Starting to blog?
Congratulations on your decision!
Already blogging for a while?
Congratulations on your persistence!
Doesn't matter if you just start, or you have decent mileage on your keyboard, we all learn everyday. We MUST learn everyday.
That’s why I created this monstrous list of 101 blog tip for both newbie and experienced bloggers.
Hope you’ll learn something new, or remind yourself something you already knew, but forgot.
There are bunch of blogging platforms out there. But I recommend you use WordPress. WordPress is reliable. Flexible. Easy to use. And most importantly, free to use.
Still not convinced? Check out WPBeginner’s reasons on why you should use WordPress.
And check Pat Flynn’s video on how to create a WordPress blog in just four (yes, 4) minutes.
Start building your email list
Money is in the list. Don’t waste money. Start building your email list from day one.
If you are newbie, you can start with MailChimp. With them, you can create a list up to 2,000 subscribers for FREE!
Put your email opt-in form on the top of the post, at the end of the post, and in a few other places
No. It’s not spammy.
You remind, and encourage people to sign up.
Use feature box
People will often link to your homepage. Therefore, you’ll get a lot of visits on your homepage.
Feature box is basically a large opt-in from at the top of your homepage.
According to Derek Halpern, this drives a lot of signups.
Don’t use too many things on your sidebar
You want people to read your content, right?
Then don’t distract them with bunch of unimportant stuff in your sidebar. Use only few. Opt-in form, most popular posts, and maybe a few links to your products.
Don’t use too many links in navigation menu
If you want people to go through your site easily, don’t confuse them with complex navigation.
Use simple navigation, without drop-downs, and as little links in navigation menu as you can.
Make easy for people to contact you
Don’t hide your contact form on some lame page.
People want to ask you. People want to praise you. And yes, people want to criticize, but that’s the part of the game. Make easy for them to do it.
Don’t be a douche.
Use social media sharing buttons
Having social media sharing buttons increases social media sharing.
But, despite that, there are many blogs that don’t use them. And I don’t even try to copy the link and share it on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. I’m lazy. And so are other people.
But don’t use ALL of them! Having too many social media sharing buttons can make your blog slower. And if people have too many options, they won’t choose any of them.
Make your blog mobile-friendly
More and more people are reading their favorite blogs on mobile phones and tablets. Don’t lose readers because of this.
Nowadays, you just pick a mobile-responsive WordPress theme, and use it for your own blog.
Choose an elegant, responsive, multi-purpose, simple-to-use WordPress template
Your blog can look amazing, without hiring a web designer, or learning how to code.
You can choose from bunch of themes at ThemeForest.
You see why I told you to use WordPress. ☺
Have a detailed About page
People who visit your blog want to know who is that person that they are reading.
Write about yourself. What you do. What you plan to do. What can they expect to see in the future.
Focus on creating good About page, as much as you focus on creating good blog post.
Don’t use big images
And by “big”, I mean big in size, not resolution.
Compress your images as much as you can, because big image files can slow down the loading of your blog, which is NEVER good.
Avoid things that can slow down your website
Again, you don’t want anything that can slow down your blog.
People have an attention span of 3-5 seconds on the Internet. They simply WON’T wait.
E-consultancy listed 20 things that slow down your website. Reduce them as much as you can.
Use passive and active colors
Another tip I learned from Derek Halpern.
Concept is simple. On your blog you should have two types of colors:
1. Active — that signalizes people that they can perform an action (button, link, etc.)
2. Passive — all other colors (your logo, text, etc.)
Don’t use Comic Sans, and other “cool, funny” fonts
No. They are not cool. Not interesting.
They are ugly. And ruin your efforts to become a respected blogger.
Use Georgia, Helvetica, Verdana, and other really cool fonts.
Don’t use too big or too small fonts
People of all ages will read your blog on different screen sizes.
Don’t make hard for them to read. Use 14 or 16 as font size for normal text.
Use bright font on dark background, and vice-versa
I thought this is obvious… Until I saw blogs that still use black font color on dark gray background.
Don’t do this. In fact, stick to good old black text on white color. You can never go wrong with this.
Install Google Analytics code on your blog
“What get’s measured, get’s managed.” — Peter Drucker
I’d add: And gets improved over time.
Install these essential plugins
WordPress enables you to create whatever you want, using plugins.
But, if you are just starting, focus just on there essential ones.
Choose good and reliable hosting
Good hosting is like good street to live in.
Lot’s of space. Not to crowded. No traffic jams. No crashes in front of your house.
I use Hostgator. And I’m happy with it.
If you want to try it, you can use 101BlogTip coupon to get your first month for just 1 cent (%.01).
