If you’re considering a new endeavour it makes sense to research what others are doing in that space. Starting a blog is no different. Soaking up lots of examples of the best blogs is an important step because it helps maximise your chances of success.
It introduces you to content marketing (including email marketing), increases your general knowledge of what works, helps clarify what you’re most curious about (i.e. your blog ideas), and empowers you to make it happen.
There is no rule book on this, nor is there anything wrong with creating a blog that mimics certain elements (design, voice, topic, etc) that you’ve seen elsewhere.
In fact, I encourage it: this is how you’ll bring a great blog to life.
Real blogging inspiration
You might be inspired by one example or several so I’m going to introduce you to lots of amazing blog content and bloggers, across a wide variety of niches and popular topics. This is key because a great blog post to one person might not be on the best blog to another.
Take my advice and explore as many topics as possible. Make sure you read the content fully as well because this will allow you to experience different voices and writing styles, not to mention varied approaches to blog-based affiliate marketing (take note of the methods to get an email address for email marketing). A post can be a few hundred words or thousands and thousands depending on what it is about.
To ensure you connect with your blogging potential in a realistic way, I’ve also included an honest explanation of what it takes to be successful.
Starting your own blog is inevitable once you feel what is possible and get how it works.
Table Of Contents
- Best of the blogs
- Feeling inspired? How to get started
- The blogging model & being realistic
- Bloggers to follow
- Ready for lift-off?
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1. Best of the blogs
Here, you’ll find a lot of blogs, including some of the most popular (i.e. incredible visitor counts) as well as those making waves in their niche.
The idea is that you experience as many different voices, styles, topics and success stories as possible. When a niche catches your eye, soak it up as much as possible.
Explore, read and enjoy yourself. Delve into the content on all the blogging examples I’ve listed in that niche and any more you can find. There really can’t be too much research at this stage!
But, if you take one thing away from this post let it be this. After investigating for a while take a break (get a drink maybe) but don’t try to focus on what you’ve experienced. Instead, do something different, like exercise for example, which lets your diffused (more creative) thoughts reveal themselves to you.
Trust me, it works!
Examples of technology blogging:
Common post types: Review, Testing, How-to, Latest news and Human interaction/ insights.
Blog design themes: Typically full screen and cramped from trying to squeeze in as many different blog posts as possible. Use of tried and tested font pairings is backed up with bright impactful imagery where possible. Little use of white space (because there is no room left) means the website design looks and feels is intense
Typical writing style(s): They’ll focus on explaining things in layman terms with clear yet intricate descriptions. Also, they sometimes get involved in broader ‘hot’ debates about industry competitors with fact based opinions and computer-like logic.
Average visitor count (of this list): 15.525 million
Main challenge: Keeping up with the pace and competition of this niche. Technology blogs have to keep up with, you guessed it, new technology. The biggest ones (some of which are below) have large professional content creation teams meaning they turn out dozens of posts per day.
Opportunity: Don’t try compete with the big boys directly, at least to begin with. The demand for technology insights is sky high so traffic is never going to be a problem in this space. However, a new blog would need a fresh perspective that doesn’t just cover the same themes (why would a person want to read your blog?) to stand any chance of developing an audience. Think far and wide on this one and study these blog examples, plus any others you stumble on, because they do differ from each other quite significantly. A great example like The Verge is nothing like Hacker Noon (which is one of my all time favourites!) which is nothing like Tom’s Hardware for example.
Monthly Visitors: up to 3 million | Focus: Tech, Software Development, Decentralisation & Blockchain, Data Science
Monthly Visitors: up to 4.1 million | Focus: Consumer Electronics, Blockchain, Tech Start Ups & Growth Insights
Monthly Visitors: up to 34 million | Blog categories: Consumer Electronics & Tech Reviews
Monthly Visitors: up to 125,000 | Focus: AI, Blockchain, Internet of Things, FinTech, Start Ups, Tech enabled Lifestyle
Monthly Visitors: up to 2.5 million | Focus: Computer Hardware & Components
Monthly Visitors: up to 14 million | Focus: Consumer Electronics & Gaming
Monthly Visitors: up to 5 million | Blog topics: Tech Reviews, Gaming, Entertainment
Monthly Visitors: up to 31 million | Blog topics: Technology, Science, Entertainment
Monthly Visitors: up to 46 million | Blog topic: Consumer Electronics
Travel & adventure blog examples:
Common post types: Personal experiences, insights, advice and reviews.
