Once upon a time, you looked at blogging and thought, “Oh, I can do that. Writing a few posts a week? Piece of cake.” From the outside, it looks so simple, so easy, so fun, and so you rushed off to start a blog of your own.
But then you realized: this stuff is complicated. Blogging isn’t so much about writing blog posts as it is about juggling dozens of little odds and ends, all of them important, all of them demanding your attention, and all of them requiring you to learn something.
And it’s easy to drop the ball, so to speak, and not because you want to neglect anything, but because it’s too much to keep track of.
What you really need is a checklist of sorts – an itemized breakdown of everything you need to do to transform your blog and dazzle your readers. That way, you can stop trying to handle everything all at once and just go through it one step at a time.
So, that’s what I created for you: a checklist of 52 things you need to do, to help you learn how to do this blogging thing well.
1. Figure out your why, if you haven’t already. Yes, you need to know why do you want to blog. What’s in it for you?
2. Are you in the right niche? If you make it too narrow you’ll struggle to build a large audience. Make it too wide, and you’ll find it almost impossible to stand out.
3. Rework your tagline. Your tagline needs to tell your readers who the blog is for, what it offers them and what makes it special. Clear is always better than clever.
4. Figure out your topics. What do you want to write about? How can you expand upon the knowledge already shared by other people? What unique angles can you provide? How can you connect the dots, so you’ll stand out?
5. Create an ideal reader profile. If you know who your target audience is and write every post with them in mind, your results will improve significantly!
6. Develop a schedule. Jot down the type of posts (list, interview, reader question, personal, epic, etc.) and fill in post ideas.
Refine, refine, refine
7. Showcase a clutter-free design. Nothing sends your readers running faster than being greeted by a cluttered, tacky or spammy feel. Make a great first impression by with a stunning, clean and professional design and improve your website trust factor instantaneously.
8. Link to your best, your most popular, and most commented. Have a top of your best posts in your sidebar, an archive of all posts, and don’t forget to link to 3-4 of your older posts in each new post you write.
9. Position your opt-in form in a prominent position. People often hide their subscription form and then complain that nobody subscribes. Make it very easy for people to find your subscribe form. Top right on your sidebar or just above your main navigation bar are two good places.
10. Create a contact page. As soon as you start getting traffic, some of your readers will want to get in touch with you, so create a contact page.