So ya want to start a blog, eh? Great choice! I could talk about blogging all day. In fact, when people ask me questions about blogging, marketing, building an audience and email list, I literally shoot so much information at them that I think I scare them away lol.
Seriously though, I try to be as descriptive as possible without giving too many details and suggest that they go over and read some of my articles on blogging. I also mention that there is so much information when it comes to blogging that there should be a school for it.
Blogging isn’t just about designing a website and writing and poof you’ll make money. Would you open a business front and hope people came busting your doors down to buy your stuff? Heck no. You need to market and promote to get in front of potential customers so that they know you exist.
Now I’m going to be transparent here and let you in on all of the roles that a blogger takes on as a solopreneur:
| WHAT DOES A BLOGGER DO?
Technical Problem Solver
SEO & Market Researcher
Analytics Analyzer & Strategist
Social Media Marketing Manager - Facebook, Facebook Group(s), Instagram, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc.
Sales & Marketing Manager
Email Newsletter Curator
Brand Developer and Growth Strategist
I’m sure I could add a few more titles to that hell of a list but I want to begin to elaborate on some things you need to have in place on your blog before you can start dreaming up ways to make money blogging.
| HOW TO START A BLOG?
Choosing a platform, creating an account, choosing a template, making a few edits with your own content and brand, is the easy part of starting a blog.
I’m almost certain that you’ll encounter multiple blog posts using titles to lure you in with the hopes that they will show you how to start a blog that will make money in 7 mins.
Not that those posts won’t help you start a blog in mere minutes, they will. It’s the information on where to go from there that is lacking.
Most beginner bloggers don’t have extra money to burn to invest in costly courses showing you step-by-step how to blog when they are just starting out which is why I created a simple, FREE course to help guide you through your first 31 days to start a blog.
I know how hard the decision is to commit to starting a blog to make money.
As a blogger, you are an entrepreneur. As an entrepreneur, you are deciding to start your own business so that you can work from home and make money. That’s a pretty hefty decision to make.
To be successful at making blogging your career, you have to shit or get off the pot. Pardon me for being so free with my words but seriously, there is a reason why most bloggers quit after trying to make blogging success and failing after only 3 months.
Blogging for money will not happen overnight but I promise you, that if you want success bad enough, you’ll do whatever it takes. Never give up, and success will smack you in the face lol.
If and when you fail, (because you will) dust yourself off and get back in the game. All entrepreneurs fail in some area of their business building journey and it’s what we established bloggers refer to as LEARNING :-)
| LIST OF TASKS YOU NEED TO DO TO GET YOUR BLOG GOING
Choose a platform to blog from
Purchase a domain name
Design your blog/website
Choose an Email Service Provider
Set up an Email Welcome Autoresponder to welcome new subscribers
Choose a niche
Begin brainstorming ideas for a pillar/grand blog post
Begin brainstorming related/supporting/cluster article ideas to link to your pillar blog post
Write your first 4 posts, create graphics, add an Opt-in/CTA - Call To Action, Link to related blog posts - Lead Magnet/Opt-In/Freebie all mean the same thing :-)
Create a lead magnet to entice your blog traffic to join your email list.
Join niche related Facebook Groups and promote your blog posts
Set up a Pinterest For Business Account and optimize it properly, create niche related boards, pin related content to those boards, start adding your own pins that lead to your blog posts.
Continue to write, promote, learn and grow!
| WHAT DO I NEED TO START A BLOG?
You don’t need much to start a blog but here are a few necessary tools you’ll need to begin.
Internet Access - Home or Wifi at a cafe or library.
Initiative - Be a self-starter
Premium Website Plan - With a free version, you cannot index your blog with search engines like Google. You’ll also be limited in terms of design freedom and monetizing options.
An insane desire to build the life you want
So as you can see, it’s relatively inexpensive to start a blog. Of course, as you create ways to attract buyers to bring in consistent income to your blog, you can afford to add expenses in the way of tools & resources that will help you run your blog more efficiently.
| BLOGGING PLATFORMS
There are a few top picks to start a blog with. The most popular is Wordpress.com.
Personally, I am extremely creative and preferred to start a blog with *WIX because WIX not only allows for complete design control through the Drag & Drop Editor but if you are eager to set up your blog and have zero design skills, you can opt to use WIX ADI - Artificial Design Intelligence.
You’ll read a lot of misinformation about WIX from bloggers who use Wordpress.org. They’ll ramble on about how you need to be self hosted and that at any moment the other platforms could delete your site which is a stretch! It’s just to make an affiliate sale by making false statements about a platform most of them know nothing about.
