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Thanks in small part to the explosion of influencers and the myriad of highly visible fashion, beauty and lifestyle bloggers that have successfully cut through the clutter to make lucrative careers for themselves, blogging has had a rise in popularity and has pretty much become the “it” career of choice for the modern world. In fact, according to a survey back in 2014, already over 25% of under 25’s in the UK alone identified a future as a blogger on their list of aspirational careers and that figure will have significantly increased now that many bloggers have moved over into the mainstream.
In part that is due to a huge misconception that blogging is easy and doesn’t require much of a time commitment, is lucrative and can deliver big bucks sponsorships and brand collaborations and will bring social admiration and respect from your peers! While some of that may indeed be true, it’s also a long hard slog ahead to get visibility, traction, and engagement. In the UK alone there are over 100,000 searches every month on “How to Blog” and “Can I start a blog” which just shows you how prevalent the subject of blogging has become.
Not that we want to put you off starting your own blog, we positively encourage it, and we certainly admire your ambition. However, it is a hugely competitive landscape, so if you want to do it right and more importantly stand a chance of being both successful and profitable, then you need to set out on the right track from day one. Luckily for you, we’re here with our Top 10 Tips To Start a Blog in 2019, so hopefully, you can jumpstart your new passion or career and get ready to share your passion with the world. Whether that’s DIY, Fashion, Gardening, Tech or even Business related, there will be an audience out there that are interested in what wisdom you have to impart. So let’s take a look at some of the tips that will set you confidently on your way.
1. It’s a marathon, not a sprint! Blogging DOES take time and also effort
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was a successful blog. Get honest before you even put pen to paper and ask yourself why you want to start writing a blog in 2019. If it’s to make money online quickly, then blogging perhaps isn’t the right path for you. However, if you are passionate about your niche (more on that later) and are prepared to put in the hours and hard work to grow your audience, then read on! Chances are that nobody will even read your first blog. Certainly, you won’t see results immediately. So don’t lose heart. Keep working at it and know that the rewards and the audience will come in time. If they don’t, then at least ensure you are blogging about something that comes naturally to you and that puts fire in your belly and a big smile on your face.
2. Know your niche and identify who your target audience is going to be
This is absolutely crucial. You can’t possibly be all things to all people. You need to get clear about what you are blogging about, why and to who. Then you need to stick to that niche with sharp laser focus. Even if your friend suddenly has hit the jackpot blogging about their Dog’s daily antics, if you don’t have a dog and your passion is planting, it doesn’t matter how successful they are, it won’t come naturally to you, and your audience will sense that a mile away. Choose a topic that you are absolutely passionate and committed. That will resonate throughout your writing and really hit home and engage with your core audience.
3. Remember that Content is King, Queen and also your Ace card!
Yes, quantity matters, as does consistency but quality should be your Number 1 objective. Don’t be shallow and just write drivel. Make sure that you really give value and that your content is interesting and inciteful or humorous or practical. Whatever your niche is, your content needs to be relevant to that and to strike a chord with your audience.
4. Tap into your Social Network to drive more eyeballs
If you already have a Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, then use them. You need to be your own PR machine and blow your own trumpet. The aim of the game is to raise your visibility and so it’s not just enough to write fabulous content and hope that people will just naturally stumble across you. You need to be proactive and while your content takes it time to naturally rank with search engines, getting busy on social media, promoting your latest articles, boosting your posts and even consider strategically buying some traffic to get your blog kick-started in earnest.
5. Learn some basic technical skills
Today there are some fantastic blogging platforms available that you can easily , so there’s no need to be a coding pro, but a little bit of general technical knowledge will most certainly stand you in good stead. There are literally tones of customizable themes and useful plugins you can bolt onto your blog that requires no coding experience, but if you do have a good handle on the basics, you can ensure that your blog really does look the business and is a cut above the rest.
6. You really need to understand the basics of SEO
This is fundamental. Even if you don’t do it, make sure that someone else is aware of the importance of SEO and ensuring that your blog is fully optimized. Again, many of the blogging platforms now come with built-in SEO that helps take the guesswork out of your set up, but traffic comes from search engines and is the key to growth so have a very clearly defined SEO structure in place and know your critical keywords. If you are blogging about the best Italian food in Brooklyn, then make sure that phrase is utilized nice and natural throughout your content and even consider having it included in the name of your site. Something along the lines of The Best Italian Food In Brooklyn!! Yeah right, that one has already gone, but you get the gist. Don’t over complicate things by giving your blog a totally irrelevant and nonsensical name, clever as you might think you are being. Choose something that is relatable, and that will further help with your site’s important SEO.
