Creating the perfect blog is difficult but it’s achievable when you understand what goes in to making a blog perfect. Right off bat let me share this piece of simple advice, if nothing else remember this advice, it will help you beat 99% of your competition without even trying.
Understand what your blog is about, figure out why people read it then write about it!
You might not understand this advice straight away so let me spell it out for you.
This blog is about making money online, my readership (you) want to know “how to make money with a blog” every post I write has an element of making money online in it. I might be writing about content, affiliate marketing, social media or some other associated area but at the heart of it is making money.
To create the perfect blog in your niche you’ll need to have this level of laser focus. You must consistently produce useful content which solves a problem or inspires your readers. Too many bloggers jump from topic to topic with no real direction, I’ve done it myself. What I want you to take from this post is that your success as a blogger is intrinsically linked to the advice above and it’s worth repeating:
What is the single most important message of your blog, why do people visit your blog, what do they expect to find and are you giving them what they expect?
If you give your readers the answers they crave they’ll stay, if you don’t they’ll leave! The perfect blog in any niche answers every question, if provides solutions to problems, it leaves no stone upturned and it evolves into the best resource in that niche. Anything short of this level is failure, your blog must provide the best information in the niche and when it does you’ve created the perfect blog.
Don’t Get Hung up
Another piece of advice worth listening to is:
Don’t get hung up on what others bloggers in your niche are doing.
I know when I first started I was in ore of “authority blogs”, they had it all, they’d cornered my niche and were years ahead of me. My advice is “get over it” you too can become an authority, it’ll take time but you can do it!
You’re creating the perfect blog and that won’t happen overnight, it will take time and effort but don’t forget you have an advantage “You”. You can bring your own unique take on your niche, you can learn from the others then go on and beat them at their own game. Never lose sight of your purpose, what is your blog about, what does your audience want and are you giving it to them?
The Mechanics of the Perfect Blog
You can spend $1000’s on blog design, SEO, marketing etc…..it’s all bollocks if your blog isn’t giving your readers what they want. I have never visited a blog because of its design nor have I gone back because it was slick at marketing; have you?
I have a limited number of blogs I visit regularly because they answer my questions, they solve my problems and they do it without a fuss. This in my opinion is the perfect blog!
Here’s an example for you…
Let’s say I was starting a blog called “Training Your New Puppy”, what do you think I should write about?
That’s right I should write about training a new puppy, seems obvious doesn’t it!
Stop for a moment and think about your blog if you have one, what’s the main message and are you conveying this message in every post, have you optimized every part of your blog to achieve your goal?
Getting back to my hypothetical blog what aspects of training a puppy should I write about? The answer is all of them. Put you in the position of the new puppy owner, what do they need to know? Visit blogs, forums and Q&A type sites in the puppy niche and guess what; new puppy owners will be asking questions and looking for answers to the problems their having, your job is to answer their questions with advice or a solution that works.
As I want to become the authority in the niche I would suggest a good foundation would be to write articles under these headings which are taken from common questions:
- Choosing a puppy, finding a breeder, questions to ask a breeder, puppy temperaments, puppy inoculations, choosing a vet, puppy insurance
- Transporting a puppy home, preparing your home for a puppy, choosing puppy products
- Basic puppy training, socializing your puppy, potty training, puppies first night, cage training, food training
- Teaching a puppy to sit, stay, walking on a lead, choosing a lead for a puppy
- Puppy health, puppy and children, correcting puppy behavior, choosing a training school
OK so you get the idea and this is only scratching the surface. Writing to this level of detail very quickly builds your authority in the niche, people will ask questions and you answer them before you know it they’ll be sharing your content and help build your audience.
Mining your niche
Above I have just described “mining”, in blogging terms this means drill down your niche. Try to answer every possible question your readers could have. The perfect blog concentrates on the details, not everyone has your level of knowledge, write assuming your readers know nothing and you will very quickly win hearts and minds.
Making Money with the perfect blog
Do you remember the advice at the beginning of this post?
Understand what your blog is about, find out what your readers want and write about it!
I hope I’ve explained and demonstrated the importance of creating the most useful blog in your niche, if you haven’t got the point yet can I suggest you read it all again.
Every day I receive emails from new bloggers complaining about the amount of money their making, I give them the same advice.
Build authority first by being useful
Some ignore it and fail but others grasp the idea and build their authority, then and only then they move onto monetizing their blog.
Introduce Monetization Slowly
If I visit a blog and the first thing I see is adverts I hit the back button. I’m not alone because I’ve surveyed friends and family and they do the same. Rightly or wrongly if I’m greeted with a sea of monetization I assume that’s all the bloggers interested in “taking my money!”
Perfect blogs don’t do this, they get you hooked first then over time they’ll introduce you to products and services that fulfill your need, solve your problem or help you move forward with your life. At no point will they sell you anything that’s not what they’re there for, they’ll help you do something and in doing so they’ll make money as a bi product.
The perfect blog doesn’t monetize until it has something to monetize
I would imagine your next question would be “How do I monetize the perfect blog?” the answer lies in writing the perfect blog post which I’ll cover in my next post but let me expand on monetizing the perfect blog.
There seems to be an unwritten rule which says “sidebars must be filled with adverts”. Sidebars are part of the blogging experience, its prime real estate and should be treated with respect. If you think about it a visitor lands on your blog and reads from left to right, inevitably their attention will be drawn to your right hand sidebar, when this happens what do you want them to see?
Option 1: Adverts which are designed to get your reader to spend money, often these have nothing to do with helping the reader and worse still take your visitor away from your blog when they click.
Option 2: Useful links to other parts of your blog. These links promote your best work, keep readers on your site and tell the search engines your blogs interesting.
Option 3: A mixture, I’m split testing at the moment using the Chitika Ad Network and the VigLink program which for most are a good alternative to Google Adsense. It’s early days and it will take some time to get set-up across my sites so I will report back on the test at a later date.
I’m sure you’ll agree option 2 will be more beneficial to your audience and you in the longer term. The perfect blog is about encouraging engagement, audience participation if you like and there’s no quicker way to kill this than sending them somewhere else from your front page.
As your blog traffic expands you can start split testing ad networks, affiliate programs and many other monetizaion methods. My blog is at that stage but I urge caution and encourage you to do it slowly.
The perfect blog courts its readers by offering up useful solutions, this can be with written content, videos, podcast even eBooks. Whichever media you use it should never stray away from your core message and it should always add value to your visitor.
Call to Action
You have a visitor on your blog, you’ve encouraged them to explore, hopefully you’ve added value to their visit so now you have one last job to complete and that’s to get your visitor to do something!
This is your chance to get something in return and it doesn’t have to be money, you need a call to action, a request to your reader to help you out in some way.
The perfect blog is always looking for opportunities to improve, find new readers, encourage participation and generally build its authority. In the early days your best options are to ask for comments (make sure you reply), ask your visitors to share your blog with their friends, join you on Twitter and sign up to your email newsletter.
I’ll cover all of these in detail in later posts so for now lets summarize and please let me know if you’ve found this post useful and of course share it with your friends, thank you!