How to Create a Successful Blog
If you aren’t into blogging, feel free to skip this post. I have had some questions lately on how to start a blog so I thought I would go a little further in depth with the topic this week.
Did you know that you can make a living through blogging? In all honesty, I had no idea until the January 2016 that making money from blogging was even possible. If you have every considered starting a blog, this post will go over how to create a successful blog.
So first things first, if you are interested in blogging, you need to set yourself up on a self-hosted site, like Bluehost. I did a tutorial about how to set up your Bluehost account. You get a free domain name and unlimited bandwidth with Bluehost, which is why I suggest using them. You can check out my tutorial here.
Related Post: My First Blog Income Report
Find a Niche.
If you are thinking “What the heck is a niche?”, have no fear. A niche is just a topic or category that you like to talk or write about. What are you good at that you can help other people with? Are you crafty? Do you love DIY? Are you passionate about health or fitness? Do you love talking about personal finance? What is it that you love to talk about and how can you help other people? Bloggers tend to write about things that they love in order to help others in some way. Do that and you will have a successful blog already.
Use WordPress (on a self hosted site)
If you are thinking about making money from your blog, it is essential to be self hosted. This means that you pay for a company to host your blog and they set you up through WordPress.com. (It is so easy with Bluehost). Wordpress is the program that most bloggers use in order to make their blog a business. You can start on Blogger, but I don’t recommend it if you plan on making money through your blog.
WordPress is fairly easy to use. It does have a bit of a learning curve, but once you get used to it, it gets much easier and this is coming from the least techie person on the planet. You can get a copy of the list of the free tools that helped me blog better here.
Start creating social media business accounts on Pinterst, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. I set up a business account on Facebook, but transitioned my other accounts from personal to business very easily. Pinterest is for everyone and I highly suggest you get your tail used to using it if you are not familiar with it. It is the best way to get your brand out there. McKinzie at Moms Make Cents has a free course on how to use Pinterest and so does Melyssa Griffin. Take those and learn from them.
Speaking of Pinterest, Get Good with Images
If you are going to be blogging, you need to get going with images and make them good ones. I admit that I pretty much sucked at images at first, but I am getting better. I attribute this to taking Elite Blog Academy. I took this course in February 2016 and it really helped me to set a strong foundation for this blog. The course is only available to take once a year and they limit the number of spots in the class. If you want to learn more about EBA, you can click here to find out more.
My purpose to starting a blog was to help people with their finances as I feel I have learned so much from our life experiences that I wanted to reach out and help others. I consistently have over 30,000 monthly readers to my blog and I am ecstatic about that. If I can help someone in some small way, the investment any of the courses is well worth it. I do plan on monetizing my blog further, but that was not the initial focus. I wanted to create worthwhile posts for people to read first and then focus on ways to sustain the blog long term and maybe stay home with my kids if possible.
Tools I use For My Blog
There are several tools and plugins I use to help me blog. The ones I love are Google Drive, Google Analytics, an editorial calendar, and Boardbooster. I have found these essential to helping me manage everything and still grow my blogging platform. You can get my complete list of what I use to help me blog for free. Get that list here.
Google analytics is how I find out how many people visit my site and what pages are the most popular. It is uber helpful.
Google Drive is my favorite thing of all time. You can save documents and freebies there for people to access by using a link to the page in Google Drive. You can also create surveys and I write all of my initial posts there. It is awesome.
An editorial Calendar is a way to get your articles ready to be posted. I love doing this because when my article is on the calendar, I know it is finished and I can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that I have content ready to go out in advance. It try to stay a month ahead on posts that way I can focus on other things. I still try to write 500 words a day regardless of how far ahead I am that way I still have posts to edit and add images to when the time comes to do so.
I already mentioned Elite Blog Academy. The other course that I would highly recommend would be Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing with Michelle Schroeder-Gardner. She is a boss at affiliate marketing and she created this course to help others rock at it too. She has a private Facebook Mastermind group that she is very involved in and I absolutely love this course! I had affiliate links in my posts already of things I use and recommend and I started earning affiliate income a week after I took the course. The thing about affiliate marketing that I love is, you get to recommend great products and services that you already use to others who may struggle with the same problem you struggle with. I love it and the course is awesome.
Beyond that, there is another book I strongly recommend to help with increasing your pageviews. Pageviews are important if you are looking to make money from your blog. If you would consider doing a post for a company, they like to see that your pageviews are up. The book is called How I went from 17,000 Pageviews to 350,000 Pagviews in 9 Months. This book is written by Lena Gott from What Mommy Does. She is super sweet and she is very helpful. I totally recommend her book because it makes complete sense with 17 strategies that she lists. The book is part of the Genius Blogger’s Toolkit and I seriously cannot recommend it enough. If I had to choose between the Genius Blogger’s Toolkit and EBA, I would probably choose the Genius Blogger’s Toolkit.
I loved Elite Blog Academy, but I also like saving money. I also like learning in different formats and from different people who have had different experiences and that is exactly why I would recommend the Genius Blogger’s Toolkit. You can grab you copy of the Genius Blogger’s Toolkit here.
Top 5 Characteristics you need as a blogger
What does it take to be a blogger. That is a loaded question, but I want you to be prepared if you are considering starting a blog. Here are the characteristics you should have if you want to create a successful blog:
Determination: You won’t be an overnight success. It just doesn’t work that way. If you ask other bloggers, they really put the pedal to the medal for a good year before they really started to see the fruits of their labor. You have to be willing to put in the time if you want to create a successful blog. You don’t have to put in 40 hours per week on top of your day job, but you should work on your blog a little each day to create a successful blog.
You have to at least like writing. If you don’t like writing, blogging is probably not the career for you. If you still want to stay at home with the kids, try becoming a Virtual Assistant or try selling on Amazon. These are ways to make a good living from home without writing. You have to be willing to sit down and write if you want to blog.
You have to have some organizational skills. I have to admit that I work on this every single day. I create a to do list every morning and sometimes things still don’t get done. I am not miss organized, but I still create time to work on my blog everyday. 1) because it is something I really love to do. It is therapeutic for me to write and 2) I want to succeed at this.
You have to be willing to put yourself out there. You don’t have to share every last detail about yourself online, but you have to be willing to fail. You have to understand that sometimes things will be hard….really hard, but if you want to create a successful blog, you have to learn from what isn’t working and go for what is. You will make mistakes and you will feel silly sometimes, but the bottom line is, you have to be willing to look foolish or fail if you want to blog. With failing comes growth. Don’t be afraid to grow.
You have to be willing to spend a little money. Not a lot but a little. If blogging is something you want to do, but you are on a strict budget, do what I do, find stuff to sell or services to provide that will make you extra money to put towards blogging. You can get my list of 175 Ways to Make Extra Money here. Hosting a blog doesn’t cost much especially if you go through Bluehost. I am not afraid to spend a bit of money because I am committed to making my blog a platform for my future goals.
Blogging is not easy. If it were easy, everyone would do it. It does take time to make money from blogging but I promise it is totally possible. There are several different reasons why people blog and money isn’t the only reason. You can check out why these bloggers started their blogs. (One of my favorite posts by the way:) These people genuinely love what they do and they love helping others. It is so awesome to see people who take such an active role helping others in what they know best.
Blogging is so unique in that if offers a vast platform to get your name and your brand out there. You have so many possibilities with staring a blog. Feel free to contact me at any time with questions you may have regarding blogging or personal finance. I promise to help in any way that I know how:)
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