Curious about how to become a successful blogger?
You’re not alone.
I’ve been blogging professionally for over a decade and today, I will share 9 sure-fire tips that will guarantee your success in blogging.
Let’s dive into this.
8 Tips to Become a Successful Blogger in 2023
1. Create quality content
The first and foremost facet of blogging is the content you create. Content is amongst the top 3 ranking factors for Google and is the only thing that will matter to your audience (apart from user experience).
Blogging is a content game. The better the content quality, the more advantage you will have over others. Especially so at a time when we have dime a dozen AI writing tools.
According to the Quality Raters Guideline, “high-quality information pages should be factually accurate, clearly written, and comprehensive.”
Likewise, John Muller of Google suggests focusing on the quality of the overall website. From design layout to content structure, everything matters
Here’s John Muller’s take on quality content:
“…it’s not the case that we would look at just purely the text of the article and ignore everything else around it and say, this is high-quality text. We really want to look at the website overall.”
Therefore, it’s clear that quality content is subjective and hard to measure at the page level.
To clarify, I have shared some best practices to improve your content quality and get a higher ranking.
1. Create better than what’s already available on the SERP
Google already has 10 results for every search query to show users. Therefore, as a blogger, you must create content better than all the pages.
Looking at the SERP for the search query, “gift ideas for employees”, you will find that most pages have listed 10 to 60 employee gift ideas.
On the other hand, Stacknation has published an article with 115 gift ideas. By creating a much better version of the top-ranking pages, Stacknation grabbed the top spot in the SERP.
Yes, other factors (authority, backlinks, etc.) contribute to this ranking position. But creating better versions of competitors is a sure-shot way of improving your content depth.
This approach is not only limited to listicle-type articles. You can apply the same concept (create better than what’s already available) for every content type.
- Cover more sub-topics and related questions
- Add more graphics to help readers visualize complex concepts
- Add a unique angle (for example, if top-ranking pages for the keyword “employee engagement strategies” are focusing on strategies for the workplace, you can add an angle of employee engagement for remote workers)
Related Examples of Successful Blogs:
2. Add helpful and updated information
One of the key characteristics of quality content is that it provides factually accurate and updated information.
In fact, content freshness is an official Google ranking factor.
This is why you should ensure the articles on your blog are updated periodically to maintain freshness.
I’d recommend auditing your existing content once a month to check whether any content lacks freshness or new information.
Once you find the list of articles, you can update the content by:
- Adding outbound links to updated statistics or studies.
- Updating the metadata
- Adding internal links to fresh and relevant articles
- New trending related topics found? Cover them
3. Readability and logical content structure
Study shows that almost 55% of online readers will read your page for 15 seconds or less. This clearly states the importance of content readability and creating easy-to-scan content.
To check content readability, you may use the Hemmingway editor.
Copy and paste your content into the Hemmingway editor and check the readability grade score.
Here’s a screenshot:
Alternatively, Yoast SEO or RankMath plugins will guide you with a readability score if you’re using WordPress.
Common best practices to improve content readability:
- Use the table of content at the beginning of the article
- Use short paragraphs of 2-3 lines maximum
- Include images, graphics, charts, etc.
- Use short sentence length (on average less than 10-12 words per sentence)
- Avoid complex words
- Break your content with bulleted points, sub-headings, etc.
- Write like you are writing for a 6th-grade student
In addition, you can add contributor quotes or expert tips to provide helpful information and break a big chunk of text.
Here’s an example of adding expert tips within blog content:
5. Content quality at mass
Many people choose quality over quantity when it comes to content creation. But in 2023 and beyond, it is hard to choose only one to become a successful blogger.
Days are gone when you write one article per week and become a successful blogger with enough traffic and affiliate income.
Now, blogging is more about creating quality content at scale. Blogs that can scale their content creation process will see faster results in terms of organic traffic.
In 2022, Sistrix studied the top characteristics to achieve SEO success. And one of the key factors that helped many successful websites is quality content at mass.
Nowadays, Google focuses on the topical authority of websites to understand the expertise and authority of a website.
And you can build topical authority by writing all possible related subtopics to your niche.
When hundreds of your pages are focused on one single primary topic, there is a high chance that Google considers your blog an expert in the topic and starts ranking your content well.
When starting your new blog, I highly recommend focusing on content velocity (the amount of content published in a specific period of time). Try to initially publish 50-100 articles per month to see visible results after 6-12 months.