Common design themes: Typically light coloured and spacious on-screen using lots of white space in the process with a larger featured post or two on the homepage. High quality logos are very nice on the eye to capture some of the best blog names.
Typical writing style(s): Strong focus on down-to-earth informative posts that deliver honest, authentic, and, at times, ruthless insights. Reviews of locations, accommodation and gear are more factual but with a healthy garnish of experienced-based opinion thrown in.
Average visitor count (of this list): 488k
Main challenge: Many travel bloggers actually live their lives travelling! Following in their foot steps means literally starting a new life. That said, some travel part-time (and blogging about it) which they mix with work, often by freelancing which provides the freedom required.
Opportunity: Travel blogging is definitely one of the most aspirational and exciting options there is. The travel bloggers I know tell me content is never an issue because there is always another rich experience to share (including on social media), or unique perspective to talk about.
Making the leap is a big deal obviously, and real-life might legitimately get in the way. But, pull it off and the opportunities are endless which I, for one, find hard to ignore. My wife and I will do this one day, after our children have fled the nest.
Monthly Visitors: up to 1.9 million | Blog focus: Travel Resources, Advice & Destinations
Monthly Visitors: up to 2 million | Blog topics: Travel & Learning Languages
Monthly Visitors: up to 500,000 | Blog focus: Outdoors, Adventure
Monthly Visitors: up to 58,000 | Focus: Cultural Adventures, Travel Advice
Monthly Visitors: up to 25,000 Focus: Travel (including booking), Personal Discovery & Advice
Monthly Visitors: up to 530,000 | Focus: Travel Experiences
Monthly Visitors: up to 560,000 | Focus: Different Types of Trip, Travel Inspired Lifestyle (Photography, Blogging, Freelancing)
Monthly Visitors: up to 115,000 | Focus: Travel Advice on Flights & Hotels
Monthly Visitors: up to 24,000 | Focus: Backpacking Adventures
Monthly Visitors: up to 86,000 | Focus: Group Travel For Young Adults
Monthly Visitors: up to 32,000 | Focus: Travel Insights, Stories & Experiences
Monthly Visitors: up to 24,000 | Focus: Personal Travel Stories & Insights
Examples of blogging on women’s lifestyle:
Common post types: Most often personal insights, opinions, reviews and commentaries. Can include how-to (apply a certain make up product for example), and reviews too.
Blog design themes: Beautifully clean and crisp that use white space to maximise the sense of purity and honesty. They often use really well thought-out font pairings for a high quality, elegant and more sophisticated website design.
Typical writing style(s): Usually first person and very authentic, basing views and insights on personal experiences. Posts are thoughtful, intelligent and useful, as well as funny and witty on occasion. A few of the bigger blogs in this niche are not as personal, often writing in the third person and ‘reporting’ information rather than sharing insights.
Average visitor count (of the list): 1.99 million
Main challenge: Finding a fresh perspective in a niche that has a plethora of blogs that cover the exact same things in pretty much the same way, albeit very well. You’ll need a compelling reason for people to return to your blog over established competition.
Opportunity: To create a good blog in lifestyle you need to do it with a twist. What makes your lifestyle unique? It could be anything, good or bad, and might involve a social media platform like Instagram for some visual pizzazz. Whatever it is, and there will be something I’m sure, use it to add a twist to blogging about the typical lifestyle themes (you’ll soon learn what they are); better still, make your own theme. My wife’s, for example, could be balancing her executive career with being a Mum and passion for photography. Note a common misconception – lifestyle blogs are not the same thing as personal blogs (even if there are ways to make them similar).
