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How to start a successful blog in 2021

Vikrant Duggal
Vikrant Duggal
• 4 min read

So, what are you writing about today?

Well, I'm doing a long form post on the topic of blogging.

Why?

I don't know if you know, but last year I wrote some informative articles to help Founders running technology startups. I've been writing shorter, daily essays for a bit. With all this writing it's boosted my profile (Twitter follower count is up 1,000 in the last 8 months and growing). While I do not want to be a full-time blogger, I want to do what the best bloggers do, once in a while.

So, longer post? How long?

2,000+ word blog posts. They say 1 in 5 bloggers do it.

Sounds hard. What else?

I'm also super handsome.

What does that have to do with anything?

It has everything to do with everything. Now that I have your attention (and you're focused on my good looks) let me tell you some things. In 2020 I created a number of projects, started writing, and I refreshed the website. I made it easier to sign up to my newsletter. I really made a decision to think about this site as an asset and I wanted to increase the value it provides for you and for me. Over the last six month I've produced a number of pieces of content, launched an email newsletter, and started seeing some increased traffic to the site.

No way?

Way. Like I said, I am not looking to be a professional blogger. I don't want to make money as a blogger. If I'm going to writing online, I might as well pick up the low hanging fruit and get the most out of my time. And make it worth your time.

Why should I care about blogging?

Well, there's a big problem right now in the world.

The Pandemic?

Well, yes that is a really big problem, but people, maybe people like you are struggling with understanding how to to leverage the Internet for increase opportunity. Most of us are home a lot. We are also on the Internet, a lot. Why should the tech stocks get to have all the fun and make all the money? Did you know you can leverage the Internet to increase your opportunity?

Fair point. I do want more opportunity. I've heard about it, but this is hard.

Yes, it is hard. You have to write online and that was a challenge for me. I never really wrote online like I do now and if I'm going to do it, I want to do it really well.

So, that's your answer? Write online? Can you also help me look more handsomer?

I'm learning this writing online stuff. I can definitely make you a lot of money without writing online (Consulting Club has applications open through January 20, 2020.) But let me share what I've learned so far.

Assumptions

Three assumptions you must agree with:

  • Writing is the most scalable professional networking activity
  • Create a perspective
  • Writing online supports building a digital lighthouse

Learnings

What's the problem? Unclear how to leverage the Internet for increased opportunity.

Here's the solution: Write online

Who are some people I know who are doing it actively? (links to where they publish)

Who did I learn from? (Links articles sharing their learning)

There is a lot buried in these links (feel free to check them out, but there are some headlines):

  1. Be consistent. The most frequent piece of advice from bloggers whwo have been doing it 2-10 years was to be consistent. This was honestly great to hear because of my focusing on daily posting.
  2. Make the content visual. Adding photos and videos makes a big difference.
  3. Headlines really matter So many great bloggers work on multiple drafts of just the headline. Best recommendation is the title the post at the end.
  4. How Tos and Lists are the best It's not gimicky. People wawt to know how to do things and listicles work. The search data backs this up.

Other Learnings

  • Formulate a perspective
  • Lists are powerful
  • Headlines matter
  • Visual content matters
  • Data-driven content wins the long game
  • Call To Actions (CTAs) work
  • Long-form content works Joshua
  • Improves selling skills
  • Promoting self and others
  • Titles are most of the work
  • Frequency matters
  • No need to write original ideas
  • 3,000+ word posts when possible
  • Add visuals to all posts
  • Work the headlines (drafts)
  • Work with editors
  • Publish multiple times/week
  • Add video
  • How to
  • Lists
  • News and trends
  • Guides and ebooks
  • Original research - possible link building
  • Take 4 hours to write a longer post
  • be persistent and innovative, creating quality content, offering something that solves your readers’ problems, networking, and many other things.
  • Do something that makes your audience go, “Because I came here, my life is better.”
  • If your mission is reader-centric, you’ll stand the test of time.
    Give people a way to support you and they will surprise you. Because when you create something that helps people and improves their lives, they want to support you. They will go out of their way to do so. Because everyone wants to help those that help them.
  • Creating your own products allows you to be independent. Always own your income (e-books, tours, T-shirts, whatever)
  • Learn SEO. It will pay dividends in the long run.
  • The narrower your niche, the more effective you’ll be in providing content that appeals to your audience.
  • Especially when you’re posting multiple times a week. Editorial calendars are vital to posting quality content on a regular basis, and planning ahead takes the guesswork out of coming up with new content.
  • Take your time and effort to cover the basics of your niche
  • Better to excel in one niche than do alright in a few
  • Building a strong following is the first step
  • Writing top lists help to earn you recognition from new readers and Google
  • Google take a lot of notice to spikes of traffic as well as people sharing your links across the internet
  • Google takes time
  • Google Analytics is the single greatest tool at my disposal
  • Always use reliable hosting
    Social media is important

My goals

Here are some current numbers:

  • Email Subscribers: 500
  • Monthly Unique Visitors: 1,000

By the end of 2021 I'm hoping the email subscriber count will get to 1,000 and my unique visitors per month will get to 10,000.

Final Thought

Only a small percentage of bloggers actually follow the best practices. As a non-blogger if I follow some I should get pretty far this year.

I tried to get to 2,000 words. But there are time constraints so I drafted 3,000 and cut to 1,164.

Daily