Even John Muller from Google says this regarding authoritative websites:
“It’s really hard to call a site authoritative after 30 articles, and especially if you’ve stopped publishing for a while, I can see how Google might be a bit more conservative with regards to indexing more.”
2. Build your email list
The money is in the list.
An email list is very essential for building a successful blog.
If you’re not building your email list from day 1, you’re missing out on a lot of opportunities.
Building a business off of 3rd party goodwill (read free website traffic sources like social media, search engines, etc.) is fun but can vanish in no time.
Social media can kill reach, Google can release algorithmic penalties and that’s where owning your email list comes in handy.
Key benefits of owning an email list:
- Email subscribers add another source of blog traffic
- Promote your affiliate products or sell digital products to your email list
- Comparatively higher conversion rate from email because of targeted audience. Hence higher ROI
- Increase your website’s valuation in case you want to sell it
- Helpful to drive initial traffic to your new pages
- And most important, it helps you own your audience.
One fine example of a successful blogger doing it well is Pat Flynn of SmartPassiveIncome.com which has an email list of over 100k+ people.
Step 1. Optimize your homepage
In most cases, your home page is the most visited page of the website (you can check the data via Google Analytics).
So, you can put in a simple newsletter signup form to collect emails. Even better, you can offer freebies, such as eBooks, templates, and guides, to increase the conversion rate.
For example, Brian Dean of Backlinko optimizes the above-the-fold content of the homepage by adding a newsletter subscription form.
Step 2. Promote email subscription form in articles
Once you start getting traffic to your blog, you can add a signup form within or at the end of the article to collect emails from readers.
This will help you drive repeat visitors to your blog.
Here’s an example of adding an in-line signup form:
Tip: If you have a large number of posts, then start experimenting with the top 5 blog posts in terms of organic traffic. This will allow you to see the results and experiment with the CTA placement within the article.
Step 3. Offer lead magnets as a content upgrade
The lead magnet is generally a free resource used for marketing purposes to collect readers’ email addresses. It is seen that people tend to subscribe to your newsletter when they see an instant value for them.
Downloading a relevant eBook will attract readers, and they are more likely to subscribe. Hence a higher conversion rate.
Possible lead magnet ideas are:
- PDF guide
- Free course
- Case studies, and more.
Similar to this approach, you can also include content upgrades to your articles.
That means offering lead magnets related to the content of the page. A software like Optinmonster can help you offer content upgrades and other ways to collect emails. Check out my review of Optinmonster to know more details.
For example, if a user is reading an article on ‘how to monetize a blog,’ the user is more likely to download an eBook on ‘affiliate marketing for beginners.’
Here’s a real example from GatherContent: they add relevant resources to every article.
3. Diversify your income streams
Relying on one blog monetization method is highly unpredictable.
Having a solid income buffer from multiple sources will help you to blog sustainably for a longer time along with giving you the freedom to experiment creatively.
For instance, Amazon affiliates may reduce the commission rate; your organic traffic may be negatively hit by an update, etc. You can make your site profitable even in bad times by having multiple streams.
In fact, the diversification should happen at all stages, such as:
- Traffic sources (organic search, social media, email marketing, etc.)
- Income streams (digital products, display ads, affiliate commissions, etc.)
If you want to become a full-time blogger, then you should also diversify your website portfolio to prevent
“Please diversify your portfolio of websites.
Don’t rely on one large website making enough money to pay for your lifestyle.
Things can disappear overnight.
Trust me. I’ve been there.”– Mushfiq Sarker on diversifying website portfolio.
Mushfiq started his blogging journey in 2008, and since then, he has flipped 215+ websites, some of which had 6-figure exits.
Currently, Mushfiq has diversified his income streams in many directions. It includes:
- Growing multiple website projects from different niches
- Selling digital products, called EasyWins
- Blog income streams are affiliate income, display ads, sponsorship, collaboration, etc.
On the other hand, Jon Dykstra, a full-time niche site builder and founder of Fatstacksblog, focuses on only one or two niche sites to diversify the revenue streams.
Regarding revenue diversification, Jon D prefers a minimum of two streams to protect from downfall.
4. Treat your blog as a business
One common blogging mistake that I see in failed blogs is the lack of seriousness and business mindset.
