The simple act of starting a blog is actually very easy. In fact it’s so easy that there are over 30 million bloggers in the United States alone. However, to be a successful blogger that actually produces an income from their blog… that’s a whole other story.
To Be a Successful Blogger, it’s Good to Know the Competition
Ok so you know there’s a lot of blogs out there, but just how many? According to MediaKix there is over 440 million… that’s a lot of competition.
Don’t let that put you off starting though! The vast majority of these are just hobbyists writing for fun, and so I would imagine the proportion of people trying to make a living from blogging is a fraction of this.
It’s also worth noting that with a blog, the world is your oyster! Your readers can be anywhere in the world, and with internet users set to rise to over 6 billion by 2022, there’s still a lot of space for you!
How Can I Be a Successful Blogger?
After much research and analysis, we’ve come up with 5 areas that you must smash from the start in order to join the elite bloggers club.
So without blabbering on, here they are:
1. The Idea
The first thing you need to do is decide what it is that is going to get people reading your blog. Why yours? This question is not unique to the world of blogging.
It doesn’t matter what industry you’re starting a business in. If you don’t stand out from the crowd in some way, then you won’t have the edge required to be a successful blogger.
Essentially it comes down to two things:
- Doing something that no one else is doing, or
- Doing something better than anyone else.
That is the traditional, simplified ‘mantra’ that all business students are taught. Take it from an Economics graduate who took multiple Business modules.
When it comes to blogging, this doesn’t have to be taken quite so literally. Obviously you are not going to be the best out of over 400 million, and you’ll struggle to have a totally unique idea.
Find your ‘Niche within a Niche’
The first thing you need to do to be a successful blogger, is decide on your niche. For example travel. Now travel in itself is too big to really make an impact initially. That’s why your next step is to now hone in on a niche within that niche. This is where you can get creative with your idea.
Think about what specifically in the world of travel it is that you are either interested in, or have the most knowledge of.
For example, maybe you’re a fantastic mountain climber and often your travels focus around mountaineering. If that’s you, then make your travel blog focused on mountaineering!
What do you Mean by ‘Focused’?
I don’t just mean write a few posts on mountaineering. To be a successful blogger and for your blog to really establish itself in a niche within a niche, you need to really go with it.
I’m talking the name, logo and entire brand should be all about travelling to climb mountains. Make mountaineering your sole focus and target your social media campaigns at people interested in mountaineering.
In the beginning it’s so much better to appeal to a smaller, targeted group of people than try to appeal to everyone.
If you want a second opinion on your idea, send us an email and we’ll be happy to review it for you.
Once you’ve got your killer idea you’re ready to move onto step 2.
2. The Website
Once you’ve got your idea then of course the next step is to build your website. Now these days there are plenty of web builders out there that will allow you to build a decent website fairly easily and cheaply.
WordPress, Wix, Squarespace and more, each have their pros and cons, and ultimately the one that is best for you depends on your own specific needs.
If you don’t know which web builder is for you, I’ve written a comparison of my favourite 3 website builders for bloggers which should help you out.
As I sum up in that article, for the best result and the best options for growth and improvement I would recommend self-hosted WordPress.
To really give yourself a head start: Purchase a premium theme (around $30+) and get yourself a nice logo etc.
Important Things to Focus On
You want to start thinking about the brand that you want to create. This involves everything from the logo to the layout of your site. Use consistent fonts and colours. This will make you look much more professional right from the start and give you credibility.
3. Social Media
The next step is to set up your social medias. Of course the main ones are Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Now you need to think about which social media platform your blog idea is best suited to.
I don’t necessarily think it’s vital to have an account on all 3 of those platforms in the beginning. It takes a lot of time to manage a social media account properly, and each one is tailored to a different style of content to the other.
One important thing to note is that if you have accounts on different platforms, you should post different content on each one.
In other words, if you just post the same stuff on Facebook and Instagram, why are people going to follow you on both? To be a successful blogger on social media, my advice is use Instagram purely as a visual representation of your blog. Then focus on sharing your articles more on Facebook and/or Twitter. Here’s 9 Twitter growth hacks for bloggers.
Have a Social Strategy
You want to have a strategy for both content and growth on each platform. If you just chuck out content as and when you produce it, you won’t experience the growth you want.
To receive our free Social Media Toolkit, containing content ideas, the best posting times, and recommended scheduling tools, enter your email below!
In our opinion, Pinterest is the most valuable platform out there for bloggers. Despite what many people think, Pinterest is not a social media platform. It’s actually a search engine.
The reason why we like Pinterest is that it doesn’t discriminate. If your content is good and you’re smart with how you post it, then it will get seen.
This is so important in the early days of your website, as you won’t yet have established your social medias and are unlikely being found by Google.
To be a successful blogger you need to use Pinterest, and we recommend also using these two fantastic websites alongside Pinterest:
- Canva – a professional but easy to use website for designing attractive pins for your posts.
- Tailwind – a scheduling tool for Pinterest, which analyses your followers activity and posts your pins at the best times. Within 1 month of using Tailwind, our monthly unique users on Pinterest went from a couple hundred to over 30k.
By creating your own pins and boards, as well as sharing other people’s pins, your articles will be seen in no time.
5. Killer Images
Rarely do you see a successful blog with sub standard images. The same can be said for Instagram and Pinterest. You need your images to be fantastic. The blogging world is just too crowded to accommodate a blog without brilliant photos, and you know what they say… a picture paints a thousand words.
My advice is get a decent camera (look at second-hand options if you don’t want to spend loads) and keep reading our latest articles in our Photography tips section under blogger hub, to help improve your photography standard.
You can start here:
- 9 Beginner Photography Mistakes You Need to Avoid
- How to Take Amazing Photos in Different Weather Conditions
You can also follow our Instagram, @_peopleoftheplanet_ where we share daily insights and tips from professional photographers around the world.
What if I’m not the Best Photographer?
Sometimes though, it’s hard to find the time to get out with your camera, and you may not always be happy with the results. This is when you should consider using other people’s photos on your blog, and even social medias.
Depsite what many people think, there are many websites that offer royalty-free images for free.
If you feel like you have nailed all 5 of these points, then congratulations! You’ve passed the first of many steps on your way to blogging stardom! Get our free blog checklist straight to your mailbox so you can smash your articles from day one!
Of course this is only just the beginning. There’s so much more you need to do for success. If you want regular tips and tricks, straight to your inbox, subscribe to our mailing list!
One half of People of the Planet. Sharing our adventures, best travel tips and travel photography! We created People of the Planet to provide a place for all travellers to learn, explore and find travel inspiration.
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