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How to Start a Successful Blog in 2022

11 min read

Every day new blogs are started, but the majority of these fail because authors don’t have the right mindset or skills to make them a success. Having worked in the industry for numerous years, I decided to start a blog. I knew how I could make it a success.

So in this article I’m sharing my steps to success when creating a blog and how I use MarketMuse in my content creation process.

1. Get the Right Mindset

The first thing you need is the right mindset. Starting a blog is not as simple as writing a few posts and earning money from brands. It is hard work. Most new bloggers create 10 or 15 blog posts and expect results from that. They should know that it isn’t going to happen.

I knew right from the start that I needed to create 200 articles from the beginning. I would also need help. Therefore, I knew I had to invest some of my savings into the project.

You have to prepare for the same. You shouldn’t treat your new blog as a hobby because it is a business and one that deserves your attention, financial investment and dedication. You have to be prepared to fail and early on.

2. Decide on Topics and Clusters

Now you need to decide on topics and clusters. A ‘topic’ is a large subject within your niche. For instance, a blog, and you want to have one article that acts as a pillar article.

Then you want to have clusters for that topic. Clusters are lots of related questions that can link directly to the article. For instance, in our blogging cluster, the title could be ‘how to monetise a blog’, ‘how to write a compelling blog title’, etc.

Each of these topics should have a dozen or so within the clusters. Though the more topics in the cluster you have the better. Each cluster article should answer a specific question within the topic and contain a link to the pillar article.

This approach, and getting this right from the start, allows you to build a better internal structure for your website. This includes internal links between articles. This can help with your ranking and help you generate more inbound traffic.

3. Create Article Briefs

Now you need to create article briefs for each of those pillar articles and the cluster articles. A brief is really important because it creates a sense of direction within the article and provides structure.

It can also help your writers (see next step) when writing. When you don’t have a brief, your writers are going to provide articles that are of much lower quality. They will include points you don’t want to mention or leave something out that you don’t want to be left out.

Article briefs should be as detailed as possible. I also like to create a video for the writer for each article.

4. Create Keyword Groupings Using MarketMuse

While keywords aren’t the only aspect of SEO that you need to focus upon, they are still vital within the blogging strategy. Finding keywords can be very challenging for most people. However, using platforms like MarketMuse can be a real time saver and help you find the best keywords.

The keywords you find in MarketMuse can be used within your body text and headings. And these can really help you rank high on Google and other search engines.

To start using MarketMuse, follow these instructions:

1. Access the ‘Research’ application within the software.

2. When in the system, find the search entry field and enter the topic idea. It is best if you try to be as focused or detailed as possible. For instance, ‘blog’ is a poor suggestion because it is too broad. However, ‘start blogging’ would be a better idea.

3. After entering the term, click on ‘Run’ to find the results.

MarketMuse Research application showing topic model for "how to become an online entrepreneur" with a list of related topics along with their volume, volume trend, CPC, number of variants, and suggested distribution.
Click to zoom

4. The results will come back with a lot of key terms that can be added to your articles or a list of keywords within your content. At the same time, there will be a list of distribution suggestions. For instance, it might suggest one keyword 3-10 times within an article or 1-2 times within an article.

Many of the key terms will also have other options that you can see by clicking on the key term.

With a premium account, you can export the table with ease. This allows you to add it to your article briefs.

5. In addition, you can use MarketMuse to find new content ideas by looking at the variants that are listed on the search terms. To do this, all you need to do is to have a topic and then click on the ‘Optimize’ feature.

MarketMuse Optimize application showing average content score target content score, average word count, target word count, and related topics along with their suggest and current distributions.
Click to zoom.

When you’ve done this, MarketMuse will offer lots of different starting points for your website.

6. It is important that when you are looking at this list of potential ideas that you use your due diligence. Not every option is going to be relevant or good for your brand. However, it doesn’t take long.

This process is good if you’re struggling with clusters as it can help you find new ideas for your blogs. At the same time, it can help you to generate subheadings for your website.

There are also lots of other tools that can help you with your keywords, headings and subject headings.

For instance, there is a section that allows you to test keywords against the top-performing content on the web. This tells you what other keywords your competitors are using and where you need to adjust your content strategy to compete with these competitors.

MarketMuse Compete application heat map showing the top 20 URLs for a search term along with usage of the term according to MarketMuse's topic model.
Click to zoom.

