I assume that you already have an idea what blogging is all about. I also assume that you came here to get some important pieces of information that would help you become a better blogger. This post is kinda long. So without further ado, here are my 101 blogging tips for 2014 and beyond.
Starting your blog
1. Know yourself and have personal development
In order to advance in blogging, you have to secure your foundations as a blogger. Find your passion, follow your expertise and continue developing yourself to have the right attitudes and habits that will keep you on the right track towards success. Remember that foundations are the things that you would always carry with you from basic to advanced blogging.
2. Know your competition
Blogging is already a big and a very competitive industry. Before entering into the blogging arena, make sure that you already have knowledge of your competitors. You can check out the top blogs in your category and determine how you can win your competition. You may use free tools like Alexa.com, Keywordspy.com, Opensiteexplorer.org or simply use Google’ search engine result pages (SERP) to check your competitors’ search rankings, domain authority, top keywords and other data you need to know to stand out from your competition. You may also personally check their blogs to determine their blogging style and content, and to make sure that you will develop a blogging style and generate content which are far better than theirs. Moreover, don’t forget to overcome your worst competitor –you.
3. Come up with a plan.
A plan will give your blogging journey an overall strategy that will guide your steps and tactics to achieving your goals and even your dreams. It will also help you utilize best your talents, skills, techniques, time and other resources, and ensure that they won’t be wasted. A simple plan includes your objectives, procedures to achieve those objectives, target market, marketing tactics, financial budget, team of people, and other important things that you think should be included in your game plan. And oh yes! Don’t forget to make it SMARTER (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound, evaluated and reevaluated).
4. Choose the impeccable web host
The reliability of your web hosting plays a vital role in ensuring that you blog is always up and will not slow down. Thus, make an effort to do your research and ask other bloggers what web hosting company would be best for you.
5. Use the best CMS.
Use the blogging software or Content Management System (CMS) that will power up your blog to the fullest. There are several paid and free CMS to use, but I recommend WordPress for self-hosted blog. The reason is that it is free, SEO-friendly, scalable and is maintained by a dynamic community of developers and users.
6. Pick the right domain name.
Choose the right domain name for your blog according to your target audience. If you are only targeting an audience in a specific country, you may use Country code top-level domains like .US (United States), .UK (United Kingdom) and AU (Australia). If you will use those kinds of domains, remember that Google will automatically consider your blog as “targeted only to those countries”. Hence, if you desire to get traffic from other countries or if you want your blog to rank global, don’t choose those domains, but rather choose Generic Top Level Domains Names, such as .COM, .NET. and .ORG.
7. Start branding your blog
Start making a brand for your blog by giving it a great logo, slogan, design, theme, and blogging style. Branding is defining who you are and what your blog is all about.
8. Make your blog mobile-friendly
In 2014, the Internet will extend further in the mobile world. The human population will be searching and browsing blogs in their smart phones, tablets, watches and even Google glass. Thus, make sure that your blog is designed to be perfectly accessed by your mobile audience. So get the latest from mobile apps and responsive web design.
9. Install the useful plugins.
If you are using WordPress, there are many plugins that you can easily install to improve your blog’s features and functionalities. Check out some of the best and must-have plugins for your WordPress blog in this post.
10. Prioritize the quality of your content
You don’t need to wait for visitors to come to your blog before you get serious in writing and creating content for your blog. Write or make the best content right from your first ever blog post.
11. Make your blog search engine friendly
Use SEO friendly URL or permalink structure and optimize your blog to become fast for search engines to crawl.
12. Make your blog social media friendly.
Place social media sharing or bookmarking buttons so that your visitors can easily share your content in their social media networks. You can also install a WordPress plugin for this.
13. Make your blog user-friendly
Improve the architectural structure of your blog to make it easier for your visitors to navigate your blog. Set the right menus and categories so that your visitors will not be lost when they come to your blog. Furthermore, consider a minimalist design so that they could only get the information or content that they are looking for.
