There are a lot of activities that you need to constantly take care of in order to run a well oiled machine. If you are curious to know more about what you can do to keep your blog going, I have written an article about it. This time, I want to talk about how you will spend the majority of your time writing articles, especially for brand new blogs. In fact, blogs that are just getting off the ground will have to have quite a few articles on it before anyone finds it on Google. Of course you could just post your articles online and promote them that way, but I focus on organic traffic and having people come to you instead of you going to people. Both methods are necessary but if you land your article on Google, then that means that the search engines find value in your blog. If Google values your blog articles, then people will also. So just think of Google as a gauge to see if your blog articles are ready to share with the world.
Why is Content Still King Today?
You may have heard that “content is king”. This just means that the general consensus is that it is the content itself that determines how well a blog performs. Even though the quality of content is just one part that makes a successful blog, it is not the only component. How fast your pages load and easy your website is to use are other important factors. One thing that we should think about is that your content is what first attracts people to your blog. When they see it on the search engines or when you post links to your articles, you have to make a good first impression to people.
Making a Good First Impression
Is your article title and description interesting enough to earn a click? People are already reading the content that leads to your article before they know anything else about your website. Users have no idea how fast your website is or how easy it is to use. People will not know until they actually click on your link. The trick is trying to get people to click on your article link in the first place. So this is why content is still king today because quality content is a must to impress people.
Writing Articles Generate the Content That Google Needs
When considering the main factors of how to rank on Google:
- High Quality Content
- Fast Loading Pages
- Good User Experience
The only factor that actually gives Google content for its search engine is generating high quality content. I know that sounds obvious, so let me build on this. If you have fast loading pages with a good user experience but no good content, then what does this mean. This could mean a lot of things. This could mean that you do not have enough good content to rank on Google. This could also means that your content is too short and thin that Google does not want to bother with even trying to figure out what your page is about. No good content means no Google. It is the content that brings people to your website.
An Example: Buying Products In a Store
Think of a website as a store and inside a store you have products layed out in aisles that are categorized. For a website, an aisle would correspond to a page. So each page has content, which are like products in a store.
How easy is it for you to find products in a store that you have never been to before? The first time might be a bit tricky but if the store has categorized the products in a logical manner, then you should be able to find what you are looking for. The ease of being able to find products in a store is an example of good user experience on a website. However, if you have no products worth buying then it matters not how fast and easy the products are to find. Google will not want to advertise a store that does not have good products. Google is only interested in finding the best websites so this is why the content has to be top-notch even if you satisfy the other two factors.
Do You Always Have to Write Articles? At Least Until You Make It
No, you do not always have to write articles. Yes, they are the main activity of blogging but you can take some time off to let your articles sit and kind of stew for a while. This really depends on how well your articles are performing. If you have a good set of articles that bring in traffic then you can rely on them to bring in traffic instead of feeling pressured to crank so many articles so fast. Again, you cannot rely on them forever, you will have to keep writing to keep giving what both your audience and Google craves. So this just means that you will have to write and publish your next set of high-performing articles. The good news is that if you are able to write more about what performed well on your blog, then it should be easy to keep that momentum up.
When Do You Know When You Have Written Enough?
As I mentioned in the previous section, when you have articles that bring in some decent traffic you can take a short breather while you tend to other matters on your blog. Since content is so important, you never really ever write enough. You should always feel that there is more to say, more to do. More to research, more to learn, more to show your audience. This really has to do more with your self-motivation and how much time you want to spend on your blog. Of course, everyone is different and everyone sets their goals and expectations. We all have a different idea of what we consider as a successful blog. Some people think that it is the traffic and other things that it has to do with how many articles that you write. Later on, I will talk about setting goals for your blog so that you do not set yourself up for disappointment.
Try Repurposing Content in Other Formats
If you have been churning article after article, then maybe it is time for you to try repurposing them. My article that I linked to gives you ideas on how to create new articles from your existing ones. I understand that you want to try something different than writing. You can always consider converting your articles into infographics or videos. I would not do this early on as it is a lot more work and you should really focus on writing. The reason why is because Google can words on a page then those embedded in an image and those spoken in a video. Repurposing is more for when you feel that you have written so many articles and still want to create content that is not an article. I recommend that you only do this once you are established. The beginning is always the hardest when starting a new blog. So keep working at it and it will flourish one day.
Set Yourself Some Realistic Goals That You Can Actually Achieve
I want to return to setting up some goals for yourself. You should really think about why you are even blogging in the first place. Did you really just want to share your voice? Or do you want something more? I mentioned before that some people have traffic goals or content amount goals. This just really depends on you. The higher your goals are, the more effort that you will have to put into your blog. This also means all of the stuff that you do outside your blog like competition research and promotion. If your goals are more realistic than you do not have to push yourself so hard to reach certain numbers just because someone else did.
