How To Start a Blog That’ll Make You Proud [Ultimate Guide]
Are you thinking about becoming a blogger but don’t know how to start a blog?
Or maybe you have a blog but you are stuck and don’t know how to move forward.
In both cases, I got your back.
This is a complete guide to successful blogging. You’ll discover how to start a blog using a FIRE framework.
All the steps introduced in this guide are proven to work.
So if you want to know more about successful blogging and making money online, this is exactly what you need.
Did you know that 34% of bloggers have been blogging for less than one year?
It’s awesome to see how easy it is to start a blog these days, but this statistic also shows that many bloggers can’t manage to keep their blogs up and running for very long. That is because they get stuck in learning and implementing things that aren’t important for their level.
There are many blogging gurus out there that share tips on successful blogging and none of them will tell you that you should only do actions appropriate for your level, and people like you will follow their advice maybe for a year, and then when they don’t see any progress they eventually give up.
Don’t be one of them.
Make sure to at least give it a try and follow these tips on successful blogging and you could have your awesome blog up and running in a short time.
There are 4 levels of blogging and each level has its main point. I call this a Blogging Pyramid.
I don’t advise you to skip any level if you want to be a successful blogger, so follow these blogging tips with having that on your mind.
4th level- Beginner. When you are a beginner your focus is to get knowledge. Only after you get the knowledge you can move up to the next level and become a professional.
3rd level- Professional. On this level, your focus is to get results. And again, only after you get results you can move up to the next level and become an expert.
2nd level- Expert. Your focus here is to get recognized. After you get recognized you move up to the last level and become a brand.
1st level- Brand. When you become a brand your focus is to get scale.
After lots of errors during my 10 years of blogging experience, I came up with the framework that will keep you on an adequate level and make sure that you do only things that matter so you’ll have a better chance to find success.
I call it the FIRE Framework. It shows you how to start a blog by doing everything in a particular order and within your blogging level.
What’s a FIRE Framework
By following this framework you’ll know exactly what you need to do at certain points and you will minimize the risk of getting stuck and not getting any results.
Let me explain a bit more about what is this all about.
F is for focus.
This is actually about your mindset. The first and one of the most important elements of successful blogging is having the right mindset. With the right mindset, you can do what you think is impossible.
I is for investigation.
This is about brainstorming on which platform will your blog live, what will you write about (a niche of your blog), for whom you’ll be writing (your target audience), and what are your goals (what do you want to accomplish in the next year or two).
R is for research.
This is about looking for your domain name, doing keyword research and creating a master keyword list, and creating your content plan. Strong research skills are a valuable blogging asset.
E is for execution.
This is the fun part. It’s about getting out there and do things. It’s time to purchase hosting, to get your domain name, to install WordPress and set everything up, to create the most important pages of your blog, start with content creation, collect email addresses, monetize your blog and promote it on social media.
Sounds like a lot of work?
It is hard work and time-consuming as well. You have to stay focused on your goals and approach this like it’s your real job. Commit two or three hours five days a week and stick to it.
Here’s a breakdown of my FIRE Framework:
Start a Successful Blog Using the FIRE Framework
This blogging framework will keep you on an adequate level and make sure that you do only things that matter so you’ll have a better chance to find success.
Setting the Right Mindset
Mindset plays an important role in your success in any field. Confidence Is your strongest tool, and without the right mindset, it will be hard to achieve your goals.
Setting the Foundations
Building a successful blog is a series of steps and one of the first things to do is to choose a blogging platform, niche, domain name, and hosting.
Researching and Brainstorming
Another important piece of successful blogging is focusing on setting your goals, figuring out who is your target audience, creating your content plan, and finding the best keywords to target within your content.
Installing and Customizing Your Blog
Finally, it’s time to create your blog, make it your own, and prepare it for Google Index.
Creating Your Content
When your blog is installed it’s time to start filling it with awesome content that will bring traffic and backlinks if you do it right.
Promoting Your Content
When you are just starting you are invisible and no one knows that your blog exists. Unless you promote it.
Building an Email List
Having a list of email subscribers allows you to constantly communicate with the same people, over and over again. You’ll be able to ask them what they need, send them to your blog, and send them to an offer that’ll make you money.
Monetizing Your Blog
Among many ways to monetize your blog, affiliate marketing is the best choice for beginner bloggers to make money online.
Following this framework will improve your chances to grow and to become known in your space, without wasting time doing things that don’t matter for the stage you’re in.
- Step #1: Prepare Yourself for Success by Setting the Right Mindset
- Step #2: Start Like a Pro by Setting Proper Foundations for Successful Blog
- Step #3: Boost Your Chances for Success by Doing Proper Research and Brainstorming
- Step #4: Feel the Power of WordPress by Installing and Customizing Your Blog
- Step #5: Get Backlinks and Traffic by Creating the Right Type of Content
- Step #6: Boost Your Rankings and Traffic With Blog Promotion
- Step #7: Expand the Reach of Your Content and Communicate With Your Audience Trough An Email List
- Step #8: Get a Steady Flow of Extra Income by Doing Affiliate Marketing
Step #1: Prepare Yourself for Success by Setting the Right Mindset
Having the right mindset is crucial for successful blogging and without it, there is no reason to follow any tip from this guide because the wrong mindset leads to failure.
Mindset controls the way you talk to yourself. As you are thinking about starting a blog your mindset voice can say to you: “I’m not sure I can do it” or “I don’t have what it takes to be successful”. That is called a fixed mindset.
The growth mindset is when that voice says: “Maybe I can’t do it now but if I put in my time and effort I can do it”.
Are you getting the point here?
Changing that voice in your head is not easy but you can do it. You have to do it if you want to succeed. Just remember that the whole point of this isn’t just to change your thoughts, but your actions as well.
4 Steps for Changing Your Mindset
Step #1: Learn to listen to your fixed mindset voice
When you face challenges, that voice might say to you: Are you sure you can do it? Maybe you don’t have the talent.
What if you fail? People will laugh at you. If you don’t try, you can maintain your dignity.
When you fail at something, the voice might say: This would have been easy if you had talent. I told you it was a risk. Now you’ve shown how limited you are.
When you deal with critique, you might hear yourself say: It’s not my fault. It was someone else’s fault.
Someone might be giving you constructive feedback, but you might be hearing: “I’m disappointed in you. Now I see you are not capable to do this.
Step #2: Understand that you have an option
How you deal with challenges, failures, and critiques is your choice. You can interpret them with a fixed mindset, accepting that you don’t have what it takes.
Or you can interpret them with a growth mindset as signs that you need to ramp up your strategies and effort, stretch yourself, and expand your abilities. It’s up to you.
Step #3: Talkback to it with a growth mindset voice
When you face a challenge:
The fixed mindset says: Are you sure you can do it? Maybe you don’t have what it takes.
The growth mindset answers: I’m not sure I can do it now, but I can learn.
When you fail:
Fixed mindset: This would have been easy if you had what it takes.
Growth mindset: Everybody fails from time to time. With more passion and effort, I can do it.
When you face critique:
Fixed mindset: It’s not my fault. It was someone else’s fault.
