IN THIS ARTICLE LEARN.....
- 1 How To Start A Blog
- 1.1 Setting Up A Blog – How To Start A Blog
- 1.2 A Beginner’s Guide To Successful WordPress Blogging In 90 Days
- 1.3 What is A Content Management System or CMS?
- 1.4 What Will You Need In Setting Up A Blog?
- 1.5 Is blogging completely FREE?
- 1.6 What Are Your Fans On Facebook Looking for?
- 1.7 What does that customer actually want?
- 1.8 Where to start, WordPress.com or WordPress.org?
- 1.9 Why Create A Blog?
- 1.10 Limited Blog Monetization
- 1.11 Here’s How to choose a web hosting service
- 1.12 Email List Set Up
- 1.13 Niche – Choosing And Researching A Niche Market
- 1.14 Maintaining Your Consistency
- 1.15 Traffic
- 1.16 Track Your Blog
- 1.17 Listen to Your Audience
- 1.18 Short & Concise
- 1.19 Google Loves Multimedia Articles
- 1.20 Keep it Personal
- 1.21 Interact With Your Visitors
- 1.22 Make Money
How To Start A Blog
Setting Up A Blog – How To Start A Blog
A Beginner’s Guide To Successful WordPress Blogging In 90 Days
Most people who start a blog or website in 2018 and beyond, will most likely use a CMS (AKA -content management system) to start their website.
What is A Content Management System or CMS?
Popular and well-known content management systems (CMS or website platforms) like WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, and Magento are free.
To simply put your mind at ease, any of the above cms (content management system or website building platform) are all free and extremely customizable. One more thing I love about CMS is the fact that they run on an intuitive application layer which is user-friendly and an almost instant, out of the box newbie friendly platform for starting a blog or building websites and managing your website content.
Back in the day, changing and tweaking a website required hundreds of man-hours, with a cms system, all you need is 10 to 30 minutes to build and launch your website running on a content management system instead of using a bunch of loose HTML, CSS and PHP pages.
If you are a company, looking to set up a business portfolio, or an Individual, looking to start a website or blog, CMS is a good choice for you as it can pretty much be adapted to cater for many different types of websites, whether you are organizations or individuals.
What Will You Need In Setting Up A Blog?
- Decide on Which CMS To Start A Website or Blog
- Get a Domain Name and Host
- Installing WordPress
Is blogging completely FREE?
The short answer is Yes. You can even create a blog free if you want to.
BUT there are a couple of things you should pay for.
- A domain name (www.YourBlogAddress.com) will cost around $10/year (but you can get it free, more about that later).
- Web hosting is usually around $4-$15/month or more (although, the host I use and recommend is a bit under $3/mo). Many bloggers will tell you that starting a blog, In a nutshell, should cost you less than what you spend without even thinking when buying a cup of coffee at Starbucks.
- Bottom line: If you are seriously considering starting a blog, then be aware of the initial start-up costs which you’ll need to spend. It’s just a few dollars to get a domain name and web hosting. We’ll go through these in detail in the following STEPS to make sure you are covered.
Ask anyone who runs a profitable blog, the recipe is pretty much the same. Some Gurus will say profiting from blogs is just a matter of grabbing the attention of an audience and not doing any actual salesmen selling. This is utter nonsense! Nobody buys unless someone takes the step and attempts to make a sale. No matter what you think or which class of society you belong to, chances are that you have been sold once or twice before.
Setting up a Blog as a way of making money can be a very rewarding experience and very profitable if you know how to align the tools and resources needed to take you to your end goals.
But you need to know which blogging toolkit is Ideal for the sort of results you want to achieve, at the same time you need the know-how to use those tools correctly so you can yield the results.
If you have ever made a decision on anything, you have been sold. Selling is not only when money exchange hands, but people also sell Ideas and beliefs. Your children are the best sales people there is, and if you still haven’t figured it out that you are being sold… you are in deep trouble.
Being sold to makes us vulnerable, and this is exactly what we as human beings do not like. What we don’t like is not the feeling of being sold, it’s the feeling of vulnerability that makes us question everything and it makes sense to me.
Why I do not like being sold to, is just the fact that I feel like am not in control of my own spending. It feels like a sheep going to a slaughterhouse knowing exactly what will happen and yet feels powerless to do anything.
Any salesman who knows what they are doing will steer away from anything that triggers a customer fright mechanism.
