Having a hard time trying to figure out how to build the blog you’ve been dreaming about?
Look no further in your search because you’ve stumble upon the ultimate blog startup guide. I’m going to take you from knowing zero to being a blog hero. This guide on how to start a blog is designed to get you online fast and customized with a ton of content so that you can start attracting visitors and earning online commissions.
Let’s do this.
Step 1: Define The Problem
Before you do anything related to blogging or even in the business world, you need to define the problem that your blog is going to solve.
Use ProducerJT as an example. This blog exists so that I can speak into people on how to build sleek online businesses that you can run from any location in the world by providing tutorials, training, blog posts, case studies, videos, and more. In return, I get paid on ProducerJT for making top shelf recommendations via affiliate links and through real clients whom entrust me to build their websites and online presence.
The idea phase of your blog is the most important. You want to get the niche that your blog is going to be about right, or you will not have passion to drive it forward and most likely your blog will be lame.
A good place to start, is think about what you can teach someone. Can you teach them about dog training? If so, start a dog training blog. Are you good at hunting, fishing, gardening, or skateboarding? Answer that question on what you are good at and can add value to the world by posting good quality content, and you will set yourself up for success.
Plant your stake in that niche and own it.
Step 2: Choosing A Domain Name
An exciting thing about creating your new blog is the domain name. This name will be used and shared all over the place so this is an exciting step!
Here are some tips:
- Make it easy to type.
- Keep it short.
- Target your niche.
- Use keywords if possible.
- Avoid numbers and hyphens.
- Be memorable.
- Research it.
- Act fast (before someone else takes it)
Step 3: Hosting Your Website
Where do you want you business to lay it’s head at night? ProducerJT.com currently uses GoDaddy hosting. I also have a lot of other sites with them as well. My plan is to move to hostgator in the next month or so. I came to this decision after doing a lot of research and question-asking to my network of internet marketers.
Therefore, my official suggestion to you is to go with Hostgator for your hosting.
Step 4: Install WordPress and Good Theme
Your WordPress theme should get you excited. You want people to visit your site and be very impressed. This leads to more visitor interaction, commenting, sharing, and information transfer (you sharing your knowledge with your followers and readers). Don’t know if? Hire me. 😉
You can always use free themes, but some of the best, sexy-looking themes are paid. My suggestion is to purchase a theme. They are usually under $40 and well worth it. You want to be proud of your product that you are creating.
Step 5: Categories and Navigation
The most frustrating thing about visiting a blog is poor navigation is that it’s easy to get lost. You want to direct your visitors as if they were in you home. Show them where things are and create multiple paths to get to them.
For instance on ProducerJT, I chose to go with some static pages on top, along with categories. The visitor cannot tell the difference by the link, but internally (for you), the blog is way smoother to opereate.
When building your blog structure, keep the visitor in mind 100%.
Step 6: Sidebar and Footers
Sidebars are generally used for a call to action section, ads, or other useful information.
Think of your blog content as a method to drive people to visit your blog. Your sidebar is on the side of all content, as a possible way for people to connect with items they may need like tools, software, or other odds and ends. In return for posting the content, you get paid if your visitor clicks through the ad or uses your service. You could get paid as an affiliate or a publisher depending on your advertising platform.
Here are a few ways to monetize the sidebar on your blog:
- Affiliate Banner Ads
- Real One-on-One Service
- Paid Ads (Advertisers Pay You Directly)
- Google AdSense
- Your Email Optin List Form
- Links To Other Posts On Your Blog That Go To Affiliate Offers
Footers are generally carried on to every page of your blog. If you are monetizing with adsense, be careful if you have adsense ads in the footer and in your sidebar. You don’t want to go over their limit for amount of ads per page. The most popular thing to do (and cleanest) is to put some popular page links, a contact section, about the author, or a recent posts widget. There are so many options, Just remember that this is your canvas, and you are the artist, so make it yours!
How will you monetize your blog?
Step 7: Plugins
I have a few gems that I use on all of my websites. Plugins give you the power of design, function, and flexibly, but add to many and they will bog down your site speed. On ProducerJT, here is a list of my active plugins:
- Google Analytics
- Instagram Feed
- Quick Redirects
- Complete Central Backup
- Simple Custom CSS
- AddToAny Share Buttons
- Page Builder by SiteOrigin
- WP User Avatar
- WP Maintenance Mode
- SiteOrigin Widgets Bundle
- SendPress Newsletters
Step 8: Quality Content and Distribution
Now that the platform is set up it’s time to start adding some of your own epic content. You have to create epic content AND distribute it to win. What does that look like?
Every category you see on this blog has a pillar post. For instance, the one you are reading right now is in the “blogging” category. After you build the pillar posts, you can go on to create other posts. Just make sure you check the “Featured Post” box when you publish it, and it will always appear on top for the category you are creating in. Some wordpress themes handle this differently so just play with your theme and own it.
The pillar posts drive the traffic to your website, and after people read these posts, they are more inclined to stay on your website and click on other things, and ultimately buy from you. That’s how it’s done.
Step 9: Inbound Marketing – Paradigm Shift
This is the new way of doing online business. Instead of purchasing email lists or forcing your way (spamming) into getting some cold leads, you get warm leads coming to you. Most of the people that will be coming your way are already somewhat interested in the topics that you are teaching about in your niche. Chances are they will see what your doing, like what your doing, and follow you on your email lists, social media, and blog.
There are 4 phases of inbound marketing:
Once you realize that this is how online business works, you will have a paradigm shift and ultimately make more money in your biz. 🙂
Step 10: SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Rule No 1: Never do anything just for money.
Create content that people love and is useful to them. The money will come later.
Rule No 2: Focus on creating epic content.
Create a website that is more focused on being a resource and a tool. That’s what people want. The world is full of spam and scams. Don’t be that guy.
Step 11: Promotion and Marketing
As you create your content, you will want to promote the crap out of it! This is how it’s done at ProducerJT:
- Create content
- Share it on Twitter
- Post it on Facebook
- RSS Feeds
- Emailing our subscribers with notifications of new posts
- Social bookmarking
You need to rally people to your posts like a cheerleader. It may seem hard and start off small at first, but once you do this for a while, you will begin to see your blog traffic grow organically and exponentially.
Imagine publishing a post, sharing it on a social media platform and checking your Google Analytics to see that you have hundreds of visitors on your site. How exciting!
You’ve just read through what it takes to build a blog from scratch. The next question is, “What are you going to do with it?” Don’t let time pass you by before jumping on this. You could have an active, living blog by the end of this week that is making you some cash. Now go for it!
We are creators like our creator. Let’s change the world together.