Are you killing your blog, and your blogging dreams and you don’t even know? Here are the top 10 things every blogger should have!
These things should pretty much be fundamentals to your blog, but sometimes life gets in the way and you end up not doing them or missing one or two.
I’ll admit, sometimes I also forget some of those so I hope me writing this will help both you and me remember next time!
Without much delay, let’s dive right in!
1. A clear purpose for your blog
What is the theme of your blog? or what do you write about? By theme, I don’t mean the design of your blog, I am talking about the content of your blog!
So what you need to do is sit down, get something to write on, and decide what you will be talking about. For example, my website, Blogging Tribe, is targeted towards entrepreneurs who want to have an online business and a blog. I talk about the blogging aspect of things, how to get started, how to drive traffic to your blog, how to market your blog, how to sell through your blog, and I have two major audiences, the ones who are bloggers, and those who want to have an online store (E-Commerce).
Once you have defined that, you would want to decide on 3 things:
- Your blog title ( eg. Blogging Tribe)
- Your Tag Line (eg. “Blogging doesn’t have to be complicated” )
- Content (eg. this post you are reading right now!)
With your content, you want to write about your blog’s theme. For example, don’t have a blog about cars and post articles about makeup!
Also, make sure you stick to the topic you are writing about. People hate it when they are reading about blogging and next thing you are telling them about how you started an eCommerce jewlery store.
2. Blogging goals.
What are your goals for blogging? What do you want to achieve from your blog? Is it make money? Is it meet people? Grow a brand? Get famous? What is it that you want from your blog?
The more you are clear about your goals the better off you will be.
Check out this post I wrote about setting blogging goals for your blog and hitting them!
3. A plan
You need to have a plan for your blog. And it needs to be a VERY detailed plan.
But a plan without direction is useless. That’s why when you are making your plan, tailer it towards your goals.
If you haven’t read my post on setting goals yet, then read it here.
If you are in a rush and can’t read the post on setting blogging goals, my way is simple. Instead of setting “SMART” goals, I dream as big as I can. Then I create “SMART” Milestones which applies all the concepts of “SMART Goals” but in this case, it’s for milestones. I don’t believe we should dream small so we don’t get discouraged.
So dream as big as you want, and then come and make your first milestone using the “SMART” method.
Once you have your first milestone ready, you can then start creating a daily to-do list to hitting your first milestone, and once you hit it, you learn from it, see what worked and what didn’t, and then create a new plan to hit your second milestone. You keep going that way and nothing will break you.
Your plan should also include things that you will do on the blog, and outside of your blog. Things outside your blog could be like guest posting, link building, social media marketing/interacting, getting to know other people in your niche, and so on.
4. A clean, SEO optimized & responsive design.
Your design is the first thing people see. It’s the first impression of people of you and your blog. It needs to be good looking, clean, and responsive.
Responsive means it can work on any type of screen be it a phone, or a laptop.
An SEO optimized theme makes it easy for search engines to index your website so it can be listed on Google and such search engines.
These days, most themes are SEO optimized, however speed is what you’d need to worry about and the looks of the theme as well.
5. Visible social media icons & sharing buttons.
Why have social media icons and sharing buttons? Because having them will help your website Grow.
If people read your content and find it useful, some will share it, and as a result, they will drive more traffic to your blog.
I usually have some of my articles go “viral” just because I have a sharing button available to people and when they visited my website.
Want to see?
Here are screenshots of my google analytics for some of those articles that got shared a lot without any promotions:
This One was shared by one of my amazing readers on Reddit and it drove me over 4000 hits!
And this one went crazy on Facebook
and this one was getting traffic from Stumbleupon:
You see the point now of having social media sharing buttons? Good! Now let’s move on to the next point!
6. An intuitive & clean navigation menu.
A navigation menu is something that most people think is a joke!
Your navigation menu is like a map to an unknown land. Your readers need it to know how to get to what they want to read about. It needs to point to the things that your readers would be interested in yet at the same time, they can access any corner of your website without having to break a sweat.
Bonus tip: Include a search bar on the navigation menu. It helps people search your website easier.
7. An About Page!
Your blog needs to have a comprehensive yet short “About” section with a clear way to contact you. This will help your readers get to know you, connect with you as a person, not as a blog. It builds trust and shows the people the face behind what they are reading and gaining value from.
On your about page, share your story, be authentic and really connect with your readers on it. It’s where you can get very personal.
Not many people say this, but your about page is actually one of the most opened pages on your blog even though you never advertise it.
You know why?
Because we are human beings and we crave connecting by default. So don’t deprive your audience of that. If you want to build a following for your brand, connect with them through your about page. On normal blog posts, some of your personality can come out, however, you should ALWAYS stay on the topic at hand and not deviate much.
8. Comment Replies.
I can’t stress this enough! When people comment on your posts, they are literally taking some of their valuable time to connect with you! The least you can do is reply back!
Answer their questions, say hi back if they are just saying hi!
Don’t be arrogant, or else you will lose your readers because they will feel like they are talking and the person who wrote the post is sitting there and saying, no this is not worth replying to.
Don’t make your readers feel stupid. No matter what! Give them the same respect you would want them to give you.
Not replying to comments is one my top 10 easy ways to kill your blog! Literally!
9. A daily backup of your whole blog!
And by “backup”, I don’t mean the “morning after pill”.
I mean having a backup of your blog in case something bad happens! You never know if your server will go down, get hit by a virus or even be hacked!
You need a backup of your whole blog so that if something bad happens, you don’t have to start from scratch.
I recently wrote a post on the top 7 WordPress plugins to get for your blog in 2018 and one of them is actually a backup plugin.
PS: I am giving out all the plugins in that post so check it out!
10. A Personality ^_^
Yes. Your blog needs to have a personality. In other words, it needs to reflect you as a blogger. A blog without a personality is a blog that’s boring to read and definitely won’t be a good source of value to your readers, and won’t help you grow as a blogger with a great blog!
So add some personality to your website. Be it the design, your content, your opt-in messages. Whatever it is, make sure it reflects your personality, and also adds value to your readers.
One of the ways I like adding personality to my posts is by using smilies, or simply writing as if I am talking to one of my friends! It always does wonders!
Was this article helpful to you? If you have any questions, make sure you comment below and let me know! I promise to reply back 🙂
PS: Want to do me a solid? Pin this post or share it on your favorite social network and spread the love!