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How & Why I Got Into Blogging
Hello and welcome 🙂 It’s good to have you here! I’m going to help you set up your very own personal blog the right way, fuss free.
But first, why would you want to blog?
Well, I’ll explain how and why I got into blogging.
For ten years I worked at corporate law firms. And although my job was interesting enough and it paid the bills, there was always something missing.
A void that needed filling.
So one day I sat down at my laptop to look at my options. And there seemed to be a lot of them! So much that it got overwhelming and I wanted to do everything and nothing at the same time.
I have to admit that I was scared to take the leap and throw myself into anything that was totally unfamiliar.
It took me awhile to work out what I wanted to do. Especially if I was going to quit my job and start making money online.
So I started reading blogs and discovered there were bloggers making a full time income. This seemed like just the thing I didn’t realize I was looking for.
How could I do the same? There seemed to be so much competition and years of a lot of work!
Finally, I decided that the only way I was going to find out if I could do the same was to jump right in and see for myself.
So I did. And I haven’t looked back!
Your reasons for starting a blog and/or quitting your job may not be the same as mine. But if any of these align with you, perhaps it’s time to make some changes! Do you:
- Feel trapped or unhappy in your job?
- Struggle to save money?
- Wish there was a way to not have to work for anyone else?
- Drown in bills and debt?
- Yearn for something more meaningful?
- Dream about buying your own house?
- Stay at home as a parent wishing you had something just for you?
My blog is small but growing steadily and I’ve met awesome people in the online space, so I don’t get too lonely!
I’ve learnt a TONNE and continue to learn so much with blogging.
Millions of others have started their own blog. And the good news is it’s not too late to start.
The truth is, blogging is a lot of work and there is a lot to learn. Especially in the beginning.
But! If you stick it out, it is so worth it in the end.
And, it doesn’t have to take years of work to start seeing great results either! It is possible to start earning from your blog in the first year.
Just Starting Out
My blog was given life in 2020.
Some might say I was late to the party, but I knew that the only way I was ever going to find out if blogging was worth it, was to just do it!
Starting a blog is one of the best things I have ever done, and has absolutely been worth all the work.
For me, it has given me newfound freedom and most importantly, something that I am truly proud of.
Why You Need To Start A Profitable Blog
You might be wondering why you might like to start a blog.
Well, here are some of the main reasons why blogging is so awesome:
- Inexpensive to get started
- Great for beginners
- Find your voice
- Impact people’s lives
- Creativity release
- Build online communities
- Make good money
- Learn and grow as a person
- Express your unique ideas
There are many other great reasons to start a blog, but they are the main reasons why I blog and love it!
When you first get started with blogging, it can feel overwhelming with so much information to take in.
Where the heck do you start??
My advice is to take it step by step and little by little when you’re starting out. Remember, slow and steady wins the race!
Trying to do too many things at once will almost certainly overwhelm you! So go easy when you’re first starting.
My goal is to help you start your very own blog and help you with the steep learning curve that all bloggers must go through.
So let’s take this slowly and go through each step so you feel a little less lost in the process!
But first, let’s look at some highly successful blogs out there that are earning thousands per month.
Step 1 – Choose a Blog Topic and Domain Name
What you want to get right from the beginning is your blog topic, mainly. This is because you need to stick with it for the long term.
If you choose a topic and related domain name, which I would advise, then it will be hard to pivot down the track if you change your mind.
So lets say for example you decide to go with a niche like ‘Yoga For Sleep’ as your topic. You choose a domain name that relates to your topic, like yogisleep.com. It’s a specific niche that doesn’t leave room to pivot to a new topic.
However, if you chose a topic that was a little more broad like Fitness or Health, then you can branch out into their subtopics.
Unless you plan on targeting a specific country, then choosing a .com is the best option for your blog. If your desired blog name is already taken, you should pick another domain name rather than the same name with .org or .co etc. Otherwise your blog will be confused with someone else’s domain and you wouldn’t want that!
If you’re ready to choose your .com domain, I recommend namecheap. They are offering .com domains at around USD$7 per year on sale for new customers. This is one of the cheapest deals I’ve seen around! Click this link to visit namecheap now.
Once you’ve chosen your topic and a suitable, available domain name, you’re ready to set up your blog! Yay!
Step 2 – Set Up Hosting For Your Blog
Every website on the internet needs a registered domain name and hosting and when I first started my blog I used Bluehost for hosting. This seemed to be the most popular choice on the internet and was recommended to me, so I signed up.