Write headlines that motivate people to click
People will decide whether they’ll read your blog post or not, based on your headline. That’s because they don’t see anything else in their inbox or newsfeed.
Learn a craft of writing magnetic headlines.
Also, check Jon Morrow’s free eBook 52 Headline Hacks.
Invest hours, or even days, on creating great call-to-action
What do you want people to do after they read your blog post?
Buy something? Share your post? Comment? Read another one?
Be specific. And tell them exactly what you want them to do next.
Don’t let them think.
Don’t publish your post the same day you wrote it
There are some mistakes that you maybe can’t see right away.
After you write your blog post, leave it for a day or two.
Don’t edit your post as you write
You’re wasting time.
Just write. After you finish, leave it for a day or two. Then edit it. The leave it for another day or two.
Then publish it.
Always have the end goal in mind
What’s the purpose of your blog? Your posts?
What do you want people to do, or learn, or think after reading your blog?
Always have that in mind.
Change your location from time to time
It will boost your creativity.
Noisli.com is a great web tool that…well…makes noises.
If you want the sound of water, wind, or a fire while you write, just play it on Noisli. Also, you can use their distraction-free writing tool. But the colors on that thing can be a little weird.
Start your post with a story
Once upon a time, there was a blogger. Tall. Handsome. He lived on a beach with his darling. When he wasn't writing with his feet in the sand, he would go fishing. He loved fishing.
You liked this? This is a stupid example that just came out of my head, and you still want to know more about this blogger. ☺
Stories are powerful. Use them. Wisely.
Write short paragraphs
It’s easy to read. No more than 3-5 sentences per paragraph.
Write short sentences
It’s even easier to read.
Don’t use BIG words
Just because you have a PhD, it doesn't mean you should write using academic language. Unless you are writing an academic paper.
Don’t use complicated words, if there are simpler ones available.
Add pics, videos, podcasts if it’s relevant
If there’s some peace of content that fits great in what you’re trying to say, embed it.
Give your best stuff to readers
People will appreciate it. And you’ll gain their trust. And if you are providing some service, or you sell a product, it will help you sell more.
Don’t trust me?
OK. Here’s an example.
About a year ago, I created a step-by-step guide for my Serbian audience on how to create great Facebook ad. Follow it step-by-step, and you’ll create your ad.
Even then, dozens of people reached out to me, asking me to create a Facebook ads for them.
Crazy, I know. But it works.
Have a writing schedule
Don’t wait for inspiration.
It won’t come.
Determine when are you writing and what. And start.
Don’t be someone you’re not
Fake it ‘till you make it is one thing.
But being something you are not, just because it would be cool to others is just lame. And it won’t last long.
Blog post (or video, podcast) should be as long as you need to make a point or explain what you want
And not a word, second or image longer.
Create something that people would want to link to
In other words, write epic shit.
Link out to other people’s posts, where relevant
On some topics, I’m smarter than you. In some other topics, you are smarter than me.
Let’s not play smart-asses, and try to explain or prove something that we don’t know much about, when we can link to someone who knows.
“Steal” content from others
“Good artists copy, great artists steal.“ — Pablo Picasso
Example: Someone wrote 50 tips for bloggers. I took that idea, and wrote 101 tip. You can use this idea to create a 200+ tips. Or can use this ide to create 21 essential tip for bloggers.
Steal. Don’t copy.
Write for other blogs
It’s great for getting readers.
Guest blogging helped Alex Turnbull to reach million people, and get users for Groove.
Guest blogging also helped Buffer to get 100,000 customers!
Publish on other publishing platforms
And it’s not just other blogs where you can publish your content.
Why not try to publish on Medium.com? Or Moz.com? Or Kinja.com? Tumblr?
You can also reach new people here, and you can get backlinks as well.
Use Google Keyword Planner to generate ideas
Open Google Keyword Planner Tool. Type your main keyword. Use keyword ideas to generate post ideas.
Use Open Site Explorer and Quick Sprout to generate ideas
Find top blogs in your niche.
You’ll find what are the most popular posts on their blogs. And you can create something better.
Write blog post series
Why writing one gigantic post that no one will read? Instead, divide that huge blog post into few smaller ones and offer that to your readers as free course.
Write evergreen content
Don’t (always) follow current trends.
Focus more on creating timeless content. Content that will be relevant for months and years after you've written it.
Example: 1,000 True Fans
Break your posts with subheadings
Subheading should be a bigger idea or statement, that you’ll explain better in the post below.
This makes your post more organized, and easier to read.
Aim for your reader’s emotions
We are not the creatures of logic. We are creatures of emotions.
Write your posts so that people can actually FEEL something once they read it.
Aiming for emotions is one of the key ingredients of going viral.
Know your audience
Who are you writing for?
