12 Tips to Blogging Success in 2016 (One for Each Month)

Resolution articles can be so tiresome. They’re a dime a dozen and should really be called “empty promises” instead of resolutions. But this time is going to be different. The only thing standing between you and blogging success are these 12 steps.

We’re going to give you 12 blogging resolutions that you can implement, one each month, so that by the end of the year you will be well-positioned to continue your blogging momentum in 2017.

Ideally, these resolutions should be done in order. Let’s not waste any time with a long run-up and get right into it.

12 Tips to Blogging Success

1. January — Start with a strong foundation

If we’re going to build this right, we’ve got to start from the bottom.

Get baseline measurements: Use Google Analytics to get a snapshot of your current web traffic in the past year.

We’re not going to talk about advanced analytics here. We’re going to start you with the basics. Here’s how:

Log in to GA > Audience > Overview. Save the information on this screen. That’s it.

Bookmark free stock photography sites: You can’t just pull images from Google and pass them off as your own.

Good news is that there are TONS of photography sites where you can use images and not worry about getting a letter from a lawyer in the mail. And who wants that, really?

Start with Buffer’s list of 53+ sites for free images. We started using free photography sites to get our blog started. But now, we’ve started using iStock and 123rf for an even broader database of images.

We also use Canva to create BlogMutt-branded images and CTAs.

Save these image resources in a place that you can easily retrieve them.

Write one blog post: Heck, you can write a blog post about how you’re going to follow these 12 resolutions in 2016 to get your blog started. But just write one post. Start small. Many blogs fail because someone thinks they’re going to boil the ocean in one month and it goes pear-shaped in days and your blog dies.

Think of 10 blog topics: Most of our customers struggle with blog ideas. This action item is important. Make a list of 10 blog topics. Save it somewhere that’s easily accessible (like the photography sites). Don’t worry, we’ll come back to this later.

2. February — Write two blog posts

You wrote that one blog post in January right? Good! Now write two this month. We’re purposely setting the bar low to make the seemingly impossible (maintaining a blog) possible.

If you aren’t optimizing your posts for SEO, go back and optimize the three you’ve written this year.

Wondering how to optimize your blog for SEO? Download our editorial calendar and you’ll find three super helpful resources to get you started.

Think of 10 more blog topics and add them to your list.

3. March — Write three blog posts

See? We told you there’d be plenty of time for writing. If you did two last month, what’s one more? The point is, you’re getting in the habit of writing. Need a blog idea? Use that trusty list you’re building.

Think of 10 more blog topics and add them to your list.

4. April — Make blogging a habit; write four blog posts

Ok, now the rubber is meeting the road. Four posts. Come on! That’s just one a week. You already have a ton of blog ideas to write about. You can do it!

Our CEO Scott Yates wrote a post about being able to write a blog post in an hour. Buffer also wrote a great article on how to manage your blogging time.

Think of 10 more blog topics and add them to your list.

5. May — Write four blog posts

Phew, only four posts. Again, if you’re following this plan, you should’ve figured out what worked and what didn’t last month. Make the necessary adjustments and get those posts out.

Think of 10 more blog topics and add them to your list.

6. June — Outsource four blog posts; write four blog posts (this is the new normal)

Ok, now we’re dipping into unchartered territory. The goal here is a total of eight posts for the month. You already know how to write four. Now, consider outsourcing four.

Remember that list of blog topics you’ve been creating all year? Now’s the time to cash in. Find four blog posts that you could outsource to a writer. If you’re worried about turnaround time, finding a freelancer, lots of editing, billing, yadda yadda yadda, use us (see our plans and pricing).

If you sign up for one post per week with BlogMutt and enter the topics you need posts on, you will get all four posts in 2–4 days. Seriously.

Since you’ve been writing posts yourself, you know how long it takes you to write four posts. If you use BlogMutt, you can get ~4 posts per month for $89. Think about the opportunity costs when you have us do four posts instead of writing an additional four posts.

And, we’re not asking you to brainstorm 10 blog topics. Trust us, in the time it would take you to come up with 10 new blog ideas, you could sign up with us and have our writers writing four blogs.

7. July — Create a calendar through the end of the year with your blog ideas; write four blog posts

Remember, the new normal is writing four posts and delegating four posts.

Now that you’re producing eight posts per month, it’s time you get organized. An editorial calendar is going to make your life so much easier. You can download ours as a starting point.

Take all the blog post ideas you’ve brainstormed up until this point and start populating your calendar. Mark the ones that you’re going to write and the ones you’re going to have your freelancers write.

8. August — Invest in an SEO/keyword tool; learn it

Investing in an SEO and keyword tool will make you a more strategic blogger. Not only can you get more blog ideas, you can also track your keywords and blogging progress.

We’ve used Moz and SEMrush and have found that they both meet our needs. In fact, you can just use one (confession: we’ve found ourselves using SEMrush more than Moz recently). As for a keyword tool, check out our “15 Best Tools for Starting a Business Blog.”

And don’t forget to write four blog posts and delegate four blog posts

9. September — Create calls to action in your blog posts

Now that you’re posting eight posts per month, it’s time to have your readers take action.

One of the big things to consider when blogging is the action you want your readers to take. Without a CTA, you don’t compel your readers to do anything. That means they come to your site, read a post, and leave. The opportunity to appeal and help your readers with an effective CTA is gone.

A CTA can be text-based or an image. Either way, take a cue from our blog. Each post, including this one, has a call to action for our reader.

10. October — Find a guest blogging opportunity

Guest blogging helps grow your authority, build partnerships with other businesses, capture a wider audience and get an inbound link (great for SEO). If you’re an IT company, find sites that write about your industry. Look for guest blogging opportunities and use your blog as a portfolio for a guest blogging opportunity.

KISSmetrics has a handy guide for getting started in guest blogging.

And don’t forget, make sure to post your eight posts this month.

11. November — Find a second, or secure your first, guest blogging opportunity

If you haven’t secured a guest blogging opportunity, we’ve given you a second month to secure one. Now don’t get lazy on us. If you need two months to unearth a guest blogging opportunity, you should secure two before the month’s over.

Oh yeah, and get those eight posts up.

12. December — Review baseline measurements; plan for next year

Remember those baseline measurements you took at the beginning of the year? Now’s the fun part! Go back and compare them to this year’s numbers. Share your results with us — we’d love to hear about them.

We think you’ll learn quite a bit over the year about blogging, what works and what doesn’t. Use this knowledge to make a plan that suits your business needs. These 12 tips are just a starting point. Where you go from here is up to you. You’re in a small percentage of business owners with a comprehensive blogging strategy that includes a calendar, analytics, and content creation at a rate of 2x/week.

And finally, write your last eight posts of the year.

We hope these 12 tips inspire you to a more productive blogging year in 2016. Good luck. If you need help outsourcing your blogging, contact us. We’re happy to help.


Originally published at www.blogmutt.com.

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