The Basics of Blogging: How To Build, Grow, and Monetize Your Blog in 2017

The Basics of Blogging: How To Build, Grow, and Monetize Your Blog in 2017

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You’ve read some of the success stories.

You’ve heard you can make a living through blogging.

You’ve also heard it’s easy to get started but have no idea where to start and so.many.questions.

Congrats. You’ve taken the first step in officially finding out if blogging is the next step in your life’s journey.

Blogging has been a brilliant gateway for many entrepreneurs to use their creative skills and make a living from home while escaping the often life draining 9-5.

To find out if blogging is for you and get started blogging successfully, I’ve put together an intro to everything blogging just for you. It has been separated into comprehensive sections you can navigate through in the Table of Contents so you can skip to parts and read at your own pace. ahead to find out what it takes to start, grow, and monetize your blog

Go ahead. Find out what it takes to start, grow, and monetize your blog 😊.

 

Table of Contents
The Who, What, When, Where and Why of Blogging

How Do You Set Up A Blog?
3 Key Points To Think About When Starting Your Blog
Ways To Market, Grow, + Build Your Authority
The Successful Blogger Mindset
How Do You Monetize A Blog
Myths and Bonus Tips
Bloggers in The Blogosphere
Resources

 

The Who, What, When, Where, and Why of Blogging

So what exactly is blogging anyway?
A blog is simply another word for a website that you update frequently.

Blogs have seen a rise in popularity over recent years. Fast forward to today and you’ve got some serious bloggers making a serious impact out there (not to mention serious money).

Here are some specific benefits and reasons for starting a blog:

  • You can work from home marketing your skills in a particular field (are you good at marketing products/services? Are you good at teaching others how to knit? How to house train their dog? The possibilities are endless)

 

  • Your blog can serve as an online resume of who you are, your skills, and what you’re offering to the world which can be easily accessed by virtually anyone in the world. No logging in or being part of a social network needed.

 

  • If you are a freelance writer/freelance graphic designer/web designer/photographer and need an easily accessed portfolio that can gain quick and easy exposure through a blog to showcase your work.

 

  • Your blog can serve as an online platform with major audience potential for your unique insights and ideas

 

What can you blog about that can be monetized?

Virtually anything. There are blogs out in the blogosphere that are built around food, gardening, paleo diets, health and fitness, beauty, celebrity gossip, marketing, short stories, writing, publishing books, photography, party organizing, the list goes on…and on.

But, keep in mind, a few blogging topics can be easier or more prone to monetization than others, like finance or parenting or frugal living blogs.

Who can be a blogger?
Anyone with a computer, internet connection, and basic computer skills can start a blog from anywhere at any time (duh, right?). No special qualifications or certified expertise of any kind is needed.

Now—

Who should be a blogger?

Usually, people who want to blog for a living are looking to take advantage of the benefits that successful blogging can offer. These include:

  • working the hours and amount of time they choose
  • essentially being their own boss
  • making free time for the important people/things in their life
  • being creative by applying and managing their own ideas and know how
  • A chance to develop their online marketing and entrepreneurial skills and tendencies

If any or all the points above resonate with you, then starting a blog could be a good fit for you. It’s one of if not the best online marketing tool out there for selling your products or services.

Why?

It’s a way to keep an audience constantly engaged with your brand, aware of your brand, and buying what you have to offer in a more personal way because you’re constantly publishing content that gives your intended audience value and in turn builds trust.

Why does blogging work so well?

As opposed to having static pages on a site that never change and only get updates once in a while, blogs are popular due to their interactivity and constant new content.

They are often hub spots for conversation, learning, and idea sharing.

Blogs are highly personable and are a great way to build great relationships with an audience. Bloggers have control over what they post, when they post it, and how, depending on their message and their blogging goals. This makes for a highly personable platform that is easier to relate to than a generic brand.

The blogging success formula

Basically, if you come up with something of value, present it to the world in a desirable way that builds trust, and get it in front the right people constantly, you’ve got a blog that stays afloat and thrives.

So four things:

  • Offering value
  • Growing your Tribe
  • Marketing
  • Consistency.

The concept is simple, though putting it in practice is the more challenging part and where it gets most beginners.

Now, the next few steps are all about figuring out the logistics of setting up your blog.

How Do You Set Up Your Blog?

To bring your blog to life, there are about 4 steps we will need to take:

1.Decide Your Blogging Goal
2. Create your blog domain name

2. Get hosting
3. Install WordPress
4. Pick a Theme
5. Publish Your First Post

1) Decide Your Blogging Goal


This can often be the hardest part of the blogging journey, understandably so. The most usual worries are that your blog topic (or as they like to call it ‘niche’ is too broad or too narrow.

The best way to find out if either is true is to simply start. As you go, you’ll get feedback from your readers, and see what’s working at what isn’t.

A few points to keep in mind when choosing your blog ‘niche’:

  • Make sure you’ll enjoy writing and creating content about it extensively, otherwise you’re bound to give up halfway through your blog journey.
  • Choose something you are ‘passionate’ about. One of the main goals of blogging is to become a well-known authority in your niche and without real passion, it will be hard to get there.
  • Keep in mind that some blog topics are easier to monetize than others because they have a bigger audience interested in that niche. For example, your blog might get more readers if you blog about frugal living than if you blog about knitting blankets

Sometimes, as you blog and get feedback, you’ll find the man idea you start with is shifting into a completely different topic or taking a different direction. That’s perfectly fine and part of your blogging journey, but it’s always good to start with a solid foundation.

