Long back, when people wanted to share their ideas and knowledge to the world through written words, they had to be a journalist with a newspaper or a magazine. Or they had to be an author depending on a publishing company to accept their work and market it. But today, you can write, hit publish and the whole world can see it!
Blogging is one of the best business models in the world. It gives you time freedom, location freedom and the ability to scale your income rapidly. Blogging is a long journey and there are many things that you would need to get right. In this article, let’s discuss the top factors that determine blogging success.
1. Get Started First, Most People Won’t
A recent poll in Learn Digital Marketing Forum revealed that a huge percentage of people haven’t even started a blog. Without making your first Rs.100 from blogging, you will never be motivated to put in the work required to start making a full-time income from your blog.
Let’s say a full-time income means Rs.50,000 a month from your blog. For some, the required income may be higher, for some, lower. But Rs.50,000 per month is a good benchmark to set because if you can achieve this, then doubling your income wouldn’t be a tough task.
Register a domain, buy a web-hosting account, install a blog, publish some articles, drive some traffic and earn some revenue from ads or affiliate income. Do this first, because you will start seeing some results that will motivate you. If you get 100 visitors and earn Rs.10, that puts you ahead of 1,000 other people who haven’t taken the first step. You will be motivated automatically. You will then make your first Rs.100, then a Rs.1,000 and then a Rs.10,000.
When I first started my blog, I never expected it to grow to this stage. I just published a few articles so that I can put it on my resume. So that my resume looks better than 5 other resumes applying for the same job. But actually getting started helped me realize the potential of blogging. Once I had some traction, I scaled it up!
I started blogging in 2012. Guess how much was my traffic in 2016?
Now my traffic goals for 2017 is double that of 2016 because I know that 2x is not an impossible goal. Increasing your total traffic by 2x every year is a healthy way to grow.
2. Treat Blogging Like a Business
Many people treat blogging as a job. They want to work for X hours and earn Y income. People write blogs, create videos, share the articles on social media and so on. But they never re-invest the revenue from their blog back into the growth of their blog. That’s the biggest mindset issue with most of the bloggers.
I’m not saying that you have to make a huge upfront investment to start getting good traction from your blog. Just reinvest 80%-100% of the money you make back into the blog, at least in the initial few years. Invest in boosting FB page posts, invest in design, invest in building an email list and so on. If you know how to monetize the traffic, you will be able to get a healthy ROI.
For example, I spent $15 on boosting a recent blog post I published. It got nearly 1.5k likes, reached 16k people and got nearly 500 link clicks to my blog post. I agree that you will not have enough budget to invest like that in the beginning, but you can definitely spend $1 or $2. When your blog grows and start making income, you can have higher budgets for promotion!
3. Focus on One Topic and Become a Leader
Many bloggers try to be everything to everyone. That’s a losing game. You have to focus on a narrow topic and become a leader in that market. For example, my area of focus will always be on digital marketing and region wise, I will be focusing mostly in India. My goal is to get recognised as the top digital marketer in India and maintain that position.
You should choose a topic where there is a combination of your passion, talent and market opportunity. A few years back, I started a blog about SSB Training because there was a tremendous market opportunity in that. But I was not passionate about it. I let the blog fail. When I was blogging about motorcycles in 2009, I had huge passion for motorcycles, had a talent to write about bikes, but the market was not that great.
Finally, I zeroed-in on a topic where I have all the three. Passion for marketing, talent to execute digital marketing campaigns and a market where digital marketing skills and knowledge are in huge demand.
4. Understand Your Readers and Fulfil their Needs
As I’ve already mentioned, blogging is a business. Every business must understand the needs and wants of their customers. Your first customers are your readers. Ask them what they want and depending on their answers, fulfil their need. I have spoken to 100s of my readers and customers over the phone in the past few years and the learning I’ve acquired by talking to them about their needs is priceless.
This understanding will also lead to monetisation opportunities. For example, I understood that many of my readers wanted to learn AdWords and Facebook Ads in-depth. My blog articles were not enough for them. So I launched advanced courses on these topics. They were paid courses, and I made an excellent revenue from the sales of these courses. And of course, I’m reinvesting the revenue back into the growth of the blog!
If you want to catch a fish, you should put a worm on the hook. Fishes want worms, that’s what they are attracted to. You shouldn’t put a candy on the hook because you like candy. Similarly, you shouldn’t blog about the topics that you like. You should blog about the topics that your readers would want to read. Else, you cannot get readers for your blog and people would just ignore you.
A very good way to understand your reader’s needs is to create an online community of like-minded people. For example, I created this forum called Learn Digital Marketing on Facebook. Initially, I just had a few hundred members. But they helped me learn about their needs. As I kept fulfilling their needs, I got more blog traffic, my email list grew and so did the forum members. As of now, the forum has around 25,000 members!
5. Read, Learn & Implement Fast
Almost all the markets are competitive markets in this world. Blogging is also a very competitive market. There are millions of blog posts being published every day. How are you going to stand out?
You should stay at the top of your game by learning a lot. You should learn the fundamentals of marketing and business. And you should also learn the latest strategies and tactics in the digital marketing world. Whether it is about branding your blog via social media or the latest updates in SEO, you need to be updated about what’s happening in the industry.
Learning a lot and not implementing them leads to knowledge constipation (or information overload). Implement things fast. Implementation will lead to validated learning. Validated learning gives you the confidence to execute things and if you get things done, results will be inevitable.
What is stopping you from getting started? Do you fear failure? Do you think by starting a blog and not getting any traffic to it would be a failure? Is that what you fear?
Fear not getting started at all. Fear of not failing at all. Because we all fail, then we learn and then succeed. Every step of the way, you succeed in small ways.
Get the first 100 visitors to your blog. Then get the first 1000. That’s how you become a successful blogger. All the best for your blogging success. 🙂
Have questions? Leave a comment below.