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45 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting a Blog: How to Start a Blog for Free in 2022

45 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting a Blog: How to Start a Blog for Free in 2022

28. Headlines matter. Don’t miss out on clicks

When starting a blog, headlines matter for two reasons. They:

  • Make your readers click on your site in organic search results.
  • Grab your readers’ attention to make them actually read the rest of your post.

It’s a common refrain that 8 out of 10 people read your headline but not your copy…but that stat is from 50 years ago when we had newspapers, not blogs and eye-tracking studies.

Still, a simple perusal of your bounce rate and average time on site will provide proof enough that most people aren’t making it past your headlines.

Copyblogger has a great resource on how to write headlines that work. And you can also get some more data-focused insights like:

  • People dig numbers in headlines (hey – look at this post!)
  • Some words get more Tweets than others
  • Using more verbs than nouns is usually a winning combo

29. Add a FAQ section before your contact form to save time

When first starting a blog, you put up a contact form because you think it’s something you need, even if you’re not expecting anyone to use it.

Then, as you start to get a little bit of traffic, someone actually uses your form and sends you a message. Hallelujah! A human person cares about your content enough to use your contact form!

Then your blog keeps growing and suddenly you find yourself inundated with a deluge of messages, many of which ask the same thing.

Suddenly, you’re spending more time replying to emails than you are blogging. And that’s not a good recipe for continued success.

But guess what? You can at least eliminate many of the most redundant emails that you get by adding a FAQ (or something similar) above your “Contact” page. For example, check out how Henrik at The Positivity Blog has two quick FAQ questions above his contact form:

45 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting a Blog: How to Start a Blog for Free in 2022

If your contact form plugin allows it, you can also use conditional fields to achieve much the same effect by asking users what their email is about before they’re allowed to send it.

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