This is a guest post by Koundeenya Dhulipalla.
This is my almost third year into blogging and Iâ€™ve learned a lot about how things go on the Internet. Iâ€™ve come across Panda, Penguin, EMD and have also experienced other changes regarding the search results on Google. I lost four of my Adsense accounts and been somehow able to monetize my blog.
Iâ€™ve successfully got my guest posts published on some high-profiled niche sites and the count is still going. I am writing all this because I want you to know that there are some things which you might not know unless and until you have an own blog of yours. In these two-and-half-years of blogging, Iâ€™ve witnessed many a things which amused me.
Blogging isn’t just writing and publishing.
When I first started my blog with the little knowledge I had, I just wrote and published articles. That was good then but now, the conditions are quite different. With changes and trends, blogging is no more writing and publishing.
Indeed, you should have tons of patience, dedicated passion, potential and what not! To be a blogger, you should be a writer, an editor, a proofreader, a site manager, developer, designer, marketer and on and on. Besides, if you are the only back-end of your site, I doubt if you can spend time with your family.
With the rise in SEO, you are also required to do a bit more than what you’re expected to. If you want to get more traffic, you should first rank better in SERP and to do so, you should optimize your site for search engines. This includes keyword research, density, headings, ALT tags for images, content length, quality and others.
Even before you start writing your article, you should first do a keyword research and pick an apt one and then start writing keeps the keyword in mind. You should also use the keyword in your headline and make sure it is catchy as well.
Every blogger does not need to be a writer.
This might sound odd but the thing is so obvious. It is not necessary for a blogger to be an awesome writer or whatever. If your blog already has some good reputation, then guest bloggers are waiting at your doors and if not, there are thousands of freelance writers who can produce good quality content even for pennies. I personally know many blogs which outsource content and some others which run completely (mostly) on guest bloggers.
Search for some query and read all blogs that rank on the very first page of Google (excluding, major sites and publications). Some of them are of course well written. But what about the others? They are just written but still rank well. I don’t know if this is because of their SEO skills, but yes, I do see such pages daily.
It is not necessary to post daily.
All great and successful bloggers say- consistency is important. But that doesn’t mean to publish posts daily just as to maintain consistency even if they are of low quality. If you once peep into some of the high-profiled blogs that receive lakhs of visits each day, they might not upgrade the content daily.
Rather, quality matters.
Even if you have to take a little more time, try producing the best quality content and post it once you are done with proofreading and editing. Oh yeah! Proofreading is a must thing to do after you complete writing your article. Never mind if it takes time. After all, readers want rich articles – not time-wasting articles each day. Also keep your subscribers in mind, don’t annoy/spam them with mails every day.
Length doesn’t matter.
Don’t bother about the length. Just write whatever you can and make sure you don’t go off topic. There are sites which post articles of less than 300 words and some which have no less than 2000 words. If you are successful in writing an attractive post, the reader will keep reading the post till the very last word.
I often see many blogs which recommend you to keep your post length short to maintain a good readership. If this is so true, how come blogs like ViperChill, CopyBlogger and John Chow choose lengthy articles? Seth Godin, the marketing guru, said on his blog, “Write long and detailed posts to get more traffic.” If you can manage writing an interesting article, any reader doesn’t care about the length of the article.
Headings matter – a lot.
Believe it or not, people don’t read the entire article unless you make it ultra-attractive and catchy. People use search engines to get an answer/solution for their query and they finally land on your page.
Remember, you are not alone on the Internet. There are a billion of other blogs who blog on the same niche. Readers have a choice. If you fail in producing an attractive post, they’ll just go back and visit another blog. All they need is a solution to the query. Since they just need an answer, they don’t read the entire article.
If you have added relevant, eye-catching and attractive headlines, they might stop scrolling and start reading. Even when I search for something on Google, I don’t prefer reading those blogs which have no headings in the post. Headings make the post look attractive as well as they give the best intro about the content.
It’s all about the brand.
Today, brands speak a lot more than people. When a high-profile, established blogger writes something, people read it. Even though you might have produced a better article, people don’t read it because they don’t know you. So first concentrate on building a brand for yourself.
Of course, it takes a little time, so be patient and don’t lose your focus. Bloggers can build a brand name for their blog through a unique writing style, design, and name. Once you’ve built a brand for your blog, you may not have to struggle a lot to get your content read.
Monetization is mandatory.
I know most of you might not admit this, but try asking the same question to yourself once you complete reading this article. Personally, when I started my first blog, I didn’t even know that blogs can make money.
I didn’t care initially because blogging is a passion, not just a source of second income. I want my blog to host quality content and not annoying advertisements. I don’t want others to pay me and post whatever they want on my site. So, I didn’t pay much attention to the monetization methods. But things aren’t same now.
To take your blog to the next level, you need inspiration. And inspiration mostly comes from fellow bloggers who are successful. Fellow bloggers around me, however, are making thousands each month from their blogs whereas I have not even made a single penny yet. This can lead to a quick loss of inspiration.
Hence, you have to learn what will help you make your blog successful, both in content and in monetization. Just watch out for the monetization avenues that might turn your readers off – it’s not worth it to lose your audience to bad ads and irrelevant reviews.
What have you learned while blogging? Please share in the comments!