If you planned to build a successful blog in 2012 but couldn’t have your way, 2013 provides you an opportunity for a new start.
It’s still very early in 2013 and it’s never too late for you to build a blog of your dreams.
Zac already has an epic case study happening on this blog with the aim of showing you what’s possible with blogging and exactly how to do it. If you haven’t checked it out yet, you should. There’s no better person online to teach blogging and making money online than Zac and a case study like this – where you can follow him live – will probably not be done again. I rest my case.
With that said, I’m not trying to replicate the advice Zac will be giving in that case study nor will this post be an ultimate resource to help you build a successful blog. Far from it; if that’s what you want, Zac’s case study is what you need.
The purpose of this post, however, is to highlight some very “common” mistakes people make online that prevent their blog from succeeding and then advise you against those mistakes. If you make the changes in this article, then you can expect to get significant results from your blog this year.
1. Do a Reality-Check of Your Web Host
When everybody is raving about content marketing, having a killer plan, a new monetization strategy etc. the last thing you’ll probably want to read about in an article like this is about a web host, but it’s important nonetheless.
A lot of bloggers will have their blog come down crumbling this year at a critical moment due to choosing the wrong web host.
While you need content, marketing and an epic monetization strategy, this is only possible as long as your website is running and your web host is to key to keeping your website running.
Also, it’s important to realize that it’s not just about your website running; it has to be running effectively.
A report has shown that slow websites alone cost the U.S. economy at least $500 billion dollars every year. Another study found that 67% of online shoppers will happily abandon a website if it’s slow; there are numerous stats that show that for every second your site is slow, depending on its size, it’s probably costing you thousands of visitors and thousands of dollars in revenue every year.
That’s just one major disadvantage of having a slow web host; we could talk about risk of being hacked, being in a bad neighborhood, poor user experience, your website being inaccessible to some users and a host of other problems.
No matter how sure you are of your host now, make sure you do a reality check. You might need to change and you might be surprised to find out that you need to change to a more specialized WordPress setup solution.
2. Develop a Solution
No matter what you’re blogging about, you’re probably writing to an audience that has a problem and needs a solution.
In most cases, your audience won’t realize or tell you that they need a solution to their problems. In some cases, they’ll know and move ahead to a competitor. You want to be more than a blogger this year; you want to be a solution provider and to effectively do this you might even have to launch your own product.
Blogging on its own won’t distinguish you; there are a lot of “me too” bloggers and you want to distinguish yourself from them. You want to be seen as an expert.
3. Make Content a Core Part of Your Strategy
N o, I’m not trying to rave about content marketing like everyone else is doing; you could call it anything you want but one thing is certain, content will be more important than ever this year.
Following some major Google updates, the reluctance of web users to share content as they used to and several other factors, the importance of content should never be underestimated.
This time around, I’m not talking about just any kind of content; I’m talking about “pillar articles,” the kind of articles that people will still be reading in 2013.
Create a content strategy for your blog with focus on creating long-term, quality content. Once you’ve done that, you can then start reaching other bloggers to contribute content to their blog in exchange for a bio when you are able to promote yours.
This process is called guest blogging.
4. Start Building Your Email List NOW!
If you don’t have an email list, start building it now. If you have one, focus a lot more effort on expanding yours and developing a relationship with your email list subscribers.
According to very recent data, email marketing still beat social media marketing. In fact, it beats every other form of marketing my a huge marketing; search marketing is a runner up but there’s still a significant gap and email marketing was observed to be at least twice as effective as social media marketing.
Email won’t be dying anytime soon and this is an opportunity for you to grow your blog; not only are you able to consistently reach your subscribers, you can also send them promotions and links to your blog posts whenever you want.
5. Get People Involved
2013 will favor people who can carry others along on their journey, showing them what they do and how it’s done.
It’s the future of blogging; people are tired of reading millions of blog parroting the same advice. They want to learn from real experts who are getting results and this is where you can come in.
This is something Zac is doing effectively with his case study.
This is also something Brett Lindenberg is doing with his website 500amonth.com, showing people exactly how he builds his blog and monetizes it from scratch.
People want someone who can lead, take the responsibilities, make the mistakes and prove himself; they need more case studies, more experts, not charlatans. Prove yourself an expert and you will make it big this year.
Joseph is an expert blogger and guest blogger. He writes for OutstandingSETUP, a premium WordPress setup and hosting company.