Regardless of how you think you feel about your other half, sex makes us even more vulnerable, and if you can find your way to the top, it feels great! Makes you feel the adrenaline flowing through the veins.
Fear, on the other hand, is a feeling induced by perceived danger or threat that occurs in certain types or form. Instinctively human beings are conditioned to react to threats. This primitive mechanism helps us to survive by either running away or fighting the danger.
Your mind is always on the lookout for triggers and when it perceives one, it will immediately activate the sympathetic nervous systems; which controls the flight, fight, freeze, fright, and faint response.
Knowing this information as a blogger will be helpful in the long term. Way back before I created a blog, I took a personal reflection, putting myself in the customer’s shoes. Then I realized that as a customer, my perception is my reality. So if anyone wanted to sell anything to me, all they needed to do was see things through my eyes.
As a matter of fact, this is a well-known phrase in customer service circles and it boils down to this: the customer might not actually be right, but they think or feel they are. If you want to create a blog that is profitable, you must take this reality into account when dealing with whatever challenges they face.
People go online for two simple reason’s only. So if you are looking at ways of how to create a blog that earns money over time, then you must understand the reason why your customer avatar is online, then mark an escape route for that customer inside that escape route is where you address the needs and concern they have. In sales or internet marketing they call this a sales to funnel.
What Are Your Fans On Facebook Looking for?
- Are they:
- Looking For Information? or
- Looking For Entertainment?
Google, Youtube, and Pinterest are people’s trusted confidant today, before telling anyone that they had unprotected sex, teenagers turn to google looking for a solution. And if google spits out to go get pills, that is what they will go and do.
In my community over on Facebook, I tell my colleagues or student bloggers that Identifying the Customers Emotional and Practical Needs is the first step to making money with a blog.
For example, Data Race– one of Gradec Media’s web hosting companies offer affordable web hosting packages to Small and medium enterprise. Our Ideal customers are those looking into getting started with as little as $49.00/PER YEAR
What does that customer actually want?
We know that their issue is not just price points, rather the capital investment. So we offer them the lowest entry point, teach them how to make money along the way and in the process of their money making blog their needs for handling high volume traffic and sales push them into upgrading into some of our premium web hosting packages.
Do I really need to sale to this customer? Nope! There will be no selling just addressing the needs of a growing business.
It’s not always easy to determine, but this business model offers techniques that help you see a bigger picture and respond to a customer’s pressure points way before they happen. So you provide the customer with a practical and emotional fix without requiring to be shamelessly salesy.
Blogging for profit is all about answering people’s challenges or needs by:
- Pre-positioning and Conditioning Behavioral Interpretations – These are also called consumer behavioural patterns.
- Understanding Fight or Flight – No customer to your nail shop is the same so learn to spot the triggers.
- Responding Appropriately to Customers needs – Niche blogging is not a one cup fits all.
If you are looking into creating a blog and earn money by blogging then you need to consider the above points learn the following most essential steps to successfully blog and make money at the same time.
Where to start, WordPress.com or WordPress.org?
You should begin your blog with a free blog hosting service such as WordPress.com can be appealing to many new bloggers, but you need to understand the limitations that come with it.
Advantages Of WordPress.com Or FREE Hosted WordPress
Starting with a free blog hosting service allows you to begin blogging instantly without having any advance knowledge of scripts, hosting, or programming. It allows you to build an audience and buzz for your blog. FREE hosted WordPress also allows you to focus on your content and not the internal maintenance of the blog.
On the other hand, starting with a free service, is in your best interest if you are a slow burner and you do not mind taking a long learning curve without risking any money just in case your blog doesn’t become successful, you then do not lose any money or left holding the bill.
Just like many bloggers who have been around for some time now, I often get questions relating the best option for setting up a blog. And my answer has always been consistent all these years. It boils down to your personal goals with the blog you want to create.
Why Create A Blog?
Setting up a blog is easy these days, and there can be many motivating factors for creating a blog. If your goal for starting a blog is just to share your personal thoughts, ramblings, photos and such. Then WordPress.com is your best option as it offers a free, easy to use, secure and stable platform for you to blog on.
However, if your goals are to set up a blog you can finally earn money from, maybe you want the freedom of extending WordPress publishing functionalities with plugins and custom CSS tweaks so that you can do more with your blog such as make money selling services or products, build a membership community, among other things, then there are some inherent limitations.
