Starting a Blog in 2017? Here’s the Strategies We’re Using.

135 amazing comments

start a blog 2017
A few years ago we started publishing posts at the end of each year that tried to predict blogging trends for the year to come. This year I want to do things a little bit differently…

We’ll start with my usual blog post on what I think will be important in the coming year, but then I’d like to turn it over to the amazing community here and ask you for your predictions about starting and running blogs, and the specific strategies you’ll be focusing on.

I’m going to give a $250 prize to the best comment to go towards your blogging needs for the year. Hopefully the result will be a comments section filled with incredible knowledge and ideas on how to start and succeed with a blog in 2017.

Let’s do it!

Starting a blog in 2017: What’s changing and what’s not?

Every year when I do these posts I notice how some elements of successful blogging stay the same, while others change and need to be updated.

There are the “golden rules” of blogging – tried and tested ideas and methods that bloggers and entrepreneurs have been using for over a decade now with continued success – and then there are the elements that change each year as technologies, trends and other related phenomena ebb and flow.

I’m going to try and touch on both of these in this article.

1. A blog is now a lot more than just a blog

One of the most common questions I get asked from new bloggers is whether or not a blog should be part of an existing website or something that sits separately.

For the last few years, blogs have really evolved from their original “weblog” format to a very professional operation that does a lot more than just offering news and updates. In 2016 we have seen this go to all new heights with how sophisticated themes, plugins and addons have become.

This is one of the main reasons I continue to recommend that bloggers start on a self-hosted WordPress setup because the open source platform allows you to change and evolve your site extremely quickly and easily as opposed to being locked into a free platform that has limited flexibility.

For example, sites like Nerd Fitness (which was once a content-only blog) have now evolved into multi-platform offerings that include community areas, stores, online live training videos, character creation, membership products, etc.

nerd fitness

Steve (the one with the arrow on his face) has even taken this to the next level of holding a physical (and wonderfully successful!) annual camp. I often joke that he’s not far away from his transformation into a legitimate cult leader!

If you take a look at many of the blogs that have survived the long term you will notice that they start to offer more than just the usual updates. Not only does it create a lot of value for your existing readers, these extra features attract new visitors who instantly find your brand valuable.

2. Understanding blogging SEO will become drastically more important

In the past you’d find that a blogger could get away with not knowing too much about SEO and still attract a lot of traffic if their content was excellent and social shares filled the gaps.

In the last few months, however, Google has been making some massive changes that are going to affect blogs in a really big way, and I predict that it’s going to become even more important in 2017 (I’ll be doing a separate post about this soon).

The main thing you want to be looking at is how the mobile version of your site impacts on how Google ranks you. Things like inconvenient pop up ads will soon be penalized in search, and the mobile will be the default analysis instead of the desktop.

There are also new technologies like Accelerated Mobile Pages which some blogs and websites are already taking advantage of. It’s a whole new area of search optimization that, unfortunately, will benefit only larger sites unless we jump on board and learn about it.

3. Facts and helpfulness will be a vital point of difference

One of the standout features of 2016 was how quickly we entered into a post-fact era where science and truthful information seemed to become less important for news and media.

People now seem to embrace a cognitive bias openly when it comes to news and will, as an example, disregard whole newspapers like the New York Times as being “left wing elite propaganda” and instead choose a non-fact checked site that sits with their own agenda.

The trouble is that the algorithms that the web is built on encourage this kind of behavior. Veratasium explains in really well in this video.

What I think this means is that it is more important than ever for bloggers and social media wizards to do the right thing and produce content that is helpful, truthful and accurate.

A lot of people are scrambling to find trusted new sources of information and my hope is that it will lead to new blogs and content providers that are committed to making it in a fun and digestible way – you might even be able to make truth and trustworthiness marketable points of difference!

4. Speed will become more vital than ever

All around us we can see how things are speeding up. Have you ever noticed how ticked off you get when your favorite podcast or Netflix series is a day late? Well, services like Google feel the same about websites.

I’m predicting that 2017 will see a rise in the rankings of fast websites and those websites will also continue to perform better in terms of conversions as people become less and less patient with sluggish load times.

As mentioned above, we can already see Google giving preference to fast loading mobile sites with things like AMP and this will only continue to get more prominent as websites and blogs vie to be included in that section of search results.

To make sure blog as fast as possible look at how you use images, the configuration of your server with services like gzip and CDNs, and spend some time learning how to cache various aspects of your site as cleanly as possible,

5. Mailing list “bribes” will have to be more sophisticated

As more and more website owners, web entrepreneurs and bloggers realize the benefits of getting more email subscribers the more likely it is that subscribers will get fatigued.

Everywhere you look now you see different free courses, eBooks and other goodies that you can get for free when you sign up to a mailing list. This probably means that the old “get updates” is not going to be enough unless your content is on the level of Wait But Why or The Oatmeal.

A lot of bloggers are moving on to things like content upgrades where you offer a small download within a post as a way to enhance the value of that post. The catch is that they have to subscribe in order to get it by clicking on buttons like this:

Make a button like this one

Ultimately, I think the mailing list will continue to become more and more important for sustainable online business. A lot of services like Slack have been touted as the “email killer” but I’m still not seeing a mass transition away from the format.

Try to make email subscriptions a focus for your blog in 2017 because, as we’re about to see in the next point, it can provide an extremely important protection.

6. Google will syndicate more content from blogs

If you’re a small website or blog you’ll find that Google can be your best friend one day, and your worst enemy the next. It’s an unfortunate by-product of a service that is absolutely pervasive as well as brilliant in quality.

We all use Google as a way to drive traffic to our blog. The problem arises when we depend on that traffic too much and end up getting stung by a new update, algorithm change or penalty.

But what we’ll see more of in 2017 is Google taking content directly from websites and blog and pasting it right there in the search results. Here’s one example:

ben result in google

As you can see, the search for actor Ben Mendelsohn returns a little sidebar where Google have pulled information from sites like Wikipedia and IMDB. As a result, you don’t actually need to visit those websites to get the information.

You can see this type of result with searches like sports results, movie times, and a lot of basic questions like “convert calories to kilojoules” will even produce a little calculator right there in search.

calories convertor

What this means is that you need to be a little bit careful if you have a popular resource that is easily scraped by Google as there is a high likelihood that they will display it directly in the search results if they think it will be faster and easier for their customers.

Of course, this might not be such a bad thing if it means that your content gets some extra graphical promotion above your competition but it all depends on how the click through rate is affected for your particular piece.

7. Security threats will continue to rise

Last year we saw a massive rise in all kinds of security threats, including one where half the East Coast of the United States got taken down in a DDoS that was vaguely linked to the election and/or Julian Assange and Wikileaks.

In my own smaller world, a relative had their entire workplace’s network compromised when a staff member opened a link in an email that looked to be from an official postal service. The device was locked, held to ransom and a boat-load of personal data was stolen.

So what can we do?

Well, start by doing all the basic things like never opening links in emails, using two-factor authentication, keeping passwords different and strong, avoiding public WiFi, keeping software and anti-virus protection up to date, and using security plugins and protocols on your blogs.

Most importantly, however, is to make a backup of all that you do and all that is important in case something does go wrong and you need to re-load some stuff to a pre-attack phase. I would also highly recommend finding a trusted security expert or a firm like Sucuri that you can go to should something go wrong.

8. Teamwork will become more important than ever

If you read my post about threats to your online business you might be worried about producing enough quality content to compete with the growth in your niche. One way to take care of that is with teams.

For example, here at Blog Tyrant I have a designer who helps me with graphics, a WordPress expert who does coding and adds new features, a systems admin expert who deals with databases and security, brilliant video editors and photographers, etc. And that doesn’t include any of the other bloggers I rely on for networking or cross-promo, or my accountant, lawyer, etc.

Really, there’s no way to do it all by yourself and I feel so lucky to have such amazing people helping me out.

In 2017 bloggers will need to try and be more savvy with how they work with others. That could include collaborations, but mostly it will mean getting some really good staff on a contractor or part time basis to help you do some of the jobs that you don’t need to be doing yourself.

Start by thinking about the things that take up a lot of your time but don’t actually grow the business or earn you any money. These are the things you want to start with.

9. Long form content will change lives

If you have a look at the content that really made an impact last year it was mostly long form content that gave the reader something extremely helpful, and I think this trend will continue next year.

Sure, there were a lot of election and Harambe memes that got a lot of likes and shares, but the content that really seemed to make an impression on people was the in-depth article that spent a lot of time helping someone understand an issue or solve a problem they had.

But then there’s articles like this one on marriage that got 20k shares, this one on Trump supporters that made me teary, this article about Sydney that got over a millions views, this article about how humans won’t need to work soon that made me re-think my career path, or this article called I Used to be a Human Being which was one of the best articles I’ve ever read.

Some of these pieces took months to research and are 5,000 to 10,000 words long. Most importantly, they are genuinely helpful to the reader and have a positive motivation that aims to make sense of something scary in the world, or give people a new perspective.

My feeling is that in 2017 people will be looking for quality content that really helps change their lives. There’s so much noise around us and when you encounter a piece like this you really stop and take notice. And, as the writer, even if you only help a few people I think it’s entirely worth the effort.

10. We’ll need to get better at using data

Even the newest bloggers have a lot of data at their fingertips. Your basic analytics account will show you thousands of data points each day, and when you start looking at split testing and other deeper statistics it can all seem a bit overwhelming.

The funny thing about data is that more is not necessarily better and a lot of people are starting to question how it is being used.

The same is true for anyone who is starting a blog in 2017 – there is a lot of data that you have access to and not all of it will be a valuable way to spend your time.

For example, you could spend literally your whole work week on keyword analysis trying to discover the best keywords to target for your next blog post. You could use SEMrush to check out all the competition, Google Adwords for traffic volume and ads spending and then still at the end come up with the wrong solution because you didn’t factor in social shares, current trends, or the human element on the front end of those articles (i.e. what people will interact with at this particular point in time).

The same is true for internal metrics like bounce rate. You might spend weeks trying to get your bounce rate down by a few percentage points and as such have no real time left to craft new articles, network or provide value.

Personally, I’ll be looking at a few key metrics that I feel are relevant to my business and then not worry too much about the rest. Not only does it take up a lot of my time, I also find it a little bit overwhelming and a bit deflating if I focus too much on numbers.

What would you say to someone starting a blog in 2017?

