Blogging Tips for Beginners That Actually Work

You might have heard blogging tips like, “write about

your passions” or “write about what you’re feeling.”

Well, if these are the only two things you’re doing,

your chance of creating a successful blog is slim.

The truth is that even if people are interested in

what you’re writing about, it’s impossible for them

to visit your site if they can’t find you.

And even if they do find you, traffic is meaningless

unless you can actually get them to read your content.

So today, I’m going to cover some important

blogging tips that have helped us consistently

get traffic to our blog.

Stay tuned.

What’s up bloggers?

Sam Oh here with Ahrefs, the SEO tool that

helps you grow your search traffic, research

your competitors and dominate your niche.

Now, while there’s nothing wrong with blogging

about your passions, creating a successful blog

goes beyond just you.

You should be a half-decent writer, understand

the technical elements of blogging

as well as social strategies that can help you

take your blog from nothing to something.

So rather than giving you a popcorn bowl full

of random blogging tips, let’s break these down

into three buckets to help you get more traction.

The first bucket is all about becoming a better writer.

And the first tip that falls in this bucket

is to focus on a specific part of your niche.

Now, you might label yourself as a food blogger.

But by covering the topic of “food” as a whole,

you may be spreading yourself too thin.

For example, even if you were able to publish two

posts per day for an entire year on subtopics like

grilling food, smoothies, vegetarian diets,

slow cooker recipes, nutrition, and more,

it’d be tough to compete with larger sites or those

that are just focusing on one of those topics.

So in my opinion, it’s better to focus on being

a master of one than a jack of all trades.

So focus on becoming the go-to place

people go to find smoothie recipes.

Become the go-to place where people

go for grilling techniques.

And after you’ve dominated that niche audience,

you can try and expand to other subtopics

to reach new audiences.

The second tip is to create content that’s

worth referencing.

Referencing requires attribution.

And attribution in the world of blogging equals links.

Links from other websites are important because

search engines like Google use them to help decide

which pages should rank high in the search engines.

Now, how do you create content that’s

worth referencing?

I’ve got three nuggets of wisdom for you.

The first way is to create content that’s

unique and interesting to your industry.

For example, we ran an experiment where we

spent over $50,000 on podcast advertisements.

And to the best of our knowledge, no one

had written this kind of post.

And this resulted in around 140 unique websites

linking to this page in a short period of time.

Another way to get people to reference to your

posts is to include statistics.

Ahrefs’ blog has over 2,500 backlinks because of a stat.

And this is one of the reasons why we continually

publish data studies.

They’re literally link magnets.

Now, we have access to a ton of data because

we integrated into our suite of SEO tools.

But you don’t need anything fancy like this

to use this tip.

For example, a good chunk of Backlinko’s links

come from stats.

And they’re often referencing his own personal

results like growing his organic traffic by 111%.

And boosting conversions by 785%.

And it also works outside of the marketing niche.

Nerdwallet has nearly 29,000 backlinks because

of a mention of a stat.

Naturally, as people blog, they want to provide

supporting resources that backup their claims.

Make sure yours is in the mix.

Finally, include unique images that are worth “stealing.”

Creating high quality images is hard.

Which means that it’s a point of leverage

for those that are willing to put in the effort.

Within our posts, we often add custom images

whether they be graphs from our data studies,

or illustrations that help better explain concepts.

Not only do they create a better experience

for readers, but they result in links.

As you can see here, we’ve got around 820

links pointing at JPG images on our site.

And then another 1,600 links to PNG images.

Alright, the next tip is to make your posts easy to read.

In the words of our CMO,

“Nobody likes to read.

They just want the information.

If they could download it to their brain,

they would.”

And to do that, you need to ensure your posts

are easy to read and use.

Here are a few tips on how to do that.

Use short paragraphs instead of big walls of text.

Short paragraphs help readers progress through

your article in small and easy steps.

Next, break up long sentences because they’re

hard to follow.

Break up these sentences by finding places where

you used words like “and,” “because,” and “that.”

Next, use multimedia in your posts.

So whether that be videos, images or GIFs,

they can often help illustrate your points

clearer than words.

Finally, write in a conversational tone.

The easiest way to check this is to read your

copy out loud.

If it sounds like you’re talking to a friend,

you’re on the right track.

But if it sounds like you’re competing in

a national debate, try again.

The next tip is to write click-worthy headlines

that aren’t clickbait.

The one thing that separates your website

from a user is a click.

Fail to get clicks and you fail to get traffic.

Now, since most people will find your web

pages through search or social, you want to

craft a headline that accurately represents

your article without sounding boring.

For example, an article titled: “15 Best Headphones”

gets the point across.

But it’s boring.

Something like “15 Best High-End Headphones

For Under $100″ is more click-worthy because

a) it tells the reader that the headphones are

of high quality, and b) high-end headphones

are usually a lot more than $100.

The next tip is to write introductions using

the APP formula.

The headline’s job is to get the reader to

click through to the page.

Then, your intro needs to hook them in, so

that they’ll read the rest of the post.

So to do that, we use the APP formula, which

stands for “align, present, and proof.”

First, you need to align yourself with

the reader’s problem.

Then you present your post as the solution

to that problem.

And then you finish off with some proof as

to why they should trust you.

Here’s an example from our blog.

In the first sentence, we align ourselves

with the reader by saying,

“Looking to grow your YouTube channel

and attract more views?”

We then present our solution by saying that

“the trick is to target topics with search demand.”

Finally, we end it off with proof by showing

them that we’ve grown our YouTube channel

from 10,000 to over 200,000 monthly views

in around a year.

