer your own product, you can always earn money with affiliate marketing.

Have a look at affiliate marketing definition:

Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s (or company’s) products.

Amazon has the largest affiliate program in the world.

Amazon Affiliate Fee

The whole idea is to promote Amazon products and get paid for that. Specifically, for general products you can get a commission rate up to 8.50%, depending on volume.

Writing in travel industry brings lots of opportunities. For example, if you add Booking.com ads, you can expect up to 40% commission rate (from Booking.com commission).

Booking commission structure

In fact, for 501 bookings or more, per month, you will definitely need huge traffic. Anyway, 25 – 30% is also a good commission rate.

Expedia gives a great opportunity for promoting products like airline tickets, where you get $3 per transaction. They will also pay you for hotel transactions – 5.5% to 6% per transaction based on monthly Merchant hotel sales.

Once your traffic goes up you can do whatever you wish. You can always learn what your audience is interested in, what they’re buying, what are they needs, etc.

Conclusion

Starting a new blog isn’t hard. Building a successful one is, but not impossible.

I gave you lots of examples, from buying a new domain vs buying an existing one, to choosing a web hosting.

However, the most important things are:

  • Building great content.
  • Collecting emails as much as possible.
  • Measuring everything because from the data you can learn a lot.

Again, build +2,000 words articles because that’s the only way to rank high on Google. If you create a blog post with 300 words, the chances that you’ll see some traffic are low.

As for me, I’m writing blogs posts with +4,000 words. It takes me a lot of time to write, correct mistakes and in the end, publish, but it’s worthwhile.

If I can do it, you can do it too.

One extra tip – don’t look at traffic increase from Google, because you will get frustrated in first weeks. Trust me, your ranking position will increase but don’t expect to see it over the night.

Please let me know in the comments if there’s something I could help you with. Share your thoughts.

Say something cool

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Engage customers.
Drive leads.
Increase sales.

AWeber is the trusted partner
in email marketing for 120,000+
businesses nationwide. Isn’t it time
you elevated your marketing game?

Powered by AWeber