I’d really love to open up the comments now and hear the advice that you would give to someone who is starting a new blog in 2017. What strategies will you yourself be using? What trends do you think will come and go? And is there anything really, really important that I’ve missed? I can’t wait to hear your perspectives.

I’m going to give $250 to the most helpful comment below so please take your time and give this post a share if you think it might help someone you know. I’ll announce the winner on Facebook next week.

SO, WHAT'S NEXT?

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135 Comments. Join in. *Closed after 30 days*

  • User09

    The New York Times is left-wing communist propaganda, and not only that it is absolutely not fact-checked. People instead now go to more reliable, factually-supported websites to get their news instead of leftist lies and deception.


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks for sharing your opinion. I think they do a pretty good job and have supported some important things like Wikileaks whistle blowing. Probably not perfect though.


    2. Chump Lady

      Communist propaganda? Seriously? Last I heard it was Putin who was helping the GOP not the NYT.


  • Lisa Frideborg Eddy

    Happy New Year, Ramsay! Thank you so much for this. You have given me much to think about and some points that I will get to work on straight away – site speed, in particular! Wishing you and your team all the best for 2017! Lisa


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks Lisa!


  • Michael

    Blogging is the best thing I have tried my hands on, though my blog is not yet a popular one, but it’s nice to see how I have been able to help people and feed my self with the little I make, learning new things everyday and I see a brighter future.

    To all bloggers reading this post and comment, don’t quit now because you are not yet as successful as you wished for.
    Almost every blogger have this kind of experience including Ramsey.

    My 2017 goal is never to quit but to put more effort into the art, learning important skills like SEO and making a product that sells.

    All of us bloggers have personal lives too, please , create some time for family and health, stop sitting on the couch for too long, pick up a daily exercise routine.

    It’s important to stay happy, and stay positive.

    Blogging is interesting and I like to commend Ramsey for all this free education. Thanks bro.

    Well, just to mention, I would like to win the $250 , would use that for some crazy SEO tools I have been eyeing a long time..


    1. Ramsay

      Lovely comment! Thank you. Some very good advice there.


  • Lorenz Crood

    That’s a very helpflul post about future of blogging, Ramsay!


    1. Ramsay

      Thank you.


  • Dania

    Great Post Ramsay

    Even though I had read about AMP and long form content in the past year too, as other things on this blog but you have really put together a great piece.

    The web is becoming more important than ever and the search engines need quality and unique content to keep running so bloggers are the backbone of this industry.

    For all the bloggers reading this comment, make sure your entire content is unique, not only text but the images you include. Instead of royalty free, cropped and edited images, try uploading real photos even if you take them with your smartphone camera.

    Best of luck


    1. Ramsay

      Good tip! We were just talking about this yesterday.


  • Conrad

    I agree with all you’ve said. Blogging just isn’t the same as it was last year, and especially 5-10 years ago.

    One other thing that will be important for blogs this year is video. With the growth of both live video (facebook live, youtube live and webinars to drive traffic) and video content as a storytelling medium, video will become more important for bloggers.

    I’m fairly sure bloggers will be scrambling for new ways to use video. Apps like Adobe Spark, Screencastomatic, and others will make their way into bloggers screens in an attempt to utilize video, but the majority will likely happen on their smartphones.


    1. Ramsay

      Can’t believe I forgot that one!


  • Robin Khokhar

    Hi Ramsay,
    All the above points mentioned in the above blog must be used by one to get better ranking in 2017. It was a really good post to read.
    Thanks for sharing.
    And happy new year.


    1. Ramsay

      Thank you!


  • Rajat

    Hi Ramsay – As usual, this is a really good post. And what is even better is that you push us to be active – so here are my comments !
    – Always strive to be relevant…I know you mentioned this but this is super important
    – Researching well is good but summarizing info is the key..each one of us is short on time.
    – Be disciplined. Writing is not easy but it is important to be regular. Your audience starts expecting it – don’t disappoint them !
    – Share. One common factor seen in great bloggers is that they share great info – names, links, whatever…even when it does not bring them money. Give credit where due !
    Last – enjoy it…it does come through when you write.


    1. Ramsay

      Love the last point!


  • Michael

    Thank you Ramsay! You know, i have been considering a whole lot of things since the tail end of last year. I have gathered resources and read quite a lot of information (some of which have contradicted themselves), however, i find this your piece useful. Before now, i do think that having 5000 – 10,000 words content may be of not so much use (maybe once in a while especially for long-tail White hat SEO), but now, you have revealed how important it is to have such contents put up.

    In addition, like you said, it is important for us to free up time so we can focus on more important aspects of our blog. There jobs we could easily find someone to do for us on Fiverr and Upwork which reduces the stress and tension on us. – Our health is quite important. There is an adage in my country that says:

    ” A dead man does not work, walk or eat”. – our health is important.

    One thing i will like to add to your lost is the “Art of Consistency”. Yes! i called it an art because it is borne on the altar of continuous practice. In recent times, people have become bias and emotional when relating with brands. A piss off can do a whole lot to one’s business. Hence, the need to thrive to be consistent.

    Whether you choose daily blogging, weekly, or monthly blogging – Please post the truth and put out something engaging. The internet today is lacking creative contents and people be refining other people’s work without due acknowledgment and independent thinking.

    Another important point is the integrative content like you mentioned. Videos, community, forums etc and not just text and images. This I think will be the new wave of blogging in 2017.

    Thank you for this piece! It as been bookmarked by me and will be visited once I am done concluding and completing my strategies for my offerings.

    Thanks again Ramsay!


    1. Ramsay

      Really lovely comment. Thank you so much for sharing. I often overlook the health aspect.


  • Kristen Raney

    I’m a month shy of being at my blog for a year, but here’s what I would say to anyone starting out:

    Write what you know, and write often. Don’t worry if your posts aren’t perfect. Nothing kills creativity faster than worrying about being perfect or obsessing over SEO. Use a program like Yoast to help you learn to write better for SEO and stop stressing.

    Make a consistent time to work on your blog everyday. Success comes from scheduling it in and following through. I work on my blog or its promotion (I have a Pinterest strategy in particular that I’m working on) every morning from 6:30-8:00am and it’s working well for me.

    Don’t be afraid to pitch about guest posting to other blogs in your niche. The worst they can say is no, and more than likely they will say yes. I held off on this for most of the year because I was wracked with insecurity, but so far my attempts have been positive.

    Never underestimate the power of collaborating locally. Yes, we have the whole world at our disposal, but start where you are. Build connections in real life around your blog. I was chatting about my blog with a friend the other day, and she said that she never became a regular reader until I involved her in one of my posts. Example: I’m currently working on a post about the best chocolate chip cookies, and you can bet that every person who I’ve involved in the testing phase will read the post and probably share it too.

    And finally, everyone loves a good story. Some of my most successful posts have been ones where I’ve incorporated a personal story into a helpful article. Who knew making crab apple juice could be so popular?

    Hope this helps!

    Ramsey, if you pick me, I would use the money to start a blogging collective in my city. I really want to connect with other local bloggers and start cross promoting our stuff. Thanks for all you do!


    1. Ramsay

      Not being perfect is such a big thing to learn. It held me back for a really, really long time.


  • Chump Lady

    Terrific post as always. So many ways to improve my blog! I’ve got some work ahead in 2017…

    My advice to the newbies.

    1.) Find a niche. The internet is a very big place and it’s full of dreck. It’s also full of amazing content too. You need to stand out. You need to offer your readers something they are not getting anywhere else and you need to serve it up in a way that keeps people coming back.

    Distinguish yourself by carving out a niche. You’re a mommy blogger? So are 37,892 other people (probably more… millions… blog kits come with pregnancy tests now…) You need to be a left-handed, Methodist mommy blogger.

    My example, Chump Lady. When I began I was only infidelity site that wasn’t pro-reconciliation. I take the “leave the jerk” POV. That’s my niche. I further distinguish myself with cartoons and snark apart from the usual dry, serious nature of self-help blogs. The infidelity theme distinguishes me from other advice sites (also legion), and the snark distinguishes me from earnest self help. (Self-help, also legion.)

    Ergo — niche. Find yours. The like-minded will find you. I promise. (Blog odometer about to flip 13 million — I swear this works.)

    2.) Have a voice. Similar to niche above. You hear that “content is king” — that’s true, but what sets good content apart from bad content is your voice. How you communicate and can people connect with you. Will they trust your voice? Are you funny? Are you logical and Spock-like? Do you explain really complicated things in witty, easy-to-understand ways? Blogging is kind of like radio. Readers only hear your voice. Be you. Be a friend. Be funny. My voice is like your best friend who is bitchslapping you for taking back that horrible person you’re dating.

    3.) Build community. I have good content. I have better community. The content built the community, but the community keeps new readers coming and makes them feel welcome. I have over a hundred different voices on each post. (They call themselves “Chump Nation.”) People feel like they have a tribe. They feel understood.

    People are fractious and grumpy, especially online. But if you build this right, and do the occasional monitoring and troll deleting (an unfortunate byproduct of traffic) — you and your readers will meet a lot of cool people online. I think of blogging as a bar, and you’re the barkeep. You want to be Cheers, where everyone knows your name.

    4.) Persistence. Okay, you’re a bar. What good is a bar if it keeps weird hours and is only open on two Tuesdays a year? If you want people to come back, keep regular hours. Once a week, every weekday — keep at it. When you’re starting out, if you want to build readership, my experience has been that consistency matters.

    Your niche has to really interest you, because you’re going to write about it and discuss it endlessly. (Infidelity is great for this — sex, power, douchebaggery… so much to work with.) But as with anything, you have to keep at it. It took me 2.5 years of straight blogging before I monetized my blog with ads. It’s a labor of love. Eventually I got “blog success” — an agent, a book deal, monetization. It’s still work. I still get up and do it every day. You have to take the long view if you want material rewards from writing (and have a day job). But I hope you’re blogging for deeper reasons, like you want to change the conversation about something you care about.

    Good luck!


    1. Ivan

      Tonnes of extra advice there. Thanks!


    2. Ramsay

      Yeah, absolutely amazing advice. You are killing it! Thanks so much.


  • Jed

    The things you’ve mentioned – gzip, CDN, caching have been the major issues last year and continues to be big concerns this year for me because – as you said so effectively, if you got a slow website/blog, then say goodbye to visitors. They will not wait. People are getting more and more impatient and bloggers need to take care of how fast sites load.

