I’ve been in the blogging business for over a decade. And I’ve built some of the most profitable niche and authority sites that make good money in ad revenue and affiliate income.
To be clear:
My blogging success story has nothing to do with luck. I attribute to the blogging mistakes I made, the lessons I learned along the way, and the consistent hard work that I put into my blogging career.
My blogging journey isn’t similar to the many case studies you’ve read on internet marketing forums and the front page of the internet.
I started with zero knowledge at the time when WordPress was new and black hat SEO was a big thing. My writing was basic and I wasn’t sure whether what I wrote and put online was for people to read or satisfied search intent.
My blog did gain some traction and made me a few hundred dollars a month for a couple of months. And just when I thought that things were beginning to look up quite well for me, Google came crushing with its algorithm update, turning my online business on its head.
And let me be honest…
It was a frustrating experience to see my site’s rankings drop and income dropping to zero and plateauing at that. Not to mention that Google even de-indexed the site for reasons I clearly understand now than I did then.
I had to change my strategy as quickly as possible despite the frustration. I dived deeper into learning how Google works, the kind of content they love, the factors they use to rank sites and the signals they use to evaluate user satisfaction.
Fast forward, I now have a successful blogging business that makes me more than $5,000 a month in passive income. .
I’ve learned quite a lot in my blogging journey. And while I can’t write everything in this guide, let me tell you the most important lessons you can use to grow your blogging career this year and beyond.
1. Focus on One Niche at a Time
My first blog was about anything and everything you can name. I’d write about weight loss supplements today and publish content on fitness watches the following day.
I reckon Google looked at my site from a topical relevance and authority point of view and saw no need to rank my site above the competitors that were already doing well.
Inspired by case studies of bloggers who were crushing it with single topic sites, I settled on creating niche sites and I’ve never looked back ever since.
It’s because niche sites work really well. If you build it well, you can get a ranking boost, survive every Google update, and make money in passive income month after month.
So if you want your blog to succeed, focus on one niche.
2. Choosing a Niche is a Skill You Should Master
At Dollar Berg, I teach you how to choose a niche because it’s a skill that you must master right before you start writing and publishing content on your blog.
If you think about it, the number one reason why many bloggers fail is poor niche selection or no selection at all.
But if you have a systematic approach in place that you can use to find the most profitable niches, you can build a high quality blog that earns you a decent amount of money in passive income.
I suggest you spend time researching niches properly so that you can have an easy time when it comes to creating, optimizing, marketing, and monetizing your content.
3. Consistency is the Key to Running a Successful Blog
Blogging can be intimidating.
You pour your time, money, sweat, and blood into creating great content and building powerful links but nothing seems to take off.
A moment comes and you just feel like giving up and exiting this field altogether.
Hold it right there!
Blogging takes time and consistency is the key to success.
The first 12 months of my blogging career weren’t the smoothest. But looking back, I couldn’t be more thankful that I didn’t give up.
If you haven’t even heard of the Google sandbox effect, you at least should work on your blog every day for the next six months if you want to see great results.
4. Your First Site Probably Won’t Succeed
As hard as this is to say, your first blog may not likely succeed. And that’s completely okay.
I’ve been building websites for more than 10 years, and some of my projects failed.
Instead of giving up on blogging altogether, especially in the beginning, I made it my ambition to learn from my mistakes and build even better blogs. And if I’m being honest, my first failures made me realize that I can build great sites that make money online.
5. Buying a Blogging Course Won’t Make You Successful
I’ve come across many blogging and digital marketing courses than I can even count. Some are great while others are straight out a waste of investment.
And if there’s one lesson I’ve picked from every course I ever laid my hands on, it’s that learning is never enough.
The real thing is in the implantation. Taking action and executing what you’ve learned is what’s going to move the needle eventually.
So if you’ve bought a course lately, and you’re excited to start learning, all the knowledge will be for nothing if you don’t take action.
6. Building Relationships Online is Important
I’m a strong believer that one of the best ways to grow your blog traffic is to network with other people in your niche.
It’s a good way to build relationships and build high quality backlinks to your niche website. And it works really well if done right.
To be clear:
Building connections with people in the same vertical as you is not a one-time thing. It’s therefore a task that you should integrate into your online marketing strategy.