Monthly Visitors: up to 17.5 million | Blog topics: Women’s Lifestyle, Pop Culture
Monthly Visitors: up to 144k | Blog focus: Personal Style & Design, Recipes, Holiday Stories, Motherhood
Monthly Visitors: up to 1.4m | Blog focus: Modern Life – Beauty, Food & Home, Style & Travel, Wellness
Monthly Visitors: up to 163k | Blog focus: Mindfulness, Meditation, Culture, Health
Monthly Visitors: up to 18.5k | Blog focus: Craft, Family, Recipes, Home & Holidays
Monthly Visitors: up to 595k | Blog focus: Beauty, Fragrance, Make Up
Monthly Visitors: up to 47k | Blog focus: High Fashion, Beauty
Monthly Visitors: up to 14k | Blog focus: Motherhood, Hair, Fashion, Beauty, Holidays
Monthly Visitors: up to 16k | Blog focus: Fashion, Beauty, Motherhood, Kids, Lifestyle
Monthly Visitors: up to 17k | Blog focus: Interior Decor, Style, Health, Careers, Entertaining, Beauty, Parenthood, Leisure
Men’s lifestyle blog examples:
Common post types: Advice, tips & tricks, opinions, experiences, reviews and how-to walkthroughs.
Common design themes: Bolder styles usually that use white space along with a secondary background colour, or lot of imagery on-screen at once. The user experience is inviting in the right way, exhuming confidence but with an air of humility and self-awareness.
Typical writing style(s): Posts are usually very straight forward and down to earth in a typically conversational tone like any good blog in the modern age. The how-to posts are very logical like the typical man.
Average visitor count (of this list): 662k
Main challenge: Similar to women’s lifestyle blogs, these blogs require those common themes of, well, life. Differentiating yourself and your blog is the main hurdle to overcome.
Opportunity: There are definitely room for a new blog in men’s lifestyle compared to women’s but there is probably a little less demand as well. Having said that, I genuinely enjoy reading a few of these listed here because I feel connected with other men like me. It’s easy to assume that us men are less sensitive and incapable of feeling vulnerable which is simply not the case. Getting your passions online with an authentic personality, including your fears, weaknesses and so on, will maximise your chances of engaging an audience.
Monthly Visitors: up to 2.6 million | Blog focus: Men’s Life & Self-development
Monthly Visitors: up to 267k | Blog focus: Men’s Style, Self-development, DIY & How-To
Monthly Visitors: up to 374k | Blog categories: Men’s Fashion & Style, Grooming, Cars, Watches
Monthly Visitors: up to 60k | Blog focus: Hair, Grooming, Fragrance, Interests & Well Being
Monthly Visitors: up to 9k | Blog focus: Men’s Interests – Tech, Auto, Style, Sport, Culture & Health
Examples of well-being, health & fitness blogs:
Common post types: Personal insights, experiences, accomplishments, tips & tricks, and how-to walk-throughs.
Blog design layouts: Mixed with some being quite cramped and a little antiquated, where others are modern, light and crisp. Most logos are quirky and very well crafted, working in well with the overall message of the branding.
Typical writing style(s): Unsurprisingly, enthusiasm and comradery are often central to the voice of a blog in this space. You’ll find unassuming, informal and sometimes humorous tones as well which is both disarming and engaging, two things that aid self-improvement.
Average visitor count (of this list): 4.15 million
Main challenge: Some of the best blogs here have big visitor numbers which are why the average is pretty high. Breaking into a topic in this niche is less about originality in my opinion, and more about connectivity. I think its quite hard to sustain content creation on topics like fitness regimes, mindfulness and life tips. It certainly would be for me anyway.
Opportunity: A fitness blog could work brilliantly if you have a life story that could underpin its reason to be. People love this kind of lifestyle blogging, me included because it’s real. Moreover, sharing your health, mindfulness and self-awareness insights directly from personal experiences would have a similar angle, and all with the optimistic air of making life better and happier.
Monthly Visitors: up to 10 million | Blog topics: Health, Fitness, Beauty, Life
Monthly Visitors: up to 500k | Blog focus: Self-help, Well-being & Inner-peace
Monthly Visitors: up to 5.2 million | Blog topics: Home Life Inspirations & Well-being
Monthly Visitors: up to 7 million | Blog focus: Bettering Life, Tips & Tricks
Monthly Visitors: up to 2 million | Blog focus: Health, Fitness
Monthly Visitors: up to 190k | Blog focus: Women’s Fitness
Food blogging examples:
Common post types: Recipe (how-to), personal experiences and tips, and broader news and insights (on diets, or types of food for example).
