Millions of people start new blogs every month but not many of them achieve success.

And while some elements of blogging can be complicated, the overall strategy is not that hard. If you look at almost any successful blog you’ll notice the same few elements. The first and foremost is to choose the best blogging platform.

The trick is to work consistently and cleverly on those elements while not getting distracted.

Today I’d like to talk about a simple formula that every blogger should at least think about if they want to achieve long-term success.


The formula for blogging success

I try really hard to avoid get-rich-quick type of hype here on Blog Tyrant.

Most of the blogs that give that sort of advice leave you with a lot of excitement but not a lot of substance or strategy.

And something that I’ve also noticed is that new bloggers tend to over-complicate the process. Yes, blogging is hard work but, no, it does not have to be complicated.

Let’s start with an infographic and then move on to the tofu and potatoes below:

blogging success

Remember, successful blogging is not just having lots of traffic and making lots of money. It’s also about having a blog that helps people, brightens their days, solves problems and generally makes a good impact on the world.

Feel free to share this graphic around or use it on your own site.

1. Start your blog smartly

Sometimes I think that new bloggers are so excited to start a blog that they miss a few really important steps due to a lack of research and preparation.

Before you jump into blogging I recommend a few basics are taken care of:

  • Get your own domain name and host
    I really recommend that you avoid free blog hosts and pay for a domain name and your own hosting. This gives you full control over the asset that you are trying to build, and allows you customize the blog in myriad ways over its lifespan.
  • Do your competition analysis
    Before you buy your domain name, however, it’s a good idea to spend some time looking around your planned niche and see what other people are doing. Can you do it differently? Can you do it better? Those are important questions to ask.
  • Plan your brand, look and feel
    Your brand, blog’s theme and the look and feel are very important. Spend some time looking for a good responsive WordPress theme and have a good think about colors, fonts and what you might do for a logo.

There are lots more things you might want to know before you start a blog but, for the most part, these three things are important to consider before you get too far into it.

2. Make your headlines pop

The more time I spend in the online world the more I am convinced that good headlines play a massively important role. Sure, we all know they are important, but I am starting to think that maybe they play one of the most important roles in the the whole thing.

Take a look at a random section of headlines from Viral Nova:

viral nova headlines

When you visit this site (remember, it recently sold for $100m…) you always get stuck going deeper and deeper into the site due to the perfectly crafted titles.

I personally find the content itself a little bit underwhelming, but by the time you reach the end of the article you get sucked into the next post on offer. This means that they have a really low bounce rate and do very well in terms of social shares.

google headlines

The next thing we have to remember is that our headlines become adverts in Google search results eventually. If you write a good headline, you’re going to increase your click through rate, even if you’re not ranking at the very top.

When crafting your headlines you should always take a lot of time trying to get them right. It might even mean that you re-write them 50 or 100 times before you land on something good. Over time you’ll get quicker at it.

3. Develop a simple call-to-action

When people first start their blog I think they feel like they need to include every single possibility that a blog can offer.

For example, if you look at most blog’s sidebars you’ll notice that they are filled with ads, links, opt-in forms, images, gallery feeds, promotions, etc.

It’s too much.

Instead what you want to do is keep your blog simple. Give people fewer choices instead of more, and really focus your blog around one call-to-action if possible. You might even consider getting rid of your sidebar altogether!


I really love the way Copyblogger does this kind of thing. When you navigate around the site you’ll quickly learn exactly what their core business is and it’s always promoted in very enticing and clear ways.

4. Build an email list as a main priority

As I’ve said before, your mailing list is your protection from Google and all the changes that they make. If you have a large, engaged mailing list then you are pretty much set up for the long term.

In today’s online world, a lot of newcomers make the mistake of thinking that social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook are a better option than a mailing list.

It’s a bit of a trap – you don’t own your page on those sites and they regularly go through waves of increase and then decline. Just look at MySpace. If you spent all your time building your following on that platform you would be pretty much out of business today.

Email, on the other hand, only seems to be growing. People have it directly set up on their computer and phone and it is accessed many more times a day than anything else. This is especially true if people have opted in to your mailing list. It brings a much higher conversion rate.

