Jon, it’s so disheartening to read this list. Not for my sake, but for the sake of all the hobby bloggers I know who keep asking me why their blogs aren’t getting the traffic, attention, or sales they were hoping for, and how in the world can I be building my email list before I even start blogging? Am I STUPID or something?!
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you changed your domain name and you are doing well but i did the same but things are bad (no traffic, back links, mass email not working). I have just read your advice on domain change in one of your posts but now what should i do.
Each of these places that you reader might already be gathering has opportunities to develop a presence whether that be by leaving good comments, offering to create guest posts or simply by being helpful and answering questions.
Ask friends, especially those with little knowledge about your topic. If you’re starting a travel photography blog, ask your friends, “What’s one question you’ve always had about photography? What do you wish you knew?”
We can’t stress enough how important your page load speed is. Many site visitors will leave immediately if your page takes longer than 3 seconds to load. Talk about impatient, right? With so much information available online, people aren’t going to wait for it from a website that takes too long to load.
Google has even started removing non-mobile responsive sites from mobile searches in order to provide a better experience for their customers. Make sure you are thinking about your mobile users at every turn.
Theme. A good theme gives you the look and feel you want for your blog, allowing you to make a blog that looks exactly how you want it to look. If you’re not a coder (we certainly weren’t), then a theme makes the design work a million times easier. Plus, once you purchase a theme, which are inexpensive for the time they save you, you own it for life. A theme has two halves: the framework (the bones) and the Child Theme (the beauty):
Jon, thanks for this awesome post. My question is, what do you think of blogs who ask for donations or claim to sustain themselves by them? (Also books and products). But what do you think about the donation itself and if you´re pro-donation, when is a good time to start asking for it in a blog? Thanks a lot for your time. Hope some day I can meet you Im from and live in Mexico
I echo the sentiments posted before me… this was extremely helpful in the quest to begin my own blog for profit. It is well written, informative, and full of links to more material. Thank you for sharing your wealth of knowledge with all of us! Hopefully I can build a brand that is this helpful to others!
Just thinking aloud here – but maybe you could put a guide together to help people choose the best art for their homes? Maybe in time offer a consultancy service – I bet there are some people who would pay someone to choose the art for them? I’ve seen that you are a self-taught artist – able to offer courses/consultancy on helping others learn art?

I will be rocking my blogging in 2018! Back in the Fall of 2017 I rolled out a modern web site design and a podcast. I’ve also just done an evaluation of what worked last year and the areas where I fell short. I also found it helpful to examine those latter areas to understand why. With those in mind, I know where I need to focus my energy. I’ve even got two new products in the works (both in the editing phase). 2018, here I come!
In total, it took me about eight years to get here, but in exchange for investing those eight years, I now have enough money to support me until the day I die. Also, every day I get emails from people telling me how I changed their lives for the better.
The long article/content is definitely one that I have been trying out – does mean though that the amount of articles posted is much much less, as it takes quite a while to write out 6000 words of decent content.
A question on combining a business webpage with a blog: I have a hosted wordpress website for my consulting business and I use one of the tabs for my blog related to the focus of the consulting. Do you think it’s best to combine the site like I do now – or start a separate site just for the blog?
OK, I’m going to show my age…a couple of decades ago, the public relations profession was in trouble and thoroughly misunderstood. As a profession, it lacked luster. So, the pros (me among them, though I was a cub then:) worked on a national public relations campaign for public relations. It worked. Public relations became recognized as a true profession, though there were and still are nitwits that don’t get it.
We love helping new companies and up-and-coming destinations promote themselves. We enjoy connecting with our readers and bringing travel into our working life. It’s truly the ultimate job, and now that you know that you can earn as much as $30,000 / month from it… what are you waiting for?! Learn how to start a travel blog today.
Hi, of course a freestyle blog can be profitable, you have to research the market that your audience is interested in. So what topic(s) (read: niches) do you write about. Do some research in Google and see if any ads pop up. If none, that topic is probably not a very good one. The key is to write great posts, provide great content, build an email list and research what your list is interested in (hint: use polls to check that out, let’s say if you are considering to become an affiliate for amazon and you want to promote cooking books, just an example, you could ask your subscribers to go to a poll you created about what books they love to read, and add cooking books as one of the options, plus several others, to make it more attractive, promise that they can win a reward or so, a free product or free service or even $25 will take them to your 1 minute poll). Also: learn about doing keyword research in Google keywords tool. And learn a bit about SEO done the proper way. Now don’t think you learn this in a week. It can take many years to master this art, but at least a year, if you study like crazy. Make sure your content is great, over deliver in great content, so people LOVE to subscribe to your list, offer a freebie that they will LOVE, and to find out what they would Love you can do a poll in your blog post(s) to research various interests your readers have. Then see if there are affiliate programs for that. Before my reply becomes longer then Jon’s article, I think I leave now, but you get the point…. go do your homework kid 😉 Good luck with your booming business! Believe you can do it, because you can, but you need to work hard, and learn the art of building trust and offering what your readers and subscribers Love…. Woohoo, go do your research now!
Congratulations! A very interesting post. I agree with almost everything you say. Only could add, that more beauty shall be required on the internet. Most of the blogs are without design, and maybe it could be the Play for artists.
The best ranking sites are still the ones with back links. I was going to write “the BEST back links” but decided against it as there are a bunch of blogs in my niche that rank with a huge volume of crappy back links, which is sad.
I’m not sure I understood your question – are you asking about putting a Facebook like button on your website? There are a number of WordPress plugins that will allow you to put one in a sidebar or other area of the site. Just search the plugin repository for “facebook like” and you’ll find a bunch of them.
Question for you. What’s your opinion on turning off blog comments? I like engaging with readers and bloggers and having a dialogue with them. But I know some bloggers are turning off their comments. I don’t know about this. Some readers may feel you’re turning your back on them. Others may not care at all.
Thank You so much Ramsay. I started blogging last year on GoDaddy and after six months of issues, I moved to Blue Host after reading one you your blogs. When I moved over my entire site was lost and all my blogs were officially gone with the wind.
Anyone wanting to create a blog dedicated to blogging, Medium is the way to go. I’ve maintained a WordPress blog for ten years now and the only thing stopping me from migrating everything over is that you can’t migrate comments.
Is there ways to change things like your blog name or domain name? I m considering starting a blog but I am not sure what I want to do it on just yet. I have many passions but I need to decide if/how I want to do the whole blogging thing lol.