    On a personal note, I want to thank you for taking me to the right direction when it comes to my issue on migrating files and losing content and getting that tragic google penalty. As I said, there are plenty of bloggers who love to give advice but there are only a few who will actually help, without asking for something in return. Of course, you got a loyal reader in me, and I think many of your viewers think the same.

    The long article has been my savior for the past 3 years, without those carefully researched posts, I don’t think I could have survived for 5 years and I just think given the tips and advice from you, I will be able to weather any future storms and survive for another 5 years or more!

    Oh, The New York Times indeed is doing a great job. I subscribed to it and there is no reason why I would not anymore just because someone says something as ridiculous as above. Left-wing communists or Right-wing conservatives are on the opposite, extreme ends, we both can read about what they have to say. But at the end of the day, it is us who decides what and who to believe.


    1. Ramsay

      Here’s to the next five!


  • Slavko Desik

    Hey there my friend, Happy New Year 🙂

    Wrote you an e-mail, hope it didn’t get lost in the pile.

    This article right here is the type I really enjoy reading. Puts lots of things into perspective. Year-to-year the changes seem bigger and happen at a more rapid clip. 2017 will bring even faster changes.
    First of all, totally agree with all of your predictions. Some of them even started taking roots.

    1. Steve’s blog for example is not an exception but slowly it is becoming the norm. Smart passive income, The Art of Manliness, many others… they all started like blogs, and evolved through multiple verticals. Two things stand out when expanding to multi-platforms:

    -Podcasting
    -Income (or progress) reports

    Followers like to stay connected, be informed, develop a bond to a brand that goes way more personal.
    Podcasting is becoming HUGE! 2016 showed mesmerizing stats. And it’s not like the market is saturated. Far from it!
    Starting may seem hard, but after I dabbled with video, I now understand that a lot of creative expression can exist in other forms aside of the text article, and just like writing articles, it’s a skill and form of work. The more you do it the easier it becomes- the better you get.

    Smart Passive income and The Art of Manliness both put emphasis on their podcasts now. Glen just launched Gaps, attached a podcast to every post as well, and I wager that he too will transition more towards audio before this year comes to an end.
    On the other side, Income (or progress) reports are way easier to put together. Consistency wins here, and detail. It looks like loyal audiences love detail even more now.

    2. Video, if you invest some time into developing a concept, is rather easy to ship regularly. I love your video updates, so I hope there is more of that. Just for example- a single YouTube channel covering Game of Thrones with 15 minute reviews earns quite well on Patreon. You will be surprised to learn that their brand had only 20-something videos when they reached 3000$ per month.

    3. Opt-in material will evolve as well, just like you said. Content upgrades are more relevant, and that counts. Look more for webinars though, or even better- on demand content (this article explains it perfectly https://moz.com/blog/marketing-like-netflix-lead-gen-strategy ). Trending or not, it will give determined people the edge. Look for this one and invest!

    4. I personally will invest more time into building funnels. Subscribers matter the most, and I realized that rather late. Loosing traffic (users not subscribing) is even more costly now given how attention span shrinks and competition grows.

    5. Content is not king anymore, but speed is! And mobile is the norm. Complex web apps are used on mobile more often, yet alone text articles. Think mobile first and then everything else.

    And while accelerated mobile pages might spread like a virus, the real game changer is progressive web apps. People use apps now more than ever, and I don’t expect the curve to flatten any time soon. This will change the game and nurture leads million times more, as well as allow less tech savvy teams to use the functionality of apps without the costs of building one.

    6. As for truth, fake news and poor quality sites will only make it easier to stand out with quality content. Which brings me to a very important point:

    Great design is a necessity now.

    Layouts and interface will speak of trustworthiness as loud as social proof does. So interface design, as well as content design will require even more effort. Text alone won’t stand out. Not anymore. Except of course if you are Tim Urban from Wait But Why and happen to invest a month’s work into creating a single post.
    So thanks God for Fiverr. You will be amazed by what kind of projects suddenly materialize with 15$ or less.
    2017 will be the game of visuals, so set yourself up for learning a new skill. Video production and editing, or Illustrator and drawing vectors. Much can be achieved with 2-3 hours of work. Believe me.

    7. Tools will help even more. And they are getting cheaper. But it’s a double edged sword. It means that everyone will be using them, so competition is getting fierce. Backlink analytics, conversion optimization tools, research tools, and auto-networking tools for social platforms. You can’t stand a chance against that alone. So find your main point of focus and hire software help.

    8. When things go well (opt-in converts well, funnels work) advertise and scale up. Trends change fast so why miss an opportunity?

    9. Quality content is now more than ever depending on research. Find something that takes time for others to put together, and you know that you’ll be unique. Case studies still provide for a huge return of investment. (Glen opened Gaps on Case studies alone!)

    Few more things to add…

    Courses- it seems like everyone is doing them now. Pat Flynn started his own for the first time, The Art of Manliness runs one for the first time as well. People see Udemy and SkillShare ads all over the place, so courses feel like the natural thing to enroll into. Start one out of an e-mail sequence if nothing else.

    Correlation has it that Medium is a platform all successful internet entrepreneurs use. And you should be too. Why? First of all, in order to diversify your work- the more places the better.
    Second- it helps with building a personal brand. People love when you are not being afraid of the spotlight.
    And finally, it’s a mecca for audience. If your piece gets traction it attracts millions of eyeballs.

    Also 2017 is the year of Growth Hacking (more and more described like a separate discipline). And networking. So the better you become in these two the bigger you will score.

    Hope all of you guys make massive success in 2017, and improve your work and your skillset.

    Here is to an amazing 2017, and an even stronger Tyrant Troops community!


    1. Ramsay

      I’m really surprised at how Medium has taken off. I can’t really pin point what makes it that different to other similar free things.

      Amazing comment. Thank you so much for giving that advice.


  • Abdullah

    I think so blogs with really helpful evergreen content will thrive in 2017. Blogs will become even more of a promotional strategy for solopreneurs and businesses. Successful blogs will most likely be those with helpful, authentic and data driven content. As Jon Morrow said, ” 2000 words should be a blogger’s goal”,long form content is going to be the winner in 2017.

    One thing that you did not mention was visual content.
    Visual content will become more important than ever. Serious bloggers should consider producing infographics and videos in 2017. Infographics can perform really well on pinterest. It’ll will be a great promotional strategy for new bloggers.

    Seo will surely become more important but as Google is preferring sites with AMP pages, I think so bloggers, like me who are unwilling to use AMP pages, will surely suffer if many people started using AMP pages. AMP pages don’t have on-page comments and lead forms so that’s why I am unwilling to use them.
    New bloggers should not rely on google for traffic for the first few months in 2017. Pinterest is hot hot hot for traffic, and it will be the place to go for new bloggers. Many bloggers get more than 80-90% of their traffic from pinterest.

    As site speed will become more important, serious bloggers should consider transferring their site to webhostings like Wpengine and should consider using plugins like Wpsmush and W3 total cache and the services like MaxCDN and also AMP pages (that I hate).

    Because of security threats, bloggers should consider using plugins like Wordfence for security and Updraft plus for backups.

    Because of so much data in 2017, bloggers should focus on at most 3 metrics which will mostly likely bring the desired results like for solopreneurs, it is revenue, expenses and email list.

    As you mentioned, teamwork will become more important for serious bloggers because one blogger can’t compete with a team like yours.

    But the post was great. Thanks for sharing your ideas with us

    Cheers,
    Abdullah


    1. Ramsay

      I’ve been experimenting with Pinterest and while I have some graphics with a few thousand pins it doesn’t seem to drive traffic. It may help with SEO though.


  • Jennifer Waddle

    Thank you, Ramsay. I always look forward to your posts and do a mental happy dance when I see them in my inbox! LOL

    Here’s my heartfelt take on blogging for 2017…

    What if blogging was more about listening than speaking? What if we began to view our blogs as someone sitting across from us in a coffee shop, eagerly anticipating what we have to say?

    Think about it. In the “hamster wheel” of our minds, we toss ideas about, circling them around and around, hoping a few of them will stick and form something “magic.”

    But what if we got serious about our messages, so much so, that we began to think A-Z, start to finish, top to bottom?

    Honestly, that is the only way we will stand out in the chaos. By getting intentional about every element of blogging, we may be able to step off of the “hamster wheel” and actually go somewhere.

    As I write, I realize this is just as much a “self-talk” as it is an offering of blogging advice. So, in my best cheerleader voice from 1987, LET’S KICK SOME BLOGGING BUTTS IN 2017!

    Think A-Z, start to finish, top to bottom, and make your blog as intentional as you can.

    Who is sitting across from you in that coffee shop?

    Sincerely,
    Jennifer


    1. Ashley

      Love this comment. While I agree that strategy, visual content, post length, design, etc all make a huge difference, I think a lot of people get lost in the logistics and sound robotic. Maybe I am naive, but I still think authenticity and connection are the keys to success.


      1. Jennifer Waddle

        Thanks, Ashley!
        I agree with you, sister. Authenticity goes a long, long way.

        Jennifer


        1. Ramsay

          Agreed. Very well said!


  • Gareth

    Awesome post as always, Ramsay.

    I hate to break it to you though, but your comments section has exceeded the post content quality, again. 🙂 The comments section on your posts always have some absolute fire, and this one is no exception.

    I think we’re in for a really exciting year.

    I think that getting organic traffic is gonna get harder, especially for a new blog/website. The big boys are contantly trying to nudge site owners towards paid traffic, and I think this year they’re gonna get really heavy on it.

    I think 2017 will be the year that AMP really comes into play. It’s gonna shake things up a little. I personally, don’t want to go that route, as I’d like the user to leave Google and visit my site. But the SERP advantages or AMP are tempting. It’s a tight-rope.

    Long-form content is definitely here to stay. I can’t see that changing, ever. The interesting part is that some long-form content is just pure fluff and holds no value. I think for long-form content to rank and rank well, it has to be insanely informative, valueable, and data-driven. I think 2017 will see shorter content being penalized.

    That’s my biggest predictions. I think most of the other hee-haw stuff will maybe change a little, but only slightly.

    Time will tell.


    1. Ramsay

      Ha ha. Totally agree. The comments are amazing. I’m so grateful. Interesting perspective on AMP – thanks.


  • Carmen

    Very useful, as always! A giveaway? How fun!

    As someone who’s also starting a blog, I would say that competition is always on the rise, that is why in 2017 you should be intentional with a clear plan.

    I am currently taking classes on content marketing and advertisement, and I can’t stress enough how important it is to keep your overall goal in mind every step of the way. Every post you write, be it on social media, a blog post, your email content, or ad copy, should map out what your content will eventually lead to: A “call-to-action.”

