Blogging has risen to prominence in the digital age, and it is more relevant now than ever before. Whether you share a passion for a specific topic or want to boost your e-commerce website, blogs are the way to generate a stream of organic search traffic. With the rise of AI and the ongoing evolution of Google's SEO guidelines, there is a growing advantage for those who can create and share in-depth and informative content.
It is easy to think that the blogging world is saturated and that everything has been written before. But if you want to start a business, would you stop yourself from doing so because many businesses already exist? It's all about standing out and delivering quality that stands out above the rest. This may well be less complex than you might initially suspect and could easily result in thousands of free visitors (or more) every month.
10 tips for starting a successful blog
If you already have an e-commerce website, you can usually add a blog section effortlessly. Are you starting from scratch? Then platforms like Wix or WordPress are ideal. For just a modest fee, you're off and running, and thanks to numerous instructional videos on YouTube, you can easily build your own website even without a technical background.
However, just starting a site or blog is not enough. It is crucial to understand and apply SEO rules to become visible in Google. Therefore, here are the 10 most important blog tips.
Choose a specific knowledge domain
Just like starting a business, it's all about a good idea. But just as you don't start a business within an industry you know nothing about, you shouldn't start blogging about something you don't know about either.
The rise of AI has caused Google to stop ranking all articles that are mediocre or incomplete in content. They want the best of the best when it comes to content, experience, or explanation. This is defined in their E-E-A-T principle that is part of the Google Algorithm.
Write a lot and only about one specific topic
Google wants to know if you are an expert in a particular field or topic. You can show that by writing a lot about that topic or field. If you write about deep-sea diving one day and about the best notebook the next, Google gets confused, so to speak.
Would you hire your plumber as a cook at a party because he says he can cook? No, you hire a cook for that. This is also how Google sees your expertise when you blog on a variety of topics.
Post a 1500+ word blog at least twice a week
There are specific guidelines your blog article must meet to rank well in search results. By strictly adhering to these and publishing a blog of 1500+ words at least twice a week, you will soon see results.
It may sound like a hefty task, but if you possess some writing skills and simply take the step to start, you will find that you become more and more adept and fluent at it. Personally, I spend an average of two hours on an article, provided I am already familiar with the topic. If not, it obviously requires additional research time. You may use AI platforms like Chat GTP when writing. Be careful with this though and read up on how to use AI when writing articles.
Create a simple menu and topic structure
It is essential to make it quickly clear to both Google and the user what your blog is about and what specific sub-topics you are covering. You achieve this primarily through a clear and uncluttered menu and topic structure.
Take as an example that you decide to blog on the topic of health, a topic that is hugely versatile. You can go in various directions, such as sports, nutrition, and mental health. But even within those categories, you can specify further. For instance, you could split the sports category into indoor versus outdoor sports, or distinguish between ball sports, strength training, and other sports disciplines.
Exactly how you categorize this is up to you. The important thing is that it is immediately clear and logical for a new visitor.
Use social media to promote your blog posts
The main purpose of blogging is to generate organic search traffic. However, when your article gets a lot of reach and interaction on social media, it definitely contributes to a higher ranking within Google.
However, don't make the mistake of repeatedly sharing an article that gets minimal views and interaction on social media. If your own friends or followers already show no interest, why should a random Google user? The response on social media can give an indication of whether an article has the potential to rank high in Google's search results.
Encourage interaction on your blog
Not every blog post is suitable for it, but if it fits your topic, encourage interaction. Google sees this as a sign that readers appreciate your content. However, don't try to fake interaction yourself; Google quickly figures that out. :)
Try to persuade readers to read multiple articles
The longer visitors stay on your blog, the more relevant they apparently find your blog. At least, that's how Google's algorithm is set up. The easiest way to do this is to show lists of the most popular, most recent, and related articles with each article.
Another way is by linking other relevant articles in your article. You can also see this in this article and also helps Google better index your blog.
Create an author page
Whether you write individually or with a team, make sure each article is linked to a specific author page. On this page, you present the author and his or her background. This makes it easier for Google to assess whether the author is actually an expert on the topic at hand.
