Welcome to Part 1 of my ridiculously easy guide to stating a blog! I say ridiculously easy and I really mean it- easy with a capital E.
First things first, I’ve created a mini outline with checklists and worksheets to go along with this series. It’s designed to keep you on track and cover all your bases when it comes to creating a blog for business. Grab it here!
Looking for Part 2 on website setup and design? Skip to it here!
Now, I know there are literally HUNDREDS of articles on this topic because I see them everyday on fellow Blogger’s sites and Pinterest.
But, hey, it’s ok because each article about starting a blog is unique and takes a different approach to the blog start up process. And I hope once you have a mega-successful blog, you’ll write one too!
My main focus is centered around setting up a blog for people who are trying to blog for profit and live the “entrepreneurial life” online.
This guide talks a lot about finding your passion, choosing you niche and developing a blogging schedule that will help you stay on track.
The number one question people always ask when it comes to blogging is,
“Can you ACTUALLY make money blogging?“.
Followed by “HOW do you make money?”, and, of course, “how MUCH money can you make from blogging?“.
The answers are: YES, MANY WAYS, and, IT DEPENDS. Sorry, not that helpful, I know!
But it’s true- you can absolutely make money from blogging and you can do this through either:
developing and selling your own products and services, or
marketing somebody else’s products or services.
But before focusing on any money making, the most important thing to do with a baby blog is to GROW READERSHIP. Your audience will be the key to everything in your blogging life (according to the almighty blogging equation!)
Successful Blogging Equation
More readers = higher visibility = more trust & credibility = larger email list = more conversions = $$$$$$$.
AND, more readers = higher visibility = more trust & credibility = affiliate opportunities = marketing opportunities = $$$$$$$.
No matter how you square it, the number one key to building a successful blog is growing a loyal and engaged audience.
Now know you’re all thinking… “pfffttttt, easier said than done!“. And I agree. 100%. That’s why not everyone has a blog! If it were easy, everyone would be a blogger!
The other big obstacle newbie bloggers face is : TIME.
Blogging is not a get rich quick scheme- not even close actually! For every story you hear of someone having a breakout blog in only 3 months, you need to remember the HUGE amount of work and time that went into building that blog.
You have design, build, research and create great content to have a website that’s even worth visiting- and that is NOT easy.
Think of your blog as an investment. Sure it’s not paying you right away, but if you nurture it focusing on learning and growing, and if you learn when to call it quits or change direction on something that isn’t working- you can have an incredibly successful blog!
But, let’s lighten up a notch here – after all, this series isn’t only for serious bloggers. I want this 3 part series to help people who may only be blogging for hobby, or those of you who are totally on the fence and not yet sure if blogging is for you!
24-Hour Blogging Success Kit
Before getting into it, download the free 24 Hour Blogging Kit here. In this kit, I’ve put together worksheets, checklists, and all the info you’ll need to start your blog. Even if you’re dead set on a niche or you already have goals in your head, I promise if you work through this kit, you will have a much clearer idea of the blog you’re going to create!
Remember, the fun thing about blogging is that there is SUPER small start up cost making it a low risk adventure. Even if you start you blog and realize you really don’t love writing and it’s not as fun as you thought it would be – no problem – just stop! The startup cost is only around $20-$30 so don’t let money be an excuse for why you don’t start a blog today!
How to Choose a Blogging Niche
So today we’re going to focus is on 3 main things: discovering your passion, choosing your niche, and planning for your new life in the Secret Blogger’s Society (ha! I’m joking- but seriously, WAY more people blog than you know!).
**Parts 2 and 3 of this series will get a bit more technical with the domain, hosting and WordPress information to set up your blog.**
One of the main things people can get really stuck on (myself included) is choosing a niche. Either you have so many ideas that you’re having trouble narrowing it down, OR you don’t have enough ideas (or at least not enough information to write 500 blog posts on the subject!).
I’ve struggled with both of these issues in the past and let me tell you, they both take some time to work through! I wrote a post recently about how to choose a blogging niche, and I went into a TON of detail about what I call the 4 P’s:
Passion, Purpose, Popularity and Profitability.
I believe ALL of these are necessary to start a profitable blog, but at the beginning when you’re choosing your blogging niche, the main thing to keep in mind is passion and purpose.
When I was starting my first blog a few years ago, I wrote down everything I was passionate about and I started to see some main themes stand out: animals, health & fitness, entrepreneurship, and psychology.
My goal was to create a blog that would eventually provide me a steady income so I could pursue my entrepreneurial passions. So, the more I thought about it, psychology wasn’t something I was prepared to use as a blogging niche to make money. For one, I don’t know really know that much about it, and secondly, I wasn’t sure how, with my limited skill set, I could create something that other people would need.
The same thoughts went through my head for animals- huge passion in my life but not something I felt I could convey through a blog. That passion is a much more real, acute and tactile feeling for me.
After much humming and hawing, I ended up choosing health & fitness and ran with it (for a few months at least!). Eventually, I started noticing that I didn’t actually have that much to say! The tip off for me was that I wasn’t excited to get up and write every morning. I didn’t particularly look forward to sharing my beliefs, opinions and experiences with other people (which is kind of a key thing for bloggers!).
In less than one year, my blog failed. I was really disappointed with myself. I thought I wasn’t cut out for blogging and I started to totally lose motivation for the blogging and online entrepreneurial world.
Even through this (which was my second failed blog btw) I still had a nagging urge to create, write, design and communicate with other like-minded people. I really wanted to be able to develop my own product to help people and I still pictured blogging as the medium that was going to get m to me my goals.
So I went back to the drawing board and honed in to my passion of entrepreneurship. Did I have all the answer? Hell no. Sometimes, I still have no idea what to write about! But the great thing about starting a blog centered around your passion is that you will always be willing to learn.
When you feel like you’ve run out of things to say, you can get motivation from you personal experiences, hopes, fears and opinions.
So, start seriously thinking about your niche. As part of your 24 Hour Startup Blogging Kit, you’ll find a blogging niche checklist which covers all the info about the 4 P’s. Fill it out totally honestly and I guarantee it will make the struggle of choosing that perfect niche WAY easier! Not only will you be blogging about something you love, but you will also stay on track thinking about your audience and monetization strategies for the future.
OK, so fast forward……..
Now you have a niche you’re stoked to start blogging about you’re confident it’s going to be a huge hit with other people. Awesome!
It’s time to develop a blogging plan and set some serious goals my friends!
In your 24 Hour Blogging Success Kit, fill out your Blogging Biz Plan. This is where you need to get serious (and be brutally honest) about what you want from your blog, what your purpose is for starting a blog, and what you want your audience to get out of it. This is also time to start thinking about your writing schedule and set realistic expectations for yourself based on how much free-time you have to spend building your blog.
I know sometimes we are all guilty “Starting something new syndrome” where we get an idea in our head and want to jump right in- but I urge you not to do that! That’s a HUGE weakness for me and I have made the mistake of rushing into buying a domain name, setting everything up and then I sit down to write and I have nothing. Literally ZIP.
Not a good feeling!
The number one thing you need to grow a successful blog is : A PLAN.
You don’t want to be chugging along at full speed only to come to a dead stop when you overwhelmed- that won’t be good for your own mojo and it definitely won’t help develop a relationship with your audience if they can’t depend on your to publish reliable content!
So that’s it for part one of our mini series on building a success blog people will love! Have you downloaded your 24-Hour Blogging Success Kit? Grab it before part 2!