2) Create Your Blog Domain Name


This is one step you might have already spent a lot of time thinking about.

Maybe you already have your name. Maybe not quite yet. If you don’t, it’s time to brainstorm a little bit (or a lot a bit).

Thinking up a good name with solid words that are fitting to your overall blog idea/philosophy/mission is a must. A few ways you can go about finding inspiration to do this are:

  • Business name generators
    • Shopify’s name generator. It not only helps you generate a name with your keywords it also checks if the domain name hasn’t been taken up and is available for use. Give it a try if you are stuck on name ideas!
    • BizNameWiz is another option. They are a quirky business name generator that gives you tons of ideas and also tells you if the domain name is available for use.
    • Namemesh does just that. Type in a few keywords and it “meshes” them for you in a lot of ways to help you find that legit name.
  • Journaling is something I’ve found helpful in coming up with names and ideas. While you write, for example, about all your blog goals and dreams and the people you want to help it can stimulate the naming process and help you come up with better + more unique ideas.

You want to make sure your blog name is memorable, easy to read, not cluttered, and not too long. For instance, it’s not the best idea to make it a name with a number if that number might not be relevant or change in the future.

2) Get Hosting


But what exactly is hosting?

Your blog is a website. All websites online are visible because they are stored in something called ‘servers’ which a hosting company provides. Servers function as enablers that provide the technology for your website to be viewed online + interacted with by the rest of the world.

Bluehost is a reliable host I’ve found works great for my blog.

It’s been surprisingly easy to use. If I run into any trouble I just shoot them an e-mail and they’ve been great with responding.

The point that caught my attention from Bluehost the most?

Price.

Before starting any of this blogging journey, I had always been under the impression that hosting was going to be so. Expensive.

Yet another headache I would have to deal with when thinking through the logistics of actually getting my creative blog up and running.

But I was wrong.

It’s more affordable than I had freaked out over.

You can easily get started with Bluehost and follow along.

The payment breakdown is pretty straight forward. You can choose your plan according to your blogging ambitions (do you want to run one blog or multiple? Will you be uploading a lot of content that will need lots of web space?) and how much your budget allows you to invest.

For starters, I’d recommend the basic 12-month plan because of how affordable it is. As you scale and your blog gets bigger, or you decide to host additional blogs, you can always change your plan accordingly later.

One great thing about Bluehost is that you can register your domain name right there and then for free, no need to go through third parties. If you’ve already registered a name through another site, Bluehost gives you the option of signing up with your existing domain.

Wait, what is a domain name?

A domain name is an online name with which you can open a website and an e-mail address under. If you register a domain, this does not automatically generate a website. You will need to make a website whose address will be the domain name you register.

This is why domain names are often referred to as your ‘web address.’

After filling out payment, domain, and account info and finalizing your account they will send you a welcome e-mail with links to your Bluehost account.

Below is your Bluehost account dashboard where you can manage your hosting plan, change your settings, check your Bluehost e-mail and lots of other stuff. I remember being overwhelmed by all the options laid out in front of me. Don’t be!

With a little practice, you will get used to it soon enough and you’ll be able to navigate it seamlessly.

Now, In the last section labeled ‘website’ you will see an ‘Install WordPress’ link.

Once you click on it, it will take you through the steps of installing WordPress and coming up with your WordPress password and username.

3) Get Started With WordPress


WordPress = A powerful tool for bloggers.

It’s currently one of the world’s leaders in website creation and is used by big names like NASA and The Harvard Business Review. If you are interested in learning more intriguing stats on WordPress here is a cool article.

That is not to say it won’t seem daunting when you first access your WordPress dashboard. But…

don’t grow frustrated and give up if you don’t understand something when you first log in.

Keep in mind there are hundreds of resources out there that are jam-packed with information that you can reach with the click of a mouse.

I’ve put together an extensive introduction to blogging with a table of contents that goes through the initial stages and everything you need to know. At the very end there is an extensive list of resources that you can use to learn more about the different part of blogging.

When I first started with WordPress it took me hours to learn what each thing did and how to modify widgets and apps and plugins. Because I am passionate about the creativity that goes into blogging, marketing, and building online businesses, it didn’t necessarily feel like work to me—though I do wish I would have been more resourceful in finding information instead of hours of learning through trial and error.

Sometimes though, that’s what it will take :).

As we move on,

If you followed step 2 you are now all set up to log in to your WordPress dashboard by typing in the following URL:

www.[yoursitename].com/wp-admin/

Once you log in you will be greeted by your very own WordPress dashboard that’ll look something like this:

4) Pick A Theme


It’s time to pick your theme. But first, what IS a theme?

A theme is the framework of your blog. It is the template that your blog posts will go into.

Before you go about picking a theme you want to have a pretty good idea of the angle of your blog.

Will it have a more feminine and girly design approach?
Will it have a crafty and colorful approach?
Maybe you are aiming for a more serious monochromatic approach with less color?

The type of blog you want to create is a deciding factor in the theme you choose.

With a simple Google search for blog themes you can find thousands of options. You always want to make sure you do your research before settling into one.

You wouldn’t want to go through the additional hassle to have to change themes in the future if you happen to see that one theme that was perfect but you didn’t spend enough time searching for.