Blog design themes: Food blogs are typically very emotive, oozing with imagery of unctuous food and drink. Also, they’re usually attractive on the eye with their use of white space and bold font pairings.
Typical writing style(s): They’ll all focus on logical explanations obviously because of an abundance of recipe walk throughs. The voice of a food blog tends to be welcoming and passionate, and at times intricate for certain descriptions when necessary.
Average visitor count (of this list): 4.66 million
Main challenge: I think it could be easy to get lost in the modern trends around healthy eating because it’s everywhere we look nowadays. Whilst there is always room for another blog or two down a well-trodden path (in any topic theoretically) you’ll have to be prepared for a fight to get an audience. It’s worth noting that women’s lifestyle blogs often cover healthy eating as one of their key topics meaning there is extra competition from them as well for those types of cooking.
Opportunity: Share your love for food but with a side order of something different. Mine would be cooking with a wood-fired oven in our outdoor kitchen which I built earlier this year with my family. I might learn how to forage for wild ingredients or roast on open fires: ultimately, it would focus on happiness (not necessarily health) from making scrummy food outdoors. One thing I’d definitely be wary of is the likes of vegan, vegetarian or gluten free cooking unless you’ve got a unique take on them. Go the other way maybe: super-scrummy happy food, regardless of how unhealthy it might be because smiling is also good for us.
Monthly Visitors: up to 21 million | Blog topics: Food, Cooking, People
Monthly Visitors: up to 2.2 million | Blog focus: Food, Blogging (about food)
Monthly Visitors: up to 4.6 million | Blog focus: Food, Vegan, Gluten-Free
Monthly Visitors: up to 12k | Blog focus: Recipes
Monthly Visitors: up to 91.5k | Blog focus: Healthy Eating & Diet Recipes
Monthly Visitors: up to 70k | Blog focus: Plant-based Cooking
Fashion blog examples:
Common post types: Latest reports, news, personal opinions, insights and experiences.
Common design layouts: Homepages typically have high quality hero (large, can be full screen) images for the biggest impact. Fonts are bold, big and confident which with the imagery makes the website design evocative.
Typical writing style(s): Punchy and to the point usually whilst being very informative and well-researched.
Average visitor count: N/A (not enough – more coming soon!)
Main challenge: Fashion reminds me of technology in that there is a constant stream of new styles, designs and products being released. Keeping up with that is impossible unless your blog has multiple writers all working collaboratively and effectively.
Opportunity: Fashion is actually a very deep and wide topic because it’s so personal. So whilst mainstream coverage focuses on well-known design houses, retailers and sometimes even celebrities, there are countless styles and approaches to personal fashion which appeal to different age ranges. For example, you could set your blog out to focus on business fashion trends in London or New York, or a type of clothing for a specific age range. The options are limitless but depth and detail is critical whatever direction you choose.
Visual social media platforms like Instagram & Pinterest are also key in this niche as well.
Monthly Visitors: up to 18 million | Blog focus: Women’s Fashion, Beauty & Health
Monthly Visitors: up to 7.8 million | Blog focus: Men’s Fashion & Lifestyle
Parenting blog examples:
Common post types: Personal experiences, tips, and practical advice.
Blog design layouts: Mixture between modern, clean and crisp versus cramped and a little antiquated.
Typical writing style(s): Very down-to-earth at times, and highly informative. Their audience might be struggling (kids are hard work that’s for sure!), so warmth, friendliness and wisdom work really well in this niche.
Average visitor count: N/A (only two – more coming soon!)
Main challenge: Getting traffic to your blog is the biggest challenge after creating great content on a continual basis. Besides SEO, you’ll need to have a strong presence on social media (particularly ‘Mum’ ones) because that’s where many parents go for information, support and advice. Its not uncommon for a Mum blog to have more followers on Facebook than monthly visitors.