Ask for backlinks
Backlinks are referrals from other websites to your blog. Although their importance is slowly diminishing, they can still contribute to better visibility on Google. This is because such a backlink indicates that other websites consider your information valuable.
However, it is crucial that you obtain backlinks from high-quality or reputable websites. Imagine if your 8-year-old neighbor girl recommended a house painter to you; you would probably take her advice with a grain of salt. Similarly, Google regards a backlink from a lesser-known site as less valuable.
A visually appealing article increases reading pleasure compared to uninterrupted text. Therefore, integrate visuals into your content. Remember to give these visuals an appropriate name, as many people search for images via Google.
What can also be very effective are diagrams, tables, or images that contain instructions. However, beware of the trap of overloading your article with visuals merely for the sake of having a visual. They really serve a purpose and should be relevant to your content.
How quickly can you expect results with a blog?
If you post quality articles consistently and several times a week, you can see beginning results after just one month. Within six months, you could easily attract between 500 and 1,000 visitors a month.
However, it is important to realize that the exact number of visitors can vary greatly depending on the knowledge area in which you blog. Logically, fewer people are looking for information about square drawing pins than for tips on how to set up a successful blog. On the other hand, the more popular the topic, the more likely it is that a lot has already been written about it.
How to write a better article than already exists
To reach the top position in Google's search results, you need to write the very best article that perfectly matches a specific search query. You can achieve this by either providing more comprehensive information or more qualitative writing.
Tip for more comprehensive information: Search Google on the desired search term and analyze the top 20 articles that appear. Make sure you cover at least the content of these articles and supplement them with any relevant knowledge you have.
Tip for quality writing: While some topics benefit from concise and vivid explanations, others call for a narrative approach. Better writing can be a matter of personal taste as well as technique. Get your articles read by a few people and take their feedback to heart; this will usually increase quality.
Does blogging have more impact than vlogging?
Any online platform and any form of publishing on the internet can potentially attract a large number of followers and/or visitors. If you can express yourself better through video than text, it might be wiser to start vlogging.
Blogging is often considered easier by most because you don't have to deal with things like lighting, sound quality, editing, and other aspects involved in making a vlog.
While both blogs and vlogs can have a significant impact, it is important to stress that an article that appears in the top 10 of Google's search results typically stays there for between 4 and 8 years. By contrast, a popular TikTok video has an average 'shelf life' of only a few days to weeks.
Q&A on starting a successful blog
Q: What is the importance of blogging?
A: Blogging is now more relevant than ever, especially for generating organic search traffic.
Q: Is the blogging world saturated?
A: Although many topics have already been covered, the key is to stand out and provide quality content.
Q: How important is SEO when blogging?
A: It is crucial to understand and apply SEO rules to become visible in Google.
Q: What should a good blog be about?
A: Choose a specific area of knowledge you are familiar with and make sure you write in-depth and informative.
Q: How often should you blog?
A: Ideally, you should post a 1500+ word blog at least twice a week.
Q: How important is the structure of a blog?
A: A clear and uncluttered menu and topic structure is essential for both Google and users.
Q: How can social media help with blogging?
A: By sharing your blog posts on social media, you can increase reach and interaction, which can contribute to higher Google rankings.
Q: How do you encourage interaction on your blog?
A: Encourage readers to comment where relevant and provide references to other articles on your blog.
Q: What is the importance of an author page?
A: An author page helps Google assess whether the author is an expert on the topic at hand.
Q: How important are backlinks?
A: While their importance is declining, quality backlinks from reputable websites can still help improve visibility on Google.
Q: When can you expect results from your blog?
A: With consistent quality blogging, you can see starting results after about a month, and within six months, you can easily expect between 500 and 1,000 monthly visitors.
Q: How do you write a better article than what already exists?
A: Do thorough research on existing articles and make sure you write a more comprehensive and/or qualitative one.
Q: Is blogging more effective than vlogging?
A: Both can be effective, but a popular blog article can remain visible for years, while a popular vlog has a shorter 'shelf life'.