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I am by no means a super successful blogger. Even though I have been blogging for more than half of my life (19 years!), I am just now working on making my blog into my business. Part of that means learning. I am trying to learn as much as possible about being a successful blogger! I love this Bible verse:
Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men. Colossians 3:23
It’s incredible how many amazing blogs are out there. I can lose hours just looking at different blogs. There are also so very many online courses about blogging! It can be overwhelming. Thankfully I found a really great course that teaches you all the steps to start your own blog in an easy to understand way.
Chelsea at HerPaperRoute has been blogging for quite a while too and has figured out how it all works! She helps people create and monetize their blog and online business. I think I found her website on Pinterest. *I think* Haha! She has several different courses including “Blog Boss! Profitable Blog From The Start”, “The Micro-Influencers Handbook” and “Sell Out! Facebook Ads Marketing Strategies”. I’m currently going through the Blog Boss course and I can’t wait to go through the others!
6 Ways to Build a Successful Blog
Choose your niche
Most of my blogs have been personal journal type blogs. When I shifted my last blog into a military wife blog I had more success than ever! Now I’m focused on building this blog to help Christian women who are struggling with certain stages of life. So I am writing for my audience more than just telling stories about what happens in my life. The more you can narrow your niche down, the better it will be to get consistent traffic.
Use WordPress.org and a hosting company
I switched to WordPress 10 years ago and I haven’t looked back! There was a learning curve for me coming from a different platform, but it was the best decision for me. I also have a self-hosted website with Siteground. It does have some upfront cost but there are more opportunities to monetize my blog with a self-hosted WordPress.org (not .com) website. Also, I own my content, whereas on a free platform, they own the content.
Install a professional looking theme
There are hundreds of themes you can use for WordPress. A lot of them are free, but please make sure you choose a theme that looks professional and is RESPONSIVE for mobile! I hate it when someone has a beautiful website on the desktop but when you pull it up on your phone all you see is the standard WordPress blue and gray. Nobody wants that!
I have a theme from Restored 316 Designs. They have beautiful, feminine themes that are responsive for mobile but also have many other features built in. Which is great for someone like me who knows nothing about coding! It is built for the Genesis framework, which lets you change the look of your site without changing all the functions.
Create a Consistent Brand
Branding is so important for building a successful blog. It helps you stand out among millions of other blogs! Choose 3-5 colors and 2-3 fonts to use consistently to keep your brand looking great. Make or hire someone to design a logo for your blog. You can use Canva or PicMonkey to make one. Part of your branding is your tagline. It should be kind of a summary of what your blog is about. Mine is “Helping Women Bloom Where They Are Planted”. I’ve changed it at least once and I may tweak it again, but it still has the same message.
Promote, Promote, Promote
You work hard on your blog posts, images, and other content, but if no one sees them how will you have a successful blog? You need to promote them like crazy! Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. I like to use SmarterQueue to schedule out my social media posts. Don’t forget an email newsletter! For that I use ConvertKit. It’s very easy to set up. The more traffic you get to your blog, the more income potential you have. And when you have an email list, you can make sure your subscribers remember to come back and look at your new posts.
Speaking of potential income, affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to monetize your blog. You can find an affiliate program for pretty much anything. I use a few affiliate networks like ShareASale and Awin to find affiliate programs that would fit in with my niche. I’m also an affiliate for several bloggers who have online courses and products for different niches. Even Amazon has an affiliate program! The possibilities are endless.
I wanted to make this as easy as possible for you to build your own successful blog, so I created this checklist for you! I hope it helps. I’m always up for helping other bloggers, so if this is overwhelming, feel free to contact me.