Hello you! So, you want to start a blog and make money? I want to spend some time today focusing on some of the key elements you require to get your blog up and running in 10 days or less.
Starting a blog is a lot like eating an Elephant (not literally of course) which reminds me of the famous saying “how do you eat an Elephant? In small bite-sized chunks.”
So this post is going to break up that Elephant into small manageable pieces and here’s why.
None of us has the leisure of sitting behind a computer for hours, days or even weeks on end to accomplish tasks. However, we can spend an hour here and there to slay our goals.
Before I approach these tasks I want you to consider the big reason why you want to start a blog.
Everyone gets into blogging for different reasons so take the time right now to write down 7 reasons why you believe you need to start a blog this year.
1. Start a Blog Mindset
As you have written down your reasons you will probably have on your list things like wanting to change the world, communicate a message, make it your career, earn passive income, do something in your spare time, etc. I have no problem with any of these reasons at all.
Blogging takes a certain level of commitment to reap the rewards. Starting a blog can seem quite easy when compared to the journey that lies ahead which can be 5-10 years.
Blogging is not a 100-meter dash but it is more like a marathon that can last a lifetime. I am guilty myself, in the past, of starting many blogs expecting quick results.
Most importantly having the right mindset is the key to success when it comes to blogging. What mindset? One of adding value to the audience, building lasting relationships, instilling trust and changing lives.
Thinking of blogging as gaining new best friends. Think about this, how long does it take for you and someone else to become best friends? Months? Years?
Once you approach the whole exercise of blogging as creating lasting friendships then your mindset will be ready to start a blog.
Another key element before you get started is finding your purpose. If you know your purpose then it becomes so much easier to get started as a blogger.
2. Skills + Talent + Hobby = Passion
One of the key elements of becoming a successful blogger is understanding your strengths and what you are good at communicating with your audience.
Take the time to make a list of your skills like the things that you learned in school or other types of formal education. You may have learned some skills via informal education as well.
Think of those things that you have been doing from a very young age without any kind of training.
I remember my son had the interest an ability to make bows, arrows and quivers. It was just something he enjoyed doing every single day with his friends.
Children know how to play no one thought them. As they socialize with their peers they develop skills and make friends quite naturally.
They can be great vloggers because all they need is a video camera and watching them interact can be quite entertaining.
Most of us tend to do some specific things in our spare time. What are those things that you do in your spare time which are the ones you enjoy the most?
I have a friend who is really good at hiking and navigating. I just follow their lead whenever we are out hiking as I have no idea where we are going.
I trust this friend because we never get lost. We always find our way back to civilisation after several hours in nature.
What is that one thing that you love to do in your spare time? This one thing may be the key to your passion.
3. Profitable Niche
Before you can start a blog you need to find a profitable niche. After you have written down your skills, talents, interests and found your passion which by the way could be 3-5 things then you need to figure out which one of those can turn a profit.
Part of the process of figuring out which niche will be profitable for you is choosing a business model that works for your ideal lifestyle.
By business model I mean do you want to be 100% actively generating this income by exchanging time for money or do you prefer a large percentage of the income to be passive?
Researching a profitable niche is quite a lengthy process for this reason I created a video course where you can look over my shoulder as I go through the motions of uncovering profitable niches.
Depending on your business model you can go to various sites where your potential audience is already hanging out.
The goal is to see what questions your audience is already asking what feedback they are already giving about the products and services that are available in these niches.
Yes, there are other people offering products and services in your profitable niche but because you have a purpose no one will deliver a product or service quite the same way that you do.
I have included a list of research sites in my start your blog video course so you can enrol in the course and go through the exercise of finding your very own profitable niche.
4. Find a Domain Name
Once you have narrowed down your research to 2-3 niches and you understand your business model you will need to secure a domain name that is representative of the niche and what you do.
Finding the perfect domain name can be quite a daunting experience and it can also be a very lengthy process.
The reason for this is because many of the ‘best’ domain names of been taken and being resold for a higher price.
In your search for a domain name you will realise that there are so many top-level domains (TLDs) like .com, .net, .org, .us, club, .co, .co.uk, etc.
How on earth are you supposed to know which TLD is best for the long-term? If you have an exit strategy for your blog where you plan to sell it in 5 years time.
Finding the perfect domain name becomes even more important as you need a sellable domain name as well.
I did cover this topic in a previous blog post, 7 Surprising Secrets to Choosing your Next Domain Name.
I also cover it at length during my start a blog video course so I am not going to spend any more time with it on this post to bore you to death but just to remind you that the top three TLDs to focus on are .com, .net and .org.
5. WordPress Hosting
After securing your passion, profitable niche, business model and domain name then it is time to find a hosting company where your blog will be stored.
Unless you are technically gifted and you are able to code your entire site from scratch then I would suggest looking at starting your blog on a blogging platform also known as a content management system (CMS).
