Beginner’s Guide to Successful Blogging (Why SEO is Just Not Enough)
If you’ve got a blog up and going there’s no doubt you’re quickly learning it’s not as cut and dry as it first seemed. Welcome to the club. I think all bloggers pretty much come to the same conclusion, and it feels like running face-first into a brick wall. Don’t worry–all hope is not lost! In this Beginner’s Guide to Successful Blogging we’ll take a look at some key elements and start you (or reroute you) on a good path.
Before we take off, I should let you know that this article isn’t for one second going to talk about hosting, WordPress, or any other blogging platform (sigh of relief, right?) Lookie there, I didn’t even link it! You can read more info about that here if you need to!
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Beginner’s Guide to Successful Blogging: Tips for the Road
If you’ve done any blogging research whatsoever you’ve heard about SEO (Search Engine Optimization). SEO is basically about scoring high Google search rankings so folks looking for certain info online can easily find you. The better you do, the higher you’ll score and the higher your content will appear on the Google’s search results.
How do you accomplish this? There are several ways to do it. This article from Quicksprout breaks it down nicely and helps you understand the inner workings of SEO world.
Before you get carried away with SEO and marketing tools, however, there are some other things that you need to know about. That’s why this beginner’s guide to successful blogging is so important.
It’s Just Not Enough, My Friend
Most beginner’s guide to successful blogging posts take off selling you on hosting, blogging platforms, and SEO techniques. While all of this is good, it’s not everything. In fact, a lot of guides skim right over some crucial tips that can actually make or break your blog.
What if I told you that SEO and marketing isn’t enough for a successful blog? I’m certainly not saying that it isn’t important–SEO is crucial! But is it everything?
Nope. Why not?
Imagine this… you type a question or problem into the Google Search bar. Then you select the link that seems like it answers your question best. However, after about 20 seconds of reading you discover that the link you clicked doesn’t really answer your question. To make matters worse, it’s a terribly written article!
What!? How disappointing! And shame for shame, Google, for letting that happen.
Which is why Google doesn’t let that happen.
An article may rank highly at first because it has all the right components as far as keywords, phrases and so on, but if the content itself is no good, the success will be mighty short-lived.
Rest in peace, blog article.
Don’t Let This Be Your Blog!
How do you avoid crashing and burning despite the most valiant efforts to gain high SEO rankings?
First, don’t treat Google like it’s clueless about your content. It hasn’t gotten where it is today by being a one-trick pony. If you’ve mastered SEO but your content is no good, don’t expect to slip past Google’s algorithms.
Your content has to be just as good or even better than your keyword saturation skills.
You Must Be A Proficient Writer
Does this mean a highly skilled writer?
Of course, the more skilled you are at writing content, the easier it is for you. But what if you struggle with writing good content? Does this mean a successful blog is out of the running for you?
Nope–doesn’t mean that, either.
Of course, you can always pay someone to write your stuff for you. That works out great, as long as you’re aware it’s going to get costly. And, the overall style of your website is going to take on the traits of whoever you’ve got writing your stuff… which sort of defeats the purpose of creating an online presence and brand.
Having someone write an article for you here and there is always a nice option. But let’s be straightforward here. You need to be able to write some good stuff, too.
So What DO You Need For Good Content?
Well, you need to be able to create pretty posts:
- Your blog post should always have a cherry on top: a pinnable graphic that quickly explains the purpose and title of your post
- You should include high-quality pictures in your post
- Links should be included to give your readers options and more info
- All posts should have “share” icons so that your readers can expose your content for you
- The quality of your article needs to be higher than the competition
You need to hook your readers. There is nothing you can do to replace reader engagement. This is where focusing too much on keywords and phrases will really hurt you. If every other word is a keyword to impress Google’s algorithms, you won’t impress your reader. They’ll bounce. Then you won’t impress Google, either.
How Do You Create Engaging Content?
You’ve got about 8 seconds to get your reader on board with you. From the moment they click on your blog (which had better load quickly because that’s part of the 8 seconds), the countdown begins. If you keep them for 8 seconds, you’ve got a little extra time to win them over. By the first paragraph or two, though, mission had better be accomplished.
That’s a tall order! How are you supposed to do that?
Your content MUST be:
- Clear to read
- Fun and engaging
- Well edited and well constructed
Most writers count on software like Grammarly or others to help them create good content. Don’t make this mistake. Grammarly is your wing man, not insurance of a successful blog post. Use Grammarly for polished content!
Get Yourself A Plan
If you’ve got a blog up and running, you probably already know your niche and you’ve thought about your audience. So what’s your plan from there?
- Do you have blog post ideas lined up from now until the cows come home?
- Have you mapped out your method for creating those awesome posts?
- Are you confident that you can write those posts in a way that will accomplish your goals?
- Do you have the basic skills required to write those posts?
- Do you have confidence in those skills? How about in yourself as a writer?
Umm… so we just took things to a whole different level. Yep. But that’s because it’s vital for a successful blog.
You Can Do It
Don’t let this discourage you. Think about all the times you’ve researched a topic and read article after good article. There’s no way you’ll ever convince me that every one of those successful sites are authored by someone who is a master at the English language and loves writing. It’s just not a thing.
So how are they doing it?
They know their skill level, they’re honest about it, and they know where to go for help. The same is true for you, too. You’ve got a million-dollar idea, but you’re not a million-dollar content creator–YET. But you can be!
If I can impart some friendly advice, it would be to start small. Start with baby steps. Don’t overwhelm yourself with a 500 page book on content creation or a thousand dollar course. You’re going to need some time to grow.
Start small. Learn some key basics. Don’t eat up all your time and your dreams by getting bogged down with too many details or the pressure of feeling like you need a college degree to write something worthwhile.
Start here with this Express Workshop on blog writing (psst! It’s short and sweet and easy on the wallet!)
With just a few small adjustments you can totally reshape your content and boost your blog. It’s completely doable, and it’s possible. You can become skilled enough to create quality content that increases your reader engagement and following–and blog traffic! That translates to income. And that’s quite nice.
Best. Advice. Ever.
Don’t you dare give up! You can do this, and with some grit, the right tools and a little polish, you’ll be creating beautiful content in no time!
This Beginner’s Guide to Successful Blogging is just the start. Be one of the FIRST students to take my Blog Writer’s Workshop and earn an EXTRA free edit service! Simply enroll in the course, and leave a review once you’ve completed it.
Send me a quick note letting me know about your review at [email protected], and you’ll get an extra editing service for your blog!