You heard about blogging and you were so excited about starting one. You read a few documents on how to start a successful blog. You even paid some experts to get your new blog running and now you are glad you have a blog.
You’ve created a couple of pages, including your About Me page, Contact Page, etc. You have your social media profiles linked up. The buttons are right there on your blog so visitors can follow you on social media.
You may even tell me look Enstine I have Yoast in place so my OnPage SEO infrastructure is setup. There is almost nothing else to do. Everything else is ok.
Honestly, I can feel the excitement in you.
You are ready to pump up content and your expectations are high.
But quite frankly, there are a few other things you need to do immediately to avoid embarrassment, disappointment and shock in the days ahead. Let’s discuss some of these things
4 things you should do before continue
What about you get up tomorrow with the excitement to publish your new post and the next thing you see on your blog is a blank screen or something like this:
This instantly causes panic and transmit some waves of shock through your spine right? Your blog has been hacked. Yes, that can happen to your WordPress blog some days, weeks or even years after it was setup.
Who is to be blamed?
You of course!
Don’t blame the hacker or your weak webhosting company. You failed to secure your blog from the very start of it.
I use iTheme security so you may want to look into it. It has tons of options that will assure some minimum security of your blog.
Change your blog login name from Admin to something else.
Use a solid password that’s difficult to guess
iTheme allows you to change some critical folder names, rename your database tables, hide your login urls, etc.
CDNs are generally known for their capacity to improve your site load speed and boost SEO. To add to this, CDNs help a great deal to reinforce the security of your blog.
On my blog, I use CloudFlare and that is constantly doing me the favor of stopping threats even before they hit my blog.
Creating backup copies of your blog (database, plugins, templates and media folders) is, as a matter of fact, the best security measure you are ever going to take.
This is because you can always recover from a hacked site but if you didn’t backup, you may be in for a fresh start.
Once your hacked blog is cleansed, you can always restore the latest cleanest backed copy. That’s why I recommend a weekly or bi-weekly automatic backup of critical files of your blog. Again, itheme WordPress security plugin has a feature to allow you backup.
A couple of important things to note here;
There are also more dedicated free/Paid backup solutions out there for your blog that allow you to save copies on the cloud so you may want to do some more research on this.
You may also want to get platforms that assure complete website security from malware detection, malware cleaning, stopping hackers to DDoS mitigation.
One of my biggest and stupid mistakes in my early days of blogging is that I didn’t start building a list for my blog.
Knowing what it means to have a list of subscribers behind my blog, I completely regret my not starting it earlier. I wasted months, not knowing I was leaving behind something that’s key to my business success.
I don’t want you to find yourself in this situation. That’s why now that you just started, I encourage you start creating a list for your blog.
Here is why…
Your list is your most sure source of traffic. Google can change its algorithm, Facebook, Twitter and other social media properties have the exclusive right to change their terms, etc and you know this can have a negative impact on your traffic.
But you completely own your list and you decide when and how to use it depending on your strategies.
Each time I mail an update to my list, there is a spike in traffic and sales. That’s why I don’t take list building lightly;
So where do you go from here?
First thing, do not use any list building platform to capture leads and store on your blog. This is because mailing from within your blog may trigger issues between you and your host.
The best solution is to host your emails with external email marketing platforms like AWeber, MailChimp, iContant, GetResponse, INinbox, etc
Once you’ve signed up to any of these marketing platforms, the next thing is to hook it up to your blog.
There are many ways:
Take a look at this video
I personally think Optin Feature Box is the best way forward. It takes your form closer to the readers while allowing them the peace of reading your blog.
How do you encourage readers to sign up to your list?
First, you may just encourage those who like your content to sign-up and receive your update. You don’t offer them any gift to have them give you their emails. This is great because you get a list of targeted readers – people who say ‘ok I don’t want to miss anything you publish’
Secondly, you can offer them something. Usually, people give out digital products like ebooks, videos, software, etc, to attract subscribers.
