I wanted to put together a plan to help people who are wanting to build a business using blogging. There are a lot of people telling you that you can make money online blogging and they are not lying, you can make good money from blogging but it isn’t particularly easy especially if you do not have a plan or follow a system.
Writing blog posts every now and then will not build you a business; waiting for the advert breaks in your favourite TV shows to write a quick post simply will not create the content that you need to build a blog big enough to make money.
In a nut shell, you need a plan, if you don’t have a plan you do not have a linear train of thought and nothing to work towards. You will just be ambling around bouncing from one job to another and getting nowhere.
It sounds clichéd but this saying really does sum it up… ‘Fail to plan, plan to fail’ simple.
For new bloggers just starting out I wanted to think up a plan that could greatly help them to become more successful quickly. Use this as a guide, do the bits you want to do and forget those parts you don’t. This guide is an example for you to work with and create your own plan. Of course you can follow it as it is. Whatever you do, you need to have a plan or schedule to work with to even come close to being successful.
What follows is my plan for starting a blog and building it quickly up to a point where it is growing thanks to the help of others leaving you to focus on other tasks.
1. Register a Domain and Get Hosting.
Obviously you will need a website to get started, you might already have your website set up, if so then this part is complete. Both domain registration and hosting can be done using Hostgator. Without hosting or a domain name you won’t have an online business. For help setting up your website click here.
2. Install WordPress
Next you need to install WordPress, this is easy to do in the CPanel area you get when you buy hosting. If you do not yet have hosting and think creating your blog is hard we can do it for you for free here. You can use a free WordPress Theme or you could invest in a premium Theme like those found at Woo Themes. Premium Themes can give you more functionality and scope than the free ones.
3. Add An Email Opt In Form To Your Site
From day one you should start to build an email list. Create an Aweber account and build an email capture form to install on your website offering a monthly newsletter. There are different kinds of email newsletters, some people write a post good enough to be on the blog that they send to their email list as a subscribers only bonus post, others send a shorter email with advice and some people send a weekly roundup.
The easiest email newsletter to send is the weekly roundup; if you are publishing a new post everyday you have 7 new posts to remind people about. With so much content being created this type of email gives you plenty to add in the email without having to write new content.
When you build an email list you create a list of people to promote future posts, products and promotions to. You can send traffic back to your blog which will be noticed by the search engines, they love sites that have returning traffic. Building an email list is one of the most important things you can do when you start an online business.
4. Create Twitter, Facebook, YouTube & Google+ Accounts
Get these in place when you start your blogging business and use them to build a following to send traffic back to your
blog. Every time you write and publish a new post share it on these networks. When you create a video to share on your blog, upload it to YouTube and host it there, videos in YouTube can be taken and use by other sites as well as appear in the Google search results. This is great for getting free traffic.
A lot of the social media work can be controlled and automated by using software like TweetAdder for Twitter or Hootsuite which is ideal for most if not all of your social media networks, all of them accessible from one dashboard without having to log in to each one separately every time you want to share your latest post.
5. Create 1 New Quality Post Per Day For 3 Months.
This will be the hardest part and will take some time getting used to. You will need discipline and motivation. You now need to write at least one quality post to be published per day. These posts need to be 800 words or more and very helpful.
They need to be of the best quality possible, Google and readers love quality, your readers need to leave your site feeling that they have learned something new and valuable.
You can create video posts and podcasts but they would still need to have plenty of good written content with it. The idea is to give the readers plenty of useful information. To keep costs down you need to write and create your content yourself. You can outsource it if you want but that is your choice.
You may decide to publish fewer posts per week but that will create less powerful results. You need to be consistent, stick to getting a quality new post published every other day if you believe everyday is too hard going for you.
3 months of solid work and you should start to see movement in the search engines and get traffic to your site, I say should, for some people it might be more or less depending on what other tasks you perform during that 3 months. If it doesn’t happen in 3 months, do not despair, it will happen just keep at it. This is a business and you should be thinking long term not short term anyway.
6. Write 2 Guest Posts Per Week.
Write 2 guest posts or more each week and get them published on other sites to create backlinks to your site as well as start to create a recognised name for your site. The better your guest posts are then you stand a better chance of having it accepted on sites with higher page rank. Getting a post published on a site with a good page rank will be better for you.
Find sites asking for guest posts and send them an email offering your post to them. Every site requires a new unique post for their site only. There is a science to writing a good guest post and you need to make sure that you write the best posts possible. Zac Johnson says that ‘your guest posts should be better than those on your own site’
7. Join Guest Blogging Sites
There are networks where you can join and submit posts to be used as guest posts; you will also find people who have submitted their own posts and articles looking for sites to publish them. You can find some potential good writers in these networks and this is in preparation for a following stage. Some guest posting sites are GuestBlogIt.com, MyBlogGuest.com, Guestr.com and BlogSynergy.com
8. Start Commenting On Blogs & Forums
This is a must do job, in the first 3 months you should be commenting on other same niche sites and building up a network of friends and more importantly new readers. You should not be just adding crap useless comments but you should in fact be discussing the post you have read and making friends.