Not a group of people, but who is that one person that you are writing for?
Once you figure out that, write just for that one person. Others will fit in.
Write as descriptive as you can
“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” — Anton Chekhov
Don’t use “boring” language
Use active voice. Don’t use passive voice.
Don’t talk to me like I’m a robot. I’m a human being. Use simple words. Fun words. Make me laugh. Make me think. Make me cry.
Write like you would talk to a friend
You know that one person you are writing to?
Now, imagine that’s your friend. You are at a coffee shop. You are trying to explain him something. Now write that down, using the same language.
Use proven data to backup your claims
Maybe I don’t trust you, but I’ll trust Forbes. Or Men’s Health.
If you make a bold claim, back it up with some more trustful resource.
Set your writing time
You already have a writing schedule, right?
Cool. Now set the timer and start writing.
Reply to your reader’s comments
Just like answering your emails, it’s polite. And it’s something that builds engaged audience.
Get people to write for your blog
Want some big name in your industry to write for your blog? Want to interview them?
You’ll be surprised how many will say yes!
Write list posts for other blogs
List posts are easy to read. People love to share them, and therefore they generate a lot of traffic.
And they are easy to write. Except if you try to write 101 tip for something. That’s not easy. ☺
Use each part of a list post as an idea for a post for your blog
But, once you have a huge list post, you use each part of the list as an idea for a blog post.
For example, I can use “Backup you blog” tip, and write an entire post on how to backup your blog.
And I can do that with 90% of items on this list.
Plus, you can use this for other people’s list posts.
There are no blogging rules. Just stuff that worked
There are mathematical rules. Nature rules. Economical rules.
There’s no such thing as blogging rule.
Use something that worked for someone else. Then test it for yourself.
It’s OK to suck at blogging in the beginning
Every pro was an amateur once.
You don’t need to be perfect to start, but you’ll need to start to become perfect.
Backup your blog
Don’t let all your hard work burst into flames because there was some minor bug on the hosting server that you use. Backup your blog regularly and you are safe.
Think about security
Use no more than 17 words in your headline
I have no idea why. ☺
I learned this from Ted Nicholas, copywriting legend. And I apply this “rule” since them. According to him, and the tests he had, everything above 17 words converts less.
Use bullet points
Just like subheadings, it’s easier to read.
Use power words
Power words make you a better writer. And make your story stronger.
Know your audience
Yes, I’m repeating myself. It’s that important to know your audience.
Use Quora and Yahoo Answers to generate ideas
Use questions on these sites as ideas for you blog.
There will be a****es who’ll hate you for no reason. Ignore them
Just choose to ignore them. It’s not easy in the beginning, but start ignoring them, and in a few weeks you even notice them.
Share your posts on social media
This is especially important for new bloggers.
When I wrote my first blog post, I was TERRIFIED to publish it and share it on Facebook and Twitter.
But, you know what? I did it. And it wasn't a big deal. Many people liked it. Some of them didn't.
But nothing scary happened. We tend to overthink and imagine scenarios that are less likely to happen. Don’t be afraid to share.
If you don’t share your stuff, you can’t expect others to do that.
Share your posts on relevant Facebook groups
Use Facebook’s Graph Search to find relevant groups.
Type: Groups Named “your topic”
Join the top groups. Be a good member. Don’t spam! Comment a lot and contribute a lot. And share you posts with them.
Share your posts with people who might be interested in what you wrote
If you don’t ask, the answer is always NO.
If you have a useful and valuable piece of content, reach out to people who written something similar. Send them an email and ask them what they think about your post/video.
If they like it, they’ll share it.
You’ll be surprised.
Makes you focused.
Go for a walk in the woods
It will clear your mind.
Go to the gym
It will release you from stress.
Write a lot. Even if you never publish what you wrote
Practice makes perfect.
Commit yourself to write 1,000 words per day. Or just 500. But do it.
Put your blog URL in your email signature, on your business card, etc.
If you send a lot of emails, or attend a lot of conferences, this makes a lot of sense.
Promote your posts using highly-targeted Facebook Ads
I’ll take my example.
I created a how-to tutorial (I took it down for some of my reasons). Then, I created a promoted post ad, targeting only the people who are most likely to be interested. I putted $50 on that ad, and that post generated $300 in sales.
Now that’s ROI! ☺
Take your best blog posts. Expand them. Turn them into eBooks
Just make them more detailed. With more data. With more how-to tips. With more expert quotes and tips.
And you can use these newly written eBooks as bribes for your subscribers, or maybe you can sell them, if they are really good.
Turn them into video
YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world.
People love video.
Turn them into podcasts
You’ll reach new audience on iTunes.
Plus, people can listen your stuff while going to the gym, driving, running, etc.
