No newbie blogger has the first idea about what makes a blog successful. And that is the way it’s supposed to be.
Gaining blogging experience and expertise takes time.
Still, even first-time bloggers would like to build a website that stands out from the crowd.
But how do you do that? With millions of blogs out there already, what can you do to make sure that yours will surpass the competition?
What should you do to attract a large audience and turn it into the most devoted fanbase ever?
Today, I’ll share with you plenty of tips and ideas about:
- How to make your blog successful?
- Popular blogs to get inspired by.
- And how to become a successful blogger and make money?
This post contains affiliate links. Feel free to read my affiliate disclosure.
The Truth About Starting A Successful Blog
Quite frankly, launching a blog and turning it into a smashing success is becoming harder and harder with each day that goes by.
Unfortunately, owning a hugely successful blog is not as easy today as it used to be ten and even five years ago.
These days, it seems like every second person is starting a blog.
According to statistics, over 5 million blogs take their first breath online every 24 hours.
By all means, that’s an intimidating number. Don’t let that discourage you, though.
The way I see it – if you want to launch a blog, do it. If you’re passionate about your blog idea and can’t stop thinking about the benefits of blogging, start your blog today.
Why am I encouraging you to become a blogger when the odds of finding success are against you?
Because they are not, in my opinion.
Forget about the numbers – you’ll face tons of competition no matter what area you want to conquer and what you’re trying to achieve in life.
I started this blog in 2018, and I managed to turn it into a source of full-time income in a couple of years.
Who knows – you might make it sooner!
So, the bottom line here is as simple as it can get:
Yes, you can still build a blog and transform it into a profitable business.
And knowing what makes a blog successful will help you get there faster!
How To Start A Blog
Before we start discussing the best strategies to help you become a successful blogger, here is a quick checklist to launching a website:
Are you sure you’re ready to build an online business?
Great, now take the necessary steps to make that happen:
- Choose A Niche – Most newbies overcomplicate the process of picking a niche. I’m trying to downplay the importance of choosing the right niche, but making a decision is not that difficult. If you need some guidance, read my case study on what to blog about when you’re clueless.
- Get A Professional Web Hosting Service – Making the right choice when picking hosting is crucial for the future of your business. Hosting matters, and it matters a lot! I highly recommend choosing BigScoots to accommodate your site. The company offers affordable plans and has fantastic customer support that will take care of all your needs.
- Design Your Blog – Starting with a free theme is what most beginners do. While doing the same is not a mistake, you might want to consider investing in a premium theme right off the bat.
- Write Your Blog Post – It’s time to make the magic happen! Depending on your niche, you’ll come up with plenty of ideas for your first article.
Of course, this explanation of the process is bare bones. Read my full tutorial on how to start a blog to get all the details.
How To Start A Blog For Free
Actually, you can launch a website on a free blogging platform. But that’s the worst thing you can do if you want to build a business.
While a free blogging platform will allow you to start a blog for no cost, I strongly encourage you to avoid that.
Firstly, because the free blogging platforms won’t let you make money blogging – their monetization options are pretty much non-existent.
Secondly, building a blog on platforms like WordPress.com limits the control you’ll have over your business. A free platform can eliminate your blog at any given time.
Lastly, it’s unprofessional. Limited design and customization options won’t allow you to build something of substance that reflects your personality.
To conclude, what makes a blog successful is not building it on a free platform. Well, that’s at least one of the things!
Blogging For Beginners – The Key Ingredients To A Successful Blog
There are probably hundreds and even thousands of blogging tips that will help you build a solid blog.
Depending on who you’re learning from, the pieces of advice will probably vary.
With that said, I’m here to share my take on what makes a blog successful.
Everything you’ll read below is tips and tricks I’ve learned since I became a blogger. Plus, I’ll also mention strategies I’ve discovered from reading sites that are much more successful than mine at this point!
1) Make Sure You Know Who Your Target Audience Is
Let’s face it – blogging about anything and for everyone will not get you anywhere. It’s not how blogging for money works.
