Posted by : Amanda Stein Saturday, August 10, 2013

It seems like everybody and their grandmother nowadays are blogging, but starting a successful blog isn’t as easy as signing up for a Tumblr or Blogger account. Blogging is actually quite the art form and for many it actually constitutes a full-time job. So if you want to start a blog that could potentially provide you with a fun outlet (that can maybe even provide a source of income), then here are some easy steps you can take.

Know your niche, and stick to it like glue

Unless you are famous or have a particularly unique and interesting lifestyle, writing generically about your world is unlikely to garner much interest in the blogosphere. Blogging is all about sharing your thoughts and opinions with people, hopefully providing something interesting or useful for readers along the way. To do that, you need to write about an area with which you are familiar and knowledgable. Therefore, your first move when it comes to starting a blog should be picking a niche—and sticking to it.

Are you a cupcake connoisseur? Do you love reminiscing about 80s rock bands? Are you an Apple fanboy with opinions abound? Base your blog on your interests, and write about what you know. If you are a true connoisseur of a subject, you should be able to share things with your readers that will be funny and interesting. The temptation to stray from your niche can be overwhelming, especially the longer you run your blog. But fight the feeling, and stick to your subject.

Great blogs need great websites

Having a successful blog isn’t just all about good writing: it is also about good packaging. It may seem unfair, but in addition to awesome content, you also need to place said content on a well-designed webpage that doesn’t offend the senses and sensibilities of your readers. You do not need to be a web design wizard in order to create a website: it is easy to use a website builder or content management service to have a website up and running in a few clicks. Blog designs do not need to reinvent the wheel: they simply need to be clean, fresh and present your content well. No more and no less.

Create a network and become part of a community

Blogs do not exist in a vacuum, but instead tend to sit in pre-existing communities were blog owners know each other and maintain relationships that are mutually beneficial. You should therefore scope out the big names in your particular niche, and see what it is that they are doing right (or wrong). Comment on their posts, build relationships with the blog owners and the readers of their blogs, and try become a prominent member of that particular blog circle.

Build a relationship with your readers

Building a rapport with your readers is a small but rewarding step in building a successful blog, and it is a move that pays dividends to both yourself and to them too. By chatting with your readers in the comments section, you not only humanise yourself but also provide fertile ground for research. If you don’t know what to write about next week, why not ask your readers what they want to see? If you position yourself as responsive and accessible, you can befriend your readers with ease. This has a multitude of benefits: people who like you on a personal level are more likely to become regular returning visitors, and again you can use your readers thoughts for inspiration. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship if there ever was one.

Don’t be afraid to market and monetise

Once your blog is healthy and strong, don’t be afraid to get more aggressive with marketing. If you have plans to monetise your blog, then think about how to go about that in the most subtle yet effective way possible. Think about your advertising options: it will help push your website to the next level.

Author Bio: This is a guest post by Lilly. She’s a freelance writer who shares her thoughts on various blogs. Nowadays writing on behalf 1&1, a company provides website builder tool.

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