To build the list quickly:

  • Use a free giveaway
    A lot of bloggers say that the free giveaway no longer works but, as far as I can tell, it really helps with conversions. A free report is a good start.
  • Use a pop up or slide out box
    Pop ups can be annoying if they are invasive. But if you have one that only appears after a minute or so you’ll increase conversions without bothering people too much.
  • Regularly mention the mailing list’s benefits
    It’s okay to ask people to subscribe, especially if you’ve got some seriously helpful value on the end on other side. Mention it at the bottom of posts, on it’s own landing page, and so on.

Here are some more tips for getting more email subscribers that have worked well for me over the years.

5. Add resources, tools and helpful extras

There is a strange blogging SEO myth going around that if you link out to other websites too much you will dilute your SEO page rank juice. Actually, it’s totally the opposite.

Linking to other blogs and websites is important because it adds value to your post. It also helps position you as an expert because your readers will associate any great resource that you provide with your blog.

But, most importantly, when you link to other bloggers you get on their radar. Back links are really important for online business and if you link to someone they will absolutely notice and hopefully share the post or become an online friend. I talk a lot more about it in my guide to blogging strategy.

Here’s another example:


Brian from Backlinko always makes his posts interactive and filled with graphs and charts and all these little features that break up the content and make it easy to navigate. There’s something there for experts and beginners alike. This is exactly the type of content that Google wants to promote in the SERPs.

6. Make your articles longer and longer

You know the old saying that less is more? Well, turns out that it doesn’t really apply to blogging.

Of course, we don’t want to be making our article long just for the sake of it. But time and time again we have seen that long form content works better in terms of Google rankings, conversions and user satisfaction.

There are many theories as to why this seems to make a difference. Personally, I feel like people are so used to dodgy little bits of social media information these days that when they encounter something long and well researched they really appreciate it. Take a look at long form news sources like The New Yorker and you’ll see that they are smashing it.

I’ve found that my 9,000-word guide to blogging has performed really well, and if you look at similar pieces like this one from Steve Kamb and this one from Glen Allsopp you’ll start to appreciate how powerful it can be for taking your blog to the next level.

7. Be distinctive

This is a really important one for new bloggers to understand.

These days it’s impossible to be first. If you have an idea for a blog it’s 99.999% likely that someone is already doing it. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t still have success.

If you think about fast food chains like KFC, Subway, etc. you’ll notice that they are still successful even though they weren’t the first into the space. Similarly, there are millions of restaurants around the world that do well even though they came later.

So don’t let that put you off.

The really important thing is to look at ways that you can stand out from others. The wonderful book How Brands Grow really emphasizes this fact. You want to try and find ways to make your blog memorable and different in the eyes of your readers.

8. Give yourself enough time to make it work

The last thing that I wanted to mention in this post is that you really need to give yourself enough time to make it work.

In my blogging career I had some nice wins early on by selling a blog, but after that there was a lot of failures before anything else good came along.

And I’m totally fine with that.

One thing to remember is that most small businesses make a loss in the first year. A blog really isn’t much different to that – you’ve got a lot of set up expenses and things to get done in that initial time frame and it’s okay if it isn’t a massive success right away.

So where to now?

Now you might like to go back to your blog and see whether or not it is hitting all of those eight elements. If even one of them is missing you might be selling yourself short.

A blogging strategy like this one coupled with the information contained in this post should be enough to get you moving in a very productive direction for the future.

Remember, successful blogging is a long term adventure that has many ups and downs. Don’t expect it to always be perfect. As long as the overall trend is upwards then you are doing okay.

What do you think?

I’d really like to know whether you think there are any other elements needed for successful blogging. What has worked for you on your blog?

Please leave a comment below and let me know.


Join in. The comments are closed after 30 days.
  1. Francis Quarshie on July 6, 2016

    Hey Ramsay,

    I’ve made a ton of mistakes. Example: delayed in building email list.

    I recently opened my comment box, two months ago, after blogging for more than a year.

    Tools and resources?

    Lately, they all seem to be getting expensive. Why?

    Anyway, great writing, bro.


    1. Maybe they are getting more comprehensive? It’s hard to say.

  2. High up on the list should be “Define income strategy and work it.” Do you create your own product or do you strictly do affiliate sales or is it a combination. Then create the product or find the affiliate products. This really needs to be done early.

