The very first blog I ever followed was NieNie Dialogues. Its author is Stephanie Nielson, a Mommy Blogger who wrote her first blog post in 2006.

Originally, she created the blog when she and her young family moved across the states. It was her way of keeping all of her loved ones up-to-date with her new life in New Jersey. Her blog started gaining popularity through the years, and her blogging went viral when she and her husband were in a plane wreck in 2009. The wreck was near-fatal, and Stephanie burned over 80 percent of her body. More than 40,000 readers were checking out her blog on a daily basis.

Her story is tragic, but it’s what set her apart from all the other mommy bloggers out there and made her blog unique.

Nowadays, it seems as though everyone has a blog. If done correctly, it can be a great way to make a few extra bucks on your own time. But if you really want to make any kind of dent with your blog, there are a few questions you’ve got to ask yourself:

How Do I Improve My Blog’s Traffic?

  1. Be strategic with your content

If you have any experience with professional writing, you’ve probably heard the overused phrase “content is king” thrown around. When you can be strategic about your writing, you can create content that readers can’t find anywhere else.

Stephanie Nielson has always been an amazing blogger, but it was her inspiring story of hope and example of faith after her horrific accident that made her stand out from all the other mommy bloggers.

  1. Use Keywords

You don’t want to saturate your content with obvious SEO strategies such as keywords and hyperlinks, but it’s perfectly OK to take advantage of the wonders of search engine optimization by using keywords throughout your posts to help Google give you the best shot possible. If you are using WordPress, be sure to instal Yoast SEO. Consider stepping it up a notch and get their premium program easily understood red light, green light yellow light indicators which will point out areas you can easily improve upon. When you make your content easy for search engines to crawl, they will point more appropriate traffic to your site above others who are less serious about their craft.

Be sure to also include long-tail keywords, which are phrases consisting of three or more SEO keywords. They’re easier to target and there’s less competition since they’re used less frequently. The readers, however, will  choose your articles above others because your content is more precise to what they are searching for. These readers are more likely to stay on your page longer and click into your on-page links to your other posts This cues Google in to the fact that they did a good job in sending readers your way (Goolge says “Hey, I did the right thing sending that gal this way, I’ll send another and they will love me as their search engine because I do a good job!” Yes, Google thinks just like that!) This is called a better bounce rate. Think of a reader clicking into your post, and “bouncing” out after a few seconds when they realize you are not what they were looking for. A low percentage bounce rate is good. Google doesn’t say “oh, shoot, I sent someone and they were not happy, I won’t send anyone for that keyword again.”

  1. Make Other Blogger Friends

You might think the competition between bloggers means you get to be a little nasty. But when you’ve got a bad habit of hating on other blogs, your audience won’t find you very trustworthy.

Build relationships with other bloggers. Comment on other blogs and be active in various communities. You can all promote and endorse one anothers’ blogs and even work together on similar projects. If your readers follow multiple blogs, they’ll love seeing their favorite bloggers coming together for a common goal. Additionally, you can work on joint projects and give more domain authority to your site by sharing follow links.

How Do I Bring In Revenue?

  1. CPC or CPM ads

You can place “cost per click” (CPC) ad banners on your website. For every click that ad receives, you earn a little bit of money. You can also include “cost per 1,000 impression” (CPM) ads, which will pay you a fixed amount of money based on how many people view your blog. It’s pretty easy to get Google to allow you to place ads on your blog; this program is called AdSense and you earn about 50% of the cost of each click.

  1. Affiliate Links

When an advertiser wants to sell, they often hire other agencies to promote their products. Affiliate links are when advertisers give you special links to their products which you can then share on your blog (or website.) When your readers buy any of the products you have promoted, you receive a commission. With an easy plugin, you can create these links and earn money for products and services you readers are learning about.

Amazon Associates is a great way to get started, otherwise you can create private partnerships with businesses and advertisers.

  1. Sell Memberships

If you don’t want ads or promotions on your blog, something you could do is offer paid memberships to your blog that offer something more exclusive than a free membership. Show those willing to pay the secret corners of your blog. For example, a career blog might offer their paying members a job board.

If you opt for this, you’re going to want to offer something special that your readers can’t find elsewhere for free.

What Are Some Common Blogging Mistakes?

  1. Your ideas are too broad

When you create a blog, you need to have a goal that unifies all your content. When you start writing for a blog, you’ll have ideas coming to you wherever you are – in the shower, right as you’re falling asleep, while you’re out on the town, etc., but that doesn’t mean every idea is right for your blog.

Often times, I’ll spend hours writing a piece for my blog before I end up deleting the entire post. Maybe it’s not necessarily a bad piece, but I can recognize that it’s irrelevant to my blog’s goal.

You need to have a specific angle with your blog so that you can have content specific to your blog. If you share every random thought and ramble you want, your readers won’t have ay reasons to actively search you out over other sites.

  1. You Don’t Edit Your Piece

People have a tendency to look at their own creations through rose-tinted glasses. As great as you might think your writing is, your readers might not be as kind. Most of them probably don’t know you personally, so they’re bound to be harsher critics than your mom.

Don’t be afraid to ask someone to edit your posts for you. Read, re-read and even rewrite your posts to make them as good as possible. Don’t be afraid to write casually, too. You grew up writing essays that needed to have strict professional voices, but these readers aren’t coming to your blog to see how well you can write APA format. Odds are, if you can’t write with your own casual voice, you’re going to lose your readers’ interest…and fast.

  1. You Don’t Blog Consistently

The more content you create, the more traffic you’ll generate. The more regularly you post content, the more memorable you’ll be with your audience. Make sure you’re creating regular content that your audience will be excited to read about and share on social media platforms.

When you blog regularly, it’s easier to track and analyze your numbers. Sporadic blogging results in random numbers, making it harder for you to organize your blog specific to your audience. Read our quick guide if you need inspiration for blog topics.

When all is said and done, a successful blog takes more than some people might think, but it can be so worth it.

The most important thing to ask yourself is what makes your blog unique? Everyone and their dog has their own blog nowadays, so you’ve got to figure out what sets you apart and what content your readers won’t be able to find anywhere else.

When you know how to answer that question, you’re on your way to success.

Emily Brady received her Bachelors at Brigham Young University Idaho where she majored in Communication Sciences with an emphasis in journalism and professional management. She has written for Scroll News and Deseret Digital Media and is currently a freelance writer. In her free time she enjoys hiking, reading and swinging in her hammock.