Building a Successful Blog From Scratch Pt1

Unless
you’re backed by a Venture Capitalist, chances are that you’ll pretty much have
to build your Blog on limited resources and manpower. I’ve seen a lot of Blogs
fade to nothing, some for obvious reasons and some due to mistakes that crept
up on them

unnoticed. In this brief series, I’ll be giving you practical advice
that’ll come in handy in your quest to make your Blog successful. This series
will come in 3 parts:

  • Part 1: The
    Pitfalls
  • Part 2: The
    Tactics
  • Part 3: Q &
    A
If you have any questions then simply drop
them as a comment, I’ll address a collection in Part 3.

The Pitfalls 
The decisions you make when starting out your
Blog could make or break it. I’ll be addressing a few mistakes you might have
made (or are still making) and telling you why they’re not a great
idea. Here we go.
 
Being afraid of making mistakes
and being uncertain about what you want to do
Look, its OK
for your Blog to get hacked (and your content probably deleted) by some bored
Moron. Its OK to get banned from that Ad or
Affiliate network you’re relying on for funding. Its OK to get penalized after
a Google Search update. It’s OK for your Blog’s traffic to drop. It’s OK
to get in trouble for copying someone else’s content. It’s OK not to know what
you really want to do with your Blog. It’s OK for your Blog to get spammed by Bots.
 As unpleasant (and avoided) these things are, they could and do happen…it
comes with the territory. What you need to do is see mistakes as a learning
curve and learn from them. Try your best to avoid these storms but if you find
yourself in them, savor the moment and weather the storm, you’ll come out
stronger and more experienced.
Trying to give what you don’t have
Too often, I
come across Bloggers in a niche they know very little about. If you really want
your Blog to be recognized then you need to actually be good at what you do.
Copying someone else’s post won’t get you there. With time, people who visit
your website will realize that you’re not the original source and don’t know much
about what you’re blogging about then ditch you. The initial traffic increase
you experience (from copying other people’s posts) is a mere illusion. Your
traffic will increase rapidly (not dramatically) and then Tank (drop sharply
due to penalties & desertion). There’s nothing wrong in not being a Guru in
your niche, the problem is you not learning (and therefore not growing);
afterall, the only difference between a Guru and a Novice is the time they have
devoted to acquiring knowledge
Not having a brand identity for your Blog
As a Blogger, if
the contact details on your website are your personal contact details then
you’re not thinking much about the future.
Not separating your Blog’s
identity from yours is a mistake you’ll pay for dearly (for several reasons).
I’ll give you a brief example. A few years back, I met a Blogger. The name
on his personal Facebook account was the same as his Blog’s name. Not only
Facebook actually, all his personal accounts on other websites were the very
same as his Blog name. Now, here’s where the time bomb went off
 As usual,
you could get into personal skirmishes with people online. Nothing stops you
from joining the fray or falling out with someone online (even get in the mud),
the problem is when you do so with your Brand’s name. If someone throws
a personal insult at you, the name that insult hits is your Brand (as that’s
the name seen). Of course his Blog died a slow but very steady death and is no
more.
Trying to make the most money out of
practically no traffic
I’ve come
across some new Blogs with really heavy ad presence. I’ve been on the
internet for well over 15 years
so you can imagine when I
say really heavy Ad presence; Popups, Popunders, Banners all over
the Place, Interstitial Ads, Floating Ads, Text link Ads, Recommended content
Ads all on one thin page. 
Anybody who consciously returns to such a website
will most likely be armed with an Ad Blocker and such a website will be the
last to be visited. When you try to make as much money as possible from the
10 people that visit your Blog daily (to the detriment of user experience) then
you’re determined not to grow
. I salute you for such courage because I
don’t have it!
Copying from other Blogs
There’s this
sense of satisfaction you get when you publish a Blog post. After the Adrenalin
has begun fading (You might also know it as initial gragra)
and you’re now hit with no idea what to post & no traffic, it could be
tempting to start lifting content from more popular websites just to stay
active. Well guess what, if you do that then your Blog will always remain a fly
in the City and be prone to getting crushed anytime. If you think visitors are
loyal then think again. Once there’s a better website, they’ll jump ship. By
copying, you’re merely advertising better websites and not getting any better
yourself.
No Financial plan
I’ve seen too
many Blogs fail because the owners handled the Blog like a hobby and not a
Business. If you think the goal is to pay for your domain name, hosting and
data then pocket the rest, you’re not seeing the bigger picture. Do you ever
consider numbers like how long you could maintain the Blog if your income dried
up suddenly and nothing came in for a while? What of numbers like the ratio of
your increase in income to your increase in cost as your Blog grows? Do you
even keep a ledger of your Blog’s income and cost? 
Paranoia towards other Bloggers in your
niche
Its quite
normal to see other Bloggers in your Niche as rivals but don’t be blinded to
benefits both parties could enjoy from an association. A few years
back, I knew a Forum owner. I decided to contribute at his Forum and his
members loved me. I was surprised to have received a warning from him accusing
me of trying to woo his members over to my website. I’d not posted any links so
I of course replied to know how I was being manipulative and what rules I’d
violated. I got no reply because even he knew I’d broken no rules; he was just
being paranoid. I shook it off and continued contributing. A second warning
came with no Post of mine referenced (or deleted) or forum rule quoted. I read
in between the lines and just stopped being active.
 
He’d naively
scared off many other brilliant minds from his Forum this way and its now been
taken over by spammers. Even his Moderators ditched him. If you’ve been
building walls then those won’t help you grow.
The Lure of quick success
If you’ve been
fooled by tales of ‘Bloggers’ who buy cars and build houses from
their blogging income then wake up, there’s always more to the story. They’ve
only shown you the success part, there’s a work (or underground) part which
they hardly ever mention (to make their success look effortless). It takes
time, consistency, wit & devotion to build a successful Blog.
See you in Part
2
(courtesy of hovatek).
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12 thoughts on “Building a Successful Blog From Scratch Pt1

  1. Thanks for this post, and its very helpful,also this is my best ever post/article of this year from this blog Yomiprof.com and daz why I named it as my Best Post of the year from Yomiprof blog. I really found this post helpful bro cos I learn and find different and a lots of thing from this post.

    Commenting From

    Naijatechviral-Home Of Tech

  2. Unless you're backed by a Venture Capitalist,..

    You really nailed it boss,

    however, my issues now is my earnings. All my clicks are counting $0.1 and less than $4 in a month

    Is here whats left for me to do

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