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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

How can I Make My New Blog Successful in the First 12 Months?

The blogging world is somewhat overshadowed by the damaging opinion that we get SOO much free stuff but also that blogging is a get rich quick business with minimal effort required.

Don’t get me wrong there are blogs that make a lot of money in their first month and their first year. But take this with a pinch of salt, they aren’t always new bloggers, this is a new blog but I am not a new blogger. I have been blogging since 2011.

New and potential bloggers are heavily targeted, you are a market to be sold to. Buy this e-book to learn this, buy this course to be successful.

Whilst there are some great products out there that can help you, please do your research as there is also a lot of crap targeted at new bloggers. Crap that offers nothing more valuable than what is available for free

But the reality is that blogging success takes time, effort and a little bit of luck

0 – 6 Months

Your blog won’t make much of an impact on search engines

Unless you have found a very unsaturated niche it is unlikely you will fall in the top 100 search results. Search engines are fluid, someone searches for what they need and in that moment the search engine decides where you appear on the results. Your position is mainly chosen based on relevance, is this what the person wants to read and has this information been valuable for past searchers?

You can help search engines to find you by opening Google Webmaster and Bing Webmaster accounts. In these accounts you can submit your sitemap(s) and submit individual pages to be indexed. These will help search engines to get your content on their radar.

Interlink your content, it helps you and it helps the search engines to work out your site structure. It also helps readers to find related content that they may be interested in. This will keep the readers on your site for longer and help with your bounce rate.

Get Your Blog on Pinterest

Pinterest is a visual search engine and for many blogs is the main source of traffic. Pinterest has a dual purpose, as soon as you share a pin it will appear in your followers feed but it will also be indexed.

Whenever someone searches for the topic of your pin or views a related pin your pin could appear. Much like other search engines it takes time for Pinterest to index you so use keywords and eye catching graphics made with Canva to make your pins stand out.

Join group boards, these are Pinterest boards with multiple contributors who also share their content to the board. Group boards will increase your potential audience and get on the radar of other bloggers.

If you are willing and able to make an investment in your blog, consider investing in Tailwind. Tailwind isn’t just a Pinterest scheduling tool, it is partnered with Pinterest and Pinterest provides data on the best posting times for your schedule.

Tailwind Tribes work in a similar way to group boards, you submit your pins and share others. With a basic Plus package you won’t be able to make the most of Tribes and I would recommend a Power Up (upgrade)

For a free trial and a free month of Tailwind, worth $15 if you upgrade, please click here.*

Find Your Fanbase on Social Media

Right now, a great way you can drive people to your blog is through social media. In order to do this you will need profiles on social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Each social media site has pros and cons. Twitter and Facebook will you grow a fanbase and get your content seen. Instagram will help people learn more about you and to a lesser extent drive traffic to your blog.

Twitter – Twitter is my favourite social media, it is great for networking with other bloggers and for sharing your content and growing your following. There are a number of weekly Twitter chats to join in with and network with other bloggers, a full list is here.

There are many accounts that will reshare your content to their followers and many of these accounts have daily share threads for blog posts and social media. A few of my favourites are Bloggers Tribe , The Bloggers Post and Blogger Love Share.

Don’t forget to use hashtags, find the best on my list of 50 of the best twitter hashtags.

Facebook – A Facebook page is a great way to gain a blog following as billions of people are on Facebook, although the reach of each post is reduced by Facebook in a bid to get you to pay to do so. Blogging Facebook groups are a great place to share your content and to network with other bloggers.

Many Facebook groups have daily threads to share blog posts and social media profiles for likes and follows.

A few of the best Facebook blogging groups are Bloggers Supporting BloggersBloggers Supporting Each OtherBecoming a Blogger and Boost Your Blog 101 .

Choosing the Right Domain or Platform

There is no right domain or blogging platform, there is a right domain or blogging platform for you. If you realise early on that you chose the wrong one then change it. The best time to make the big changes are the early days before you have to worry about redirecting your pin links without being punished for spam or worrying if the search engines will

Everyone will tell you self-hosted is the best way but you shouldn’t rule out a free platform if it works for you. Even if now you think your blog is just a hobby, know this any and every blog can make money if you want it to. Some will make tens, some hundreds, some will make thousands and some will make much more.

Most self-hosted websites cost less than $15 a month. That is one appetiser in a restaurant, less than a gym membership, around 3 Starbucks drinks and it is a worthwhile investment. Even if you never make a penny from blogging, you would struggle to find many hobbies that cost less than $15 per month.

Bluehost is a great host for beginner blogger, see 5 reasons you should choose Bluehost for hosting or sign up for Bluehost using my affiliate link here*

You can make money on your blog from Day one

But that is not to say that you will make money on your blog from day one.