You can’t sell anything to anyone if you don’t know who your customers are.
Considering building a blog equals building a business, the first thing you need to do is discover who your audience is.
Above all, a successful blog is a website that helps the readers solve their problems and makes money while doing so.
As a newbie blogger, you need to take the time to create your perfect avatar. Meaning, you’ll have to picture who your right reader is.
How old do you think your visitors will be? What do they care about?
Furthermore, what kind of problems does your audience faces? And how do you plan to go about solving them?
In my opinion, you can’t afford to underestimate this step.
Blogging with no clear idea about what audience your content is tailored around is an amateur move that will negatively impact your business in the long run.
2) Learn Search Engine Optimization
Do you know what you should never ignore as a beginner blogger? I’ll tell you what – Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
Yes, I’m talking about the three biggest search engines in the world.
Blogging without traffic sucks. What’s the point of building a body of work if no one has the chance to read it?
To avoid the lack of audience, start learning SEO from your first day as a blogger.
Study as much as you can about keyword research, on-page/off-page SEO, building quality backlinks, etc.
Knowing how to SEO-optimize your articles will help your blog receive an unlimited amount of organic traffic.
It goes without saying that the more traffic you get, the more money blogging you’ll be able to make.
Never rely on a single source of traffic. Professional bloggers learn early on that they need to diversify their traffic sources.
Meanwhile, don’t kill yourself trying to promote your site on every platform imaginable. My advice is to stick to Google traffic and Pinterest traffic at the beginning.
Later on, you can boost your business’s presence on other platforms as well.
3) Provide Value
Basically, forget about yourself as soon as you become a business owner.
It’s not about you anymore – it’s all about them.
What does this mean?
Well, it means that every single article you plan to publish has to serve your readers.
If I have to choose just one key factor of what makes a blog successful, it would be providing value.
How can you make sure that your content doesn’t fall short on that front?
Here is how:
When you brainstorm article ideas, always ask yourself:
- Why do I want to write this article? Unless it helps my audience in any way, do I need it on my blog?
- Will my post idea assist my audience in any manner?
- And what audience problem can I resolve next?
Make no mistake – people will not visit your blog to read about you. Instead, they’ll keep coming back to your site if you constantly find new ways to serve them.
4) Write Consistently
Chances are, you read about the importance of publishing consistently many times before. There is a reason why every blogger repeats this advice:
Consistency leads to success.
You don’t have to publish every day if such a blogging routine is impossible for you to maintain.
But no matter how many times a week you’re planning to upload a new article, create a schedule and stick to it.
Offering new content as often as you can grow your blog faster. More importantly, it will provide your readers with new ways to deal with the problems bothering them.
Again, don’t overdo it.
After all, slow and steady wins the race.
How To Make Your Blog Successful?
Generally, everything I shared with you up until now is just a small part of what makes a blog successful.
There are so many other things you can do to push your site to the front line.
- Focus On Marketing – Promote, promote, and then promote some more. Try hard to bring as many visitors to your content as possible. They’ll not find it on their own until you build a massive presence online and become an expert in your field.
- Encourage Conversation – Don’t leave your comment section unattended. People love to interact with bloggers they admire and appreciate. Engage with them right back!
- Start An Email List – Email marketing is still one of the most efficient ways to market your business. It’s never too soon to start building an email list. Gaining tons of subscribers has to be a priority. ConvertKit is the email provider I use and recommend – take advantage of its free trial.
- Format Your Articles – Writing for the web is not the same as writing an essay, for example. Subheadings, bullet lists, and images are your friends. Make your article easy on the eyes.
- Create More Of What’s Working – Keeping an eye on your Google Analytics is a must. This tool will show you which are your best-performing posts. Once you know that, write similar ones since your audience already appreciaites them.
Popular Blogs That Are Hugely Successful In Their Fields – And What You Can Learn From Them
Wanna know a secret?
