Whether you’re trying to build a freelance business, start your own personal brand, are looking to start earning passive income, or are just passionate and want to write about a certain topic, 2019 is the year to start a blog.
Starting a blog is a great way to share your expertise on a topic that you have an aptitude for or are simply passionate about. With a blog you can connect with people online and help them solve their problems and bring value to their lives, while also gaining the financial freedom to earn money doing something you love—from anywhere and on your own schedule!
In this article, I’m going to go over the 10 easy steps you need to follow to start a blog in 2019 and start making money. This blog will cover the following simple steps:
- Pick Your Blog’s Name and Domain
- Find Your Niche and Decide What to Blog About
- Find a Hosting Provider
- Choose a Blogging Platform
- Choose a Theme and Design Your Blog
- Create Your Essential Pages
- Develop Your Content Strategy
- Commit to a Regular Publishing Schedule
- Post, Promote, Drive Traffic
- Monetize Your Blog
Pick Your Blog’s Name and Domain
The first step (and one of the most important steps) in starting your blog is to choose a name for your blog. You want to choose a name that reflects your niche, your brand, and even your personality. Keep in mind that the name is one of the first things that readers see in search results, so you also want it to reflect what it is and for whom it is written.
You also need to choose a domain. Keep in mind that if you want readers to be able to easily find your blog through internet searches, you must purchase a unique domain name that reflects your niche.
Find Your Niche and Decide What to Blog About
Picking a niche is also an essential step in creating your blog—equally as important, if not more important, as choosing your blog name. You niche will define the audience you are trying to attract and how you will plan your content, blog design, and where and how to market your blog.
Whatever your hobbies, interests, or hobbies, there is a niche that will suit you. Make sure it is something that you have either knowledge or an interest in, as you want to be able to position yourself as an expert. It does not have to be your passion, but it MUST be of interest to you otherwise your content may not resonate with your target audience.
Find a Hosting Provider
After you choose a domain you then have to choose a hosting provider to host your blog. When choosing a hosting service you should be looking for a provider that offers:
- Track record
GoDaddy, Bluehost, and HostGator, all offer affordable pricing to get started with easy to use templates and customer service support. At Cereal Entrepreneur, we use Bluehost and LOVE the customer service and support we get.
Choose a Blogging Platform
Blogs are built on a Content Management System (CMS), and there are many options to look at when choosing a platform for your blog. WordPress is the most popular for a couple of reasons. It is the most sustainable, long-term option if you are considering starting a blog to make money.
WordPress is also affordable, easy to install, and fully customizable. However, if you’re looking to monetize your blog you have to choose WordPress.org, which is self-hosted and can be monetized and used as a business blog, whereas WordPress.com does not offer those options. Other examples of CMS blogging platforms are Wix, Squarespace, and Ghost.
Choose a Theme and Design Your Blog
Once you’ve chosen your platform you then have to get designing the look of your blog. If you chose WordPress, you will have access to 1000+ of both free and premium themes to design the look and feel of your blog. An added bonus is that you don’t need to have any coding knowledge in order to build a stylish, professional-looking blog.
Typically, free blogging platforms are limited on design options, so keep that in mind when you’re choosing your CMS. The best themes are simple, SEO friendly, responsive, support plugins, optimized for different browsers, and have a high customer rating.
Remember: good design builds trust. It tells people that you care enough about your blog to make it look nice, so this is an aspect of your blog that you do not want to skimp on.
Create Your Essential Pages
Now that your blog looks nice, you have to put in the essential navigational pages and information that you want your audience to know. Do this by putting together your blog’s essential pages. These pages have standard information that every blog needs to have, for example the About Me, Contact Us, Hire Us page.
Develop Your Content Strategy
Now it’s time to get to the meat of your blog by developing your content strategy. Your content should revolve around how you can solve your readers’ most pressing challenges. Developing and planning out a long-term strategy will also help you stay motivated, especially if you don’t know what to write about.
Best content strategy will define the blog’s goals and will help get you more in tune with your readers. This process will also help you will topic creation.
Commit to a Regular Publishing Schedule
One of the keys to growing an audience is consistency. Your readers to know to that they can rely on you for quality content that will be published according to a set schedule.
This means you need to publish on a consistent basis. Readers will know when new content will be published and it keeps you accountable. You should also make sure you have at least 5 articles ready to post before publicly launching your blog. This way your readers can get a good feel for the blog and it will make them want to wait for more.
Post, Promote, Drive Traffic
Once your blog is up and running you want to spend as much time promoting a post as writing it, and social media is a great place to start. Choose the platform that best suits your niche and audience and work at building up your followers on that platform as well.
Each social network naturally appeals to a certain niche and a certain type of reader, with Facebook being great for older audiences while Instagram is great for millennials. Get involved in the platform as much as you can, whichever you choose—for example, you could join targeted forums or relevant groups on Facebook.
Guest posting on other relevant blogs is one of the best ways to connect with an already established audience. Reposting your blogs on Medium and Quora can help build a community of readers, and both are FREE.
You should also add a Sign Up in your posts to collect emails and build a list of contacts so you can engage with them outside of the blog. Other ways to grow your blog include:
- Interviewing people in your niche
- Networking other bloggers
- Talking to people about your work
Monetize Your Blog
Now you’ve got a great blog up and running with a lot of readers—all that’s left is to monetize it so you can start making money off all of your hard work. There are many ways to monetize your blog once you’ve grown your audience, including:
This is when a brand, company, or individual pays you a fee in order to get their content (or offer) in front of your audience.
One of the easiest ways to make money is by placing ads via AdSense or media.neton on your blog.
This is the fastest and most effective way of monetizing a new blog. You can provide services in anything you do well that is related to your blog.
For instance, if you’re blog is about digital marketing or entrepreneurship, you can offer services like managing social media accounts of clients, bookkeeping, becoming a virtual assistant (VA) or providing a freelance writing service. You can also pitch potential clients and show them your website as your portfolio for writing samples.
Creating a Product or Course
Once you have even just a handful of readers on your blog, encourage them to interact with you so that you can learn more about their biggest challenges (as related to the broader topics covered on your blog).
Pinpoint the ways you can uniquely help them by leaning on your own skills, knowledge, and experience, and use this information to develop a produce or online course to answer help them solve these issues.
Affiliate marketing requires that you have patience and know your audience. After that, you can pitch or show ads to them based on what things they are interested in.
Register with an affiliate network and receive a special link that you place within posts in your blog, emails to subscribers, and social media. When a reader clicks on the link and makes a purchase, you receive a commission.
Starting a blog in 2019 is a great way to promote your business, brand, or product, write about what you’re passionate about, and earn money! The key to attracting readers is to create a content strategy around your niche, bring value to your audience, and help them solve challenges they may be facing.
If you want to learn more about how you can make money online with a personal brand, then enroll in our Personal Branding & Influencer Marketing online course! You can also follow us on YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook for helpful tips daily, or visit Cereal Entrepreneur’s blog for more FREE training!