Make sure your theme is ‘mobile responsive’ which means that your site will be modified to fit a phone screen instead of staying in the original format of a desktop computer screen.

This is vital when a lot or most of your blog traffic will be through phone navigation. Your audience will not hesitate in leaving your site if the text runs off the page or is difficult to see.

Your audience will not hesitate in leaving your site if the text runs off the page or is difficult to see.

When I searched for a theme I wanted a dynamic page with an overall clean design. After lots of searching, I decided on a theme from WPZoom for a decent price. Click on the link and check out their options for any theme ideas that might be up your ally. I don’t really remember how I ended up on

You can click on the link and check out their options for any theme ideas that might be up your ally. I don’t really remember how I ended up on WPZoom but when I saw my theme I knew it was the one!

They are quite responsive with their customer service through e-mail and have promptly addressed any questions I had about working and modifying anything I need. They’ve even helped me with modifying code (which I’m completely illiterate in) to change certain parts of my site.

As a beginner, it is up to you to judge which theme option is best for your unique needs.

While going with a free theme is an option, you will be limited in how much you can personalize it to fit your blogging needs.

Are design and creative control really important to you? Do you primarily need a place where you can post solid content without worrying about aesthetic too much? These are just some of the things to consider.

You can also have a custom blog made from scratch. If you are a beginner with not a lot of initial start-up money to invest, it’s probably best to stick to pre-made themes for now.

After picking your theme and installing it on WordPress (each should bring directions in how to do so) you are ready to publish your first blog post.

5) Publish Your Very First Post!


Wow. Look at you!

You’ve made it this far… time to publish your goods.

Now, when you first see your dashboard, on the left-hand side you will see a list of options.

First you want to click on ‘Post.’

And then click on ‘Add New.’

You’ll be greeted by a blank page ready to be filled with your awe-inspiring content. After typing it out, on the right-hand side, click on the ‘Publish’ button.

Then click on the button right above publish named ‘Preview’ to see a preview of your post!

 

There you have it! Your first post!

Take Note: Your site might not look exactly how you want from the very beginning. it took me hours of redesigning and placing different elements on my blog to get it to the point where I was satisfied with the look.

3 Key Points to Think About When Starting Your Blog

Starting a blog without any strategy is planning to fail from the start.

Consider these 3 important questions before diving into blogging head first:

Audience

When you write and create content for your blog, who will it be directed towards? One of the biggest mistakes brand new bloggers make is saying “I want to appeal to everyone.”

Why can’t you appeal to everyone?

It’s nearly impossible to appeal to “everyone” because everyone has different goals, likes, and are looking for different things. When producing content for an audience to consume, getting as specific as possible will help you target a specific audience and capture their attention in a way that builds more loyal followers.

Initially it seems counter intuitive to aim to build content for a specific audience. Why would you want to limit the reach of people for your blog? As you read on, you’ll see how this actually makes more business sense. Now, as you work on finding out what audience you will make content for through your blog the term ‘niche’ comes into play.

Niche

It’s time to define your niche.

What exactly is a niche?

A proper definition of niche in BusinessDictionary.com is:

“Concentrating all marketing efforts on a small but specific and well defined segment of the population. Niches do not ‘exist’ but are ‘created’ by identifying needs, wants, and requirements that are being addressed poorly or not at all by other firms, and developing and delivering goods or services to satisfy them. As a strategy, niche marketing is aimed at being a big fish in a small pond instead of being a small fish in a big pond.”

Though it might sound counterintuitive, reducing your target audience and ‘niching down’ increases your chances of success because it reduces competition (of which there’s lots) and makes you more visible as a blogger.

For example: A blog that is all about baking and concentrates on targeting people that are into baking has a much better chance at succeeding online than a blog that is about baking + firefighters + dog training + painting all in one.

The word ‘niche’ doesn’t have to be intimidating. As an example, a broad niche could be a blog on makeup. A more specific niche would be a blog on wedding makeup. And an even more specific niche could be a blog on chemical free and organic wedding makeup.

Usually, the more specific your blog niche is, the better the chances of success.

What niche will your blog cater to?

Branding

Branding is a big puzzle piece in growing and sustaining a successful blog. Branding your blog correctly and consistently is important because it builds familiarity, trust, and likeability with your blog audience.

A formal definition of branding, according to BusinessDictionary.com is:

“The process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumers’ mind, mainly through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme. Branding aims to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers.”

Branding involves logo, brand values, brand colors, interaction with customers, mission, vision, and message, just to name a few. Branding is not only what you see (colors, and logo) but the experience you give your customers and what you make them feel.

In your blog’s case, how will you decide to brand it in a way that aligns with your blog goals and your target audience?

Take Note: I’ve included some resources in the last section to help you navigate through the process of figuring out audience, niche, and branding in more detail.

Take Extra Note: It’s always a good idea to draw up a blog business plan. It doesn’t have to be fancy and it can help you get your thoughts in order and process your blogging visions much better.

Ways to Market, Grow, and Build Your Blog Authority

You have a blog now what?

You’ve put in the work, picked your niche, and done your research.

It’s time to market the heck out of your blog and grow your audience. And don’t forget building authority in your blog niche as well. The top three ways to gain visibility as a brand new blogger are:

  • Building an email list
  • Being active on social media
  • Guest posting/Networking
  • Joint Webinars

Email lists for dummies

Let’s start with the e-mail list.