14. Don’t run ads while your blog is new
Show to your target audience that you are not only blogging primarily to make money but to give value. Hence, don’t hastily advertise to make money while you are not yet making your readers or followers happy. Remember that money will eventually and inevitably come when your visitors are already getting value from your blog.
15. Encourage email subscribers
Keep your visitors updated by encouraging them to subscribe to your blog’s updates via email. You can use premium email marketing software like Aweber and Constant Contact or keep on using FeedBurner for free but without technical support from its owner, Google, Inc.
16. Submit your blog to top blog directories.
Start getting presence in the blogosphere by submitting your blog to top blog directories according to your category. I suggest that you only submit your blog to free but high-authority blog directories that don’t require reciprocal link to get quality and natural backlinks.
17. Create social media profiles for your blog
Start building your social media presence by creating your Facebook Page, Twitter account, Google+ page, YouTube channel, Pinterest page, and other top and relevant social networking pages.
18. Join online forums and communities
Find online forums and community sites that are highly relevant to your blog, and interact with their members who share the same interest as yours. Joining forums can help you in promoting your blog to your target audience and at the same time in earning relevant backlinks or inbound links.
19. Create accounts on top relevant websites or blogs.
Aside from joining forums, you can also join other popular blogs and website that are highly popular and relevant to your niche. If your blog is about business and entrepreneurship, you may join Entrepreneur.com or Forbes.com. This will help you learn from the best blogs in your category and also improve your SEO through the profiles you will be creating in those websites.
20. Submit your blog to Google and Bing Webmaster tools
This will enable you to get important data such as top search queries to your blog, search volume, SERP position, backlinks, crawl errors and other information that will help you in making your blog healthy and visible in search engines.
21. Install Google Analytics
Although Google is already using secure and encrypted searches through HTTPS which don’t pass keyword data to site owners, Analytics can still provide you important information such as the volume and sources of your traffic.
22. Get blogging mentors
Do not compete in the blogging arena without having a coach or a mentor that will train and teach you how to be a champion blogger.
23. Follow other blogs
Search the top 10 or top 100 blogs in your category and start following them to learn from them and to make sure you can compete or even outrank them.
24. Develop your writing skills
Develop your own writing style that will make you unique from other bloggers. You may also follow some of the best writing and grammar blogs to learn from them.
25. Join groups
Bloggers’ groups are useful in many ways. There, you can get personal and actual tips, ideas, secrets and experiences from other bloggers.
Getting into the competition
26. Create more super awesome blog posts
In order for your blog to shine, continue creating the best blog posts that you can. Do extensive research, write in-depth articles and fill your posts with very rich information. Rather than focusing on the quantity of your blog posts, focus on quality which will bring you loyal audience who would help you in spreading the great news about your blog.
27. Use unique, interesting and perfect-sized images
Images are also indexed by search engines. Hence, using your own unique images in your blog will help it attract more traffic from search engines, like Google and Bing. Furthermore, if you will use interesting and perfect-sized pictures in your blog posts, it would appear more engaging when people share it on social media like Facebook and Google+.
28. Try infographics
Information graphics are popular these days because of their efficiency and effectiveness to convey rich information to intended audience. They are also easy to embed in other blogs and to share in social networking sites like Facebook and Pinterest. See for yourself these cool infographics for bloggers.
29. Do video marketing
Utilize video for promoting your blog and stories. Produce viral videos to reach more audience. You can upload your videos in YouTube and share it on top social networking sites like Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.
30. Make presentations
Create slides or a PowerPoint presentation version of your selected blog posts and share them in presentation sharing websites like SlideShare.net, Slideserve.com, Speakerdeck.com and Authorstream.com. You could drive traffic from them and link your blog to your profiles and presentations.
31. Create PDF files
Upload and share your PDF files to file sharing sites like Scribd.com and Docstoc.com. You could also link your files and profiles to your blog to drive traffic and get backlinks.
32. Try podcasting
Check out how you can publish your own podcast from your WordPress and Blogger blog here.
33. Leave interesting comments on other relevant blogs
Build links and more importantly relationships with other bloggers by visiting other blogs and leaving valuable comments on them.
