11 Blogging Tips For Beginners in 2024

Blogging is still one of the best opportunities to make money online as you can build an engaged audience and then sell products, services, or sponsorships.

Yet, the prospect of building a blog that will generate thousands of dollars can feel daunting if you’re just starting your journey as a blogger. 

The blogging landscape is more competitive than ever, and the strategies that used to work even just a few years ago no longer work today. 

While getting started might feel overwhelming, set aside just thirty minutes or an hour per day for blogging, and by implementing the tips outlined in this blog post, you’ll be well on your way to success. 

Whether you’re blogging about your travel adventures or striving to attract customers for your business, these are the simple beginner blogging tips that will help you achieve your goals.

Want us to
scale your traffic?

For the first time, The Copyblogger methodology is now available to a select few clients. We know it works. We’ve been doing it since 2006.

1. Define A Specific Niche

If you publish a blog article about dogs one week and gardening the next, it will be difficult to build a loyal audience of avid readers because people interested in dogs may not be interested in gardening. 

Selecting a specific niche and only publishing content relevant to a specific topic solves this problem. 

You’ll also find ranking in search engines like Google easier if you specialize in a specific niche. This is because search engines want to ensure they’re showing accurate information to their users, and one way search engines determine the credibility of a blog is by analyzing the different topics it covers.

This concept is known as topical authority. By showing search engines that you’re an authority on a specific topic, you’re more likely to rank well for your target keywords.

How do you select a specific niche to blog about?

If you’re blogging for business, the answer is clear – write about your business’s niche.

However, if you’re starting a blog to build an audience that you’ll later monetize through sponsorships or affiliate products, your niche options are limitless (i.e., a travel blogger, a food blogger, etc.).

To help you select a niche, write down all of your interests and passions on a sheet of paper. You can also notate your level of passion for each niche. 

To further narrow down your list, here are three other criteria to consider:

  • Your expertise: If you’re highly knowledgeable about that particular niche, it will be easier to write the content as you won’t have to do much research beforehand. 
  • Your competitive advantage: Is there a reason why your lifestyle or industry access might give you an advantage in this niche? For example, if you’re a flight attendant and travel frequently for work, you’ll have a unique advantage in writing a travel blog because you already travel much more frequently than the average person. You could also discuss unknown tips on airports and flight deals.
  • The value of the audience: Some niches are much more valuable than others. For example, if you have a successful blog about camera gear, you’ll likely make more money than someone with a blog about baking simply because the average order value of a camera is significantly higher than the average order value of baking supplies. So whether you end up selling your own products through the blog or making money through sponsorships or affiliates, you’ll make more money if the end product has a higher profit margin.

One of the downsides of blogging is that it’s very competitive – especially if you’re targeting a high-value audience.

You can solve this problem by niching down and targeting only a specific subset of that niche.

For example, the “dog training” niche is very broad and competitive. However, you can stand out by becoming “the dog trainer for labradors” or “the dog trainer for older dogs.”

This will help you stand out because someone with an older dog will be more inclined to talk to a specialist who works exclusively with older dogs rather than a generalist who works with any dogs.

2. Engage With Your Target Audience

One of the biggest mistakes beginner bloggers make is choosing topics based on what they want to write about. While there’s nothing wrong with writing for your own pure enjoyment, it’s essential to provide content that interests the reader if your goal is building a loyal following.

If you selected a niche you’re passionate about, there should be plenty of topics that both you and your readers enjoy. 

However, the best way to determine what topics your readers want information about is to engage with them directly. 

You can do this by joining Facebook groups, Slack groups, Reddit threads, and industry forums. Then, make a list of the most commonly discussed topics as these will become your first content ideas. You’ll also learn the general industry terminology, which is helpful as you begin writing your blog posts.

For example, if you have a web design agency for real estate agents, consider joining a group like the one below to learn about common marketing questions real estate agents ask. You can also provide helpful answers to questions about marketing, which can help you earn your first few readers and develop genuine relationships with industry experts.

3. Select Relevant Low Difficulty Keywords

Unfortunately, people don’t magically find your blog post as soon as you hit publish – especially as a new blogger.

While there are plenty of different ways to promote a blog post after it’s published, Google is perhaps the best (free!) opportunity to get your blog post in front of new readers. The process of optimizing your blog posts to appear in search results like Google is called SEO (search engine optimization)

For example, if you just wrote a blog post about “how to train a dog to sit,” you want Google to show it to people who search for terms related to training a dog to sit.

These phrases that people commonly search in Google are referred to as keywords. 

