You've spent the last few days setting up your new blog and writing your first ten articles. Maybe you followed my Start a Money Making Blog Series, some other tutorial or perhaps you just winged it. Regardless, your blog looks great, your content perfect and everything is ready to go. Now you can just sit back and watch the traffic start rolling in right ??
What you just completed was the easy part, now the hard part begins: building up your blog. This takes time, creativity and lots of hard work.
How to build up your blog
Since you're reading this blog, I'm assuming many of you are interested in earning a side income blogging. Building up your blog and growing it to a point where you can begin earning a reasonable side income involves many things, but primarily these key activities:
- Continuing to publish great content AND on a frequent basis
- Driving traffic to your blog
- Building relationships
If you focus the majority of your blogging time and effort on just these three key activities, your blog will grow. Over time as your traffic grows, especially search engine traffic, you'll be able to begin earning money from your blog from things like Adsense and Affiliates.
Let's dive a little deeper into each of those three key activities to build up your blog:
Continue to publish great content on a frequent basis
First and foremost (and I cannot stress this enough) your number one priority should be focusing on publishing high quality content that your readers need.
That should be your number one job as a blogger and creating epic content will have the single biggest positive impact on your blog's growth. The main product your blog offers is content in the form of articles. If your articles are not high quality and your readers/visitors don't need those articles, than visitors won't come to your blog, or if they do, they won't come back. Very few things run a reader off more than low quality content. Low quality content includes content with:
- Poor grammar
- Spelling mistakes
- Content that isn't unique
- Content that isn't valuable
Another important aspect that often hurts new bloggers is the importance of publishing frequently. The traffic that converts into income for you will come primarily from search engines (aka Google). Search engine visitors click ads at a much higher rate than any other type of traffic. Publishing frequently will help Google rank your articles higher, as Google gives more credibility to blogs that are frequently updated.
Strive to focus on creating content that people need and publish it frequently. Do this, and your blog will be successful.
Drive Traffic to your blog
Discussing all of the many ways you can drive traffic to your blog is a big enough topic that others have created entire blogs on the subject of building traffic alone. There is no way I could even begin to dive into this topic at any detailed level of detail. But I can offer, at least at a high level, a few things you should be doing:
- Be active on social media - Which one? Well, that depends on where your audience hangs out. My audience seems to hang out more on Google+, but many other bloggers have reader's that hang out on Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook. Any one of these can drive traffic, but you need to focus on the one where your readers and audience hang out. Engage with the community and provide value, don't just share links to your latest articles and don't over promote your blog.
- Search Engine Optimize your articles - Always write for your readers first, but absolutely tweak your articles to be sure they are SEO optimized. This will increase the rankings your articles get in Google, and drive more search engine traffic to your blog.
- Guest post - Guest posting is a great way to get exposure to your blog and is also a great way to build back links which help your search engine rankings. Guest posting is a win/win, which I always like. Just be sure to not make these mistakes when contacting another blogger about guest posting. Also, make sure the site you are posting on is credible and ranked well with Google or guest posting could hurt your blog.
You can read more detail about how to promote and drive traffic to your blog in my article: Marketing and promoting your blog.
Building relationships has always been a critically important aspect of building a successful blog. With the rise and popularity of social media, the importance has grown even higher. The people that you maintain relationships with will support you, help you, and even drive traffic your way. I recently wrote a guest post that discusses the importance of relationships on Rand Wilson's blog - Learn success the easy way.
One of the key reasons I maintain relationships is to learn. I've been actively participating on Google+ over the past 2 months, and have learned a tremendous amount from the various people I follow and the Google+ Communities I actively participate in. If you're on Google+, I'd strongly advise you to join the Zero Links Blogging Discussion (JLBD) community, I guarantee you'll learn something. Plus, it's full of some really great and friendly people.
The best part about building relationships? It's fun! Honestly, I'm having so much fun on Google+, I've had to really manage my time spent there.
Building up your blog is a never ending, constantly evolving job. There are always things to tweak, upgrades to make, and new sites and strategies to explore. The process of growing a blog and making it successful is one of the things I really enjoy. Seeing my blogs grow and helping others provides me with a great deal of personal satisfaction.
I challenge you to always stay focused on you building up your blog and trying new things on a frequent basis. Just do me a favor:
Don't spend all of your time staring at your Google Analytics.
Of course check it, monitor it and use the information it provides, but spend most of your time writing great content your readers want, generating traffic, and building relationships. Do these three things to build up your blog, and your blog will grow and will generate income for you. I've grown two successful blogs using these basic principles - I know they work.
Photo by: Martin Pettitt