    If your goal is to turn readers into customers, then it may look something like:
    1. Decide on a “call-to-action.” (For most people this involves making a sale.)
    2. Create a sales funnel.
    3. Set a launch date that includes your “call-to-action.” (That launch could be an ebook, a sponsored post, a killer affiliate deal, or a physical/digital product.)
    4. Create a juicy email opt-in.
    5. Build excitement and interest for your launch by dropping clues about what you’ll be launching on social media, blog posts, email, etc.
    6. During the launch period, only write content that is related and useful to the audience that is interested in your “call-to-action”. This includes social media!
    7. Follow through with your launch date and share it everywhere.

    This doesn’t mean that you have to make a hard sale every time you publish something. However, being intentional with every post naturally guides your reader to your solution. Happy New Year!


    1. Ramsay

      Perfect strategy! I hope someone reads this.


  • Ross K

    Write a super blog post that will change someone’s frigging life with no strings attached. The kinda quality people in your niche are only used to paying for. A post that grows and adapts over time and people are urged to subscribe to not miss out. Update the post frequently and let it evolve instead of it disappearing into your archives. Add content upgrades that help even more to get things done better and faster. Drive paid traffic to these blog posts and use retargetting to drive more traffic. Grow a real tribe that YOU love and they love you back. Get them involved with your blog post and by making your tribe feel a part of something you don’t even have to rely on Google for anything. (apart from analytics:) That’s my plan for 2017.


    1. Chris

      That’s the best short answer that sums everything up really well!


    2. Chump Lady

      I totally agree with the no strings attached thing. Great comment! I realize my self marketing is sucktacular, but I’m so turned off by blogging lifestyle coaches, or I’ll tell you how to get over your broken heart, but first buy my ebook sites.

      Connect with people. They’ll come to trust you, your voice, your community. I don’t want to sell that trust cheap, or at all really. I only want to promote things that helped me personally, or that I wrote myself.

      I think, especially in this over commercialized world of ours, that sincerity stands out.


    3. Ramsay

      YES!


  • Chris

    My Tips
    1. DON’T START A BLOG, START A BUSINESS
    Your mindset is what will help or hinder your efforts. If you tell people, “I have a blog,” well, that’s like saying you have an online diary which happens to be topic-focused. But if you say, “I have an online business” then it’s totally different. Not only will your site be viewed in a better light but you’ll see it differently.

    2. ONLY MAKE A FEW PEOPLE HAPPY
    Don’t create ALL of your content to satisfy ALL of your visitors.
    If you blog on Golf, write content / create products for subgroups such as how to re-grip club handles, how to save money at private clubs, how to buy great second-hand clubs. Yes, everyone want to learn how to play better but grow your depth by diversifying.

    In short, don’t try to meets the needs of every visitor with every article.

    3. PICK A SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM
    Determine where your visitors communicate the most and focus your social media efforts there. You might not need a pinterest account but instead Twitter, or vice-versa.

    4. BUILD A COMMUNITY
    There are several ways to do this, via forums or facebook groups or something else. You might have a community only for people who buy a product or a membership. You might have a free community. People want teachers, peers, and a feeling of being part of something larger than themselves.

    5. #%$@’ING SPEND MONEY
    I see too many people trying to find free ways to start their online buiness (cheapest hosting, wordpress-hosted blog, free newsletter provider, free site template, free ANYTHING). Do this and you’ll regret it. You’ll face limitations, you’ll get poor customer service, deal with poor products, and you’ll be holding yourself back. It’s an old quote but it’s true, you have to spend money to make money.

    TRENDS
    What trends will come and go? That’s a tough one. The Google Plus community was supposed to be the next best thing and remember MySpace? The trends tend to be in two areas; community building and providing content. Look at how YouTube channels have expanded to the point some people have a very small online web site but a huge YouTube channel with affiliate links in their video description. But is video right for your market? Maybe, maybe not.

    Provide people their core needs such as great content, great products (yours or affiliates), communicate with them (email and social media), and a provide them a community. If something new comes along, ask if it helps get your message out to more people. Don’t use something new just because it’s new.

    MY STRATEGIES
    Create a content calendar so I’m publishing regular free content and new products on a timely basis.

    FINAL TIP
    In case it’s not obvious, write structured content with subheadings, lists, and other ways to make it easy to scan. People scan web pages to find the content they want.

    BONUS TIP
    Be yourself. If you have a witty sense of humor, use that in your writing. If you take great photos, use those photos in your content (as long as it relates). Don’t write “textbook” material, write with style and let your reader get to know you through your writing.

    BONUS TIP #2
    Always include bonuses when you sell content; checklists, charts, cheat sheets, extended content. Bonuses help sales.


    1. Ramsay

      Ha ha. Agree about the money thing. It makes it easier. Thanks so much, Chris. Thanks again for all your contributions over the years.


  • Sophie Areli | Club Money Bin

    Hi Ramsay! Hello everyone!
    Thank you for this nice contest.

    I’m a new kid on the block.
    My blog was officially “launched” at the end of November 2016, but in one month I was able to earn enough money from my blog to pay my entire January rent.

    People say your blog is not a business. It’s a writing platform to communicate thoughts or to promote something.

    Well, for someone like me who was living out of my car a few months ago, starting my blog WAS starting a small business for my family.
    It was our way to buy food and other necessities that some people take for granted.

    My tip for beginners is this:
    STOP and ask yourself what your goal for your blog is.
    Is your goal to get more traffic OR is your goal to make money online?
    Those are two different goals. More traffic doesn’t always mean more money for your brand so stop trying to kill yourself to get loads of it if you’re just starting out.

    I don’t have a lot of traffic coming in because my blog just started.
    Yet, I was still able to bring in something through affiliate links.
    I did that by creating TRUE FANS with an email list and on social media before my blog launched. My list has less than 100 people on it, but people on there are involved. They are listening and they are asking me questions on social media.

    It’s not about big numbers, it’s about who will really stick around and keep coming back to support you and eventually buy from you. Someone on here wrote to create a content marketing plan. Bingo. That’s how you do it. Stop and write that up and then it will be a compass for attracting true fans to you. It will also help to keep you from the frenzy of trying out EVERY SINGLE platform in the name of getting more traffic. Hope this helps.


    1. Carmen

      Amen!


    2. Ramsay

      Congratulations and thank you for sharing!


  • Annie Sisk

    Here’s my advice, after more than ten years setting up and running blogs for myself and for clients: Guard and protect your time as fervently as you would a huge sack of cash.

    Far too often, I see clients fall prey to the same overwhelming urge to READ ALL THE THINGS that I did. It’s seductive, really – the siren call of longform blog posts and ebooks and email courses on every single imaginable aspect of creating and maintaining a successful blog. We aren’t sure of ourselves in this endeavor, and there’s SO much freely available that we feel compelled to keep signing up for lists and downloading PDFs.

    The problem is the cost that you pay for embracing information overload — and that’s the price in lost time and lost brain power, two assets you need to preserve and conserve. Every list you end up on is potentially another list you’ll eventually unsubscribe from because your email inbox is overstuffed.

    *****And every PDF you download and (odds are) don’t actually, objectively need is time you could have spent creating your OWN content.*****

    I’m *not* saying that you shouldn’t educate yourself. You absolutely should.

    Rather, I’m suggesting you do so consciously, carefully, and with purpose. Instead of reacting impulsively to a new offer on a blog you just found and love, take half an hour and make a list of the things you need more information on – the areas of blog ownership/maintenance/promotion where you’re not confident of your skills or knowledge. Make that list, then consciously choose the best information products you can find for each subject or item. When you find a good, solid ebook or blog post that provides the information you need, mark that item off the list.

    Then, the next time you run across one of those must-haves that trigger that insecurity-fueled impulse to grab it, first check your list. Is that topic still open – i.e., you *haven’t* already read up on it – then go ahead and get it. Read it. Mark it off the list.

    Be conscious about answering the questions and filling the knowledge gaps you currently possess. It’ll help you avoid ending up like so many of us, with whole hard drives filled with nothing but informational documents on blogging and marketing topics.


    1. Alvin B

      Hey Annie,

      Please stop talking about me…..I haven’t done anything to you. You don’t even know me.

      Alvin


      1. Annie Sisk

        … Huh? LOL – I’m hoping this is a joke!


        1. Ramsay

          Yeah, what’s that about?


          1. Annie Sisk

            I’d like to know, too, but since I didn’t say anything negative about anyone, and since I don’t think I know anyone named “Alvin B.” I’m guessing Alvin was going for the laugh here…? Hope so, in any event.


        2. Alvin B

          Lol, it’s a joke. I thought you were speaking to me only and I think it was fair.


          1. Annie Sisk

            PHEW! Man, you had me worried there! LOL But just so you know – the reason I chose that as my tip is because it applies to LITERALLY EVERYONE. ALL of us. (Mostly me.)


          2. Alvin B

            Hi Annie

            Putting joke aside I am hoping that everyone in this forum takes another read on your original comments about information overload plaguing bloggers and other internet marketers. It is the biggest killer of success in the internet world, especially among newbies.

            These marketers trick us into giving them our emails and then they get us to buy or subscribe to every single PDF, Books, Software, Videos, Podcast etc., etc., and guess what they are all damn good. I was shocked to learn that these marketers sometimes pay up to 10k or more to write a single sales page that they use to get you to overload on their products. So what do we do? We now have all these products that are supposed to help us get rich, we sit down and read, watch and listen all day and like a drug addict we start to feel extremely good only to find out later that we are exactly where we started, doing nothing, taking no actions, but looking for the next fix to motivate us again.

            So you are right on the money. I personally believe as you implied that we should have a clear cut path on the road we want to take, then we ONLY subscribe to the information that take us to that particular road and delete or unsubscribe from everything else. Until we do this nothing else does not matter, we will not do the ONE thing that makes us all successful and that is TAKING ACTION.


  • Susie Lindau

    Happy New Year, Ramsay!
    Thanks for the info! I hope 2017 is much kinder to bloggers. Google took us on a roller coaster ride last year.

    Hello new bloggers!

    Ask yourself, “What is my purpose in blogging?”

    Some blog to promote business, others for community and/or to chronicle their lives. Many start them as a class assignment. I created Susie Lindau’s Wild Ride five years ago to chronicle my wild life in Colorado and to build an author’s platform – my combined number of social media followers. Little did I know that I would make REAL online friends in the process. I’ve met quite a few of them. When I was diagnosed with cancer three years ago, they wrote #SusieStrong posts in support. How cool is that?