Enter in your keyword and you will see different colors based on how often a topic is mentioned on that page.

  • Red = 0 mentions
  • Yellow = 1 to 2 mentions
  • Green = 3 to 10 mentions
  • Blue 10+ mentions

You can check if you have those ideas within your content or incorporate them within your content as you need to.

7. Next you can use MarketMuse to find questions that you can answer on cluster articles or within articles themselves. To do this, go to the ‘Questions’ tab. And then you can enter a topic, like blogging and click on the ‘Run’ option. This will result in a list of questions that users are entering on search engines.

MarketMuse Questions application showing a list of questions for a specific topic.
Click to zoom.

This is a very effective way to rank higher because you can find out what questions are being asked and this is something that Google ranks high. You can change the questions by paraphrasing them if you need to.

8. You’re then able to use the ‘Connect’ application to find contextual links. All you need to do on this is to run the topic idea and you will see internal, external and other links suggested. When starting a new blog, you don’t have much content to link to internally. In this case the tool is best for finding high-quality external links for your articles.

Google likes to see that you’re connecting audiences to high-quality articles that can provide more information. But be sure when you’re adding these links that they are also relevant to your article.

MarketMuse Connect application showing anchor text and links suggestions for a specific topic.
Click to zoom.

MarketMuse has features that you can find elsewhere on the web. However, MarketMuse makes the process so much easier. The speed at which you can process the results and the performance allow you to rank higher and return a more positive result on your blogging quicker.

5. Hire Writers

Now you need to hire writers to help you create content. Writing about 200 articles is hard to do on your own, and English is not my first language. So I needed to find writers. I searched for them from numerous locations and found a talented team to work with.

I use Workello’s pre-hire assessment platform to centralize, evaluate, test, and filter out bad writers with good portfolios

I also used Workello to find and hire an editor. These are experts in ensuring that all the content is grammatically correct. Even the best writers need someone to help them spot mistakes. This is because when we write something, we often see what we wanted to write, not what we actually wrote. Therefore, an editor can tidy up articles.

6. Quality

Controlling the quality of the article is really important. You need to get your editor to check for the content to ensure that it reads well.

In addition, you want to check all the content that is written, for similar content elsewhere. Numerous tools can help you to find whether work submitted is duplicate content.

If there is any duplicate work, check back with the writer and ensure that it is made unique.

If you publish the article on your website, then you can use MarketMuse to check the article to ensure that it has the right distribution of the keywords as well. Just click on their ‘Optimize’ option, enter the key term and the URL of the article.

Be sure that you don’t fall into some of the most common SEO myths when you’re publishing the content as well.

7. Internal Links

Now you need to build internal links. As mentioned before you want to internally link across from clusters into your pillar article. At the same time, you will also want to link between cluster articles where appropriate.

There is also some help that MarketMuse can provide. They can find the best internal links by entering the URL within the ‘Connect’ application on the dashboard.

Using this topic depth and breadth strategy helps Google to understand your content better.

What’s Next?

I’ve used the above steps to build my blog. The result is that I am getting more than 1,500 sessions per day from Google alone. This is a lot of traffic that is helping me to build a good profile.

Now I am looking to move on to the next part of my blogging journey. This includes monetizing my website using tactics such as affiliate marketing, sponsorship, and other avenues. In addition, I am looking to build a partnership with other brands.

Using the above steps and tools like MarketMuse, you can easily replicate my success.

This guest post was written by Georgi Todorov, founder of ThriveMyWay, a place for online entrepreneurs, bloggers, SEO specialists, and freelancers to find success in their own way. Georgi is regularly called upon by companies seeking to develop and enhance their SEO to achieve hockey stick growth. When Georgi isn’t working, you can find him getting close to nature, learning online, or traveling. Reach out to him on LinkedIn or Twitter.

What you should do now

When you’re ready… here are 3 ways we can help you publish better content, faster:

  1. Book time with MarketMuse Schedule a live demo with one of our strategists to see how MarketMuse can help your team reach their content goals.
  2. If you’d like to learn how to create better content faster, visit our blog. It’s full of resources to help scale content.
  3. If you know another marketer who’d enjoy reading this page, share it with them via email, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.

Stephen leads the content strategy blog for MarketMuse, an AI-powered Content Intelligence and Strategy Platform. You can connect with him on social or his personal blog.