So You Want To Be A Blogger? Now What!
So I took to instagram last week and asked the question. . .
If you have ever thought about blogging, what stopped you?
And the responses went something like this . . .
“Don’t know where to start”
“I am too lazy”
“Not enough time”
And all these responses were expected! That is why I am going to tell you EXACTLY what you need to do if you want to start blogging but have no idea where to begin.
Dump the blogger expectation
Let me paint a picture for you. . . .
You just started blogging for the day, you have a fluffy sweater, messy bun, and a hot cup of coffee next to you. You sit down and start work for hours in uninterrupted silence while the creative energy flows. Then you finish your blog post by hitting the “PUBLISH” button and sigh in relief. As soon as you check your web traffic you see that 17 people have already read your blog right after you published it! “wow” you say as your bank account notifies you as you just received $1,000 for your latest post.
Okay, I hate to be THAT person, but this is not what blogging is going to look like. However, this is how it is often portrayed on social media.
Now let me paint you a more accurate picture of what it is like to be a blogger. . . .
You have a scheduled blog post that needs to go out tomorrow. The blog post is written, however it is not SEO friendly. Next, you need to edit your blog post and make sure you have proper keywords throughout. Then you remember that you need to make Pinterest and social media graphics to accompany your posts. Finally, your edits and graphics are done at 9 pm while you’re tired, But at least you are done. You spend more time going through your email replying to affiliates and sponsorships. The next day you publish your post and only 5 people have read it so far. After months of consistency, you begin to become efficient and profitable. The blog website now has thousands of views per post and you are able to monetize with ads. You feel relieved that your consistency and hard work as paid off.
In short, to be a blogger who sees profit you will need to stay consistent and ditch the Instagram blogger expectation.
1. Do not use a free blogging platform
Blogger, Wix, and free WordPress are all no-goes. If you ever want to make money being a blogger you need to run from these for several reasons.
- You do not own the site. The platform owns the site and you just borrow it. It is like staying in a Motel 6 when you could be staying in a Four Seasons.
- Your domain will look really funny. Your website will be named yoursitename.wordpress.com – this makes it really hard for readers to find you as well.
- You are heavily limited on the number of customizations you could do to your website.
While blogging many bloggers make their revenue through ads. If they have enough traffic to their website, companies will pay them for a small space on your site. If you have a free blogging platform you can never make money through ads.
2. Choose your host and domain name
Now that we have decided that we are NOT using a free blogging platform this means we need to pay for it.
The price of having a website is fairly small for the rate of return that you can gain from blogging
- You need a hosting provider, this is where your website will live on the internet. I recommend Bluehost and their shared hosting plan.
- You will need a domain name- for example, my domain name is jenniferellsworth.com
3. Use WordPress
To be a blogger I recommend WordPress. I build all of my websites on WordPress regardless if they are a blog or not. WordPress is an incredibly powerful tool.
If you are unsure about how to install WordPress onto your domain your hosting provider will be able to do it for you for free.
Although I will not get into how to customize WordPress in this blog post, I will point you in a general direction
With each WordPress install while blogging you will need these things
- Theme – I recommend Astra and Hello – Your theme is like the engine for your car this is what makes your website work.
- Plugins – Yoast– for SEO and Elmentor for the fun design of your site.
In the future, the plan is to create a WordPress course that teaches entrepreneurs how to build their WordPress sites. FUN FACT: My past job was to teach entrepreneurs how to build their websites, step by step!
4. Learn SEO and Marketing Strategy
Oh no- please don’t turn me off yet. Let me break a misconception for you.
So many aspiring bloggers believe writing blog posts is like writing an essay. That is not true at all. Writing a blog post is like figuring out a word-based sudoku puzzle. Everything needs to be in the right place.
What is SEO?
SEO is Search Engine Optimization. Fancy huh? This means everything you add to your website is desirable to Google and other search engines. When you are putting out search engine optimized content Google will rank you higher within a search result.
So instead of being on page number 275, you may have the chance to be on page number 3 in the future.
Page 1 on google is a spot everyone is fighting for- so let the games begin.
There are too many strategies to SEO for me to explain them here. HOWEVER, if you are ready to dive all into blogging check out Yoast’s course on SEO
Similarly, you need to have a general idea about marketing strategy and building an email list.
You have probably seen it before- On a website, you are asked to join a subscription or take a quiz in exchange for your email. This is called email marketing.
Why? Email marketing allows you to sell directly to your customers in their email inbox. Maybe you aren’t selling anything but just promoting your new blog post, you can still send out an email and promote the newest post to your audience.
Email marketing is 40% more effective than social media marketing– and there is no middle man between the viewer and your content.
5. Be Consistent
This one may be a given. Be consistent.
If you are blogging fulltime and wanting to have a fulltime income you need to post AT LEAST once a week.
If you are like me and running a business and your blog is part of your business but not the full service. Every two weeks AT LEAST should suffice.
The more consistent you are the more traffic you will receive.
6. Use Google Analytics
If you are shooting into thin air you are going to hit nothing!
You need to be utilizing Google Analytics to track traffic to your blog.
Analytics will tell you your page views, bounce rate, demographics, and how they are viewing your site.
Why? If you’re writing blog posts geared toward females, however over time you discover that your audience is primarily male, you may want to shift gears.
7. To be a blogger – Just get started
Like everything that is worth it, It will not be easy at first. It may be a huge learning curve.
And although you aren’t jumping on the popular 2008 blogging bandwagon it is never too late to start.
There is money to be made in blogging, and freedom that can come from it. Get started now.
If you are ready to get started and need a general idea of what to add to your website- Or you need a site built for you, check out my services page and we can chat!