Your blog’s ‘lungs’ is a constantly growing email list. Without it, it chokes and dies. But seriously.

An email list is just that, a list of emails. What you DO with the list is what matters.

The way you go about collecting those emails is in the form of email opt-ins. Have you ever visited a site only to be surprised by a pop-up in the middle of your screen giving you something for free in exchange for your email address? That’s essentially how websites collect emails. Sometimes it’s in the form of pop-ups, sometimes you’ll see it on website sidebars or at the bottom of a page. If you see them on a site that means it’s most likely ran by a smart blogger that knows collecting your email will ultimately mean their revenue. 🙂

Ever heard the saying “The money is in the list?”

Cheesy but true. Your audience is your money. And your list is your audience.

As you grow and collect a list of emails you can then be in constant contact with them by sending them things like updates on your latest blog posts. To nurture and grow an email list, you constantly try to send your blog audience value.

Email marketing is an art. It’s a lot more than just writing one email newsletter a month and clicking send. There are best practices and methods used by the best in the industry that garner results.

I’ve included some resources at the end of this guide to get you started.

Being Active on Social Media

After setting up a blog, the second biggest hurdle you’ll encounter is getting traffic to your site and getting people to interact with, like, and share your content.

This is where you can leverage social media outlets to let people know that your blog exists and grow your brand awareness. Some of the most popular, of which you’ve already heard of and use, like:

  • Pinterest
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Stumble Upon
  • Tumblr
  • Reddit
  • LinkdIn

Are great ways to engage with potential readers and blog followers. As with everything in blogging, each has their own set of best practices to maximize the time invested on each. I’ve included additional guides at the end of this post to help get you started.

Take Note: Every blogger, new or old, warns of this: Stay away from trying to be active on ALL social media sites. Two things will happen:

  1. You will get burnout (believe me, it will happen)
  2. You’ll spread yourself so thin that your content and online presence will suffer

 

Instead, try to master 2-3 social media platforms. Learn them well, and use them as best as you can. It will work tons better. It’s better to have an engaged following on two or three platforms than a chock full of semi interested people on 10 platforms.

Guest Posting + Networking

What is a guest post?

A guest post is a post written by you that another blogger agrees to publish on their site.

Guest posting and networking is best explained with a scenario:

You (the brand-new blogger) find another blogger with more experience and a much bigger following that you want to connect with. You decide to comment on their post gushing with admiration for their value-packed content and thank them. You eventually go on to contact them via email and start building up a gradual (non-creepy) blogger friendship.

As you grow more comfortable with each other, you can then email them and pitch an idea to publish a guest post on their site.

Because of the friendship and trust you have both built up, the blogger says ‘of course!’

What does this do?

Guest posting is a genius move and is something you should aim to do often if you are trying to get more blog visibility. The genius in guest posting is that, after you get permission from a more established blogger than you (and built that connection through proper networking) you publish your content on their site to their audience. All of a sudden you’ve introduced yourself to hundreds if not thousands of more views by publishing your work on another established blogger’s site. This works because you’ll be able to add links to your post and include an author bio that point back to your blog.

If your guest post is good, that blogger’s readers will naturally grow curious and click on your link to check out more of your work.

Joint Webinars

Joint Webinars is great growth method that big blogs like Femtrepreneur used early on in their growth to grow their audience. A joint webinar is the same idea as a guest post, except that it’s in video form instead. Doing a webinar with another established blogger does the same thing as a guest post: It gets you in front of the audience that another blogger has already grown and hopefully you turn them into your audience as well.

The Successful Blogger Mindset

What makes a successful blogger?

It’s not an exact science. Though, effective bloggers usually share some powerful habits and traits such as:

  • constantly learning
  • good habits
  • consistent
  • self-disciplined
  • good writing skills

As with everything, all of these traits can take practice to strengthen and make better. As a blogger, you can often struggle with self-discipline. It might take some trial and error to find your right balance. And that’s ok.

Check out Keys of the Greatest: 13 Habits of Succesful Online Bloggers to read more about what it takes to be an effective blogger.

The Gist of the successful blogger mindset is: Give Value First. Sell After.

Ask yourself:

Why should people listen to you?

How can you get their attention?

How can they trust you and what you offer?

How can they know that they want what you offer?

You don’t want to be the blogger who immediately starts selling something up front. You first want to provide as much value as possible before ever trying to convince someone to buy from you. It’s a simple marketing principle that will help ensure your blog thrives.

How do you provide value? There isn’t one way. Many bloggers provide value through valuable posts that solve a problem, free value-packed info, free email courses, free e-books, etc.

You have to learn to give plenty before you can ever expect anything in return. This works not only when you’re selling but when you’re networking and making connections with other bloggers in your niche as well.

Realistic Expectations

Becoming a successful blogger takes time, period. Whoever tells you otherwise is misleading you big time. While it doesn’t have to take years to start making money off your blog, it can take a couple of months of hard work up front without seeing any real return right away.

This is where many bloggers get discouraged and give up on their blogs. They lack the discipline and the perseverance to get over setback often because of unrealistic expectations.

Your blogging success depends directly on your discipline and perseverance. 😊

How Do You Monetize Your Blog?