Growth mindset: It is my fault. I’ve learned something from it and I can fix it.
Step #4: Take the growth mindset action
With practice, the voice you hear becomes your choice.
Listen to both voices, and practice working with the growth mindset. Discover how you can make it work for you.
The number one reason why you don’t follow your dreams is that you think those dreams are too big and that you are unworthy. But guess what, the truth is that everyone has a gift and most of us are denying it, and confidence in your talents and skills will be your strongest tool.
Remember that you are already an expert when it comes to your unique story and experience. There is no one like you, and your unique story helps you to stand out from others and to attract an audience that can relate to you.
Step #2: Start Like a Pro by Setting Proper Foundations for Successful Blog
At this point in your blogging journey, you should be focusing on setting the proper foundations for your blog.
This part is very important, for successful blogging you have to start with the basics. In other words, if you want to build a successful blog, you have to start by laying down the right foundations.
This is not something that you’ll find in most blogging guides out there. They don’t tell you the importance of laying the foundations, they send you straight to the building part.
And as a result, a lot of beginning bloggers not getting nearly as far as they could have.
You have to understand that the process of building a successful blog is a sequence of steps that have to be taken in the right order to get your blog to the right level.
Let’s move on to those foundations.
Choosing the Best Platform for Your Blog to Live On
There are a couple of excellent free blogging platforms you can use for blogging like Medium, WordPress, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Blogger, or Google Sites.
Free blogging platforms are great places for testing your ideas, but if you are serious about blogging and you want to build an audience and make money online, there’s just one blogging platform you should choose and that is self-hosted WordPress.
That is also the blogging platform that I recommend.
Around 39% of all websites use WordPress because it’s free and because it offers lots of flexibility with plugins, customizations, and designs.
Self-hosted means that you need to purchase a hosting to be able to install WordPress. This will cost you some money but the benefits of having a self-hosted blog are something that free blogging platforms just can’t match.
Avoiding Being Bored With Content Creation By Choosing a Perfect Niche (Topic)
Niche is a general theme or a topic of your blog, the stuff you’ll be writing about all the time.
When choosing your niche you should be looking for something that is your passion or a hobby, but it can also be something that you would like to learn about.
And the best thing is that you don’t have to be an expert for successful blogging in any niche. You will become an expert by researching and writing your articles.
Finding your perfect niche is a balance of three different factors:
- How passionate you are about that topic? This is something that you should already know.
- How passionate others are about that topic? Ask yourself are people interested in this topic on a consistent and ongoing basis. Check Google trends to see the interest over time. You don’t want to be in a seasonal niche.
- Can you make money from that topic? Look for offers already in the market, and not something new. If someone is having a recurring income model on that topic already that’s good news.
Blogging should be fun, and your blog shouldn’t be like a day job. This can be done by choosing a topic that you are passionate about so you can enjoy writing your articles.
Expressing the Primary Purpose of Your Blog by Choosing a Great Domain Name
Don’t try to be too creative when it comes to choosing a domain name for your blog. Even if it is a way to show your imagination a blog’s name should immediately express the primary purpose of your blog.
Otherwise, no one could recognize what your blog is actually about.
Generally, since you should already know what your blog will be about, you should try to include the main keyword in a domain name and another word that fits your keyword.
After you press the generate button it will spit out all sorts of options and all you have to do is just go through the list of those generated domain names until you find the ideal name.
If you feel stuck and you run out of ideas for your domain name for your new blog there are two tools that I’m using for myself in these kinds of situations that helped me to generate some fresh ideas.
The first tool is Shopify domain name generator.
To find it you can just click on that link or google search Shopify business name generator and there will be probably a top result with a link to that generator.
The second tool is the GoDaddy domain name generator.
All these tools work in a similar way. You usually have to provide at least one keyword that is related to your niche or a certain word that you really want to have in your domain name.
Methods for Choosing a Great Domain Name
There are a couple of methods that work well for choosing your domain name:
- Address the audience (examples: smartblogger or problogger).
- Address the topic (examples: clickfunnels or growthhackers).
- Address the benefit ( examples: makealivingwriting or beabetterhuman).
I know from my personal experience that choosing a domain name it can be quite a time-consuming.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Domain Name
I recommend that you get .com domains because they are simple and professional. Try to avoid any hyphens, symbols, or numbers in your domain name.
Sometimes it can work well for you and you can create a unique brand name, but usually, they don’t t look as solid and decent as you expect it to be.
Ideally, you will get a free domain name when you purchase a hosting plan but if the hosting provider of your choice doesn’t offer a free domain, Namecheap (affiliate link) is the place to go.
Securing Good Loading Speed for Your Blog by Finding Reliable Hosting Provider
Purchasing a domain name and hosting is divided into two steps but today most hosting providers are giving a free domain with their hosting plans, so it becomes easier and cheaper to get both from the same place.
When it comes to choosing a hosting provider you should pay attention to the three most important things:
- Speed. Because the loading speed of your website is a ranking factor.
- Support. Because you’ll want to deal with the problems immediately and you need 24/7 support.
- Security. And when I say security, I’m not just thinking about malicious attacks but also on SSL certificate, because without an SSL certificate your visitors will get a browser warning that your site is not safe.
One hosting provider that I know that meets all these requirements is Dreamhost (affiliate link). I know because this blog is running on Dreamhost.
No matter if you’re a blogger, small-business owner, web designer, or developer, DreamHost makes it easy to start your online mission the right way, by giving you everything you need for successful blogging without breaking the bank.
If you want more cheap options to host your blog check out my post about the best cheap web hosting providers.
Step #3: Boost Your Chances for Success by Doing Proper Research and Brainstorming
In this step, you are focusing on setting goals, defining your targeted audience, creating a content plan, and keyword research.
This is an important part of successful blogging, and if you skip something it will get you in trouble shortly for sure.
Let’s see what it’s all about.
Setting Your Goals to Know Where You’re Going
Setting goals is a critical step if you want to grow your blog, or if you’re starting a new blog and you want to make it successful.
You have to know where you’re going, so you can know where you need to go to get the results that you want to achieve.
If you don’t set detailed goals, there’s no way to get there.
What do you want to accomplish?
Write down what you want to accomplish from the methods that you’ll learn reading this or any other guide. And of course, not just learn the methods, but put them into the process and take action and get results.
So what do you want to achieve?
What difficulties do you think you’re going to face to get to where you want to go?
Write them down because they are very important. They aren’t goals. But they are things that might stop you from accomplishing your goals.
Discovering Audience Needs By Identifying for Whom You’ll Be Writing Your Content
One of the necessary steps for successful blogging is to know why and for whom you’re writing the content. You need to know who your potential audience is and what problems and challenges they want to solve.
The best way to do this is to create a targeted persona.
A targeted persona is an imaginary and generalized illustration of your ideal audience. This helps you to better understand your audience and make it easier for you to create content for their specific desires, aspects, and problems.
When it comes to blogging, creating a targeted persona helps you to understand what kinds of content you should be writing to attract that audience.
How to Find Your Targeted Persona
You need to think about that personas avatar so you can create your content like you are talking to that particular someone.
