Ever wondered how you could start a successful blog right from scratch, dominate your niche and ultimately make money from your writing?
Well, I’m going to shock you with these sobering stats:
- There are over 156 million blogs on the internet. Source
- 172,800 blogs are created each day. Source
- 2 million blog posts are written everyday. Source
So, how can you ever beat this hefty competition in the online world?
That’s exactly what you’ll learn in this post.
But first, what is blogging?
Blogging is definitely not a new thing in Nigeria but in simple terms:
“Blogging is simply the act of sharing your opinion on a particular topic to an audience on a blog. (my definition)”
This make readers see you as an expert in your blog’s topic, strengthen the trust they have in you and makes it easy for you to sell your products easily.
But, that’s just a chunk of what blogging is all about.
You see the likes of Jide Ogunsanya, Akaahan Terungwa, Uche Pedro, Ajaero Martins, Linda Ikeji, Abass toriola … amass enviable success from blogging and you wonder:
“How did they become so successful?”
The truth is:
These successful bloggers followed certain pathways that you can easily implement today. They had a vision, they had a mission and they stuck with it.
So, if you’ve been looking for the best way to start a successful blog, here is a step-by-step guide to follow:
1. Know the reason why you want to blog
You don’t just start a blog without a vision and main intent. It would be stupid to just wake up one morning and say to yourself:
“I want to start a blog and be like Linda Ikeji.”
It doesn’t work that way. You’ll definitely be chasing shadows and won’t see any results from all your efforts.
Know the reason why you want to blog. I’m repeating this so you get ingrained into your head.
This could be:
- To show your expertise on a particular topic Nigerians are eager to learn.
- Build an audience by offering immense value to readers.
- Or to sell your products and services.
This will give you a direction to thread to follow, a main focus to aim and a mission to accomplish.
2. Choose a specific niche
A niche is simply your blog’s focus: the kind of information you dish out to your readers, the topic you write about and generally what your blog is all about.
I recently stumbled on a blog that was writing on every topic under the sun: technology, health, entertainment, motivation, blogging etc.
C’mon, how can you attain success with this kind of approach?
This creates confusion and scares the hell out of readers. A new visitor will struggle to grab what your blog is all about and bounce off immediately, never to return.
Trying to write about everything would demean the focus of your blog, provide an unreliable audience, and could be difficult to monetize your blog since you don’t go in-dept on a particular topic.
A smart way to choose a niche for your blog is to choose a topic that Nigerians are interested in and you can write about consistently. With this, you can build a raving audience quickly. Hot topics you could focus for your blog in Nigeria include: Job search tips, admission and scholarships for students, blogging tips and make money online tips.
3. Choose a blogging platform
There are many blogging platforms on the internet, so where do you start your blog. Some are free while others require some financial investment.
WordPress is by far the most populous blogging platform you can ever find today, powering big blogs like CNN, Mashable, Techcrunch, New York Times etc. It has two versions: WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
WordPress.com is the free version while WordPress.org is self-hosted version. To really understand the difference between both versions, read this post.
Also, Blogger is also another popular blogging platform owned by Google. The service is free but comes with some restrictions just like the free version of WordPress.
Other blogging platform includes: Squarespace, Dropplets, Postagon, svbtle etc.
Now, which blogging platform should you go for?
I know… I know, using a free platform is good (and has now become the norm in Nigeria) but they’ve restriction that would hinder your blog’s growth.
You wonder why most bloggers running free blogs migrate to a self-hosted platform?
It’s because of the independence, the freedom, the control and the flexibility. And that’s what I recommend – go for gold, go for a self hosted blog.
You can imagine having a blog’s url that reads: myblog.wordpress.com or myblog.blogspot.com. That looks unprofessional, long and damn ugly.
Besides, your readers won’t take you serious. They’ll take you as one of those bloggers trying to test the waters of blogging.
So, start on a serious note!
You can use my step-by-step tutorial on how to set up your blog on WordPress in 30 Minutes.
4. Choose a good domain name
Your domain name is the web address of your blog. This is what you would refer people to when telling them about your blog.
Your domain name should correlate with your blog’s topic. For example my domain name is Onlinebloggingincome.com. Even without telling you what my blog is about, you already have an idea: blogging tips.
You get the drift?
Just be creative when choosing your domain name but if you need additional tips, follow this guidelines:
- Keep it short, simple and easy to remember. (3 words is best)
- Avoid the use of dashes and vague symbols, as this causes confusion.
- A .com is most preferable because people are more familiar with it.
- Spend some time to decide a good name but don’t dwell on a perfect name.
If you’re short of ideas, you can use a free tool like www.freedomaingenerator.com to give you suggestions.
5. Create content that readers find useful
Ever heard the cliché: content is king?
I’m sure you have.
To really attract readers to your blog, you must write useful, awesome and valuable articles that readers find helpful. Doing this, will help you build an audience that will turn to regular readers of your blog.
You see, readers will only share or talk about what they find useful. You should not add to the number of “copy-and-paste-bloggers” that already abound.
Helpful content is what drives people to your blog, makes them stick for a while and intrigue them to return.
Content is truly king!
To me, content is more than just king. It’s the powerhouse of your blog, without it your blog will die in obscurity.
Take your time to research your articles thoroughly and offer helpful content that gives value to your readers.
This will position you as an expert in your niche and boost your blog’s growth.
6. Promote your blog like hell
You could write mind-blowing content on your blog consistently for weeks or even months but if no one reads it, you’re probably wasting your time.
It’s more like mounting the podium to speak to an empty hall. No one is there to listen to you, even if you’re the greatest speaker on the planet.
Also, you could have an amazing, jaw-dropping and professional blog design but that doesn’t guarantee the success of your blog.
You need to proactively promote your blog to build your audience and grow your readership.
Promotion rocks, big time.
So, how exactly can you promote your blog?
You can network with other bloggers, write a guest post on high-traffic blogs in your niche, create thread on forums about a post on your blog, share your post on social media, interview an expert …comment on related blogs etc.
The list is endless!
Don’t just sit back and hope someone will visit your blog someday.
Blow your trumpet, promote your posts and gain the attention you deserve.
7. Create a powerful business plan for your blog
Believe it or not, if you want to grow a successful blog – you need to create a solid business plan before even launching it in the first place.
If you treat your blog as a business and structure a detailed plan to follow, you will start to see results in no time.
A business plan gives you a road map to follow, a guide to monitor your progress critically and a yardstick to measure the profit potential of your blog.
Now, ask yourself:
- What are the tools that will make my journey go smoothly?
- How will people find my blog?
- Who is my target audience and what are my blogging goals?
- How do I intend to make money from my blog?
- …the list is endless.
All this should be stipulated in a fool-proof business plan to guide you along. To really understand how to create a powerful business plan for your blog and build a money making blog right from scratch, join this blogging crash course:
You see, you can do this.
No matter how the odds look scary. Most successful bloggers started at a time when blogging was not even popular and now they’ve achieved enviable success.
Talk of the likes of Linda Ikeji, who blogged for years before gaining traction or the likes of Jide Ogunsanya who stuck with what he was passionate about and now he’s reaping the fruits he labored for.
So, do not balk. Don’t say to yourself:
“I’m looking for the perfect time.”
Action, persistence, optimism and consistency are the main features you’ll find in these successful bloggers.
So, don’t let anything stop you.
Now, I would love to know:
Have you started a blog? Which of these tips do you intend to get started with? Share your thoughts.
Can you do me a quick favour? If you found this post helpful, please help me share it with your friends. Be generous with information! I’ll really appreciate it.