Blogging has moved from being just a hobby to becoming a serious source of income for many people over the last two decades. But simply putting together a blog post without much research is of no use and its much better to write detailed and well-researched posts that clearly address an issue in that particular niche. So why is blogging so hard and what can you do to be successful with blogging in the long term?
Blogging for most people is hard because they give up too easily. That’s the plain and simple fact. Another important reason which goes hand-in-hand with the giving up too easily happens when s/he chooses either a lukewarm niche or an absurdly competitive niche with less demand. Choosing the wrong niche can prolong the waiting period much more than normal and even the most dedicated people give up after spending over 6 months of working regularly on their niche blog with little results. But most new bloggers never even get to the six-month mark which happens when they don’t follow a clear schedule that is backed by a sincere long-term plan.
For a lot of new bloggers, the first few blog posts are easy but it takes a lot of effort to move beyond that point with continuous blogging on a regular basis. But there are a few things that can make blogging so incredibly easy! The most important aspect of blogging success is to choose an area or niche you are generally interested in. Without the passion or interest part, your motivation (or lack of it) can be a detriment to your progress and make you give up the idea fairly quickly. Once you have the passion for the topic you are blogging about, it does not seem so hard anymore. Apart from this, there are a few tips and best practices that can make blogging a much easier task for you.
Secondly, focus on writing your blog content early in the mornings as that is going to be the most productive time and you can get a lot of the blog writing work completed in the early mornings. Thirdly, a clear blogging plan that is driven by a longer-term income strategy is also essential. There is no way to get there if you do not focus on a longer-term plan. Fourthly, focus on a few simple daily best practices to make your blogging time highly productive. Fifthly, watch and monitor your progress with proper analytics and income tracking. Lastly, do not despair, just write for anywhere between three to six months continuously and then check for some obvious signs of progress. Progress does not necessarily have to be big numbers initially; it can be even a slight increase in traffic, a few dollars or even cents in ad income and so on.
Once you see even the slightest signs of progress and when the blogging routine is clearly set in your daily practice, you can start with a few YouTube videos and/or Pinterest pins, and other offline marketing efforts as well. Keep monitoring and tweaking your posts for maximizing search engine rankings and once there is good traffic, begin monetizing it with advertising, affiliate marketing and by selling your own products.
THE MIRACLE MORNING
In the very early morning, after a full night of rest, we tend to have a lot of energy. It is also a time that is more quiet and free from any distractions. So instead of spending this valuable time doing mundane work such as cooking or housekeeping, you should set aside a major part of the early mornings from say 4 or 5am until 8am for your blogging power-time.
Hal Elrod of Miracle Morning has transformed millions of people’s lives just by motivating them to wake up early and then spend the most productive time of their day in the early morning. Ryan Carson, founder and CEO of Treehouse frequently speaks about how his productivity and success is closely linked to his early morning work when things are quiet and when the family and kids are asleep.
AN OVERALL YEARLY (OR SIX MONTH) PLAN
Right at the beginning of your blogging journey, it is helpful to have a long-term plan and a clear set of goals as to what you want to achieve with your blog. The following are some questions you can ask yourself to get started:
What do you wish to achieve with your blog?
How much money do you want to earn per month?
Who is your target audience?
What value do you want to deliver to your users?
What are the income sources you will be promoting on your website?
Do you have a domain name and a good hosting provider?
Do you have a final exit strategy?
Let me begin by answering a few of these questions to get you started. Please continue answering the rest of the questions as well.
1) What do you wish to achieve with your blog?
First of all, I’m assuming you’re here because you want to generate a monthly income from your blog. If it is just a hobby, it will still help you to have an income plan so you can continue working on the hobby for a longer period of time.
Right when you get started, you may not have all the answers. But its still helpful to leave aside all your doubts and simply think about what this blog means to you and what you intend to achieve with the blog. Is it going to be your main source of income? Are you planning to grow the idea into something big quickly with the help of investors? Are you intending to build a strong brand in your niche?
2) How much money do you want to earn per month by working full time or part time?
Think about how much money you will need to work on this blog full time or part time. Some people just leave everything else aside and go full time with blogging. Others work at it part time and plan on moving full time once they start seeing at least a part of their monthly income from their blog.
If you want to earn $1000 or more per month, you will need to consistently blog on a daily basis and follow all the best practices towards reaching your blogging success.
3) Who is your target audience?
In the beginning, your target audience may just be anyone who needs to solve a problem in your niche. But it is helpful to go a little deeper and to figure out whom you are trying to help with your blog. Why did you choose this niche? Who do you think will benefit from reading your blog posts?
4) Create a one-page business plan.
The Lean Canvas is a one-page business plan which you can easily create for brainstorming your blogging business niche site. There is also a free tool called Canvanizer which you can use to quickly brainstorm and generate your business plan. Once you’ve created your lean canvas, this will become your template for running and working on your clearly planned and goal-oriented niche site.
We usually spend a lot of time researching the content for our blog posts. One way to save time is to write a list of blog topics first. Then for each post, create a google alert for that topic. Then any new news relating to that topic will directly reach your email daily. Another option is to subscribe to your favorite digital newsletters and RSS feeds. Talking to family and friends could also reveal additional information and view points regarding your blog topic.
Apart from this, just use google search and quickly find relevant information for your blog post. You can even time your blog post writing to see how your writing speed is improving over time.
WRITING BLOG POSTS
For the first one to two months, for your initial blog posts, just answer important questions that people in your niche are frequently looking for answers to. One way to find these is to look at commonly asked questions relating to your niche in forums such as Yahoo! or Quora and write a post that answers the question in a much more detailed way.
Then after this, you can start writing pillar posts that address a major problem for people in the niche in a 2000+ words article. The idea with a pillar post is to go with a very trendy topic and to write it in such a way that it can go viral and catch on like fire. Be sure to share your pillar posts on your major social media accounts, reach out to the press for an interview and so on.
To quickly write the article, in the first few minutes, start with writing the introductory paragraph and then form the main headings of the blog post. Once you have these in place, it will be much easier to write the rest of the content.
Once you start writing your blog post, just keep the focus and get on with uninterrupted writing. It is always best to keep writing as much as possible for a blog post in a single sitting. Put on your favorite focus music or work music and get cranking on your keyboard!
MASTER THE BLOGGING ART BEFORE HIRING WRITERS
Many people are curious as to how they can create blog posts more frequently. As far as hiring more blog writers is concerned, it is best for you to do your own blog writing in the first several months. Once you start generating an income from blogging and ramp up your blogging skills, you can dedicate a small portion of your blog income to hiring additional writers. Even when you hire writers, be sure to review and monitor all posts by other writers so as to ensure you maintain the same consistent quality of your blog posts.