Opportunity: Assuming you’re enthusiastic about being very active on social media and willing to learn how to grow your reach on those platforms, there is a lot of different ways to go with this niche. This is because you could be a Dad that does tech reviews, or a Mum that loves photography, or a couple that take their children on travelling experiences. The possibilities are numerous the more you think about it. Not giving up on your individuality then sharing how your children actually enrich your personal hobby (or interest or passion project or whatever) is a nice angle that would connect with every parent out there!
Monthly Visitors: up to 500k | Blog focus: Mother’s Health & Wellness
Monthly Visitors: up to 4.5 million | Fatherhood
Examples of personal finance blogs:
Common post types: Factual, reviews, tips & tricks.
Common design layouts: Classic blog archive with lots of posts on the homepage that can feel like a financial services company.
Typical writing style(s): Often focus on explaining things in layman terms with succinct descriptions (of products more often than not). Soundbites to provide tips and tricks can be short and sweet but packed with useful insights.
Average visitor count: N/A (not enough – more coming soon!)
Main challenge: To be truly effective in this niche a blog must have proper knowledge of consumer financial services and products. What’s more, it is just as critically important that you keep pace with any and all changes, from new products to regulatory alterations.
Opportunity: If you have the knowledge and lots of it (from a professional career I imagine) then I think you’re well on the way. Providing credible, authentic and accurate insights that genuinely help people with their financial situation means any audience you build will be super-loyal and dedicated.
Monthly Visitors: up to 23 million | Blog focus: Personal Finance
Monthly Visitors: up to 1.4 million | Blog focus: Personal Finance (for younger people)
Student blog examples:
Common post types: Wide ranging mix between factual how to tutorials, insights, personal experiences and tips & tricks.
Blog design layouts: Reasonably standard styles with a mix between white space, clean designs and more colourful, bolder ones. No obvious use of font pairings, suggesting their focus is more on substance not aesthetics.
Typical writing style(s): Very conversational and informal on the one hand, then incredibly heart felt and thought provoking on the other. There is no obvious voice on student blogs that I can find anyway, but that makes sense when your audience is so varied in pretty much everything except their age range.
Average visitor count: N/A (not enough – more coming soon!)
Main challenge: If you’re not a student I think it could be quite difficult to create some of the certain audiences in this niche demand, namely the emotional journey associated with being a young adult in higher education. You’ve got to connect with generation Z, who will happily have you, by providing content that makes sense to them in deep and meaningful ways.
Opportunity: I’m not a student nor am I a young adult anymore (despite certain behaviour suggesting otherwise) so I’d stay clear of trying to connect on the ‘coming of age’ type stuff. Instead, I’d provide value in more factual and practical ways based on my experiences after I left University. Amongst other things, these could include massively important life lessons like getting on the right career path (or course whilst studying – two things I got totally wrong) and associated financial footings. College Info Geek does this and goes down brilliantly with students all over the place.
Monthly Visitors: upto 6.6 million | Blog topics: Personal Development, Mindfulness, Self-Awareness
Monthly Visitors: up to 500k | Blog focus: College Life & Advice
Examples of world news & headline blogging:
Common post types: Bulletin/ headlines, gossip columns, professional insights, personal commentaries, interviews and reviews.
Common design layouts: Can feel like a technology blog (cramped) because some fit as many posts on the screen at once. As a result, their website design tends to have a wider body, and on-scrolling down typically use smaller font sizes to maximise the space, just like a newspaper would.
Typical writing style(s): Varies a lot but is nearly always factual and to the point. One important thing about this type of blog would be credibility. Some writers are more serious in their tone to others, who opt for first-person conversational type copy that is less intense but still highly informative.
Average visitor count: 21 million
Main challenge: Scale. This niche makes the scale of technology blogging look like a playground game. Challenging the competition here is near impossible even if, by chance, you have the ability to manufacture content on a mass level. Why? Because why would a loyal audience who’ve read the same blog for years (and years) suddenly decide to read the same info elsewhere?
Opportunity: If you’re intent on this kind of news-type blog, pick one main topic (in this niche) and do it better than they do. Drill deeper, go wider and be unbelievably thorough, thereby providing everything these goliaths miss because they focus on the cream of each category.