A blog is nothing more than a stagnant online journal you happen to own if you don’t otherwise decide to monetize it and turn it into a business. So, how exactly can you start earning money from your blog? A few ways are:

  • Affiliate marketing
  • Sponsored posts
  • Ads (the least recommended route)
  • Selling courses
  • Selling e-books
  • Webinars
  • Membership sites
  • Selling personal services
  • Podcast sponsorships

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is when somewhere in your blog content there is a specific link to a product or service that a business assigns to you after applying for it. If someone happens to click on it and make a purchase, you as the blogger get a percentage of that sale as commission.

There is a whole art and process to affiliate marketing. I’ve posted some resources below to help get you started on the exact affiliate marketing process if you feel like that’s the blogging monetization route you’d like to try.

Sponsored Posts

Sponsored posts are usually directly tied to your site views. The more views your blog gets the more likely you’ll be accepted or invited by companies to write sponsored posts. Sponsored posts are either pitched to a company as an idea by the blogger or they can be sent on behalf of the company as an invite to review their product. This monetization strategy is usually dependent on blog influence and page views.

As an example, say a company has sponsored your lifestyle blog to do a review on their new laundry soap. The sponsor will send you the product to try and you then publish a review on your blog about the product. In return, the soap company pays you.

Ads (the least recommended route)

There are many companies out there like Google Adsense that will do the job—sometimes accepting your blog after the application process even with low page views. Ads don’t have a high payout especially if you’re just starting out as a blogger and have low page views. Since they have become so commonplace for many sites, the revenue everyone has the potential to make on ads has gone down. Adding ads to your blog can be detrimental to your blog—especially if it’s not lucrative enough to justify the use. I go more in depth about ads and why it’s the least recommended route in the bonus tip section.

Selling Courses

Many bloggers put together online courses through site like Teachable. This is one of, if not the best, way to monetize and market your skills through your blog.

You can teach an endless amount of skills and know how as long as there is a demand for it. There are courses out there on anything from organizing your gmail account to building mini campers.

Selling E-books

Writing and selling e-books is yet another route to making money through your blog. Many bloggers have found success online by honing in on their writing and marketing skills and self-publishing and selling e-books. Jeff Goins is a great example of this as he’s published several books and his blog has been a huge part of his success.

Webinars

Webinars have grown in popularity and have emerged as a great way for bloggers to market their blogs/products. Webinars are live video hangouts that bloggers offer to their audience as an opt-in (aka you put in your email address in exchange for a free webinar link). Usually in webinars, bloggers will teach how to do something or give away lots of valuable information. At the very end, they pitch or sell their product to you.

Webinars are not only great ways to drive more traffic to your site but they can be a great way to monetize your skills and know how through your blog.

Membership Sites

Membership sites work best when you have garnered a bigger following (aka not just 10 people). It’s a great way to make recurring revenue as people sign up to be part of a membership site you set up that delivers valuable content in whatever niche you’re in.

Selling Services

Offering services is how many bloggers are monetizing their skills online. The type of service you can offer are endless:

  • coaching
  • graphic design
  • virtual assistant
  • freelance writing
  • consulting
  • social media manager

Your blog can be the best marketing point to offer your services online and gaining more customers. As opposed to signing up to site like Fiver, which pools you in with thousands of other look alike competitors, offering your services through you blog can help you stand out, market yourself, and define your own service terms.

The possibilities are endless

There is no one way to make money through your blog. It all depends on your skills, your goals, and what you like to do.

It’s important to point out that different niches have different earning potential.

For example, a blog about shoelaces might not make the same as a blog about being financially savvy given that they are marketed the same. Some blog topics will appeal to a broader audience than others.

This is where you get to ask yourself an important blogging question: Do you want to blog about your passions and hope that makes money? Or do I want to take the strategic route and blog about what many people are wanting content on (which might not necessarily be your passion)?

Side Note: It’s a good rule of thumb to have more than one blogging revenue stream. For example, you might not just make money off sponsored posts but affiliate marketing and e-books as well. Again, it depends on your personal skills and what your blog goals are. It’s always a good idea to start one income stream first, focus on it and develop it well, and then add and develop another one.

Myths and Bonus Tips

Here are some myths to avoid from the start to give you a leg up in your blogging journey.

Myth #1- You have to post content constantly (as in several times a week/everyday)

This has proven to not be true by many bloggers. Content is key. It always will be. But too much content can dilute your message, water down your content value, and overwhelm your blog followers. What should you aim for instead? Content that is of high value, a good length (the recommended length is at least 1,500 words but no less than 500 for it to be picked up by Google search engines) and that your audience will enjoy reading.

Some bloggers like to post once a week, while for others it’s a better strategy to post 2-3 times a month. It all depends on your blog type and how you choose to run it according to your blogging goals. Figuring out what your frequency should be might take some trial and error as you begin to blog.

Myth #2- Big blogs are overnight successes 

When you stumble upon a successful blogger with thousands of page views and a sizeable income, it’s guaranteed it didn’t happen overnight. The success is due to long hours, days, and months of learning, applying, and putting in the work.

No blogging success happens overnight.

Myth #3- You should wait until your blog is perfect to launch it

Guess what? A perfect blog ready to be published doesn’t exist. In fact, it has never existed. Why? Because there will always be parts of your blog, whether it’s design, branding, or content quality that you can improve. Often, the only way to find out what’s working and what isn’t is getting feedback from your audience—and that can only happen if you launch!

Call it a running blog publish if you will. You publish it with the intent of reorganizing or improving it as you go. This way, you don’t wait forever for a blog launch date that keeps getting push back, and you get over your fear of initial judgement that paralyzes many beginners.

