There are many aspiring bloggers out there itching to get started. Most of them want to become famous, make big profits, lure massive traffic. Those are all wonderful dreams!
Early 2009, I was pulling in $6,500 to $8,500 per month as a professional blogger. Due to a financially devastating divorce, a disastrous flood and a couple of poor decisions – I find myself essentially starting over.
Times have changed tremendously since I first began working online. The last few weeks have felt like I was returning to school – learning so many new programs, investigating offers, talking to professionals, undergoing professional coaching, exploring opportunities and developing a new plan.
I will be taking the time to provide progressive information to you, my friends, my family and my blog readers – so you too have the option to build a blog and begin earning an income.
A six figure income is very realistic and it’s very attainable! Now, hold that thought and lets move forward with a step-by-step approach to how I have essentially started over – literally with $87 in the bank.
Realize this is just an overview of steps. We won’t be digging into detail just yet. The basic idea here is to provide an outline so you don’t overlook crucial steps. As well, we will focus on the development of your blog as a money-making venture. If you are looking at blogging as a hobby, that’s a whole different ballgame.
Decide on your target market – Do this by pinpointing the intersection between your personal interests, topics you are passionate about and what is popular. Take note that your interests and knowledge are key here. Within the list of topics, conduct a bit of market research to determine which of those have the best potential of developing into a money-producing market. This is a good time to create an “Idea File” for blog post ideas. If find you have problems developing a list you might question whether the topic is one you should get into.
Secure hosting and a domain name – I highly recommend you host your own blog and use your own domain name. Free services such as Blogspot are great for exploring whether blogging is right for you or for cultivating experience, but free services and sub-domains are unprofessional. Choosing a domain is simply ‘naming your blog.’ When exploring names, consider the long-term plan. Think about brandability – memorability and how easily the domain can be read or spelled without clarification.
I neglected to do this when I first purchased MomGadget. It wasn’t until well over a year later that I regretted the name that was so gender specific and limiting. Keep that in mind.
Set up WordPress & Theme– As far as I’m concerned WordPress is the gold standard in blogging platforms. If you are reluctant to set up your own, keep in mind I will do installation and setup for FREE! If you set up your own, be sure to change your permalinks right away so when you begin writing, you’re links will be more SEO friendly from the start.
Start a Mailing List – From the first day – you should start building your list from the instant your first reader visits. There are many, including myself who have regretted not doing so. You will use this system to broadcast mailings but it also allows your readers to receive your posts via email. Aweber is the gold standard in mailing list services – so if you can afford to spend a little extra each month, it’s worth it later on.
Create Master Content – Now it’s time to start writing. You will want to create 5 – 10 pieces of master content. This content should be ‘killer’ pieces of valuable information as it pertains to you and your blog. These pieces can showcase your best stuff, it can be the best of what you sell – just make sure it’s awesome content! Since no one is reading yet, go ahead and publish these pieces as soon as they are written.
Create Draft Content – This is one that I have lacked myself, but in the new year with new goals and just starting over – I’ll be keeping my backup file. In fact, at the time of this writing, my backup file has over 40 draft posts that span across my blogs.
Social Networking – Sign up for Twitter using a name or handle that is related to your blog. Link to your Twitter account from your About page and be sure to enter a bio on your Twitter account that is descriptive of your market. Now you can find other users who are within your niche or market and start following them.
Twitterfeed – You’ll want to set up a Twitterfeed account that will tweet your latest blog posts automatically.
Keep Writing – While you are going about developing your brand and presence in the social network arena – be sure you make a point to keep posting. You’ll want to keep your blog new and fresh. At the very least, commit to a few posts per week – preferably 5 – 7.
Start Connecting – Using Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and the host of other social networking platforms you can choose from will allow you to start conversing and connecting with people within your market and potential recruits. Take the time to locate leaders in your market and start conversing with them in a real way – not to pitch your blog or self promote, but to become recognized and to learn.
Research your Topic – Locate relevant blogs within your niche. You will want to find several of the leading blogs in your market – subscribe to them by RSS or email. Jump in and become a regular commenter on those blogs. Be sure to make your comments count – they should be useful to the content that’s being presented.
When it comes to blogging, you are considered live from the moment you upload your first post to the web. While there may not be anyone reading – you still want to take special care in getting your main content created before you start dropping your links or telling people about your blog. Essentially an official launch of your blog begins once you begin linking to your blog via social networking and comments.
So why not take this journey with me – as I start over, pretty much from scratch?