Monthly Visitors: up to 29 million | Blog topics: News & Insights – Politics, Global Headlines, Entertainment & Social Media, Life
Monthly Visitors: up to 65 million | Blog topics: Business, Financial Sector
Monthly Visitors: up to 7.5 million | Blog topic: Music News
Monthly Visitors: up to 235k | Focus: People, Ideas, Start Ups, Commerce, Tech
Monthly Visitors: up to 24 million | Blog focus: News – Social Media, Entertainment, Culture, Science
Monthly Visitors: up to 16.4 million | Blog focus: News – Business, Culture, Social Media, Consumer Goods, Science
Monthly Visitors: up to 33 million | Blog focus: Sport News
Monthly Visitors: up to 12.2 million | Blog focus: TV & Movie News
Monthly Visitors: up to 1.4 million | Topics: Photography Blog, Photo Equipment & News
2. Enough examples – how to start blogging
I hope you’ve found at least one great example that has fired up your blogging aspirations and helped you understand more about what you might want to do.
To be honest, the ins and outs of your actual content will develop and evolve as you get more and more into your blog posts. As long as you’re certain about the over-arching topic, which you’re naturally curious and genuinely excited to write about, it makes sense to get busy and make some tangible progress.
Check out my comprehensive walkthrough on how to start a blog properly which covers all the necessary building blocks, including setting up and design, writing your first blog post, indexing it with Google and monetizing your traffic one day.
Alternatively, you can get going here and now by reading on to get the best WordPress hosting for beginners on a domain (jump to section 3 if not relevant).
Quality web hosting is the single most important purchase for your blog so you need to spend enough money. Great hosting means you have a chance of success; bad hosting means no chance at all, no matter how hard you work.
The only provider I recommend for beginners is SiteGround because in addition to world-class performance (speed, security, and uptime) their customer support is genuinely the best in the world.
This is critical because it provides total peace of mind that you’re in safe hands on all the technical stuff so you can concentrate on being a successful blogger.
Go to the sign-up page at SiteGround when you’re ready.
I would choose the ‘GrowBig’ plan if you’re going to promote your blog to actively increase traffic as soon as possible; otherwise, go for the ‘StartUp’ plan (both have a 30-day money-back guarantee in case something changes).
Hit the appropriate ‘Get Plan‘ button:
Choose a domain. This shouldn’t cost much money (anything from £10-15 per year), but getting one that is exactly the name of a blog can be difficult.
SiteGround’s domain search engine makes it easy to get ideas for a blog name directly from available domains related to your subject area.
When seeking blog name ideas and a domain, keep the following in mind:
- Try to include a keyword that represents what your blog is about;
- Try to find something that is catchy;
- For personal topics use your name for the blog or a variation of it;
- Choose a .com if possible (more memorable).
Note – I advise getting a domain with SiteGround because your website will automatically work with it – keep technical things as simple as you can. But, if you already bought a domain elsewhere, tick the appropriate option then ‘Proceed’. After signing up, contact SiteGround support to give you the IP address of your website’s server, then, ask your domain provider’s customer services to alter the A record for your domain on their side):
Complete the form and choose how long your initial purchase is for.
Ideally, you want to take advantage of the introductory prices for as long as possible. If your budget allows, go for a 2-year or 3-year subscription. If not, a 1-year subscription on the StartUp plan will cost £86.26. This is the best value I know of for managed hosting with award-winning customer support.
Once you’ve decided, hit ‘Pay Now’:
The last step is to install WordPress on your new hosting account.
After signing up with SiteGround, you’ll have received all the necessary information to log in. On logging in for the first time, a notice appears.
Click on ‘Set Up Site‘:
A new section will appear presenting two options: ‘Start New Website’ or ‘Migrate Website’. Click ‘Select’ under Start New Website.
Choose WordPress and enter the preferred login details for your new WordPress application and write them down offline. Once you’re ready, click on ‘Continue‘, then ‘Finish‘:
Great job – your domain and hosting are now set up with a fresh installation of WordPress. Whenever you’re ready, pick up my ‘starting a blog properly’ tutorial at step 4 (Design your blog – how to install a WordPress theme).