Some odd readers however signup just to have the free gift and soon unsubscribe from your list. There is no way you can avoid such issues.
Just go ahead and give them anything good you have or simply encourage them to jump on your list to get notified of your next publication.
Ok now your blog is secured and you’ve put in place strategy to capture emails and build your list. The next 2 things may not be done immediately. But they are necessary and require time to build up.
Content is the driving force of any successful blog. It doesn’t matter how beautiful, secured and attractive your blog is. If you don’t have the kind of content that makes readers stick to your blog, you won’t see exceptional results.
You must publish the kind of content that your target audience doesn’t find elsewhere. Usually, content backed by data and statistics does so well today.
By setting up your blog and getting to this level, you must have had some content ideas. My recommendation is not to rush in excitement to publish your first articles.
Take a break, do a lot of research on the topic you have chosen to write on. Add relevant images, graphs, stats, videos, etc
There are over 2 million blog posts written per day:
So your content should be epic enough to grab attention from your community.
How long should your post be?
People have argued and research done on the effect of length on content. According to a publication by serpIQ, the longer your content, the better your search ranking.
However, you won’t fill up the gabs just to be long. You should aim at creating in-depth content, touching every area you are writing about.
This helps your OnPage SEO. It gives you the chance to diversify your keyword with more LSI options.
After analyzing the social share counts of over 100 million articles, Buzzsumo found that the longer the post, the more shares it gets.
You understand that you are not going to rush to hit the ‘Publish’ button. If you want to stand out, add more meat to your articles.
It’s one good thing to publish insanely epic content and it’s another thing to get eyeballs on your blog.
The biggest challenge we have as bloggers is being able to attract the right readers to our content.
Now your new blog is ready with content that triggers a ‘wow’ from your readers. What’s next?
It’s not about just sharing on social media. If you do that, it’s beautiful but there is something more attractive – blogger out reach
Blogger outreach is simply identifying and connecting with influencers or top bloggers in your niche. It’s just about creating friendships with other bloggers. The result is that you get more traffic, more shares, more engagement on your blog, more sales, etc
That’s the question that often comes up when I speak to new bloggers about networking and connecting with others.
Generally, there are three broad ways;
2. Join blogging platforms and be active on (Bizsugar, Klinkk, BlogEngage, etc)
3. Read blogs in your niche and interact on comments
The third option seems to be the easiest free way to start with. I have seen beautiful results reading and dropping comments on other blogs. As most bloggers function on reciprocity, once you drop a comment on their blogs, they are soon coming to yours to reciprocate.
Michael Pozdnev shares a simple hack to blogging outreach in this post where he underlines blog commenting as being a powerful networking tool.
In content marketing, there are actually 2 phases:
Each of these stages must receive a portion of our time.
The questions are:
Do you spend 60% in creation and 40% in promotion? Or you say ok I spend 40% in creation and 60% promotion. What about an even 50/50 split?
How about 20% in creation and 80% in promotion?
The real question I ask you is, what’s the use creating content when your community remains stagnant?
Your community is your marketplace and the bigger it is, the more profit you get. So it makes sense to me to focus more on promotion as that gets more attention to what you share. 20% creation and 80% promotion looks reasonable to me.
Those are some of the things you should do now that you have setup a new blog. The order I have given these points is also important. You won’t start promoting and driving traffic to your blog until it has the content to keep your visitors.
Of course, once people start reading your blog, security must be at the core. That’s why I thought of it as the first point.
As readers visit your blog, give them the opportunity to jump on your list.
In any case, let content promotion and traffic come after these other areas are dealt with.
If you’re thinking of starting a blog or are in the process of setting up a blog, you need to do the following:
– To learn more about starting and building a successful blog check out this amazing resource First Site Guide.
– Get a reliable hosting. Check out WP Engine for stable and most reliable WordPress Hosting
– Get a great looking theme. I recommend checking out these premium Tesla Themes.
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