Thinking that you’d like to start a blog this year? This post is for you!
If you follow these tips you’ll save a lot of time and valuable energy.
Visual content (videos, graphics, photos, etc.) will only get bigger
Finding quality photos and images for your blog is a tricky issue. At a minimum, you want to be part of a quality stock photo site that allows you to use photos on your site with an attribution license. I use Dreamstime for any stock photos but an even better option is to take your own photos, make your own images, or have a professional do it – that really sets you apart from the rest. Visual content has been growing for years and it appears to be speeding up, not slowing down. We now have retina display tablets and our smartphones are getting bigger. Social networking sites like Facebook and Google+ are favoring images and videos over text – never mind sites like Pinterest which are totally based around photos! If you’re not working with visual content yet it’s time to start.
Growing a mailing list is still the most important thing
If you asked a big blogger for advice about the most important thing to do in 2006 they would have probably told you to grow a mailing list. Ten years later and nothing has changed. Your email list is a means to get into people’s inboxes whenever you like. That can lead to increased traffic to your new blog posts as well as more sales when you launch a product or promote an affiliate product. But the main reason that you want to grow an email list is because you just can’t trust Google for traffic. And you can’t trust social networking sites that constantly change their policies. It’s only the mailing list that gives you a constant source of traffic, should something go wrong. We’ll talk more about how to get email subscribers below, but I recommend a site like Aweber for bloggers who want to professionally manage and grow their list.
It’s time to spend money on promotion
For some reason bloggers hate the idea of spending money on advertising. It’s a real shame. One thing you’ll start to see more and more in 2016 is that the bigger bloggers (and other internet entrepreneurs) will start to pay to promote their posts and products a lot more. There is so much noise online. Just think about the niche you are in – how many competitors are there that are doing better than you? Well, one way to bypass their domination is to spend a little bit of money promoting your best work to a targeted group of people who are likely to be interested in your stuff.
You’ll need a deliberate and clever blogging strategy
Over the years blogging has become more and more scientific. Big companies have realized the value of blogs and other social networking sites and have been investing money to make sure they are get a good return on their investment. One of the best ways to compete with this is to have a solid blogging strategy that helps you write the perfect blog post and genuinely help people in your niche. Try to plan out your goals for the next month, year, and five years and ensure that everything you do when you start a blog is about making that strategy come to fruition. Remember, a lot of people give up on new blogs before they give it a chance to flourish – a long term set of goals matched to a strategy will help you avoid that.
Responsive blog designs are a must
Mobiles and tablets are now a primary source of web traffic the world over. If your theme doesn’t respond well to the smaller mobile screens there is a good chance you will be losing valuable traffic as people click away to find something easier to navigate. Google has even started removing non-mobile responsive sites from mobile searches in order to provide a better experience for their customers. Make sure you are thinking about your mobile users at every turn.
Security threats will increase
Internet security is already a major issue. A really stressful issue at that. Companies, small businesses and organizations all around the world are falling prey to nasty intruders on an increased basis. No one is safe.So what can you do?
- Keep backups:
Try to keep backups of your websites, blogs and important documents both on and offline. There are many plugins to help you do this.
- Use a good security plugin:
I’m no expert on this but there are several security plugins and services around like Sucuri and Bulletproof Security. These can help lock-down your blog.
Add new content on a regular basis
To build and maintain a steady audience, regularly add new content to your blog. Every new blog entry should cater to your blog’s target audience, offer content that’s perceived as valuable, and build upon previously published content. For a blog to be successful, you must stay on topic and cater to the wants, needs and expectations of your target audience. This means developing a thorough understanding of who your audience is, then adjusting your focus as trends and demands change over time. Once you set a schedule for posting new content, it’s essential to maintain that schedule, so plan accordingly and don’t be over-ambitious. You’re better off promising new content once a week then posting twice or three times per week on occasion, as opposed to promising new content daily (or several times daily) and not being able to deliver.
Also, be sure to edit and proofread your work carefully to avoid or correct any errors. Spelling mistakes or grammatical errors in your blog take away from your credibility and make your blog appear amateurish.