There’s an estimated 7.6 billion people in the world.
Amazingly enough, every single human is different. If you ask me, that’s what makes life so interesting.
In the same vein, bloggers are also unique. Off the top of my head, I can think of distinctive traits such as tone and style.
Plus, we all come from different backgrounds and cultures, both of which contribute to our personas as writers.
But that’s only scratching the surface. Bloggers have different motivations and experiences that help shape their writing.
One question you might have asked yourself at some point is how to become a succesful blogger.
I’m not going to sugar coat that one: it’ll be hard.
However, I’ve prepared some tips that I think will be useful if you’re serious about blogging.
Preparing for the blogger lifestyle
As a blogger, you must be ready to deal with a fair share of stereotypes. Hence why I’ve added the funny picture above.
Any job requires to be involved if you want to achieve great results.
Here’s some truths you must be willing to face:
- You will do a lot of research
- You will find it ungrateful
- If you gain traction, prepare for the inevitable copycats
- Money might take weeks if not months before showing up
- You will need to write about stuff you don’t like
- People will downplay the importance of what you do
- People won’t believe you can be successful being “only” a blogger
My goal isn’t to scare you away from being a successful blogger.
Content marketing is my favorite way to generate an online income.
Google loves it. Readers love it. Everyone wins, as long as you persevere – and create value.
What are your goals?
Having goals is fundamental to your success. You must do everything in your power to achieve them.
What I recommend is to use SMART goals.
Here’s what the acronym means:
As far as bloggers are concerned, I came up with this (rough) example. Of course, you’d need to tweak it according to your needs, strengths, weaknesses, etc.
Specific: Develop AffiliateNova as an authority website within the affiliate industry
Measurable: 1,500 new sessions on the blog for the month of September 2018
Achievable: We already have 50 visits per day on the blog, so this isn’t out of the question
Relevant: It’s worthwhile because increased visits will boost our ranking on search engines and build trust
Timely: Within a month or two, because we want to see results soon
What is the optimal blog length?
When it comes to writing quality content, how do you determine the ideal post length?
Is longer actually… better?
Don’t worry if you didn’t get this poor joke.
Back to the topic at hand, I had to look for the answer so I’ve done some research on the matter.
A couple of weeks ago I analyzed the 5 latest blog posts from what I consider authority websites in affiliate marketing.
Here’s the results:
Average Word Count
Johnchow: 689,4 words
RickyAhuja: 1099,8 words
CharlesNgo: 1556,8 words
ZacJohnson: 1379,4 words
ShoeMoney: 1264,8 words
For a total average of 1,198 words.
What I found out is that longer articles tend to rank much better in search engines.
It all makes sense: there’s more room for your keywords. Longer posts also provide in-depth information of great value.
Does that mean you should always aim for 1,500, 2,000 or even 3,000+ words? Hell no.
There are other metrics that are equally important to your blogging, one of them being frequency.
I’d rather follow a blog that posts regularly with less content than one that does so once per month – even if the articles have less meat around the bone.
If you were to count the average number of words on AffiliateNova, you’d find out that I don’t really care about it.
I tend to be on the lower end of the spectrum: short and to the point.
Maybe I’m just a casual blogger, but for me the most important part is delivering value.
There’s no magic answer to the number of words needed to achieve my goals.
What I CAN do though is work to be as thorough as possible – without putting you to sleep in the process!
So the ideal blog post length is what you decide it to be. Some writers tend to be wordy, others prefer a more succint approach.
In the end, what matters is to keep it real.
What type of blog do I want to run?
This is another important question to ask yourself.
You can write for a lot of reasons: to educate, to entertain, to promote, etc.
In order to become a successful blogger, you’ll need to choose your path.
Don’t try to cover everything: it’s bound to fail.
Stick to a particular audience and feed them what they want to read.
My suggestion would be to find and answer genuine problems or questions people have.
This will help you gain organic traffic without looking like a shill. Remember that trust is very important.
Here’s a few ideas to get you going:
- Write detailed reviews about products/services people might want to buy
- Create comprehensive guides/tutorials for a niche (like affiliate marketing!)
- Share your knowledge about a subject you care about or have just discovered
Build your audience
You won’t make a living from blogging without first building a following. And to do so, you’ll need to spend a lot of time on social media.
Start posting on Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Reddit, you name it. These are all free sources of traffic for you!
If you have a marketing budget, reaching out to influencers is a great option. Influencers are online “celebrities” with huge followings that can bring you undreamt of attention.
If you need more ideas, here’s more details on how to boost your online presence for free.
Give it some time
Becoming a successful blogger takes time and effort.
Realistically, don’t expect results before 6 to 12 months. No, you won’t be making $100/day tomorrow.
If you keep at it, you will slowly grow your organic traffic and build a name for yourself in a niche.
Even a complete newbie can achieve good results within a year.
The reason why people fail is because they’re too quick to give up.
Tools of the trade
Great bloggers use lots of tools to help them on their quest for more readers.
Here’s a few I use that are all entirely free and useful:
- Capitalize my title
- WordPress (duh)
- YOAST SEO plugin (WordPress plugin)
- Google Analytics
- Newsletter plugin
How do I make money blogging?
Simple: you’ll either be using ads in your posts or promote affiliate offers.
If you’re just starting out, I recommend Google Adsense. This program rewards quality content by displaying ads relevent to your keywords.
Only caveat is you need lots of page views for it to be an interesting source of income. But it’s a good starting point for people like you who are just starting out.
Google offers many different ad formats like big box (300×250) and leaderboard (728×90). All you have to do is add automatically generated code to your pages.
A word of caution: Google has a policy against anything that has to do with adult, so if you’re planning to create content of that nature, avoid them or risk an immediate ban. You’ve been warned!
If you don’t want to go the Google route, you can also offer flats on your website for a fixed price per month.
To calculate how much you’re going to sell your ad spots for, there’s a simple formula I use from Yaro Starak:
Selling spots on your website is very nice because it’s repeatable income. You know what you can expect, something that isn’t always true with AdSense, MediaVine and other ad networks.
Promoting affiliate offers
Being a referral for products or services is the way to go if you want to make money faster.
The beauty of affiliate marketing is how you can generate more income with less efforts. The challenge is to convert your users with quality content.
In order to be able to promote offers, you’ll first need to join a CPA Network.
What I suggest you to do is first search for offers you’d be interested to promote on a site like Offer Vault.
In the example above, I’ve filtered the results by dating offers.
There were too many results for my tastes, so I narrowed it down further to dating + adult + Canada.
From the results you get, click on any offer to see more details about it.
What I recommend you to do is join a couple CPA networks and see what they each have in store.
My top picks are as follow:
Adult : CrakRevenue
Mainstream: Commission Junction
These are networks that always pay on time, have stellar support, insane offers and amazing tools that make your affiliate life easier. Of course, feel free to experiment further and don’t take my word as gospel!
Don’t hesitate to drop me a line or two if you’re still confused about how you, too, can become a successful blogger in 2018 and beyond.