- First, you have to know your niche.
- Then you limit it to a sub-niche, which is a minor part of your niche.
- Now dig deeper into microniche, which is a limited part of the sub-niche. This is where your targeted persona is.
When you find out who is he, you have to find out what he wants.
Each person from your audience has problems, and questions about those problems. They need your content to help them to move forward and get results.
So your task is to know their problems and answer their question through your content so they can move forward and get results.
Some Of the Most Common Information About Your Targeted Persona You Should Think About
- Name – Naming your persona helps to be more specific.
- Gender and age – This characterizes your audience demographic which you will know through the market research.
- Location – Where does your target persona live? Do they own a house or they live in an apartment?
- Job information – Specifying this will help you to better think about who you are talking to and more easily understand their wants and needs.
- Goals and motivations – Where they were a couple of years ago? Where are they are now? Where do they see themselves in the next couple of years?
- Pain points – What causes constant pressure in their lives? Which problem is important enough that they will spend money or time to fix it?
- Habits – Where does he or she spend time online? What social media platforms do they use regularly?
You can use Hubspot’s free tool Make my persona to see how it looks like.
Avoiding Writers Block by Planning Your Content in Front
Content planning is the part where you determine what you will do and when. This is where you create topics, choose specific content types and tactics to meet your goals and your audience’s preferences, and then put all of that into your editorial calendar.
When creating your content plan, the first step is to create a list of content ideas.
You’ll want to find topics that are your targeted audience prefers and topics that other bloggers in your niche are linking to.
What you do is to go around the web and check the most popular videos and articles in your niche and write them down. You can use Google Sheets or any other similar tool, or just a pen and paper.
To save your time so you can immediately move forward I’ll explain what I do to find lots of content ideas fast.
How to Find Lots of Content Ideas for Your Audience Fast
First, go to a site called Answer the Public.
This site uses auto-suggest tools from Google and Bing. Just enter your main keywords and wait for the magic to happen.
It shows all the questions related to your keywords, which people are searching online.
Second, go to Amazon and check the books in your niche and try to find their tables of content.
Many of them have a table of content and you’ll be surprised when you see how many content ideas you can find there.
Third, go to Quora. This is a question and answer type of website where you’ll find topics related to your keywords.
Just scroll down through questions that people are asking.
The last thing to use is YouTube. Find top channels in your niche and check the most popular videos to get more ideas.
3 Step Process to Find Popular Topics for Content That Targets Other Bloggers
Here’s the 3 step process for finding topics that other bloggers like to share and link to:
The first step is to find resource pages. In case you didn’t know, resource pages are pages that link to content on other blogs. This is a done for you list of popular topics in your niche.
You can find resource pages on Google with these search strings:
When you find resource pages look for topics that are repeatedly linked. When you find them, write them down.
Popular Posts and Pages
The second step is to look for popular posts and pages on top blogs in your niche.
To find popular posts just visit the blogs and try to find their popular post section. Many blogs have it in the sidebar.
What happens is when you enter a domain of any blog into the SEO tool it will show you the most popular pages and all the keywords they rank for.
Again, look for the topics that are repeatedly coming up again and again. When you find them, put them on your list.
Most Shared Topics on Social Media
Step three is to find topics that generate lots of shares on social media.
You can use the tool called BuzzSummo for this. Just enter the broad keyword into the tool and write down a couple of the most interesting topics from the list.
Now when you collect enough ideas pick the best ones and add them to your editorial calendar.
Creating Your Editorial Calendar
After you finish with your keywords it’s time to make your editorial calendar. Again you use Google Sheets. You’ll need to add headlines, keywords, dates of publishing, and a link to your blog post once it’s published. That way you’ll have everything organized in one place for later so you don’t waste much time searching for your old posts.
For everything you are about to do you probably have a plan for how you’re going to do it. And when it comes to successful blogging, planning is the crucial thing to do if you don’t want to get stuck in front of the blank screen wondering what will you write about.
Getting Traffic from Google By Targeting the Right Keywords
Keywords are the words and phrases that people are using to find information, resources, or even to find products they are going to purchase.
But, if you’ve been reading about blogging, then you already know what keywords are.
There are three important purposes for keywords. And most people don’t even realize this.
3 Important Purposes for Keywords
The first one is for pay per click in advertising where people are searching for certain keyword phrases in a search engine. And then you’re showing ads to those users based on what they are searching for. That’s what Google AdWords is all about.
The second important purpose of keywords is for content marketing or search engine optimization. When you create content, you should create it around a certain keyword phrase which is part of the headline, meta description, introduction, and which is mentioned a few times in the body of your blog post.
Anything you create to get traffic from, have it ranked in Google or any of the search engines, that all comes down to the keyword level and it’s attached to the keywords.
A third purpose is very important, and oftentimes forgotten when it comes to blogging and making money online. And that’s what the market is thinking.
If you keep up with keywords in your market, they will tell you what they want to buy, what kind of content you should create for them, and what are their problems.
You see, keyword data is very useful.
It will tell you everything you need to know about how to grow your blog. It will tell you how to market to those people, you’ll know what language they speak.
And I don’t mean about English, Italian, or Croatian language.
In every niche, people use their own words and phrases, and names when they talk about specific products or specific things important to them.
It’s what they’re interested in.
And if you learn what those things are, you can target them. You can use them in your blog posts, in your ad copy, or on your landing pages.
The Best Way to Do Keyword Research
The fact is that most people start their keyword research by entering some random keywords into the tool and choose a keyword from nothing.
This isn’t how you should do your keyword research if you want to get traffic from Google and higher rankings.
Where is the problem?
The keyword selected that way might be on a topic that your audience likes and other bloggers link to. But unless you research popular topics, you won’t know that until you’ve already created and published your content, and by then it’s already too late.
Rather, find the popular topics first and then adjust your keyword research around those topics. That way when you publish your content, you’ll know that people will want to read it and other bloggers will be glad to share your content with their audience and link to it.
But how to choose which keywords to target?
The Death of Long-tail Keywords
In the last few years targeting long-tail keywords was the winning path to successful blogging.
The argument for this method is that the 7 long-tail keywords are easier to rank for than for 1 main phrase. And if you put the search volume of those 7 long-tail keywords together, they will match the search volume of a single high-volume term.
This sounds great, but in reality, it doesn’t work anymore.
After years of growing blogs by targeting long-tail keywords, Google changes the game with its Panda update. And all those blogs targeting long-tail keywords lost over 50% of their traffic in a short period.
Now the other problem with long-tail keywords is that Google’s Hummingbird algorithm made longtail keywords outdated. Google now understands the intent behind a keyword and they are showing identical results for all long-tail keywords on the same topic.
The long-tail keyword method weakens your PageRank (blog’s link authority). You need to publish lots of content optimized on a different long-tail keyword and that can damage your SEO.
This can happen because the more content you have on your blog, the more your link authority gets reduced through it.
So what is the solution?
First, what is the medium-tail keyword?
So we have long-tail keywords, which are the phrases consisted of a couple of words like “The Best Running Shoes Under 100$”. These keywords have low search volume, and also low competition.