At any moment, the entire internet could shut down and that self-hosted website will be gone just like websites hosted in the cloud.
Most bloggers don’t actually take the time to do thorough research, therefore, they write the incorrect information resulting in a spiraling vortex of incorrect facts circulating on the web.
YES, you can build a website for free with WIX but if you want to take to the next level and get indexed with Google, you need to pay for your hosting with WIX.
Click to tweet:
How awesome is it that? WIX lets you build a site for free to see if you even think blogging is worth it and then decide to invest?
No other site offers these free & paid options.
NO, your site/blog won’t be deleted. Your hosting with WIX is secure and tucked away in the clouds where it is backed up constantly like Google Drive. So much so that you can restore your blog to any of it’s previous versions. Crazy, right? Haha.
Squarespace is awesome. They give you 14 days to play around with their platform and then each week after that they send you an email to extend your free trial for another 7 days.
I extended my trial for 3 more weeks after that and ultimately stayed with WIX because I know the platform in and out and was finding myself feeling sad to think I may not be blogging with them any longer so I’m not sure how many times I would have been able to extend my trial period with Squarespace.
Squarespace is definitely worth checking out. I loved the experience I had for the month that I spent designing a mock blog to review my experience honestly.
Anyway, back to the sweet features that keep me blogging from Wix...
For the non-techie, WIX ADI will design a blog for you after you answer a few quick questions about style preference and your niche.
Once you are satisfied with the template that Wix has made for you, you can begin to edit in your own content while WIX ADI delivers How-To prompts to help you learn all of the editors features properly while you are familiarizing yourself with your new blog.
Once you get the hang of where everything is and what it all does, you can switch over to the main website editor to unlock more advanced editing features. But if you decide to switch back over to ADI, any edits you’ve made to your blog will be deleted.
This is a good thing if you start using the advanced editor and quickly realize you’ve made a beautiful blog look disastrous lol. But have no fear, you can always hit the undo button as well as go back through your blog designs history and restore it to a previous version.
If you can afford to hire a professional WIX website designer through the WIX Arena, WIX offers the ability to build an entire website using WIX code.
So you see, no other platform out there offers all of these capabilities.
| KEY FEATURES OF WIX
Connect to a Custom Domain - Free for the first year $14.95/yr after that
Premium Plans from $11-$29/month. Save $$ with 1, 2, or 3-year subscriptions
E-commerce premium plan options.
Drag & Drop Editor for complete design control
Editable Mobile Optimization
100’s of templates to get you started
Personal SEO plan with the SEO Wizard - Connect directly with Google Console and Analytics
App Market to add free and paid plugins to your blog
Artificial Design Intelligence
Build a site with CODE
Integrates with MailChimp
Hide the header and footer to Create Landing Pages
Make money with Amazon & Google AdSense placement
Social Sharing Images for each page on your website - Great for sharing custom images associated with a landing page
26 Supported Languages
Secure Hosting & Domain Name all under one roof
Tutorial & Videos to help you along the way
*Create an account with Wix and get started for FREE while you see if blogging is right for you then upgrade to a premium plan when you are ready to take blogging seriously.
Here are a couple of Wix Facebook Groups I am personally a member of and recommend that you join.
For the times when you have questions related to Wix, we can help you figure things out:-) With Wix, you’re never alone.
New Wix Features
Wix Support and Inspiration
| TYPES OF BLOGS THAT MAKE THE MOST MONEY
One of the toughest decisions for a lot of new bloggers is deciding on a niche.
Some of you are lucky and just know what it is that you want to write about but for some, there are so many interesting topics to cover that it can quickly become overwhelming.
I can only advise you to write out 3 top niches that you are passionate about or have experience in.
Having experience and/or passion will make writing on a consistent basis, easy.
The alternative would be to choose a topic that you don’t know that much about but have always wanted to learn, educate yourself and write blog posts about it along the way teaching others how to do it.
| TOP BLOG NICHES THAT MAKE THE MOST MONEY
Health & Fitness
Vegan/Vegetarian Cooking & Special Nutrition - Gluten Free
Mom Life/Dad Life/Parenting
Lifestyle - Can be a combination of a few topics like budget-friendly fashion, parenting, money-saving tips, and organization
Sewing/Knitting/Quilting - How-To’s
Legal-Blogging for Business
How To Blog
How to start a home based business
| WHAT DO I WRITE ABOUT IN A BLOG?
I get this question a lot. I remember the first days, my writing was a mess. I didn't know how to write an intriguing blog post, nevermind format it properly to make for a good reading experience.