7. The legal nitty gritty! Sorry folks, but you need to wise up to copyright issues
Right now you might well be writing articles that only your Mum and your best friend are reading, that doesn’t mean you have carte blanche to steal other peoples ideas. The internet is like the wild wild west, and you don’t want to the latest Outlaw driven out of town! You don’t want to be accused of plagiarism nor do you want it happening to you either. So brush up on your basic copyright knowledge and educate yourself so that you don’t unintentionally become a content thief by using someone else’s articles or images in whole or part without giving them due credit or checking with them first. Civil and straightforward rules of engagement!
8. The design is so important – so don’t just identify your niche, also identify your site style and your personal brand too
How a design looks can really influence how people even perceive the content. We are visual beings after all. Drawn to color and imagery and likely to be turned away by a long stream of consciousness or a blog that is either downright ugly or in a font type and size that is basically eligible. Also, remember that Google’s latest algorithms are heavily skewed towards prioritizing mobile-based content so don’t neglect to ensure that your blog is fully optimized from a design and navigation perspective for all mobile devices. Fewer people these days are consuming content at their desk on a big screen, and more and more people are dipping into their favorites while they are out and about. Make sure that your blog is pleasurable and easy reading experience and that is totally mobile friendly as well as responsive. Learn about optimizing your image sizes so that it loads quickly otherwise the bus may well have come and gone while your potential reader is still waiting for your content to load!
9. Be natural and be authentic. Above all else, by yourself!
You are you, not some imposter so keep it real. Always, always be yourself and stay true to you. To build real-time trust, your audience need to connect with you, trust you, engage with you and respect you. That is especially true if your ultimate aim is to monetize your blog by adding on a revenue stream. Whether you are selling a product that you own or on behalf of a brand, or are in a service based industry or network marketing model where recruiting new customers is the end game, if you’re not natural and you don’t foster trust, you will never succeed. Be open with your readers, allow them to engage with you and vice versa. Actively encourage interaction and participation by opening up dialogue and debate.
10. Keep going and have a plan in place for the short, mid and long-term
As with life itself, it pays to get clear on your goals and intentions. Set yourself some markers in the sand that you are working towards achieving and make sure that you keep one eye firmly on the short term and the other on the long game. Don’t allow yourself to get overwhelmed. Starting out no-one knows every step of the journey ahead, and that is part of the magic as well as the frustration. It’s good to visualize your success and what that looks like. Whether that’s 20,000, 200,000 or 2,000,000 subscribers down the line, keep your sites firmly set on the horizon, steady your ship and success will come. Trust in the process and know that each little step you take puts you on track towards hitting the blogging jackpot!
Just do it!
Procrastination will have you sat on the fence for so long you will get blisters in your backside! If you are committed to making 2019 the year that you launch a blog, whether that’s a personal or a professional one, you better just get on and do it! Find your niche and define your audience. Decide which platform you are going to use and then set your blog up, giving it a really snappy and relevant, SEO friendly name. Crack on with creating some awesome content then get busy sharing the hell out of tapping into all our social touchpoints both online and generally by starting up conversations with people about what you are up to. They’ll love listening to you, and if you listen to them too, you might get some valuable feedback that will help you better engage with your audience. But above all else, if we can only give you one Top Tip to take away with you that will help you to start a blog in 2019, keep it real! Be natural, have integrity, gain your audience’s trust and act authentically.
Blogging is dynamic, and you need to be too. You need to attack it with your full spirit, all guns blazing and with a childlike sense of wonder and enthusiasm. No excuses! Stop watching the TV. Stop sitting on that proverbial fence. Commit today to set up a blog in 2019 and start laying the foundations to your future success. Carve out the time to blog and keep at it. Commit to creating some awesome content and commit to making your dream of being published a reality. This is no get rich quick scheme, but it is an incredibly rewarding, fun and fulfilling journey so enjoy the ride.