Hey there readers, you came here for information on how to have a successful blog, am I right? I decided to start my How to Blog series for helpful information. Ive been blogging for well over a decade, albeit mostly inconsistently, that was prior to realizing how blogs can turn into business and make money. A lot of things have changed over the years so I do want to mention that while articles from 2015-2020 are still helpful, they haven’t changed the information to reflect 2021 but that is why I am here. I own Homeschooling in NYC and Matthews Kitchen, two other blogs that do fairly well, as well as here. Ive had other blogs over the years but I never kept up with them and I wish I had. Now what I am going to say is very general. There are helpful tips on your niche, and how to make that work better for those topics. Flood Blogging is very different from Lifestyle as it is to Homeschooling. However, and this is what I truly want to stress for 2021, Niching down isn’t necessary. Its okay to have several topics. You can combine all 3 or more if that is what you want. There is nothing wrong with that. Now in 2021, we appreciate seeing more than just one side of someone. Honestly I wish I had before having 3 websites with each having its own niche, would have been more helpful and having a much better outcome, but I didn’t and the Names of my blogs don’t reflect the crossovers even if it was possible. So here are my tips from my 10+ years of blogging and learning from my own mistakes
Business Plan/Blog Plan
It is great to start with a plan. I will cover how to create your own plan in my next post in this How to Blog series but here are the basics.
Name your Blog – make sure it reflects you and what you want to cover.
For example my Homeschooling in NYC, reflects that I homeschool, I’m from NY and any information will reflect those two things. Having had a broader name, I would have a larger target audience.
Another Example is Matthew’s Kitchen, it reflects cooking. A bit broader but you still get the point. It would be weird if I posted my movie theories on Matthews Kitchen, right? Hard to fit it in,
Now my third is this one Alex Neznamy. This allows me to branch out in any direction I want. I can continue doing movie reviews, short stories, series like how dos, lifestyle, recipes, homeschooling and it would make sense because it reflects me as a whole.
So think carefully when you are thinking about your blog, make it simple, unique and make sure you check no own owns the domain (website) and social media to go with it. Once you figure that out, get the domain and social media immediately before anyone else does.
Get your Domain as quickly as you can. There are deals out there to buy your domain but be sure to do your research. Site ground, BlueHost and WordPress are most recommended for hosting sites. Make sure to build your site in WordPress though. WordPress is simple (for the most part) but allows you to monetize quickly with multiple streams of income. I’ve seen a lot of bloggers complaining and switching from the free wordpress, Wix, Squarespace, Go Daddy and Blogger more and more. So please make sure you understands the pros and cons to each.
I mentioned getting the social media profiles set up for your blog quickly. At least make sure you are in control of the accounts to reflect your blog name. This will come in handy when you for on your social media strategy to drive traffic to your blog. This usually includes Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Tik Tok. Twitter and Snapchat aren’t a terrible idea but not as used for driving traffic. Each platform has their own algorithms and suggestions on how to be successful so when we for on you Blog Plan, we will cover what the best strategy is for each.
Set up your Website
This is where people freeze I find. There are so many questions on how to set it up properly to not only looking appeasing but how to launch and when. You can always change themes, menus and edit anything as necessary.
My first suggestion would be picking out a theme that works best for you and your ideas. Making sure its an easy layout and user friendly will be important. People will log off if they can’t access your website and find what they are looking for.
I suggest a logo or a header image that is customized. Here are the three examples from my websites. I used Canva to create them,
Next I would set up a short bio and picture in your widgets, Search button and Opt in for a newsletter, You can always add more but the 3 things I highly advise.
An About Me Page would be next. This will be a longer version of your short bio in the widget (side bar). This is where your readers will get their first glimpse of who you are, your goals for your website and your expertise qualifications (if you have) for the topics you plan on writing about. This is what its you apart from others in the industry.
Next I advise writing up a few articles on the Topics. So For this website, I have Movie reviews and short stories up currently. You can see through the menu and on my home page. When I set it up under categories on the right working in WordPress, I then went to Menu and organized it to make sense. I did the same for Homeschooling in NYC and Matthews Kitchen.
So it is highly advised to monetize as early as possible. I use Amazon right now until I can build up until SheMedia and Medivine. Some affiliate markets have no qualifications while some others do. Amazon does not and it is easy to sign up. You can also monetize by selling courses, products or consulting, but you will still need to build an audience while doing so. There is much more to monetizing which I will cover in another article