Believe it or not, there are some who think it’s pointless to start a blog for any reason. Blogs, they say, had their heyday in the late ‘90s-early ‘00s. Well, they couldn’t be more wrong, because the notion of a blog has become so much more than just an online diary of sorts. Also gone (mostly) are the days when blogs merely served as gateways for questionable affiliate programs.
Instead, consider many of the online news articles that you read – especially if they’re categorized by reporters on their respective news channel websites. Chances are that the website utilizes a blogging platform – WordPress being among the most popular. The same goes for entertainment articles – if there’s a space for comments, then it just might be a blog in disguise.
So, if you’ve been thinking about beginning your own freelance blogging journey, ignore the naysayers and consider the following as you map out your plan for blogging success…
Pick a path and stick to it.
Blogs generally fall into three categories:
- Personal – recounting stories from daily life/trips/how-to from hobbies.
- Business – selling things via an online store, informational articles, used as a portfolio link.
- Variety – both of the above, a popular choice for bloggers, audiences want to learn and
Some bloggers start with one category in mind, then sort of go astray, leading to haphazard content and less love from search engines. Having a core focus/theme, then creating content around that, will be so much better for your blog in the long-term.
- If you need a roadmap of sorts on how to get your blog up and running, Clarity Avenue’s post has some worthwhile tips: “11 Things to Do After You’ve Set Up Your WordPress Website.”
Don’t skimp on content.
How could you spend lots of time designing a fantastic-looking blog and yet get nowhere traffic-wise? Creating very little content, that’s how. Lots of freelance bloggers get caught up in the marketing aspect, letting actual content production fall to the wayside before they’ve even really gotten started.
Not enough content is just as bad as haphazard content when it comes to securing important rankings. Post once a week at the absolute minimum, and preferably two or even three times per week – be mindful of not overdoing it.
- Have at least 5-10 quality posts up before you really begin social media marketing.
- This is equally important if you want to monetize your blog with Google AdSense.
- It takes time for search engines to index content from newer blogs, so make sure whatever you write can withstand the test of time.
Mindful marketing is key.
The thing about social media marketing is that it’s incredibly changeable. Facebook pages aren’t what they were; creating a companion one to your blog isn’t the worst idea, though it seems the more popular bloggers tend to focus on Facebook groups, if anything. Twitter has its merits, but it seems that people are really more focused on Instagram and Pinterest. Note, though, that unless you’re established in your niche or are a celebrity, building an engaged Instagram following can be incredibly difficult. Plus, if you post too much or try following then unfollowing lots of people, your account could be (permanently) suspended.
Since Pinterest is directly tied to Google Images search results, your best bet is to share and network there. Yes, the algorithms have changed to the point where group boards have lots some of their oomph. At the same time, though, if you stay in your lane, create lots of your own boards and use Pinterest wisely, it can become a significant source of traffic to your blog.
As for affiliate marketing, don’t just sign up for a bunch of programs without having an established traffic base.
- Mediavine requires thousands of monthly sessions to even be considered for acceptance.
- Watermelon Web Works provides some clarity about all of this in their blog post, “Google Analytics: Users vs. Sessions vs. Pageviews.”
Be prepared for lots of waiting.
So, you’ve designed your blog, written a couple of meaningful posts, started social media marketing, and…crickets. It takes time for search engines to find your content, so don’t despair – practice patience and perseverance instead. That seems overly simplified, but it’s all too true. The only time results might be expedited is if you immediately start a blog (before other people do) about a specific topic that’s currently really popular.
Otherwise, it takes at least a year, if not more, before you can start to see your traffic picking up. Bring 110% to each and every aspect of your blogging endeavors no matter what. You’ll find that not only will your blog grow, but your character will, too.
Please note that all Fabulous Freelancer posts might contain affiliate links.