Some of the most precious blogging lessons I’ve learned over the years came from websites that don’t even work in the same niche as mine.
You may wonder – why did I keep following them?
Well, I kept reading them because they are the most successful sites in the world.
Even though their topics have nothing in common with mine, the tactics used to grow online are evergreen business strategies every blogger should know.
1) HuffPost (Previously Known As Huffington Post)
By all means, HuffPost is not a website – it’s a legend.
Ariana Huffington launched it way back in 2005. Back then, the blog’s main topic was American politics.
Over the years, Ariana expanded the blog tremendously, to say at least. These days, HuffPost publishes content on every topic imaginable.
Eventually, Ariana sold it to AOL for $315 million in 2011.
Currently, the estimated value of HuffPost is over $1 billion.
Never ever be afraid to expand your reach. When the time is right, take a giant leap of fate and include fresh topics to grab new audiences.
First and foremost, I’m not big on celebrity gossip. Regardless of that, I was following TMZ religiously in its golden years.
And it wasn’t because the site seems to know everything about everybody.
Instead, it was because 99% of the time, TMZ was the first to break a headline on the hottest things happening in the celebrity world.
Being the first to tell on the latest celebrity scandal was the winning formula of TMZ.
As hated as it was by actors and musicians, the site never failed to pull back its audience for years.
Always put your audience first. Give it what it wants, no matter what that is. Be willing to go further than anyone else to grab the story while it’s hot.
For those who don’t know, Gizmodo is heaven on earth for people who consider themselves tech nerds.
Aside from tech topics, the site produces content about design and science fiction as well.
While none of these subjects fascinates me, I was visiting Gizmodo as often as I could.
The thing that kept my attention was that the blog’s traffic skyrocketed pretty much after its launch.
But did the creator stop trying to boost Gizmodo’s organic reach?
Of course not!
Don’t get lazy, drunk from your current success. There’s always room to develop your business further and increase your audience to an entirely new level.
4) The Verge
Yes, the Verge belongs to the category of the most successful blogs too.
To clarify, the site is a multimedia platform that covers science, technology, and art.
Why did I find it interesting enough to keep going back to it almost daily?
In short, because the Verge presents its content with the audience’s point of view in mind.
Put yourself into your reader’s shoes. If you want to keep your visitors engaged and satisfied, give them what they’ll appreciate the most – relatable content.
5) The Daily Beast
Last but not least, on my list of examples of what makes a blog successful is the Daily Beast.
Currently, the site writes about politics, pop culture, and everything else happening around the world right now.
You can’t help but fall in love with the name of this blog, can you?
I don’t think the creator chose it by accident:
It’s more than justified, considering the site doesn’t shy away from expressing an honest opinion.
Write it as you see it. After all, no matter who your reader is, everybody respects tough love and rough honesty when needed.
How To Become A Successful Blogger And Make Money – Frequently Asked Questions
- What Makes An Effective Blog? – All efficient bloggers focus on the quality of content and publishing consistently. Write with your audience in mind, help them solve a problem, don’t stray away from your niche.
- Why Are Blogs Successful? – Because their owners put in the work and have patience. In addition, successful blogs are always looking for new ways to attract a fresh audience.
- What Percentage Of Blogs Are Successful? – Roughly, around 30% of all sites become profitable. But that number changes constantly. Remember – not all blogs fail!
- How Do Bloggers Get Paid? – There is a variety of ways to monetize a blog. For instance, some of them are using affiliate marketing, placing ads, and selling products.
- What Types Of Blogs Make The Most Money? – While every niche can turn profitable, some are more lucrative than others. Finance, fashion, travel, food, lifestyle, and health/fitness blogs tend to make the most money.
Well, this is what I have to say about what makes a blog successful.
Hopefully, you enjoyed my take on the subject.
Now, I would like to hear yours.
Do you mind sharing with me what you believe will make a site a kick-ass success?
Let me know in the comments section, and we’ll talk about it more!