Check out this episode from Amy Porterfield’s podcast with John Lee Dumas on how to start and build a profitable podcast.
Turn them into infographics
They’re cool. We all love them. If you know how to create one, or you know someone who can create one, don’t waste time.
Don’t pay attention to what Matt Cutts says
For you that don’t know, Matt Cutts is the head of the Google’s Web Spam team.
And he shares a lot of SEO tips. Listen some them, but don’t listen all of them.
Well, expecting for Matt Cutts to tell you how to rank in Google is the same thing as expecting your girlfriend’s father to tell you how to drag his daughter to bed.
It’s not gonna happen.
Don’t pay attention to what other “influencers” say
Listen to them. Follow what they do.
But seek your own path, and test everything.
What works for me, might not work for you. What works for you, might not work for me.
Test. Test. Test. And then test even more
Headlines. Length of the post. Post types.
Call-to-actions. Blog design…
Test everything. Even a small change can create big results over time.
Explore possibilities of creating your own iOS Newsstand Magazine
Taking your blog posts (and other people’s blog posts, with permission, of course) and publishing them as iOS Newsstand Magazine is a great way to find new audience.
And to make some money.
And to call yourself a magazine publisher. It’s so cool.
Take people, events, products that don’t have an obvious connection, and find a way to connect them
What do Kim Kardashian and blogging have in common?
How watching Star Wars can make you a better parent?
I have no idea! But once I have a crazy headline like this, I’ll start exploring the invisible connections.
This is something I did with Jedi Guide for Success in Business and Life.
Take some key points from your posts and publish them on relevant forums and Reddit
Forums are big thing. Still.
Read. A lot. Everything
“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” ― Stephen King
Need more reasons?
Befriend with people outside your area of expertise and writing
You’ll learn new things.
You’ll hear new ideas.
You’ll be able to see things from a different perspective.
Visit as much seminars, conferences, meetups as you can
Not just offline. Attend webinars, online workshops, etc.
You’ll be amazed how many quality people you’ll meet, how many you’ll learn, and how many blog ideas are you going to get.
Don’t use auto-play music and video
It’s not 1999. Just don’t do it. It’s annoying.
Write (and you don’t need to show it to anyone) about a topic that you know nothing about
This way, you’ll learn how to collect useful knowledge, and how to translate that knowledge into useful posts.
If you do this right, just imagine how easy it would be to write stuff that you care about.
And who knows. Maybe you discover some new passion along the way.
Choose a topic, pick a stand that you DON’T support and write a post where you support that stand (of course, you don’t need to show it to anyone)
This way, you’ll learn how to see things from other people’s perspective.
This will be HUGE when you need to write a sales letter, or copy for your landing page.
Do this, and you can thank me later.
Use pop-ups. Don’t overuse them
Pop-ups are so powerful!
People say they hate them. And they say that they hate blogs that use them. But the numbers don’t lie. Pop-ups have insane conversion rate.
But don’t be a douche and use pop-ups on every click or every page. Be strategic. And test.
If you want to create high-quality pop-ups that convert, I recommend using Michel Dunlop’s Pop-Up Domination.
Write a book on topic that you blog about
Nothing boosts your authority like a book.
Even thou anyone can write and self-publish a book these days, we still look at authors as authorities.
I remember watching a video where John Chow talks about how there are other people who know more about blogging than him. But, he has written a book about blogging. And that’s why people call him to be on the stage and talk about blogging, and not those other guys.
Respond to emails that readers are sending you
It’s polite to do that.
And it makes you a nice guy.
Use questions in those emails as blog post ideas
Often, people will ask you some questions.
Answer them. And then use these questions and answer them in your blog posts, podcast, video.
Don’t sell out your hard work for a few bucks (or backlinks)
You invested time and energy to build something.
A list. An audience.
Don’t throw it away and spam, or even worse, scam, people, just so you could earn a few bucks from commissions or get a few backlinks.
Reach out to potential advertisers
Don’t wait for things to happen.
If you want something, whether it’s blogging, business or life, you have to ask for it.
Find blogs and magazines that write about the same topic. See who advertises with them. Reach out to those advertisers, and offer them to advertise at your blog. And explain them WHY.
Build friendships, not links
Google can delete your backlinks. Facebook can delete your friends.
Neither of them can delete your friendships.
Don’t do anything that you’d be ashamed to show to your grandma
This is your red line.
Always ask WWGS: What Would Grandma Say?
And that would it!
I would like to hear from you, so leave a comment here, or reach out to me on Twitter.
And if you like this huge post, share with your friends and followers.
*Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate link in some places. Don’t hate me for that. It takes a lot of coffee to write this type of monster. ☺