34. Give the best replies to comments in your blog
Don’t just create the best blog posts but also make the best replies to the comments in your blog posts. In other words, have quality in everything you do in your blog.
35. Intensify your reach on Facebook
Do not just create a Facebook Page for your blog and then leave it, but constantly share interesting and viral posts or statuses to your Facebook followers to grow your audience.
36. Grow your Twitter followers
Continue getting more followers by consistently interacting with your current followers and tweeting your most interesting and useful blog posts.
37. Increase your Google+ circles
Be active in Google+ and always share engaging posts to grow your circles.
38. Grow your LinkedIn connections
Complete your profile in LinkedIn and improve your activity by sharing useful posts and helping other users to grow your connections.
39. Increase your YouTube audience
Produce viral videos and upload them in your YouTube channel to increase your subscribers and viewers.
40. Continue promoting your blog on Pinterest
After using interesting photos or infographics in your blog posts, share them in your Pinterest account to promote your blog on this image-based social networking site.
41. Try Tumblr
It is one of the most popular social media place for the young people. Thus, if you are targeting this market, don’t forget to also promote your blog on Tumblr.
42. Try Instagram
Leverage the beautiful and interesting photos from your blog and share them on Instagram to extend your presence in this mobile and photo networking website.
43. Promote your blog on other highly relevant social networking sites.
Do not just limit your social media marketing efforts on Facebook, Twitter and other popular social media. Find other top social networking sites that specially cover your niche. For example, if you are blogging for business, you can join Bizsugar.com or if you are in the online marketing field, you can join Inbound.org.
44. Boost your authority as the author of your blog
The name of the author in your blog posts is vital for getting high search rankings and trust from people. Thus, increase your professional value as an author. Grow your personal social media influence by getting more followers in your personal social profiles. Moreover, connect your Google+ profile to your blog to avail of Google’s Authorship Markup.
45. Guest post on high-authority and relevant blogs
This will give you relevant traffic, quality backlinks, and boost your author’s authority further. Instead of contributing many articles to several blogs to get tons of backlinks, choose to contribute high-quality articles to a few blogs with high reputation to get high quality backlinks.
46. Get SEO mentors
Search engine optimization or SEO is one of the most important knowledge and forms of online marketing that every blogger needs. Therefore, increase your SEO knowledge and develop your SEO skills by getting SEO mentors.
47. Get social media mentors
Learn more social media strategies, techniques and tactics by getting tips and advice from social media experts. You must learn how to integrate SEO and social media marketing to better promote your blog online.
Making money from your blog
48. Create a media kit and offer direct advertising services
If your blog is already receiving a decent number of traffic, then advertisers may find you and ask you if they can advertise on your blog. To get ready for that, create a media kit or advertising page where you can direct potential clients who are asking for your advertising options.
49. Try Google AdSense and follow their policies
AdSense is still the most popular and the easiest monetization scheme used by most bloggers. However, to be approved and to maintain your account, you have to ensure quality in your blog and follow their terms.
50. Try other advertising marketplaces on the Web
Explore other advertising networks for your blog, such as BuySellAds.com, Chitika.com and other networks that will fit perfectly in your blog without making it obtrusive to your visitors.
51. Promote the products you use and love
Try affiliate marketing and make money through commission for every lead you generate from your blog. You can promote the books you’ve already read from Amazon.com or promote other products that you have already used, such as WordPress themes, web hosting companies, domain names and eBooks from different affiliate companies or programs.
52. Sell your own products
If you have your own products and if it’s relevant to what you are blogging, then selling them is one great way to make money through your blog. Here, you can earn your income in full and not only through a certain percentage or commission.
53. Sell your knowledge and professional services
If you’re an SEO expert, then provide SEO services to businesses. If you’re a social media specialist, then provide social media marketing services.
54. Don’t overdo advertising on your blog
Always keep your blog fast, neat and clean.
