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Welcome my friends to the wonderful world of blogging. It doesn’t matter how far along you are in your journey at this point. Even if you’ve not done a single thing but stumble across this blog.
In fact, that might be even better, as you can follow these steps in order to ensure success.
Or maybe you’ve made a start and are feeling a little bit lost with everything you need to do. Read on and I’ll help you with each task step by step.
Work out your niche
This is so important as your first step. I know you just want to get started with writing, but you need to figure out who is going to read your blog.
Really break down who that person is, what they do, and what they need? This will help you figure out how to create content that your target audience won’t want to live without. Which, will in turn, lead to an engaged following that are talking about you and sharing your posts.
I’ve included within this free business planner a worksheet to help you drill down your niche in order to allow you to become an expert within your field. Plus other useful tools to create a successful blog. Click the image below to download your copy.
This isn’t particularly a crucial next step… but still a crucial step in the process. So I’d recommend you work out your branding before you go any further. Otherwise, you could end up duplicating your workload once you start putting your website together.
I learnt this the hard way and rebranded my website 3 times before even launching it. I promise you, you don’t have the time to waste on something like this.
Create a secret board on Pinterest and pin images with colours, patterns and fonts that work with your brand image. This will allow you to start building visual ideas, and working out what does and doesn’t work together.
I’ve included within the Free Ultimate Business Planner a mood board to help you with your branding. You can click here to get access.
For the logo design, if you’ve got the budget you can pass this over to a graphic designer. Sites such as Fiverr offer these services for as little as £5.
If your budget doesn’t allow for a graphic designer, you can use platforms such as Canva. This is an awesome tool that is really user friendly even for beginners. I use it to create all of my Pinterest Pins, and even updating my logo too.
The technical side
Some people can feel intimidated by this, but there’s honestly no need. Just run with what I’m saying and it should all start to make sense.
You will need a home for your blog, so you are best to have a website. I would highly recommend going through WordPress.org, NOT WordPress.com.
I read the wrong information when starting up my business and set myself up with WordPress.com. Once I was learning more about how to customize my site, I realized I had no control over how to make the site responsive. It was a huge waste of time and money to transfer everything over to WordPress.com. So start off the right way.
Don’t be like me.
With WordPress.org this is completely free as a platform, and you will have full control through the plugins that you install, and the hosting site you choose. I use Bluehost as my hosting site which I fully recommend. Prices start at £3.25 a month and includes your domain name within the cost. You can use my affiliate link here which I will be extremely grateful for.
In the process of working out your niche and completing the worksheet, you should have some good ideas about what your blog is going to be about. This has hopefully provided you with a few options for your website name. If possible try to use some of your keywords that also tells your audience what you’re about… While also being catchy and memorable.
Haha, yep not as easy as I’ve just made that sound! So don’t stress yourself out if that’s not possible, go with what you feel is right for your business.
Once you’ve decided on your killer domain name, now you need to check if this is available. You can easily do this through sites like GoDaddy.
You’ve decided on your branding, you’ve got your new website and domain name, now you need to make it look beautiful! For this, you’ll want a theme. The options of themes are endless and probably quite overwhelming.
I use Serenti on mine which I absolutely love, and it’s one of the free options. You will get a lot more with a paid option, but to date, I’ve not come across any limitations with my theme.
If you don’t have your own images for your website and blogposts there are multiple websites that offer free or paid stock images. My personal favorite for free stock images is Unsplash.
It’s time to get your head around the limitless amounts of plugins and which you will need for your site. Plugins are a must have, and they’re how you can optimize and personalize your website. Be aware though that they can slow your site down, which is bad for your Google ranking.
WordPress has updated its list of top Plugins for 2020 which you can read here.
A few (not all) that I personally use and love are;
- Rankmath – great for SEO
- Pretty Links – it does what it says, it makes your links look pretty
- Smush – compresses large images to speed up your site
- PinIt Button – allows users to easily share my content to Pinterest
You cannot get by without understanding SEO practices! It sounds daunting, but don’t worry, there is so much help available for this. I love Ubersuggest by Niel Patel. This is a really helpful tool for finding keyword suggestions, finding content ideas, see what your competitors are ranking for, and even backlink suggestions. The best thing is that it’s free!
