Let's turn Our Amateur Blogs into Professional Ones.
We all have to start somewhere...Right!
This is exactly the same with blogging, there is so much to learn - web hosting, content writing, SEO, and this is just for starters so, of course we all start off on our journey in blogging producing Amateur Blogs.
I have made so many mistakes on my journey in blogging and am learning new ways to do things even now.
I've doubted and questioned myself on numerous occasions.
Everyone makes mistakes at the beginning, but I believe you can never stop learning and improving the way you deliver your content to your readers, so the mistakes are an important part of becoming a professional.
As I detailed in my start a blog post, blogging takes time and building a viewing audience will not happen overnight.
Can You Make Money From Blogging?
The first question people ask when I tell them I blog for a living is "Do you really make money from blogging".
In short Yes.
If you are passionate about your chosen niche, are willing to learn about SEO and have a passion for writing engaging content then why not give it a try.
Unfortunately, the majority of bloggers do not make a living from blogging, but it most certainly will supplement their day jobs.
Follow these steps to help you run a successful professional blog instead of an Amateur blogs, by the end of the post you'll know what it takes to become a successful blogger.
1. Choose A Self Hosted Blogging Platform
When you first start out, blogging with a free platform sounds like a great idea, but before you sign up for one consider your long term objectives.
Wix, Weebly, work press.com and blogger are great for giving you an idea on whether you want to become a full time blogger.
However, if you want to share your views and ideas and earn an income from your blog then choose a self-hosting blogging platform from the start.
Self-hosting platforms allow you to manage your servers, there is less risk of you losing your work.
Professional bloggers are also less likely to link to to a free blog which could lower your domain authority in the longer term.
My article discussing the pros and cons of a variety of web hosting companies can help you decide which hosting company you would like to use with your self-hosted WordPress blog.
I currently use Siteground and am really happy with its performance.
2. Choose a Memorable Blog Name
If you are like me and are not terribly creative, choosing a blog name that is not already in use is hard.
You need to think carefully about the name that is right for your site, you want a name that you will not get bored of in a few years as this will be the name of your site forever.
Amateur blogs normally have long winded names that has a variety of ways to spell. This is not advised as your viewers will forget it.
Instead your blog name should be something short, snappy and memorable.
When considering your blog name always try to research whether there are any blogs out there with a name similar to the one you have chosen.
Try to avoid these as you don't want your readers to keep going to the wrong blogs.
3. Ensure Your Website Design Is Attractive
How often do you click on a website which is cluttered, has bold colours and is not easy to read and then immediately click away.
Your readers first impression comes from your website design.
First, ensure you make a positive impression make your website visually appealing and provide your readers with a functional website.
1. Only include elements to your website that add value to ensure your site stays uncluttered.
2. Ensure your site is designed with your user in mind, to provide them with the best experience.
3. Add Images to catch your readers attention. Images help break up the text and can draw users in.
4. Choose one font and stick with it across each page of your website, having too many fonts makes the content hard to read.
5. Use colours that align with your brand. Choose colours that make your site beautiful and use them consistently.
To help you in the design of your website, you can use themes.
Theme can be free themes or paid themes.
Whichever you choose, ensure they are updated regularly and are used by many people.
Themes are great for making your website look professional, designers manage them, they are normally better for SEO, are flexible and have in built functions that will help you manage your site.
4. Amateur Blogs - Plan Your Blog Posts
The key to becoming a successful blogger is research.
I spend time each day, researching what I am going to write about and what keywords I want to target.
In my planning time I review how my posts are going to meet my objectives:
Will The Post Solve The Readers Problem?
How often do you hear people say
"Lets ask Google"
Every day, hundreds of thousands of people ask google to solve their problems, they want an answer to their questions now.
So, ensure your post does just that, offer solutions to questions you think people are going to ask relating to your niche.
If you do this from the start, people will find you.
Will This Post Relate To The Topics In My Niche?
I have a list of posts that I plan to write.
Before I start each post I consider how the subject of the post will tie in with all my other posts.
Each post should relate to the topic you have chosen as your niche.
This will help you rank higher and people will start recognising you as the fountain of knowledge in that particular subject and come back for more.
How Can I Make The Post Personal?
To become successful in blogging you need to make a connection with your readers.
I consider what experiences do I have relating to that topic, then I share those stories to build a rapport with the reader.
If I don't have any experiences in that field then I research, research and research some more, to get the best understanding I can of that particular subject so I can make it real.
