Welcome to part 3 of our mini series: the Ridiculously Easy Guide to Starting a Blog People will Love!
Congrats on passing part one (choosing your niche) and part two (website design & setup).
For the final installment in this series, we’re going to talk about blogging basics- everything you need to know to get your biz up and running smoothly.
We’ll talk about what content to write, how often to post, and resources to help you succeed.
So without further adieu, let’s get into it!
There is always a question when starting a new blog of how many posts you need to have. Some people launch with no posts, and others like to have 50 solid posts done. So, which way is better?
The answer is: the more, the better!
I started my blog with only a few posts and worked up from there. I didn’t do a big launch or wait until I had tons of content. In retrospect, I wish I would have done 20-25 posts because it probably would have kept people on my site longer and grown my email list faster.
So, when you start your blog, your first focus should be on getting good quality content written and posted!
Aim to write 25 solid blog posts so when you start marketing your blog, people have some great info to read and a reason to stick around.
Foundational VS. Filler Content
When starting a blog, you need to have some “meaty” content to engage your audience right off the bat and give them some great information they can actually use. These posts will be your “foundational” content and they will be the ones to really define your blog, your brand, and what you’re trying to accomplish. Typically, these posts are in the form of informational, instructional or tutorial articles.
Foundational content is also going to help your rankings on Google, so you want to write as much as you possible can! Try to keep them at least over 2000 words and, ideally, 2500-3000. Google likes long form content and will rank you higher if they see you have a lot of solid information for your readers.
“Filler” content on the other hand, is a little bit faster and easier to write. These posts can be anywhere from 800-2000 words and this can be where you experiment with different styles of posting, veering away from the traditional “informational” post and trying something like an opinion, experience or a list post.
This writing can give you a boost if you’re getting overwhelmed with writing information packed, long form foundation posts and feel like you need a break!
Out of your first 25 posts, at least 15 should be foundational and the rest can be filler.
Of course the more foundational content you have the better, but having filler posts is a great way to keep people navigating around your site and it will help keep you on a more consistent posting schedule.
Blog Post Frequency
This is a big question among new bloggers, and it’s even debated with seasoned bloggers! So, seriously, how often should you post on your blog?
The truth is, frequency doesn’t matter as much as quality and consistency.
So if you want to post 5 times a week, great! But you have to make sure the quality of the posts doesn’t suffer AND that you’re not going to burn out and stop posting all together. This is super disappointing for your audience and definitely won’t help your Google ranking.
This is why most bloggers will aim to post 3 times a week.
Posting 3 times each week is generally considered to be consistent enough to keep your audience engaged, but not so often that the quality of your posts will suffer.
Of course if you want to post more or less than 3 times a week, that’s totally fine! Just make sure your posts are well written and researched so people take you seriously and you can gain some traction and credibility.
So, we’ve talked about what to post on your new blog and how often, but there’s one more thing I BEG you to set up right away! Yes, I am literally begging because if you ever want to sell your own products, courses or eBooks, this is an absolute must (and you’re going to wish you started earlier if you don’t!).
Every blogger needs to focus on building up an email list!
Your email list is the lifeblood of your blogging business. It’s the only thing YOU own for your business and it will never disappear (like social media followers). The people on your email list have read your content, (presumably) liked your content, and wanted to engage with you – that’s huge! The people on your email list will become your tribe, your confidants, your sales funnel, and ultimately, the reason you succeed building your blog.
I know there are tons of email automation programs out there to help bloggers, but I also know they can cost some serious money.
When you’re starting out and have under 2000 subscribers, MailChimp is totally free! You can design an opt in freebie, email sequence and manage all of your email lists for F-R-E-E! MailChimp (or anything to build up your email list) should be the number one thing you focus on while building your blog!
Design a Freebie
Of course no one will want to sign up for your email list without an incentive! Some bloggers are still successful by using the “sign up for a newsletter” opt-in, but I think it’s important to stand out from the competition and offer something extra to your audience!
You can offer “extra” content like a bonus blog post or content upgrade on a blog post. You can also offer a checklist, worksheet, mini course or access to a resource library.
I personally prefer the resource library idea because you can always add and edit things as you go. If you’re not sure how to set that up, I wrote a blog post on it!
Advertising your new blog is something you’ll want to start doing right away! One of the best methods to do this is through social media- but not all social media is created equal! There is one platform in particular you should get a head start on (for me, it brings in 80% of my blog traffic!!!).
So what’s the social media site all new bloggers should focus on?
Pinterest is one of the best social media platforms for bloggers for a few reasons.
First, your content has a long lifespan. Unlike Twitter or Instagram where your content is posted and seen for a few minutes afterwards, content posted on Pinterest can go viral days, weeks or even a few months later! This really helps to increase the longevity of your posts.
Second, Pinterest works very much like ranking for Google. You don’t need to have a huge following on Pinterest because, unlike other social media sites, it’s not about connecting people, but rather connecting people to great content. So you can rank on Pinterest just like Google by optimizing your pins and boards using keywords. Anyone on Pinterest can find your pin whether they follow you or not!
So if you’re unsure about where to focus your social media energy, you definitely won’t go wrong with Pinterest!
How often should you pin?
Well the answer is: pretty often! I use a BoardBooster which is a pinning service that does all my pins for me. You schedule exactly what you want to be pinned and BoardBooster pins to the boards at the specific times you choose. My plan ($10/month) is the 1000 pins/month plan which works out to about 32 a day and I span the pins across the entire day. It saves me a ton of time on Pinterest and is well worth it (especially considering how much of my blog traffic comes from Pinterest!). You can give it a free trial and see if it helps grow your traffic.
The last thing I want to talk about is how to design super professional looking blog graphics. You do NOT have to be an artist to come up with beautiful images for your blog and social media platforms. And, best of all, this can be done for FREE!
I use free stock photos for my images and there are a ton of great websites out there. I listed a bunch in a recent blog post.
One you have your images, the easiest place to do your designs is in Canva. It’s a super simple graphic design site that offers a ton of premium options for free. Check out my Canva tutorial here.
Of course there are other options for your blog designs like PicMonkey and Adobe, so play around with different ones and see what you’re most comfortable with!
Oh my gosh we’ve come to the end!!!
I really hope this mini series gave you confidence to start your own blog ASAP! If you’re determined to learn and dedicate yourself to blogging, you can be very successful and start a blog people will LOVE to read!
I hope you guys enjoyed this series! In case you missed it, check out Part 1 and Part 2 as well.
What did you think? Leave me your comments below! 🙂