First of all, if you think that blogging as a hobby will make you huge profits, then you need to rethink. That means you are now responsible for creating content and building a brand identity, marketing your blog, blog positioning, and making the right investment.
Like any business, you are not going to make a profit from the first month. When you choose the business mindset with your blog, you will never get linear growth – it includes success and failures over time.
If you think of creating a blog on a free platform (say blogger) with free themes, it shows a lack of commitment and seriousness.
Yes, as most successful bloggers do, you can start as a hobby blogger. But to take your blog to the next level, you have to treat your blog as an investment.
How to treat your blog as a business:
- Avoid free platforms: Many platforms offer you to start your blog with a non-branded domain name. But choosing a free platform or using a subdomain will not take you far in this journey.
- Get your domain and hosting services: It is always preferred to go with a trusted and reliable company for hosting and domain name purchases. This improves the security, performance, and privacy of your data.
- Avoid nulled themes and plugins: Using nulled themes can negatively impact your SEO and affect the safety of your website. In addition, free nulled themes are illegal to use. A better option is to go with paid WordPress blog themes such as Generatepress, Divi (you can even save with our Elegant Themes coupon), or explore high CTR themes.
- Invest in blog design: Content is the fuel to your business in blogging. Therefore improving your content with custom graphics, hiring a subject matter expert writer, creating blog layouts, etc., will give you an edge over hobby bloggers.
If you don’t have the budget to buy a premium WordPress theme, check out my guide, where I have shared the best free WordPress themes (free to use).
Here are some investments that can seriously help your blog’s growth:
- Blogging tools for scaling your blog
- Grammarly (read my Grammarly review), ProWritingAid (check out my ProWritingAid review), or any other proofreading software
- Social media tools like SocialPilot (SocialPilot review), Sendible, or Hootsuite
5. Build a brand off your blog
One of the most underrated tips to build a successful blog is to build a brand off of it.
A branded blog can help you stand out by making a statement, having more recall value (which means a better CTR even if you don’t rank #1), and building a community of raving fans.
Here are some proven ways to improve your blog branding with off-page tactics:
1. Build a community around your blog
Building a community around your blog improves the credibility and authority of your brand. Most of all, it helps you grow a loyal audience.
There are some easy options to start your community around the blog. One conventional method is hosting a forum in a blog’s subdomain.
Other options are building community through social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, etc.
For example, I have created this Facebook group around the DigitalGyd blog, which has almost 1,000 people.
The goal is to have a live and interactive community to promote your latest articles and build conversation and relationships with the audience.
2. Get quality backlinks
One of the off-page activities you must do is getting quality backlinks from topically relevant sites. This helps in several ways, such as:
- Links from quality websites (high DA, topically relevant, and high-traffic) improve your website authority. Hence you rank higher in the SERP.
- Google measures brand reputation through mentions from individual third-party sites. The more quality backlinks you have, the better your brand reputation might be.
Once you publish 50-100 posts on your blog, you need to actively work on link building through methods like skyscraper content, guest posting, broken link building, and more.
3. Be a guest on other shows
Guest posting is a blogging tip that’s been there since nearly a decade. It has surely been revamped from time to time but it still works like a charm.
What can be better than taking advantage of your personal brand to promote your blog and establish yourself as an authority in the niche?
To find guest speaking opportunities on YouTube shows and podcasts, you can search with queries like:
- Top podcast shows + [your niche]
- “Become a guest” + [your niche], and other variations.
This will give you a list of websites, podcast channels, or YouTube shows where you can outreach to apply to become a guest speaker.
Your goal as a blogger should be to make an online presence of your brand entity outside of your blog. You can either collaborate with other niche sites, become a guest on podcasts, or publish your text interview on third-party sites.
Whatever path you choose will give a branding boost to your blog.
6. Upgrade your skills constantly
Blogging is a career path where you have to constantly improve your skills (writing, SEO, strategy, managing workflow, etc.) to stay competitive in the market.
In addition, the algorithm is continuously changing due to regular algorithm core updates. So the SEO strategy you’re following now might not give you results in the next five years from now.
This is why upgrading your blogging skills is the best investment for your blog.
Here are some of the best ways to improve your learning and stay updated with the latest news:
1. Read books
When it comes to learning about SEO, you will often hear of online courses, webinars, newsletters, etc. But learning through books is one of the underrated ways to enhance your SEO and business skills.
