13 Effective Blogging Tips for Beginners You Must Know

Want to get into blogging but not sure how to begin? Wouldn’t it be nice if your blog simply appeared with the wave of a wand?

Writing blog posts may not be as easy as bippity boppity boo, but the good news is that creating your blog can be thrilling when you have the right tools.

To avoid common blogging mistakes, we’re providing the proper guidance to help you start your blog strong.

In this post, we provide you with 21 useful tips on how to get your blog started and how to maintain it once it gains momentum.

1. Target topics people are searching for

If you want consistent, passive traffic coming to your site, the best way is to rank high on Google. To do that, you’ll need to target topics people are searching for.

Here’s how to find these topics:

  • Enter one or a few relevant keywords into Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer
  • Go to the Matching terms report
  • Switch the tab to Questions
Ideally, you’d want to tackle topics that are:

  • High in Traffic Potential (TP) – TP is the estimated amount of search traffic you can potentially gain if you rank #1 for that topic. We calculate it by estimating the amount of search traffic the #1 page currently gets.
  • Low in Keyword Difficulty (KD) – KD is how difficult it is to rank for the keyword in the top 10 organic search results.
You can narrow down the list by using the filters. For example, you can set a KD filter to a maximum of 10 and a TP filter to a minimum of 500.

2. Run a Competitive Content Marketing Analysis

By analyzing your competitors, you can get a deeper understanding of what’s trending in your niche. It’ll also help you see what kind of blog topics and formats resonate with your audience.

If you’re not sure how to analyze your competitors, use this free template for competitive content analysis and focus on the following:
  • Identify the key websites creating content in your niche (even if they’re not your direct competitors)
  • Analyze the content categories they have on their blogs, the most popular pages, and the keywords they are ranking for
  • Find out what makes each of them unique and what their differentiation points are
  • Assess their tone of voice, the visual look, and overall formatting
  • Learn about ways they are monetizing their websites
  • Examine their social media channels
For example, imagine you wanted to see which topics and keywords perform well for Growing Your Craft’s competitors.

First, manually inspect their websites to find the most popular/trending blog section or identify topics they seem to target the most.

If you are not sure how to find your competitors, you can start by googling the most important keywords related to your business (e.g. “etsy courses") and analyzing the websites ranking on the first pages.

To make this process more data-driven, head to the Organic Research tool and enter your own domain.

Then, head to the “Competitors” tab to see the websites in your niche that are competing with yours.Then, click on any of those websites to learn more about each competitor.

You can use the “Pages” report to find the pages (and keywords) that have been performing well for each of those websites.

3. Find “easy to rank” topics

Links are an important Google ranking factor. Generally speaking, the more high-quality links you have, the higher your page will rank.

Let’s extrapolate from that idea. If a page doesn’t have many backlinks but still ranks high on Google, it means it’s a low-competition topic. And we can find these topics using Ahrefs’ Content Explorer:Enter a relevant keyword
  • Set a Referring domains filter to max. 10
  • Set a Page traffic filter to min. 500
  • Click Details and then the Organic keywords tab to see which keywords those pages are ranking for.
  • These are potential keywords you can target.
4. Be mindful of search intent

Google aims to provide its users with the most relevant results for their queries. So if you want to rank high on Google, you need to be the most relevant result.

In the real world, that means creating content that matches search intent.

What is search intent? Search intent is basically the why behind a query. And since Google works to show the most relevant results, we can look at the top-ranking pages to figure out the three Cs of search intent:
  • Content type – Is there a dominant type of content on the SERP, such as blog posts, product pages, videos, or landing pages?
  • Content format – Is there a dominant content format on the SERP, such as guides, listicles, news articles, opinion pieces, or reviews?
  • Content angle – Is there a dominant angle on the SERP, such as freshly updated content or content aimed at beginners?
For example, let’s analyze the three Cs for the topic, “best wireless headphones.”
  • Content type – They’re all blog posts.
  • Content format – They’re mostly listicles.
  • Content angle – They’re mostly fresh, i.e., updated to the latest year.
So if you’re targeting this keyword, you’ll likely have to create something similar—a listicle updated to the latest year.

