You see them all around, don’t you?
Bloggers that have a huge audience, a major influence, tons of traffic and are making a pretty good amount of money. The kind of bloggers that just seem to have it all. The kind you wish to be.
You may even become a bit jealous…
What is it that their blogs have that mine don’t? Why can’t I get results like that? What is that missing link to creating a popular blog like that?
As it turns out there are a few golden rules of blogging that you will need to stick to in order to create a good blog that people want to read.
In this post, I’ll share 5 of those golden blogging rules to help you build a successful blog.
Golden Rule 1: What blogging is all about
That’s the real question you will have to answer in order to build up your blog.
You’ve got a goal for your blog, don’t you?
Something that, if you achieve it, will make you feel damn proud of yourself and your blog! Maybe you want to educate the world about something you really care about, maybe it is to get leads for your business, maybe it’s to share your creative ideas.
But whatever your goal is….
You will need to learn and realize that, in the end, your goals don’t really matter! That they’re not the most important thing and there is something way more important than your goals and dreams!
Your audience’s goals!
If you want to learn how to blog successfully you will need to learn how to write blog posts that people will actually want to read. If you cannot do that, you’ll have no shot at becoming a successful blogger!
So as this first golden rule of blogging you need to know your blog is all about the people that read it!
What do they want?
Maybe they come to be entertained, perhaps they want to learn more about gardening, they might want to be motivated, or read different opinions on politics.
Whatever the case may be, you need to be the one providing them with what they want. For which you need to understand your target audience.
Then, you need to create awesome content!
It’s subjective what awesome content means of course, but aim for having as many of these 5 factors in your blog posts as possible:
Let’s run down the list so you can see what applies to your blog:
No matter what topic you write about even if it’s a “boring” topic, you want it to be entertaining to some degree. People often come for information, but if they’re bored out of their minds they’ll make sure to get the hell away from your content.
You don’t have to be a comedian, but make things interesting to read.
Using stories can be an effective way to do so. When you’re using a metaphor, you can make even a complex topic more clear while also making it more fun to read about.
Education is one of the prime reasons people go online for (besides entertainment). They’re facing a problem they need to fix, have a question about something or want to learn how to do something.
Be the one providing that information.
Next up is motivation and/or inspiration. Reading about something is one thing, but taking action is a completely different thing. Sometimes people just need a little push to take that action. They want to be motivated and inspired to do greater things and you want them to achieve their goals.
So provide that with that little extra to inspire them into action.
The next part goes into that as well, you want to make your content more actionable. You can often do this by including examples, action steps or by telling people how to do it, instead of just telling them what to do.
And finally, depending on the purpose of your blog, you want to give people a clear call to action. Get people to opt in for your email list, buy a product you recommend, or just to share your content.
Otherwise, most people probably are not going to take the action you want them to take.
Golden Rule 2: Build your email list from day 1!
Or if you’ve already started your blog, start collecting emails today!
When you have a list of people that have given you their email address, you have an audience on demand. If you have a few hundred or even a few thousand people on your list you’ll be able to email all of them at once when you publish new content. You’ll be able to send them offers or build a better connection with them.
So if you’re not yet building an email list get signed up with an autoresponder today. I’d recommend ConvertKit.
It’s the same tool I use.
Next up you need to create a lead magnet. This is something that you give away in exchange for them giving you their name and email.
What you do is you take one problem that your target audience has, and you provide them with a quick solution. You can create a video training, checklist, worksheets, ebook, email series, etc. that will give them a quick win.
After people opt in, you can market to them.
If you’re new to email marketing, and want to become an expert, sign up for my free email course “7 Days to a More Profitable List“. Inside this email course, I will teach you what it takes to build a list and market to them.
Next, you need to collect leads.
The sidebar of your blog is one way to get leads, you can also use popups (I personally hate them as a user, so I don’t use them myself), inside of your blog posts (just like above), or you can create a capture page and link to it within your post.
See the link above?
If you click on that, a form will pop up where you can (and should) enter your name and email address. The tool I use to create all of my opt in forms is Thrive Leads. It’s the best way to collect leads on WordPress.
Get started building your list! Because it’s going to be a huge traffic source for you if you do. Not only that, but you’ll create your biggest fans and loyal supporters this way!
Golden Rule 3: Optimize for both readers AND search engines
A term dreaded and feared by some while loved and embraced by others.
No matter how you feel about search engine optimization (which is what SEO) stands for, as a blogger it’s necessary you learn it and apply it! It’s a part of your business you can’t afford not to use!