We have main, one to two-word, high-volume terms that are too competitive like “Affiliate Marketing” or “Blogging”.
Medium-tail keywords are the best of both worlds. Those are the keywords like “Successful Blogging” or “Affiliate Marketing Strategies”.
3 Step Process for Finding Medium-tail Keywords
- Step #1: Enter your popular focus term into a keyword tool. You can use the Google Keyword Planner or any other tool that you like.
- Step #2: Sort listed keywords by average monthly searches, with the highest volume keywords on top.
- Step #3: choose a medium-tail keyword from the middle of the list.
For example, let’s say that you have a blog about coffee. And you find out that other bloggers in that industry link to content about caffeine-free coffee.
So just enter caffeine-free into the tool. It’s that simple.
So after you sort your list, you’ll see main terms that are impossible for you to rank for at the top of your list. These are keywords like caffeine and coffee.
You’ll have long-tail keywords like “The best caffeine-free coffee cakes” at the bottom of your list.
The middle of the list is mostly made up of medium-tail keywords. These are keywords like “Caffeine-free coffee cake” and “Caffeine-free coffee beans”.
Choose the keyword that is the best fit for the focus topic that you found in your research and don’t worry much about the search volume of the keyword.
Because of Google Hummingbird, when you optimize your page or post for a single medium tail keyword, at the same time you’ll rank for many long-tail keywords too.
Include LSI Keywords in Your Content
Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords are words that are typically found together for a particular topic and are semantically associated with each other.
LSI Keywords are not synonyms, they are phrases that are closely connected to your target keyword.
Today, Google is more focused to better understand the main topic of your article and LSI keywords help search engines to do that.
Google will still scan your page for keywords in your title tag, content, and image alt text but they’ll also scan your page for LSI keywords.
And when they see these LSI keywords in your content, they’ll be sure that your page is about that topic.
You can use a tool called LSIGraph to find those phrases. Just enter your target keyword and the tool will spit out all related phrases you can use in your content.
Google Autocomplete can be also used to find LSI keywords. Just enter your target keyword into Google and scroll down to the bottom of the page. Bold words are your LSI keywords.
It doesn’t matter where you’ll include them in your content. As long as Google finds these terms anywhere on your page, you’re good.
Tools for Keyword Research
For your keyword research, I recommend the SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool (affiliate link). The data is hauled directly from Google’s organic search results and Google Adwords and it is one of the most precise keyword research tools available.
You’ll have to sign up for SEMrush’s free account to use it, and the best thing is that with your free account you can use many useful tools like backlink audit, backlink builder, and site audit tool.
Step #4: Feel the Power of WordPress by Installing and Customizing Your Blog
This step is all about installing and customizing your blog and preparing it to be indexed by search engines.
WordPress is a very powerful tool that lets you create your blog in any way you can imagine. Once you install it, you’re ready to customize your blog, make it your own, and start blogging.
Installing Your WordPress Blog
Most of the hosting providers offer a one-click install WordPress so it’s pretty easy and I believe there is no need to explain it further. But if you think you’ll need help with this here’s how to install WordPress on Dreamhost.
How to Install WordPress On DreamHost Using One-Click Install
Installing WordPress at DreamHost is easy. Just log in to your panel and select One-Click Installs.
From the One-Click-Installs list, choose WordPress, then enter the following:
- Install to: Choose your domain for installation.
The second textbox is for installing into a subdirectory (if you don’t want to install it in the primary directory).
For example, if you want it installed into example.com/blog then select example.com in the first dropdown menu, then type in the word blog in the second textbox.
- Select Database: Choose the Automatically Create Database because this will create a new database for your site.
- Click the Install it for me now button and within 15 minutes, you’ll get an email with details for completing the installation.
When WordPress is finally installed on your site, you can log into it at:
Now when you have your blog installed, it’s time to customize it.
Customizing Your Blog With Theme and Plugins
Your theme is the design of your website. The purpose of the theme is to help your visitors find the information they are looking for and the plugin is a software that can expand functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites without knowing a single line of code.
You’ll be fine with free themes, so don’t worry about getting a paid theme.
How to Install A Theme and Plugins for Your Blog
Ideally, you want a theme that has a design layout that helps you to achieve your goal. Your theme should be looking good and be usable and simple.
So make sure that your theme isn’t too complicated and choose only themes that are optimized for mobile devices.
I can suggest checking two themes. Astra is the one that I use, and the second one is Total. You’ll be totally fine with free versions but if you need more customization their pro addons will satisfy even the most demanding ones.
To pick a theme:
- Log in to your WordPress dashboard
- Go to Appearance, then click on Themes.
- Choose Add New
Now you can search for a theme in a search box and install it, or upload a theme that you downloaded in .zip file.
Here’s how to do it in both cases:
Install a theme from the WordPress directory
To install a theme from the WordPress directory just enter the theme’s name or wanted feature and click the Install button.
Install a 3rd party WordPress theme
This is how to install a 3rd party theme.
- First click on Add New
- Click on Upload Theme
- Select Choose File and find a theme that you downloaded in .zip format and select it
- Click Install Now
After installing your WordPress theme, click on Activate and you’re done.
To see how it looks like from your navigation menu go to Appearance and then:
- Click on Themes and you will see all your installed themes
- Find a theme that you want to preview and click the Preview button
After you have installed your theme it’s time to add desired functionalities, and that is done by installing plugins.
The process is ths same as when you were installing your theme, just click on plugins instead of themes so I won’t go in details here.
There are some categories of plugins that every website need:
- SEO plugins (my recommendation is Yoast SEO)
- Performance plugins (my recommendation is WP Super Cache and Imagify).
- Security plugins (my recommendation is Sucuri).
- Social Share plugins (my recommendation is Social Warfare).
When you are done with installing plugins you’ll want to prepare your site for SEO.
Setting Up Your Blog And Getting It Ready For Search Engines
If you want to have a blog that drives traffic and get to page one of Google, you have to learn SEO (search engine optimization).
There are plenty of SEO guides out there but only a few tell you about the most basic things like how to create a sitemap, submit it to search engines, and how to get your site indexed. So here it is.
How to Create Sitemap and Submit it to Search Engines
A sitemap helps Google to discover the great content you create. If you installed and activated the Yoast SEO plugin we recommended earlier, creating a sitemap is easy and quick.
In the left side menu of your WordPress dashboard, click SEO, and then:
- Click General
- Click the Features tab
- Find the XML sitemaps option and make sure the switch is On
There’s your XML sitemap. Now, you need to submit it to search engines.
But first, you need the URL of your sitemap:
- Click the question mark icon next to XML sitemap
- Click the See the XML sitemap link (this will open a new tab in browser)
- Copy the URL in the address bar
How to Submit Sitemap to Google Search Console
- Go to Google Search Console and sign in using your Google account
- Select your site from the left side menu (If you have never used Google Search Console before, you need to click “Add property” and follow the steps given before you continue)
- Go to Index, then click the Sitemaps option
- In the Add a New Sitemap, enter the URL of your sitemap and click Submit
How to Submit Sitemap to Bing Webmaster Tools
Go to Bing Webmaster Tools (you’ll need to create an account if you don’t have one)
- Go to My Sites section, and click your website (If you haven’t used Bing Webmaster Tools before, enter your blog’s URL in the Add a Site section and click Add)
- In the left side menu, click Configure My Site and then click on Sitemaps
- Enter the URL of your sitemap in the Submit a sitemap section and click Submit
How To Use Google Search Console to Get Your Blog Indexed Fast
After you’ve submitted your sitemap, stay in the Google Search Console because now you’re going to get your blog indexed.