What Steps Can Be Used To Solve The Readers Question?
Consider what steps can be included in the post, will they help the reader achieve their goal, will they make the readers life easier.
Including steps is a great way to build trust with your reader so they will come back again.
5. Amateur Blogs - Create Engaging Content
The most important aspect when considering how you will turn from an amateur blogger to a professional one is CONTENT quality.
You need to be consistently creating engaging content to capture your readers attention.
You need to know your stuff, you need to understand as much as you can about your niche.
By have an in-depth knowledge of your chosen topics you can provide information on subjects that might not be covered elsewhere and you will be able to provide information on new developments in your field.
Ensure you always use correct grammar, never publish content with typing errors and ensure your sentences flow.
6. Start An Email List
Building an email list is a must, marketing by email is a great way to get readers.
Subscribers choose to join your email list, they have verified their identity by clicking a link so they must be interested in what you have to offer them and are more likely to come back again.
Emails are personal and direct, they are targeted so you know what the subscriber is interested in.
Sending an email to someone also builds trust as they can directly message you back to ask questions.
7. Amateur Blogs - Use Social Media
The use of social media is a must.
With more and more people blogging, you have a lot of people to compete against, which means you have to get good at promoting your site.
By sharing your latest blog posts on social media you will gain exposure and hopefully your readers will share to their profiles.
8. Make Friends With Other Bloggers
As I have said before, competition in the blogging world is huge.
There are thousands of people sat at their desks just as you are writing and promoting their blogs.
Blogging can sometimes be lonely, so having a group of people who understand and can support what you are doing is really important.
Blogging friends can give you advice and help you become more successful so go ahead and reach out.
Share other bloggers posts, mention them in your posts and you will soon be building relationships.
9. Optimize Your Posts (SEO)
From day one get into the habit of optimizing your posts:
1. Ensure the title and description of your blog post are optimized for the keywords that people are searching for.
2. Ensure your title tag targets your keyword and is less than 55 characters.
3. Complete you meta description, this is what entices your readers to click on your post.
4. Where relevant link your post to another of your posts which includes the relevant keywords. This helps Google know what your post and site is about.
5. Include as much relevant information as possible in your article.
6. Don't build too many backlinks to start with, building too many backlinks will not look natural.
10. Stay Consistent
To grow your amateur blog into a professional one, you have to produce consistently great content on a regular basis.
You need to put the effort in to consistently post new blogs and market your site each week.
This will ensure the amount of traffic generated will increase.
11. Always Learn New Techniques
From the very start, ensure you keep on top of any new developments in the blogging world.
The web changes every day so it is particularly important that we keep on top of any developments to ensure our blogs stay higher up in the serach engine rankings.
As a blogger it is important you keep up to date with SEO, HTML and CSS, programming etc.
I personally try to learn new skills as I go along, writing, graphic design and copywriting are also really important to give you an edge when writing content.
12. Make It A Priority
If you want to produce a successful blog, then you must treat it as a business and be dedicated.
Bloggers who blog regularly, that is posting content at least 4 times a week, normally generate more inbound links and grow their businesses faster.
13. Track Your Progress
All professional bloggers track their performance, this keeps them on track and helps change focus if required.
You should review these areas regularly:
To see how your blog performance is improving, reviewing your visitor count over time is a great way to see how your blog performance is improving.
Hubspot gives you the ability to analyze your individual blog posts, digging down into the actual traffic sources.
This is great as you can review the posts that generate the most traffic, then repeat across all of your posts.
Review your blog subscribers regularly to check that's it's on the increase, as you publish new articles.
Social Media Shares
Keep an eye on how many social shares you receive for each article.
This can help you determine what is popular and what is not.
Every blogger wants backlinks, the more backlinks you have the more confidence people have in your blogs and essentially your site.
This informs the search engines your content is relevant and boosts your SEO strategy and helps you climb up in the search engine rankings.
You can use Ahrefs and Moz for tracking your backlinks.
14. Don't Give Up
Blogging will never be a get rich quick scheme. It will take time and hard work to build your audience.
There are thousands of amateur blogs/bloggers out there that give up after a few months, they don't believe in themselves because their visitor numbers aren't growing as quickly as they thought.
However, it will happen, be patient, keep motivated and you can make a significant income from blogging.
About The Author
Susan is a stay at home mum of three young girls. Originally a chartered Accountant, but moved into content writing.