    Offer a unique perspective:

    There are zillions of topics to write about. Choose one and take a different slant. Don’t write for numbers. Write about what excites you.

    I write about my crazy adventures. Most of this stuff could only happen to me. I wrote humorous Boob Reports when I went through cancer. I’m pretty dang shameless and write with self-effacing humor, like my Dear Diary posts about my screw ups through the holidays and 2016 resolution failures and why I’m taking the Big Chill in 2017.

    Your perspective might trend with the news:

    My post, “How Patsy Ramsey ruined my life,” gets tons of Google searches every time the Ramseys are in the news. I toured the Ramsey home at Christmas (two years before Jon Benet was murdered), and I’ve been obsessed with Christmas decorations ever since. I included a little bit about their floor plan, the layout of the house, and Patsy’s own obsession with her trophies, dresses and shoes.

    Don’t worry about SEO:

    Google is mercurial. As soon as you think you know how to get higher ranking in search, they change something and it slips through my fingers into the crack in my wood floors. I’m over it.

    The latest trend: My daughter works in digital marketing website analysis. That’s better than having a doctor in the family. Ha! Recently, my Alexa Ranking fell, (which is very good) from 6,800,000 in the world to 3,900,000. Google is requiring businesses to pay for search and is rewarding bloggers for clicks from social media. Cool. How often I promote my blog on social media is something I can control.

    Marketing through social media:
    In Twitter, thirds is a good rule of thumb. One third self-promotion, one third promoting others and one third (or more) screwing around; talking to friends, commenting on The Bachelor, (ahem), playing hashtag games, etc.

    Facebook is waaaay different. You have to be careful not to spam your friends with your “Look what I wrote! Look at me!” posts. Once is enough.

    One of my resolutions is to link up Instagram to post photos on my Facebook page to break up my blog post feed.

    Build a blogging community:

    Unless you’re riding on fifteen minutes of fame, you have to read, comment, and like other blog posts to build a readership. Otherwise, you may post your articles to the sound of crickets. It’s not like Instagram or Twitter where some will follow you for follow-backs and readers only see your posts for seconds. The time spent building community is a worthy investment.

    My wish for everyone in 2017?

    Chill out!

    It seems counter-intuitive, but we need to step away from our keyboards once in a while. Obsessing about the numbers, stats and rankings takes time away from creating and writing.

    Ramsay will keep us updated.

    This year, I refuse to search for hours on end to find out why my numbers are up or down. I’ll leave that to the experts, like Ramsay and my daughter. There is so much we can’t control. Instead, I plan to focus on content and enjoying my wild life!

    Thanks for the opportunity to share my thoughts, Ramsay!


    1. Ramsay

      Your personality really shines through in your writing. I have a feeling this year will be great for you. I sincerely hope your health is all good now.


      1. Susie Lindau

        I’m doing great, thanks so much, Ramsay! And thank you for your blog. Even though I’m a personal blogger, I learn a lot from your posts.
        I hope you’re right about 2017! *fingers crossed*


  • Amy Jones

    I have really enjoyed spending time reading this article and then reading the thoughtful comments. There are some great takeaways from this and I have emailed it to a few blogger friends.

    The one area that I am interested in is the long form prediction. I tend to write longer posts than most … and the advice used to be writing shorter, easy to read, bullet pointed material … but that hasn’t always been my style. I have to stick to my voice so we will see if the trend makes an impact on my blog.

    I am rebuilding my website this year (goal to launch by June!) so I appreciated reading this from an old, but new perspective.


    1. Ramsay

      Glad you enjoyed the comments. They really are far, far better than the articles I write.


  • Julian Sakanee

    Hey Ramsay,

    Happy New Year. Great post. 🙂

    The biggest piece of advice I’d give to someone starting a new blog in 2017 is to tap into other people’s audiences using blogger outreach and influencer marketing.

    Nothing beats having a relationship with influential bloggers in your niche. They’re usually more than willing to share your content when you ask them.

    Building that relationship takes work, though. And some time, obviously. Kind of like making friends in grade school.

    The best way is to help them.

    You can give them links. You can share their content (like every day). You can let them know of website errors. Basically anything.

    One way that tops it all is by making them look good. You do this by proving they’re legit experts.

    How? By implementing what they teach until you get great results.

    And then, maybe, you can become a case study and get featured on their blog.

    Just like how Emil Shour became a case study on the Backlinko blog when he used the Skyscraper Technique.

    Know what I’m saying?

    Well. That’s my advice. 🙂

    Anyway, I love the post. Looking forward to the next one.

    Laters.

    – Julian


    1. Ramsay

      I think this type of strategy has been working in all business fields for all of time. Very well said.


  • Rahul Upase

    Hi Ramsay,

    Very informative post. I liked it very much. As I am a newbie to the world of Internet Marketing I can’t give that much matured advices.
    But as per my understanding I think in 2017 the Blog life is going to be very colorful but not as easy as I am saying. We need to do Hard work + Smart work. I feel apart from only blog content the Video content will have an edge. There will be much advantage if we use Video content also along with text content as and where appropriate. Coming to SEO part it’s necessary to practice it often.


    1. Ramsay

      Video is absolutely going to be huge.


  • Maria DeCotiis

    Hi Ramsay,

    Thank you for your great post! I’m so happy to have found this website. I have gained a lot of knowledge and I truly enjoy reading your posts. Your posts are always engaging and never dry, it’s no wonder why blogtyrant is so successful. I have only just started this journey in the blogging world and often worry I got in too late, however I refuse to feel discouraged. My blog finastyleblog.com focuses on fashion, design and overall lifestyle. For me I think that for 2017 blogging needs to be more about the reader and less about the writer. I think the reader needs to feel inspired after reading a blog post and feel that they have learned something from what they just read.
    Thank you for all the great advice, I’m excited to implement what you have predicted into my blog. I would love it if you had some time to check it out and give some feedback!
    Happy New Year!
    Maria


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks so much for the kind words.

      I had a quick look and your blog is doing wonderfully! I would recommend more emphasis on photos and probably putting them on instagram and pinterest and making sure it integrates with your blog nicely.

      I’d also include more photos on the About page and tell more of a story about yourself and the blog in there. It’s an important page.

      Best of luck!


  • Lessie Gallien

    Happy New Year Ramsay! My blog has a long way to go but I’m not feeling hopeless. There is so much to learn. Thanks as usual for sharing such useful information on blogging. I’ve been working on my blog posts to improve on SEO and it’s taking some time but my patience is with me.

    Again, I appreciate the informative posts you share.


    1. Ramsay

      Glad you enjoyed it!


  • Vishal Ostwal

    Hey Ramsay,

    I’d like to start with a thank you as usual. This time, for giving the opportunity to speak up and sharing some of your spotlight with us.

    “The advice that you would give to someone who is starting a new blog in 2017” – sounds big to me. The internet is already doing it, and I’m glad that some truthful guys you are in the forefront.

    To be honest, I’ll write down what I’ve learned and also wish what I knew then, 2 years back – because that’s what has taught me how to deal with what’s coming.

    The initial advice doesn’t have to be much technical because people are wise enough to learn the important aspects by themselves. So maybe what they need to know initially is simple. Some truths.

    That would be like summing up everything on the base of which a brand new blog can be started and expanded. Whatever I’ll share here is going to be genuine and based on my experiences.

    Since it’s much about “what advice would you give to those who are starting,” I prefer not to go into details.

    Starting a blog in 2017? Here’s what you need to know (or what I would tell myself if I was to begin from scratch again.)

    ▮1. START▮

    This is what matters the most. I’m telling this because I know that many of you won’t. I’ve been there and I might not have started. Hopefully, I did.

    I started a blog from my college library, wrote posts on a cellphone, and edited my posts in the internet cafés because there wasn’t an Internet connection at home. I started with whatever I had and whatever I knew. Not starting made me uneasy.

    I was the first blogger I knew.

    Later on, I purchased my domain name with three month of my savings. I now have a laptop and a couple of self-hosted blogs.
    What I’ve learned is that starting is the time when you can screw up – no one notices you. You can experiment. You can take time to figure out things. Starting early killed my assumptions and gave me enough time to learn and get my feet wet.

    Start. Anyhow. You can migrate your site to your own-host later or find out ways to earn in near future. But for now, start.

    ▮2. DO WHAT YOU FEEL YOU SHOULD DO▮

    Some things work. Some don’t. Didn’t Google start Orkut?

    You find what works for you only by doing.

    What matters ultimately is trying.

    I started a personal-blog. I tried affiliate marketing. I published a book. I did whatever I thought might bring a change. Most of what I do doesn’t bring me great benefits, but it teaches me. It gives some experiences I know pay-off.

    What is it that you love doing? Do it often. Create a video. Start a podcast. Dare to be awful. Let it suck. You only get better as you go on creating more.

    Don’t let your fear or hunger for perfection get into your way to creating something great, or okay.

    ▮3. DON’T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS▮

    I thought I would never get published on The Huffington Post. I sent a pitch. It got accepted. I got published on The Huffington Post.

    That’s how online success works in most cases. You can only try. You won’t know whether your book or product will succeed unless you create it and sell it. Leave the rest, your first duty is to get over your assumptions and actually do things.

    Will someone read your blog? You won’t know unless you start one. Will someone click on those ads? Try it to find out.

    ▮4. DON’T PANIC ABOUT THE STUFF EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT▮

    Should you call-to-action button be green or orange?
    Is it really worth thinking while you’ve just begun? Not much.

    The internet is overflowing with posts about blogging. Each one seems to make sense, but you don’t need to get all of them. Follow a few blogs you love and work hard.

    It’s quite easy to feel like a fool – you site isn’t fast, you don’t own a premium theme, you don’t use the canonical tag – sure those things matter, but not much at this stage.

    You’ve just begun. You’ll ultimately learn and get a chance to go big and actually need to do all those things. You have time.

    You might soon own a premium theme, hire someone to do the SEO or actually need to think over the color of that call-to-action button, till then, go on, try your best and don’t panic about random things.

    ▮5. LEARN▮

    You’ll suck. Everyone does. Don’t stress over that – you can learn.
    I didn’t knew how to punctuate. I acted smart and pretended to be an expert. I don’t do that anymore. I deleted my first blog post a few months back because it embarrassed me.