- Go to Check URL and enter the URL of your blog and press Enter on your keyboard
This will open a new page that looks like this:
Click on Request Indexing and that’s it.
You should do this every time you publish something new or make changes to your blog. Your posts will get indexed a couple of minutes after going live
When you finish this step it’s time to craft some pages that every website should have.
Creating the Essential Pages for Your Blog
When you are just starting your blog you might be wondering if there is any important page that every website should have. Well, there are five of them:
- about page
- contact page
- blog page
The Home Page is like your front door. Not every visitor will use your front door to enter your blog but it’ll probably be one of your most viewed pages. Make sure it delivers the right message.
In WordPress, you have two options. First, your homepage can be a list of your latest posts. And second, it can be a static page. Creating a good static homepage is not easy, but it’s important so make sure you deal with it as soon as possible.
Even the name of this page is About me, it’s not actually about you. It’s about what are you offering to your readers. They want to know a bit more about you, but mainly they want to know how you are going to help them.
So don’t make this page all about you. Instead, try to answer these questions to craft an ideal About page that will hook your readers before you throw in your personal bio.
- Why should they read your blog?
- What will they get from your blog?
- What types of posts do you publish?
- How did you get started with your blog?
Also, it’s good to put your call to action in several places within your About Page.
Even if you have your contact information in the footer of your website, you still need a Contact page. You want to make it easy for them to reach you because it is the best chance to transform a prospect into a customer.
This is the must-have page because Google won’t index your blog without it and it’s sometimes included as a draft in your WordPress installation.
A blog page is just a page where your posts will be published. All you have to do is to create a new page, usually, the title is Blog but you can call it whatever you want, and publish it.
When you craft all essential pages it’s time to create content that will fill those pages up.
Step #5: Get Backlinks and Traffic by Creating the Right Type of Content
Remember when I told you that you need content ideas for your audience and content ideas for other bloggers in your niche?
If you want to grow your blog fast you should also have 2 types of content on your blog:
- The first type is content that targets your audience and helps them to overcome the obstacles they might have.
- And the second type is content that targets people who run blogs in your niche.
This is the thing you won’t find in most guides. All you’ll see is advice to publish content only for your audience. But that audience can’t provide a link to your content and links are a major part of success.
Content for your audience can be a review of a popular product, list post, or how-to guide. These types of content work best in this case.
Content for other bloggers has to be more in-depth because bloggers are much harder to impress than your regular readers. Case studies, in-depth how-to guides, expanded listicles are what most bloggers tend to share and link to.
Now, you won’t just guess what they might like. If you did your research from step 2 then you already have a list of topics you can write about.
Do you see how important it is to do everything in order one by one?
Satisfying Your Audience by Publishing Types of Posts That Work Best for Them
There are two types of content that you’ll be creating for your audience.
Educational content that will help them to overcome their problems of challenges, and sales content that will help them to find out more about products they might want or need.
Not every piece of your content should be selling something.
Have one sale post to two educational posts. Keep in mind that educational posts have a purpose too. They are used to attract readers, to keep them longer on your site, and to lead them to a piece of selling content.
Here are 3 types of posts you can create for your audience that will do well:
- List posts (10 Ways to X, 10 Steps to X, The Top 10) Example: The Top 10 Simple Tactics for Driving Targeted Traffic to Your Website.
- How-to posts (How to Do X, How to Be X, How to Do X Without X) Example: How To Drive Traffic to Your Website Without Spending a Dime.
- Product or service reviews
Let me tell you more about these types of posts.
It’s well known that people love long list posts.
Headlines containing a large number indicate long content, and people commonly correlate longer posts with more work and greater quality.
Statistics also show that long content gets shared and linked to more than short content.
Brian Dean from Backlinko analyzed 912 million articles and found out that content longer than 3000 words gets an average of 77.2% more referring domain links than content shorter than 1000 words.
He also discovered that lists posts are the most shared type of content on social media. They get an average of 218% more shares than how-to posts and 203% more shares than infographics.
How-to posts are blogging classics, loved by bloggers and readers. They are practical and valuable and make great pieces of cornerstone content.
HubSpot discovered that how-to posts yield an average of 55% more views than any other type of posts on their blog.
A couple of years ago how-to posts were a goldmine for traffic and engagement, but things have changed.
Today how-to posts are getting much less traffic, and there is almost no engagement from that traffic.
How to fix this?
There’s a simple trick that works in every niche.
Instead of educating people on what to do, educate them on how to do it differently.
Jon Morrow from smartbloggers.com explained this perfectly, so I’ll quote:
Assume every person coming to read your how-to posts has already read a dozen other posts on the topic. To get their attention, you have to show them an entirely different method that works better.Jon Morrow
Product or Service Reviews
There are two types of reviews, straight product reviews, and comparison reviews. When writing reviews the smartest thing to do is to follow a template that works for reviews.
Single Product Reviews
- 1000 words minimum
- List Pros and cons
- Cover features and benefits but be strong on benefits
- 2 to 3 calls to action in the content
- Hyperlink images
- A call to action at the end of the conclusion
- Longer than 1500 words
- Pros and cons for both products but one must come as a winner
- Cover features and benefits for both products
- The winning product has to be 2nd one
- 2 to 3 calls to action in the content for each product
- Hyperlink images
- A call to action for the winner at the end of the conclusion
Some Other Tips to Follow
- Short paragraphs, 2 to 3 sentence max
- Never use long words if short ones can do the job
- Use images and subheadings to break up the content
- Use simple words
- Use Grammarly to fix grammar errors
Getting Backlinks and Traffic by Publishing Content That Work Best for Other Bloggers
I’ve already mentioned which types of content work best for other bloggers in your niche.
- Case studies
- Complete list posts
- Ultimate how-to guides
Case studies are sharing real-life experiences someone is having with some particular product or method. They work well because they tell a compelling story, they are focused on prospects, and they address the needs of a targeted persona.
Complete List Posts
Complete list posts work well mainly because they are easy to scan, easy to write, and easy to preview.
Regular list posts cover items without many details for each one, while complete list posts have more content and details for each item on the list.
Complete list posts provide your reader with pieces of information they need to take action right after reading. Without having to look at other places for some further explanations.
Ultimate How-to Guides
Ultimate guides are a great way to draw traffic, links, and social shares.
The goal of every ultimate guide should be to provide better and more in-depth information than all other posts about that topic. This is what makes this type of content so valuable.
This type of content is what Brian Dean from Backlinko used to drive over 9000 visitors in the first 3 weeks after publishing his ultimate guide.
Are you willing to give it a try?
