How to Start a Successful Blog

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One of the best ways to make money online is through blogging. Although a lot of people think your chances of building a successful blog are the same as winning the lottery, there’s actually a science to it that will help you succeed.

This article will teach you the basics of building a successful blog that you can later monetize and make money from.

When it comes to blogging, a lot of people want to know how to make money at it. Don’t get too wrapped up in that in the beginning. There are countless ways to monetize a blog and you will cross that bridge when you come to it. The first and only thing you need to do in the beginning is to build your blog.

The first thing to know is that as simple and straightforward as it is to succeed at blogging, it still is a lot of work. It takes patience, time, and hard work to build up a blog. It doesn’t happen overnight.

This frightens a lot of people because they just want to start making money right away. If you are one of those people, blogging is not for you.

But if you are a someone who is willing to think long-term and you have the patience to make it through the slow period when you first start out, blogging is the perfect opportunity for you. Here’s what you need to know to get started:

How to start a successful blogChoosing a Blog Topic:

Choosing a topic to blog about is one of the most important steps. You want to choose a topic that you are passionate about but preferably one that has not already been covered extensively.

Finding a topic that meets both those criteria is difficult and takes some work. An easy way to start is to make a list of your hobbies, passions, fears and interests. It’s easier to build a blog about a topic you actually have an interest in, otherwise you’ll quickly find yourself bored to tears and struggling to write blog posts.

To help generate this list, ask yourself a series of questions such as:

What topics do you love to talk about with your friends?
What do you know a lot about? Video games, playing an instrument, sports, etc?
What are some of your problems?
What type of advice do you find yourself asking others?

Another way to get blog ideas is to check out flippa.com. This is a website where people buy and sell other websites. It’s a great way to not only find blog or website ideas but also to find ideas that actually make money.

The sites being sold on flippa.com often mention how much money they make each month (although they tend to exaggerate so keep that in mind), how they make this money and how they get their traffic. This will help give you ideas about what kind of sites make money and how they do it.

Then you can start a similar website, if the competition is low, or start a spin off website based on a similar or related idea.

Do Some Keyword Research:

After you have a list of potential blog topics you’ll want to do some keyword research.

For those of you who don’t know what keyword research is, it’s when you find specific keywords people are searching for on the internet and build your blog around them.

To find these keywords you can use a free tool created by Google called the Google Adwords Keyword Planner.

Log in to your Google account, or create one if you don’t have one already. On the left hand side of the screen it will say “What would you like to do?” Click on “Search for new keyword and ad group ideas,” type one of the topics you came up with on your list, then, under “Targeting,” type in United States for “locations” and click on the button that says “Get Ideas.”

Then it will take you to another screen where you’ll want to click on a tab, which can be found underneath the volume trends image, that says “Keyword Ideas.” This will show you an estimate of how many searches the keyword gets in the United States each month (the reason you want to traffic from the United States is that it has the largest amount of internet users and online consumers.)

When it comes to the volume of searches, what you want is a decent number of searches per month, anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand. The important thing to remember here is, usually, the more searches a keyword has the more competition it has.

The trick is to find keywords that get a decent number of searches each month but don’t have a lot of competition. Longtail keywords are your best bet. These are keywords made up of at least three to four words. Longtail keywords often get fewer searches per month but they also tend to have less competition.

A good rule of thumb is to aim for keywords with at least a few hundred to a few thousand searches a month to make sure there is a big enough audience to be worth your while.

Some examples of longtail keywords are “saltwater fish tanks” or “what is fly fishing.” Although the main keywords for those specific longtail keywords “fish tanks” and “fly fishing” get a lot more searches per month, they also have a lot more competition.

Google’s keyword planner will also give you an idea if the keywords you are interested will earn you decent money with online advertising. Next to the column that says “Average Monthly Searches” you’ll see a column that says “Competition.” High or moderate paying keywords will often have either high or moderate competition (competition refers to the number of advertisers bidding on that keyword.

The more advertisers there are bidding on a keyword, the more that keyword will pay). If the column says your keywords have low competition, it’s probably best to avoid these keywords, unless you have some affiliate products in mind that you can earn money with instead.

Evaluating the Competition

After you find some good keywords, next you need to assess your competition and find out which keywords have the least amount of competition. There are a number of factors to consider and they are all equally important.

The first thing you want to look at is the number of backlinks each of your competitors have. The way to do this is to search for your keyword in Google and look at the first page of results.

This first page is where you want your blog post or homepage to be when people search for your keywords. These 10 results on the first page are your competitors and you need to find out if you can beat them and get a spot on this first page.

