Have you decided that 2021 is your year to start your own blog but you are unsure how to get started, let alone turn it into something that makes you money? If this is you, you’ll be happy to know that almost everyone who has successfully done it before you also had the same feeling. The good news is that you can use their playbook and apply a step by step process to make sure that you launch your blog the right way so that you are set up for success.
WARNING: Starting a blog and generating any amount of significant traffic takes time and hard work. It requires you to be passionate about the topic you are writing about – not just the potential to use your blog as a money-making tool.
If you’re ready to dive in and start your blog keep reading to learn the step by step process you need to begin your journey to success on the right foot.
Choose a blog topic that your passionate about
Spend time deciding on what topic and themes your new blog will focus on. All of your content should revolve around these things. The more focused you are the easier it will be to build a business to surround your written content.
Sign up to a blogging platform
There are many options to choose from when it comes to blogging platforms. Wordpress is the most common, with its suite of plugins, templates and SEO capability. If you want to get your feet wet without much set up, you could try sharing content on Medium to experiment with writing styles or content ideas before going through the process of setting up a specific blog website.
Secure a custom domain name
A custom domain name for your blog immediately adds professionalism to your content which in turn helps you eventually make more money. Custom domains can be purchased from websites like GoDaddy. Get creative with potential words you use in your domain. Think of ways you can pair the topic or themes of your blog with other relevant words. The more creative you are the more likely your desired custom domain will be available.
Get set up with a web host
When selecting the right web host for your blog (different to domain hosting) it is important that you research various options so you can take into consideration budget and up-time guarantee. You want to be sure that once you select one, it will not only help you in the early days but as your blog transforms into a business.
Google Analytics is an invaluable tool that will help you monitor your audience and traffic as you grow your blog from day 1. It will give you insights into things like your traffic sources whether it be Google or social media, where your audience is located and much, much more. The process to set up Google Analytics is fairly straightforward and most web hosting platforms have step by step guides to make the process even easier.
Google Search Console
In addition to Google Analytics, Google Search Console is a critical tool to growing your blog. It will give you a quick glance at the performance of your blog on Google. You will be able to see your search result impressions, clicks, best performing pages, locations of your impressions and much more. Being able to see what specific pages ad topics are performing best on Google will help you focus your content creation in the early days on the best opportunities you have on Google.
Focus on SEO in small steps
SEO is a long-term activity and takes a lot of knowledge to consistently get it right. There are many free resources you can consume on YouTube and Google for free as well as many great books and paid resources to help you get started. Think of SEO as a skill that you need to learn. Start with the basics, then grow and apply your knowledge from there.
Set up social media accounts for your blog
While SEO and building traffic from search results takes time, you can supplement this traffic with consistent posting on social media. Every blog post you write brings multiple different social media content opportunities – including collaborations with other bloggers and influencers. Sharing snippets of posts, key sentences and notifications of new posts being live, building an audience on social media allows you to connect with both new readers and existing ones while your search traffic grows. Growing social media accounts related to your blog will also help you make more money when brands reach out to collaborate with you.
Create quality content
This might be easier said than done, however, it is important to consider. Many blogs write content for the sole purpose of Google rankings and not to benefit their readers. While yes, Google rankings are important to generating traffic, building a recurring audience that returns time and time again requires valuable content for the reader. Focus on educational content that your readers can take value away from after they have read it. Things like how-to guides like this one and lists are always well received.
Integrate an email marketing platform into your blog
The most successful blogs make the bulk of their money through email marketing so having this set up from day 1 is important. While you probably won’t make money from the first day, you need to be collecting your reader’s email addresses in some way. A good place to start for free is MailChimp. Once your email list starts to grow we are big fans of ConvertKit which is built specifically for creators like you.
Create a sales funnel for your blog
Sales funnels are critical for turning your blog readers into revenue generators. It doesn’t have to be complicated. To get started you need some kind of a lead magnet to entice readers to sign up for your email list. Lead magnets are typically related to the end product that you are going to sell so that signups indicate interest in the topic or problem that you are going to solve with your sales offer later on. From there you need to develop what the big sell is going to be. Whether it is in the form of a physical product, a service you offer or something else entirely, the ultimate goal of your sales funnel should be to sell these things. You can have multiple so don’t worry about determining the best one for you. From there you build out regular emails that nurture your email list from casual signups to being buyer ready for your offer.
Promote and monetize your content
Promoting and monetizing your content is where the magic happens. Sure you can write great blog posts and supplement them with social media content, but how you promote and monetize your content is where you turn it all into a successful online business. There isn’t a way to cram it all into one section of a blog post of even a post of its own so here is our advice. Use the free tools available to you on Google and YouTube. Seek out success stories from people who have built similar blogs to what you are looking to build. Study what they did, what worked, what didn’t and then rinse and repeat. The advantage you have is that you aren’t the first to do it and people have become successful before you. Use that to your advantage!
It’s all out there waiting for you – get started today!