Is it still possible to build a successful blog in 2018?
The answer is most definitely yes. However, it’s not 2008 anymore, and competition in the blogosphere is fierce. That means that you will have to bring your A game if you want to get ahead!
In this article, I’ll share 11 tips that will help you get started the right way!
- Start with picking a name
You need the right name for your blog if you want to get ahead of your competition. Sit down and brainstorm various options. Which names sound like something that would immediately grab the attention of your target audience?
Also, I really recommend you to read Hello, My Name Is Awesome: How to Create Brand Names That Stick by Alexandra Watkins. It will help you avoid most common mistakes that people make when trying to come up with a brand name!
- Choose a promising niche
Many people who start their WordPress blogs are doomed to failure from the day one. Sounds harsh, you say? Well, yes… But that’s the truth. If you pick the wrong niche, no amount of business savvy is going to help you. But what makes for a great niche?
Well, think about something like gambling. It addresses a part of human nature. And there are already plenty of established businesses related to it. That means that there is a real demand for it. I’m not saying you should go into gambling (although if you want to, check out VegasHero.co – WordPress Affiliate themes & plugins), but you should look for niches that have those same qualities to them.
- Choose a reliable hosting
Most people underestimate the importance of hosting. They just go with the first hosting provider they come across and hope that it works out well. That’s a mistake that can cost you a lot down the road.
For example, if one of your posts goes viral, but your host can’t handle the traffic, what then? You would lose an incredible opportunity to grow your blog and business!
That’s why it’s important to pick a hosting that is reliable. I recommend hostinger.com because it’s both extremely affordable and very reliable.
- Build your own site
Building your site might sound daunting, but in this day and age, it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of free and premium WordPress themes out there, as well as a ton of plugins that will allow you to add anything you want to your website (for example, SmartSlider3 will allow you to add a fancy WordPress slider to your website). You don’t even have to hire a web developer or a web designer!
- Create social media accounts (FB Twitter)
It’s extremely important to have a solid social media presence. I suggest you start by establishing your Facebook page and Twitter profile. Once those have grown a bit, you can add other things, like Instagram or Pinterest.
- Setup your newsletter and build your email list
Email marketing is the most effective form of online marketing there is. Did you know that when done right, the return on investment for it could go as high as a whopping $38 for each $1 spent? Email is the marketing channel that converts the best, hands down, and building your email list should be your #1 priority! I recommend you to do it with ConvertKit because it was created by bloggers, for bloggers.
- Make sure people can contact you easily
Blogging is all about building relationships with your readers. But how can you build relationships when you are impossible to reach? Make sure that you provide your readers with an easy way to get in touch. The simplest way to do that is by adding a contact form to your website. Don’t know how to build it yourself? Use CaptainForm plugin.
- Try to sell goods
Creating a product and then asking people to give you money for it can be really scary. However, if you have no sales, you have no business, you need to get something out there. Create a product, get Stripe, and then use Stripe Payment plugin to add “Buy Now” buttons to your website. Then, make your pitch, and hope for the best!
- Set up knowledge base and prepare FAQ
As your website grows, you will notice that you are spending more and more time on answering customer questions, and that most of those questions are repetitive. One way to solve this is to create a knowledge database so that people could look for answers themselves before reaching out to you. Install WordPress KnowledgeBase Theme, set it up, and add the frequently asked questions. You will be surprised by how much time this will save you!
- Create content to get traffic
You have probably heard that content is king. And it is true that if you want to succeed with blogging, you’ll need to produce solid content on the regular basis. But what is solid content? It’s content that is genuinely helpful to your readers. Whatever niche you are in, do your best to understand the problems that people in it are facing, and offer the solutions in your content.
- Optimize SEO
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is extremely important. You want people to be able to find you on Google, don’t you? Well, that’s what SEO is for. I recommend you to install Yoast plugin and pay close attention to its analysis. Also, if you are completely new to SEO, read SEO basics: How to optimize a blog post? Implement the advice there and you’ll be ahead of the most newbie bloggers!
There’s something that you should know about blogging: getting started is easy.
Yes, I know, it doesn’t seem that easy when you are actually doing it, but really, it’s the least difficult part. What’s the most difficult part? It’s not giving up when things get hard. And they will get hard.
