Starting Your Own Blog
I hope you’re having a wonderful and sunshine filled week. Today’s post is about the benefits of starting your own blog and the first steps of getting one set up.
If you want to thrive in business today and really benefit from the huge growth of Social Media sites and the world always being more connected, it’s very important to have a blog.
The goal of starting your own blog is a to have a place where your visitors can get to know you better, learn useful and interesting information and sign up for your mailing list(to generate leads, customers, business partners and best buddies).
Your blog is like a main hub where you can drive traffic to from all your other sites. Blogs are excellent for getting ranked in the search engines for highly targeted keywords. Having a blog is definitely one of the most effective ways to receive qualified traffic and generate a constant stream of leads.
If you’re going to start your own blog, you’ll need to enjoy writing (unless you plan to outsource) and stick with it for quite a while consistently until it becomes successful.
There are endless benefits of starting your own blog:
- When your blog is professional and well structured, you build instant credibility, trust and respect with anyone who comes to your site.
- A blog builds your own brand, so people see you as a source.
- It has a very low start up cost and very low ongoing and operating costs.
- Requires very few specialized skills.
- Can help you to make an income by being your authentic self and sharing your passions with the world.
- Helps you build an email list that provides you with stable long term income.
- Allows you to pick a niche that fascinates you and you LOVE to write about.
- Unlike a static website, a blog is active and alive and also allows you to create and interact with a community.
- A blog is much more trusted and higher rated than a static website.
- A blog can be built in your spare time.
A blog can be about any passions you already have. The topic you choose, you should like a lot so that you’re motivated and excited to write about it.
The easiest way to find a niche, is to make a list of all the things that you’re interested in and see what things go together well. Then research them to see if there is enough people searching for it through this: Free Keyword Research Tool
Figure out exactly who you’re writing for and what problems, desires, goals and needs your target audience has. The more you can provide solutions and useful advice to them the more successful your blog will become!
Here are the simple steps to starting your own blog and having a well structured and professional online presence:
1. Decide on a topic to write about: Answering the following questions will help you to choose your topic:
* Which painful problem or frustration can you solve? People go online to find solutions to their problems, so if you are a resource and can help them and provide great value, your blog has a great chance to become successful.
* What irrational passion do you have? find something you are so enthusiastic about you could write about it and really enjoy it. Once you find something, do keyword research to see if enough people are interested in your topic.
If there’s a lot of competition in your field, just think about a unique angle you could take and what would make you different and stand out.
Before starting your own blog be clear on what you want from it and what you want to give to the people reading it.
2. Choose a domain name for your blog: this can either be your own name (if you want to brand yourself) or otherwise any name that sounds special to you or you find relevant. There are many sites you can purchase a domain from and they usually cost around 10.- to 12.-
3. Host it yourself: The first important factor of having a blog is hosting it yourself. If you don’t host it, you don’t own it and all your posts can be deleted and taken away at any time for no reason whatsoever. If you are serious about your blog, you need to host it yourself.
If you choose green hosting for your blog from www.EcoNetHost.com you will also receive complimentary blog installation and configuration included with your hosting (so it’s ready for you to start blogging).
4. Use WordPress.org The best site to build a blog is: www.wordpress.org as it has an extensive range of useful features, lets your posts get be picked up easily by the search engines and has thousands of amazing plugins to let you do virtually anything.
5. A professional blog theme: This is important so your blog looks professional to your reader. Don’t underestimate the visual impression of your blog on your reader.
If you’d like a free wordpress theme you can easily find many of them on the web to choose from.
Or you can choose a Premium Theme to help improve your blogs search engine rankings. Thesis has a very clean code, its easy for the spiders to crawl your content, it loads rapidly and because of this it will rank your content much higher in the search engines than a normal theme can.
(whichever theme you choose, I recommend not picking a black theme or very dark colored one as this makes it hard on the eyes to read at night).