If you put a lot of work into creating content, you’ll want people to read it.
Which is why you need to learn SEO. This beginner’s guide from Moz would be a great place to start if you’re clueless about search engine optimization.
What you want to do before you write a new blog post is to do keyword research to find out what people are searching for. Part of what makes a good blog post is how well it’s optimized for the search engines. The better it is, the more likely you’ll get new visitors from Google and other search engines.
Traffic (a.k.a. people visiting your blog) is your blog’s lifeblood. No visitors = No results. So getting found in search is a crucial aspect to getting more traffic to your blog.
Golden Rule 4: Your work starts AFTER you hit publish!
“Build it and they will come!”
You may have heard that popular phrase before. Just publish great content on your blog and people will line up to view it, some people say…
But the truth is…
It simply doesn’t happen this way!
Even when you do your SEO right, you’ll most likely won’t get much traffic just from publishing epic content. You have to learn how to get people to read your blog and then apply those promotional techniques to grow your blog traffic.
And there are strategies aplenty to use:
- Build up your Pinterest account. This is what tons of bloggers use to drive lots of blog traffic.
- Be an active member of, and share your content in relevant, Slack, LinkedIn and Facebook groups. Don’t spam them!
- Become a contributor in specific communities on Reddit, or other niche sites.
- Grow your own email list as well as your social following on Facebook, Twitter and other platforms.
- And the list goes on and on…
One important tip I’ll give you when it comes to growing your blog traffic:
Don’t spread yourself too thin! (You’re not butter)
Don’t try to do everything at once, especially if you haven’t used the strategies before. You’ll most likely end up doing all of them half-assed and reaping the results from none of them.
Instead, focus on one or two at a time and work on them until you get the results. And then add another one to the mix.
Golden Rule 5: Don’t go in alone!
The 5th golden rule of blogging is something you shouldn’t neglect. The road to blogging success (or any goal for that matter) is long and treacherous! You could use some help. 🙂
By the way, if you want to learn how to start, grow and monetize your blog successfully, check out my free training course! In just 5 days I will share with you all the lessons I learned over the last decade! You’ll have the knowledge I wish I had 10 years ago!
Just don’t be like me…
I’m pretty darn stubborn by nature. So when I first got started years ago, I thought I knew everything. After all… I had read a guide or two! So I went in alone. No support. No guidance. No way of getting feedback. And quite frankly… no results.
Get locked in with the community early on, here’s why:
One of the things I have experienced is that the people around me, friends and family, weren’t as supportive as I thought. Most do not understand our way, building a business online and will try to “protect” you from this “blogging thing”. They don’t mean bad most of the time, it’s just outside of their norms and scope.
But it can feel crushing nonetheless!
If you encounter something similar from those around you, I want you to know this: A poison given to you with the best intentions for you in mind is still going to kill you. Likewise, even if people mean well and try to “protect” it would be detrimental to your success to listen to them.
Arm yourself with the power of community.
Get around people on the same path. Those that understand you. Those who support you. That lift you up instead of put you down! Who will be there when you need help or advice.
If you don’t have it around you, look for it online.
The Facebook group Blogging Newbs would be a great place to start!
It’s a pretty large group filled with other bloggers that are uplifting, get your vision and share similar goals. It’ll not only give you the community, but also the second kind of support:
Feedback and knowledge
If you have a question or a problem you can’t seem to solve, where do you go?
Besides the support, networking with other bloggers and being part of the community can help you get those answers. Just ask your question in some of the active groups and you’ll get at least a couple of people to give you some advice or offer to help out.
Reading blog posts is great and all, but getting some real focused feedback on what you’re doing can help take things to the next level.
And the final main reason to get yourself in with the community is for collaborations.
When you get to know other bloggers you may find there’s an opportunity for you to help each other with your blogs.
A common way is guest blogging.
This is where you write a blog post for somebody else’s blog (usually one bigger than yours) and in return, you get to reach their audience. This will help you get more visitors to your blog and build your email list as well.
Another form of collaboration is through promotions and/or joint ventures.
This is where you make an agreement to help spread each other’s content through social media, email or by linking to relevant content from your blogs. Or in case you have a product, they can recommend it to their audience and you’ll pay them a percentage for each sale they make.
However you decide to move forward, know that you can achieve more faster with just a little bit of help!
These are my 5 golden rules of blogging. If you’re just getting started, follow these to stay on track in your blogger’s journey. If you’ve been blogging for a while, check your blog to see where your focus is and if you need to adjust.
How have you applied these 5 blogging rules to your own blog? Leave me a comment below.