5 Secrets You Should Know Before Starting a Blog

blog secretsSome say that creating a blog in 2014 is a waste of time, that the days of building a loyal blog following are done and gone. I say they have it all wrong. If they’ve given up on blogging maybe it’s because they don’t know the secrets to creating great blogs or maybe they just don’t understand the power of blogging.

Blogging is surely not dead and can be a very rewarding way to make money online or to boost exposure for your business. Starting a blog and yes, maintaining an existing blog can be an effective and rather inexpensive marketing tool.

Blogging is not for those waiting for the next get rich quick scheme to fall in their laps. Blogging is serious business. Whether you’re new to blogging or you’ve been at it for some time these five tips will unleash the secrets for creating successful blogs. So let’s get going!

Top 5 Things to Know to Start a Blog Today

These are the must-have ingredients that I feel every blog should have. I enjoy hearing if you agree or if you have any other tips to add. BTW: you can assume that links within this post are affiliate links, that’s how I make a bit of pocket change.

Go With Self-Hosted Blogging

Many new to blogging are so unsure of themselves and possibly a bit overwhelmed with new terms and technologies that they start their blog on free platforms like Blogger. I recommend that you jump right in using the self-hosted WordPress platform. I think many newbies find the term self-hosting confusing, I know I did. What the heck does that mean? Do I need my own servers to self-host?

Then the light bulb turns on and you understand the term simply means that you find your own hosting company and pay them to store your content on their servers. This is the smart way to go –
#1 – you control your site
#2 – you can customize it as you like.

Plus I venture to say that if you opt to go with a free blogging platform you are simply wasting time because you will end up switching to WordPress and your own host if you stick with blogging.

Responsive Themes are a Must

responsive themesOnce you have your domain and hosting set, with WordPress installed you will be looking around for the right theme for your blog. I recommend starting with a free theme until you really know your direction and understand the features you want in a premium theme (paid theme).

When you experiment with various themes always make sure that they are responsive themes. A responsive theme simply means that it has a flexible framework that adapts to mobile devices and screen resolutions. More and more people will be accessing the Internet through their mobile devices make sure that your site responds accordingly. I recommend the free Responsive WordPress theme or themes from Studio Press such as the Genesis theme that I use on this site.

A blog not built using a responsive WordPress theme is a blog going nowhere. (Tweet This)

Visual Content Rocks

Do you enjoy reading lines and lines of boring text? I thought not, nor do your readers – spice up your content with images. Take your own pictures to avoid copyright infringement, create your own graphics, or find creative commons images that allow commercial use.

Wherever you get your images be sure to make them applicable to your content. An image of a demolition derby wreck on a financial blog is only fitting if used to depict disastrous money woes. Even then make sure your content ties in the analogy well and doesn’t leave your reader confused.

Find or create infographics to suit your niche and build a blog post or a blog post series around them. I’m doing that with these posts. Reason #1 of the Top 5 Reasons Why Bloggers Write Daily & Reason #2 of the Top 5 Reasons Why Bloggers Write Daily. As you can tell, it is still a series in progress.

Harness the Power of YouTube

the power of YouTubeVideo is an effective and powerful way to convey your message and increase the number of visitors to your blog. You can simply embed the videos created by others, giving proper attribution of course, or you can create your own videos. I recommend using either VideoMakerFX or my favorite Easy Sketch Pro to create your own.

Just look at these statistics provided by YouTube to understand the impact of video on the general population.

  • More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month
  • Over 6 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube—that’s almost an hour for every person on Earth
  • 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute
  • 80% of YouTube traffic comes from outside the US
  • According to Nielsen, YouTube reaches more US adults ages 18-34 than any cable network
  • Millions of subscriptions happen each day. The number of people subscribing daily is up more than 3x since last year, and the number of daily subscriptions is up more than 4x since last year
  • Mobile makes up almost 40% of YouTube’s global watch time
  • Google has owed YouTube since 2006 – want to boost your Google rank – use YouTube and share on Google+ (Tweet this)

The Power is Still in the List

All bloggers want readers right, otherwise you’re simply writing for your own enjoyment. And more than that, all bloggers want followers so they add opt-in boxes to their blogs. When your blog post content connects with your readers you hope they take action and join your list by entering their info in your opt-in. (hint, hint)

Having a list allows you to keep in touch with your readers via email by simply notifying them of recent blog post updates or as sales prospects for your own products or affiliate promotions. There are free services called autoresponders to use, but I recommend Aweber.

So do you agree with my five tips or have any others to add?
I’d enjoy hearing from you.
Please share the love if you found this post helpful.

 

Kindly,
Marilyn T

Comments

  1. Great article Marilyn. I am really enjoying blogging. maybe a bit too much, because it is not making any money and I am probably neglecting things that would be more lucrative. I think I am on board with everything but video. But the main thing with me is having things I want to promote in video or on my blog.
    Ana recently posted…Pros And Cons Of The First Date KissMy Profile

    • Glad you’re enjoying your blogging, you’re right it can take a fair amount of one’s time and finding products to promote honestly can be a challenge.

  2. Offline marketing still works wonders so don’t forget direct mail and the possibilities to use flyers, posters and postcards to get more traffic back to your blog.
    Bonnie Gean recently posted…How Much Change Is Necessary to Get Healthy?My Profile

    • I’ve been meaning to put notices up on community center bulletin boards but never seem to remember. Making a note to get it done. Thanks!

  3. Excellent tips.

    I need to get my Video Mojo back. lol
    Victoria Virgo recently posted…Quote Monday – Angelina JolieMy Profile

  4. I am slowly making my way into the video arena. I’ve never really liked doing them, but I’m finally taking the plunge and doing it. I’m really excited about the possibilities with it.
    Misty Spears recently posted…Kindle Book Publishing Project Update #3 – Fleshing Out that Content!My Profile

    • I’m sure you’ll have great fun with videos. The great thing too is that you don’t always have to star in them, sometimes it’s better if you don’t.

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