I knew to create helpful articles that showed people how to do something but I see this mistake a lot, the articles are about their own experience.
This is OK if you are journal blogging about an life experience like teenage life, transitioning from college to adult life, writing about a health journey, or maybe blogging to journal your pregnancy experience.
People are taking to the internet to look for an answer to a question or a solution to their problem.
To attract your ideal audience and build a loyal following of raving fans who will buy your stuff, you need to create content filled with value.
This value can be in the form of video tutorial that helps your reader execute something, step by step or an in-depth blog post that lists out the steps it takes to figure something out and make life easier.
1. Be relatable - Include personal stories
2. Provide value - Research topics to provide the most information possible.
| WHAT SHOULD MY FIRST BLOG POST BE ABOUT?
In my free course 31 Days To Start A Blog, I recommend writing 4 articles to publish by the end of the course.
The first blog post I encourage you to brainstorm a pillar, think grande type of post that is 2000-3000 words, giving a ton of details and value.
The 2nd, 3rd, and 4th articles are written to back up or support your pillar post. These could be pieces of your pillar post broken down into smaller articles that are easier to absorb as a reader or extensions to your pillar post that lead your reader to the next level which is your pillar post.
I give examples in my course to help you brainstorm your own ideas.
This video sheds a clearer light on what pillar pages are.
Pin this for later! :-)
| HOW DO BLOGGERS MAKE MONEY?
There are so many ways to make money online and as a blogger.
Some bloggers are working a full-time corporate gig and use their education along with real life experience in the job force to build their side hustles.
In this case, they are offering a service through their blogs such as Freelance/Ghost Writing, Secretary/Virtual assistance, Website/Graphic designing, or Specialty Marketing plans.
If you are a blogger who has started a blog to make money but don’t intend to sell services that directly relate to what you do for a living in your day job, don’t fret, here is a list of ways that bloggers make their money...
1. AFFILIATE PRODUCTS
This is the means where you apply to an affiliate of a product that you use and recommend for others to try for themselves and when they click through your affiliate link and make a purchase, you receive a commission.
To promote your affiliate links/products, you write blog posts/reviews about the product and share it with your audience and other places around the web to get it circulating.
While you are checking out and using tools to build and grow your blog, scroll to the footer of their website and if you see text reading “Affiliates,” click that to see if their affiliate program is one that you want to join. Here are a couple of popular affiliate websites worth checking out...
Rakuten Affiliate Marketing
Reward Style - Fashion Bloggers
Courses are an increasingly popular way to make money blogging. So many people are taking to the internet to build a life outside of the corporate world and what better way to make money than to offer them help by creating an online course teaching them how to do something or get them to their ideal end result.
Courses can be in the form of Text only, Text and Video with lesson plans and/or an accompanying workbook that you created in Canva. You can even add your eBook to a platform that I personally use such as *Teachable where your buyers can download your eBook.
eBooks can be easy to create. You can write an eBook about your niche topic or after you’ve been blogging for a while, take some of your related blog posts and combine them to make an eBook that you can sell.
Go through the posts and add more value-packed info and add a workbook to help them along in whatever it is you are teaching them about. You can sell eBooks through a platform like *Teachable.
4. SELL TEMPLATES
Know how to design social media templates? Create them, package them up digitally and sell them in the online shop that you’ll create or on Etsy.
If you search Pinterest, you’ll find a few free courses that other bloggers offer, teaching how the basics of using Canva to create graphics for your blog and website.
5. SELL PLANNERS & CALENDARS
People love their FREE printables. Create a mini version of a particular planner and offer it as your lead magnet to gain email subscribers to your blog and then offer them an extension pack of the planner at a reasonable price.
| Check out these templates to make your life easier!
Email Signature Templates
*FB Group Cover Templates
*Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram Templates
eBook Cover Designs
*Challenge Workbook Template
You can sell your designs on your website as well as on platforms like Etsy and *Creative Market.
6. CREATE A CHALLENGE
I know what you’re thinking, challenges are good for growing your email subscribers, but you need to look at everything you do in blogging and figure out how to make money from it and what’s worked for me is creating challenges and turning them into courses for sale.
7. BUILD BLOGS AND FLIP THEM
This is a great way for someone with experience in blogging already. However, maybe you are one of the lucky ones who just gets it and has insane success, now you can let it ride or sell it and build your next project.
8. SPONSORED BLOG POSTS
You can apply to stores like Pier One and offer to write a blog post about how you reorganized your bathroom with their products.
If you have built a name for yourself, you can receive compensation for your blog post but some sponsors will only offer you the products to use in return for your post.