In fact, there are books on every topic a blogger needs to deal with in day-to-day tasks.
It includes books for improving your understanding of SEO and how search engines work, learning productivity skills to maximize your content effort, enhancing your content writing and copywriting skills, etc.
Here, I have listed the best blogging books that will improve your SEO, content, and productivity skills.
2. Join forums and communities
Another great way to level up your skills is by learning from others. Several genuine forums or social media groups will help you connect with like-minded people.
Also, you can ask your doubts and get expert opinions on different SEO strategies to improve your site.
Here are some communities you can apply to join:
- DigitalGYD Facebook group
- Affiliate SEO Mastermind
- SEO Signals Lab
- BigSEO slack community
3. Improve your project management skills
When it comes to project management in blogging, two key things you must improve are:
1. Content production quality:
Writing quality and engaging content is not the only element in the content creation process. Everything matters, from content writing and graphics to blog design and landing pages, to make your blog stand out in the niche.
Improve your skills in creating custom graphics, charts, attention-grabbing featured images, high-converting landing pages, etc.
2. Creating content workflows:
The content workflow will be your first priority if you’ve already grown your blog to a certain profitability.
The goals of an effective content workflow are:
- Maintaining content quality
- Minimizing the errors from every stage of content production
- Creating SOPs and checklists like blog post checklists to ensure quality output
- Building an independent system (through building a team and process workflows) to remove yourself from the process. This helps you focus on high-priority tasks and generate a passive flow of income consistently from your blog.
Therefore, learning how to build a content workflow, manage team members, and create a system for every stage of the blogging (keyword research, backlink, content writing, etc.) process is crucial.
3. Learn and execute SEO skills
With every algorithm update, Google’s machine learning, NLP, and AI technology have become smarter than ever. This forces bloggers to constantly evolve their content and SEO strategy.
For example, Google recently launched a product review update with clear guidelines for affiliate marketers to create helpful content and unbiased product reviews.
With this update, affiliate marketers have to review and upgrade their current content strategy to provide the best possible user experience to the users.
And bloggers who do not evolve with the latest trends get outdated over time.
Therefore it is important to understand the latest SEO skills and execute them to understand the impact on traffic and revenues.
These latest SEO skills include:
- Pros and cons of structured data for a product review
- Programmatic SEO to scale your content creation and traffic
- Improving EAT information on your site
- Schema markup to give important details to Google
- Building topical authority, etc.
For example, you may build a demo site to try the programmatic SEO concepts to see if it is working.
7. Collaborate and network
Your network is your net worth.
If there is one magic formula in blogging or any business in general, then it is collaboration and networking power.
Collaborating with other bloggers allows you to stay updated with the latest trends, strategies, and even case studies.
Another important factor is that seeing other bloggers and SEOs working hard and growing their sites will motivate and push you to give extra effort.
Regarding collaboration, I would suggest building connections on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Reddit.
Using hashtags and searching for specific topics on Twitter or LinkedIn will give you relevant posts from the blogging communities.
On the other hand, Reddit is a great platform to get advice or suggestions from experts or SEO practitioners.
Tip: Focus on one or two communities every day to build real connections with people and exchange knowledge.
8. Be Consistent
“Significant results will be visible by doing the same thing for 10 years, not doing 10 different things for 1 year and quitting”Swadhin Agrawal
Now comes the final and most important point to becoming a successful blogger – which is consistency.
You have to maintain consistency in creating more content even if you’re getting no traffic initially, building brand identity even if no one recognizes your blog.
Blogging consistently might seem like an obvious blogging strategy but when you look back, that’s where most bloggers give up.
I have been blogging for 10+ years, and only then I became a full-time blogger with a portfolio of multiple profitable niche sites.
So the final advice for you will be to have the ability to consistently work hard on your blog to get long-term results.
FAQs: How to become a successful blogger in 2023
1. How do bloggers earn money?
Bloggers have various monetization ways to earn from a blog. This includes earning sources such as display ads, affiliate income, sponsorship, paid article, product review, and more
2. How much does an average blogger earn?
A blogger’s earning potential depends on many factors like country, experience, skill sets, etc. However, earning in six-figures from full-time blogging is completely achievable.
3. Is it too late to start a blog?
“Blogging is dead” has been the most common phrase in the industry for years. The fact is blogging has changed. If you’re ready to evolve with time, you’re never late to start a blog.