Blogging in short, is the number one way to show readers your authority on a specific niche or topic. It helps to build trust with your readers that they might not otherwise get with social media posts.
This blog post containes affiliate links. You may read my disclaimer here
For anyone that is not directly related to blogging in any way, shape or form, their overall reaction when they hear the word “blog” is that you have to be an expert or have a college degree in writing.
While a basic education in writing doesn’t hurt, a degree is definitely not required. If you know your craft like the back of your hand, then you can write about it non stop.
Why should you blog?
If you use Pinterest, or you search Google to learn anything, then 99.9% of the time, your search results bring up someones blog. So to say the least, it is the best marketing tool out there for a product or service. You aren’t shoving a product or resource into someone's face and they get annoyed with you, they are literally looking for what you have to offer. You just have to create it and get it in front of them.
It is a great way to make passive income while you sleep. You can become an affiliate marketer. What the heck is that? OK, so you love Target right? A friend asks you where you got that awesome office decor, and you get all excited and you tell them TARGET! And your friend is all, Oh! I LOVE Target! And then your friend goes shopping...at Target and picks up the same office decor as you. So what if Target paid you after your friend made that purchase? Yes. they do that. That is called affiliate marketing. There are many, many affiliate programs out there that you can sign up for, they give you a special link, you share that link, and if your readers click on your link and purchase from it, you get a fixed % amount from that purchase. It never costs anyone extra, and you get rewarded for the recommendation! Most programs require you to have a website to be approved.
Another way to make a passive income on a blog, is to create ebooks, guides and tutorials. You create them once, upload to a platform to sell, and that’s it! Sell that one product, over and over again!
How do you start a blog?
Here are 5 main things you need before starting a blog.
A niche. What is it that you are an expert in? What is it that you could talk about for hours and hours? Cats or animals in general? Bowling? Shopping and how to find the best deals? Cooking? Health? Whatever it is that you love to do, that is what you should base your blog on. The thing you know THE most about.
A platform for your blog to be on. I know Wordpress is the first site that comes to mind when someone mentions a blog. However, myself personally, I don’t like WP. I have tried. I really really have tried to use it. I just can’t. I’m not a coder or an expert in building websites or blogs, but I do know a lil’ bit. And I do know that I just can't deal with WP. If you want to try your blog out on WP, by all means, please do so. But I can not help you. I have two blogs and they are both on Squarespace. Here is my list of blogging platforms to look into.
Constant Contact (although they do not have a commenting option for blog posts)
A little knowledge on SEO. SEO, or search engine optimization, in a nutshell, is how your blog, products and services get found on the internet. A few key points for SEO is the title of your blog or business, as well as the words you use in your blog posts. I won’t get into too much detail in this post, but an example of SEO would be, if you are a photographer and you are wanting clients in your location to find you. A great way for them to find you is to blog your sessions, and list the locations you shoot at, in each post. Also in your title, sub header, and body. Changing the file name of the images that you post will help you get found as well.
Startup cost. I realize that you are here because you want to make extra money. Unfortunately, you have to spend a little money, to make a little money. Except my plan is to teach you how to spend a little bit of money, and make A LOT of money. When I started this blog, I had already been blogging for two years, and had set up multiple blogs/sites. So I have the experience, and the knowledge and I know exactly how to start this venture for less than $40 per month. Here is my exact cost that I pay monthly for my blog:
Hosted website = $16 (Squarespace)
Domain Name = $1.60 (Purchased on Squarespace for $20.00 per year)
Email service = $6 (GSuit)
Sendowl = $9 (for my digital download products)
$32.60 per month
Some beginner knowledge on email marketing. You need to have email marketing in place as soon as you start promoting your blog. It is vital to start collecting email addresses from day one. As your blogging experience grows, so will your readers. They WILL want to hear from you, therefore you need to make sure there is a way for them to subscribe to your blog. If you notice in my start up cost list, I don’t have email marketing added in. That’s because I use Mailerlite. It is FREE up to 1,000 subscribers! And honestly, by the time you hit 1K subscribers, you should be pulling in a bit of income from your blog. Another reason to have email marketing in place when you start, is we don’t want to rely on social media to promote. Ever. Yes, absolutely you should be posting on Instagram, Facebook, etc. But never ever rely on it to bring in clients or readers. Platforms such as Myspace, and Google +, are gone. And if you had an account on those platforms, your followers are gone too. Don’t ever think for one second that Facebook or Insta will never go away. They can. And again, so will the followers. Email marketing will be there. Forever. You OWN your email list/subscribers.
The question I see MOST is how to get traffic to your blog??? You can not publish a blog post and just expect traffic to flock to your blog. It takes good SEO, time, and PATIENCE!
People are searching for what you have to write about.
Blogging and Pinterest go hand in hand. If you search anything on Pinterest, 99.9% of the time, you are reading and learning how to do something from a blogger. Pinterest is second to Google for searching. It's not a social media platform, it IS a visual search engine. So you do need to have some knowledge on how to make Pinterest sized graphics. You do need to be consistent. At the very least, 10 NEW pins per week.
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