So make the decision now that you won’t give up. Often that is what separates the winners from the losers in the blogging game.
How Do Blogging and Fitness Relate?
I spend 3 hours daily honing my mental and physical fitness.
In truth, you can and will succeed online following simple fundamentals from a generous, detached energy. No need to be fit to go full time blogging. But if you feel bad because your body feels bad and your mind fears losing it all, have you succeeded? I do not believe so.
I wrote an eBook sharing my daily regimen to explain what many of you readers want to know: how do I do it all? I am no blogging god. I am just human. But I write and connect quite a bit. People wish to know how I wrote 100 plus eBooks in addition to all the other stuff I do while circling the globe. Well, blogging and fitness are 2 peas in a pod for me. Both play a big role if you desiring leveling up and feeling good predominantly as you enjoy the ride.
Blogging and Fitness
Let’s say you wake up on a Monday morning as a full time employee who blogs part time. Feeling terrible and dreading work, why write and publish a post? Too busy. Do it later. Put off the post until tonight. But you feel too tired that night. Repeat this cycle for 3 months. 90 days passed. Still no blog post. Why? You filled your mind with fear and pain. Manifesting as blogging loss, backburnering the post for 3 months indicates fear in mind. Why fear? 100% of the time, fear dominates minds of people who spend zero time on mental fitness, never meditating or doing deep yin yoga or observing their thoughts and feelings. Most of the time, these same folks dominated by their own fears never commit seriously to being physically fit through exercising.
Feel good by caring for your mind and body. Vibe higher than fears crippling most bloggers. Imagine the above scenario with one difference: you devote 1-2 hours daily exercising and raising your energy via mindset training. Devote 30 minutes to power walking and 30 minutes to deep yin yoga. On waking that Monday morning, either a blog post idea finds you and you write the post, or after a few uncomfortable moments and feelings, the idea flows to you and you write the post.
I cannot explain this process logically because it flows 100% emotionally, feelings-wise. Visualize yourself in moments you feel really good. All seems possible. Ideas flow to you. Opportunities flow to you. Why? Feeling good magnetizes you to freeing, success-promoting ideas. Being fit mentally and physically is the easiest way to feel good most of the time. Plus in those moments you feel bad mentally and physically, you face, feel and release the bad feelings, quickly, because you feel mentally and physically fit, predominantly.
Being fit naturally alerts you to the success-promoting idea of gratitude. Gratitude builds blogging success because seeing every penny of income, every blog comment and all interest in your blogging courses feels awesome to you. Feeling awesome inspires you to blog for years generously. Blogging generously for years makes you successful.
Corey at the Good Oil Marketing retweeted my blogging course recently. I feel grateful he spread the word for me considering he is a successful, high level marketer. I feel these feelings and build on my success because I feel grateful. I feel grateful because I trained my mind and body to feel good, through being fit daily, in order to tune into appreciation easily.
Be a successful blogger by being mentally and physically fit.
Why Doing this Works Better than Asking for Business Referrals
After I released my flagship eBook – How to Retire to a Life of Island Hopping through Smart Blogging – I noticed something neat. My sales increased 12 fold the day I published a guest post for a highly successful blogger.
Seeing this spike clued me in to the quickest, easiest way to increase business: help people for free. Being generous improves skills, increases exposure and expands your business. Greater traffic and profits follow generous bloggers because helping people for free helps you be skilled and see, two qualities in every prospering blogger who reaps sweet blogging profits.
A large set of bloggers goes in another direction. Some ask for business referrals from trusted blogging buddies to drum up business. Feel free to take this route but know referral fishing is an ineffective way to drive profits because of two clear reasons:
- referral-seeking seems to be time-wasting
- referral-seeking rarely inspires trusted bloggers to take clear, business-building action, for you
I know 20 plus web developers. A few trusted blogging web developer buddies have reached out to me, seeking referrals. Two issues arise:
- the referral seeker has no idea if I know bloggers needing web development; non-targeted campaign
- I already know 20 plus developers, trusted buddies all, so I could never choose one to refer to someone if 20 seem qualified
Top Bloggers Become Ruthlessly Effective with their Time
Versus seeking referral business by asking blogging buddies if they know someone requiring your service, spend 20 minutes to write and publish a quality guest post for a blogger in your business niche. Instead of pitching 1 human, show off your web development skills for free, via a guest post, for 1,000 people. Do you see what I mean? Leverage. Do not ask for business. Serve for business. Although time needs pass and generosity needs inclusion in blogging business-building, helping for free is the quickest, simplest way to increase blogging business because you reach large, targeted audiences of clients with your attention and energy versus asking 1 person for business in non-targeted, ineffective fashion.