Rankmath is brilliant for helping you rank higher on your SEO. They will rate your post out of 100. Your aim is to get as high as possible, but not to worry if it’s not 100. The plugin sits on the side of your page when writing directly in WordPress and offers you numerous action points to rank higher.
Using Google ads is great for finding keywords. You don’t need to pay for an ad, you can just go through the motions of placing an ad, and then you’ll be able to see the top searched keywords and questions for your posts.
Another SEO area to pay attention to if your planning on using Pinterest to promote your blog, is Pinterest itself. When searching your keyword in Pinterest, you will see a number of suggestions coming up underneath, so pay attention to these.
Pinterest is great as an SEO tool. Another tip for you, make sure you have a business account and this time go to place an ad in Pinterest. Similar to Google Ads this will provide you with a number of suggestions for your keywords as well as giving you content ideas.
See it’s not as tough as it sounds.
Actually first I want you to take some time to congratulate yourself for how far you’ve already come. That’s a lot of hard work you’ve just completed. Go treat yourself to a night out or something you enjoy to celebrate!
Ok, so you understand who your audience is and what they want to hear from you.
You’ve got your website set up with an on-point domain name, hosting and you’ve fully optimized it with plugins.
You’ve got your branding consistent, an amazing new logo and a beautiful theme.
You’ve conquered the world of SEO, and you’re ready to use this within all your content.
Firstly you’ll want to decide what pages you need on your website. These are some of the essentials you’ll want;
- Are you selling a service or product? Create a page for this.
- People buy from people, so you need an about me, (which is actually about your audience and what you can do for them.) Make sure to include a picture of yourself too, but not a selfie!
- A home page which tells readers about the business.
- Your blog page in which all your posts will be stored.
- A contact page so your audience can reach out to you
Finally, you’re ready to start blogging. Using the content suggestions you discovered through your SEO you should have some good ideas about what to write about.
Another great suggestion for coming up with content is to look at your what your competitors are ranking for, and make your post better. This is known as the Skyscraper method.
I would recommend writing a number of blogs to start with. Aim for about 10-15. This will set you up perfectly for Pinterest marketing. If you don’t have a blog planner yet, make sure to download my free Ultimate Business Planner as this is included, as well as a blog checklist. You can click here for this.
Learn to market your blog
You can, of course, place your blog on your social media channels and leave it like that, but how much traffic is that seriously going to drive to your website?
Decide which platform you want to market your blog on, and learn that well.
I would highly recommend Pinterest, and learning how to use it for business. Pinterest is not a social media platform, but an incredibly powerful visual search engine, and Pinterest users are pinning with the intention of buying.
You shouldn’t overlook Pinterest as a business tool for blogging. I’ve got a more in-depth introduction to using Pinterest for business you can check out here. This will even teach you how to become a Pinterest Manager if that’s something you’re interested in.
If you’d rather skip learning Pinterest strategy, you can hire a professional to do it for you. I know a wonderful Pinterest Manager that happens to have special discounts to thank those of you taking the time to read my blogs. Click here to go to my services page to start working together. Just mention the word Rodney in your message to me and I’ll hook you up with your discounted rate.
Monetizing your blog
Are you looking to make money from your blog? If so, you will want to learn about affiliate marketing. My best advice to you is to have this set up from the very beginning.
If you’re utilizing Pinterest correctly, there’s a very strong chance your blog will be showing up in people’s feeds pretty quickly. This means if you don’t have your affiliate links already in place on your blogs, you’re missing out on potential income.
Another route to monetize your blog is with the use of ads. Google Adsense is a good place to start while you’re still building traffic to your blog. The more traffic you start getting to your website the better the programs are that you can apply for.
A further way to monetize your blog is to create digital products to sell to your audience such as ebooks or online courses.
Check out this blog by Suzi Whitford who’s brilliant. I’ve purchased some of her courses which are incredibly helpful, and don’t worry, you don’t need to be a mum to gain value from it. I’m certainly not. Find it here.
So that was a hell of a journey you’ve just gone through! But now you’re ready my friends to reach out to your target audience and start working towards that life you’ve been dreaming of.
Don’t forget your ultimate business planner to help you get started with all of this.