Offer opinions, tips, advice and personal stories on the post topic, you need to interact with other commentators and the post writer. You are being seen and creating a healthy trust as well as creating a network along with hijacking some of the big sites traffic for free.
Many of these comments can get you links back to your site which can help but it is really all about the relationship building and free traffic. To be successful at blog commenting you need to read the post, otherwise you will not know what to write about and will look like you are leaving comments for spam reasons.
Create a spreadsheet of the best blogs in your niche and visit them as often as possible. John Chow (who now makes $40,000 a month from blogging) says that in his early days he would leave comments on at least 3 different blogs each and every day. If you think you do not have the time you could do this task while having a tea break or during lunch.
Failing that you could hire a close friend or someone in your family like a child or nephew to do this job for you as they sit and watch TV. Offer them £-$10 a week to place a set amount of comments each week as long as they read the posts and leave quality comments that sound like you. It would be wise to have them record the posts they comment on each week and that way you can check that they are not simply leaving … ‘nice post, I have bookmarked and will return again’
9. Create A Write For Us Page
Create a write for us page outlining exactly what it is you want and what you will accept. Try to wean out as much wheat from the chaff as possible from the beginning. Include a contact us form at the bottom of the page for writers to contact you and submit their posts.
By doing this you will soon be sent posts that you can add to your blog giving you free content and start taking some of the pressure off of your writing schedule. You might also find potential good writers who could help you grow your blog when it is ready for stage 10.
10. Invite Your Favourite Writers To Write For You
Once your site has grown and has a good number of monthly visitors and readers you can invite some of your favourite writers or guest post suppliers to write for you on a more permanent arrangement. Create an author account within your WordPress site giving them their own login details so they can add and schedule their posts to go live without your interaction.
You can set the rules so that every post has several internal links sending readers to related posts on your site and that they can then add one link back to theirs, you could suggest that each new posts has to be scheduled for a certain amount of time giving you the option to check that they are up to your standard so you can delete any if required and add affiliate links to the article.
Take a look at this site and you will see that there are several writers for the it even though it is owned by Zac Johnson. You could do the same, if your writers were happy to post 1 new article a week then you need a team of only 7 writers. If you wrote one post yourself then all you will need is 6 writers.
How hard can it be to create a team of great writers all willing to write for you? Remember they will get extra exposure helping to build up their names and brands also their sites receive free traffic and links. They get back just as much as they put in. Both parties win from this arrangement.
You could have a team of 14 writers all adding just one post every other week or have a team as well as submitting the one off guest posts that you will still receive. I have had several posts published on sites even though I wasn’t a member of the sites main writing team.
Everyone who has a post published on your site whether they are a guest blogger or one of your new writing team will share their posts as well as some of the others on their social media networks. This can create an influx of traffic to your site from their large lists of followers.
What really matters is that your site is getting quality content that is being published each day. This will please Google and it will please your readers and it will really please you in the long run.
11. Let The Writers Create The Content & You Focus On The Business
Now that you have a team of writers adding content to your site for you, you can slow down on the writing schedule and now focus on the other aspects of building your online business. You can go looking for those great affiliate offers that can generate you money or focus in finding people to advertise their services on your site earning you a monthly income.
There are a lot of jobs that need doing when you are building an online business, from WordPress maintenance to traffic generation. You could focus your writing skills to creating free reports and eBooks to give away for traffic generation, email list building and relationship building. These reports could have affiliate links within them and become another source of affiliate commissions.
You could write more guest posts and have them submitted to other new sites creating new links and more free traffic sending readers to your now well stocked and live blog. You could use your time creating great ‘How to’ video tutorials or create a series of videos and start a monthly membership course or product.
Eventually you will hit the tipping point where your site will grow on its own and you will benefit from all of your hard work. It might take 3 months or it might be longer, what is important is that you do not expect to be successful after just 3 weeks and give up. In the online and internet marketing world dreams have been sold and promises of fast riches were made so people now expect it to happen overnight.
The truth is this, if someone makes a lot of money fast they are the exception to the rule and not the norm. This is a business and you are building it, we know off line businesses require time to build and we should approach the online business in the same way.
We should mental allow ourselves at least a year or two before we expect to see results, if they come sooner then that is great but if we do not think in terms of a year or more we would become disheartened too quickly and give up, this is not what we want you to do.
So there you have it, a plan or guide depending how you want to see it of a way to get focused and build your blog business quickly. Scheduling time to write and time to do the blog comments along with all of your other tasks will help you to keep more focused and achieve your goals.
Create your own plan, get serious about your work, do each task daily with discipline and make success happen.