Thursday , March 22 2018
Home / Technology / How to Build a Successful Blog From Scratch Pt2

How to Build a Successful Blog From Scratch Pt2

In Part 1 of this series, I had treated some Pitfalls threatening your success as a Blogger. If you'd missed it then I strongly suggest you go read it before going ahead with this. You probably already have some questions from Part 1, just drop them as comments, I'll treat them in Part 3.
Lets go back in History to the battle of Cannae; 2nd of August 216 BC, Apulia, Southeast Italy. The Carthaginian army under Hannibal Barca (40,000 – 50,000 strong) was faced with the Roman army under the consuls Lucius Aemilius Paullus and Gaius Terentius Varro (about 80,000 strong). General Hannibal had lost a great chunk of his army crossing the Alps (one of the world's most unforgiving terrain) into Rome's back door, a costly move aimed at surprising the Romans. Those of his men (and battle Elephants) who were able to survive the Alps were exhausted but had to go into battle anyway.
Now, the Romans (logically speaking) were supposed to deal Hannibal's army a humiliating defeat. They chose a frontal attack formation with depth (aimed at dividing Hannibal's forces from the center) while Hannibal's formation was designed to have a relatively weaker center. All seemed to be going well for the Romans as Hannibal's formation was caving in at the center but the story changed as the Roman's suddenly realized that Hannibal's formation was designed to surround them on all sides. The end result was Rome losing 60,000 – 70,000 of its men (most of the rest taken prisoner) while Hannibal lost just 8,000.

Back to the preset. I'm pretty sure you're wondering what that history lesson has to do with creating a successful Blog. When starting up your Blog, you'll come across previously existing Blogs, much bigger, more fans, more cash, better design, killer content…and you're left wondering if you can compete. What Hannibal has taught us is that you need to identify your strengths & weaknesses, then build your strategy around them. Trying to face the competition in his / her game and rules will get you nowhere. I'm not asking you to see other Blogs as rivals or enemies but getting to the top is pretty much a battle.
TacticsPick a niche you're passionate about, you'll find it easier to succeed.You might note I said 'passionate', not 'knowledgeable' or 'profit oriented'. When you have passion for a niche, you'll find it easier to learn and talk about it. Producing content would be easier as you're in familiar terrain. If you enjoy what you blog about enough then you'll be encouraged to gather more knowledge about it. As I said in my previous post, the only difference between a Guru and Novice is the time they've each devoted to acquiring knowledge. If you pick a niche because it looks cool, is in demand or your friends are into it then be prepared for a long haul. Very importantly, you don't have to be a Guru to Blog, the willingness to learn (and learn fast) is all you need.
Know your visitors, the positive energy will help youAs a less known Blogger, every visitor to your Blog is Golden. If you're able to get a phone number or email address then try to check up on them once a while just to say Hi. If you have the Birthday then try to send a Birthday message. Don't forget that 200,000 monthly page views begins with 20 monthly pageviews, If you can do anything extra to help them find something on your Blog then go all the way. You'll be amazed how fast you'll attract more people.
Kick out contentious visitors, you don't need them anywayA Blogger contacted me a while back. He said his Blog had begun gaining traction and people contacting him on Whatsapp but he didn't know how to get such people to post on his Blog instead. My answer was straightforward; "Ask them to comment at your Blog and you'll be happy to help", I said. You'll come across people who want you to spend time with them privately, answer them quickly, provide everything they need for free but such people will never comment or contribute at your Blog (because they say it'll be slower) or even insult you when you don't meet up to their expectation. My advice to you is to kick such people out of your Blog and Life, you'll be better off.
Watch your traffic source, everybody else is watching itA Blogger contacted me some years back. He said all Ad networks he'd applied to kept rejecting him. This was quite weird as even easy-to-join Ad networks wouldn't touch his Blog with a long stick. I looked through his content and they looked OK. Next up was to check his traffic source, and then I saw why nobody wanted anything to do with his Blog. Apparently, he wasn't getting much traffic so he decided to increase his daily pageviews by submitting his website to be crawled by bots daily. So this guy just wanted to see '5,000 views today' on his Blog, 5,000 junk views. He had effectively put his Blog on many Blacklists just because he wanted to see '5,000 views today'.
If nobody copies your content, then you are nobodyWhen you are out of ideas what to write about, you are better off not copying other people's content because it'll come hunting your Blog later. Your focus should be to write content so well formatted and useful that people will naturally engage with it (comment or share). If nobody is referencing any of your numerous posts then its a sign that you might be doing something wrong. In Blogging, less is usually more.
Ask for help, you'll be amazed how easy it is to getEnsure to build connections with other Bloggers in your niche. You'll be surprised how much established bloggers are willing to help you for free. Its also important that you keep such relationships mutual. If all you do is ask / only contact them when you need something then you're a Parasite. Try to genuinely contribute (in your own way) to other Bloggers you wish to build a relationship with. If you use their content, show appreciation by giving credits.
Keep your website's design simple and easy to access / navigateIf you know any website which people visit constantly just because it has an awesome design then tell me! Visitors are interested in getting what they have come to your website for. If you're unable to deliver that on time then you're at a loss. I recall visiting a website and having to wait several seconds because an awesome 'loading website' animation hijacked the entire page till the whole content was ready to be rendered. I've also come across Blogs that are a no go area on mobile devices. All of these won't help you.
Know your Blog's finances, that's how it'll surviveJust because you've not begun making money from your Blog doesn't mean you need to Blog with apathy. There's something called a Gestation Period. You are required to invest money and effort for a while without seeing much visible results. During such a time, your Blog is growing from the inside but looks static on the outside. You need to stay persistent and optimistic during the slow times. Every successful blogger experienced it, its perfectly normal. You need to know how much it costs to maintain your Blog and strive to attain a self sustaining system (a Blog that pays for itself); this is a crucial milestone.

Try to build a Blog that can survive without youVery few Bloggers have continuity in mind. What happens when you travel, fall sick, have exams or even pass on? Everything you do should be aimed at building your Blog around a brand and not a single individual. Every decision you make should be with the goal of having employees some day. If you're however OK with running it all by yourself then that's OK.
See you in Part 3 (Courtesy of Hovatek)

Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse

CLICK HERE to join our BBM Channel for juicy updates & free giveaways.

Check Also

See What Nigeria Plans To Do With Electric Cars Next Year

Malik Ado-Ibrahim, who was the first African to lead the Formula 1 Team global race …

We love comments