There are ways you can monetise your blog from day one, the easiest way to do so is with Affiliates. Most hosting services have their own affiliate programmes with generous rewards for referrals. Other popular affiliate programmes are Amazon Affiliates, Share a Sale, ClickBank and Shopfy.

Whilst I wouldn’t recommend a heavy ad presence at first, they are some more discreet ad providers such as Infolinks, who offer in content adverts alongside other ad formats.

For most bloggers the goal is initially to get their blog into Google Adsense and from there the next goal is usually Mediavine. Most ad networks require you to be in good standing with Adsense as they will use the same marketplace for ad inventory alongside others.

I have another blog with Mediavine so I can tell you exactly how amazing they are to work with. One day I hope for this blog to reach the threshold to join Mediavine.

Success takes time but sometimes luck can play a part

You will need to inject a lot of time in the first 6 months, your time will be spent networking, promoting, networking a fuck load more and of course writing blog posts.

Pumping out regular content will help gain a keen following and will leave readers begging for more. Sadly, I haven’t been able to keep up for demand for new content and am hoping to change this in 2020.

I’m a firm believer that luck has a lot to do with blogging success. Sometimes it takes being in the right place at the right time.

It could take the right person repinning your content or sharing on social media for your audience to grow.

It could take a great backlink for a bigger blogger or website to catapult up your authority.

6 – 12 Months

Your blog will start to see search engine traffic

You won’t have conquered Google yet but you are on your way. You will start seeing traffic coming from search engines in your blog stats.

If you are willing to invest I highly recommend Semrush to check your rankings, click here for a free 7 day trial*. I have found them to be the most accurate tool I have tried to monitor my rankings on Google.

Your Google Webmasters will have gathered enough information for you to be able to rework your content in your performance tab.

This is the ideal time to redo your research, check your best and worst performing keywords in Webmasters and to check Google Trends.

Use the above information to rework your content, tweak your keywords and to include content you may have overlooked when you first wrote the post.

Reshare your oldest Content to Pinterest and Social

Even though by now you might have a lot of content, don’t neglect your older content. We are all guilty of focusing on promoting the newest content but by now you will have more of an audience than when you first shared your content.

Share your old posts to Tailwind Tribes, on Pinterest group boards and share on social media profiles and pages.

Reward Your Fanbase

Personally, I don’t think you should start your email list straight away. There is so much to do in the first 6 months of blogging, it can afford to wait a little while. Or it can wait even longer, never forget the blogging journey is yours.

You don’t have to do everything that everyone else does on their blog.

If you choose to start an email list, consider rewarding your fan base with a freebie or at the very least a discount.

Other ways to give back to your fan base could include a giveaway/competition or to offer ad space on your blog.

You’ve learnt you way around your platform

Now it’s time to really make it work for you. At first, we all choose something a little more basic for our theme, something a little bit safe for our graphics.

But now you feel more comfortable in your brand, consider a new theme and consider changing the aesthetic of your blog. Try some new plug ins and widgets to make your blog stand out and help your blog function.

If you’ve changed your theme you may need to consider making new graphics for blog posts and social media posts using Canva.

Consider new ways to monetise

When you have enough established content and views, consider alternative methods of monetisation including advertisements that use more space in your blog.

You may also consider being a little bit more aggressive with affiliates, including links to products on social media and email marketing. Make sure you check the rules of each programme before you do this!

For blogs of up to 25,000 sessions apply to Adsense but when you consistently hit 25,000 sessions apply to Mediavine. Mediavine require you to have a little domain history and blogs are accepted from as young as 6 months.

Invest in time saving tools

It may be time to step away and spend less time on social media by scheduling posts.

Popular tools for scheduling social media content include TwittimerBuffer and HootSuite. These are also at the lower end of the market price wise.

If you can afford to push the boat out and want to invest, I would suggest SmarterQueue. SmarterQueue offers evergreen recycling, you set up your queue and it will repeat itself forever more.

This saves me hours and hours of social media scheduling and frees up my time for writing blog posts.

You can get a free month of SmarterQueue here using my affiliate link.*

Be a Guest Poster

By now you will have a portfolio of your own content to show other bloggers the great content that you can offer. You can show off your writing skills, your personality and you can show how you can contribute to the community.

Guest posting helps everyone in the community. It can help you to reach a new audience, it can help other bloggers find you and it can help the site you are hosted on fill a scheduling gap. This is especially great to cover holidays and time off and in case of blogger burn out.

*These are affiliate links. I will receive a free month of Tailwind if you sign up, a $65 cash incentive if you sign up for Bluehost, this is variable but typically $65, a commission if you sign up to a paid membership on Semrush and a free month if you sign up to SmarterQueue.

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