    1. Totally agree with this.

  3. Patrick on July 6, 2016

    Hi Ramsay, some really good advice. I’m thinking of starting my own blog/news in the space of “International Medical Data”, three questions;
    1) If you were prioritising your weekly online activities (allocating time to each one). How much would you recommend is the minimum amount of time required weekly to maintain and slowly develop a modestly successful presence online in your opinion?
    2) When would you recommend blogging (i.e. is Monday morning better than Sunday? If your audience is international is there a good time to post in order to catch their attention).
    3) What are your thoughts on LinkedIn as a space to develop an online presence, particularly in the area that I mentioned “International Medical Data”?

    1. Hey Pat.

      Great questions. You should be in bed. 😉

      1) If it’s planned well you can have an impact immediately – especially if you write something amazing and then engage a PR agent or similar to get you in front of news contacts. There’s lots of ways to speed things up online. In your position, I’d look at the way Jonah Lehrer did things (before the fallout). Long form articles with a real simplicity to them so as to have mass appeal.

      2) The theory on this one (and it works for me) is that you want to publish at around 10am East Coast USA time. That’s when the majority of people are online, and they’ve checked their initial emails and are looking for the next thing. Mondays and Wednesdays are usually best, but it varies depending on the content. For example, people are on their emails in the morning so is good for a mailing list, but they check instagram around dinner time because they’re bored with life.

      3) LinkedIn is MASSIVE at the moment. I am always cautious about putting incredible content on platforms that I don’t own (think MySpace) but so many people have built huge authority using LinkedIn and, more frequently, Medium. Have a look at this article on LI. It got a million views and shared on almost every news site in Oz:

      1. Patrick on July 9, 2016

        This is absolutely clear, lucid and profound ‘blog nectar!’

  4. Ahmad Imran on July 6, 2016

    Ramsay, sold advice in a concentrated manner. I liked the first point, start smartly. I have seen many bloggers struggling in this one (including me to some extent as well). Sharing with my little community. Thanks

    1. Thanks buddy!

  5. Mysson Humane on July 6, 2016

    Ramsay, a pretty awesome post there again. Solid advance indeed.

    I particularly loved the point on being distinctive. Because blogging is now a business, it is important for every blogger to be crafty, creative and professional.

    Today’s consumer won’t pay anything for quality work, but depend upon it, they won’t pay anything at all for something less!


    1. Mysson Humane on July 6, 2016

      Today’s consumer won’t pay anything MORE for quality work, but depend upon it, they won’t pay anything at all for something less!

      1. Interesting point. Thanks mate.

  6. Great article and I believe, most of the tips above apply to company blogs just as well (except that they always start at custom domains :-). For myself, I found that having a company blog is a powerful tool to boost sales and brand awareness of e-commerce websites. I just started a new website with a blog on it and came back here to Blog Tyrant to refresh my knowledge about blogging principals.

    1. I hope this site has been useful for you.

  7. Vishal Ostwal on July 6, 2016

    I don’t claim that my blog is as successful as it should be. It isn’t.

    But while holding on to my optimism, I’ve learned that blogs succeed really slowly. In my case, slooowwwllly.

    I’ve crossed some milestones, and realized that the trick to succeed in blogging is “being consistent and surviving.” The tiny things we do, add up to the final success.

    To be concise, in blogging – what survives, thrives.

    It took me a lot of time to improve my writing, some more time to learn how things work on the internet, and even more time for reaching people and getting accepted by them.

    All I can say is that working hard and growing slowly works. When I started blogging, I didn’t knew that blogs could be used to earn money – I haven’t even tried earning till now.

    Perhaps, I will try earning using the new blog since it has got enough earning potential as far as it’s ‘type’ is considered.

    I can (and will) keep blogging as long as I can pay for the existence of my blogs. I hope I could.

    I think my story resembles the 8th point. You said “It’s okay if it isn’t a massive success right away.” I agree 🙂

    You’ve always been a great friend, Ramsay. As for the post, GREAT! (as usual.)

    1. laura routh on July 6, 2016

      I appreciate that perspective at the moment. I spent much of last week on the technical end of things – how to speed up my blog. It was frustrating and exhausting. So much so, that I had to curtail my publishing. But between upgrading slightly with my host and a few other changes, my site is running faster now.

      After nine months or so of blogging, I also took care of some business and added a privacy policy and an actual contact form. Those parts were easy.

      The upshot is that I’m going with a premium theme soon. I don’t want to waste any more time on these technical issues without support.