I have since switched to Siteground hosting who I have found has more to offer than the basics at Bluehost. There were a few reasons for my switch and one of them was speed. Siteground hosting takes the lead in this area as they have an advanced built-in caching system to help your website load faster.
They also have excellent customer service with a 24/7 live chat to help you when you get stuck with setting up WordPress etc. I’ve found their customer service reps are very knowledgeable and able to help you resolve your issues quickly.
I was also able to quickly and easily transfer my domain over to Siteground, totally free of charge. I really can’t fault them!
Here is my link to check out Siteground. I do receive a commission if you sign up using my link, but I wouldn’t recommend a product I didn’t use and love myself. I’m so happy with Siteground and their service and I want you to have the best hosting option for your blog too.
CHOOSING YOUR HOSTING PLAN
To keep costs low you only need to choose the StartUP plan as that has all the features you need to start blogging. See below:
After you’ve hit ‘Get Plan’ on the StartUp Plan, you will be taken to a page to complete your order.
You’re getting SO CLOSE to starting your new blog which is super exciting!!
** It’s important to know that if you decide you don’t want to go ahead with your blog, Siteground will refund you within 30 days of signing up. **
Step 3 – Install WordPress and Choose a Theme
High fives on setting up your new plan! Next, you will need to install WordPress for your blog. This might sound scary and all technical but I assure you it’s not, it’s as easy as 1 2 3.
Follow Siteground’s step-by-step instructions on how to install WordPress right here. It shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes to complete this step.
Once WordPress is installed, now it’s time to choose a theme. Exciting part! Head on over to the Appearance section in your WordPress dashboard and choose Themes.
When you’re starting out and maybe don’t have the money to spend on a fancy theme, there are many great free options so don’t stress about the theme too much.
A couple of popular themes that I have personally used and you can get started with for free are GeneratePress and OceanWP.
If down the track you’d like to go with a premium theme then you can easily pay for and download the theme you want.
Step 4 – Set Up Your Policy and Contact Pages
These might be the less exciting part of setting up your blog, but you do need them. Let’s go through each one so you can set up your pages easily.
The pages you will need to create before launching your blog are:
- Terms and Conditions
- About Me/Us
This doesn’t need to be difficult and you can just start with your name and an email address for your readers to contact you. Or, you can have them fill out a contact form that is easy and straightforward.
Head over to your WordPress Dashboard and choose “Privacy” from “Settings”. Then click on “Create New Page”.
This will generate a template that you can use and edit to suit your website based on what it’s about.
Most if not all bloggers need a disclaimer on their website to protect themselves from being liable to others.
Your disclaimer will depend on the type of blog you have and what it’s about. So for example lets say your blog is about health and fitness. You don’t want to be held liable for someone saying they followed along with the information on your blog and weren’t successful, or resulted in damage.
A disclaimer will also protect you for when you have older content that could no longer be relevant. It’s always important for bloggers to update their content, not just for ranking purposes but to keep content fresh and updated.
To learn more about writing your disclaimer you can find that here.
Terms and Conditions
Terms and conditions are needed to establish a legal agreement between you and your readers. They help your readers to understand the rules around visiting and using your website, particularly when paying for products and services are involved.
To learn more about writing your terms and conditions page, here is a useful guide.
Step 5 – Create Awesome Content
Before launching your blog you want to make sure you have at least five high quality, engaging posts that draw people in that will make them want to read more of your content. However, don’t stop there! Keep creating content to keep your readers interested and coming back for more.
It’s important to be yourself and not to try and be someone else when you’re creating blog posts. Be confident that you can bring something to a topic that perhaps no-one else has thought of, or a different angle or take on a popular topic.
After all, we are not a bunch of clones!
When I first started writing I felt a bit like a fish out of water. It wasn’t something I was used to, but the more I did it the more I really started to enjoy it!
You can think of it as your own creative outlet that allows you to get your thoughts and ideas out there in the world.
Make sure it’s relative to your topic and perhaps most importantly, you’re solving a problem for your readers.
People want to know what they can get out of your content and what’s in it for them. So you must provide a lot of value.
Be yourself and let your personality show through in your writing. But also make sure you have genuine knowledge and interest in your topics or you will quickly lose motivation to keep writing.
Step 6 – Launch Your Blog!
Perhaps the most exciting step of all is launching your blog, hoorah! I’m sure you’ve worked damn hard to get to this point, so congrats to you!
