Happy New Year! 2020 marks the start of a brand new decade, and if you're seriously thinking about giving this whole 'blogging' thing a go, then go for it, it's never too late to start.
2020 also marks my 10th year as a full-time blogger. I started in August of 2010, but that's another story for another occasion.
So, if you really want to create a blog and this is your first time before you even start. There's something important that you need to know first.
Here goes -
It's estimated that there are over 500 million blogs on the internet with a combined 2 million blog posts published daily.
That's some big numbers to crunch.
The thing is, creating yet another blog to add to that noise is just not going to cut it. Not anymore. You have to build a meaningful blog.
Meaningful as in 'important and worthwhile'.
If you're thinking about creating a blog for the sake of it. Or worst, because you've heard that you can make money and get famous from blogging. I'm sorry to break your bubble, but you're likely to fail big time.
Most people that get into blogging, driven by the motivation that they will make lots of money, fail. This is because they set their expectations too high right off the bat.
Building a worthwhile blog takes time, hard work, and an incredible amount of patience. So, now let me give you a few quick pointers on how to do this the right way.
Now let's dive a little deeper into each one.
You may have read this piece of advice a million times already. Yet so many new bloggers start blogging about a topic they know nothing or even care about. This still happens today.
Now, there's actually nothing wrong with doing this. Some people will argue that you have to find a niche that's both worthwhile and profitable. But, in my experience, it's much harder to stay consistent at blogging about a topic that you know little or care much about.
I've created many blogs in the past on topics I knew nothing about. I didn't give a hoot about those topics either. They were in lucrative niches and thus thought I could make them work.
Well, after some months, I got bored and gave up on most of them. My heart simply wasn't in it. I wasn't passionate enough regardless of the fact that I could make a little bit of extra money from those niches.
That's the key right there. I keep drumming on about this, but passion is always going to be a critical ingredient in any blogging venture.
You have to be in love with the topic you choose. Why? Because when you are passionate, the content you produce will always be meaningful to you and your audience.
Check out this post on finding a great niche for your blog.
Once you have picked a worthwhile topic to blog about, next you need to define who your target audience will be. Who are you writing for?
Now, this process is not a quick one, it takes time to figure out who your actual readers are.
You need to take it one post at a time. For instance -
Over time, you will begin to notice a trend with the types of content that your readers enjoy and find most valuable. From this, you can begin defining your audience better.
You're always aiming to provide value with your blog. Never forget the purpose of your blog. Every blog post should contain something useful for your readers to take away.
You can always improve and refine your unique value proposition. And again, this takes time. The better you understand your readers, their needs, wants, problems. The smarter you will be at making your UVP, your content and offers irresistible.
So, you now have a dozen or so decent blog posts already published. Hopefully, some of those posts will have comments and shares too.
You have also honed in on your target audience and refined your value proposition. It's time to get create your killer content strategy.
You can check the comments and social mentions to see what people are talking about. What questions are being asked, etc. Use this information to make a list of blog post topic ideas.
Creating a content strategy is vital for staying consistent in blogging and for building a meaningful blog.
What makes a blog meaningful is the content itself. As an author, your job is to make that content important and worthwhile that readers fall in love with it. Boring, below-average content that does little to strike a chord in your reader's hearts and souls will not be remembered.
You can plan how many posts you want to publish each week for the next 3 or 6 months. You can also write the topics of those posts in advance so that you don't run out of ideas.
This eBook should help you with your content planning and strategizing.
By now you should have some decent comments and social shares on your blog posts.
Well, engagement is a great indication that your blog is alive and active. You can also use your blog's engagement to plan future blog posts that will promote further comments and social shares.
Be sure to plan out your engagement strategy in advance too. When will you respond to comments and mentions on social media? One thing you must ever do is ignore your readers. Every comment, every mention, every share on Facebook needs a response or ackowledgemnt from you. At least in the beginning.
Check out this post on how to build a rock-solid blog community.
What on earth is a success strategy you might be asking yourself? Well, some people call it goal setting.
Whatever you want to call it, one thing you must have is a plan. Without a plan, you can't be consistent. You can't track your progress either. And, without consistency, your blog will not grow into a meaningful let alone a successful one.
Plan everything from your content, social media, guest blogging, blog commenting, to your traffic generation.
To help you build the most meaningful blog, I've created an awesome pro blog planner workbook that I think you'll love using. You can check it out here.
Be an original blogger. Don't be a copycat blogger. Yes, by all means, you can follow, admire, and read other bloggers' success stories. But you have your own story to tell and your own blogging path to follow.
You can't replicate another blogger's style, tone, voice, strategy and expect to get the same results. It doesn't work like that, I don't care what anyone told you.
People love originality. So, make yourself and your blog unique. Make your content meaningful, resourceful, and valuable and you'll stand out in the noisy crowd.
So, there you have it. seven quick and simple tips to help you build a meaningful blog in 2020. Yes, these are quick tips, but they won't be quick to implement. Building a great blog is a lifetime commitment. Well, you've got the next decade to make something great happen. Now, go make a start and once again, Happy New Year!