Some of us have failed at blogging in the past. I did, and I know exactly why I failed. I had no plan when I started off back then. Just like any other business, to succeed at blogging you need to plan and strategize. Your first 30 days of blogging will define your next 2 years of blogging success.
In this post, I have put together 30 things which will help define your first month at blogging. This will help you to focus on doing exactly what you need to do when you start off. Follow this list and I am sure you will be your way to be a blogging rock star!
Your First 30 Days Of blogging
Day #1: Get your domain name and self-hosted website up and running. Download and install a basic theme to start with, we can always get a better one in the future. For now, just set it up and work from there.
Day#2: Now that your blog is set up the next thing to focus on will be to customize your theme. Get relevant widgets for your theme. Install necessary plugins to help you with your blogging experience. I currently have Yoast SEO, Google Sitemap Generator, and Sassy Social for my sharing.
Day#3: Focus on your design, Get your logo on the blog, Finalize your favicon design. Use professionals to get your logo and favicon designed, you can always outsource this job. Once you have placed your logo, set your background color and choose a font family for your text. I personally vouch for Arial, Times New Roman, and Georgia. Set the font point to 12 for blog post text.
Day#4: This is one of the most important days in your first 30 days of blogging. Sit down and pick a primary topic that you want to blog about. I suggest you choose a topic which you are aware of and can consistently blog about. For Eg, I just blog about blogging and allied subjects.
Day#5: Plan your content wisely. Now that you have picked a topic, it is time to sit and plan what content you want to publish for the next one month. I personally choose to write a blog post every day for 5 days in a week. If you have the time you can post every day, otherwise, at least, start by posting two posts a week. Depending on your choice, plan what blog post topics you will write about for the whole month. You could create a content calendar to make things easy.
Day#6: Almost a week since you starting working on your blog, but where are your posts? Yes! One more crucial moment in your first 30 days of blogging. Today you will write your first blog post. Once you have published it, share it with your friends, family, and colleagues. Ask for feedback, and do the necessary changes.
Day#7: Get busy with social media. Make a list of all available social media platforms you can build an audience on. I use Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn extensively. But there are lots of others you can start using, like Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram etc. Create your brand accounts on them and start following people who are your prospective audience. Interact and distribute to these channels.
Day#8: Build your network and now is the time for you to do it. You started blogging from a week now and you have some content to show. Time to get busy networking with other bloggers and talking about your work. This might give you the initial exposure that you need. A good word from a reputed blogger about you and your blog will take you a bit closer to becoming successful at blogging. I have not applied this step to the current blog yet, but I will be doing it pretty soon.
Day#9: Submit to Blog Directories. This is really important. There are many Free Blog Directories you can submit your blog to. Find them and submit to as many as possible. This will slowly but surely start sending you some traffic.
Day#10: By now you will see some genuine traffic to your blog. Maybe you will get a comment or two on your posts. Be proactive and answer to your readers, show them you are involved in their learning and you are here to help. Try and reply to comments diligently, unless they are spam. You can always get a plugin like Akismet to take care of spam comments.
Day#11: Time to work towards building an email list. Your targeted audience is determined by how interested they are to read what you write. Start asking for their email addresses. Building an email list helps to send your updates directly to your audience, which in turn helps to consolidate your traffic. Use services like Mailchimp or Aweber to integrate with Mailmunch ( I use this ) on WordPress
Day#12: Chart a monetization plan. 12th day in your first 30 days of blogging and dedicate it to understanding how you can make money blogging. Explore, options such as onsite advertising, affiliate marketing, and link advertising. Some of the best platforms I have worked with in the past are Google Adsense, Infolinks, and CJ.
Day#13: Get active on other blogs and forums. How do you gain credibility and authorship? Well, you can start by commenting on other blogs and actively answering queries or giving opinions on related forums. For instance, I participate on Quora, Facebook groups and comment on a lot of authority blog posts. This will help you to get noticed and people will start respecting as an authority in your niche. The key is to be consistent and regular in doing this.
Day#14: Midway through the journey, is a good time to connect with your current set of readers and engage them in a conversation. I prefer to send them surveys pertaining to topics that they would like me to write about, or blog design and layout inputs etc. Your reader insights are essential for you to grow as a blogger, collect this data and use them.