Do Not Expect Too Much Too Fast
The worst thing that you can do to your blog is expect too much too soon. That leads to a great deal of disappointment and possible abandonment. Just like anything in life, your blog must be nurtured, maintained and cultivated. Things will not happen on their own and neither will your blog. Once you start to see traffic, you will feel motivated to continue. You will think, “Did I really write something that people are finding online?” Once you begin to understand and internalize this sensation, then you will want to keep going.
Blogging Is For the Long-Term: Do Not Expect Instant Results
Blogging really is a long-term endeavor, not something that you get into on a whim. Otherwise, if you have things that you want to share with others, you can go to social media. The whole idea is that you are creating something on your own domain that you completely own. You can voice your opinion on a platform that you are creating and not something that someone else made. So this is more than just sharing stuff on social media, this is sharing stuff on your very own platform that you build with your two hands. You have to feel motivated that your blog is 100% your’s and no one else’s. This is why you must be in it for the long haul because if you make it work, then you will truly reap the benefits of not only having an established presence online but on a platform that is your’s and your’s alone.
Focus On the Journey, Not the Destination: Staying Motivated
I know that writing a lot of articles can be very daunting for a new blog. As I stated earlier, the beginning is the hardest. It is not only writing articles but establishing good habits at the beginning. You need to set up a good schedule that includes thinking of what topics to write, the order, the headings. Trying to have a sense of flow on publishing your articles will make it easier to stick with blogging. When you plan, you have to plan for several articles ahead in advance. You cannot just write about a topic here or there without knowing where you are going. That is why the destination is not as important as the journey because you have to enjoy yourself as you are traveling with on your excursion. Remember, when you start your readership, they will come along with you for the ride.
Brand New Blogs: Focus on Impression First, Then Clicks
At the beginning, you just want to get your articles on Google. Do not think about getting clicks just yet because they are very hard to get since you might have stiff competition. If you break things down and take it one step at a time, you will find it easier to keep writing. Impressions are just like when you go to the store and you see several products lined up next to each other. You need to compare all of the products before choosing one. You might compare brands, prices and quality. You might not even buy something this time and will come back later or buy it somewhere else. These are just impressions, getting eyeballs on the product. Google Search Console is great to track how many impressions your articles are getting. If you want to know more about impressions, then read my article about my thoughts on Google Search Console.
Create Brand-Awareness With Impressions
Initially, any brand new blog or product wants to focus on just building up brand-awareness. This is the first step. That is why I provided the example of buying something from the store and knowing that making a purchase requires several steps before it can happen. As a reminder, just focusing on step one is important because that is the very first step in a user’s journey going from impression to click. Sometimes people need to see your website a few times to get acquainted with it first. So this is why impressions come before clicks.
Do Not Expect Clicks Right Away
Do not chase clicks so soon on a new blog. Is it better to get clicks later when you have your website up and some articles for people to read. If you push for too many clicks before you have enough material for people to read, there will not be enough to attract or keep people on your blog. This is why at the beginning, you should just write your articles and just do a “soft launch”. A soft launch is when your blog is published but you are not pushing and promoting it out there just yet. We focus mostly on just building our content and monitoring how Google is analyzing our website and where it falls in the ranking. Once you start to see that you are seeing some positive signs like people reading your articles and an uptick in traffic, then you should start thinking of pushing your articles to people.
Content is really still king and for new blogs, you will be writing a lot of articles at the beginning. Even blogs that have been around for a long time still need to provide fresh content to users. Although, the content of developed blogs can be published at a slower tickle. Once you are established, you will be too preoccupied with other activities to write all of the time. This requires making a good impression on people and remember that content comes first, then page speed and user experience. Sometimes you have to write so much due to stiff competition that you wonder if you have written enough articles and want to move on to other aspects of your blog like design or promotion. This is why I like the WordPress theme, generatePress, because it is fast and simple. This theme will take care of page speed and user experience so that you can focus on writing.
Staying motivated at the beginning is hard but if you set realistic goals and a schedule that you can adhere to, you will stick with it. Try repurposing your content in other forms if you feel like you need a change of pace. Infographics are great because they provide your content in a quick glance. You can make it look nice and just highlight the take-away points that you want to make. Small bite-sized pieces of information are easier for your users to digest and take home. Start with brand-awareness and build up those impressions, then you can go after those clicks. If you are ready to show your blog to people, optimize your articles meta title and description. Make both of them compelling and alluring to get people to click on your link. Remember that the goal of writing these articles is to help people find answers to their problems and questions. Just keep that in mind.
Writing is a huge part of blogging. It is the heart and soul of your website so if you need to step back when things get too hectic and you feel so pressured to write, just take a break. Your blog will always be there. This is why you need to set realistic goals from the beginning so that you do not become disappointed and give up so soon. Nothing is ever easy in life, those who persevere will be rewarded. So keep at it!