Who else wants to build a profitable blog from scratch?
Hands down, everyone wants to make money blogging. After all, making money online is fun, right? You can be your own boss and you can literally make money wearing your pajamas.
But you should know one important fact: 90% of the blogs never make more than $100.
Do you know why? There are a GAZILLION number of blogs out there. Each day, thousands of blogs are going live. Blogosphere is heavily crowded and launching a successful blog from scratch is NOT easy.
If you are wondering about how to build a better blog that makes money, this article is for you where you will discover 5 amazing steps to launching a successful blog today. Are you curious to find them out? Let’s get started.
Step 1: Create a content marketing strategy
Over a decade ago, Google used to send a ton of visitors to the sites that posted articles every single day. Now, that strategy became almost useless.
In 2016, Google is rewarding the sites with authoritative, engaging and in-depth content and ruthlessly penalizing the sites with thin content.
If you want to bring more exposure to your sites really quickly, creating timeless and informative content is the only key. For that, you need a solid content marketing strategy.
Here are few quick tips to develop a content strategy that grows your audience.
- Know your target audience before you write a single blog post. Know their wants and needs. Then, refine 3 to 4 topics that you can write about.
- Come up with a list of blog post ideas. Use tools like SEMrush or Long Tail Pro to create a list of potential long tail keywords that your audience might use on Google to find your stuff.
- Spy on your competitors. Find out what they are consistently posting on their sites to grow their readership. Analyze their top performing posts and try to create blog posts around them with your own angle.
- Create an editorial calendar. Create blog posts in advance and schedule them daily, weekly or monthly to create a consistent posting frequency for your blogs.
If you’re not sure about how to develop a content marketing strategy, you can go through Udemy courses to learn about creating content that sells.
Step 2: Design is king
Imagine someone landing on your blog for the first time and immediately abandoning your site because of its design. Listen, no one likes to read a blog that looks messy.
Your blog design plays a crucial role in converting your website visitors into subscribers into customers. Everything from your logos to landing pages to eBooks cover design, you need a professional touch.
If your blog design looks pretty, it becomes extremely easier for you to make your audience spend more time on it. It also reduces your website bounce rates and increases your sales.
You can either hire a professional designer or you can use sites like 99Designs to make your design look appealing. That being said, here are few essential design tips that make your blog look incredible.
- Use landing pages. They help you increase your sales and subscribers. Use landing pages for your products, services and other important pages. You can use GetResponse, Leadpages etc to create landing pages within minutes.
- When it comes to blog design, simple is beautiful. Declutter your sidebar and remove all the unwanted stuff that don’t get any clicks (footer section, useless ads, sidebar links etc).
- Make sure your site is easy to navigate. Show all your popular posts in the sidebar and use a font size between 14 to 16 px.
- Make the color of your links visible. Use a unique color that differentiates from your overall blog’s text color. Also make sure you’re using the right hosting so your site loads faster.
Step 3: Build an email list even before you start
Did you know that 80% of the top bloggers income comes from their email lists?
Email list is a money making machine.
That’s the reason why I highly recommend you to start building it even before you start creating content. Create a launch page, giveaway something for free and start collecting emails before you actually launch your website or blog.
Just make sure your giveaway provides real value and has a professional appearance. For example, hire a freelancer to format your ebook and design a winning cover image.
That way you can build a tribe around your blog even before your first post goes live.
Step 4: Create an influencer list
Most people start a blog, create content and they find ways to increase their traffic and sales.
It really sucks. As I said earlier in the article, blogosphere is heavily crowded and building a better blog that makes money is becoming harder each day.
The only way to survive in a crowded niche is to network with other influencers in your industry. Find ways to offer them help before seeking help. Get to know them, subscribe to their email lists, buy their products and frequently get in touch with them to grow your own network.
You can simply search on Google by using the search strings that are relevant to your blog topics to find and connect with the top influencers in your field. Follow them on twitter, retweet their links and frequently link to their content to build strong relationships with them.
Before launching your blog, seek their help. Ask them to promote. That’s how you can get initial traction for your blog. As a quick note, the guys at Fizzle are doing a great job in helping people to launch successful online businesses.
Step 5: Get your first 3 customers
Once your blog goes live, create engaging content and also offer services from day 1. Offering services (freelance writing, design, SEO or whatever) is the fastest way to get your first customers.
Once you started making money online, it motivates you to push your limits even further. That’s the reason why you need to get your first 3 customers as soon as possible after launching your blog.
You can then create your own products, promote affiliate products to your email list and use banner ads to generate more income from your blogs.
Building a better blog from scratch is NOT a rocket science. All you need is to create great content consistently, focus on your readers instead of Google, create the right products that suit your audience needs and network with the influencers in your field.
Yes, it takes time and you won’t be getting sales immediately after launching your blog. That’s when you need to keep grinding to achieve the best results.
So what are your thoughts? What are the other tips do you have to build a successful blog?
