Happy New Year! 2022 is here. I'm sure you have some amazing goals set for this year. Well me too. If you're seriously considering giving this whole 'blogging' thing a go in 2022, I have one word for you. Go for it! It's never too late to start.
2022 also marks my 12th year as a full-time blogger. I started in August of 2010, but that's another story for another occasion.
If you've just arrived at this post at any time during 2022, I want you to know that it's not too late to start. And if you really want to create a blog, and this happens to be your first time, there's something important that you need to know first.
As of 2020, it's estimated that there are over 600 million blogs on the internet. This is combined with over 2 million blog posts published daily.
That's some big numbers to crunch, right?
The thing is, creating yet another blog just to add to that noise is not going to cut it. Not anymore. You have to build a meaningful blog.
A meaningful blog is not just another 'me too' blog. It has to be meaningful as in "important and worthwhile".
There are plenty of "me too" blogs out there anyway.
So, if you're thinking about creating a blog for the sake of it. Or worst, because you've heard that you can make a bit of money and get famous from blogging. I'm sorry to break your bubble, but I think that ship sailed a long time ago. And with that mindset, you're most likely to fail.
Let me just go back a little bit. What do I mean by the "make money from blogging" ship has sailed?
Well, ten years ago, yes making money from blogging was a popular reason to start a blog perhaps. Not anymore. Besides, there are far better methods and platforms to use to make money online than to start a blog.
What, you think that my main source of income is from my blog here at Magnet4Blogging? It used to be. But, if I had relied on just that, I'd be broke today.
The thing is, most people that get into blogging, are driven by the motivation that they will make lots of money. And they end up failing. This is because they set their expectations too high right off the bat.
Building a worthwhile blog takes time, smart work, and an incredible amount of patience. So, now let me give you a few quick pointers on how to do this the right way.
Now let's dive a little deeper into each one of these.
You may have read this piece of advice a million times already. Even so, I see so many new bloggers starting a blog about a topic they know nothing about. Yes, this still happens today.
The number of emails that I get from folks asking for my advice because they can't seem to find a reason to continue with their blog.
Passion is key. I'll come back to this in just a second.
Now, there's actually nothing wrong with starting a blog in a niche you aren't familiar with. Some people will argue that you have to find a niche that's profitable. But, in my experience, it's much harder to stay consistent at blogging about a topic that you know little or care much about.
I've created dozens of blogs on topics I knew nothing about in the past. To me, they were both more than lucrative opportunities, and thus I thought I could make them work.
Well, after some months, I got bored and gave up on most of them. My heart simply wasn't in it. I wasn't passionate enough, regardless of the fact that I could make a little bit of extra money from those niches.
Let's go back to passion. That's the key right there. I keep drumming on about this, but passion is always going to be a critical component in any blogging venture.
You have to be in love with the topic you choose.
Because when you are passionate, the content you produce will always be meaningful to you and your audience.
Check out this post for tips on finding a great niche for your blog.
Once you have picked a worthwhile topic to blog about, next you need to define who your target audience will be.
Who are you writing for?
Now, this process is not a quick one, it takes time to figure out who your actual readers are.
You need to take it one post at a time. For instance -
Over time, you will begin to notice a trend with the types of content that your readers enjoy and find most interesting and valuable. From this, you can begin defining your audience more effectively.
You're always aiming to provide value with your blog. Never forget the purpose of your blog. Every blog post should contain something useful for your readers to take away.
That being said, you do not want to give everything away for free. At some point, you may want to create some premium content, such as an eBook or an online course. One of these things could become your value proposition. Or maybe it is just your blog.
The thing is, you can always improve and refine your unique value proposition. And again, this takes time. The better you understand your readers, their needs, wants, problems, the smarter you will be at making your UVP, your content, and offers irresistible.
So, maybe you have a dozen or so decent blog posts published on your blog. Hopefully, some of those posts will have comments and shares too.
After some time, you will have also honed in on your target audience and refined your value proposition. It's time to create your killer content strategy.
You can check the comments and social mentions to see what people are talking about. What questions are being asked, problems are being shared, etc. Use this information to make a list of blog post topic ideas for the future.
Creating a content strategy is vital for staying consistent in blogging and for building a meaningful blog.
What makes a blog meaningful is the content itself. As an author, your job is to make that content important and worthwhile that readers fall in love with it.
Boring, below-average content that does little to strike a chord in your reader's hearts will not be remembered.
You can plan how many posts you want to publish each week for the next 3 or 6 months. You can also write the topics of those posts in advance so that you don't run out of ideas.
This eBook should help you with your content planning and strategizing.
By now you should have some worthy comments and social shares on your blog posts.
Well, engagement is a great indication that your blog is alive and active. You can also use your blog's engagement value to plan future blog posts that will promote further comments and social shares.
Be sure to plan out your engagement strategy in advance too.
When will you respond to comments and mentions on social media?
One thing you must never do is ignore your readers. Every comment, every mention, every share on Facebook, retweet, repost needs a response or acknowledgment from you. At least in the beginning.
I've been blogging for some time and no longer accept comments on my blog, but I always keep an eye on who's mentioning my content on platforms outside of my blog.
Check out this post on how to build a rock-solid blog community.
What on earth is a success strategy? you might be asking yourself.
Well, some people call it goal setting.
Whatever you want to call it, one thing you must have is structure. Without structure, you can't be consistent. You can't track your progress either. And, without consistency, your blog will not grow into a meaningful let alone a successful one.
Plan everything from your content, social media, guest blogging, blog commenting, to your traffic generation strategy.
To help you build the most meaningful blog, I've created an awesome pro blog planner workbook that I think you'll love using. You can check it out here.
This is perhaps the most important ingredient of them all.
Be an original blogger. Don't be a copycat blogger.
Yes, by all means, you can follow, admire, and read other bloggers' success stories. But you have your own story to write and tell, and your own blogging path to follow.
Don't fall into the habit of comparing yourself with another blogger or entrepreneur, either.
You can't replicate another blogger's style, tone, voice, strategy and expect to get the same results. It doesn't work like that, I don't care what anyone told you.
People love originality. So, make yourself and your blog unique. Develop a persona that is your own. Make your content meaningful, resourceful, and valuable and you'll stand out in the noisy crowd.
So, there you have it. Seven critical tips to help you build a meaningful blog in 2022, 2023, and beyond those years.
Just remember this, especially if you've just started on your blogging journey:
Building a great blog is a lifetime commitment. As long as there is the internet, and as long as people continue to consume content online, your blog will always be valuable to your intended audience. Now, go make a start, and once again, Happy New Year!