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Whether you want it to be a full-time job or a side gig, blogging is an excellent career path and an excellent way to build a successful brand in the competitive business world.
The best part about becoming a blogger is not even the fact that you’re going to be your own boss, but the fact that you can turn your every passion into an engaging topic and write about the things the move and inspire you.
Without a doubt, blogging is one of the best ways to a prosperous future in the digital realm, and launching your own website is easier than it ever was. This means you could be up-and-running in minutes.
That said, there is a need to prepare for this new chapter in your life, so let’s take a look at the essential steps you need to take in order to ensure long-term success in the blogosphere.
Create a business plan and build a brand
Every successful business venture starts with a business plan. You might be a solopreneur, and this might be a personal brand, but that doesn’t mean that you should forgo all of the preparation and planning that goes into building a business. In fact, you should double your efforts.
Your business plan is a comprehensive document that should detail all of the ins and outs of your new business. This includes its brand identity, its financial plan, your long-term goals and the tactics you intent to use to achieve them, and of course, your marketing strategy.
Be sure to conduct thorough market research in order to discover the niche(s) you feel most comfortable working in, and those with the highest growth potential.
Define your content strategy
You’re a blogger, so naturally, building a content strategy should rank pretty high on the to-do list. You can’t just wing it or let your creative self take over completely and just write whatever you want, whenever you want.
No, every single article and piece of content you write needs to be meaningful, purposeful, reader-oriented (read this twice), and of course, optimized for high SERPs ranking.
Here’s a few crucial steps:
Firstly, define the goal of your blog. Is brand awareness the end goal, or are you trying to drive traffic to your website and incentivize people to buy your products or services? Think about what you want to achieve.
Get to know your readers. Figure out what they like and dislike, where they hang out most (important for content dissemination), and what they believe in. Now align your content with their values.
Create content before you launch. You don’t want to launch an empty website. Instead, fill it up with useful content, and then make it live.
Build a steady income on the side
Many novice entrepreneurs fall into the trap of believing in this romanticized dream that you can just abandon your old life, sell everything, and live out the rest of your days travelling the world.
While you can do all of that, taking a more tactical approach would help you avoid a likely scenario in which you remain penniless not three months from launch.
In short, you need to have a financial foundation. Before your blog starts generating revenue, you’ll want to have a steady job on the side that won’t take up much of your time.
If you’re already creating content in English, then why not become a certified English teacher through a Monkey Tree TEFL program? This way you can share your knowledge with pupils from around the world.
Teaching and other flexible types of jobs will allow you to devote time and attention to building your business while preserving your livelihood. Make sure the side job allows you to travel as well, especially if you’re building a travel blog.
Write with SEO in mind
Yes, your blog site needs to cater to the audience. You do need to write your content with the reader in mind first and foremost.
But that doesn’t mean that you should forget about SEO. It plays the inviolable role in building the long-term success of your brand. Quite simply, if you don’t write your content with SEO in mind, you will have no way of reaching your audience.
Search engine rankings are very important nowadays, and a solid technical SEO structure complemented with meticulous on-site SEO integration can mean the difference between loads of organic traffic and a deserted website.
Be sure to have an SEO expert optimize your website during the backend development phase. The professional can provide you with a list of relevant keywords you can integrate into your content strategy with every new post.
Create a visually-pleasing website
It should go without saying that aesthetics play a vital role in shaping the perception of a website.
You need to inspire trust with your visual design. Use it to boost the credibility of your website in front of new readers who are visiting your blog for the first time.
To achieve this, choose a clean, sleek, and modern look with plenty of white space and excellent maneuverability.
The UX and UI of the website need to be top notch as well. It allows the visitor to navigate their way easily and find the content they are looking for in a matter of seconds. Display your brand’s colors and logo proudly on every page in order to solidify your position in their hearts and minds.
Disseminate your content across the online world
Finally, every business needs a comprehensive marketing strategy. This is your chance to spread your content across the online world and put in front of the eyes and ears of your audience.
Don’t get fooled into thinking that quality content will drive people to your website on all its own, no, you need to sell it.
You can start by sharing your content on social media platforms and through your email newsletter. Stick to a strict posting schedule on all networks. Incentivize people to engage with your brand by answering to comments and posting meaningful questions.
Don’t forget about email marketing. Use it to establish a more personal communication with the individual.
Blogging is one of the most lucrative career paths a talented writer and content creator can take nowadays.
That said, there is no denying that the road to long-term success will be long and challenging. Be sure to take these steps first in order to ensure a bright future in the blogging industry.
Lauren Wiseman is a marketing specialist and an entrepreneur. She helps clients grow their personal and professional brands in the fast-changing and demanding market, strongly believing in a holistic approach to a business.