6. A strategy to earn income: there are many ways to earn income from your blog. You can write posts that include affiliate links to products and services you love and believe in, You can choose a vehicle that is ethical, flexible and lets you earn a great income simply by promoting it, you can use adsense and banners and you can build a list and earn income whenever you promote useful things and provide great service to your list.
7. A professional header: A good header is important as it makes it easy for your readers to know who you are, what you do and why your blog will benefit them. It’s best if your header includes your picture, your title(or what you do) and your slogan. These days so many websites are anonymous, plain or boring, so adding a header with your picture and your blogs benefits will make you really stand out from the rest. On fiverr, you can find excellent people who will make you a professional and great looking header for 5.-
8. An About Me Section: This lets the reader know more about you and the purpose of your blog. To write this section, you would FIRST write what the direct benefit of your blog is for the reader. Then you would include a short bio about yourself and who you are.
9. Your Contact Information in Prominent View: Your contact info (telephone, Skype, email etc) has to be easy to find and clearly visible. People will leave a page if they find it hard to find the contact info and if it’s not there at all, it will create mistrust.
I don’t recommend adding your home address (as this is not relevant or needed) and if you prefer not to add your home phone number, you can simply purchase a Skype number for people to reach you. This also has the advantage of allowing you to choose a number in the countries where you have most of your business partners so it’s only a local call for them.
10. RSS Feeds: RSS feeds are the backbone of Web 2.0 and are very helpful to your blogs ongoing success. RSS feeds are one of the most important aspects to get high rankings (as RSS is used in many traffic strategies) and for the immense convenience it provides your readers (to get automatic feeds from you straight to their email).
11. A sitemap: This is important for the spiders to crawl your blog and be found by the search engines.
12. Opt In Box: An opt in box is one of the most crucial factors to benefit from your blog. This is where you can get your readers to sign up for your newsletter series and grow your list. An excellent Autoresponder I personally use that lets you seamlessly build optin boxes(with step by step video tutorials), lets you write your letters on beautiful templates and easily build a and manage a powerful list is Aweber.
13. Social Media Links: This is where you connect your blog with all the other social media sites you use. (YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc). This builds your presence, authority and credibility and also lets people get to know you and connect with you through other channels.
14. Testimonials and Endorsements: Social proof is one of the most powerful and useful mediums to establish credibility. People are a lot more likely to purchase something or become involved if they see a lot of others have done it too. The best way to use this is to have as many testimonials as possible about both your character and what you do. (Case studies can also be helpful to demonstrate this).
If you are just beginning and don’t have testimonials yet, you can ask your friends, ex employers and people who know you to provide a character testimonials for you.
15. Add a Blog Disclaimer: If you’re going to recommend anything on your blog that you receive commissions for in any shape or form, you need to have a disclaimer on your site. This site: www.DisclosurePolicy.org lets you can create one specifically for your blog (in under 2 minutes) and not have to worry about hassles from the Federal Trade Commission.
16. Widgets and Plugins: There are many useful widgets and plugins that increase the functionality of your blog, make it easy for your readers to use your site, interact with you and share your content. These are some of the ones I use myself and recommend to make your blog more functional.
Don’t worry if starting your own blog is something you’ve never done before, and don’t worry about the technical stuff. (If you know how to use email you can definitely master a blog!!)
The most important thing is to start adding content consistently and as you go you can improve the look and functionality of your site.
The many benefits of starting your own blog far outweigh the short time it takes getting set up and learning how to make the most of it.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I’d be more than happy to help.
I hope you have a gorgeous week, you take the plunge, you make great progress and your blog ends up being one of the best things you ever do!
In love and service
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When you do nothing, you feel overwhelmed and powerless. But when you get involved you feel an incredible sense of hope and accomplishment
That some achieve success, is proof to all that others can achieve it as well – Abraham Lincoln
Images courtesy of (renjith krishnan, photostock, digitalart, adamr, siraphat) FreeDigitalPhotos.net