Starting a Blog
WordPress is a great platform to get started with your own blog. Many hosting providers offer 1 click install or will install it for you for free. Make sure to use the self hosted wordpress installation, because it gives you way more options for customization.
You will need a domain name and hosting. Do some research and find a domain name that resonates with you. Keep SEO in mind as you choose it. I recommend registering your domain and hosting with Dreamhost, because it’s excellent service for a reasonable price, and the support is great!
Hire a Quality Web Designer
You can use a template provided by the wordpress community, although sooner or later you may want to make your design more customized. If you’re already an expert designer then great, but if not then you may want to consider checking out some portfolios to see who can create the type of website design you’re looking for. Make sure your web designer has integrity. It might just be that you need a great logo, background, and some plugin configuration. Just start asking questions, and you’re sure to find all the answers you need. Just remember, you get what you pay for. The best designers aren’t cheap, and they shouldn’t be. They do this for a living after all, so take your designer as seriously as you take your business. Pay them well, and let them do what they’re best at. Don’t micro-manage. Give some direction, and take a step back.
Create Quality Content
No matter what your blog’s niche is, content is king. Focus on the quality of your posts, and you will see great results. The better the content is the more likely people are to refer others to you. Nothing beats free advertising, and word of mouth is the best that money can’t buy. Nobody wants to share content that seems rushed, so take your time to make your blog posts impactful. One of your posts just might go viral, and generate loads of free traffic. If you don’t know how to write your own content consider hiring ghost writers or working out deals in exchange for a link back.
Post Unique Content Consistently
Slow and steady wins the race, although blogging really isn’t a competition. Just be creative, and challenge yourself to come up with new and interesting content on a regular basis. Consider it a mental exercise. The easiest thing to do is nothing, although procrastination won’t get you anywhere. Break whatever your task is into manageable pieces, and start taking steps however small they may be.
Monetize Your Blog
The more ways you go about this the better. There are many for those who see opportunities. Here are just a few ideas to get you started.
- Information Products
Write a book, record an audio or video program. These can be sold on your blog for whatever price you want,
You can either use third party ads such as google adsense, or you can sell your own ads for whatever price you want. Create a subscription based plan, and watch the money flow in.
- Members Only Area
Offer a members only area of your site with specialized VIP benefits, an eZine, insider information, private community, downloads or new content. Charge a monthly or yearly subscription fee.
- Affiliate Offers
Use a company such as LinkShare to join affiliate programs, start selling third party products and services on your blog, and let the money avalanche begin.
Multiple Streams of Residual Income
The real key is to create multiple streams of residual income. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket as they say. Be diverse in your money making endeavors, and create a marketing plan that works. Everyone has to start somewhere, so work with what you’ve got, and focus on the opportunities. Don’t let other people tell you that you can’t do it. They can’t do it because they think they can’t. Anyone with the will and motivation to succeed can do it with persistent efforts in the right direction.