How To Start Your Succesful Blog
This is the start of a six-part series on how you can start your blog.
Today you will learn who to
- picking up a blog idea
- how to choose your niche
- and how to set up your website
The guy in the video above is blogging for just about 4 years. In the beginning, he made just a few dollars. Now blogging became a full-time income for him with a list of 400.000 subscribers to his YouTube channel. This doesn´t come overnight and it´s not easy, but possible if you know what to do. But before you dream of 100k per year, you have to start first!
Let’s get to that process of how to start a blog.
First: What To Write About
One of the first questions people ask about starting blogging is: “well, what should I blog about?”
It’s maybe more important than you realize for a couple of reasons. First, you’re going to be doing a lot of writing and talking about this subject and it could be a business that lasts decades. You definitely want it to be in something you enjoy talking about and learning.
Whatever you´re interested in, some topics are just more profitable than others. There’s a saying in online business that the money is in health, wealth and love.
It’s those three major topics; health and fitness, personal finance, and relationships the most ad dollars are spent, the most are spent on courses and people are most willing to spend a lot of money
Second: Your Niche
Of course, there are a lot of narrower topics within these larger ideas and you don’t want to start a blog on something as broad as personal finance. You want to narrow what you’ll be talking
about further to a specific category in personal finance, maybe saving money or investing. You can also narrow your blog by your audience, so speaking to a specific group like stay-at-home moms or families or millennials. This narrowing is called your niche. It serves two purposes.
- First, it brings you closer to your readers because you’re talking more directly to them and their specific needs.
- And secondly, this is going to make your blog an authority on that specific topic.
Google, Bing or Yahoo will see that you’re building authority in one area and will rank you higher and your visitors won’t have to scroll through dozens of unrelated articles to get more of what they came to your site for. So we’ve got a topic that we enjoy and a niche within it that’s going to make money, now is the step of picking your website name and getting it online.
The Name Of Your Website
These are technically two steps but I’ve got a solution that will take care of both in one that I’ll share next. Now in the good old days of 2005, it used to be that you could get a boost on Google if your website name included keywords. So you got all kinds of blogs like „how to make money.com“ and „passiveincome.com“. But now your domain name really doesn’t matter as
much. That means you can pretty much name your site whatever you like. Something that’s easy to remember and spell. The one thing I’d caution about here is putting your name in your domain.
The problem here is that if you ever want to sell the website, it’s obviously going to be harder to find a buyer if everyone knows the site as joeschmo.com. Picking a blog name that’s available can
be tricky So you use the domain name checker on Bluehost to see if something’s available. If it’s not then the site will make a lot of suggestions here and I wouldn’t necessarily go with any of these but they can give you some ideas that you can try out different combinations of adjectives and other words.
Register Your Domain And Webhosting
Now to get your blog online you’ll need to register that domain, your blog name, and you’ll need web hosting. Web hosting is just a company that holds your website on its servers and then delivers it across the internet to readers. For both of these, I´ll give you a link to BlueHost. I recommend Bluehost for quite a few reasons. This is just a recommendation. I´m not a Bluehost affiliate. There are a lot of other companies. Bluehost is just one of the biggest. And cheapest on the arena.
For three bucks per month, you´ll get a free Domain, a free SSL Certificate, and, very comfortable, and one-click WordPress installation. If you don´t want to mess around with your Layout (Worpress themes) and complicated design creation, they have a Drag and drop solution and a lot of templates for another three bucks.
Install some Pugins
These are computer programs that you can install onto your website to do a specific task like keeping you from getting lots of spam comments and making it easier for people to share your site on social media.
To add a plugin to your blog, just click plugins in the left menu in WordPress. You’ll see all the plugins on your website and can click Add New to search for the ones you want. When you find one, you’ll click Install.
Now and then Activate it to get it working. There are more than 30,000 plugins available
on WordPress but understand that having too many can slow down your website. There’s no consensus to how many is too many. Whenever you decide on whether to add another,
just ask yourself if you really need what it offers.
Please take care about updating your Plugins regularly. If you use older ones, it will slow down your site too. And you know that people are just willing to wait a few seconds to see the information they were searching for. If your blog takes more than 3 or 4 seconds to load, they will click the next result on the search engine.
Let’s look at some of the plugins I use that will be critical to starting your blog. Most of these are free plugins though they might have some premium levels. When it comes to paying for plugins, I only have three plugins I pay for and only consider one absolutely necessary for beginner bloggers.
First: Delete all comments. This Plugin allows you to delete all the spam comments you will find. You can filter which comments you want to delete and which one you´ll keep. Most of the comments are spam, so I delete them all time after time.
Next is Broken Link Checker.
Now a broken link is anytime you click on something online and all you see is an error page or a 404 page. This is obviously super annoying for your readers and Google will actually banns your site if it finds too many. So you install this broken link plugin that checks all the links on your website to make sure they go somewhere. A word of warning though, this one can slow down your blog if you leave it on because it’s constantly running through checking your links.
Instead, what you want to do is install it but only activate it for maybe a weekend each month. Let it run for those three days or so to check your links, fix any broken links it finds, and then deactivate it so it doesn’t run continuously.
Next is the PrettyLinks plugin, easily my favorite plugin and the only premium plugin I think every beginning blogger should have.
There are two things this plugin does. First, it lets you create a link you want to put on your blog. So if you’ve ever hovered over a linkable text and seen just a jumble of letters, with PrettyLinks you create a link that starts with your website name and looks much more professional. More importantly, though, the plugin makes it easy to manage all your links. You can change out the direction or the target where the link goes when someone clicks.
This is hugely important for products or affiliates. You might link your course or an affiliate
on a dozen or more pages on your blog but if you ever want to change the link then you
have to go to each page and change the link. With Prettylink, you just go into the plugin
and change the target and it’s automatically changed on all the pages. The plugin also shows you how many people clicked on that link and from which page. So it’s a great tracking tool.
The next plugin I recommend is the Shareaholic social sharer. If you’ve ever noticed those social share buttons on the left side or top of a blog post, it’s probably Shareaholic. This just makes it easier for readers to share your article and gets you more traffic which is huge for new bloggers.
One feature I like about Shareaholic is that you can set it to float where it will stay showing on the screen even as someone scrolls down the page.
Now you’ve got your blog set up and you’re ready to start posting, getting visitors to your blog, and making money. Visit the channel of Joseph Hogue by clicking the video on the top and learn how to make writing easy for anyone, how to monetize your blog, and all that stuff in his video series.