There are lots of Do’s and Don’ts in the blogging world but there are very few absolutes. If I were to carve anything in stone, though, it would be these 10 Commandments to successful blogging.
Define Your Goal
Let’s cut to the chase, here: If you’re following my blog then your goal is to make money with your blog. That’s it in a nutshell. You may think your goal is to provide expert advice to help people, but it’s not. That’s HOW you’re going to achieve your goal. Your goal is to make money. It’s important to clearly separate these two concepts in your mind. Otherwise, you’re going to get so caught up in “helping people” that you’ll lose sight of your goal.
Have A Business Plan
In the beginning it may be as simple as providing expert advice to help people in a specific vertical achieve XYZ, but eventually you’re going to want to see a return on your investment. How do you plan to monetize your blog? More important, what type of business are you dreaming of?
Learn How To Write for the Internet
Writing for the Internet differs from any other type of writing. You need to understand keywords and how they’re used to attract the search engines.
You also need to understand how people actually read online content. First they scan the page to pick up the key points. If they’re interested, they’ll go back and reread certain paragraphs, or maybe the whole article. But the way your format your articles for online reading helps the reader absorb more of your content.
Study Other Bloggers, But Develop Your Own Unique Writing Style
When I started my first blog I was pretty please with my writing style. But when I started reading other blogs I realized I needed to be a lot more personable. Instead of supplying “just the facts” readers want your personal viewpoint and opinion, too. And they especially want to get to know you as a person.
Study your favorite blogs to see how they use words to paint pictures and elicit emotional responses from their readers. Then use these ideas to develop your own unique writing style that will endear you to your own readers.
Start Building Your List Immediately
Don’t put this off. Join Aweber and put a contact form on your blog immediately. You might not see a subscriber for the first two or three months but you want to be ready when they are.
Learn How To Use Content Marketing to Extend Your Reach
Content marketing consists of guest blogging on other blogs and industry websites, publishing videos on video sharing sites, publishing white papers, mini-guides and ebooks, article marketing and bum marketing. It involves publishing your content all over the Web so you can extend your reach deeper into the Internet marketplace. The more content marketing you do, the more brand awareness you’ll build.
Join At Least One Social Network Immediately
Don’t put this off, either. These days you can’t NOT use the social networks to promote your business. That’s where everyone hangs out, socializes, and shares ideas and these sites are here to stay.
Network For Your Business
Network with other bloggers so you can share links, promote content, and exchange business ideas. But it’s also important to network with other people who can help your business – website and blog owners who can publish or promote your content marketing materials, freelance writers who can help you with content creation, software designers, website designers, and even accountants and lawyers. This is your business we’re talking about.
Create Your Own Products
Start creating your own products right away. Many bloggers put this off because they’re afraid to give it a try, and the fear just keeps building and building. Just do it. Start with a simple 5-page mini-guide that you can use as a free giveaway for new email subscribers. You’ll be glad you did.
Learn To Think Outside The Box
No matter what blog or website you’re visiting, from now until the day you stop working online, stop for a minute and look around. What are they doing that attracted you, because it might attract visitors to your blog, too. What are they promoting? How are they promoting it? How are they making money?
There are not right or wrongs when it comes to blogging and if you can think it, you can do it. You also have plenty of competition out there. Keep your eyes open and learn to think outside the box to create a long-term sustainable business with multiple streams of income.