      I’ve written around 60 posts, and some of them are substantial enough, with some good editing, to be cornerstone content. About half of them still need to be search engine optimized.

      So like you, I will keep plugging away. I believe that I have a good idea but that it might take a while for everything to come together. I’m excited about purchasing a theme, but I’m afraid the one I’m considering isn’t one without a side bar! For my blog, I really feel that I need the visuals. I’m looking at the genesis framework and using Divine or Brunch Pro. Divine would allow me to sell my crafts on my blog, eventually.

      Oh, and I definitely need to get rid of my owl and get a nice photo made!

      Best to you! Keep plugging away.

    2. Your writing is better and better every time that you comment here. It’s awesome to watch you improve. Thanks for leaving great comments.

      1. laura routh on July 7, 2016

        I’m learning so much from Blog Tyrant. I appreciate the information, but more importantly, how it’s delivered.

  8. Amazing article Ramsay! Really liked the concise list prepared by you. Kindly help me out in order to know any free method so as to build the email subscription feature for my wordpress website.

    1. Mail Chimp is free to use for the first 500 subscribers.

  9. I recently have changed the way I used to write headlines for my posts. I thought that won’t make any much difference but I was surprised to see that email open rate was far above than I had expected. Clearly, this is something which I would recommend to every blogger.

    1. What changes did you make, Sonia?

  10. Thanks for the “Give It Time” reminder, Ramsay, and the excellent post! It is so hard to build something helpful (and beautiful) and work really hard without getting paid much the first year. I presume most people give up after a year. But what is a reasonable amount of time to work for little to no money if your other income streams allow? Do you recommend an “exit strategy”? How long is too long to wait and work for a blog to take off and start making money?

    1. Hi Dawn.

      I actually wrote a huge post about this about a year ago but never published it because it seemed a bit depressing.

      It’s definitely something that we all should keep in mind. There’s no point sticking to an idea forever if it’s not going to work. But it’s so hard to determine when you’re at that stage. There’s so many stories of companies grinding and grinding and finally making it, and then there’s stories of people wasting their whole lives on something that never goes anywhere.

      To me it’s about goals. If you set some specific short, medium and long term goals and consistently can’t hit them then maybe something is wrong with either the way you approach it, or the product itself. Getting outside advice and opinion is always a good idea.

      Hope that helps.

      1. Thanks, Ramsay! Yeah, I’ll bet that blog post is pretty depressing. I’d love to read it sometime, though, if you want to email it to me. 😉

        I’ve hired a consultant, who helped me set up a better foundation (funnel, etc.), but I lose patience at times and wonder why the heck I’m working so hard on this blog. The honeymoon period has worn off a couple of times and I’m still chugging away, though. Great idea to set some more goals. Such a learning process. Thanks again!

        1. Keep us posted!

          1. Well, not sure about that. Hard to admit failure in such a public forum. You can do a case study if you want, though. Thanks so much. Your blogging blog is my favorite. 🙂

  11. Stéphane on July 6, 2016

    What a refreshing post again!

    There’s always a good lesson for the bloggers in your articles. And unlike the self proclaimed gurus, you don’t say “Do this or that, and you’re going to grow very fast”. Because, it’s not going to happen.
    Time + hard work + a good strategy will do it.

    I’m definitely a French friend of yours (living in Africa for the moment)! Finally, Australia and Africa are quite close with the Internet.

    Continue your fine encouraging work for our best.

    1. Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks so much for leaving a comment.

  12. New reader here. Your articles usually do have a lots of good advice. If I were to try to address all of it on my blog it would take awhile. I find myself taking one item away and focusing on that. This time it’s Headlines. 🙂

    Thanks for your hard work.

    1. Hope it helps!

  13. Bev Fortenberry on July 6, 2016

    Thank you for your posts! I’m green and very grateful for solid advice. I have lots of reading and learning to do, but I’ve finally gotten my own domain name and I have a friend working with me on logos and themes. I’m not really sure if what I have fits into any real niche. I’m certain there is no product, other than satire, sarcasm, humor and, hopefully, some real life relevancy. I appreciate your time and value your experience.

    1. Glad you found it helpful.

  14. Robin Khokhar on July 6, 2016

    Hi Ramsay,
    amazing post, got many new points through your post. and Secondly, I liked the infographic you have shared.
    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you Robin.