Myth #4- You have to be an expert to make money blogging

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. That’s not to say you shouldn’t try to learn the heck out of your niche, but the insecurity of not considering yourself ‘an expert’ shouldn’t hold you back. Remember, everyone is at different stages in the niche you blog in. You’ll always have some knowledge and be two or three steps ahead of someone who your content can be useful to.

Bonus Tip #1- Consistency is key.

One of the biggest pitfalls any new blogger faces in being able to stay consistent in the face of bad habits, self-reliance, self-management, and often feeling like you hit bloggers block or burn out. While you might think it isn’t going to happen to you, chances are, it will. The question is, how will you deal with it? This is the dividing line between persevering bloggers and bloggers who quit halfway down the journey. Being consistent will be one of your best allies in the blogging game.

Bonus Tip #2- Monetizing your blog solely with ads isn’t necessarily the best route

There’s a live debate you can read plenty about online about whether or not to put ads on your blog. Bottom line is, while monetizing your blog based on ads can be lucrative for some bloggers if they’re getting unbelievable amounts of traffic. Here are some things to think about:

  • Putting ads on your blog is only one more chance for people to click away and get distracted instead of spending time on your blog consuming your content.
  • Your blog is the biggest ad of all! Putting ads on your blog is like putting an ad…on top of your ad. You are basically covering the grandiosity of your own blog. Why would you want to water down your corner of the internet with ads?
  • Ads don’t pay out that well. You earn a couple of cents per click or views depending on how your ad deal is set up and with who. It’s also really dependent on site traffic, which isn’t always consistent.
  • Have you ever visited a site only to be greeted by a million ads? How was your experience with that?

Really, not having ads on your site has more pros than any cons I can think of from a strategic business and branding standpoint.

Bonus Tip #3- Content will always be king in some form

Is content still king? Cue the relentless online debates on this as well. Honestly, with the way the blogosphere is today and how accessible marketing has become with social media, it’s easy to see why people question the long-standing statement.

A more timeless statement would be: Content will always be uber important to your blog, no matter how much the blogosphere changes.

All this to say, while the majority of your time should be spent marketing your content and not creating it, content will always be important enough in your marketing strategy to do it excellently.

Content is basically the core personality of your blog. What good is a great look and brand if your content is blah? It’s like the discouraging feeling of meeting that ultra attractive person only to find out there’s not much substance to them.

Bonus Tip #4- Pay attention to your branding

People like consistency because it makes something or someone seem trustworthy. You want that for your blog and it comes in the form of branding. While branding entails much more than just the visuals, it’s are a good place to start. You want to keep your image quality and sizes the same, use colors that are directly tied to your blog brand often, and have a unique brand logo and name. Opt for a logo that speaks to your blog and your blog message. Stay away from ready-made and generic logos.

Bonus Tip #4- Follow the 80/20 rule 

Too many times bloggers fail to see success because they don’t know how or don’t spend enough time marketing their content. The 80/20 rule is basically spending about 20% of your time building your content and 80% of your time marketing it.

The majority of your time should be spent on marketing your content and getting it in front of as many of the right eyeballs as possible. It’s easier to hide behind your content as you create, and create, and create some more hoping your audience will magically show up. It’s harder to go out there, be bold, and ask people to engage with what you’ve created. I get it. Do what scares you every day, the asking part specifically. Before long, it can and will come more naturally to you.Take it this way, if you know you’ve done your homework and have come up with kickass content then promoting it shouldn’t be anything to be ashamed of, amIright?

Bonus Tip #5- Always start your blog with some content

Some say 5, some say 15, some say 30. But it’s always the same fundamental advice: make sure you launch your blog with some content ready to be consumed by whoever visits your site. This way, there isn’t only one thing on your site to look at and they can navigate through some already-there content. They’ll spend more time on your site and you’ll be able to start with a nice bang and some content to promote right off the bat.

Bonus Tip #6- Remember that success looks different for different people

There are bloggers out there who are publishing 6 or 7 figure income reports which is a great feat and worthy of admiration. This does not mean that it’s guaranteed to happen for every blogger out there. And that’s ok.

Success means different things to different people, and it’s key to define that for yourself and ask yourself what your blogging goals are. There are people making 5 figure incomes—sometimes even less than that, and that might mean success for them.

It’s all about defining your goals and not getting sucked into a lethal comparison rat race that will suck the blogger life out of you.

Bloggers in The Blogosphere

There is a legion of bloggers out there. Some huge, others medium sized, and some smaller ones with their own following and tribes.

But one thing is the same for all of them: They’ve been able to turn their blogs into profitable businesses. Here’s an intro to a few, in no particular order:

Neil Patel: Neil is one of the most respected marketing bloggers out there. With QuickSprout and NeilPatel.com he gives valuable and actionable advice for bloggers to refine their SEO and get noticed in the vast online world.

Melyssa Griffin: Melyssa is a teacher turned blogger that helps other fellow bloggers achieve their blogging goals and dreams through helpful posts and monthly income reports to show exactly how she makes it online. You can find her blogging over at MelyssaGriffin.com

Seth Godin: Seth is truly a one-of-a-kind blogger that can get away with super short blog posts due to the years and density of his marketing knowledge. Essentially the creator of permission marketing (aka collecting emails as a marketing tool) Seth blogs over at SethGodin.com.