This is a great way to build up your resume to land bigger, better, paid sponsorship opportunities. In the meantime, who doesn’t love free stuff?!
9. AD PLACEMENT
Ads won’t necessarily make you any money when you are just starting out.
The idea behind making money through ads is that you have to have an extensive number of people visiting your blog all month long to see any return from these ads that are placed on your blog making it annoying for people like me to read your content resulting in me clicking away. Haha, just being honest.
I’m not saying “Don’t use Ads” I’m just saying to place them tastefully on your blog. Don’t place them on every page along with having a pop-up. Think about providing your readers with a positive user experience.
You can apply to places like Google AdSense and you can combine Amazon Associates with Google AdSense. Mediavine, & Infolinks, just to name a few.
| HOW TO GET TRAFFIC TO YOUR BLOG
It’s important to push out fresh, niche relevant content at least once per week. This can be in the form of a blog post, video, podcast, or eBook, email newsletter, and social media posts. Publish something on your blog often.
To write consistently it helps to have a clear and organized strategy. Use a project management system like *Trello to keep a running list of blog post ideas and add more boards and lists to create a content marketing workflow that works to keep you sane while saving you tons of time.
Heck you can even add your personal family calendar, recipes to cook for the week, gym workouts, basically, in Trello, you can create boards to keep every part of your life in order.
Create a social media post with a brief blurb telling people what your blog post is about.
Adding the URL so the image from your blog post is pulled allows your readers to be able to click the URL or the image to be redirected over to your blog to check out your latest creation!
You could also ask them to visit your blog post and share the post straight from your live site and leave a thoughtful comment while they are there.
Pinterest is the third largest visual search engine coming in behind Google and YouTube.
BEST PINTEREST IMAGE DESIGN TIPS
Create eye-catching graphics, 600x900pixels with chic or lifestyle images in the background of your graphic.
Reds, white, and pink are clicked the most.
Use clear fonts so they are easy to read when people are quickly scrolling their Pinterest feed.
Properly use keywords to write a description for your pin and add the URL to your blog post.
When your pin catches the attention of people, they can click the image and be taken straight to your site.
PINTEREST AFFILIATE MARKETING QUICK START
Start with this course and set up your Pinterest Business account properly
Become an affiliate of some products or platforms
Write an article about it and add affiliate links where necessary
Promote the article on Pinterest to drive traffic back to your blog.
Promoting in Facebook Groups falls under the social media category but it should be in its own spotlight for the power it has to raise awareness that you and all your hard work even exist.
Use the search bar on Facebook to search for niche related Facebook Groups to join.
Read the description to see if it’s the type of board that allows for some kind of promotion. Go ahead and join groups that are more like masterminding but for growth, you want to be part of groups that want to help you succeed by allowing for some self-promotion.
Once accepted, go ahead and look in the board rules for the proper way to introduce yourself to the group. Usually, you’ll be prompted to leave a link to your blog so people can get to know you and vice versa.
Engage is posts from other members and add value and support where you can.
Once you’ve become a team player, begin posting your work in the relevant promo and share threads when the admin posts them throughout the week.
This will help get interested people to click over to your blog to read your articles.
Join my Facebook Group of beginner to expert level bloggers for support :-)
Write an excerpt of your latest blog post and add it to your weekly newsletter to let your subscribers know what your new post is about and provide a link they can click to visit the post on your blog.
Just like with sharing on social media, ask your readers/subscribers to comment on your post and share your article with their audience if they think it will be useful.
Do some keyword research before, during, or after you write your post. Every blogger seems to have their favorite method.
Personally, I brainstorm and outline topics that I know my audience will find helpful and then I do keyword research around the topic.
I use my Keyword planner page from my resource library of FREE DOWNLOADS that I created to keep track of the words, phrases, and questions people are looking for and asking on Google.
Another SEO Tool I recommend for you to install is the Chrome Extension Keywords Everywhere so that you can see the monthly search volume of long-tail keywords you're going to be brainstorming.
You can then find a way to incorporate the keywords into your article and make changes where necessary.
Well, there are some of the important first steps to take when you are ready to start a blog.
This long blog post may seem a bit overwhelming but hey, nothing good in life comes easy.
Blogging will take commitment, blood, sweat, tears, possible spousal arguments, and time away from family but in the end, you’ll get all those things back 10-fold in the form of sipping margarita’s on a 2-week chartered yacht with family or friends :-)
Can you tell I’m a dreamer? It’s the Pisces in me :-)
Join the community of bloggers, both beginner and seasoned, for support through your blogging journey. You never have to blog alone :-)