I’m going to show you how to create your ultimate how-to guide.
How to Create Your Ultimate How-to Guide
Step #1 Choose a topic
But not just any topic. It has to be a topic that other bloggers in your niche are constantly sharing and linking out to.
Also, you want to choose a topic that can be divided into 7-10 subtopics, which is a sweet spot. Anything more or less than that is too broad or too narrow, so stick with that optimal length for your ultimate guide.
Step #2 Write down your subtopics
These subtopics will be titles for your guide so make sure to pick the best ones.
Step #3 Transform your sub-topics into beneficial titles
You have to show people that your content is useful, and when you make benefits clear, it will upgrade the perceived value of your content.
For example, let’s say you are creating a guide on making coffee and you have a sub-topic Filter coffee.
So instead of using just that you transform it into something like How to make filter coffee that will make your taste buds go wild.
Is that sound more valuable to you?
Don’t worry if you can’t transform every subtopic into a beneficial title. Just do as much as possible.
Step #4 Set up your ultimate guide
When you’re done with your topic and subtopics it’s time to move on to the content creation for your guide.
Here’s how to do it.
First of all, you need a title. And since you are creating an ultimate guide, make sure to put that into your title. For example, something like “The Ultimate Guide to Coffee Grinding” will work well.
Then you need a custom graphic that will divide your title and introduction, which also can be used as a featured image. You can create the graphics with a free tool called Canva.
Step #6 Write the introduction
You want an intro that will hook your readers and make them want to read more.
But how to do it?
Here’s the intro formula you can use:
- Shortly summarize the importance of your topic
- Refer to a common challenge
- Pitch your post
Step #7 Create content around your chapters
Consider each chapter like a mini-post. So you need an introduction and a quick explanation of the 3-5 most important things about that chapter. These things can be pieces of information, strategies, or a list of tips.
Step #8 Write a conclusion
The conclusion is used to get the readers to comment on your post. Simply ask if they have a question or is there something they think is missing in your guide.
And that’s it. Your ultimate guide is ready and you’re all set.
There is one skill that you should learn so you can have more success with your content. Keep reading if you want to know more.
Compelling Visitors to Take the Actions You Want Them to Take by Learning the Art of Copywriting
No matter are you an affiliate marketer or a dog walker, you could have the best website and lots of traffic, but if your visitors aren’t compelled to take the action you want them to take, then it’s all for nothing.
Having an idea, turning those ideas into words, and writing your first blog post is the fun part.
Copywriting is one of the most important skills you can ever learn for successful blogging, and it’s going to be a vital part of the success of your blog.
To become a successful copywriter you have to follow a standard formula that’s been working for years, and still works today. The AIDA formula.
As I said, you don’t have to be an expert in your niche. To create content all you have to do is research, read, and compile. You “steal” it from other blogs.
That is something that you might not expect. But that’s right, you steal it. The trick is to find correct information from trusted sources. Research, read, and compile. And originality comes from using your own voice, and you improve your voice from writing more and more.
And it all starts with headlines.
Write Attention-Grabbing Headlines
There are two things that we imply when creating content, features, and benefits. Remember this true old saying: Features tell, benefits sell.
Benefits are much more important to your readers than features. Great headlines ideally have two or three benefits, and almost 99% of great headlines that you can see today are stolen ideas because writers follow a template that’s been working since the beginning of time.
All they have to do is fill in the blanks. You can and should do the same.
Let’s see some headline formulas you can tweak and use in your content. Brian Clark from Copyblogger calls this a sure-fire headline template.
12 Headline Formulas That Work
- Who Else Wants [blank]?
- The Secret of [blank]
- Here is a Method That is Helping [blank] to [blank]
- Little Known Ways to [blank]
- Get Rid of [problem] Once and For All
- Here’s a Quick Way to [solve a problem]
- Now You Can Have [something desirable]
- [Do something] like [world-class example]
- Have a [or] Build a [blank] You Can Be Proud Of
- What Everybody Ought to Know About [blank]
- How to [blank] and [blank]
- How to [do something] That [Rewarding Benefit]
- [Number] Ways to [blank] so you can [blank]
With that said, let’s move on to a useful content strategy you can use to organize your content.
When you creating your content you should consider using a content strategy that will help you to rank higher in Google. It’s called the pillar page and topic cluster strategy.
Organizing Your Content and Boosting Your Rankings by Using Pillar Pages and Topic Clusters Content Strategy
This is a content strategy that you employ to organize your content, boost rankings for all linked pages, and bring more traffic to your site.
Having in-depth pillar pages surrounded by topic clusters is very effective because, as I said earlier, Google suggests focussing on blog topics instead of focusing on keywords.
The idea is to create a big and powerful piece of content (pillar page) that wraps up all of the questions about a specific topic in-depth.
Then you start creating blog posts about different topics covered on your pillar page.
Improving Your Writing Skills and Boosting Your Chances for Success
Like with anything else, in order to become better, you should practice and educate yourself. The same goes for writing.
Here’s a couple of websites with great writing courses that I recommend to anyone who wants to become a better writer.
One of the courses that impressed me is Creating Blog Material Your Readers Actually Want to Read.
All SkillShare courses offer fun and interactive lessons and set you on the road to becoming a writing wizard.
Freelance Writers Den is an online community where writers learn how to boost their writing skills and grow their earnings fast.
It’s an exclusive community and you have to join their waiting list and wait because they open to the crowd only twice a year, but special offers to their waiting list can sometimes get you in sooner.
HubSpot Academy is an outstanding free source for marketers and sales professionals to expand their skills and discover new areas of online business.
Make sure to go through the Business Blogging Course: Attracting and Monetizing an Audience Through Content.
Step #6: Boost Your Rankings and Traffic With Blog Promotion
Each time you publish something new you want readers to find it and read it.
When you have just started blogging no one will know you exist.
You could have the amazing content but no one’s going to know it’s there.
Unless you promote it.
As you may know, lots of bloggers publish their content, share it on their social media accounts, and then hope someone will notice it.
Should I tell you it’s a completely wrong approach to content promotion.
What is the right approach then?
Instead of hoping for the best, you can use these strategies to get results fast. But before I start with these strategies I’ll show you how content promotion goes hand in hand with link building.
There are two phases of content promotion:
- 1st phase is where you aim to get your content seen as much as possible. The main goal of this phase is to get people commenting and sharing your content.
- 2nd phase is where you aim to get other bloggers to link to your content. The main goal is obvious here so no need for an explanation.
I’ll show you how to build links but for now, I’ll focus on phase one.
How to Promote Your Content Using Feedback Method
As the name suggests, this method is all about asking for feedback on your post. Instead of begging for a link or share as many bloggers do, you’ll be touching their ego and ask for simple feedback.
This is called a bloggers outreach.
Let me show you a step by step process:
Step #1: Find blogs that are a great fit for your post
This is important. You have to find blogs that are very interested in your topic if you want this to work.
You should already have a list of blogs if you followed my advice from the previous steps. But if you don’t, just Google keywords related to your topic and see what comes up.
Step #2: Get noticed
For maximum success, you have to get noticed by bloggers you are planning to reach out to.
