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Can you believe we are in the last few weeks of 2018? I know it’s cliché but this year has really flown by! If you are thinking about getting serious about starting your blog in 2019, I’ve gathered some must-have tips to follow in order to be successful.
Get Off Of Free Blogging Platforms
While free Blogging platforms can be a great starting point if you are just ready to start blogging, as time goes on, and as you develop your blogging business, the need for a self-hosted blog increases.
Would you go into a store that didn’t have doors, windows, attractive logos, or electricity?
Most stores focus a lot of time of designing an attractive storefront to reel in more customers. The parking lot is clean and freshly painted, the sign above the store is nice and fashionable, the isles in the store are stocked full of quality items, the personnel are friendly, and the company has made shopping there an easy and enjoyable experience.
The same goes for your blog. If you are looking to be an established authoritative figure in your blogging niche, you have to set your blog up to attract new readers and bring them back over and over again.
You can’t do that with a free blogging platform. Free platforms don’t let you customize your domain name. They also limit you on the amount of promotion and monetization options. And, most importantly, the content doesn’t remain your own once you hit publish.
It’s time to move away from the free blogging platforms and invest in professional web hosting, a domain name, and WordPress.org. I use and highly recommend Bluehost for web hosting and Namecheap for domain name registration and hosting. (Guys and gals, I’m always getting new deals on hosting and domain names from both Bluehost and Namecheap since I’m an affiliate. Check out my site on a regular basis for new ways to save!)
It’s time to move away from the free blogging platforms and invest in professional web hosting, a domain name, and WordPress.org.
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Invest in Tailwind
Last year, I really wanted to up my Pinterest game. I had so many blog posts to pin and so little time to sit down for hours at a time to pin to over 50 boards every day. I can honestly say that investing $120 a year in Tailwind has paid off. Not only can I schedule bulk pins to pin at the best time of day, I don’t have to spend hours doing it!
If you were to log in to my Tailwind dashboard, you’d see that I have over 8,000 pins scheduled. I automatically pin 50 pins per day, so if you do the math, that’s about 160 days’ worth of content I don’t have to worry about pinning – it’s all done automatically! If you still don’t believe I have that many pins scheduled, here’s a screen shot of my schedule in action!
There are several ways to get Tailwind, even on a tight budget. If you want to try out the platform before deciding on a plan, click here for a free 30-day trial. If you pay for your plan on a monthly basis, Tailwind limits you to 400 pins per month, but the upside is you aren’t billed for an entire year at once. But, if you decide you want unlimited pinning, paying ahead on the annual plan will cost you about $120 a year, but you can pin as much as you want.
Alongside pinning to boards in Tailwind, you also have the opportunity to join Tailwind Tribes. Tribes are essentially groups of like-minded individuals pinning and sharing similar content inside the tribe. Each tribe is managed by one member, and has a certain set of rules to follow in order to remain a member of the tribe. If you don’t follow the rules and just start spamming your tribes, chances are you’ll get booted out of the tribe.
There are limits on the number of tribes you can join and the number of pins you can share to the tribes. In order to get full advantage, you have to purchase a separate plan for Tailwind Tribes. As of today, I have not purchased the full version. I am content posting to the tribes I’m a member of under my existing plan. Do you want to join my Tribe? Click here. You do NOT have to be a Tailwind member to join Tribes!
Improve Your Site Design
How many times this year have you told yourself you were going to update your site’s theme? Probably a bunch of times, right? I get it. It’s very hard and time consuming to find a theme that meets all of your needs.
Make it a goal in 2019 to invest some cash in a premium theme from StudioPress. StudioPress brings you amazing themes powered by the Genesis Framework. The theme you see here on my blog is the Daily Dish Theme from Genesis.
Once you’ve made the move to update your theme, take some time to revise your navigational structure. Make it as easy as possible for readers to find information they need. The longer someone spends searching your site, the less likely they will come back.
Delete Irrelevant Categories
Earlier this year when I re-branded from Go Ask Your Daddy to Blogging Business Boost, I realized I had a TON of categories in WordPress that no longer fit my new niche. I put myself through a simple exercise of deleting any irrelevant categories from my list, and limited the new ones I created to keep things simple.
Start Your YouTube Channel
Have you thought about expanding your business to YouTube? I took the leap in March of 2018 and am still posting new content at least once a week. Running a YouTube channel is a great way to promote your content in ways other than written posts. YouTube is very popular these days and vlogging has almost as much of a following as regular blogging does. Read how to create YouTube videos on a budget here.