Tim Ferris: Often called the “human guinea pig,” Tim interviews some of the biggest names in the world and their methods and tools for success through his podcast. He blogs about his latest processes in his blog The Tim Ferris Show. The blog has been a key factor in the success of his best-selling books.

Mariah Coz: Mariah has managed to scale Femtrepreneur.co to 7 figure heights in less than a year by selling online courses among other monetization strategies. She, along with Megan Minns, hosts a podcast interviewing other successful bloggers about their marketing and growth strategies.

Jeff Bullas: Jeff is an entrepreneur, blogger, author, and speaker who blogs at JeffBullas.com to help online businesses build their presence and thrive online. With more than 250,000 readers, Jeff’s mission is to “Inspire and educate people to win at business and life in a digital world.”

Lena Gott: CPA turned stay-at-home-mom, Lena blogs over at whatmommydoes.com on motherhood, finances, and working from home.

Jon Morrow: Jon, a prolific writer and epic blogger all around, has been part of the growth of other successful blogs such as Copyblogger.com You can read about his incredible journey over at smartblogger.com where he publishes the best on writing, becoming an authority in your niche, and boosting your blog traffic.

Pat Flynn: Is primarily known for his income reports and blogging about generating ‘smart passive income.’ You can read more about his journey from being laid off to working online and ultimately making more than six figures a month over at smartpassiveincome.com.

Meera Kothand: Meera has built a blog around teaching the art of email marketing to bloggers and online business owners. A certified email specialist, you can find her posting actionable content over at meerakothand.com.

Derek Halpern: Through years of learning, Derek has found his focus in helping other aspiring bloggers grow through the power of marketing. You can find him blogging over at Social Triggers giving actionable, no bs marketing strategies.

Paul Scrivens: Paul, a serial blogger, blogs over at Obstacle.co and teaches other bloggers how to grow their online presence through SEO, content writing, and marketing to achieve their ‘dream lifestyle.’

Michelle Schroeder Garner: Michelle is the creator of makingsenseofcents.com and with a list of more than 300,000 subscribers, blogs on lifestyle and personal finance.

Mary Fernandez: Mary runs a marketing blog and podcast that helps her entrepreneurial audience grow their online presence over at persuation-nation.com.

Kristin Wong: Kristin is a freelance writer and content creator that you can find blogging about different lifestyle topics over at KristinWong.com.

There are thousands of other blogs out there on an infinite list of topics. There wouldn’t be enough space to name them all!

Blogging opens a world of possibilities.

If after reading this extensive intro you’ve grown bold and have been inspired in your desire to start a blog there’s only one way to find out if it’ll work for you.

Doing it. Getting started.

Dive in head first with everything you’ve got and put your whole heart and energy into it (with some planning of course). Blogging can be a great source of personal satisfaction and a great creative outlet for those looking to live an entrepreneurial life and work from home with the use of their skills and knowledge.

The only thing that should hold you back from blogging is fear of success…and even that’s not a good enough reason.

Resources

Here are some links to great posts about getting started with all aspects of blogging from fellow bloggers. Check them out, read and re-read them, learn from the best, do some trial and error, throw away what doesn’t work for you, and start that blog you’ve been dreaming about already

Audience

The Complete Guide To Building Your Blog Audience

3 Ways To Find Your Blog Demographics

The Top 10 Ways to Find Your Audience

Niche

Finding Your Blogging Niche: 4 Helpful Tips For Identifying Your Niche and Setting Your Blog Apart

How To Choose A Blogging Topic That Makes Money

How To Choose A Blogging Niche

How To Create Your Own Niche

Niche Blog Ideas- Three Steps To The Perfect Blog Niche

30 Proven, Profitable Course Topics in Fringe, Weird Niches You’ve Never Heard Of

6 Bloggers Rocking Unique Niches And How You Can Grow An Audience In A Small Niche Too

Branding

Branding Your Blog: You’re Doing It All Wrong

How to Write A Blog Business Plan

20 Ways To Help Your Brand Stand Out

Defining Your Personal Brand

Branding vs. Brand Identity

A Quick And Dirty Guide To Blogging To Build Your Brand

How To Create A Style Guide For Your Blog Or Brand

List building + email marketing

How To Build and Nurture an Email List of Gushing Fans- The Beginner Guide For The Clueless Blogger

How To Survive, Seduce, and Sell With Your First Email Sequence

12 Effective Formulas To Grow Your Email Subscribers

What To Send To Your Email List and How To Create Wow

11 List Building Strategies That Actually Work

How To Grow Your Email List

The Ultimate Guide To Email Marketing: Your Blog Won’t Survive Without It

Email Marketing for Bloggers: A Beginner’s Guide

Pinterest

The Ultimate Guide To Getting Started On Pinterest

3 Essential Pinterest Strategies To Quickly Grow Your Traffic On Autopilot

How To Get Pinterest Followers + Repins: The Ultimate Guide

Five Tips on How To Use Pinterest for Social Media Marketing

Five Key Pinterest Strategies For Businesses

The 28 Pinterest Tips I Used To Massively Grow My Blog’s Traffic

What is Pinterest And How Does It Work? Business, Blogger, and Marketer Explanation

Instagram

How To Use Your Instagram To Promote Your Brand And Drive Sales

52 Tips: How To Market On Instagram

11 Surefire Ways to Grow Your Instagram Followers

The Best Hashtags For Bloggers + Business Owners

10 Things Successful Bloggers Do On Instagram For Business

How To Get More Engagement on Instagram

How To Use Instagram Stories For Your Business

9 Surefire Ways To Get You First 1k Real Followers On Instagram

Instagram Hashtags for Bloggers That Will Triple Likes

Twitter

Best Twitter Chats For Creative Biz Owners

How To Get More Targeted Twitter Followers Faster

How To Use Twitter For Marketing and PR

How I Use Twitter To Promote My Blog

12 Formulas: How To Use Twitter To Drive Traffic To Your Blog

How Do I Get Noticed On Twitter?