Don’t worry, this is simple.
Just follow their social media accounts, share one of their latest posts, and leave an in-depth comment on their blog.
This will take some more time than just write emails but it will make a huge difference in how they’ll respond when you reach out.
Step #3: Reach out
When you get noticed it’s time to reach out and ask for feedback.
You can publish your post before you do this but this method works best before you publish your post. That way you can change it according to the feedback you’ll get.
Don’t send a link to your post in the first email. You want to get their permission to send it.
Here’s a template you can use:
I know that you are very busy so I’ll keep this short.
(Write something to show them that you know what they are doing and that they’ll be interested in your topic).
I’m publishing a post about (topic) soon and I thought you might be interested. It’ll be awesome to get your quick feedback on it.
Do you mind if I send you the link?
Great, thanks. Here’s the link to the latest draft: (link).
When and if they reply with yes, only then you can send the link.
After that, you just wait for a reply and then see if you can incorporate their feedback into your post.
Step #4: Publish your post and let them know about it
When you’re done with all the hard work it’s time to publish your content and share it with the people who gave you the feedback.
Again, keep it simple:
Just wanted to let you know that the post is published (link).
Thank you again for the feedback, it helped a lot. If you have a moment to leave a comment that would be awesome.
That’s it for this method, let’s move on to the next one.
How to Promote Your Content Using SM Method
With this method, the idea is to find people who shared similar content on your topic on social media.
People who constantly share content on a particular topic are pretty much interested in it. So all you have to do is to show them your content.
And if it’s good, they’ll share it.
Here’s how to do it step by step:
Step #1: Find people who shared similar content on social media
There are two ways of doing this:
- Go to Twitter and search for a keyword on your topic.
- Use BuzzSumo to find the most shared content in your niche.
What is special about BuzzSummo sumo is that it will show you people who shared that popular content so you can reach out to those people and offer your content.
Step #2: Reach out
Like in Feedback Method you’ll be asking for permission to send a link.
And when they reply with yes, send your link.
Now you have two methods you can use to get your content seen. It’s time to show you how to get backlinks.
Here we go.
How to Get Backlinks Using Roundup Method
With this method, you’ll be looking for blogs that round up the best content over the last days, weeks, and months.
Then you reach out to owners of those blogs and offer them your content.
A secret that makes this method to work is to find pages that’ll be improved with your link. So they will be happy to link to your content.
Posts that round up the best content are very common in any niche and it won’t be hard to find them.
Here’s the step by step process:
Step #1: List all topics covered in your post
Go through your post and write down all the topics covered inside.
Step #2: Find roundups
Use search strings to find roundups and choose 10 blogs that are the best fit for your post.
Here are strings you can use:
- “Keyword” + “weekly link roundup”
- “Keyword” + “link roundup”
- “Keyword” + “best articles of the week”
- Broad topic + “link roundup”
- Broad topic + “blog roundup”
Step #3: Reach out
Like in any other outreach method so far, you’ll be asking for permission to send a link.
Here’s the template:
Subject: Question about (roundup name)
I was looking for some info on (topic) and I stumbled upon your (roundup description). Great stuff!
(Say something new you discovered from their roundup). I just published a post on (topic) and I think you’d enjoy it.
Let me know if you want to check it out.
When they reply with yes, send them something like:
“Here it is (link).
Let me know what you think about it.”
That’s it, you’re good to go.
How to Build Backlinks Using Reward Method (+ How to Create Content That Goes Along)
As we all know, there are lots of differences between people. But there’s one thing we all have in common.
We like to be recognized.
And that’s exactly why this method works so well. It won’t only bring you traffic and backlinks, but it will also help to build a relationship with other bloggers in your niche.
This is the process, step by step:
Step #1: Choose a topic
As long as your topic is specific and in a niche with many other blogs, you’re good to go.
A specific topic will make your reward more legit and it’s more likely to be shared.
Step #2: Pick the winners
You don’t have to focus only on blogs that are strictly about your topic. As long as they cover it now and then it’s ok to include them in your list.
Having around 50 winners is a sweet spot.
Google will help you to find your winners:
Method #1: Search for keywords related to your topic
Since the blogs from results rank in Google, those are high-quality blogs, and the first 50 results for each keyword will give you plenty of meat for your list.
Method #2: Search for “Best of” lists
These posts are a great resource for finding quality blogs for your list. If your topic is sewing, just search for “the best sewing blogs”.
Step #3: Create your post
When you have your topic and your winners it’s time to put everything together and create your post.
First, you need a title with a number of blogs on your list, along with the word “top” or “best”. Your title should also explain what are those blogs about and include a benefit they’ll get from reading those blogs.
Second, you need an introduction to explain what are those blogs about, to mention the number of blogs in that niche (to show that blogs on your list are exclusive), and to point to the benefits from reading those blogs.
Third, you need to order your winners by putting the most authoritative blogs on top of the list. That way authoritative blogs will be pleased to be on top, and the less authoritative blogs will be happy to be included at all.
Fourth, you need to create a listing for each winner with the blog name, a positive bio, an image, and a link to their blog. A bio should be a short (50-100 words) explanation of what makes them unique.
That’s it, you have your backlink magnet done and ready.
Step #4: Create a badge for winners
You need a badge so winners can put it on their blog. This badge will also have a link back to your post, so every time someone embeds your badge you’ll get a backlink. You can make these using Canva.
Here’s the code to use with your badge:
Step #5: Reach out to winners
Usually, winners will be glad to be included in your list. So the point of reaching out is to show them your post and to send them a code from the previous step.
Here’s the template you can use:
Just wanted to let you know that (name of their blog) has been featured in the (title of your post + URL).
Congrats and keep up with great work.
P.S. Here’s the badge code if you want to show this reward to your audience: (code)
There you go. You know all about advanced promotion methods but that’s not all you can do.
Here are a couple of additional ways to promote your content.
Share Your Posts On Social Media Platforms
With so many social media platforms it’s hard to be on all of them, and if you try to be everywhere, you’re going to fail. So find just one platform good for your niche and conquer it.
Forget other platforms and focus just on one. Which one it will be, that depends on your niche.
Republish Your Posts On Medium And LinkedIn
Don’t worry about getting penalized for duplicate content, search engines are now good at specifying original sources of information and they expect content to be republished on platforms like LinkedIn and Medium.
If your name is assigned to republished posts, the search engines will see the content as authentic. Just make sure that the post is indexed before you republish it.
Comment Other Relevant Blogs In Your Niche
This is a bit outdated technique but I recommend you to do this because you’ll get backlinks and the bloggers in your niche will hear about you and that will open the doors for some future relationships with them.
But this won’t work if you just write “great post”. If you’re going to participate, ask a question or add your opinion, and do it like a real person who cares.
That way you might see some movement as a result.
Step #7: Expand the Reach of Your Content and Communicate With Your Audience Trough An Email List
An email list is your most valuable property. You need to find a way to wrap content into building a list, to be able to reach out to prospects, follow up with them, get more traffic, and someday make money.
You need to create some kind of content that’s connected to your published posts and simply give it away in exchange for an email subscription.