While keyword research is an entire topic in its own right, here are two basic keyword research tips:

  • Only target keywords relevant to your audience: As we discussed in the tip above, your audience should be interested in the topic. If you’re blogging for business, the topic should also be a problem that your product or service solves (e.g., topics related to generating more real estate clients would be great for a web design service to target because the service solves that problem of earning real estate clients).
  • Choose keywords with low difficulty scores: Remember when we discussed earlier during niche selection that it’s important to select a low competition niche? This is because it’s more difficult to rank for a keyword with many blog posts targeting it. This is especially true if you’re competing against a highly authoritative website like Forbes. Since search engines tend to favor websites with well established credibility, it can be difficult for a new blogger to outrank them in the search results. Unfortunately, if your website doesn’t rank in search engines, it will be difficult for you as a blogger to earn new readers. 

So how do you check the difficulty of a specific keyword?

There are plenty of SEO tools that make this easy, and Ahrefs and SEMrush are among the two most popular.

These tools analyze the search result pages (SERPs) for a particular keyword and then assign it a difficulty score based on the authority of the other websites ranking for that keyword. 

These tools consider plenty of factors when creating their difficulty scores, but the only thing you need to know is that lower difficulty keywords (keywords that are easy for new bloggers to rank for) have lower difficulty numbers, whereas more competitive keywords that new blogs likely won’t rank for have higher difficulty numbers.

So list topics you might want to cover on your blog, and then type each into a keyword research tool like Ahrefs or SEMrush. You’ll likely see different variations of that keyword as well as its difficulty scores. 

As a beginner blogger with a brand new website, only select keywords with a difficulty score of 15 or less. As your website earns more authority, you can target increasingly competitive keywords. 

You’ll also see a volume metric. This is the estimated number of searches for that keyword each month, so the higher the search volume metric, the better.

Source

You’ll probably have a long list of similar keywords for each topic, so select the keyword with the lowest difficulty and highest volume. 

Once you select a keyword, what should you do with it? How do you optimize your blog post to rank for it?

To get started, just include it in the title of your blog post. 

These next few tips will discuss how you can optimize your blog post to rank for your target keyword.

4. Deliver The Most Effective Advice

There are usually tens or even hundreds of helpful blog posts covering any content idea. 

And most of the information in these blog posts is accurate and helpful. So why should someone read your blog post over the other blog posts? In other words, what makes your blog post the best on that topic?

One way to do this is to provide the most effective solution to their problem.

This may sound obvious, but let me illustrate this with an example.

Earning backlinks is a major challenge for SEO professionals, so it’s no surprise that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of blog posts on building backlinks. 

Yet building backlinks is a popular content idea because it’s so challenging, meaning that most of the solutions mentioned in these blog posts are only minimally effective. 

For example, broken link building is a common link building technique that might require about five hours of work to earn one link:

On a scale of one to ten, broken link building is probably about a 5/10 strategy, as you might spend several hours to get one quality link.

On the other hand, Brian Dean recently shared a case study of a new backlink strategy that allowed him to build over 5,000 backlinks (many of which are high quality links) in 30 days. As a result, his strategy is probably a 9/10 solution to the problem as it requires minimal effort and produces high results.

Therefore, Brian Dean’s blog post is much higher quality simply because the solution is much more effective. 

While it may take some time for search engines like Google to realize that your content provides the best solution, they will pick up on positive user engagement signals, like a long average time on page, many organic mentions and backlinks from people who found your ideas remarkable and reshared them, and other signs. 

Of course, thinking of the most effective solution to a real problem that many people face is challenging. 

To identify the best solution to a problem, experiment with multiple tactics or talk to people who have experienced these challenges and ask what worked and didn’t work for them. 

Real experience will make your content more helpful than content written by bloggers who have never personally experimented with the theories they’re writing about, as they won’t be able to articulate the drawbacks and downsides of various “best practices.”

In fact, you’ll notice that this is exactly what Brian Dean did when writing the post on link building. He called out the challenges he experienced with traditional link building tactics and then used that as the launchpad to show how he created a more effective solution.

Search engines also recognize that people with real experience tend to produce better content, so they often optimize their algorithms to recognize expertise and experience within content and tend to rank those blog posts higher. In fact, Google released the acronym “EEAT” which stands for:

  • Experience 
  • Expertise
  • Authority
  • Trust

So the more you can focus on finding the absolute best solution to a problem, the better your content will perform and the more loyal readers you’ll earn.

Of course, this means that the real work begins long before you ever begin typing a word of the blog post, but the essence of great content marketing is solving a reader’s problem. 