WordPress Account Suspension
No Theme Uploads On WordPress.com
WordPress.com has a very strict rule of themes customization as it does not allow its users to upload custom made themes or tweak the sort of dull themes they offer. Keep in mind that any form of customization or attempts to change the functionality of your themes is absolutely out of question.
Limited Blog Monetization
Many blogs make money via Google Adsense, unfortunately with a WordPress FREE hosted blog you are not allowed to run Google Adsense or other advertising programs to serve ads on your WordPress.com blog.
However, if you are running a popular blog, with a good amount of monthly page views, then you can apply for WordPress.com advertising program which is called WordAds.
Once you are approved for WordAds program, you will be sharing your advertising revenue with WordPress.com
Self Hosted WordPress – Using WordPress.org Option
WordPress Self Hosted option is Ideal freedom seekers! It is a perfect solution for those interested in turning their blog into a revenue stream through advertising or paid Blogging.
How Does WordPress Self Hosted Blogging Work?
If your creative freedom counts, you will then have to consider getting your own domain and shared or private server. That way, once your WordPress blog is installed much more flexible customization options can be applied to your site without any limitations. Additionally, Blog monetization is possible by running ads on your blog.
Regardless of the fact that you are just starting to set up your first blog, you will notice that popular and Major Blog hosting service providers on the market today offer easy installation methods and setting up your blog is not quite a huge task anymore. If you are looking at the steps you will have to follow here they are:
Setting up a blog will surely begin with choosing a domain name you want to use as your brand, then buying or registering that domain to make sure that it is safe from other competitors.
There are so many domain registrars available to register your domain name but personally, I recommend starting out by taking advantage of the Dataracehero which includes a free domain name.
It is best practice to make sure that you check the availability of your domain names on social media like facebook, twitter, Youtube then securing those social handles of your domain immediately after registering your domain.
Here’s How to choose a web hosting service
In brief, WordPress makes it clear of the requirement for hosting, as a matter of fact, WordPress has a list of recommended WordPress web hosting companies as approved partners.
- Know your hosting needs.
- Investigate host reliability and uptime guarantees.
- Study web host upgrading options.
- Check all hosting features (such as the number of addon domains allowed) based on your needs.
- Check prices for both signup and renewal.
- Check hosting control panel.
- Read hosting company’s ToS to find out more about account suspension and server usage policy.
Other supporting features (ie. site backup, environmental friendliness, etc)
- Knowing Your Hosting Needs
You can never get the right web host without knowing what you need. So before you go any further put everything aside (including this guide you are reading) and think thoroughly about your own needs.
What kind of website are you building?
- Do you want something common (a WordPress blog, for example)?
- Do you need Windows applications?
- Do you need a special version of the software (ie. PHP)?
- Does your website need special software?
- How big (or small) can the web traffic volume go?
These are some of the basic questions you need to answer for yourself.
Have a quick picture of what you want to do with your website now. Figure what happens next for the next 12 months.
If you are A Totally Newbie
For newbies, the no-brainer rule is to always start small with a good shared hosting account.
Email List Set Up
Buy Awebber Auto Responder Membership Account
Your blogging profitability will depend on getting this part right. If you are indeed interested in making a sale or simply automate some of the blogging activities on your blog, then you will need an email list builder or autoresponder set up for your blog. I use Aweber and I can testify to its benefits having used it for the past 8 years.
Niche – Choosing And Researching A Niche Market
A niche market is simply an area of expertise you intend to help others with solving their problems with. As mentioned before, people get online in search of either information or for entertainment.
If you are contemplating setting up a blog, then make sure your blog solves some one’s problem or provides entertainment they are looking for. Our WordPress foundation training focuses on a particular blogging blueprint which is built on a three-step system.
With this system, we are able to pick a particular problem or product then we look at what sort of delivery systems we can put in place to make sure that service user gets what they want, over time we build the relationship and recommend products or solutions to them where necessary.
This is why we recommend building an email list along with your blog as it allows us the flexibility of getting in touch with our subscribers strategically.
Deciding first on a product, service, or topic which is of interest and possibly economically viable is of the essence here as it allows us to plan specific content strategies which help us to condition the consumer with the necessary information needed to make a sale.
It can not be emphasized enough that when looking into Choosing an area, make sure to pick one which you can enthusiastically write about on a daily basis.
Making use of keyword researching tools like KeywordFinder, Google keyword planner and BuzzSumo to find popular searched topics.