Put Together a Social Media Sharing Strategy
After creating quality blog posts, the next step is even more important – sharing the content. There are so many Social Media platforms, so how do you decide where and when to share? My rule of thumb has always been to only share to those platforms you are active on regularly. Only log in to Instagram once a year? Don’t share your content there.
There are free and paid tools to help make the process of sharing your content on social media easy and less time consuming. Some of my favorite tools are: Hootsuite, Buffer, and Tailwind.
If you do a quick search on Pinterest for social media schedule, you’ll find a large amount of pins designed to teach you the best days, times, and frequencies to post your content to just about any social media platform imaginable.
Write a Real Business Plan
Most new bloggers often forget about writing a business plan. Even if you aren’t “selling” anything yet, a solid business plan can help keep you focused on the right things and help you set goals. There is no real formula I recommend for writing a business plan, but quick searches on Google can give you some free templates that you can modify to suit your needs.
You don’t necessarily have to put your business plan on your blog for your readers to access, but make it readily available for yourself to revise and update throughout the year as your blog grows and grows.
Connect More With Your Readers and Subscribers
More and more bloggers are going live on Facebook and YouTube now. Going live can be scary, but it helps you connect instantaneously with your supporters. If you haven’t yet taken the leap to live feeds, make it a goal to do one or two a month in 2019.
Design an Attainable Posting Schedule
So a few paragraphs above, I talked about the importance of putting together a social media sharing schedule. You also need to put together an attainable blog posting schedule. How many posts are you going to post a week?
Regardless of how many posts you ultimately decide to create and share every month, stick with it so that your content is visible on a regular basis. The worst thing you can do is fall into a blogging black hole and fall off of your readers’ radar.
Regardless of how many posts you ultimately decide to create and share every month, stick with it so that your content is visible on a regular basis.
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Revise Old Blog Posts
You’ve either read other posts I’ve written about the importance of keeping old content updated, or you’ve seen me talk about it in my videos. If you’ve been blogging for a few years, there is a good chance some of your old content needs updated.
I regularly check my content every 6 months for any updates I may need to make to links or to actual content. If you can stay consistent with updating old content, you’ll show your readers you care about the accuracy of every piece of content you feature on your blog.
If you can stay consistent with updating old content, you’ll show your readers you care about the accuracy of every piece of content you feature on your blog.
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Repurpose Existing Content
One of my favorite things to do with my existing content is to repurpose it into other forms of communication. For example, I’ve taken many of my written blog posts and turned them into videos or emails to my subscribers. The sky is the limit as to the number of things you can do to creatively share content to your readers. Some common mediums include: slideshow, e-book, webinar, courses, printables, and videos.
Monetize Your Blog
Now that you’ve decided to get serious with your blog in 2019, it’s time to monetize it. The best ways to monetize your blog is through ads and affiliate marketing, creating a product of your own to sale, or sponsored posts.
If you are ready to get started with affiliate marketing, but don’t know how, I have a free Affiliate Marketing for Beginners E-Course that will teach you everything you need to know in a language you can understand.
Click here to sign up for Affiliate Marketing for Beginners
When you are ready to sign up for affiliate programs, consider joining ShareASale. You can choose from thousands of affiliate programs that fit your niche. Some programs I’m an affiliate of include: Animoto, Candy Club, Gazelle, StudioPress, and Tailwind.
Some bloggers do create their own products whether they be something physical or something digital. If you already make your own products, advertising and selling those products through your blog will help you earn additional income.
An important word of advice: Don’t let monetizing your blog interrupt your main goals. If you are starting a blog to help others solve a problem, they want to see that information much more than a bunch of affiliate links or ads all over the page. The best bloggers are able to find a happy medium between the two.
Bring on 2019!
I hope that these tips are helpful when venturing into your blog’s goals for 2019. Whether you already do all or a few of these, taking the time to follow these tips will pay off in the end.
Do you have any other tips to help bloggers get serious about starting a blog in 2019? Leave them in the comments below.
If you like content like this post, be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel. It’s full of great information that will help you turn a brand new blog into a profitable blog.
The post How to Get Serious About Blogging in 2019 appeared first on Blogging Business Boost | Start a Profitable Blog.