Become a Top Blogger By Nida Shahid Have you ever thought about launching your first blog? Or maybe you’ve already done so and are finding it tough going? Well, imagine that you’re going camping in a remote forest for the entire summer. Naturally, you’ll have to make a number of choices: Who should you inform if you’re heading out alone? Which essential outdoor elements should you pack and which ones should you leave behind? What should you do in an emergency? And so on. If you’re smart, you’ll tend to plan everything beforehand. However, if time or circumstances don’t allow, you can come up with solutions midway, provided you have a sense of survival about you. Launching your first blog is like this. As a beginner blogger, you’re thrown into the wild equipped with a scare vision of how to make it out of there alive. With a handful of tools and a collection of random facts, you’re expected to take all the right roads and find yourself an audience. Frankly, this can get overwhelming for anyone. If you’ve launched a blog of your own and are wondering where you went wrong, read on to catch the pieces of wisdom you wish you knew before starting your blog for the first time. SEO Matters Punching out one content post after another on your blog, and then despairing about the lack of traffic, shows that something is amiss. That something, my dear reader, is SEO. What is SEO, you ask? It’s an umbrella term that houses various techniques and principles for increasing your site’s visibility in the search engine’s search results. The higher the ranking, the better the traffic flow. So, read around this art and acquire its techniques for making your blog SEO friendly. Remember, you ignore SEO, and Google ignores you. Social Media Profiles are a MUST Truth is, if your launching your first blog, it will take a lot of time for the search engine to direct substantial traffic to it. After all, SEO is an organic process that reaps results only gradually. You cannot rush it without risking blackhat banning. So, another way to boost your blog’s organic visibility is to make social media your forte. According to Statista, there are more than 2.5 billion social media users around the globe, which is saying something. So create super-cool social media profiles of your blog across multiple platforms, implement the latest trends and engage with the audience. Don’t lose their interest or they’ll sweep right over you. Tools Come in Handy Even if you’re a one-man-army, any sort of help should come as a relief to your occupied soul. Trust me. For this purpose, there are more than a hundred tools out there, designed specifically for bloggers. Like, • Canva (for making custom images for your posts) • Revive Old Post (for automatic sharing of a past post) • Buzzsumo (for keyword research and engagement rate measure) • TypeForm (for creating surveys) • LiveChat (for making split-second responses to consumer queries) etc. Download any and all for making the blogging process a thousand degrees easier for you. Quality > Quantity I learned this rule the hard way. When it comes to launching your first blog, remember to always prefer quality over quantity. It doesn’t matter how many content posts you have accumulated in your archives, if they’re shitty, no one’s going to bother with them. Always choose a topic that sparks the interest of the audience, and write in a tongue that even an amateur reader can understand. It does not pay to be pedantic. Believe me. Similarly, go for quality backlinks even if they’re a handful. Getting votes from a large number of less-than-average websites will not get you search engine backing. Freebies Work Whenever an online user makes the effort of opening a blogging site, he/she has one question on his/her mind. “What’s in it for me?” You can address this query effectively by offering these users amazing incentives in the form of freebies or give-away gifts, like a checklist guide or a discount card. Show that you care for them, and get them to sign up for your blog’s email newsletter. See where your traffic rate goes from there. Security and Credibility Go Hand-in-Hand The internet is full of scams, due to which people often have a hard time trusting just about any domain. If they won’t trust, they won’t buy. Simple. So, if you haven’t already reinforced the safety shields around your blog, then it’s high time you should. • Get an SSL certificate to follow Google HTTPS demand. • Update your blog’s security plugins to scan any security vulnerabilities/breaches. • Enable two-factor authentication. • Make regular backups and checkups, etc. Once the audience has been assured of your blog’s security, they’ll naturally start believing in its credibility. Traffic Tracking is Crucial So, you’ve built your blog along the ideal lines, and are just starting to receive a substantial amount of traffic from your targeted niche. The next step is to track it. Because if you don’t, you’ll never be able to determine the point you start losing it and the reason(s) why. There are multiple software which will enable you to do that, but the most popular one is Google Analytics for your site and KissMetrics/Hootsuite for social media profiles. Dabble, Dabble Online users get bored quite easily. You have to retain their interest if you wish for your blog to get popular. How can you do that? There are multiple ways: • Try a new content making technique, i.e. infographic, expert roundup or FAQ post. • Try a new content marketing technique, i.e. survey polls, shout-outs, or guest posting, etc. By telling your story in different ways, you can totally keep your user base engaged for longer. Seasonal Sorting does the Trick Everything starts gathering dust after a while, even blogs. So, it is up to you to do a seasonal cleanup and auditing of your site, to make it more relevant and up-to-date. • Curate content in a new and improved way. • Delete old posts that are outdated. • Fix HTML issues. • Reset tags and formatting. • Remove dead links and set proper redirects, etc. By doing so, you’ll be able to breathe fresh life into your blog. Hosting Source Matters When Launching Your First Blog There are two ways you can go about blogging in today’s world. Either, you can get a free platform on open-source hosting sites and use it for your personal blogging. Or, you can actually get yourself registered with a premium web hosting service and actually control your own site. Whichever option you choose, remember to work only with reputable hosting companies. Bluehost, SiteGround and Digital Ocean are some popular names in the field. There is no need to regret that you didn’t know these tricks when you started out. Everything begins small. Just make sure to solve one problem after another, and empower your blogging journey gradually.