Are you a beginner and want to start a blog?
Or have you started a blog recently and looking for some tips?
If yes, you are on the right page.
In April 2018, I started a blog (www.jaintushar.com) in a super competitive niche of personal finance.
My last month’s (i.e. Oct 2019) traffic was ~4200 visitors, with the highest all-time traffic of ~5000 visitors achieved in Sept 2019.
But the best part is that I am monetizing my traffic and making money, that too working just 5 hours a week on this blog.
I used JainTushar as a testing ground to learn content writing and scale my SEO knwoledge, and I am using the same principles to grow OnPage Champ blog, but at a much faster pace.
Here are my top 17 blogging tips for beginner bloggers, based on my experience with JainTushar:-
#1. Don’t worry if you are unaware of your niche
Majority of the blogging gurus will suggest you to decide your niche before you start blogging.
I have a different opinion here: not all of us know the niche we want to operate in.
Especially for first-time bloggers, finding our niche is a journey in itself and is definitely not a single day task.
It then becomes important to just get started with what you know the best (unless you are strongly focussed on immediate commercial gains).
Keep pushing yourself forward to discover your niche.
Consider my example.
When I started blogging, it wasn’t in the personal finance niche.
It was the random blurb on entrepreneurship, life and money hacks (as shown below).
Out of nowhere, one of my product reviews got a great response on social media.
There was no such analysis available on the internet at that moment, and everyting I penned down was based on my experience.
That’s how I realized that my experiences around personal finance can be a good niche to get into.
The choice of your niche should have one of the following:-
- You should have deep knowledge about a niche or;
- If you don’t have the knowledge, you should be highly motivated to learn about that niche
It took me 10 blog posts and a couple of months to finally discover my niche.
Good thing is that I learned lot of skills in the meanwhile (like blog hosting on WordPress, social media marketing, SEO, etc.).
All that was required was the courage to get started.
#2. Don’t overthink and waste time
If you are blogging for the first time, I can bet you will get the following thoughts:-
- Who will read my blogs?
- Which domain name should I book?
- What should be the blog design like?
Don’t waste your time thinking about all this.
As a new bee, all that is important is to get started.
Just pick any free WordPress theme and a decent domain name to get started.
When I started blogging, I couldn’t zero down on a niche so I just picked my name as the domain name.
If you see the first version of my blog, it was extremely simple using a free theme (from Blog Way).
For the first 8 months, my focus was on building content and getting it ranked, rather than hunting for the perfect theme or a flowery domain name.
Only after I generated sustainable organic traffic and user engagement, I focussed on rebuilding my blog.
For first time bloggers, this advice is very important.
Otherwise, you will end up wasting your time on stuff that is not relevant during the early stages.
#3. Don’t get overwhelmed
As a beginner blogger, you have to do a lot of stuff on your own.
Whether it’s setting up your site, writing content, doing on-page SEO, optimizing for on-site elements, social media outreach, etc., you will always have work pending on your plate.
Don’t get overwhelmed.
Focus on one thing at a time without worrying about what’s still left.
Just keep moving ahead.
Even a 1% progress every single day will make things 3.5 times better by the end of the year.
#4. Get inspired by competitors
After you have discovered your blogging niche, you will always have second thoughts as and when you look at the competition.
I was in the same boat when I zeroed down on personal finance as my niche.
I was so wrong.
Now I realize that having competition is actually a good signal.
It means there is an audience that is consuming such content.
Moreover, the internet is a vast place.
Just find your differentiation and an audience that aligns with it.
Both I and my competitors are generating similar content in the personal finance space.
While I do take inspiration and content ideas from my competitors, I prefer to talk based on my personal experience whereas they talk about best practices.
And we both have readers who consume our respective content.
#5. Be yourself
If you want to be an authority a blogger, it’s extremely important to have your unique voice.
Just be yourself.
That means don’t copy someone else’s style.
Have your own flair.
Don’t worry if you don’t have a style at the beginning of your blogging journey.
You will develop one as part of your journey.
Talking from experience, I have discovered that I am good at telling stories and articulating my life experiences rather than writing generic articles.
And that’s what I do for JainTushar as well as for OnPage Champ blog.
That helps me build an instant connection with my readers and stand out in a crowded space.
#6. Commit to daily efforts
There will be times when you will feel lethargic or demotivated.
Don’t fall prey to that feeling.
Push yourself on those days.
Just keep moving forward.
The most important part is to write something every day.
Not interested in writing a blog post? No worries.
Work on a new web page or update an existing article or write an email to your followers.
But write something every single day.
#7. Focus on keyword research
For any website/blog, the marketing objective should include building traffic from organic sources.
If you consider JainTushar, 66% of my traffic is generated through Google.
That means you need to write content that people are searching for on the internet.
And then make an effort to get that content ranked on the first page of Google results.
That’s where keyword research plays an important role.
As a beginner blogger, focus on long-tail keywords (that are at least 4-6 word queries) and that have low organic difficulty store.
There are multiple free and paid keyword research tools available in the market and you can pick one for yourself.
I used UberSuggest during my initial blogging journey and you can also do the same.
#8. Write intent-based content
Want to write a blog that both your user and Google will love?