5. Package Your Advice As Simply As Possible 

Scientific papers and textbooks provide excellent expert advice, so why do people turn to TikTok creators and other less credible sources for information?

Most scientific papers and textbooks are boring and difficult to understand, whereas many viral creators package their information in interesting stories. 

The lesson?

If your content is difficult to comprehend, you’ll struggle to build a loyal following – regardless of how effective your advice is. 

Therefore, optimize your content to be easy to understand and fun to read.

The first tactical strategy for making your content easy to understand is to write at a fifth or sixth-grade reading level. This rule applies even to sophisticated niches, like tech gurus and healthcare professionals. 

That doesn’t mean you can’t use industry terminology or that you must dumb down the information. Instead, just think about keeping your sentences simple. Here are a few specific tips:

  • Write in the active voice
  • Keep your sentences short
  • Use an app like Grammarly or Hemingway and aim for a fifth or sixth grade reading level
  • Get directly to the point 

Here’s a great example of how you can simplify language to communicate the same point:

In addition to optimizing the sentence structure for simplicity, you can also make your blog post easier and more enjoyable to read by including stories and real examples. 

Stories and examples make it easier for people to understand your point, and they make the content more memorable.

Here’s a great example of storytelling copywriting:

Instead of stating the point directly, the copywriter used a story to communicate his point – it’s important to take breaks. The story makes his content memorable and more enjoyable to read. 

6. Optimize For Scannability

When you’re researching a topic, you want to learn the most important information as quickly as possible. If you glance at the two screenshots below, which blog post are you more likely to read? 

Article 1:

Article 2:

While both articles contain the same information, the first one is much easier to scan because it uses bullet points, bold, short sentences, and headers.

Readers will likely skim through the first article and read the important parts, whereas they’re more likely to immediately hit the “back” button on the second article, which is a wall of text. 

It’s also worth noting that the more scannable text (the first screenshot) ranks first in Google. This is likely because search engines noticed that people were staying on the first page for more time, indicating that it delivers a better user experience than the other posts.

The takeaway? Make your content easy to scan.

To make your content scannable, here are a few tips:

  • Use screenshots and graphics whenever possible to communicate your point
  • Use bullet points
  • Bold and italicize important points
  • Limit paragraphs to four lines or less

If you want to write in a flow state, write in long paragraphs as you’re drafting, and then use this checklist as you’re editing to optimize for scannability.

7. Follow SEO Best Practices

Including a primary keyword in your blog post’s title is a great start to optimizing it for SEO, but there are a handful of other SEO best practices that all bloggers should follow to maximize reach.

Here’s a quick checklist you can use to optimize your blog post for SEO:

  • Properly format each post: Use H2s and H3s for each subheader.
  • Include internal links: An internal link directs readers to another helpful blog post on your website. For example, rather than providing a detailed explanation of internal links, I’m simply linking to another blog post we’ve written about internal links. This ensures you don’t have to go on a side tangent to explain a subtopic, yet readers that want more information can go to that link to learn more. From an SEO perspective, internal links help search engines crawl your website more efficiently, translating to better rankings. 
  • Include related keywords: You can use a tool like Clearscope to identify keywords related to your primary keyword. Including related keywords helps search engines understand what your blog post is about and ultimately helps you rank higher in search results. For example, you can see that some keywords related to “best travel credit cards” include “car rental,” “card offers,” and “cash back.” Including those keywords in your article helps search engines like Google realize that your blog post is about travel credit cards, which can help your blog post rank higher in the search results for keywords like “best travel credit cards.”
  • Include FAQs: Another strategy to earn more real estate in the search results is to look at the frequently asked questions that pop up for the primary keyword. For example, if you’re writing a blog post on “how to start a business,” these are some great FAQs to include in your article:
  • Target Featured Snippet Opportunities: Featured snippets are the answer boxes that sometimes appear at the top of the search results. You can identify these opportunities by pasting the top ranking blog post’s URL for your target keyword in a tool like Ahrefs. Then, sort by “SERP feature” and check “Featured snippet.” From there you’ll find a list of different keywords with featured snippets.

Then, optimize your blog post to rank for those featured snippets. You can do that by searching the current featured snippet and then format your blog post to match it. For example, if the featured snippet opportunity is “how to become a business owner,” be sure to structure your blog post as a list:

In addition to following on-page best practice tips, here are a few technical SEO tips that you can apply to all of your blog posts:

  • Optimize for mobile: Most people access blog posts on mobile devices, so make sure that the blog post is easy to read on a mobile device. Today, most websites are mobile friendly. Otherwise, try a different website theme.

