Their are about a zillion blogs on the internet these days. Some are wrote by people that just want to express themselves and are not concerned with having a large audience or making money. Other blogs are wrote people that have used their networking and marketing skills to turn their blogs into legitimate 6 or 7 figure businesses. The information in this post will provide you with the 6 most important elements of a successful blog. If you can incorporate all these into your blog, it will likely succeed.
1) A marketing plan that involves paid traffic
A common thing I read on other blogs is how it takes time to grow a blog and make money. Since many bloggers grew their blogs over several years through word of mouth and search engine traffic, it is not surprising to hear them make that statement. If you take the approach most bloggers take then your blog will take years to get to the level you want it to get to. It will take years get high volumes of traffic and make good money.
If you are not interested in taking the slow route to success, their is another option. Treat your blog like a real business and speed up it’s growth with paid traffic. Their are hundreds of places that sell affordable traffic like Facebook, Google and MSN. By reaching in your wallet you could have a blog that gets hundreds of readers and subscribers the first day you launch.
A marketing strategy should be one your central focuses when you are making a blog business plan. First you need to set a marketing budget for the first month. The next thing you should determine is what page the visitors will land on when they visit your website, will they be sent to an article, a tutorial, a video, a squeeze page or some other page. Next you should have a list of the best places to advertise your blog.
After that you should determine what action you want those visitors to take once they visit your website. Do you want them to subscribe to your email list, follow you on twitter, like you on Facebook, comment on an post or something else. In most cases the goal should be to get the visitors email before they leave. You also need to determine what you will do if the advertisements don’t perform according to plan. What if you send 500 people to your website and they all leave without joining your email list. What is the plan, quit or adjust? You have to visualize every bad scenario and how you can overcome it.
2) Products and services that you can sell
Real businesses sell a product or service. If you don’t have a product or service to sell then you don’t have a real business. Some people might disagree with me, especially since many bloggers make a ton of money by placing advertisements and affiliate offers on their blogs. I agree that advertisements and affiliate offers can pay well, but their is a higher level of control and profitability when it comes to your own product. When you promote other peoples products their is a risk of not getting paid, you get a smaller portion of the profits, you have rules on how things can and cannot be promoted and for the most part you are making someone else rich.
The traffic, leads and sales you send to companies might result in you getting a commission, but in the long run the will make the real money. Lets say you have a blog with a banner linking to a company that is willing to pay you $50 for a lead or sale. That sounds like good money until you realize that in the long term they could make $500 off that customer. At that point you have to ask yourself would I rather make $50 or $500? I am sure you would rather make $500.
If you plan on starting a blog in the future make sure you are thinking of quality products and services you can sell to your blog’s audience. That will put you on the path to owning a real business. It would also put you a step ahead of blogs that only make money from advertisements.
3) Aggressive list building plan
I have been making money online since 2006. Many of the websites I launched in my early days I would promote thinking if people liked the site they would just bookmark it or memorize the site on their own. I really ignored the importance of list building in those early days. Don’t be a dumb ass like I was, build a list from day one and be aggressive doing it. Some little box on the sidebar is not enough to get people on your list. You have to put those opt in forms right in peoples faces with pop up forms. Yes, they are annoying, but they are effective.
You also have to make sure you have a good offer. Saying please join my list for updates won’t cut it. You need to giveaway something relevant to your niche that is useful such as an eBook, a video, a free course, a workout, a discount or something else your visitors might find useful.
Lastly you need to track things. Since you are building your blog as a business and spending money to advertise it, you need a good portion of those visitors to become subscribers and avid followers for the blog to grow. Therefore you need to know how much you are paying for each subscriber. It might sound great to have an email list with 1000 people but not if you paid $20 per subscriber. Using Google Analytics or tracking pixels provided by the advertising networks you use should allow you to see where your subscribers are coming from and how much you are paying for each. If you are unfamiliar with paid traffic you may see high per subscriber numbers at first but with experience you should pay less over time.
4) A real domain name
You need a real domain name. Using blogspot or some other free service is to host your blog is unprofessional. No matter how good your content is no one will take you serious. A domain with privacy can cost about $10 to $20 per year depending on Godaddy*. If you are not willing to spend $10-$20 on a domain name then you should not start a blog at all.
5) Ability to deal with negativity
Their are a lot of negative people in this world and if they stumble upon your blog they may feel the need to give you a piece of their mind. That is part of the blogging game, people will talk shit. You need to look deep and figure out what type of person you are. If you are the type of person that gets depressed or mad when people say bad things to you, you will struggle to build a successful blog. If you are the type of person that let’s negative stuff affect your sleep, your motivation and your confidence, you will struggle to build a successful blog. If you can ignore the negative assholes and do what you want to do, when you want to do it and how you want to do it then your blog can succeed.
6) Quality content created from personal experience
You can start a blog about any topic and find someone that can research that topic and write about it. Sites like Writeraccess.com have plenty of good writers. Want a blog about diabetes, weight loss, depression, dating or any other topic, you could have one setup in 10 days or less. Even though you can get good content from a place like Writeraccess.com, the writing will have a researched feel rather than a feel of personal experience. In my opinion personal experience content is more interesting.
Let me give you an example, a blog post named the top 5 ab exercises is something you could get researched and written in one or two days. A a series of more interesting blog posts would be of a man documenting his experience with p90x. He can talk about his diet, what he likes about the program and what he doesn’t like. He could show before and after pictures or videos and post his weekly weights and measurements. Now tell me what is more interesting an article about the top 5 ab exercises or a person talking about a real workout, real results and showing visual photos and videos?
Let me throw out another example. I am sure I could get an article researched and written about the top ten lines for picking up women. That might be an interesting post. A more personalize blog post would be, “I tried these 10 pick up lines on 50 women last month, how many phone numbers did I get?” Which post do you think would be more interesting?
The only way you can create a blog with personal experience is if you actually know about the topic or you can connect with existing bloggers that do. If you decide to connect with other bloggers you have to be able to offer them money, exposure or both to get them to write for you.