Read on to learn more about the realities of blogging and what it takes to be successful.
3. The blogging model & being realistic
As you’ve seen from the examples above, successful blogging can take many different forms on a near-limitless number of topics. Behind the scenes, however, all of them have two core facets.
Every blog’s purpose is to share information with people online who find it useful in some meaningful way (thereby stimulating interest in the associated products/ services which is the essence of content marketing). Whilst there are several metrics worth studying about your blog (using Google Analytics) the number of people that visit it every month is the most significant. Obviously, you want this to be as high as possible!
The second factor
At the core of most successful blogs is the amount of money generated (monthly or annually). Obviously, this is subjective because what is enough money to one blog owner might not be to another. I guess some bloggers might never monetize their traffic and still consider themselves a success (and fair play to them if this is the case).
The bottom line?
There is nothing wrong with starting a blog to make money one day. But (and, it’s a big but) you have to make sure you’re expectations are aligned with reality because it takes a long time to start seeing results (even if you’re doing it full time), let alone make money from them.
As I explained a moment ago, to be successful in any way a blog has to build an audience (think thousands of visitors per month, if not tens of thousands). Once this begins to happen, then you can focus more on how to monetise your traffic not before – don’t try running before you can walk.
As you know from the blogging examples great content engages visitors whilst ensuring they return for more. But, how do visitors find your blog posts in the first place?
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
The truth is SEO is a serious profession and specialist skill that people spend whole careers mastering. Most of us acknowledge we’ll never stop learning.
To be successful at blogging you do not need to be a professional or SEO Jedi! But, you absolutely need to know the basics, including the fact that it takes time (months and months, sometimes years) for fully optimised content to rank highly (let alone page one) on Google even if everything has been done correctly.
What this means is the most important factor to be successful at blogging is you, specifically your grit determination. There is a lot to learn and it takes time for any of your hard work to begin paying off.
Even when you’re ‘succeeding’ there is still so much more to do. More brilliant content to create, more SEO to learn, and definitely more time to see any real change in your traffic and money-making potential.
Most bloggers lose their enthusiasm when their audience doesn’t grow quickly enough due to misguided expectations. Go into this ready to fight for every visitor and never stop learning. This way you have a much better chance of finding your version of success.
4. Leading by example: bloggers to follow
Being a blogger means I, of all people, value wonderful content shared by other awesome bloggers. As the last section explained, there is a lot to learn especially on the SEO and technical content marketing side of things.
For this reason, I’ve found myself going back to these blogs (below) to deepen certain areas of my technical know-how. Bookmark the following homepages now and remember to study them down the line when necessary.
Better still, follow my tutorial on how to start a blog properly which provides a solid foundation on everything, including initial on-site SEO which you can then build on going forward (with resources like these).
I also visit them for fresh motivation from time to time, especially if I’ve just pulled an all-nighter and am still wrestling with a troublesome blog post!
5. Ready for lift off?
Blog inspiration is how it usually starts for most people. Maybe you fancy a design blog to release your creative side, or a lifestyle blog to provide compelling insights from your personal experiences. It can be on any topic that people are interested in as long as there is real feeling running through it.
For example, my wife recently decided to start a photography blog due to a renewed enthusiasm for her camera. She wants to share her insights on a wide variety of topics; most importantly though, the soul of the blog is about overcoming the busy nature of everyday life to reconnect with a lost hobby.
It’s a while ago now, but I remember exploring blogs myself: that tectonic shift inside followed by the earth moving realisation… ‘I can actually do this!‘
And you can, you really can.
Just make sure you harness your excitement in the right way by starting out properly and set your expectations in the right place.
For example, good blog design is less important at the beginning; focus on generating lots of blog content and learn more about content marketing (including email marketing).
This prepares you for the realities of running a blog and protects you from yourself, where misguided expectations in an unrealistic time-scale can crush enthusiasm.
Everything is readily available here (including the basics) if you’re willing to work hard, learn well and never give up. And, remember the Golden Rule – failure only occurs if you stop trying to succeed.
All this has got me feeling excited now!
How about you?