There are several blogging platforms to choose from like WordPress.com, Blogger, Medium, Wix, WordPress.org (self-hosted) and Squarespace.
They all come with their pros and cons. However, my favourite is WordPress.org as it gives me more flexibility compared to all the others listed.
I already covered finding a WordPress host extensively in another post as well as in my start a blog video course so you can take a look at what is covered there.
As a reminder, the nine things you need to look for in your WordPress hosting provider are SSL, SSD, storage size, Cpanel, WordPress expertise, email, support, migration and bandwidth.
6. WordPress Theme
Next item on the list is choosing a theme for your blog. This one can be a bit tricky but it all depends on your taste, your niche, your ability to work with themes and your budget.
There are over 10,000 themes to choose from and they can be free, paid or long-term subscription. There are some good free themes available and some of them tend to be niche specific.
Free themes are not very flexible so they can be restrictive in terms of what you can do to customise them to suit your requirements.
Paid themes offer more flexibility and they come with the added benefit of support from the developer. It may sound scary but trust me when I say it takes a little bit of practice to find your way around WordPress.
You can easily start with a free theme then work your way up to a paid theme. If you can afford it then go for a paid theme because you can customise your blog to your taste.
Some popular free themes are called ‘Freemium’ because these themes are free but give you some elements that can be found in the paid version. Check out these 65+ Freemium themes.
7. WordPress Install
So let’s do a quick recap of where we are so far on this journey to start a blog. We have the following:
- Profitable Niche
- Domain name
- WordPress host
- WordPress theme
The next obvious step is installing your WordPress blog. Some may argue that you need to work on your content first before installing the blog because after installation your blog will be empty.
The truth is that it is up to you which step you prefer to do first the site or the content. I have been doing this for many years and I personally prefer to install the site before I generate the content.
As part of the installation process, you would need to point your domain name to your hosting provider.
Once that is complete you can log into your hosting provider and take advantage of their one-click install of WordPress ensuring that you use a very secure username and password so that you reduce the risk of being hacked.
After installing you will need to look at plugins which is what I cover next.
As this is a blog post it would be too complex to cover a step by step installation in one go so feel free to enrol in the start your blog 10-day challenge to get a video tutorial on installing WordPress.
8. The 6 Essential Plugins
What on earth are plugins? Well, they are these pieces of software that you add on to your WordPress installation to give it enhanced functionality and analytics.
Some of these include tracking the visitors to your blog, tracking the speed of your blog, adding a layer of security to reduce the risk of getting hacked.
There are also plugins that speed up your blog’s performance, as well as those that give you the ability to back up your blog, etc.
There are over 10,000 plugins to give you all sorts of bells and whistles as well as peace of mind. You spent so much time getting to this point so isn’t nice to know that your efforts are not in vain?
Here are the 6 essential plugins types:
- Contact form
You can take a look at my specific recommendations in the 10-day start a blog course which is free for the first 50 attendees so you don’t have anything to lose by enrolling today.
If you are one of my regular readers then you stand a chance of being one of my first 50 attendees.
9. The 5 Important Pages
One of the key ways of setting your blog apart from all the other bloggers out there is having the correct pages on your blog so that it gets indexed properly in the search engines.
Unfortunately, we need to depend on search engines, social media platforms and many other places where our audience hangs out in order to get traffic to our blogs.
As a result, we need to ensure that our blog meets their minimum requirements so that they will look kindly on our efforts and reward us by indexing our blog in the search engines.
The 5 most important pages are:
- About Us
- Contact Us
- Home Page
Yes, there are some legally required pages on all blogs and you do need to seek final advice from your attorney or lawyer.
However, in the 10-day start a blog course, I go through some quick and easy ways to get these legal pages up with very little hassle as an interim solution.
10. Writing Your First Post
After completing the 9 steps above it is time to write your first blog post. Here is a quick video that explains very nicely how to write your perfect post.
It obviously does not cover things like what you should include in your title. The length of sentences paragraphs and subheadings but at least it teaches how to make it more human.
You can learn more about the structure of your first post and word count in the start your blog 10-day challenge while it is free (first 50 students only).
If you have any other pertinent questions or queries remember that you can comment on this blog post and I will reply to genuine comments and questions within 24 hours.
How To Make Money Blogging?
There are so many ways to make money blogging that I have written five posts about it so here is the low down.
Adsense is a great way to start running ads on your blog but if you don’t like this program check out these 33 Adsense alternatives to see what you may like.
Ads and affiliate marketing are not the only ways to make money blogging so to help you see the potential here are another 37 ways to monetise your blog.
It covers blogging for beginners, showing you how to become a blogger, offering blog niche ideas with 20+ HD videos and over the shoulder tutorials.
If you need help setting up your profile on Pinterest or you need someone to manage your Pinterest account on a monthly basis you can work with me here.