Everything goes through stages as it grows and matures. Plants, puppies, people, even relationships all have distinct phases you can look at that tell you where they are in their growth cycle. Blogs are no different. They’re born, they grow up, they age and mature. Here are the four stages of growing so you can prepare for the next step in your business.
Establishing Your Blog
In the beginning you’re focused on just getting your blog established. There’s a good deal of research involved in choosing a niche and targeting a market and then there’s the blog-set up and and design. All of this takes time and a lot of hard work.
At this stage of the game you’ll also be learning about SEO and how to create the type of content you need to attract the readers in your target market. You’ll also want to generate at least a few quality backlinks to help get your blog indexed.
There’s no need to even think about monetization at this point. Your blog won’t have enough traffic and unless you’re already a pro at blogging you probably aren’t really zeroing in on a target audience yet, anyway. Eventually you’ll get to the point where you have enough traffic to justify monetization and by then you’ll have a better idea of what your readers are looking for.
Growing Your Traffic
Once you have a good handle on content creating and targeting your market it’s time to start working on growing your traffic. And to grow traffic you need to focus on creating remarkable content that encourages comments and subscriptions to increase reader engagement and generate natural backlinks to help you rank higher in the search engines. You’ll also need to focus on building your own backlinks using guest posting and blog commenting.
This is also the stage where you should start extending your reach by using the social networks and social bookmarking sites to promote your blog.
Monetizing Your Blog
The next phase of growth is when your blog really hits its stride. You have an archive full of quality content, your posts are generating their own natural links, and your traffic numbers are still growing every day. Now it’s time to monetize your blog. Remember, though, you still need to continue producing that high-quality content frequently and consistently.
Now it’s much easier to monetize your blog because you’ve had some time to develop a relationship with your readers. You have a better idea of what they’re looking for because you’ve been engaging them in the comments and social networks, and your audience is better targeted because you have a better grasp of keywords.
At this point, you’re have several options for monetization. You can continue posting the same high-quality content and sell ad space on your blog. And established blog with consistently high traffic levels can charge a premium fee for ad space. You can also use Adsense ads, check out some affiliate programs or create your own products.
Maintaining And Growing Your Business
Once your blog is consistently making money you might be tempted to sit back and take a breather, and you’ve certainly earned it. You’ve already come farther than most bloggers. But now it’s time to take stock of your business and see which direction you want to go next.
At this point, you can back off a little bit on your posting frequency but you’ll always need to keep adding fresh content to keep readers interested. And now that you have a steady flow of traffic this is the ideal time to think about expanding your blog’s brand to include other products or broaden your range of topics.