Facebook

How To Get Serious About Social Media

6 of My Favorite Facebook Groups

Get Social! Twelve Facebook Groups for Entrepreneurs

20 Facebook Groups To Help Your Blog Grow

The Do’s and Don’ts of How To Use Facebook for Business

How To Use Facebook To Promote Your Blog

How To Get Traffic To Your Blog With Facebook Groups for Bloggers

StumbleUpon

Using StumbleUpon To Increase Blog Traffic

StumbleUpon: The Ultimate Guide To Driving Massive Traffic To Your Blog

4 Ways to Increase Your Traffic With StumbleUpon

StumbleUpon Marketing: How To Drive More Traffic to Your Content

StumbleUpon Overview

Tumblr

How To Use Tumblr For Marketing

Tumblr for Marketing: 10 Examples of Effective Brands Doing It Right

The Complete Starter’s Guide to Tumblr Marketing

Reddit

How To Advertise on Reddit: My Experience and 9 Ideas For Advertising On Reddit

The Marketer’s Guide To Reddit

Cracking Reddit: How To Get Thousands of Visitors to Your Campaign With Reddit Marketing

10 Actionable Tips For Using Reddit For Marketing

LinkedIn

How To Publish On LinkedIn Pulse: A Beginner’s Guide

5 Steps for Maximizing LinkedIn’s Blogging Feature for Personal Branding

Guest Blogging

How To Write A Guest Post Pitch That Gets Accepted Every Damn Time

How To Guest Blog Like A Boss

The Definitive Guide To Guest Blogging

17 Foolish Mistakes To Avoid As A Guest Blogger

Three Ways Guest Blogging Can Help You Grow Your Online Audience

23: How To Request To Guest Post and Get Accepted

How To Guest Blog Anywhere

Networking

The Ultimate Guide To Networking With Bloggers

Networking With Fellow Bloggers- Why & How

How To Get An Influencer’s Attention Without Being A Suck Up

How To Promote Your Blog Through Networking

Having the right mindset

How To Overcome Your Fear Of Self Promotion

Keys of The Greatest: 13 Habits of Effective Bloggers

Affiliate marketing

How to Add Affiliate Income to Your Revenue Stream With Addi Ganley

The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide To Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing: A Beginner’s Guide To Making Passive Income

1 Thing You Need to Do Know To Earn Passive Income for Your Business

Affiliate Marketing Basics Beginner’s Guide

How I Make Money As A Blogger: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide To Affiliate Marketing 

Sponsored posts

How To Pitch A Sponsored Blog Post And Land It

How Much Should You Charge For A Sponsored Posts + A Sneak Peek At What Other Bloggers Charge

How To Create A Blog Media Kit That Brands Will Love

The Blogger’s Ultimate Guide To Working With Brands

Ads 

Google Adsense for Bloggers

Ways To Make Money With Google Adsense

Selling courses

The 6-Step Guide for Launching Your First E-Course

The Guide To Creating An Epic Info Product: The #3 Day Create Challenge

The Ultimate Guide to Creating, Selling, and Marketing Your Own E-Books And Digital Products

Selling e-books

E-books vs. E-course: Which Would Be A Better Outlet For Your Awesome Idea

E-Book Creation for Starters

Learn How to Create A Profitable E-Book With Abby Lawson

21 Dumb Mistakes To Avoid When Writing Your First E-Book

How To Write An E-Book

Webinars

Webinars for Newbies (The Complete Guide To Getting Started)

How Do You Make Money With Webinars

How To Create + Host Online Workshops (or Live Classes) For Free

6 Reasons You Need to Start Doing Webinars ASAP

Membership sites

7 Tips For Creating and Running Your First Membership Site

7 Tips For Creating And Running Your First Membership Site

How To Build A Profitable Membership Site

Selling personal services

How To Be A Virtual Assistant And Start Making $35-50 An Hour

How To Monetize Your Brand As A Coach (Without Putting All Your Eggs In One Basket)

Sell Out Your Services As A Virtual Assistant

Six Figure Consultant: 4 Proven Services Every Blogger Can Offer to Make Money Online

22 Freelance Services You Can Offer As A Stay-At-Home Mom

How to Make Money Blogging In An Unusual, Yet Tested Way

Podcasts

How To Start A Podcast

How To Start Podcasting

Pat’s Complete Step-By-Step Podcasting Tutorial

Blogging do’s and don’ts

20 Ten Minute Tip for Your Blog and Business

10 Things You Need to Know Before Becoming A Full Time Blogger

9 Things You Need To Know To Become A Full-Time Blogger

5 Things That I did That Exploded My Blog

15 Best WordPress SEO Plugins for 2017 to Skyrocket Your Website Traffic

7 Simple Tips That Will Immediately Help Your New Blog

Useful Tips For Writing Your First Blog Post