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. [music] 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 bloggingabout 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 youtake your blog from nothing to something. So rather than giving you a popcorn bowl fullof 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 bucketis 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 twoposts 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 thosethat are just focusing on one of those topics. So in my opinion, it’s better to focus on beinga master of one than a jack of all trades.
So focus on becoming the go-to placepeople go to find smoothie recipes. Become the go-to place where peoplego 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’sworth referencing. Referencing requires attribution. And attribution in the world of blogging equals links. Links from other websites are important becausesearch engines like Google use them to help decide which pages should rank high in the search engines. Now, how do you create content that’sworth referencing? I’ve got three nuggets of wisdom for you. The first way is to create content that’sunique 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 web sites linking to this page in a short period of time. Another way to get people to refer 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. Blogging Tips for Beginners That Actually Work
Nerdwallet has nearly 29,000 backlinks becauseof a mention of a stat. Naturally, as people blog, they want to providesupporting 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 leveragefor those that are willing to put in the effort. Within our posts, we often add custom imageswhether they be graphs from our data studies, or illustrations that help better explain concepts. Not only do they create a better experiencefor readers, but they result in links. As you can see here, we’ve got around 820links 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 ina 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 webpages 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 HeadphonesFor Under $100” is more click-worthy because a) it tells the reader that the headphones areof high quality and b) high-end headphones are usually a lot more than $100. The next tip is to write introductions usingthe 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, sothat they’ll read the rest of the post. So to do that, we use the APP formula, whichstands for “align, present, and proof.” First, you need to align yourself withthe reader’s problem. Then you present your post as the solutionto 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 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 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. This 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, 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 in2017, and around a year later, we ended up working together and became good friends. Nothing was manufactured here, it just happened organically. Blogging Tips for Beginners That Actually Work
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 bottom line, start building a list from day one. Finally is to promote your content in online communities. Blogging Tips for Beginners That Actually Work
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 our time just meeting like-minded bloggers to build mutually beneficial relationships. Blogging Tips for Beginners That Actually Work
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. Blogging Tips for Beginners That Actually Work