    I read and learn. Not due to some obligation – I love doing it. Now I’m better than what I used to be. I improved. It’s a simple rule that works equally for everyone.

    Similarly, I’ve observed a lot of bloggers thrive and grow. They’ve learned their lessons. We all do.

    If your incompetency makes you feel worried, then learn as much as you can to overcome it.

    Once you learn, you become capable of gaining whatever you want. Increased traffic, better content or something else – you can get it for yourself.

    ▮6. IT’S NOT ABOUT WHAT YOU GAIN BUT WHAT YOU BECOME▮

    Did I earn a six figure income? Did I become an online leader? No, partly because I didn’t start with that intention. I didn’t knew that blogging could be used to earn when I started.

    You might land in the crowd that doesn’t earn much. So will that mean you had wasted your time on a useless attempt? No.

    What I’ve realized that the word ‘blogging’ itself can give you lots of stories to tell. And when you do things in life that give you stories worth telling, you don’t regret them.

    Blogging brought me my first paycheck. It got me my first job offer. It allowed to have the courage to work on my passion of writing and entrepreneurship. It taught me the value of hard-work and persistence.

    I’m doing it with love since two years without gaining much, and I can still admit that every bit of effort I’ve put in it has been worth it.

    While doing all this – blogging and online stuff – I changed. I can’t explain, it’s a feeling all bloggers know they have in them and know it. I don’t fear to fail. I take my chances. I share more. I’m overcoming my insecurities, even if slowly.

    I’m a better person. Now I understand what it means to stand on one’s feet and hustle. I’m glad that I wrote that first post about from my library.

    If your passion and love get you into blogging, you’ll be happy.

    ▮7. GIVE BACK▮

    Serve however you can. Teach what you know. Hire some new bloggers so to support them during their struggles.

    If you ever start getting something out of your efforts, try to give it back to your community. Spend your money on some noble causes. Be grateful!

    ★ SOME GENUINE ADVICE YOU CAN USE RIGHT AWAY ★

    ✔ Comment and guest post only where you’re valued. Don’t let yourself get lost in a place where no one cares about your existence.

    ✔ Do what you can. Ask others to help you out when you can’t do something. If you cannot afford to make someone do it for you, learn it until you can do it.

    ✔ Be the first one to start a conversation. Be genuine, help others and focus on mutual growth. That’s your shortcut to having better relations.

    ✔ Don’t fear to ask people to help you out, but don’t be too pushy either. Do your hard work, share it, and leave the rest to your followers.

    ✔ Experiment and do more of what works. Quit putting efforts in what isn’t working for you. It’s a simple rule to reflect and grow faster.

    ✔ Occasionally invest your time in doing small things that bring bigger changes – such as, repurposing content, SEOing and connecting with people.

    ✔ Be where you followers are, share where your followers are. Email, Facebook, LinkedIn – there’s always one platform that does the job better.

    ✔ Batch your tasks – do them all the small things at once. Give more time to writing and creating content. Don’t let small jobs become obstacles.

    ✔ Develop some rules and be honest to yourself when abiding to them. Once post a week, five hundred words a day – whatever your rule is, be consistent while following it.

    ✔ Teach what you know. Share what you’ve learned. Create what you have fun creating. You’ll grow at a faster pace this way.

    ✔ Be authentic, have a perspective, express an opinion, show up your personality – this is the right way to share a story and make people fall in love with you.

    ✔ Be honest. Your self-esteem won’t get hurt, and you won’t become vulnerable to getting exposed. You’ll be able to be yourself.

    ✔ Listen to your instincts. They’ll guide you and remind you when you aren’t working hard enough or when the design of your site sucks. Act on them. It’s rare that you would go wrong when you follow your instincts.

    ★ WAYS TO CREATE BETTER CONTENT (AND SOME SIMPLIFIED SEO) ★

    ✔ Use versatile content forms – videos, graphics and words. Length doesn’t matter as long as your content is easy to consume.

    ✔ Do a quick search about the topic you’re going to write about. Write something better than all the articles that show up on the first page.

    ✔ Make sure that you use alt tags, specify description and caption and compress images using optimization when uploading images.

    ✔ Before you post, add the read more tag, include relevant tags, specify a category, add the links, format the content, check for grammatical errors and publish.

    ✔ Use plugins to solve problems. Switch to alternative solutions when they seem to be causing trouble.

    ✔ Don’t plagiarize content. Don’t use images from Google in your posts. That’s an online offense and isn’t a right practice for your blog either.

    ✔ Avoid letting the online noise manipulate your voice and dare to preserve your identity and style amid the chaos.

    ✔ Write for yourself. Write for your readers. Write for search engines. That’s the only perfect balance there is.

    ✔ Don’t edit the first draft while writing. Edit it several times after you’re done. Publish only after you’re done with polishing it.

    ✔ Work hard, be productive and keep implementing ways to grow – if there’s something else you need to know, you’ll know it if you’re curious. This is important – be curious.

    ✔ Become an asset of importance. Your chances of growth are better when learning is a greater priority to you than gaining.

    ★ TOOLS AND RESOURCES ★

    ✅ Image creation – Canva and PowerPoint.
    ✅ Icons and Vector Images – Flaticons.com and Freepik.com.
    ✅ Public domain sites – Pexels.com and Pixabay.com.
    ✅ GIFs and Memes – Memegenerator.net, Giphy and GifCam.

    ★ FINAL TIP ★

    Hold on.

    Survive.

    If your blog is really going to be important to you, start with a firm decision of not quitting. In the end, it’s only those who don’t give up that are likely to ascend.

    Darren Rowse and Brian Clark blogged even when everyone else predicted that blogging was going to perish. Ramit Sethi turned his site into a business after almost 10 long years. John Saddington is blogging since years; blogging wasn’t a buzzword then.

    It takes time. It can be disappointing. Yet, it’s worth it. If you’re passionate, you’ll able to go on regardless of the outcomes.

    ★ tl;dr? ★

    Focus on the fundamentals.

    Fundamentals are the elements that are common among all niches and aren’t time sensitive. So it doesn’t matter whether it’s 2017 or 2050, there are some things which don’t ever change.

    Being audience-centric, creating evergreen content and change itself is a part of those fundamentals. Some things don’t go out of style.

    ★ TRENDS ★

    If the internet becomes faster and reaches more people – videos will grow.

    Interactivity remains an unaccomplished goal that can otherwise do miracles by providing customized content as per the needs of the users.

    This can include quizzes, slideshows, customized-reports, requirement based suggestions and other kind of content depending on the current state and needs of the user.

    Maybe soon, blogs won’t be the home to content as third-party publishing platforms might take over. On-site monetization sites might suffer while brands with loyal audiences won’t be affected much.

    Last but not the least, it’s all happening to provide more convenience to people, which I believe is the final goal. Websites are only a form of medium we use to communicate.

    There’s something better happening each day. The world changes for better – slowly.

    ★ STRATEGIES I’LL BE IMPLEMENTING ★

    Fixing what I’ve been doing wrong, doing what would enhance the web presence, and…who am I fooling? I do that on my other blog, but as for my blog, I’m a lot simple.

    Although I implement a few tactics, creating content remains my priority over doing anything else. I know it’s not the right approach, but I’m unable to get over that (or maybe I don’t want to).

    Anyway, it’s doing fine and I feel grateful and happy each time I ship an article – that makes me happy. After all, it isn’t a business thing yet.


    1. Ramsay

      You. Amaze. Me.


      1. Vishal Ostwal

        Ditto 🙂


    2. Jaclyn

      Ramsay, are you accepting votes for the giveaway? 😉

      Because Vishal has my vote!


      1. Vishal Ostwal

        Hey Jaclyn, thank you so much.

        Do you have a blog, or are you about to start one? Hope it does great 🙂


    3. Luke

      Great comment Vishal 🙂


  • Emily Journey

    I recently implemented w3-total cache with Amazon Cloudfront in order to address site speed. And, I ran into CORS errors on Chrome. Ugh!
    My fonts and font awesome icons were affected. I’d love it if you wrote on the topic of the various caching methods and troubleshooting in this area. The current instruction and guides in this area are weak.
    Also, can’t wait to see what changes are in store for helping the smaller businesses who are not strictly local service providers.


    1. Ramsay

      Oh man, caching is a pain. David, can you speak to this?


      1. Emily Journey

        Thank you, Ramsay. I am so looking forward to following your posts this year.


    2. David Steven-Jennings

      Hi Emily,

      Yeah, caching can be tricky. It’s amazing how adding just one layer to the setup can cause so many problems. Tl;dr the complexity revolves around how browsers, the caching service, and the web site all talk to each other behind the scenes, and it can require a bit of a mental shift to ‘get it’.

      I do have a blog post in the pipeline regarding caching and how to troubleshoot; I was going to aim it mainly at developers but I can see how it would be useful to a wider audience 🙂 Want me to shoot you a tweet when it’s done?


      1. Emily Journey

        That would be totally awesome! Thank you. @emilyjourney
        Yes, caching is tricky but vital to SEO. Much appreciated.


  • Winston

    Hi Ramsay

    Thank you for this great post and also for the button help, I’ve been trying to figure out what app I could use for that.

    I would say in the future including videos of yourself in blog posts will be very important, and can also give you a significant competitive advantage in your niche. One of the things I realized when doing research to start my own blog and Youtube channel is that there are two types of people 1). Those that focus only or primarily on text content, and 2). Those that focus only or primarily on video (Youtube), however there weren’t many (if any at all) that focuses on incorporating both. So anyone who can learn to balance both can:

    1. Skyrocket their brand value and brand awareness.
    2. Gain a competitive advantage in their niche
    3. Increase their Google search ranking

    An article by Hubspot confirms this, and speaks about exactly what your post is about Ramsay on The Future of Content Marketing. In it they did a research early 2016 which says video is the most consumed form of content there is (55%)…even MORE than social media posts!

    Link: https://research.hubspot.com/reports/the-future-of-content-marketing

    So in reiterating and stressing my point if you start a blog, find a way to incorporate videos. I did even for the welcome post or first post to my new blog I started January 1. I’m making it a big part of my blog strategy


    1. Ramsay

      Video has been growing and growing since Google bought YouTube IMHO. And every time a new medium like snapchat comes along it keeps getting bigger. I really hate producing it myself, but I think some people are going to do so well from it in 2017.


