It's taken me a while to get to where I am with blogging and I still have a long way to go! I thought I'd share the 5, ๐Ÿ˜‰, most important things that you need to start a SUCCESSFUL blog! Bear in mind, my blog was not 'successful', (success being subjective!), until after a year, but the steps I took from then on led my blog to become what it is today. So basically, your blog will most likely not be that successful once you start, or until a few months or a year after - but whenever you start doing/having these things, you'll see pretty much instant results.

1. Patience

It takes time, okay! Don't watch your analytics for hours straight (which I definitely used to do!), don't rush out three blog posts a week if you don't have that kind of time and don't buy a new blog theme every month or season! Just post high quality, beautiful blog posts whenever you can and take into account the next four things.

2. Get on Pinterest

I always ask, if you're a blogger and you're NOT on Pinterest, "What in the HECK are you doing?" Pinterest is the BEST platform for promoting blogs and blog posts by far! The Pinterest Smart Feed makes it even easier to make your pins go viral! Making high-quality, aesthetically pleasing, and somewhat informative pins that then go viral will drive tons of traffic to your blog.

3. An aesthetically pleasing blog design

This is VITAL, and I'll tell you why. I blogged for a YEAR, before purchasing the beautiful blog design that I have currently on Etsy. I want to make this clear, without a shadow of a doubt - beautiful blog designs help your blog traffic and engagement. Let's be honest! People aren't going to be interested in a tacky-looking blog with a basic Blogger theme. I know I wouldn't be! Also, if a potential sponsor is looking for bloggers to talk about/review their product, having a beautiful blog design will definitely show itself to be rather handy! I would recommend Etsy for stunning, responsive blog designs that don't cost an arm and a leg (mine was just over ten pounds!). Pipdig is another great place to find stunning and responsive blog designs - but they pricey, I must say!

4. Canva or Photoshop

If we're going to be on Pinterest, we're going to have to make some pins (๐Ÿ˜‰)! It's really easy to do! 

If you'd like to learn how to make gorgeous pins on Canva, (or any other similar applications), click HERE! 

If you'd like to learn how to make those beauties go VIRAL, click HERE!

5. Stock Photos

If we're being honest, and I include myself in this, we're not all equally talented when it comes to photography! Stock photos are not only great to use if this is true in your case, but they also make your Pins look much more professional. However, originality with photography can also be very important. It depends on what type of blogger you are and on the type of blog post that you are writing. For example, as a Lifestyle blogger, you would aim to use more of your own photos as you would typically have more of a connection with your readers, whereas if you blog about blogging related topics, you should use less of your own photos and more stock photos as people clicking on your "How To Gain Pinterest Followers" blog post are not going to be interested in seeing a picture of what you ate for breakfast on Sunday! My top tip is: choose and remember what type of blogger you are, the topic that you are handling and the purpose of the blog post (to inform, persuade etc.) and then decide how many stock photos and or of your own photos are appropriate.

6. A personal domain name

Yeah, I said it! ๐Ÿ˜‚ People typically say that you shouldn't worry about purchasing a personal domain name until a while (maybe a year)  of blogging - which I think is partly true. Getting a personal domain name makes you look more professional - full stop. It really depends on where you want to take your blog. If it's a personal blog on which you aren't aiming to reach the masses on, a personal domain name is not necessary early on - or even ever. However, if you're planning to make money from or make your blog popular in whichever 'niche' or 'niches' your posts fall into - a personal domain name will definitely help you out. If you think about it, would 'bloggingballerinas.blogspot.com'/ 'bloggingballerinas.wordpress.com' or 'bloggingballerinas.com' sound better from a potential reader or sponsorer's perspective? I would say the latter! If you are interested in purchasing a personal domain name, I would recommend doing so through Google Domains or GoDaddy. For reference, mine is only ten pounds a year!

That's it! Those are the five, ๐Ÿ˜‰, most important things that you need to start a successful blog! I hope that you found this post useful! If you did, please pin this post to one of your Pinterest boards and let me know in the comment section below!

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