Many new bloggers give up when the road gets tough, and it will get tough, but that’s where you grow and thrive and learn!
I want you to give blogging a really good go and don’t throw in the towel when you hit a roadblock. If you push past and continue to learn as you go you will get to a point where you can look back and see how much you’ve achieved!
Now, Let’s Recap
1) Choose a blog topic and domain name
2) Set up hosting with Siteground
3) Install WordPress and choose a theme
4) Set up contact and policy pages
5) Create at least 5 killer blog posts
Now you might be thinking that’s great, I’ve launched my blog, now how do I monetize it??
There are many different ways you can do this, so let’s take a look at some of these below.
First there is display advertising, which is where you place ads on your page with an advertising network like Mediavine for example.
Once you start getting a certain amount of traffic to your blog you can apply to the ad network and start making money.
So how much traffic do you need exactly? The truth is you will need a lot and this will take time, probably the most frustrating part of blogging. For Mediavine you’ll need at least 50,000 monthly sessions which is equivalent to roughly 60,000 monthly page views. That’s a lot of traffic!
I think it’s good to have long term goals and something to work towards. But there are other options for advertising networks that are easier to get into. One example is Ezoic where in comparison to Mediavine, there is no pageview limit to get in. You sign up with them and they put you on a ‘Level Up Learning Program’ to help increase pageviews.
You may or may not have heard of affiliate marketing. It is essentially earning a commission for any products you recommend to your readers.
Once your blog is ready to be monetized, you can start signing up with affiliate marketing platforms who offer services to both publishers and advertisers alike. Here are a few platforms to get started:
Provided you continue to give value to your readers and can recommend products that are related to your blog topics. This is a great way to monetize your blog.
Once you’ve been blogging for awhile you can create posts for brands or other blogs. You can feature their product or service to help them gain more exposure, and they will pay you for it.
Brands will either reach out to you or you can reach out to brands you want to work with.
Let’s look at some of the most commonly asked questions about starting a blog.
Can I start a blog for free?
Yes, you can. Places like WordPress.com or blogger.com allow you to start a blog for free using their platform.
However! Let it be known that like with most things in life, you get what you pay for. It is going to be much more beneficial to you to invest in basic hosting if you want to be taken seriously as a blogger.
The other downside with going with a free blogging platform is that you don’t actually own your website. You are also limited to only using Google AdSense (with blogger) for your advertising.
So, I recommend NOT going down the free route.
What should I blog about?
You can blog about pretty much anything. But the important thing to get right is blogging about something you already have an interest in, know enough about, and can produce well written content around.
As I mentioned earlier in this post, if you need some ideas then please check out my post: A Legendary List of Blogging Topics.
How long until I can start earning from my blog?
There is no straight forward answer to this question, as it depends on quite a lot. Like, how much time you have to work on your blog and how fast you want to grow it.
Are you blogging part-time or full-time?
I spent the first six months procrastinating and working on my blog when it suited me and when I felt like it.
I quickly realized that if I wanted to start seeing my blog grow and earn money then I needed to speed things up!
So I worked nights and put in the extra time and effort to start earning from my blog within its first year.
Is blogging too saturated now?
While it may not be as easy to just pop up a new website, throw some content on there and sit back and wait for traffic like it once was.
People still read blogs, they aren’t yet the dinosaurs of the internet and it is still possible to earn good money from a newer website.
Yes, there are millions of blogs out there, but there are also billions of people in the world continuing to connect on the internet with new topics and trends for content creation.
We live in pretty amazing times!
How fast can I grow my blog?
Similar to the question “how long until I can start earning from my blog”, it really depends on the time you give it.
There is a lot to learn. So that means you will be learning and doing as you go.
Once you start publishing high quality content and driving traffic to your blog, you should start to see it grow in about 3 to 6 months.
I know I’ve mentioned heaps of times that blogging has changed my life. But it’s because it’s true!
When you’re wandering through life unsure of what your calling is, knowing that there must be more to life than working your 9 to 5, having success with a blog, big or little is life changing!
If I had given up on my blog whenever I hit a roadblock I would never have known what opportunities lay ahead of me.
I am so glad I didn’t give up and pushed through the learning curves!
If you are to take anything away from this post then it’s do not give up easily. Give blogging a chance, because you won’t know what lies ahead and could miss out on something really great in your life.
Have more questions? Ask me in the comments below. I’m always here to help!
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