12 Times Daily Sales
I recall the day vividly, 5 years ago. I created and launched Blogging From Paradise. Before writing 100 plus eBooks, I wrote one. I did drive some sales through my blog but guest posting woke me up; why not leverage my presence and grow business by helping people for free, via different platforms? Eye-opener for me. Instead of asking, I gave. How easy? Giving freely is the easiest way to get freely. I observed a 12 times daily sales eBook increase for good reason that day: helping people generously through sites other than your blog is a simple way to grow your blogging business.
The simplest, direct, effective way to grow your business is to help people for free. Asking for referrals leads to a client or customer here and there, but full time bloggers are not in the “here and there” business as far as growing your venture. Pro bloggers drive steady profits through their blog by being generous on their blog and on other platforms.
Be helpful for free. Publish posts. Submit guest posts. Run a podcast. Broadcast live on Facebook. Help people for free to help people for pay. Versus untargeted referral-seeking, this is the effective way to grow your blogging business from a generous, genuine energy.
Why Does It Take Time to Be a Successful Blogger?
Successful bloggers implore you: it takes time to succeed.
I advise following your fun, helping people generously, trusting the process and seeing the blogging journey through. I mention in my eBook how time saving tips make your journey easier. But in the same regard, this journey takes time. Impatient bloggers weed themselves out. Generous, patient, persistent bloggers succeed. Sometimes, successful bloggers realize not the time element and how it works, and never explain in detail why it takes time to succeed. Why do you need to be patient? Why does it take time to succeed? I uncovered 3 reasons why it takes time to be a successful blogger.
1: It Takes Time to Practice a Skill So You Become Really Good At It
Today, I can write 10 to 20 blog posts daily if I so desired. I could easily create 20 videos daily.
10 years ago, I could write 1 blog post weekly and feared doing videos, to where, I never recorded videos as a newbie blogger.
Generous practice plus time made me prolific. Nobody gains skills in 1 day. Humans gain skills practicing 1 craft daily for months, then years. I love basketball. A handful of NBA players disclose how terrible they played after picking up a ball for the first time, 5 or 10 years, prior. Patient, persistent practice and time polished their skills to the point they became successful enough to go pro. Blogging is no different. Successful bloggers practice daily for years before being skilled enough to become a pro.
2: It Takes Time to Gain Big Exposure
Gaining big exposure for success takes time. Every creative act expands your presence a little bit more but those little bits add up over time. New bloggers blind themselves to this concept, believing 1 day and 1 blog post gives them successful exposure enough to make money and gain clout. Nope. Time reveals persistently generous bloggers because getting massive exposure requires months to years of generous, patient, persistent service.
No human can begin blogging at 8 AM as a new blogger and land a Forbes appearance by 12 noon. Nobody knows you. You have no exposure. Humans require time to create and connect in enough spots to gain success promoting exposure. Relax. You are on the way. But allow for time and generosity to leverage your presence. Time is required to be seen in many places.
3: It Takes Time to Uncover and Feel and Release Fears
Do you want to know why I wrote this post? I uncovered this reason a few moments ago. I noticed one income stream yield lesser amounts over the 2 days prior and felt a tiny but palpable surge of fear. Aha! I got you. Feeling fear, I released it and proceeded. I blogged for 10 years. I still feel tiny fears if an income stream yields less money, day to day, based on my expectations. But I needed to face this fear to make more money. New bloggers generally have deep fears concerning money, success and freedom. It takes time to feel and release fears concerning making more than $1 a day until you vibe at the $100, $1000 or $10,000 monthly – or more – level of blogging income.
Time unearths fears for feeling and releasing, to reach the next level of blogging success.
Time is a great blogging ally.
All you need flows to you over time.
Generously create, connect, follow your fun and nudge into fears.
Success is yours.
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