How to View the Relationship Between Your Blog and Social Media
Alonzo Pichardo says it best.
“Buy your own domain and hosting and make that your own main hub. Social media is a branch of the marketing tree. That’s all.”
He shared my video on Instagram. Video registered 3,926 views. Here it is:
I filmed the video because I spent 20 minutes clicking profile links of folks who Liked my updates. I found a few self-hosted WordPress blogs, read and commented on these blogs. Relationships established. But most Instagram users:
- had no blog to speak of
- linked to YouTube
- linked to Facebook
For the heck of it, I spent a good 3 minutes looking for one user’s blog. I found an obituary (he was young and alive but shared a common name) and a collection of spammy “look up his information sites.” He claimed to be a blogger via his Instagram bio but he is no more a blogger than I am a werewolf.
Think about Alonzo’s advice; the blog is your main hub, or root, or base of your tree, and social media acts like branches. Offshoots, nothing more.
Instagram owns Instagram. Instagram:
- can kick that kid off of Instagram for 1 of a billion reasons, in a heartbeat
- WILL change their algorithm, soon enough, forcing the kid to change his strategy, uprooting his online world
- forces the kid to make his brand, Instagram’s brand
Not investing is a domain and hosting is about the biggest mistake you can make online because not owning your site hands your power, your decision making, your branding potential and your monetizing potential to someone else.
Social media is a branch. Spend most of your time daily working on your blog and networking with other bloggers who own their self-hosted, WordPress blogs. Unless they change their values or quit blogging, this is the most sound, intelligent approach to blogging.
Use social media for a little bit daily to:
- tag bloggers you mention on your blog
- help bloggers in groups related to your niche
- share your blog posts
- share other blogger’s blog posts
You are a blogger. Not an Instagrammer. You are a blogger. Not a Facebook-er. Spend most of your day on blogs. Not social media.
Marios Tofarides runs an authority blog on eBooks. Not in a billion years could he make his social media profiles look anything like his branded, self-hosted blog. Paula at Contented Traveler runs a first class travel blog. She could never re-create her blog’s branding, style and voice on social media. Sarah Arrow built a well known brand and thriving business by making her blog stand out, through creating, through connecting and through smart blog branding. Impossible to do this, through social media alone.
Pay Up to Play Up
I can mention your blog on Blogging From Paradise, a DA 47 blog read by many influencers.
I can mention your blog on Blogging Tips, a DA 48 blog read by many blogging influencers.
But I never link to free platform blogs because no influencer or experienced reader trusts information on free platforms. If you cannot invest $3 a month, you carry too much of a fear-lack-poverty conscious energy, that seasoned readers and top bloggers know to avoid.
I never link to a social media profile because….social media is not a blog!
Pay up to play up.
Invest in a domain and hosting. Move up in blogging circles. See social media as branches, using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as secondary or even tertiary means for helping people. Spend most of your time on your self-hosted, WordPress blog and networking on other self-hosted, WordPress blogs.
1 Failure Conscious Tendency That Makes Blogging Tougher
Some bloggers cannot accept a good thing when they get it.
I have linked to tens of thousands of bloggers over my decade online. I love my friends. I take care of my friends.
99.999999% of bloggers are beyond grateful to get a backlink from an established, pro blogger like myself for many reasons:
- Blogging From Paradise has a DA of 47; that’s some backlink juice!
- Blogging Tips has an even higher DA; 48 I believe, meaning more backlink juice
- you bond more deeply with me, and forming a deeper friendship allows me to open doors for you, via guest posts, more backlink mentions, interviews, prospering partnerships
- greater blog traffic through exposure
- greater blog profits through exposure
- greater brand awareness through exposure, and also, your blog and brand aligns with Virgin, Forbes and Fox News, sites I have appeared on, creating greater trust
I could go on for 45 minutes. The list of benefits are endless. There are absolutely no downsides to being mentioned by me, on my blog or via guest post. Yet, some folks, because of their own fears, cannot accept these gifts freely and gratefully. Hey guys; I luv ya’s. This is not a rant, but a lesson in seeing good (versus fear/downside), expressing genuine gratitude and learning how to move up in blogging circles, by being fully grateful to receive the above gifts and by purging any fears or lack of gratitude you feel, when a world renowned blogger links to you.
Virtually all bloggers are grateful for receiving the above list of benefits. Donna Merrill is a blogging high roller and she responds to virtually all my tags and mentions. I would never expect her to do so because we are great friends, and she is so busy, but that is heart-filled blogging.
But a few bloggers clinging to deep fears have responded to my generous backlinks a few different ways:
- some fear the linking structure is not neat and orderly
- some fear they are not getting enough link juice via Google, and ask me to log into search console and make changes or whatever
- some fear they are not getting enough links to a specific site or permalink, and ask me to edit the post, to change the link
All above motivators are fear, and fear is not real, so if you honor these fears and react-respond in the above fashion, you judge things or make a request from an illusory, untrue, false, totally not real energy of loss, lack, limitation.