5. Read Every Day

Novelists should read more books to be better authors and bloggers should read more blogs to be better bloggers. When we read other work besides ours, we are exposed to other ideas, other writing styles, other tones of voice. And all of what we read can influence how we write.

So no matter how much time you have during the day, whether it’s 30 minutes or two hours, spend some time reading through online content that interests you or is related to your niche. Even reading content outside of our interests or wheelhouse can be beneficial!

If you’re not sure whose content to read, try reading content by influencers, thought leaders, subject matter experts, publications, and even your competitors.
6. Build a Content Strategy

Now that you have a platform and a good understanding of your niche and audience, it’s time to start building a content strategy. Sure, you can aimlessly cover various blogging topics on the fly and see where they stick. But in the long term, that isn’t always the best solution.

80% of marketers felt their blogs performed better when they had a strategy. With a strategy, marketers can focus on goals more, find areas for improvement, and create more measurable progress. 

A good strategy also helps you establish your brand and story more clearly. That way, your audience knows who you are and what you’re about from the beginning.

Documenting your content strategy will involve listing the following items:
  • Your target audience
  • Primary goals for your blog (e.g., building a contact list and converting those people into paying customers)
  • Metrics you’ll use to track performance (e.g., traffic and newsletter subscriptions)
  • Resources and budget
Next, you’ll move to creating a content plan for your blog that will speak to specific content topics, keywords, dates, promotion tactics, etc.

7. Pick the Right Blogging Platform

What is the “right” blogging platform to use? It depends. Are you blogging for fun? As a hobby? Are you testing it out to see if this blogging thing will stick? Then look for free options.

One of the best free options is to create an account on Medium.com. It’s not only free, but it’s also super simple. And with more than 60 million unique monthly readers, there’s no need to drive traffic! So, start here first.

If you really want a website, WordPress.com has a free plan. But understand that it’s like squatting on a friend’s couch versus owning your own home.

If you plan to blog as a business, then you’ll want a self-hosted website using WordPress.org. This will cost money, but your new blog will look far more professional.

Plus, you don’t want to depend on a free platform that could kick you off at any time or that dictates what you can or can’t do. No, once you get serious, you’ll want that self-hosted site. SiteGround (affiliate link) is the web host we recommend most often to our students. To learn more about it, check out our in-depth SiteGround review.

Once you get your WordPress blog set up, you’ll need to choose a theme. Your WordPress themes will only determine your blog design, but can also affect your site’s loading speed, so choose carefully. The good news is that there are some great choices for free WordPress themes.

8. Less is More: Choose Smart Plugins

WordPress is powerful, but it can’t possibly include every feature everyone wants. Nor would you want it to — that would make the software bloated and buggy, which is nerd talk for slow and unreliable.

Instead, when you want additional functionality in WordPress, plugins can serve your needs.

Plugins are pieces of software code that you can add to your WordPress site. Many are free for basic levels of service, with premium add-ons available. Just know that they can slow down your site, so don’t use them unless they serve a clear purpose.

Each WordPress plugin you choose needs to play nicely with your theme and other plugins you’ve installed. And you’ll want to make sure the plugin is updated regularly — a sign that developers still care about it.

The safest path is to stick with well-known plugins that get high ratings from other WordPress users.

Some categories of useful or smart plugins:
  • Performance optimization plugins can decrease page load times. Your web hosting company may provide one for you.
  • SEO assistant plugins such as Yoast SEO help with basic on-page SEO or search engine optimization (don’t worry, we’ll cover this later).
  • Automatic backup plugins create copies of your blog and upload them to Google Drive or other online storage services like UpdraftPlus, for example.
9. Make your posts easy to read

Let’s be real. No one is clamoring to read your article. They’d rather be on Netflix.

Therefore, it’s your job as a blogger to get them to start reading. As famous copywriter Bond Halbert said, “Good writing creates effortless reading.”

