Ready to start up your blog? Maybe you’re not starting a blog, per say, but you own a business and you need a website. If you’re in the second category–you still need this info! Yes, I’m focusing on 5 No-Nonsense Steps To Start A Successful Blog, but these 5 points are important for any online business!
I’m an affiliate marketer, which means I’ll earn commission via your click-through or purchase at no additional cost to you.
Warning: Don’t skim the table of contents and think, “I’ve read this all before.” Sure, you’ve seen these 5 steps, probably a million times, but here’s the difference between Earning SAHM and other posts: I’m brutally honest.
This isn’t a fluff piece to get you to sign up for Bluehost (Don’t do it. Use Siteground.). This is a legit list to help you get started correctly.
Let’s do this.
5 No-Nonsense Steps To Start A Successful Blog
Out with the nonsense, in with the brutally honest stuff.
1: Nail Down Your Audience
This step is listed in THOUSANDS of blogs and it really is important. How many times have you read, “find your audience…?”
Here’s the deal–don’t just find your audience. Nail it doooown.
Here’s an example. You’re a fitness blogger. Or, for the sake of my “category 2” peeps, you’re selling fitness equipment online.
Who likes fitness? Basically everyone. But you can’t write to every single person on the planet who likes fitness. It’s bad business–not to mention impossible.
So you need to nail it down. Who are you writing to?
The best way to think about it is to start at your goal and work backwards. What is the goal of your website, blog, post…?
Let’s just say you’re selling an exercise machine. Is it designed for women, men or both?
Who’s most likely to buy in–the already-fit human who wants to add something extra to their routine? Someone who wants to lose 25 pounds? A person who wants to tone up in a particular area?
Narrow that thing down, and then include all your potential buyers.
When you’re creating a blog, you need a specific kind of reader in mind–like 2 or more descriptive words.
For example, my blog, Mama Fearless, is dedicated to first-time moms and expectant mothers. But what else?
I’ve nailed down my audience to first-time moms and expectant mothers who need encouragement about pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood.
BAM! It’s not a baby-items blog, a review blog (though it contains those elements). It’s an inspirational blog to boost confidence.
Here are some words that I used to nail down my audience:
- Infants and Toddlers
See? Gotta get specific.
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2: Choose the RIGHT Niche
Ugh. This one frustrates me. I see this one everywhere, too. “Choose your niche.” Period.
That’s like starting a sentence with, “This amazing…” and then walking off.
There is so much more to choosing your niche than just choosing your niche.
I know you really love nachos, but I hate to break it to you. Good luck creating a successful, money-making blog entirely about nachos.
Food blog? Oh, yeah!
But nachos only? Wah wah wah.
You might be so passionate about nachos, and maybe you even have 47 nacho recipes. But you’re going to have one crazy massive climb ahead of you to make decent money writing about nachos, unless you’ve got a secret the rest of us don’t.
If you do, then what are you doing reading my blog? Seriously, please refer me to yours!
Do your research. Find out which niches do well, and if your idea fits in those categories, you’re off to a good start.
Maybe just keep a journal about nachos or write a recipe book while you choose a better niche for your blog.
3: Write Good Content
Can I just say that I’ve actually read blogs that say you don’t have to be a good writer to make money blogging?
Yes, you do! In fact, you must be a good writer to make money blogging. Of all 5 steps to start a successful blog, this one is your bread and butter.
You might be selling thee greatest gym equipment of all time, but if you can’t spell equipment or construct a decent, persuasive article, you’re toast.
Yes, marketing, yes, SEO, yes design and creativity.
AFTER GOOD CONTENT (yes, I yelled it).
I care about your blog because it’s part of you and it’s serious. If you’re creating a blog or website to make money, it’s your baby, your dream and you’re probably already working hard at it.
That’s why I’m not brushing this under the rug. Blogging is writing. That’s the medium you’re using to get your art out there.
If you need help writing, take my 1-hour course for writing basics to get you started. It’s 100x less the cost of most of the courses out there and it will help you with some writing and blogging basics to improve your content.
If you can’t write well and don’t care to improve, try vlogging.
Bottom line, bloggers need to be able to write killer content.
4: Engage with Your Readers
This isn’t the Wizard of Oz. You’re not some enigmatic figment that people love to follow and buy your stuff.
Much better than that, you’re a human. Talking to other humans.
That means you’re building relationships around trust, so that when you recommend your products or publish something, people take your word for it.
So what’s your plan to engage with your readers?
Building an email list is a great method. Keep it real, talk to your audience, and encourage them to get involved.
They’ve got great minds and valuable input. Ask them what they want to see, what works for them and create discussions.
I recently asked my Mama Fearless readers to tell me what they wanted to see on the blog and I received some great feedback. I thanked them individually for their response and showed appreciation for their ideas by writing back.
One of my subscribers literally wrote to me, “Wow, I feel special that you’ve taken the time to write back…”
More than a pageview, a reader, or a sale, I just made a friend. 🙂
Now we get to the fun stuff. Who doesn’t like getting a paycheck? Seriously!
No, but really. This is super important. You’re not doing this just to play around (if you are, you’re reading the wrong blog my friend. We’re a bunch of serious bloggers around here). You’re building a business.
You need a plan to monetize. How are you going to make your money? Do you have your own products to sell? Are you an affiliate? A coach?
It’s important that you have an outline on how your blog is going to make money. The avenue you’re taking to get that dough is going to determine the steps you take to be successful.
If you’re selling your own products (like how I sell my blog writer’s course), you might want to be careful about placing too many ads or affiliate links on your site that will distract people from your own product.
If you’re an affiliate, you need to make sure you’re doing a great job honestly reviewing products and recommending products with integrity (come on, don’t sell your soul, here).
What about coaching? If ever engagement and building relationships was important, it’s crucial for the coaching business!
Write out your goals. Then turn it into a plan. Finally, make that a plan of action, with all the steps you’re going to take.
Stick To It, My Friend!
These 5 steps to start a successful blog are only the very beginning of your business.
The better you do and the more solid your foundation, the more successful your blog will be in the long run.
Remember, this is building a business. It’s not a get-rich-quick-scheme. It’s a marathon, one step after another, and it’s not always easy.
That’s why not every blog makes it. If you’re serious, and you’re willing, you can totally make good money blogging.