Start with understanding the intent behind the search keyword.
And then write content that answers this user intent.
Thanks to RankBrain, Google’s algorithm is sophisticated enough to understand how well the content on a web page satisfies the intent behind a search query.
Consider an example from my blog where my focus keyword is “Best term insurance in India 2019”.
Here’s a breakdown of the user intent:-
- User is looking for a list of insurance companies
- More than a list, he is looking for a review of each company
- He is looking for relevant results in a particular year
- Under each review, it would make sense to show him the pros and the cons
- Finally, he is looking for suggestions that can make him shortlist an insurance company out of this list.
Here’s the “Table of Content” of the post that I wrote for this keyword, showing how I incorporated user intent in my article.
#9. Do extensive on-page SEO
If Content is the King, then on-page SEO is the King Maker.
Don’t trust me?
Have a look at my Google search ranking for the example blog post from the point above:-
This blog post has ZERO backlinks and lowest Moz Domain Authority (DA) amongst the top 10 competitors.
Still, it ranks at 5th position, competing against DA 93 websites.
And I have been maintaining these ranks for 6 months now.
All thanks to the on-page SEO optimization.
As a beginner blogger, focus on doing extensive on-page SEO for your content.
Basic elements include:-
- SEO optimized meta tags like SEO title, headings, meta description, image alt-text, etc.
- Intelligent spread of focus keyword
- LSI keywords
- Internal linking
Don’t worry if you are new to SEO.
Use OnPage Champ to know how your competitors have structured their web pages, and use the competitive data to optimize your pages.
#10. Make your content easy to consume
Do you notice how I am using small and easy to read sentences.
And how this entire content is structured across short bytes.
Write your content for easy consumption, and you will see both your user and Google rewarding you.
Also, add a lot of images/videos/multimedia so that the user can easily engage with the content.
#11. Start promoting on Quora
As a first time blogger, you will always have second thoughts when it comes to promoting your content.
That’s because we all fear being judged.
As a beginner blogger, you have to overcome this feeling and promote aggressively on social media (because you won’t have search traffic in the beginning).
When it comes to social media, there is no better platform than Quora.
Especially when your blog is in the early stages and you are not ranking for the search query, Quora provides you with highly qualified traffic that faces a problem and is actively looking for a solution.
Here’s my first 3 months aggregate traffic report for JainTushar.com where ~30% of my traffic was from Quora.
#12. Write Guest posts
When your blog is new, you want maximum people to find you out.
One of the best ways is to write for blogs that already have an audience and are within the same/similar niche.
Reserve your best posts for other blogs and not for your own.
If you do this step right, not only will you get quality backlinks for your blog but also a free audience without much marketing effort.
Here are some of the guest posts I wrote for JainTushar to build my traffic:-
#13. Hear out your audience
If your content is adding value to your readers, they will themselves ask for more.
Do hear them out and create content accordingly.
Such content will serve 2 purposes:-
- It will generate user engagement (because your user is looking for an answer to these questions)
- It will increase your topical relevance (since such content will go deeper into a topic)
Here are a few examples of how my users encouraged me to write more content on specific topics:-
Example 1: A lot of users asked me how to switch from one type of fund to another. So I created a dedicated step by step guide on how to import portfolios on one of the platforms.
Example 2: Lot of user queries around term insurance made me write a very extensive, 6000+ words guide on life insurance.
Example 3: Another user asked me if gold should be part of our financial portfolio or not (and an interesting content idea for my next blog post).
#14. Start building your list
Set up your blog to capture emails, right from day 1.
List building is an important asset creation of your blogging journey.
Any other marketing channel (like Google search ranking/social media profiles/ guest posts etc.) is dependent on 3rd party players.
Any shift in their algorithm can kill traffic from that channel.
Eventually, what you own is your email list. That’s why you should focus on building it.
You can use free tools like Sumo to get started in less than 15 minutes.
#15. Always reply to comments
In your blogs, always ask your readers to take action, preferably writing a comment.
It helps in 3 ways:-
- It increases the engagement on your page, thereby sending a positive SEO signal to Google
- It helps you get first-hand feedback from your audience
- It gives you content ideas for your next blog post
And always reply back to the comments.
Ask for their opinion. Post counter questions. Redirect them to other pages of your blog.
All these actions indicate that you care for your audience and are always there to listen and help them out.
#16. Don’t aim for perfection
Frankly, there is no such thing as perfection.
Rather, everything (including your blog) has to go through an evolution cycle and get better with each iteration.
Avoid wasting time on worrying about getting perfect.
#17. Give it time to grow
Even if you are a seasoned blogger, achieving blogging success is not a one day or a one week task.
Rather, it will take you a couple of months (if not years) before you start tasting success.
So keep your patience, kick some dust and get your hands dirty.
Your blogging journey is not just about churning content.
You will have a steep learning curve as a first-time blogger.
That means not only you have to write engaging content but also manage your hosting, your website, do extensive marketing, build 3rd party associations, do SEO, etc.
Have a long term vision and move towards it one step at a time.
Remember, the only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.
If you have specific questions related to blogging, please post them in the comments section below and I will be glad to answer them.