That fear has 100% to do with you, and nothing to do with me. I will keep being generous with my blogging buddies, but I seek out loving buddies, not those weighed down a bit too heavy by fear, so fear-bloggers gotta go, along with their links, going forward. Nothing personal, as I love and respect these folks. Just an energy thing.
We See the World as We See Ourselves
You see the world, you see other bloggers and you see their linking strategies as you see yourself.
If someone fears they won’t get enough traffic or clicks or Google juice through my linking strategy, that has nothing to do with the guy featured on billionaires’s blogs, and living his dream, circling the globe. That has to do 100% with you, your fear of loss, your fear of not enough, your trust issues, and other deep, fear based energies, begging to be unearthed and felt.
I am the mirror. You are the source. You are cause, and effect.
Picture break! Me during my trip to Fiji with my friend Olivia.
My dear friend Alonzo Pichardo sent me a Message months ago. He was deeply grateful I had linked to him 50 plus times on Blogging Tips alone. He is grateful! Does it surprise you that the guy runs a highly prospering business and leads a huge, loyal following?
David Boozer routinely sends me Messages sharing how grateful he is for my eBooks, courses, content and mentions, writing from the heart. More gratitude! Does it surprise you that one of his YouTube channels has registered millions of plays, alone?
Alonzo and David do not ask me to change links or put stuff into Google console or to change my linking style; they know a gift when they see it.
Vishwajeet Kumar feels incredibly grateful for each backlink I give to his helpful blogging resource, and expresses his gratitude on social media.
This is how you move higher in blogging circles, to see more success, versus moving lower, through fear-based lack of gratitude, and, losing link mentions.
Guys; see the blessing in a coveted backlink. Be grateful. See the good. Move up in the blog-0-sphere. Experience increased blogging success.
Connect to Get Connected
Do you want to know how I became a connected travel blogger?
I patiently read posts from a brilliant group run by Mapping Megan, published genuine comments and promoted my fellow bloggers.
That is it. I put in serious work. I also published helpful content on my blog, too.
Bloggers mistakenly believe in “getting connected”. Like being connected is a passive act, that just happens. By luck, or by lame pitches.
Do you want to get connected enough where you get featured on world famous blogs? Invest in my Teachable course. I teach you how to do it without pitching anybody.
I created the course after bloggers emailed me asking if I can feature them on Forbes, or asking how much it costs to get a link on Forbes. All these bloggers made the critical error of believing asking someone for a favor or feature – quite a passive, lazy, mindless act – is how you “get connected.” If this were true, 30,000,000 bloggers would be featured on Forbes, Forbes’ reputation sinks into the sewer and nobody would want to get featured on Forbes anymore.
Do you see how foolish and silly strategies like asking people to get featured on world famous blogs waste your time? Like me asking the NY Knicks for a try out, after I only had skills good enough to be a junior college basketball player. Foolish.
Passive Versus Active
Getting connected is passive. Not gonna work.
You EARN connections by connecting yourself to human beings, and you connect yourself by featuring skilled bloggers on your blog, by mentioning them and sharing their content on social media and by expecting nothing in return. I mention Paula Pins the Planet because she’s a first class travel blogger. I connect myself to her. Friendship forms. I connect myself to Rhonda Albom by linking to her on my blog and by tweeting her posts. As more and more friendships form, blossom and grow, my friends:
- promote me
- endorse me
- help me
- inspire me
- buy my eBooks
- hire me
People then say, “Hey, Ryan is a connected blogger! He knows everybody.” Fools believe me being connected just….happened. Passively. Lost folks believe I am lucky to be connected. The blogging brain dead believe I began blogging from a connected, influential space, when I knew more cats than bloggers 10 years ago, a lost blogging soul who did not know what a blog, was.
I spent 10 years of my life connecting myself to bloggers by promoting them without asking for anything in return. I help skilled bloggers because skilled bloggers provide you with helpful resources. Naturally, this level of generosity and calm, cool detachment helped me pop up on the radar screen of high profile brands. Kinda happens, when an army of influential blogging buddies endorses you, promotes you and vouches for you.
Connecting yourself to successful bloggers requires:
You pay a specific tuition for being connected; helping influencers without giving thought to your own needs. Then, over months, then years, you become incredibly connected, powerful and influential, based on your generosity and willingness to shine the spotlight on other bloggers, like Moss Clement. Peep his generosity. This is how to get connected. Be a tireless supporter of other bloggers, like how David Boozer and Alonzo Pichardo do it. These guys are generous! David promoted me more than I promoted me. That’s saying something. Then, Alonzo and a bunch of folks found me through David, and these blogging pros generously promoted me. I keep promoting them too, returning the generosity these folks have shown me.
Do you want to know my secret for being hyper connected?
Take care of your friends!
Think little of your own needs. Friends will help take care of you.
Connect yourself to people. Promote them. Expect nothing. Be super connected.
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