  • Gary @ Super Saving Tips

    Great article. I especially agree with #1, that a blog is a lot more than just a blog these days. I know of many that have branched out into successful podcasts, vlogs, courses, ebooks, resource libraries, FB groups, and selling products and printables. I think that this allows you to reach your target audience in the way that most benefits them, not necessarily just the written word. Having a variety of mediums enhances your message and your brand. I’m still trying to master the basics, but I’m looking forward to expanding in the future.


    1. Ramsay

      Good luck for 2017, Gary.


  • Big Nang

    Thanks for this wonderful article, but I do have one thing to add to the future of bogging. Old people.
    The over 40’s, over 50’s, and indeed more recently even those in their 80’s and beyond are becoming more tech savvy and reaching out via the inter webs
    As an old duck myself, I can also advise that we don’t all wear comfy shoes and bake scones while listening to the Eagles.
    We curse and swear, have lots of sex, giggle inappropriately and still love punk, heavy rock and god knows what else. There’s your niche folks!!
    I’ve just started a blog that no one as yet has read- but it’s full of bad talk, health and fitness (did I forget to mention we also train for triathlons) and killer heels.
    I’d use the winnings to learn more about SEO and all that shit- just to spread my words.
    Thanks again for the great advice
    BN


    1. Chump Lady

      I love your attitude! Great blog! But hey, don’t diss the comfy shoes. 🙂


    2. Ramsay

      Great comment! Thanks so much for including that perspective – I am guilty of overlooking it.


  • Fususu

    Thanks for great information. In my opinion, free traffic is never free actually. Google will change, Facebook now costs. So I always try to connect to my audiences, make them come back and generate more traffic by introducing my blog to their friends 🙂


    1. Ramsay

      Best of luck for next year!


  • No one

    Blogs are pathways: trails that lead to places never visited or places everyone has been to. If places not visited, then it becomes a new path many to follow. Trailblazers. That is what some bloggers/writers do. Some understand that the road less traveled is the road that radically changes society. Few try or test this road. More brave to just travel the familiar. Oh that those would be brave to walk the unknown so that many can find freedom.


    1. Ramsay

      Very interesting perspective. Can you give an example of someone you think does it well?


  • Amanda

    Thank you for the article! I just started up my blog the end of last year, and will be reading a lot here to see how to get it running better! I generally only have about 4-10 visitors per day and would be stoked to see it go up (and see any genuine comments not based solely on a giveaway I hold). A way to boost readers or even sharing would have to be have something to sell. I don’t have anything to offer except words, and I know it gets me a little more than nowhere.
    When I held a giveaway, my visitors soared to well over 50.

    I’m just hoping for some actually known people or places to find me and share, otherwise I can’t see actually getting read at all.


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Amanda.

      One way to do this is to really push your articles to the next level and make them 3,000+ words of absolutely amazing value. Make sure you mention lots of other blogs and tools and resources and then let those people know you mentioned them. That can lead to those bigger sites sharing your content and more readers.


  • Katrina Fox

    Ramsay, re what you wrote here: “Well, start by doing all the basic things like never opening links in emails.”

    Doesn’t that train our email subscribers not to click on our links? Like the one I clicked in your email?

    Can you clarify?

    Thanks 🙂
    Katrina


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Katrina. I thought about that when I wrote that line. I think one has to determine how paranoid one is going to be. For me personally, I’ll never click on any link in any email from sources like the tax department, post office, and other official sites as they are often used to dupe people.


  • Michael Pozdnev

    Great stuff, thanks Ramsay!

    Devote to analysis as much time as you can. This data will come in handy when writing new posts with your own research and case studies.

    If a blogger wants to get organic search traffic, then it’s necessary for him/her to study in details the competition in Google over chosen keywords.

    You will never be able to rank for a keyword where in Top 10 there are strong and authoritative blogs. First, you will need to earn such authority yourself (DA, PA).

    Pay close attention to the amount of inbound links to your competitors over chosen queries.

    Always ask yourself: am I able to get quality links to my post, and how do I do it?

    To quickly evaluate the competition you can use MozBar or Ahrefs. If your blog’s DA=20 (for example), but Top 10 blogs have at least DA=80, then you don’t seem to have any chance.

    If each of these articles has at least 100 inbound links and high PA, then you seemingly don’t have any chance either (Of course if you don’t have a strategy of getting 100 quality links to your post at once).


    1. Ramsay

      Love it. This kind of technical mind is something I wish I was better at. Thanks for sharing.


  • goDigitally

    Time to kick-start the blog.

    Very inspiring article in the beginning of the year.!


    1. Ramsay

      Hope it helps!


  • Joe Elliott

    Fantastic Post here Ramsay,

    I have seen a lot of panic regarding the email sign up thing but I actually think it’s a good thing.

    For popups, hello bars etc… might convert well.

    But in my experience, Content Upgrades covert a hell of a lot better. So far no penalizing these, so not to bad for us 🙂

    Thanks Again Ramsay

    Joe 🙂


    1. Ramsay

      Interesting. Time for me to give them a bigger shot!


  • Scrivs

    Hello everyone,

    This is to all of the time travelers coming back to this comment who are shocked that someone was able to drop some knowledge that helped others make Scrooge McDuck type of money.

    Everything everyone has mentioned is important and that’s part of the problem.

    Do you focus on great content, keyword research, blog design, social media promotion, or making sure your avocados don’t go bad 5 minutes after buying them?

    The playbook to build a successful blog is out there.

    Awesome people like Ramsay have shared it over and over and over again but what they share is just the foundation.

    It’s similar to getting advice on how to pick up men or women. You can get the playbook:

    * Dress nicely
    * Keep the conversation on them
    * Be interested
    * etc

    But when it comes down to it and it’s time to execute the person on the other side of the table has to feel who the person you are representing is all about.

    What’s the big little difference that I see between pro bloggers and everyone else?

    I feel who they are.

    That means their brand resonates with me and their brand is them. Has any blogger become successful without building a strong brand? I don’t think so.

    When I think about Pat Flynn I honestly don’t think about his content for a second. I think about the man and what he represents.

    When I think about Marie Forleo I couldn’t tell you a single video that’s she has done that I remember but I do feel an overwhelming positive emotion when I think about her and her brand.

    Your brand is what is going to take things over the top for you. SEO, great content, social media promotion and all of those things are just tools to amplify your brand to more people.

    People love to talk about niches and solving problems. These are important things but at the root of all of this is Why. People are emotionally drawn to the Why of your blog.

    “I truly believe that once you control your own lifestyle you are able to find true happiness. That’s why I’m here to help you build a successful blog.”

    That first sentence includes a Why that resonates on an emotional level. From there it’s my duty to continue to connect to the people that agree with that messaging.

    Everything that I do has to continue to force that Why in front of people. Strong brands do this all of the time. More do it on a subtle level but they all do it.

    Eventually, you get to a point where you don’t even think about it anymore.

    People want to get into blogging because the actual mechanics of it are easy.

    * Buy a domain
    * Install WordPress
    * Write content
    * Promote it

    We know the execution is a little more difficult but it’s all pretty basic. The problem is too many people are building machines with no souls and that’s how they run them.

    In this world, where information is hitting us in the face every 0.1 seconds, it’s the bloggers that make sure their brand is always front and center who will succeed.

    The question you have to ask yourself when starting a blog is how are you going to get people to recognize your Why and once they do how are you going to get them to share it with the world?

    Side note: If you think your brand is your logo and your domain name then you have a lot of reading to do. This comment is long enough so I’ll just say that your brand is the feeling that people get when they think about you.

    Make that a positive, strong emotion and you have yourself a loyal follower and in turn a strong business.


    1. Ramsay

      This is a really heartfelt comment. Thanks for taking the time to write it. Appreciate your perspective, Scrivs.


  • Scarlett West

    Great post with specific advice. I’m a beginning blogger and I use my blog to build a relationship with future readers as a paranormal romance author who has yet to publish. I find the blog for sure has helped me drive traffic to my website and participating in blog hops has garnered me some newsletter sign-ups.

    I mostly direct my blog articles toward readers vs. other writers because that’s who I want to attract. It’s tricky to come up with original content that also offers something to a reader, but I’ve found that is often what people are looking for.

    A tip I’d echo for blogs? Sincerity, a friendly, personal tone, and yes, offer specific, applicable info that applies to your theme. I’m working to improve on this last one more and more!


    1. Ramsay

      I’ve seen that approach work well for a few authors now. Best of luck to you!


  • Deji

    Hello Ramsey, this is actually a very nice post.

    If I were to advice someone starting a blog for the first time in 2017, here’s res what I’d tell them.

    1. Focus on a good guest-blogging strategy. Not only does this help drive traffic to your blog but it also helpls you connect to other bloggers out there.

    2. Content is KING. You need to provide real value for your readers if you want them to stick around, come back or even share your articles.
    More often than not, I bookmark most of the articles Ramsey posts because I see them as valuable resources I want to come back to reference from time to time, so you need to provide something of such value.

    3. Precise and profound information should be provided in order to truly help your readers. Everyone should at least have an Ultimate Guide that is rich in information and resources.

    4. Diversify you content. Visuals are very engaging especially with the decreasing attention span of Internet users these days.

    So mix it up, nice quality pictures, videos, infographs and even podcasts.
    Podcasts because I can easily listen to them while driving or doing other stuff I won’t be able to do while reading or watching videos.

    5. SEO is a NECESSITY. Now just about every blog out there needs to get involved in SEO if you want a fighting chance. Every decision/change/posts you make on your blog should be done with SEO in mind.

    6. Split Testing is the best way to growthhack.
    If you want your blog to keep on growing you have to continually split test; you want to change your theme, split test. You want to start a new campaign, split test. Split test just about everything and you’d be thankful you did.

    7. Mobile is here to stay.


    1. Ramsay

      All excellent points!


  • Pat @ Posting For Now

    More focus will be placed on ‘Accessibility Ready’ websites that help those who need extra help with access to content. Something as simple as filling in the’Alt’ tab on images to using updated themes will be a good idea. Thanks, as always, for sharing your thoughts!


    1. Ramsay

      Oh man, that is something I’ve never implemented as I always (ignorantly) assumed that people who needed extra help would have a program of their own. Will research this.


  • Jade Craven

    Possibly a long comment here and apologies in advance!

    1. When choosing a host, don’t necessarily go for the cheapest. Go for the one that is easy to use, has great service and has quality security features built into it. Going for an affordable host may be a great decision in the short term when you are learning but you can easily lose dozens, if not hundreds, of hours fixing technical issues. Having quality support is brilliant and worth the extra money.