To check out their backlinks you can use either a free tool such as Backlinks Watch or a paid tool like Market Samurai. Both of these tools will get the job done, but the paid tools will get it done quicker.

When examining the competitor’s backlinks, you’re looking for the number of backlinks pointing to each site. Generally, the fewer backlinks they have, the better.

Since it’s far easier to outrank a site that has 10-30 backlinks than one that has 300-3000 backlinks, you should only choose keywords where the majority of the top 10 results on Google have 30 or fewer backlinks. It is still possible to outrank a site that has a lot of backlinks, it will just take a lot more time and effort.

There are a number of backlink checkers out there to choose from, such as Majestic SEO, Ahrefs, and Small Seo Tools, and they all report different numbers so it’s wise to check out your competition with all of them to get a better idea of what you’re up against before you move ahead.

To find free backlink checker websites simply type in “backlink checker” into Google.

Another thing to evaluate when checking out the competition is the quality of your competitor’s sites. Go to each site and read the content, check out how many pages the site has and how thorough and detailed the posts are.

If the sites are relatively small, with only a handful of pages and each page has only some minimal information, they are considered low competition. If the majority of the sites are large with lots of detailed info, you might want to reconsider these keywords.

The idea is to create a bigger and better website than the ones you see listed on the first page of Google. If you don’t think you can do that, than check out some other keywords on your list until you find one with weaker competition.

Another important thing to remember is try to avoid keywords where most of the top 10 results are amazon.com or e-commerce sites. Although these sites might have fewer than 30 backlinks and seem like they are low competition, Google really favors these types of sites and it might be tough to beat them. Again, it’s not impossible, just tough.

Once you find keywords with a decent number of searches and low competition you can use them in the name of your blog, in your blog post titles and topics and etc. That way, when people search your keywords, they’ll find your blog homepage or your blog posts in the search results.

How to Create Content for Your Blog:

Another important aspect to starting a successful blog is content creation. On the internet, content is king and always will be.

To have a successful blog you need to have amazing content. Not just good content or great content but amazing content.

There’s a lot of competition out there, even with the most low competition topics, and you need to find a way to stand out from the pack. This involves lengthy, detailed articles.There’s no way you can cover a topic thoroughly with just a 400 word post. Aim for blog posts between 1000-3000 words.

Don’t write vague, general information either. Give people the details and specifics they’re looking for. Think of questions people have about your topic and answer them.

Write posts that will be considered an amazing resource on that topic. Don’t leave any stone unturned when writing about it. It seems like overkill but it’s not. It’s what people want.

Think about when you’re searching the internet for information on a topic and how you feel every time you land on a website that just gives the same vague, regurgitated info as the other sites you clicked on. Do you keep reading or do you bounce right of the page? Most people bounce and keep searching until they find what they’re looking for.

The simple solution to that is to make it so that your page or website is exactly what people are looking for. Give people what they want and they will reward you for it by sticking around, reading your posts and sharing your site with others, which will help you build natural backlinks and drive traffic to your site.

Should I Get a Free Blog or Buy My Own Domain?

A lot of people wonder if they should spend the money to buy their own domain and pay for hosting or if they should get a free blog on blogspot or blogger. Both are viable options.

With a free blog, you are basically renting a space on the internet. You don’t have to pay for it but you also don’t own it and have to abide by the company’s terms and conditions. If you violate those conditions, for whatever reason, the company can shut down your blog and ruin all of your hard work.

As a result, you’ll lose all of the backlinks that you acquired, all of your traffic and, if you didn’t backup your files, all of your blog posts and images. You’ll be back to square one. Granted, this might never happen. Many people have had free blogs for years and years with no problems whatsoever. That could be the case with you as well, but, do you really want to find out?

The cost of buying your own website and hosting it is so minimal that it doesn’t make sense to even risk it.

One way around this is you can always start your blog on a free blog platform like blogspot and once it becomes successful and you start making enough money to pay for a domain and hosting, you can redirect your traffic and backlinks to your new site with a 301 redirect. It takes a little bit of effort but it does work.

It’s also important to know that if you want to use your blog to make money, avoid free wordpress blogs hosted on wordpress.org because they don’t allow ads or affiliate links on their free blogs. Yet another problem with free wordpress blogs is if you do get one and then decide to move your site to your own domain, they charge you money to redirect your traffic.

So there you have the very basics to starting a successful blog. Once you get started, now you need to learn how to promote your blog.

For more info on online jobs, check out our article on Types of Online Jobs for Teens.

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