Here’s how you can transform your user’s reading experience:
  • Use short paragraphs – Huge chunks of text daunt readers, but short ones invite them in. Use Hemingway to fix this.
  • Break up long sentences – Long sentences are hard to follow. Break them up by finding instances where you used words like “and,” “because,” and “that.”
  • Insert multimedia – Videos, images, GIFs, etc., can help illustrate your points without adding more words.
  • Use formatting – Bold, italics, quotes, and lists break up chunks of copy and add extra emphasis.
  • Read your copy out loud – This pinpoints areas where your content doesn’t flow smoothly.
10. Create Enticing Titles To Increase CTRs

It’s essential that you create engaging blog titles that capture the reader and increase the click-through rate (CTR) on search engines and other channels.

There are variations of articles that get more clicks than others because of how their titles are formatted. Here are some generic variations you may have clicked on yourself:
  • “How To…”
  • “Everything You Need To Know About…”
  • “A Guide to…”
  • “3, 5, 7, or 9 Things You Should…” (odd numbers in posts get clicked more)
According to our research, “Everything You Need To Know” titles and comparison articles generate the most unique monthly pageviews on average.

Besides, “Mistakes To Avoid” articles and guides get the most shares.

A few attributes of engaging blog titles are:
  • Specific: Let the reader know right away what to expect
  • Actionable: Show the reader the value they’ll get from reading the article
  • Catching: Hook your readers right away while also keeping them intrigued
For example, imagine you are writing an article about beginner vegan recipes for people on a gluten-free diet.

It’s important that your headline showcases that these vegan recipes are easy to cook and fit the gluten-free diet.

You might also want to share the number of recipes and highlight the uniqueness of your selection.

For instance:

“20 Vegan & Gluten-Free Recipes You Can Make in 15 Minutes”


“20 Easy-to-Make Vegan & Gluten-Free Recipes [With Video]”

Remember, your blog’s page title should be between 50 and 60 characters long. It’s also important to include your target keyword(s) in the headline.

11. Consistency Is Key

Let’s be honest. You chose blogging because you love to write, but we all experience those days where writing is the last thing we want to do.

Writing can be tough at times.

A day or two off is not a big deal, but it puts you at the risk of losing momentum. Days become weeks, which then turn into months.

To prevent this, don’t write only when you feel like it. Write on a schedule. Be consistent.

As a new blogger, you have a decision to make: How often are you going to create new posts? Weekly? Monthly?

Decide on how often you’ll post and stick to that decision. Readers need that consistency.

12. Build an email list

If you’re building your following on third-party platforms like Twitter or YouTube, don’t be surprised if they suddenly ban you, delete your account, or limit your reach.

They have their own policies, and control is out of your hands.

The best way to combat this is to build an email list. For as long as your fans are subscribed to you, you can communicate with them anytime.

Building an email list requires two ingredients: traffic and something of value.

Following the blogging tips in this post will get you the traffic. This means what you need is something of value to persuade your readers to join your list. At Ahrefs, we keep it simple by offering to deliver more of the content they loved to their inbox.

But the world’s your oyster. You can offer a free ebook, the PDF version of the post, an email course, whatever. All you need is a bit of creativity.

13. Get feedback on your content

If you’re writing alone, it’s easy to make mistakes and miss things. So it’s worth getting a second pair of eyes on your content before you hit “publish.”

We do this all the time. We take turns to read each other’s content and offer feedback. We identify areas that can be added or removed, points that can be clarified, and sentences that can be worded better.

We’ve even reflected that in each of our blog posts.

Final thoughts

Blogging is hard work. But the good news is that you’re not alone.  Plenty of bloggers have gone through the ups and downs. With that hard-won experience, they’ve charted the path for you.

Remember to remain consistent, be authentic, do your research, and always be willing to learn and grow.

But most importantly, don’t give up. When it feels like you’re not getting back what you’ve invested, just keep going. 
Previous Post
Next Post
Related Posts