    For those who have been blogging for longer, security AND ease of use will be important when making hosting decisions in the future. This will impact those who make income via the hosting links in the recommended resources page. Many people will start with Bluehost, the common recommendation. They’ll learn rapidly. They’ll quite possibly grow out of smaller hosting a lot quicker, now that blogs are going ‘beyond’ a blog. This is something people will need to monitor for affiliates.

    2. Ignore the advice to ‘be everywhere’. Choose 2-3 main social media platforms and focus on having a quality presence on there.

    My main prediction for this year is that blogging is going to become so fragmented and that people will respond by simplifying things. There are an increasing number of platforms, and even more ways to tell stories on each platform. Those who write about blogging/marketing – or are influencers in any space – will take the common advice to hustle and be everywhere. Eventually they’ll come to a similar conclusion that Cal Newport did http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/20/jobs/quit-social-media-your-career-may-depend-on-it.html.

    New bloggers can keep an eye on trends, especially if they are fascinated with social media trends. It doesn’t mean you have to be on every platform. That includes bloggers that partner with brands.

    3. If you really want to stand out, focus on content curation. This is more important then it has ever been. About 2 years ago, Mark introduced the concept of ‘content shock’ https://www.businessesgrow.com/2014/01/06/content-shock/. He said “Of course the volume of free content is exploding at a ridiculous rate. Depending on what study you read, the amount of available web-based content (the supply) is doubling every 9 to 24 months. Unimaginable, really.

    However, our ability to consume that content (the demand) is finite. There are only so many hours in a day and even if we consume content while we eat, work and drive, there is a theoretical and inviolable limit to consumption, which we are now approaching.”

    That is so true – especially today. I thought the blogging/marketing scene was crowded back when I was active, 2009-2011. It’s even more saturated now. In 2010, Dave Navarro (now inactive) was the main person offering infoproduct launch advice. Now everyone who has had any decent success is doing it. I highlight this to say that there is so much information out there in many popular niches. One way to stand out and become an authority quickly is to be the person that makes sense of all that information. It can be via a weekly column (on your blog or email) or curating via social media networks.

    4. Podcasts will be going mad this year – but don’t be under pressure to create one! Many successful bloggers are also having great success with their podcasts, but in many cases they had an existing platform. By all means experiment but look at ways of repurposing the content in your podcasts, similar to what Vaynerchuk was saying in this post: https://www.garyvaynerchuk.com/content-content-content/

    5. Don’t just stick to the communities and networks of the people you are learning from. This is such an easy mistake when starting out. People pay to join a course or join a Facebook group to learn and start making friendships. A lot of your early audience can be built up by people in these larger communities. You’ll quickly learn that the large communities are often made up of smaller communities, or niches, and that there is a lot of cross promotion. This can lead to buyer overwhelm and influence on sales/launches.

    Always be looking for new opportunities to be in front of different audiences and monitor the groups of people you are reaching/engaging with.

    6. The final piece of advice is not to get overwhelmed trying to implement all the tactics. In his annual review (https://www.locationrebel.com/2016-annual-review/), Sean Ogle wrote about how he went too far down the rabbit hole trying to implement tactics. He said “I think for the total beginner, following other’s training or advice is the best way to start. But the more advanced you get, the more you need to think for yourself.”

    It’s so important to keep that balance in mind and also be aware that what worked for one person may not necessarily work for you. Always be seeking to improve but follow the data. Every business, every niche is different.

    ~

    Hope that helps someone. I held back a bit because this is more for total beginners, it’s inspired me to think about larger blogging trends for this year. Thanks!


    1. Ramsay

      Wow! Some amazing resources there. Am going to pore through them this evening.


  • Fiona

    For me one thing seems to be key in 2017 – quality not quantity. Gone are the days of posting something new every day, or even every week. We’re at the point of content overload, there’s no point everyone just adding more and more on top of what’s already out there just for the sake of it.

    Take the time to focus on something people will really want to read even if it takes longer. Most the bloggers I still follow (having drop many over the last few years) only post once or twice a month, sometimes less but I know those posts will be well worth reading.


    1. Ramsay

      Exactly!


  • Vijay Kumar

    Hey Ramsay,
    Thanks for sharing this interesting, informative and useful article with us. This is really very helpful for those who just started or want to start a blog in 2017.

    Is this helpful to purchase the pro version of SEO by Yoast plugin?
    Please reply!

    Thanks in advance!

    Regards,
    ~ Vijay


    1. Ramsay

      I’ve never purchased the pro version, but they are a very good company.


  • Hassaan Khan

    Hi, Ramsay!

    I’ve got two things that I’m looking at:

    #1) – Human connection.
    I think somewhere in all that noise of ranking, SEO, algorithms, and statistics, we’ve missed the human factor. I’m confident that I’m going to focus on that no matter what.

    #2) – The number game.
    I’ve built various email lists. In the end, I realized that the size doesn’t matter. What actually matters is that ‘WHY’ the person became your subscribe in the first place. What lifechanging value we could deliver to many of those subscribers but haven’t given it yet. I’m definitely focusing on the value rather than the numbers. Because the size doesn’t matter if people don’t know you and/or they forget that why they signed up to your newsletter.

    These are a couple of things I’ll be working on.

    Thank you!


    1. Ramsay

      I think that first point is going to be really important in an age of AI and more and more automation.


  • Ravi Chahar

    Hey Ramsay,

    With the start of this new year, people are trying to change their blogging strategies.

    But the basic concept of SEO would always be the same. The quality is the first thing to consider.

    The speed of your website matters a lot. Whether it’s about the readers or the search engine, everyone loves fast loading websites.

    I would surely go with the teamwork.

    Making connections with the bloggers is a top notch thing.

    Thanks for sharing the guide.
    ~Ravi


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks Ravi!


  • Jan Limark Valdez

    Hi Ramsay,

    Thank you for sharing this post.

    Starting a blog nowadays is as easy as 1,2,3 BUT maintaining the quality and standing out of the crowd is one of the hardest thing to do. If you want to start a blog empire this 2017, I only have one tip for you – Only publish blog posts that can help people and not just attract them to your affiliate link or into your services and products.

    Keep Blogging,
    Jan Limark


    1. Ramsay

      Agreed!


  • Deal Man

    @ Ramsay

    very interesting post. I love them with your content post “starting a blog 2017”. Enjoy !!

    Regards
    Deal


  • Cheryl

    My blogging tips:

    Find a topic you’re interested in, write from the heart and provide good information that individuals can learn something from.

    If you position yourself as an expert on your topic, help others and try to assist your readers with solutions to their problems, you’ve got it!


  • Karinda

    This is so helpful since I am trying to launch my new blog starting this year!


  • Batman

    The speed of your website matters a lot. Whether it’s about the readers or the search engine, everyone loves fast loading websites.


  • Juan Carlos

    As usual arriving late to the party, but I wanted to thank you Ramsey, I am planning to lunch a blog, a fashion blog to be specific. And I must say, l really need to thank you, I Am from Cuba, I been only in the 1st world for 10 months and the amount of things I had and I am learning are overwhelming, but thanks to your work every day I am closer to the lunch of my blog. I been apart from technology because of communism, and thanks to your blog I been able to quickly catch up.
    Very good article as usual. And you are right, things are going to change, and we bloggers are gonna have to give more.
    In my niche, specifically the term Life Style blogger each time sounds more ridiculous, every body now see those words and think about someone trying to sell and marketing everything they can to make $. So for these 2017 you really need to make sure your audience know what you really offer, and most important have skills about, fashion, fitness, or make up, but drop the life style, there is no life style, so it is important define your line and work on it. What life style means? You are supposed to help people on determinate subject. people are seeing this, and realizing the fake element behind these words. So this 2017 offer what you know about, gain some subscriptions; and then if you want to propose and marketing another product which have nothing to do with your niche do it, but do it because you found it interesting, not cause you know about “life style”


  • SEO Pundits

    That’s a great way of explanation. Experience matters a lot and that’s revealing here. Thanks for the great post.


  • Dan Holliday

    As you briefly touched upon AMP will become an important feature of blogging into the foreseeable future. As more and more people go to their mobile devices to get their regular fix of information fast page speed load times on mobiles will be crucial. It could be the difference between visiting your blog or not.


  • Jim Tolles

    I appreciate all the great advice here. There certainly is a lot to pay attention to. I think I’ll offer a couple bullet points to summarize where my focus is and research is in continuing my blog of 6 plus years. It’s nothing new and echoes what everyone has said for the most part. So I’m just offering an additional vote of confidence.

    Great content (I usually go medium length around 1000 to 3000 words, and SEO keywords should be folded in intentionally and naturally)
    Live (FB and YouTube are helping surface livestreams via notifications and recommendations, respectively, which can give you a boost)
    Mobile (of course)
    Email, email, email! (With social media becoming paid advertising avenues and limiting organic visibility, newsletters and email are increasingly the best way to stay in touch)
    Site speed (In this increasingly fast-paced world, slow load times seem like death to web traffic)

    So nothing new here, but these are the things I am focused on and to which I felt like giving an added affirmation. Thanks to everyone for their thoughts!


  • xxmissbirdyxx

    Just found your blog – some really useful tips I’ll start implementing! Thanks so much!


  • Arav Panchal

    You could certainly see your skills in the work you write.
    The sector hopes for even more passionate writers like you


  • Rasool khan

    A good post with interesting content and tips . The content in the post shows how experienced you are.


  • Jose

    Hi Ramsay,
    One thing you are not talking about here is LANGUAGES…
    And its in fact a big issue for us, as we are a translation agency ourselves!
    We are planning to start a new blog this 2017, and we are considering the url architecture for the different translations of each post.
    Original language is Spanish, as we are based in Barcelona (Spain), but each post will have a translated version in English and French (at least).
    Now, where should we have host translated versions…?
    Our main URL is http://www.ibidemgroup.com/. We plan to host the blog in a /blog/ folder.
    Should we divide this folder with language-specific sub-folders? Something like: /blog/en/ and /blog/fr/ and so on…?
    Or is it better to have a new domain for each language?
    We do have .de and .fr domains with our brand IbidemGroup, but getting other country-specific domains (like .it or .pl) could be a problem in the future…
    Any thoughts on this?

    Regards,
    Jose


  • Elle

    I’m trying to build up my blog and not having much luck. Found your blog and pinned a few of the posts as they seem like good advice to try out. I think the posts about intrinsic motivation was spot on. I’ll subscribe and maybe my blog will improve!


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