    2. This is the peerfct post for me to find at this time

  15. Great post and the infographic is ACE! It can be so complicated and overwhelming for newbie bloggers (like me) so the reminder about it not having to be complicated really hit home. Cheers Ramsay!

    1. Perfect!

      1. laura routh on July 7, 2016

        I love the infographic, also. It really fits with your blog – achieving that whole “branding” concept that each of us is striving for.

  16. Hi Ramsay,

    As others have already stated #8 might be the most important point of all especially for everyone that follows the pros. It can be too easy getting caught up in the large numbers that they post and think that you are supposed to accelerate your blog those levels as well.

    On the other hand, if your blog is growing real slow after a couple of months then you need to investigate why. Are you promoting enough? Are you reaching the right audience?

    It’s definitely a balance between growing at an optimal pace and being sure you are patient with things.

    I had the same experience as you of selling my first two blogs and thinking success was easy after that. Then it was a journey of failures and I had to take a step back and really study how great blogs progress.

    Thanks again for the post. This is something that everyone should probably revisit once a month.

    1. Really lovely comment. Thanks for sharing. It’s such a hard balance. I think this is why short and long term goals are important – they help you objectively look at whether you’re moving forward or not.

  17. Maria Gagnon on July 6, 2016


    Love! Very tight and concise list and filled with easy to absorb information as per your usual.

    1. Thanks Maria!

  18. Chump Lady on July 6, 2016

    Hi Ramsay,

    Hey email subscriber list question — I have a subscribe button that’s just get the latest post by email. It’s Feedburner.

    If I do a pop up subscribe box, or giveaway — is that another subscription program? How do I integrate my lists?

    1. I would recommend moving away from Feedburner as soon as you can. There’s been a lot of talk about Google closing them down over the past few years, and you wouldn’t want that to happen with a large number of your subscribers there. It’s much safer to pay for a quality service like AWeber or Get Response and store your subscribers there.

  19. Web Admin Tips on July 6, 2016

    But if I yank those ads off, how do I make money from my site?

    Kindly respond here sir!

    1. Check out the Best Of section in the menu. There’s lots of tips about that in there.

  20. Tristan on July 6, 2016

    Hey Ramsay, great tips as always.

    I’m curious what the example in number 3 is? Looks like it’s been cut off. “(like …”

    I’ve tried and failed many times to start my blog because I was focusing on all the wrong things before I had much content. So I think my biggest takeaway from your blog and many others is to concentrate on pumping out content and building an audience FIRST. Tweaking the design and trying out marketing etc is great to do, but you need the audience first.

    1. Hey Tristan. Thanks for pointing that out! Fixed.

      Yep, content and connections seem to be the two big things.

  21. George Burman on July 7, 2016

    Great advice. I’m about three months into my project now and completely underestimated what was involved. I’ve started a number of businesses in the “real world” and was reasonably successful. It certainly didn’t prepare me for this. I’m making some fine mistakes, just stopping short of others (thanks to posts like this), and coping badly with the sheer frustration of glacial progress. I can see the wisdom of each of your points and have utilised a few already. I think my “brand” idea is a good one, but I am still to find the identity I have in my head and translate it on to the page though. The feeling will be great when it finally happens!

    1. Hi George.

      I like your brand. If I was you I would make that character more prominent, and develop a quality e-report as an incentive for email subscribers. That needs to be more prominent on your site. I’d also remove as many “distractions” as possible. Your sidebar might just be an email opt-in form and your 5 best posts – that’s it.

      Hope that helps!

  22. Anh Nguyen on July 7, 2016


    Awesome infographic. I’ve been a blogger for about one year now and found your post a refreshing reminder. I especially found advice no. 8 about giving it enough time to be relevant.

    My number one struggle at the moment is how to find motivations to write consistently. To be honest, I’m not always pumped to write. How do you find inspirations to write daily?

    Stay awesome,

    1. Hi Anh.

      I’ve never been very good at writing every day. I need to improve on that too. Glen from ViperChill once said to me that if you can write when you don’t want to then it means you’re getting good.

      I think it’s about setting goals and sticking to the timeline. If you aim to publish every Wednesday then you know what you have to do.

  23. Bongdap Nansel Nanzip on July 7, 2016

    Writing a 9,ooo word content is what captured my mind but it may take so much time, energy and effort. My fear is that, what happens when I write on something like that and yet it does not rank first on google?
    What do you have to say about this one?