Day#15: If you want to build your organic traffic then you will have to optimize your blog for search engines. You can start by implementing a basic set of SEO tips to give you the much-needed reach on search engines. For more information read this Simple SEO Tips for blogging.
Day#16: You have probably written 5 to 12 posts by now,right? So,your next blog post is coming up? I suggest you start implementing a strong call-to-action in all your following posts from hereon. It can be as simple as encouraging your readers to look at a related post or commenting, but you have to start putting in strong CTAs and get your readers more involved.
Day#17: Leverage social influencers to spread the word. You have networked with other bloggers already, you have built some trust with them by now, these are people who have social authority. Now, you have to pitch them to share your content. It can be a tweet or a facebook share or something else but focus on getting it done. Five out of ten people will oblige if you ask them nicely.
Day#18: Time to write a detailed blog post. Choose a topic which you can explain in detail. Make the post as in-depth as possible, it should be a guide to help your readers to overcome a particular issue or continued challenge they are facing. For instance, I chose to write a detailed post about what a new blogger can do in the first 30 days of your blogging.
Day#19: How do you build trust? By acknowledging that you are human too. This personal connection building activity with your readers will go a long way in nurturing a long lasting relationship with them. How can you do this? Well, read this post about how to write an amazing about page.
Day#20: Analyse and adapt. You get better at blogging by analysing audience behaviour. Try and understand what they are reading the most on your blog. Analyze where your traffic is coming from. These will give you a better understanding of what you need to focus on in terms of content delivery.
Day#21: Almost 3 weeks since you started blogging! Congratulations! But, today is an important day, Today you will re-visit your blog design and theme. Make sure you sidebar, your header have relevant information and graphics. Check what can be changed to improve the user experience. Maybe it is just about moving the Optin form to the top or maybe you need to remove the ad you are displaying in the blog post. Do a design audit to improve the overall look and feel of your blog.
Day#22: Many of us skip this step, but don’t! It is not about how many visits and page views you are getting every day. You have to watch your bounce rate. If needed fix it. Read this to know what to do: Analyzing and fixing your bounce rate.
Day#23: Do a guest post. Reach out to other bloggers in your network and offer a guest post. Everyone won’t agree but it is worth a shot, even if you get one opportunity to guest post on someone else’s blog take it. This is help in building your readership immensely. Writing a guest post is a must do in your first 30 days of blogging, so action this within day 23 to 30.
Day#24: Your archives and your categories are as important as each of your posts. Driving traffic to them is necessary. This can be done by integrating widgets displaying your best posts, related posts and also by publishing category/archive links to your social network.
Day#25: Write an inspired by post. I am sure we all get inspired in our lives, the same applies to blogging too. You probably started blogging because you know this person who made a life out of it. This probably inspired you to start blogging. Share this experience with your readers. This will help you further strengthen your ties with your readers.
Day#26: Time to re-engage your readers. You have an email list already, it can be 10 people or 100 on that list but send out a survey to them and ask them relevant questions on where you can improve. Your readers will love your willingness to listen to them. This is probably one of the “do not miss steps” in your first 30 days of blogging.
Day#27: Start creating additional pages. Diversify content and make it elaborate. Divide certain streams of content into stand-alone pages to give them exposure. Different pages will help you analyze what your readers prefer when they come to your blog.
Day#28: Make recommendations to other blogs. Write a post purely revolving around your recommendations to other useful blogs in your niche. Explain why you recommend them and publish it for your readers. This will give you the much-needed shares. Don’t forget to do it!
Day#29: Almost 30 days! On this day spend time in writing blog post ideas to cover your next month. Save topic ideas based on what has been popular. Just make a list of all probable blog posts that you can think of writing in the future. This activity will help you have some drafts handy to work on at short notice.
Day#30: The last day of your first 30 days of blogging needs to be dedicated to doing a re-cap of the first 29 days and giving yourself credit for accomplishing it. Take it easy and rejuvenate for the next 30 days!
That’s it! I am done! Now, it is up to you to Start a new blog and enjoy your first 30 days of blogging doing all that you have learned. Do let me know how your first month went?