Follow these simple steps to start a profitable blog and be successful
What job allows you to double your income every year? What job with the potential to reach six-figures in just a few years requires no education, no experience and no interview?
I know there's a lot of false promises sold on blogging and there are more than a few disappointed bloggers out there, but start your blog right and it truly can live up to your expectations. I've grown five blogs into a full-time job, nearly doubling my income every year, and love the feeling of building my own online assets.
Don’t get me wrong, blogging is a business and it is a job. Anyone that tells you it’s easy is lying but no other job is as easy to start and gives you the control over your own success.
I started my own websites in December 2014 after a few years of freelance writing for other bloggers. I made just over $7,000 in that first year so nothing get excited about but that number jumped to over $35,000 in 2016. Last year I nearly doubled my blogging income again to $66,970 and I’ve already booked almost $20,000 in the first three months of 2018.
Surprisingly, starting a blog and being successful doesn't have to be complicated. Getting started and building traffic in those crucial first six months comes down to five simple steps.
I love the face-to-face interaction from the new YouTube channel and will be putting out more videos like this one all year. If you're serious about beating your debt, making more money and making your money work for you – Join the community by subscribing to the channel.
Why You Need to Start a Blog Right Now
There is no other job with so much opportunity that you can start without a degree, manage in just ten or 15 hours a week and expect to double your monthly income every year.
But you have to get started. Every blogger I’ve ever met wishes they started their blog just a couple years sooner. I do. We put it off until we want it to be a full-time thing and then wonder why it takes so long to grow.
Don’t do that.
There are factors like just the age of your website that affect how much traffic you get from Google so the sooner you can get those started, the better. Start your blog now and just spend five hours a week for a year, building it up slowly.
By the time you want to rely on your blog for income, it will be ready to start producing some serious cash flow.
How to Get Started Blogging Part-Time
So I’m going to share five simple secrets I’ve learned for starting a blog and getting the most out of it in the least amount of time. I’ve got a more detailed post on how to start a blog but these are the steps that will get you going fast.
1) First you need a niche and web hosting
Your niche is just the topic you choose for your blog. You want to be very specific here, not something so broad as personal finance or travel because you aren’t going to be able to really set yourself apart as an expert.
You can narrow it down by topic, by age group, by region or all three so maybe something like a blog around the niche of managing credit card debt for millennials.
This sets you up as the expert for that group of people. You’ll get found on Google faster, you’ll start getting interviews and publicity and eventually speaking offers.
Web hosting is pretty easy. This is just the service that delivers your website to anyone on the internet. It’s like the rent you pay to be on the net and it’s super cheap. In fact, Blue Host, probably the most popular web host for bloggers, is offering a discounted special so you can get started for less than $5 a month.
Blue Host offers a lot of extra features on their web hosting services and the price really can’t be beat so I’ll leave a link to that special offer in the description below. Whether you go with blue host or another provider, get started now.
It takes less than half an hour to get your blog up and just a few hours a week to start growing it. In a year when you’ve already got a few thousand visitors coming in and extra cash each month, you’ll be glad you started when you did.
2) The next secret to start blogging is to find a group within your topic and get active. This one has meant everything for me. I found an annual conference of financial bloggers that has a Facebook group and, well, I wouldn’t have been able to do it without their support.
Seriously, being part of a blogger community is going to mean the difference between success and frustration. Not only is that community going to encourage you and share ideas but it will be a constant source for guest posts and opportunities to grow your blog.
I just finished up doing a guest post campaign with bloggers I know from this financial conference, I did something like 20 guest posts on different blogs and my traffic has jumped over 35% in three months.
That’s an extra 15,000 visitors a month I get across my five blogs and I can say it’s directly a result of knowing these bloggers and guest posting.
So find a blogger community with a Facebook group, not a spammy one that’s just everyone leaving their links but one that is actually about asking and answering questions. Start contributing and getting to know other bloggers.
The Secrets to Starting a Blog that Aren't Really Secrets
3) Our third secret to start blogging here is start building social media following. Social media visitors from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest account for between 10% to 30% of a blog’s traffic. I know bloggers that focus almost entirely on their social media following and get all their traffic from the sites.
(Ok, these may not seem like secrets but the real secret is in how you build social sharing and SEO into your blogging business. It's all in the execution)
In fact, blogging is just another social community. The most successful blogs are ones that share a personal story and that make a connection with readers. Make your blog like a conversation and people will keep coming back and they’ll share your blog with their social networks.
This is actually something I’ve had a problem with, making my blog posts more conversational and using social media as well as I should. One tool that’s been really helpful is the Hootsuite social media manager. This is an online tool that helps you manage all your social media accounts so you can schedule posts to go out, you can answer comments and do all kinds of things right from one site.
For example, you can manage multiple Facebook pages and groups for your blog straight from the Hootsuite tool instead of having to go to each page. You can schedule your posts and questions weeks in advance so you keep that constant conversation going without having to constantly be tied to the computer.
Hootsuite also has a special deal right now so I’ll link to that. You can try the tool for a week free to get a feel for it and figure out if it’s something you need.
4) Number four on our list of how to start a blog is learning the different ways bloggers make money. Everyone knows bloggers can make money by putting advertisements on their site but this is actually one of the worst ways to make money blogging.
A lot of those ads you see on blogs make less than a penny per page view. That’s fine if you’ve got millions of visitors a month but isn’t going to pay the bills for most bloggers.
I make money on seven different sources and average eighteen cents a page view because I took the time to figure out which income sources pay the most and which I could use. These range from self-publishing which is easily my favorite source for passive income to affiliates which averages well over $3,000 a month.
I’ve got a few more videos on self-publishing on the YouTube channel, make sure you check those out because it’s a natural fit for bloggers and solid cash every single month.
I put nine of these blogging income sources into my book Make Money Blogging. This isn’t the usual lame blogging book that tries to cover everything. This book is 100% about making money blogging and the best sources to use.
I start with the easiest and fastest sources like advertising and affiliates so you can start seeing that money come in and motivate you to keep blogging. Then the book goes into the bigger money makers like courses, webinars and even how to run your own conference or workshop.
Each chapter is detailed to give you everything you need in each blogging income source from how much you can make to setting it up and secrets I’ve learned in each.
5) Last here on our list of starting a blog is learn how to get blog traffic the easy way with search engine optimization or SEO. SEO is just a process you use to get noticed by Google so your blog ranks higher on the search engine.
Most bloggers think that SEO is too technical or difficult but that’s going to be your opportunity.
Because most bloggers avoid SEO, it’s one of the easiest ways to get that free traffic if you take just a little time to understand what works.
That’s it, blogging can be extremely easy and you can make money blogging but you have to get started. Start a blog today and spend just a few hours a week on it. Within a year, you’ll have thousands of people visiting your blog every month and you’ll start making that consistent cash flow. Then you’ll be able to decide if you want it to be your full-time job or if you just want it to be extra money every month. Don’t wait until you need an extra income source to start your blog.