    1. Sam - Depression For Teens on July 8, 2016

      If you’ve done everything right you should rank. But even then, choosing the right keywords to rank for etc are all part of the job. I guess as the saying goes, “if you don’t shoot, you won’t score”.

    2. Hi Bongdap.

      Yep, that is just part of the fun. I have lots of posts that don’t rank at the top. It’s just a risk of this business. Thankfully it’s not a big risk.

  24. Sam - Depression For Teens on July 8, 2016

    Thanks! I’ve been working on these in the last few days now. I just added a popup to the site. Custom made it and it pops up every 7 days. Mind checking it out and letting me know what you think?

    Also, I know you say that long articles are great, and I agree partly. But is a reader not likely to get bored at some point during a huge article?

    1. Hey Sam!

      Site is looking great! Writing is really good.

      To me, the pop up is a bit complex. It needs to be a simple offer and I’m not sure people will watch a video in a pop up window. If you look at the top blogs they always have just a header, one line of offer and then a button or two (yes or no). I think that’s the way to go. You also want to set it so that it doesn’t appear right away – give people some time to get a feel of your content.

      In terms of the long article boredom – yep. I don’t think anyone reads them all. But they are perceived as valuable and trigger certain responses in people. So, while only 2% may read from top to bottom, a higher % is prepared to share, subscribe, research more, etc.

      Hope that helps. Haven’t forgotten about our emails.

      1. Thanks. Remade it and set it to show once a day after 15 seconds. I’m also gonna write an E-Book to go with it.

        And yeah I guess that’s true. Thanks 🙂

  25. Priyam Baksi on July 8, 2016

    I am a new blogger; I just opened my new blog, and not to mention, it’s just a baby in the womb. Being as a new blogger, I analyzed many articles; some are little beneficial & some are not so worthy. But this Blog is the first one I ever found on the web that has everything for a blogger, from top to the very end.

    “I want to make my blog a success” if this is your aspiration and “how to make my blog a success?” – This is your question, then without any further speculation, I can conclude this article is like God’s tuition for everyone who asked that question. In this case, it’s me.

    Thank you very much! One of a complete and fantastic article on the web about blogging success.

    Question: “If longer articles hold more value, than can you tell me how often should I post articles on my blog. Since 2000 words take a long time to write and takes more than long time to research.”

    1. Sam - Depression For Teens on July 8, 2016
    2. Thank you for the kind words. I really appreciate it. I just like sharing what has worked for me.

      In terms of blogging frequency, just focus on making something amazing instead of getting stuff out quickly. Take your time.

  26. The Crazy Thinkers on July 11, 2016

    read your article and really impressed. best tips for blogging success. i will also use some of these for my blog.

    1. Thanks!

  27. When I saw that Rainmaker image, my first thought was that you had gotten early access to their affiliate program. I got an invite to that the other day, and I think it said the program will start July 15th or 25th or something.

    About the opt ins, what do you think about changing up your opt in every now and then to keep things fresh? I was running a specific SumoMe welcome mat on the homepage for quite awhile and found that it slowly became less effective (it went from 5% to like 1.2%). Changing the lead magnet gave it a small boost. I have now switched to a typeform form, which seems to be an oddity that people can’t resist messing with.

    1. Changing things up absolutely does seem to work, perhaps on regular readers. As long as you’re split testing I think that’s the main thing.

      I had a play with your type form. I’ve never seen that before. How does it perform for you?

      1. I basically just set that TypeForm up and so far it has 7 subscribers in a little less than 200 forms shown, so a little under 4% conversion rate. I don’t really have enough volume to know how it will perform long term yet, but so far so good.

  28. Ahfaz Ahmed on July 18, 2016

    Hi Ramsay,

    I read you blog regularly but never cared to leave a comment. But this article made me do it.

    The steps you’ve mentioned are really great and it gave me huge satisfaction when I found out that I am following all these steps on my new blog.

    I know these tactics will bring in good results but as you said, we have to be patient.

    I have a question regarding headlines. You mentioned that make your headlines as good as possible and also gave example of Buzzfeed.

    But sometimes these headlines sound like a click-bait and people avoid reading such websites.

    Do you have any more tips on headlines?