An effective way to expand the reach of your content is to encourage people to subscribe to your email list. Ideally, this will lead the people who regularly interact with your content to see it, read it, and share it.
Having an email list also helps you communicate with the same people, over and over, letting you nurture them to become your leads and customers in the future.
You can use your list to create cash on demand. That’s the best thing about having an email list. Do you want more money in your pockets? Send an email offer to your list, send them to a landing page with an offer and make sales today.
If you don’t have an email list, you can’t do this.
You can make a post on your blog and say: Hey, I’m having a discount today of 20% off if anyone buys before Friday.
Yeah, good luck with that. Good luck with people just so happen to be coming back to your blog.
How to Get People to Subscribe to Your Email List
For effective email marketing, you’ll need to choose an email marketing service provider and you’ll need an email list.
Working with an email marketing service provider is the only way you can set email marketing automation to effectively communicate with large groups of contacts or subscribers.
The one email service provider that I recommend and use is MailerLite (affiliate link).
It’s free for up to 1000 subscribers and it’s ideal for beginners, MailerLite provides powerful and professional features for free.
There are lots of tactics you can try to get people to subscribe to your email list.
Do you know which is the most popular?
It’s content upgrades and lead magnets.
A content upgrade is any type of additional content related to your post that your visitors can get for free in exchange for their email addresses.
However, the important thing is that they have to add a lot of additional value to your blog post and the reader.
You should pick between three of the easiest types of content upgrades and lead magnets for beginners:
- Articles in pdf
Which one you’ll use depends on your blog post.
If you have over 2000 words detailed on how to post then a cheat sheet or checklist would be a better fit because they summarize your long post into easy to follow list.
If you wrote a blog post that has a gap in content then a long-form pdf article will be ideal for filling that gap and adding value to the article and the reader.
Chest sheets and Checklists
To create a cheat sheet or checklist you just need to outline your article and add a short explanatory paragraph and relevant images if you have them.
Design is also important if you want people to see you as a serious guy who has something valuable to share.
A long-form pdf article is created the same as you are going to write your blog post.
Outline everything relevant from 2 or 3 top-performing articles that you haven’t mention in your blog post or that you mentioned but haven’t explained how it’s done step by step and go with it.
You can use the Word app, Google docs, or Canva. Just save it as pdf when you’re done.
The Simplest and Quickest Way to Get Your First Email Addresses on Your List
I’ll show you one simple method that thousands of people have used to successfully grow their email list.
Take a pen and paper and write down the names of 10 people you know in real life who might be interested in the topic of your blog.
Don’t overthink this process. These can be friends, family members, co-workers, neighbors, or anyone else. The only rule is that they might be interested in what you write about.
Send an email to these 10 people (if you don’t have their email address, you can use text message or Facebook message).
Keep it simple and tell them about your blog and ask are they interested in learning more about that.
Wait for their reply.
If they reply no, nicely thank them.
If they reply yes, that means they’re interested in hearing more from you.
If they replied via email, write down their email address.
If you’ve communicated via something other than email, reply with something like:
“That’s great! Send me your email address so I can stay in touch with you about this”.
That’s it. This is so simple but it works.
To make money with your blog, you have to find a way to monetize it.
This leads us to the next section of my framework.
Step #8: Get a Steady Flow of Extra Income by Doing Affiliate Marketing
There are many ways to monetize your blog, but the best way for a beginner is affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing is when you promote other people’s products and make a commission for every purchase through your affiliate links.
Affiliate marketing is how most of the internet millionaires started their way to wealth.
If you want to choose your own working plan and you like the idea of financial freedom then you are the right person for affiliate marketing. But if you are not ready to work hard and invest your time then you better skip trying this.
This isn’t a get rich fast system and like in any other business, you’ll have to work hard and be smart and consistent if you want to accomplish something.
Affiliate marketing is pretty simple, you sign up for affiliate program, get your affiliate link, and start creating content around your affiliate product.
When someone read your content, click on your affiliate link and make a purchase you earn a commission.
It’s simple as that.
Hardest part is to choose a profitable product to promote.
Here’s how to do it.
5 Steps to Discover a Profitable Affiliate Product
This procedure will take around half an hour of your time but you’ll know who wants your product, how to promote it, and which keywords to target.
Step #1: Answer the “who” question by defining the targeted persona for a particular product.
The more specific you can get, the better.
Step #2: Answer the “what” question by identifying the main problem that your affiliate product solves.
If your product isn’t solving any problems then why would someone want it?
It is all about cutting it down to one main problem.
Step #3: Answer the “why” question by identifying the special advantage of your offer.
Why should they trust you, and click on your affiliate link?
Are you offering something unique or is it something that everyone is offering?
Step #4: Answer the “how” question by finding a way to provide a different solution.
How is your product or service promoted and is it possible to offer it differently?
If you can’t deliver a different solution to promote your product you’ll have less chance to get a commission.
Once you find answers to those 4 questions, you should be able to fill in the blanks of this sentence:
My affiliate product is helping “a particular person” with “the main problem” to achieve “benefit” through “your unique solution”.
But that is not all.
The problem your offer is solving should have a decent amount of monthly searches so when your content ranks high enough you’ll get all that organic traffic visiting your site and clicking your affiliate links.
Step #5: Check the popularity of your affiliate product.
With Google’s trends tool, you can see volume trends for certain products to see if their demand is increasing.
And your keyword tool will tell you the search volume of keywords around that product.
So if there is decent demand for the product and it has a decent number of monthly searches you can go with that product.
Understand that one completed project is much more valuable than ten uncompleted projects. You must always finish one project before you start to work on something else.
Every blogger struggled with the same things as you will, they all worked hard but seeing only a small amount of traffic without any returns.
Don’t change your niche and start another project, or just give up. Do whatever you can because nothing comes overnight. It takes a couple of months before you can see any result of your hard work.
You can check out my post about free affiliate marketing training if you are interested in learning more about affiliate marketing.
There’s my FIRE framework.
Now you know more about successful blogging and how to make your blog profitable.
If you think that blogging is a bit outdated now when we have so many social media platforms these days, let me tell you just two interesting facts:
- Market researchers estimate that over 77% of all internet users read blogs regularly.
- Content marketing, with blogging included, is a 300 billion dollar industry.
So if your goals are to build an audience and make money online, then the obvious answer to the question should you start your own blog is:
Yes, you should start a blog.
And the best way to start a blog is by following my FIRE Framework that contains proven blogging tips for successful blogging.
Will you do it or not it’s up to you.
What do you think about my framework? Do you think I missed something important?
Please, tell me in the comments section below. I’ll read and answer every comment.
Anthony Miller is the guy who’s responsible for the invention of the robotic exoskeleton, multi-use rocket, and a hair growing helmet.
His inventions helped him to become the first man who flown to Jupiter, where Jupiterians greeted him exuberantly and even adored him divinely because of his long curly hair.
“Such lovely beings”, he reported on his return back to Earth.
He’s also been blogging successfully for over 10 years and he took an enormous amount of online courses before he was enlightened by God himself to start helping beginners to transform into successful bloggers.