Keep your intros short, on point, and focus

on addressing why the reader is on that page

in the first place.

The last writing tip I have for you is

to create feedback loops.

Your first draft should never be your last.

At Ahrefs, we’re known to go through a pretty

rigorous editing process.

The writer generally starts with an outline.

After that’s approved, they write their first “final draft.”

And no doubt, they should think it’s pretty good.

Then someone else from our team will

review their post, question any claims,

suggest different formats, or whatever.

Anything goes at this point.

This usually ends up with a document that’s

completely highlighted in yellow with suggestions.

Then the writer makes any necessary changes

and will have those reviewed one last time

before publishing.

This feedback loop helps us to always put

our best foot forward on every post we publish.

Now, if you don’t have a team to work with,

it’s worth connecting with other bloggers

in your space who also want to become a better writer.

But don’t just reach out and say, “Hey, can

you edit my posts? I’ll edit yours too.”

This kind of process can come through relationships,

which I’ll expand on later.

For now, let’s move on to the more technical

aspects of blogging.

The first tip is super-important and that’s to

write about topics people are searching for,

more commonly referred to as keyword research.

51% of all website traffic comes from organic search.

And if you want a piece of that traffic, then

you need to use keywords that people are

actually searching for.

Fortunately, search engines like Google give

you clues through features like Аutosuggest.

Just type in a topic you want to write about,

and you’ll see a few other closely-related terms.

There are other freemium tools out there like

Answer the Public where you can find keywords

phrased as questions.

Now, the problem with these tools is that

you can’t see keyword metrics, meaning you

don’t actually know how much traffic you can get.

To find this information, you’d have to use

premium tools like Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer,

where you can basically generate lists of

keyword ideas, see important metrics like

Search Volume and Keyword Difficulty, and decide

whether they’re worth pursuing for your site.

We have a full tutorial on doing keyword research,

so I’ll link that up for you.

Another strategy worth doing is to cover your

competitors’ best topics.

And by “best,” I’m referring to the pages that

are sending them consistent traffic every month.

To find your competitor’s popular pages, just enter

their domain in a tool like Ahrefs’ Site Explorer.

Then go to the Top Pages report, which shows you

the pages that get the most monthly search traffic.

So if I were in the prepping niche, then I would

definitely consider going after these topics

since they make up around 45% of the entire

website’s organic traffic.

Plus they all seem pretty relevant to me.

Which brings us to our final technical tip

and that’s to do some basic on-page SEO.

On-page SEO refers to the practice of optimizing

web pages to help them rank higher in search engines.

So without overcomplicating things, you should

include your primary keyword in your title and URL,

and make sure you cover your main topic’s subpoints.

For example, if you’re talking about how to make the

perfect cup of coffee, you should probably talk about

things like finding the right roast, water

temperature, grind, and brewing methods.

All of these would be relevant, if not crucial

to truly cover the topic in full.

We have a full step-by-step tutorial on doing on-page

SEO for blogs, so I recommend watching that

and mastering this process.

And now we’re on to our final category,

which is to get social.

And I’m not talking about which social media

networks you should use.

So the first tip is to connect with other

bloggers you admire in your space.

Smart bloggers reach out to forge relationships

with one another.

They offer feedback, help, and often cross-promote

each other’s content.

And this is often why it seems like all of the

big players in your industry are friends.

They started early and they grew together.

Now, not everyone is going to want to be friends.

But there’s a good chance that people in your

industry want to connect.

They just don’t know you exist. At least at this point.

So to get started, think of 5-10 people you admire

in your space.

These might be people who run blogs and

newsletters that you’re subscribed to

or maybe people you follow on social.

Write their names down on a piece of paper

and note something that you actually

admire about their work.

Now, go and email them with the purpose of

just connecting.

Don’t ask them to share your content, review

it, link to you, or ask for any kind of favor.

Just send a simple and genuine email like…

“Hey [name],

Just wanted to say that I really admire

[whatever you do].

Thanks for [whatever you admire].

Cheers, [Your name]”

I sent a similar email to the CMO at Ahrefs in

2017, and around a year later, we ended up

working together and became good friends.

Nothing was manufactured here, it just

happened organically.

The next social tip is to build an email list

from day one.

Have you ever had one of those moments where

you’re trying to remember which site you were on

that had that awesome recipe, or tutorial,

or whatever it was?

Well, if you had joined that email list, you’d know.

Without any kind of email opt-in forms,

you’re preventing your readers from getting

future content or product updates.

Building an email list also acts as a good way to

perpetually get traffic to new posts you publish.

And since subscribers are warmer visitors

than cold traffic, some of them might share

it on social, or even link to you if they

have their own blog.

So bottomline, start building a list from day one.

Finally is to promote your content in online

communities.

Now, this is a bit of a touchy subject because

you don’t want to spam Facebook groups

or Reddit with things that people are going

to get angry about.

Instead, spend your time integrating yourself

into these communities.

Become a recognizable name and face.

And as you see a need, share content that

can help solve other group members problems.

If you nail it, you can get thousands of visitors.

If you don’t, it can get you banned from

those communities.

So share links sparingly, and spend most of

your time just meeting like minded bloggers

to build mutually beneficial relationships.

Now, I’m wondering if you have any blogging

tips that I’ve missed.

Let me know in the comments and if you enjoyed

this video, make sure to like, share and subscribe

for more actionable marketing tutorials.

And I’ve linked up a bunch of videos in the

description that will expand on some of the tips

that I’ve mentioned, so go and check them out.

I’ll see you in the next tutorial.

Author: Tulsisahu

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