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Are you thinking about how to start a blog and make money online? Are you new to blogging and want to know how to get started? All of the information available online can make blogging seem overwhelming. It doesn’t have to be. In this post I want to take the overwhelm out of starting so you can take action.
I started seriously blogging in 2012. My life has not been the same since. When done correctly, blogging can become a very lucrative income for you–if you are planning on making money with your blog.
I will be sharing my best basic blogging tips to help you can get started. I will also offer you a detailed template package to help you plan and write successful posts. It’s like having a step-by-step instructional that you can follow at your own pace.
Blogging starts with an idea. Everyone does not blog about the same things. I have said this a thousand times before. It is true. I blogged about praise dance. It’s a very small niche but there were thousands of interested church goers searching for information on how to dance in this genre. That is why I always say that blogging has now taken place of encyclopedias. Well, not totally. Anyone in any field can start a blog today.
Start a Blog by Choosing Your Platform
There are several platforms available to start writing.
Here are a few to research
- WordPress.org & Hosting
Setting up an account for anyone of the above mentioned platform is self explanatory. However there is one blogging platform where you might need some help. Setting up hosting for you blog is a little on the technical side however, you can set everything up in an hour or less.
I must be honest. I am not the greatest when showing anyone how to set up a self-hosted blog but here is a brief article to show you how to set up your blog in 3 easy steps.
Recommended: If you are looking to fully customize your site easily without knowing any type of html code then I would suggest you use WordPress plus hosting. In my opinion, self-hosting a site will give you a more professional appeal and you can do anything you want on your blog. You can run a store, create a full member portion on your blog, and you can even host a webinar directly on your site.
Check out this article to see the difference:
Start a Blog by Determining Your Ideal Reader
Once your blog site is set then you will want to determine your ideal reader. Below is a little exercise you can think about quickly in order to help build the right foundation for your blog. Writing for a specific person based on their needs is the bases of retaining readership and getting sells. Here are some basic demographics you can think about to get you started. It might take 10 minutes:
- Age (choose 10-15 year range)
- Martial Status
- Children (age range)
- What are they most likely to buy?
- Where are spending their social time online?
Having this in mind will point you in the right direction in order to start writing for the right people.
Start a Blog by Creating Content
I am sure you already have an idea of what you want to write about. Right now I want you to focus on 30 ideas. This does not mean that you will be writing and publishing a blog post every day. I do want you to have ideas about the kind of content you will be creating on your blog.
If you are planning to monetize your blog be sure that your content is informative. For the next hour I want you take some time to come up with 30 different ideas. Grab a journal or a word document and brainstorm. Once you start writing don’t hit publish yet. Save it until you have 5-10 really good blog posts.
Here are some other blog posts to help you create content:
- Read how you can come up with ideas to fill your entire year.
- Read about how you can get great content ideas by reading books.
Start a Blog by Collecting Email Addresses
You will quickly see how you can build your following and traffic by having an email address. You do not have to wait until you have a certain amount of traffic in order to begin building your email list. Just like choosing a platform there are several email services to choose from that will let you send out bulk email. I recommend investing in an email service that has an autoresponder. It will save you time from manually sending out emails whenever someone decides to opt-in to your list.
Here are few to choose from:
GetResponse (affiliate link) There’s a 30 day trial and a tutorial to walk you through to building your email list. I recommend taking the courses everyday. It really helped me to come up with my first lead magnet.
- Constant Contact
Start a Blog by Creating a Freebie Offer
All freebies are not created equal. Since you are getting started with blogging you can create a freebie with one of the blog posts you brainstormed. Here’s an idea: take one of your blog posts and create a short course that you can email in a couple of days.
You can show someone how to solve a problem based on the blog post you were going to write. Break it up into bite sized tutorials to send by email. Here’s a template of how you can do this:
- Thank you email (let them know who you are and what you do)
- First Course
- Second Course
- Third Course
- Or more
The last one can be how you will be starting your blog soon and you will be sending out invitations to have them read the first few posts as soon as possible.
Note: To get started with collecting emails you can join Facebook groups to let other bloggers know you will be launching soon and you have a great freebie. Most bloggers naturally support other bloggers so you might be able to build a small list up until your launch date.
How to Create a Freebie Quickly
It took me less than a day to create this freebie. I thought about 5 tools I use everyday as part of my monetization strategy and put together a list with short explanations of how to use it. You can do the same by knowing what your audience need and provide a short list for them to consume.
You can use Microsoft Word to create a PDF for your list. Be sure to make it engaging with photos and graphics needed to provide any visual explanation.
You can also use Canva to create a PDF. It can be a one page PDF or short eBook.
Start a Blog by Having a Promotion Strategy
When you have a freebie available you can begin promoting it by creating a landing page. Begin to familiarizing yourself with landing pages so you can promote your free offer. GetResponse has tons of landing page templates you can choose from. Remember that free, 30 day trial I mentioned earlier? You can use this opportunity to create your first landing page and promote your free offer.
The basics of promoting your blog and your freebie will be to send out as many links as possible everyday. I recommend starting with one or two social media platforms to master. If you dig in it will not take you long to master a platform. The most popular are:
- Yum (food bloggers)
- Google +
If you are using Facebook (page) or Twitter you will need to come up with different headlines for your promotions so you will not be seen as spammy. Automating the process will be easier for you whether you are a beginner or more advanced. I do not sit on the computer all day posting my content.
I use Hootsuite and I use PostPlanner to automate my blog promotion and anything else that I am promoting.
Check out this blog post on 21 Ways to Promote Your Blog Posts
Start a Blog by Learning SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) will be your friend as you are writing your blog posts. This is the way that you will be found online. Every search engine is ran by using a particular word, phrase, or question.
One thing you can do right now is to go to Google and type in a keyword that you want to use in your blog post. After the word or phrase type in a letter next to it. So it will look like keyword (space) letter. You will see the most popular searches that come up in that particular phrase or word. It will give you an example of what you should include in your blog post and perhaps some other ideas.
There are faster ways to do this. You can read the book 500 SEO Tips and get all of the answers you will need for SEO. A tip for using this book (because it is very comprehensive) take a couple tips each day and see how you can apply it to your blog.
Check out this ultimate guide to keyword research to also help you as you are getting started with keyword research.
Start a Blog by Setting a Launch Date
Do you think you have your blog ready to go? Then it is time to set a launch date for your new blog. Go ahead and publish 5-10 posts so that your new readers will have a few things to read. As things progress with your blog be sure to check back with me for any questions. You can connect with me at the Blogs that Sell Facebook group when you are ready to launch so we can support you.
You might also like to read Launch Your Blog with a Bang. This gives helpful tips on how you can launch your blog with people already interested in your content.
Start a Blog Checklist
To round up what I have covered in this post, here is what I covered:
- Choose a platform for your blog. If you want to monetize, I recommend doing so on your self-hosted blog.
- Determine Your Ideal Reader
- Brainstorm Your New Blog Posts
- Choose an Email Software
- Create a Free Offer
- Start Promoting Your Free Offer
- Publish Your Posts and Launch Your Blog
There are other things you will be doing as a blogger before you launch. Keep these in the back of your mind.
- Research problems to develop products or affiliates to monetize your blog.
- Create a privacy notice page.
- Create an affiliate disclaimer page.
- Create an About Me page.
- Create a home page that explains who you are and what your blog is about.