55. Diversify your income streams
Do not only focus on a single income stream. For example, don’t rely on AdSense alone. What if your AdSense account will be banned? To make sure that your blog will continue making money, focus on getting relevant and quality traffic. If you do this, making money is inevitable and you don’t need to rely on any advertising network.
56. Spend money to make more money
Have a business mindset. To increase your profit, consider increasing your spending. For example, you can spend money on advertising to promote your new blog posts. You can also hire a SEO expert or a social media marketer to help you boost your traffic and conversion.
57. Get online money making mentors
Follow the top people or bloggers in the field of making money online. By following them, you could get free tips, advice and secrets on how you can also make more money on your blog.
58. Perform experiments
What works with other people might not work for you. Therefore, don’t just follow the steps of other successful people but also make an effort to do your own research and own experimentation.
Securing your blog
59. Always update your theme and plugins
This will ensure that you are not running outdated scripts on your blog which are vulnerable to security threats.
60. Regularly backup your files
There is no 100% secure blog. Hence, always backup your files in case of emergency.
61. Install security plugins
If you are using WordPress, you can easily install plugins to protect your blog from hackers. Read this useful post for hardening your WordPress security.
62. Strengthen your passwords
Choose very strong passwords, change them regularly, and don’t share them to anyone.
63. Protect your blog from spammers
Spam comments are one of the most annoying things that cause headache to bloggers. You can minimize spam comments in your WordPress blog by disabling the auto-approve option and by blacklisting IPs, email or words that you think are spammy. You may also use plugins, such as Akismet and Captcha WordPress Plugin to minimize spam comments on your blog.
64. Be careful with phishing and scams.
Watch out the emails coming to your inbox or social media private messages. Don’t reply or give your information to the scammers and phishers.
Checking your performance
65. Check your search performance
66. Analyze your Facebook insights
Leverage the data provided by your Facebook Page Insights to determine how your Page is doing. There, you can get your important information like the number of people who liked your page, their demographics, the virality of your posts, and other valuable data you can use to improve your Facebook marketing campaign.
67. Analyze your other social media signals
Do not forget to dig into your other social media metrics. Check out these 14 social media tools to help you improve your social media marketing campaigns.
68. Check the performance of the ads on your blog
Aside from analyzing your web traffic, rankings and social media metrics, don’t forget to monitor your performance when it comes to making money online. You can use the data provided by your Ads Performance to check what pages, content or traffic are giving you the most favorable conversion rate.
69. Compare your performance with your competitors
Keep on watching your competition. Use tools I mentioned in #2 to check if you are doing better than what they do. You can also manually check your competitors’ blogs to check your chance of winning your competition.
70. Check your email subscribers
Check your email subscribers’ stat to determine if you are delivering engaging newsletters or updates to their inbox. If no one is clicking your feeds, then it’s a sign that you need to improve your content.
71. Listen to your commenters and critics
Analyze your visitors’ comments and feedback to improve what you offer in your blog.
72. Try paid data.
73. Check your financial data
Donot forget to check and analyze your financial statements, cash flow or financial budget to avoid bad financial decisions.
74. Check your time management
Aside from tracking how you spend your money, also monitor how you spend your time so that you won’t be wasting both money and your precious time.
75. Track your overall plan
Check your overall progress and make sure you are sticking to your game plan.
Winning your competition
76. Continue providing fresh and high-quality blog posts
Search engines, social media users and your loyal audience always want fresh content. Thus, continue making your blog a source of fresh awesome content.
77. Continue getting fresh and high-quality backlinks
Not only that you need freshness in your content, but you also need freshness in your backlinks to keep your search rankings. Hence, continue building quality and natural links.
78. Consistently grow your social media followers.
Do not forget to keep your Facebook Page, Twitter profile, Google+ Page, YouTube Channel and other social places updated to constantly grow your followers. Don’t allow your competitors to outrun you in your social media marketing campaign.
79. Join professional associations
Grow your network online and offline by joining associations or organizations that are relevant to your expertise. Associations will help you open a lot of opportunities to meet other experts in your field and learn from them. It will also give you leads and opportunities to promote your blog and yourself further.