Source

  • Improve your site speed: If your website takes too much time to load, people will click the back button, and then use a tool like PageSpeed Insights to test your site speed, and if it isn’t up to scratch, consider hiring someone on Upwork to fix it:

8. Collaborate With Influencers

As a beginner blogger, you probably won’t receive any organic traffic to your website when you first start publishing blog posts, as search engines like Google tend to favor ranking more established websites. 

An easy solution to quickly earn readers is to collaborate with influencers. 

The only problem is that, as a new blog with zero followers, there isn’t a strong incentive for influencers to work with you if you can’t send them any new readers. The solution to this problem is to offer them another form of value. 

For example, if you’re a brand new travel blogger, you could reach out to a resort with a significant following and offer to create a promotional video of them (perhaps involving an interview with the owner). In exchange, ask them to share it on their social media profiles. 

This is beneficial for them because they get high quality, free marketing materials, and it’s also beneficial for you because they’re sharing your content. 

Here’s a great example of a vacation resort that reshared the video of a travel blogger:

If you consistently collaborate with influencers, you’ll eventually earn readers and develop genuine industry relationships, which will ultimately set you up for excellent long term growth. 

The key to landing influencer collaborations is to always ask the question: How will this collaboration benefit the influencer?

9. Establish A Consistent Content Calendar

The more high quality content you publish, the faster you’ll grow.

However, many beginner bloggers are overly ambitious and try publishing multiple blog posts per week. Unfortunately, the ultimately become overwhelmed and give up.  

Instead, set a goal of publishing just one blog post per week. By publishing once per week, you’ll still grow at a reasonable rate, but it won’t be so overwhelming that you give up.

This will help you develop the habit of writing blog posts, and over time, you can either increase your publishing rate or hire other writers to help you.

To stay organized, create a content calendar. This way, you can establish all of your content ideas for the month and set milestone goals throughout the week to stay on track. For example, you can set a goal to have the draft written by Wednesday, edited by Thursday, and published on Friday.

Trello offers several editorial calendars you can use for free.

Alternatively, here’s an example of simple Google spreadsheet content calendar:

10. Establish A Content Repurposing Strategy

Once you write a blog post, you can extract snippets from it to publish on other platforms, like Twitter, LinkedIn, and even your email list. 

You’ve already done the hard work of creating the initial content, so extracting a few snippets from it should only take a few extra minutes, yet it will help more people discover your brand.

For example, this travel blogger wrote a post on visiting Florida Keys:

Then, she repurposed the content into Instagram and Facebook posts. While these were both sponsored posts, it’s an excellent example of how bloggers can repurpose their content:

In fact, content repurposing was a key reason Alex Hormozi grew from 180,000 to over 1.2 million followers in just one year.

He only spent about two days per month creating content, and therefore only published a few long form pieces of content per month. However, he then had a team that repurposed snippets from those long form pieces of content across different social media platforms which allowed him to publish 80 total pieces of content per month.

As you grow, you can also hire a freelancer to repurpose the content for you. 

11. Measure Progress And Seek Feedback

Starting a blog can feel overwhelming. There’s a lot to learn, and even advanced bloggers are always learning and improving. Instead of trying to make your first blog post perfect, just get started and then make one improvement to each blog post you write. 

Over time, your blog posts will become better and better and you’ll earn more readers.

Once you start to build an audience, you can also ask for their qualitative feedback on your blog posts. A key mistake many larger bloggers make is failing to interact with their audience. 

However, interacting with your audience will help you understand their pain points, which will help you think of better topic ideas and improve your writing. Direct communication with your audience will also help you build a deeper relationship with readers, which will help you monetize your blog in the future.

From a tactical standpoint, you can interact with your audience by responding to their comments. This is what we do here at Copyblogger:

You can also send them an email asking for feedback on your content. Or, you can just ask them about their biggest challenges. 

You can also measure success based on traditional content marketing metrics, like traffic and social shares.

Start Your Blog Today

Starting a blog is just like starting a business – it might be hard to get traction in those first few weeks, but you’ll eventually grow if you just stay consistent. 

Nevertheless, we realize that the initial stage can be overwhelming. That’s why we built the Copyblogger Academy, a community of entrepreneurs and marketers who earn money through writing.

Inside the Academy, you’ll have access to eight different courses on various marketing topics, including email marketing, copywriting, and SEO. You’ll also connect with like-minded peers and can ask seven-figure entrepreneur and Copyblogger founder Tim Stoddart for direct feedback in the community. You can sign up today risk-free. If you aren’t 100% satisfied, we’ll give you a full refund within the first 30 days.



Source link

READ  15 Product Photography Tips to Capture Better Images