As you start to network and build relationships with other bloggers in your industry, keep in mind that your engagement should bring them more value if you want them to extend the same to you.
Comment on their blog posts, share their work on social media, and even link to them if you can. Then you can reach out to them with proposals that help both of you to grow your audiences.
7. There’s No Such Thing as Blogging Gurus
I can’t for certain tell you how many times I’ve read and watched about self-proclaimed gurus online. But I can tell you for sure that I haven’t encountered a know-it-all blogger on the internet.
And you won’t find either.
Because ‘guru’ is a gimmick term used to get you to buy into believing that you have to belong to a particular special group to succeed as a blogger.
Take it from me when I tell you that everything you need to know about blogging is already available on the web.
And it’s 100% free.
All you have to do now is to read and watch actionable blogging strategies on Google and YouTube and do testing and stick to what works well for you.
8. You Won’t Meet All Your Targets All The Time
Blogging has many moving elements.
From keyword research and content creation to on-site optimization and link building, there’s more to serious blogging than what meets the eyes.
If you’re just getting started, and you have a small budget, you’ll have to learn and do all of these tasks yourself.
However, there will be time when you can’t accomplish everything within the targeted time. Which means that your editorial calendar will more than likely have many gaps in between.
Since you won’t meet your target all the time, especially if you want to accomplish a lot in a short time, it’s best to have a strategy that allows you to complete small tasks at a time.
So revise your content calendar. Build standard operating procedures that allow you to know what to work on and when.
9. Content is King
I’m sure you’ve read the phrase Content is King a million times. But are you investing your time and money in content creation?
I don’t know what your editorial calendar looks like. But if it’s more link heavy and less about content, you’re doing it wrong.
To please Google and users, and make your blog stand out from among the many options on the web, you need to invest in creating content – and a lot of it.
But don’t just write content for the sake of growing your site’s size. Write content that readers will love to read and share.
You can have the most powerful backlinks in the world, but if you don’t produce great content, people won’t love your blog.
And if people hate the stuff that you publish, Google notices, and they can drop your website’s ranking fast.
To keep that from happening, learn how to write content that converts and stay on Google’s top pages for months.
10. You Must Give People What They Want
Knowing to write is one thing. But writing great content that people want to read is where the hard work is.
Let me ask you something:
What’s the point of spending countless hours on your computer creating content that no one will ever see?
It doesn’t make sense.
So you need to invest time in extensive research to find topics or issues that people need answers for. That’s where keyword research comes in.
Like niche selection, keyword research is a skill you have to master. And while it’s repetitive in form, it’s a powerful strategy that can help you come up with great topic ideas to target.
11. Giving Up is Not an Option
First, you can’t get into blogging with the mentality of breaking even overnight.
Second, it’s important to understand that blogging takes time and therefore giving up is not an option on the table.
I would have given up a long time ago if I wanted quick results from blogging. But having read from people who made it and how long it took them to start earning their first income, I found the motivation to keep going.
Do you remember what I said about consistency?
You have to keep working hard, especially during the Google sandbox effect, and all the hard work you put in will eventually pay off.
12. Blogging Tools are Necessary
My blogging experience has taught me that you can’t easily succeed if you do things manually all the time.
You need systems to make the process a lot easier, or you can burn out fast while trying to get tasks completed. Not to mention that some tasks may take longer than expected to complete.
There are many blogging tools out there, all built to help you setup your blog from scratch and scale up thereafter.
From keyword research and topic generators to content planning and site optimization, there’s a tool for virtually anything you want to do in the blogging space.
Some tools, like the Google Analytics and Asana, are free to use. Others, such as Ahrefs and Surfer SEO require a recurring, premium subscription. And they’re all important in helping with the growth of your blog.
13. You Have to Keep Learning
My 10+ years of blogging experience has taught me that blogging and SEO go hand in hand. And they’re extremely dynamic.
From embracing conversational copywriting to staying up to date with the latest changes in SEO, you’re in an industry that keeps changing.
So if you want to keep growing your blogging and make money from it, you have to keep learning so that your approach is up to date.
14. Patience is a Virtue that Pays
People that quit blogging too soon have one thing in common. They are not patient enough to get a reward for their hard work.
If you want to succeed as a blogger, you need to keep working and not give up. Eventually, all the hard work you put into your blog will pay off.