Do you want to start a blog but don’t know where to start and what to write about?
Alternatively, have you already started a blog but can’t seem to generate enough website traffic to make any money?
We all start there and from time to time feel ourselves fall back into that sort of stagnation.
So, this post is intended to help some get started and elevate others for continued growth blogging for profit.
With any business venture start with a long term strategy. Pick a focus and stick with it.
- Positioning and Picking Your Niche
First, think about your blog’s positioning and what differentiates your content from others on the internet.
In my case, I have started whatsthebusiness.org to help any person start a business to become more creatively and financially independent. The site contains information to improve mindset, develop skills, and explore ideas all geared towards starting a new venture from the ground up. Although there are many companies doing something similar my niche is geared specifically towards technology professionals and content is centered around problem solving in a logical, procedural, and detailed oriented fashion so it confirms with how my niche market views the world. But, yours could be different depending on who you want to reach.
Once you have selected a differentiated topic and market, focus your writing on that for at least 3-4 months and ensure your focus that topic keyword in the post body and title in each post.
Take action and get feedback from the action you’re taking. Write about things you love and subjects that you bring up with your friends and family.
Research your competition in your niche and determine what they do well and determine what you can do better.
2. Setup and Design Website
Select your domain name that fits in with your niche and positioning. Don’t over think it too much as you can always change it if you want.
What defines your business is value you provide and not necessarily your sites name.
Setup with the right hosting and platform. In my case I selected DreamHost and WordPress.org. I started with WordPress.com but realized that the monetization options were really limited and required a premium subscription at startup. Therefore, I migrated sites and have never looked back since.
Create a traditional homepage instead of a feed landing page.
Credibility can be based on design. The design should look professional and match the blog positioning
Optimize your blog for mobile and validate multiple devices as if you site is not readable it will hurt your brand’s credibility.
Important aspects such as an easy to read font ensures that your website’s design doesn’t get in the way of building your reader base.
Don’t just publish articles and hope that people will read them. There is so much content online that yours will just get lost in the noise. Therefore, focus your time on a promotion plan and execution. Once you’ve determined where your most traffic originates from go all in on that source.
3. Post Promotion Plan
Spend 20% of time to create content and 80% of time promoting content.
Keep a word document with a list of promotion ideas and a spreadsheet or other task management application for promotion activities.
Define a specific target market and imagine specifically who you are writing to as you’re creating posts and following up with your reader base.
As you are writing a post proactively reach out to your subscribers or a new potential reader and ask if he or she would be interested in reading a post that you are working on. At that time you can also get feedback about your content or ideas for new posts.
Email is typically better than social media for traffic conversion as 1×1 is more personal.
Ensure there is a form on your site for readers to subscribe. As your build your email list create and send a regular newsletter to keep your community engaged and coming back to your site.
Signup for social media sites with your domain name. As you write new content post it regularly and continuously grow your social network.
Create multiple formats for your content such as Ebook, report, tutorial class, or something that encourages someone to subscribe
Post your content on social media sites such as: Facebook Groups and Instagram. The best platform for your site could take some trial and error but here are a few tips for which to select:
Instagram and Facebook are more viral by nature.
Google is a search platform that will help you build organic traffic. With google you can optimize your posts and continue to get traffic.
Youtube is the highest barrier to entry as taking videos take a long time. Some people don’t like getting in front of a camera, but it can be a good way to let your personality drive your brand.
Signup for an email marketing service so you can manage email addresses and get subscribers.
Create videos for every single post that you make and integrate videos and pictures with your blog content.
Create subscriber incentives. Provide something to offer them. People don’t want to keep up with news and updates. Offer something for free in exchange for their email address. Focus on growing and nurturing that list. Have some number in mind at the end of the year.
Eventually once you start to generate enough revenue hire someone to focus specifically on promoting so you can focus on strategic site growth.
4. Develop a Community
Regardless of positive or negative reply to all comments to increase engagement.
Form a blog alliance with other like minded people or sites that provide complementary content.
That way you can trade services (especially when you’re first starting out with on some or no revenue) and can help promote each other’s content.
Meet online or in person if possible with other bloggers to talk about blogging strategies and topics
5. Create Posting Schedule and Create Content that People Actually Need
Be disciplined and consistent about posting.
Create a content schedule for the whole year. Create a list of things that you would like to write about.
Millions of people every day are searching for
Do keyword research.
Use a tool like Keywords everywhere.
Pinterest – type in your topic if you look to the right you’ll find keywords that people are looking for.
Google Keyword Planner is a paid tool that you can use once you’ve used the
Spend most of your time writing about things people needs and some time writing about your hobbies and interests.
Pay per click
Sponsored content. A big company pays you to write a review
Give away. Instead of the company paying you they give it to you for free
Affiliate marketing. Top five favorite books you can link those books if you select the link and then they buy the book then you get a small commission of that product.
Sell your own digital products and services. E books, purchase a printable for a journal or workbook, online courses and trainings, membership websites. People provide a certain amount of money to get access to your content. with physical products or goods they get something tangible back it is more satisfying with a tangible product.
Your goal is to build trust with your audience
Start with display ads but have realistic expectations that initially you will not make much money initially.
Focus on the bigger picture. Wait to get a large amount of traffic so you can partner with premium ad networks.
Sponsored posts are where people will pay you to write articles on your blog. Sponsored posts can be great if you like a company’s products and want to build relationships.
Affiliate marketing is unique in that it allows you to sell a product. You can start with Amazon Associates. Everyone uses Amazon so its a good place to start.