How to start a blog and make it successful in 2023, you're asking?
I know, it's only September, 2022, right? But if you're going to finally take some serious action to start a blog and succeed, now is the best time to start moving on your goals.
With that in mind, here are 11 things you can start doing right now to move forward so your blog succeeds in 2023.
Build an email list.
Why should you start building an email list?
Because it's the most effective and dependable method to drive repeat visitors and clients to your website or blog.
You email list is yours and when you have one you're going to be less dependent on external traffic sources. Your email list also allows you to build trust with your subscribers as you consistently provide valuable content for them and many of them will become your customers.
Having your own email list also lets you open up a two-way avenue of communication with your audience.
Start building your email list right away so you can begin growing your subscriber base and the number of regular readers of your blog.
Start making a list of all the post ideas you have.
Some of my best ideas for blog posts come to me when I'm working out in the gym or on one of my 4-mile walks. Sometimes they even come to me in my sleep.
With that in mind, one of the best things you can do is have a method to either write/type them down or record them on your phone. This accomplishes two important things:
1. You'll never forget your best blog post ideas.
2. You'll never, ever have writers block.
One of the most frustrating things is coming up with a great idea for a blog post and then not being able to remember what it was.
So, start recording your blog post ideas, which is something you can do right inside WordPress, if you're using it as your blogging platform
Go into your WordPress Dashboard and you'll see this box named Quick Draft where you can record any ideas you have for upcoming blog posts.
Remember, it's not important how you keep track of your best blog post ideas, but that you keep track of them in the first place.
Add Facebook “Like” buttons.
Your site visitors represent a free and significant marketing opportunity. So, make it easy for them to share it with their friends and others in their network.
The largest social network in the world is Facebook, which has over 874 million active users. It's likely that a lot of your readers are on Facebook. Make it easy for them to share your great content by including Facebook “like” buttons on your posts.
Add Twitter Retweet buttons.
Like Facebook, Twitter can bring hundreds of visitors to your site each and every day. Just visit Twitter's Retweet Button setup page, copy the code provided for your button and paste it into your posts.
The procedure for adding a retweet button to your blog is similar to adding Like Buttons above. To begin, visit the Twitter Retweet Button setup page. You may then copy the code provided for your configured button and paste it into your posts (or optionally include it in every post by altering your theme files).
Make a list of every blogger in your niche.
There are definitely other people who blog on the same subject as you. Your task is to get to know as many of your fellow bloggers as you can.
Build a relationship with a competitor?
That's right. It's called networking with people who have the same interests as you do.
If you want to know how to start and blog and make it successful in 2023 you're going to need the help and support of other bloggers.
No person is an island, and bloggers who try to protect their turf just end up alone in the blogging wilderness.
On the other hand, if you view bloggers in your niche as allies instead of competitors you're going to have more success.
Prioritize the list based on who you think you would naturally connect with. Don't just include big names, include your peers and up-and-comers as well. Make a list of everyone who writes on similar topics to you.
It the topic of your blog, like mine, is big, you don't need to list every single person in that market, and conversely, if your blog topic is narrow, you should think about expanding your blogger network beyond your niche topic.
Prior to engaging in the real work, making the list is the first step. It is your job to reach out and establish genuine connections with as many people on the list as possible.
Add social proof to your blog.
People are highly influenced by social proof. Seeing that other people are doing something causes them to do the same thing themselves. Seeing a lot of people signing up for your email list will inspire other readers to do the same.
Caution: In most cases, for social proof to have a positive effect, your numbers need to be high. If you show your site visitors that you only have 20 subscribers, they're not likely to be impressed, regardless of how good your content is. Low numbers like that could prevent people from subscribing, so use your good judgement before you share social proof on your site.
Once you get your blog established - which can take many months - and you've got some larger numbers to share, then you may be able to present RSS, email subscribers, or Twitter follower numbers.
Is your blog brand new? Then it's likely best to be patient and wait until your numbers are large enough to impress your readers.
Clearly explain your blog's unique selling proposition.
To answer the question “why should I read your blog instead of the hundreds (or thousands) of other choices out there?” you must attract and retain visitors to your blog.
You must have a USP (Unique Selling Proposition) to answer that question. What makes you and your blog different from all of the other blogs in your space?
Once you have identified your “USP,” let your visitors know about it. You can communicate it through your tagline, sidebar, about page, or your blog posts. You should probably describe your USP in several of these areas, and remind your visitors frequently.
Learn the fundamentals of SEO.
An SEO (Search Engine Optimization) tutorial can be completed in under an hour, but mastering the craft may take a lifetime. There are a lot of opportunities waiting for you if you just gain the basics now.
Check out this post: The 10 Most Important SEO Tips You Need to Know.
Tell your visitors what to do.
It's best to directly tell visitors what action you want them to take. This is known as a call to action.
Don't ask, tell.
Tell people to sign up for emails, e.g. "Get with the program. Sign up for my email list now."
Tell people to retweet your posts. "Retweet this post so others can benefit from it like you have."
Try this out in your next article or post. Tell you audience what to do. If you're creating good content, you've got nothing to fear by telling them to take action and many of your readers will happily comply.
And be willing to experiment with different approaches to see what works best for your audience. You'll soon know what's working best and then you can add a call to action to any page or post where you want your readers to do something.
And remember, once a reader has responded to one call to action, he or she is more likely to respond to future calls to action, including purchasing your products or services.
Show your site visitors your best content.
The simplest way to do this is to have a link to some of the best posts you've created and have them accessible in the sidebar and/or on a 'Start Here' page that is linked in your main navigation menu.
It's up to you to decide which posts are your best. You could display the posts that received the most likes, shares, comments, views, or something else.
Perhaps featuring the posts you think best represent what your blog is all about is a good idea.
Use a widget to display your most popular posts. You'll find these types of widgets in your plugin directory. It's very easy to install and activate a plugin if you follow the step-by-step directions provided.
Placing advertisements all over your fresh blog is a big No No. Even if you don’t make a lot of money from those ads, they may be costing you a lot. This can turn your readers off and significantly slow down the growth of your blog.
Remember, how to start a blog and make it successful in 2023 is about creating great content that attracts eyeballs, not just once, but gets those eyeballs coming back again and again to your site.
Is earning a few bucks worth sacrificing the success of your blog for?
You can start to include ads on your site once it becomes larger, as long as you do so in a tasteful and relevant manner. It would, in fact, be better if you earned money from your blog through affiliate marketing, consulting, or developing your own products.
So, for now, focus on growth and No ads.
To sum up on how to start a blog and make it successful in 2023, do the following:
- build an email list.
- make a list of your post ideas.
- add Facebook "like" buttons.
- add Twitter "retweet" buttons.
- make a list of every blogger in your niche.
- add social proof to your blog once you have more impressive numbers.
- clearly explain your USP (Unique Selling Proposition).
- learn SEO fundamentals.
- tell your site visitors what to do.
- show site visitors your best content with a sidebar linking to it.
- no ads when you're just starting out.
There's no need to let this list of 11 actions overwhelm you. Just take action on one-at-time until you've got all 11 implemented and you'll be off to the races and seeing your blog succeed.
Ready to read Part Two of this subject?