It does NOT matter if your topic is popular as long as there is an audience for your topic and the topic is precisely focused then your blog should be successful.
Anything can be considered a niche as long as it has a target audience no matter how large or how small the audience is.
When you choose to create A blog about your fluffy and cuddly cat that in itself can be classed as a niche market. The only thing I will POINT out here is that Niches often break down into sub-niches within their own niche. It all depends on how precisely do you want to niche down so you can directly speak to your Ideal audience.
For instance setting up a blog about the species of the cat family can be a larger niche market, if there are people who are interested in hearing about your cat or the species of the cat family, then you have a niche you can also choose to niche down and build your audience for a market whose audience does not exist, but first you must build your blog.
Maintaining Your Consistency
Update Your Blog Daily (nothing less)
WordPress makes it easy to get started with blogging, in fact, there are thousands of blogs started daily, the disappointing truth is that only a handful succeeds at getting past the 12 months mark. Lack of commitment and consistency is a huge letdown.
This particular step is a must and not a suggestion. Statistics over on Youtube showed that Vloggers who posted daily on Youtube enjoyed a bump up of traffic and revenue generated. If you want to be successful with blogging, post frequently, Update your blog with high quality and valued pieces of information daily.
This will not only keep your blog more interesting to readers, but it also gives your blog fresh authoritative content on a day to day making it more appealing to search engines.
When you ignore to update your blog on an occasional basis or when you do your drip content one day here and there, it may seem to be convenient for your schedule, but missing days at a time or weeks is unacceptable and will most likely result in your blog being unsuccessful.
To keep your blog traffic and retain your visitor’s interest it is a must to update your blog daily with multiple entries.
An argument can be made that a growing trend of successful blogs that are not necessarily updated daily.
The issue with blogging is you want more eyeballs on your fresh content as well as old, some old-timers who have authority in the subject matter may enjoy success but as a new blogger who is constantly fighting for a stable audience who continue to visit your blog daily, slacking is not an option.
Authority may be everything, however, these blogs are still updated weekly with multiple entries. Until you have a steady audience you should try to update your blog every day with at least 3 or more daily entries.
The best way to accomplish this is to set aside 1-2 hours a day for tending to your blog and adding new entries. It may even be wise to schedule a set time which you dedicate to your blog each day.
I keep telling my students to give themselves a consistent block of work hours and treat their blog as a job. Tell me what would happen if suddenly you didn’t show up to work for days or weeks you lose money or worse you get fired!
Let the same standards apply to your blog if you do not update your blog for days or weeks you’ll lose your Google rankings as you are constantly on the defence from other bloggers trying to get on top.
It’s no secret. You must have traffic to profit from blogs. There are numerous ways to build traffic.
A – Paid advertising
B – Free advertising
C – Viral marketing
D – Organic or search engine marketing
E – Social Media and word-of-mouth.
As a blogger, you should always have plenty of these traffic methods master. As a rule of thumb, always use your blog URL address in the signature of your email, forum discussions, message boards, or any other communication media.
Make it a habit to submit your blog URL address to search engines and blog directories. You should submit your RSS/XML URL feed to blog ping services like Technorati, Ping-O-Matic, and others.
Many people often ignore sharing their blog with family, friends, co-workers, associates, and business professionals. Many blogs can be considered as a collection of articles, for this purpose you should submit your blog entries (those that are valuable and lengthy articles) to content syndicators.
Once submitted your articles can be picked up and published by others. The trick is to make sure you include your Blog URL address in the About the Author passage.
What this does is create link popularity and backlinks for your blog, when someone picks up your article from the syndication then publish the article on their website the About the Author passage is included with each publication and the link you included is followed, crawled, and indexed by search engines.
Imagine if your article is popular enough or controversial enough to produce 10,000 publications across the web. The search engines are bound to find your blog in no time with that many publications and credit you quickly become an overnight authority on the topic, in return increasing your rank on search engines.
The small effort of writing a well-written article is rewarding. You should try to write at least 1 full-length article every week for syndication and submit your article to at least 10 article syndicators.
Track Your Blog
How do you know if your blog has traffic? Just because no one is leaving comments doesn’t mean your blog isn’t growing. Many visitors do not leave comments but they are returning visitors. I know it sounds crazy but with blogs, people are more interested in what you have to say! Many visitors do not comment on their 1st, 2nd, or 3rd time. Some do not comment at all but are active daily visitors.
