Life as a blogger was never easy, but it’s getting harder every day. Competition is increasing astronomically with 571 more websites and 347 more blog posts written every minute.
You need to work harder than ever to keep your visitors onboard once they arrive at your site. You need visitors’ experiences to be good ones – Here are six tips to help you.
1. Not All Hosts Are Equal
Modern websites put a lot of demands on the computers where they are hosted. Faster computers cost more, so cheap web hosting is always going to be slower than more costly hosting options. Fast Internet connections to your host’s computers are expensive, and 24/7 support staff costs are high. Cheap web hosting companies won’t bother with those either.
Speed kills, but the online rule is Low Speeds Kill. People will not hang around for 20 seconds while your site loads. Every extra second your page takes to load means 2.7% more visitors give up and click away.
How do you find a good host? You need to search for “web host customer satisfaction”. Customer satisfaction is the best measure of how good a host is. Independent customer satisfaction and loyalty reviews are your most reliable information source. But you should remember that web hosts pay around $100 to affiliates for every person they send to the host’s site. Affiliates often fail to make it clear that they earn money when you click their links.
2. Using Free WordPress Themes Leads to Problems
One of the beauties of WordPress is the ease with which you can change the appearance of your site by choosing a different theme. There are thousands of free themes, and you can even design your own using specialist software.
Why does anyone buy a WordPress theme when there are so many available for free? In a word – Support.
WordPress updates are released every 4-6 weeks. Free themes might stop working with any of these updates. Keeping any theme compatible with the latest version of WordPress and every browser update requires a lot of effort.
Another great thing about using WordPress is the amount of customization you can do using plugins.
Premium themes have support staff who will help you with plugin compatibility issues. Support for free themes is often forum-based, and you are on your own when you have a problem because there is no money to employ code experts to help you.
3. “Going Your Own Way” Won’t Work
You may well have read and learnt how to set up a blog, but the Internet is constantly changing. You need to subscribe to expert bloggers who can tell you what is working today.
If you try to do it all yourself, you will fail.
Talk to other bloggers. Listen to the advice they give you. Subscribe to people like Jon Morrow and Neil Patel for high quality and reliable advice that you can use to grow your blog.
4. Choose a Good Domain Name
A good domain name is easy to remember with no spelling confusion. Ideally, it should be two words that relate to your niche. Avoid hyphen and underscore characters because you will have to say x,y, z, underscore, Texas dot com (xyz_Texas.com) every time you tell someone about your website. Avoid numbers for similar reasons.
Buy a .com domain name for your site.
Most Google search results are .com domain names. People still attach most credibility to a .com domain extension, and credibility is what bloggers crave.
If you are tempted to go the free route using a free WordPress or Blogger site, then people will doubt your professionalism.
5. You Need an Email Management Program
You need to talk with your readers because that is the only way you will build their trust in you. That is the only way they will come to recognize that you are sincere in your desire to help them and to solve their problems.
The best way to communicate is by email. Emails get 50-100 times the response ratethat Facebook and Twitter posts get.
Yes, you can send emails for free, but you look an amateur. You need an email management program. You then have all manner of time triggered emails and autoresponders that you can set up to gradually move subscribers along your sales channels.
6. Success Takes Time
It takes time to build your online reputation, even if you are an acknowledged expert offline. It takes time for other bloggers to see that you are serious about building long-term relationships with them. It takes time for you to get to know your subscribers, too.
Putting It All Together
As a blogger, you are going to be very busy, so busy that you will barely have time to write new blog posts. You have a lot of research to do regarding hosting, WortdPress themes, and email autoresponders before you even make your site live. Relationships to build with other bloggers are not an optional extra, because your blog will never rise to the levels of success that it deserves without them.