80. Accept speakership invitations
If you join a professional organization and they will know how great you are in your field, they would likely endorse you to share your expertise and knowledge as a resource speaker in many events. Public speaking will definitely help you promote your blog and grow your career as an expert in your field.
81. Accept interview invitations
Grab opportunities to be interviewed by the press or even by other bloggers who want to get answers about your business, career and blog. This is a great opportunity to promote your blog and yourself as the blogger.
82. Carry your brand offline
Tell your offline friends and family about your blog. Put your blog’s URL in your business card, letterhead, and other similar stuff.
83. Offer free stuff
Share something for free. You can offer a free eBook for your email subscribers. You can also offer free expert advice or consultation to your avid followers. People love to have something for free, especially if it comes from someone whom they trust.
84. Run contests
Contests can increase engagement in your blog and in your social media pages. Giving prizes could also be one of your ways to say thanks to your loyal followers.
85. Join relevant competitions
Search for competitions online or offline to test your talent and skills. If you win, it will not only earn you an award or prize money, but also a great exposure for your blog. For example, if you are in the design niche, you could join global or local contests related to what you do best. If you’re an SEO blogger, check if there are SEO contests or competitions where you could participate for the win.
86. Create communities
Consider creating online forums or community within your blog. Creating a Facebook group and other social media groups could also help you grow your blog’s network.
87. Integrate your online marketing campaigns
To ensure your online marketing success, learn how to unite your SEO, social media marketing, content marketing and other Internet marketing strategies to form an integrated online marketing campaign. Learn how to be a mastermind and how to make your different online marketing tactics, techniques and strategies work as one.
88. Try paid online advertising
Work your money further by trying Google AdWords, Facebook Ads, and other paid marketing campaigns to intensify your blog’s promotion.
89. Build a team
If you’re a lone blogger, start delegating other blogging tasks to other people. It’s hard to win your competition if you do it all alone.
90. Start a company
If you consider your blog as a startup, make it a company by registering it with the government and pay your taxes on the income you earn from blogging.
91. Monopolize. Make an enterprise. If your blog is already successful, grow your business by creating
92. Follow the laws
Earn security and integrity for your future.
93. Learn how to keep your mouth shut
Always keep some secrets to yourself to have the element of surprise. Too much noise and storytelling will make you vulnerable to your competitors and enemies. If 80% of success is showing up, you have to keep the remaining 20% for keeping your mouth shut.
Maintaining your success
94. Invest part of your income back to your blog
Be a wise entrepreneur and an investor. Use your profit to generate more revenue. Invest in human resources, marketing tools, productivity tools, infrastructure (e.g. high-speed Internet connection, efficient computer, and useful gadgets), and other investments that will ensure growth and sustainability in your blog and business.
95. Prepare for failure
In times of success, prepare for failure. If you are currently at the stage of success or if your blog is currently doing great, make it an opportunity to have the time and resources to prepare for the rainy days. In blogging and online marketing, the worst could happen without expecting it. Search marketing and technology updates could instantly affect your business. Hence, have a contingency plan to make sure you are prepared for anything that would happen to your blog or business.
96. Continue your blogging mastery
Maintaining your success means maintaining your edge. Hence, continue increasing your knowledge, honing your skills and developing your profession as a blogger and as an expert in your field.
97. Teach aspiring bloggers
You can only be a master blogger if you have blogging disciples or students.
98. Keep your body healthy
Sickness can definitely affect any kind of work. Hence, always keep your body healthy and fit for blogging. If you are only working at home, have a schedule for going out and doing regular exercise. Of course it should also be done with a proper diet.
99. Keep your eyes healthy
Our sight is our light for blogging. Thus, do you best to keep it healthy. Give yourself regular short breaks to let your eyes rest from continuously facing your computer.
100. Keep your soul healthy
Share your blessing and do charity. It will inspire people including yourself.
101. Your blogging tip
What is your own blogging tip for 2014 and beyond? The 101st tip is your own blogging tip.
Thank you for reading and sharing this post!