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Connections definitely matter, but I don’t think meeting the right people is a matter of luck. When I was a beginner, I made a list of all the people I wanted to know, and I mapped out a strategy for building a relationship with each of them. It’s no coincidence that, years later, all of them are friends. I made sure of it.
So while the world might not need another daily fashion blog, you can set your fashion blog apart by focusing on capsule wardrobes, refashioning clothes you have in your closet or limiting yourself to clothes you buy on consignment.
That was such an inspiration to read. I can’t believe it took you five years to make your first dollar. Very few people would have that kind of perseverance and stick it through. You deserve all the success.
However, you’re not going to get far competing with those heavyweights, so you need to drill down into your target audience and focus on a subset of those people. By narrowing your focus to a niche (sometimes called an angle), your blog now has room to compete for eyeballs.
1. Easy to Remember – Don’t choose a nonsense name, something tough to spell, or a long name full of dashes. “www.best-tech-gadgets-in-the-world.com” won’t ever stick in someone’s head, but something like “www.techgeeks.com” rolls off the tongue.
You’ll need a hosting account too. Usually domain and hosting are bought together. Without a hosting account, you’ll be unable to get your blog online. So when people type in your domain name/blog address, they will see a “page not found”.
Don’t demand perfection. Get over the idea that people need to be ‘camera perfect’. For most of us, being in front of a camera feels strange. While some people are fantastic storytellers, most folk need help to communicate what’s interesting about their topic. Prepare your questions well, to help bring the best out of your subjects. But remember, ums and ahs are perfectly okay – if anything, they make your content seem more authentic.
I think doing a post on paid ad spend would be killer, I know a lot of blog owners out there like myself who have the budget and have experimented some but just not seeing great results. I’ve used SU paid discovery, and while relatively cheap, I find that most of the traffic doesn’t convert into subscribers or return visitors.
The major thing to remember here, however, is that we will see more competition for organic links because more and more people are moving away from the old “link building” methods of the past in favor of a “quality content” approach to to SEO that sites like MOZ. tell us to follow.
The funny thing is that all these things can happen. You could make a full-time income from building a blog. We do it, Corbett Barr does it, and so do many others. And you could become Internet famous like Leo Babauta or Chris Brogan. But if these are the sole reasons why you start blogging, you’ll be miserable, because it will seem like a job, and if it feels like a job you won’t be passionate about it, and so you’ll either (a) hate it, (b) fall flat on your face, or (c) hate it and fall flat on your face.
Wow really great list of tips, even for non beginners! I agree Ahrefs is probably the best SEO tool for bloggers, but honestly Google Webmaster Tools is the first place to start to monitor your search traffic. Ahref is really expensive, and for new comers, probably overkill. I recently started a new blog, and am more than happy with the data provided by Webmaster Tools.
3. I haven’t sold a blog in a while now so I am a bit out of the loop. Best recommendation would be private sales as then you don’t lose fees, but you have to also take care of contracts and escrow, etc.
Jon, amazing article! I would just add to your #15 regarding e-mail subscribers. The number you described is real if you have a legit database of subscribers behind it (don’t know if you take this here for granted).
In theory, you can do that. But later you’d need to migrate/transfer your content from WordPress to HostGator and this can be pretty painful for someone who is not tech savvy. You could also upgrade directly from WordPress, but it’s 4x times more costly than using a hosting provider.
Great information all in one place. I am new to blogging and having a blast. Deciding on a niche was a bitch. I am interested in so many things that I had to follow all of them until I found my groove. It’s a big problem not settling in one niche. At the moment I am in two niches and celebrating the focus.
Hi Karen, I was just discovering blogging as a hobby to kill time, but your guide has enticed me into this inescapable world of blogging. I’ll definitely look forward to kick-start a blog soon. Thanks a ton!!!
Hey Ramsay, an excellent post! While I’ve created numerous WordPress websites, none of them have really stood the test of time. Mainly because I haven’t been passionate about any of them. My goal was to make money with them, and that’s not good enough!
Growing a big mailing list will allow you to build traffic to new blog posts as well as promote any products or affiliates that you think will be useful to your readers. In that way, it is a very powerful way to make money.
First of all the guide very easy and I started my blog using this guide only. But I have a doubt. I started blog using WordPress with a free account and now I want to upgrade my account so that I can use plugins for optimizing my site to get more traffic and after that monetize my site. So the doubt I have is what is the difference between a HostGator plan and a WordPress plan that I can buy directly on the WordPress website.
I’m about to build another theme site/shop and was going to use WP, but based on past experiences, I am going to use Joomla because I know the capabilities and flexibility will make managing a site like this (which will have a blog in it), go much smoother, and then there’s security.
I know enough about SEO to probably be wrong about a lot of it. I could probably write a series of articles on SEO tactics I have learned over the years but as I am not an expert I’ll point you in the right direction to some good articles on the subject.
4. Last year your team contacted me and asked if I was intrerested in ghostwriting for one of your clients. I accepted and got my first paid client. In the first month, that assignment paid for your guestblogging course. Wish to be a paid writer? Check.
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?
I am just confused about one thing I have been trying to link my blog post which is with wordpresss. Org with my facebook page and it keeps telling me I need to be a developer and then I need to set up an app. I am really confused. I hope you can help.