    PS: I also removed my sidebar on some of my articles. Let’s see what happens. 😉


    1. Hi Ahfaz. Thank you for the kind comment. Do you have any data that BuzzFeed style headlines don’t get read? I would be interested to read it.

  29. Team moi on July 19, 2016

    If I have the luxury of time,I will never go offline from this blog. Been reading and digesting all your stuff more than a year plus now and you have been very helpful.
    l just started my own blog site and boy is has not been very easy but your articles and mails keep encouraging me thou I’m in a niche that not so popular as in my area,they are more familiar with gossip,entertainment,style blogs but will somehow make it. Just love blogtyrant and the man behind it.

    1. Glad you’re enjoying it.

  30. Daniel Dessinger on July 20, 2016

    I’m looking through a page full of article headlines on, and I can’t escape is this one thought: How will they get search traffic from Google?

    Does anyone go to Google and search for “uncomfortable sleep positions for animals” or “what she does will make you hungry” or “boating on the lake and saw something bobbing in the water”? I mean, these titles are great clickbait and they might go viral. And I get the logic, viral posts get lots of shares and lots of links and lots of search engine attention.

    But the title also tells Google what the article is about, and the most viral titles are usually horrible for SEO. So you’re basically picking and choosing between one risk or the other:

    A) Do you want to structure your post so it has the best chance to gain organic traffic through Google?

    B) Do you want to structure your post so that it has the best chance to gain traffic through Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit?

    Long-term, you get way more traffic from search than social. You can obviously get a lot of search benefits from social, but you still have to show up in the SERPs for a particular keyword phrase.

    I’m curious where you fall on this subject.

    1. Hi Daniel. Yep, this is a really good point and one I’ve thought about a lot. I think sites like VN and BF benefited a lot from the FB algorithm changes a couple of years ago where it was easy for this type of thing to go viral. They achieved enough fame that they probably don’t have to rely on Google traffic too much. I think there is a happy medium to be found – Google is looking from “human” results these days and titles and the old strict SEO rules aren’t really making as much of a difference. If you look at a site like ViperChill or Jon Morrow’s stuff I think you’ll see a great example of a mixture of “bait” and stuff Google likes.

  31. Jared Mann on July 21, 2016

    I think for a blog to be successful you truly have to be the best in a corner of your niche, pick 1 topic and become the master at it. Or in other words, niche-down, too many people try and create general blogs about “health tips” for example, when they would have more success blogging about “how to lose weight over the age of 80” or something like that, by being really specific you can become the #1 source for a sub niche and with 3 billion people online there’s plenty to go around.

    1. Yeah, I think you’re right that you need to get the niche narrow.

  32. First of all, let me tell you that I am so impressed with this blog’s layout. Simple, minimal, elegant. What theme are you using, Ramsay?

    I couldn’t agree more with starting a list especially at the same time you’re starting a website. I wish I had done this a few years back.

    Thank you for creating such awesome articles, sir. I enjoy reading and learning from them. God bless you!

    1. Thank you!

    2. Hi mate. I made the theme myself so it’s not available, unfortunately. Thanks for the kind words.

  33. Give yourself enough time to make it work

    – That true. In my opinion to many people start blog and write just to write anything. They cant understand that good blog is like long-term run. The persistance is much more important than quick start.

    1. Yep, it’s hard sometimes. Got to stick at it.

  34. Hi, I’ve just discovered your site as I’ve started a blog. Your posts are very useful. Very well done! Cheers from Switzerland!

  35. Ramsay,

    I wanted to tell you that when I started this freelance writing journey, I subscribed to everyone I found who was blogging about blogging. 🙂 That’s a lot of subscriptions!

    My inbox is unmanageable. I get so many that I don’t even see any of them.

    I spent hours and hours yesterday and this morning unsubscribing and deleting. I’m keeping TWO subscriptions — yours and one other.

    Your advice is the best. Thanks for consistently providing clear, helpful posts. Now I’ll actually be able to find them!

  36. Susie Lindau on August 4, 2016

    Hey Ramsay!
    I just found your blog and LOVE it. Lots of great info here. I’ve been blogging for five years and there has never been more competition out there for bloggers.
    I wondered what “scarcity” in titles means. Also, I don’t know if my “call to action” is above the fold.
    It would be cool if you stopped by my Wild Ride. I would love to know what you think.
    Nice to “meet” you!

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