Tracking your blog does not have to be overly sophisticated usually a simple free page counter like StatCounter.com or Active Meter will do the trick. Install (copy/paste) the code into the HTML of your blog template and start tracking your visitors.
It’s better to use a service which gives you advanced traffic analysis, such as keyword tracking information, referral information, and search engine information. Visitors, returning visitors, and unique visitors should be standard for any page counter service you choose.
Listen to Your Audience
I love Facebook groups, they offer an insight into your audience and when using the proper page counter begin to see how others are finding your blog and if through search engines then which keywords are being used to find your blog.
What this allows you as a blogger is to gout and start fencing those keywords so you can dominate them and If constantly your blog is being found by 1 or more keywords then focus your blog around those keywords to make it even more powerful. When writing entry titles and entries use the keywords as often as possible while keeping the blog legible and interesting.
Short & Concise
I must confess this article is almost 30 pages, and that is good sometimes. Aside from these skyscraper styled articles, save these lengthy articles as a once a week occurrence for syndication and publication on your blog entries should be short & concise (if you can help it).
Sometimes there are exceptions to the rule and you have no choice but to blog lengthy entries, but try to avoid this as much as possible. You do not want your blog entries to become hours of reading. Visitors like to easily find information and skim through your entries. It is good to be detailed and provide useful information, but do not include useless information or run away sentences that veer away from your topic. Stay keyword-focused.
Google Loves Multimedia Articles
Youtube blogging is here and if you are not using youtube to drive traffic to your blog, you are leaving money on the table. With Youtube as the second largest search engine, making sure that your blog posts are turned into both Video and podcasts is a surefire for traffic.
Make sure to embed Youtube videos in your articles even if it is not your video, as long as it is a related subject matter you should consider publishing it. Making sure that your Multimedia is non-advertising graphics, pictures, photos posted within your blog entries.
Not too much. One Video embed in a post is fine.
Personally, I use graphics sparingly to break content and can sometimes bring your blog to life.
Of course, the content of the blog is the most important aspect and you do not want to overshadow your content with graphics, but displaying graphics can add a bit of flair and spice to the blog.
Be choosy about your graphics and make sure they fit your entry topic. You should add content to the graphic, at least a caption. Original graphics, photos, pictures, and art is recommended.
Keep it Personal
A blog is most successful when it is kept personal. Try to include personal experiences which relate to the topic of your blog entry. Stay away from the business style of writing. Write with a more personal style and use first-person narratives. Do not write any of your entries as sales letters, instead share product reviews and personal endeavours.
Interact With Your Visitors
You now have the traffic you deserve. You should begin interacting with your visitors. Create a regular theme such as Monday Money Tip or Picture of the Week which entices your readers to look forward to each week. Sounds amateurish but I can bet you on it.
As a way of keeping up with my fans on my private facebook group, we have monthly earnings challenge which we later crown the big dawg in crashing it. this helps to generate fresh content ideas and as an administrator to the group, I use this as my scoping tool for training requirements of my Mastermind group.
Give your readers advance notice about a product, service, or topic which you are going to review and then talk about later. If you are into current affairs, the strategy is the same, say a Company CEO was scheduled to give a speech then in your blog you should state that you will discuss the speech and give your opinion after the speech airs. Comments will be very much appreciated.
Once your blog has gained some real momentum and your blog traffic is increasing then it is time to start thinking about turning your traffic into profit. You should use contextual advertising, like Google Adsense or Chitika.
Contextual advertising is usually text links which use the content of your blog to publish targeted ads on your blog. The payout is usually based on a pay-per-click model, meaning for every click an ad receives you are paid a small percentage of the profits. In addition to contextual advertising, it is good to also use graphical advertising such as BlogAds.com, Amazon.com or General Sponsored Advertising.
At the level of a professional blogger, you may want to team up with 1 or more other bloggers. This will create a more interesting and more powerful blog. The old saying two heads are better than one, more authors mean more advertising and exposure because each author will have a vested interest in the blog. The idea of a team blog is to make it profitable and rewarding for all authors while continuing to target the blog topic and keeping the blog interesting for visitors.
Following these blogging techniques should make your blogging experience much more rewarding. There is no guarantee that your blog will become popular or a household name, but the effort should at least put you one step closer.
Making money online is not an overnight experience like many may think, but making money online is definitely a foreseeable possibility. As well, growing popularity on the web is not an overnight experience, but through time, dedication, and persistence you will be rewarded with all the royalties of blogging.