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Introduction

Blogging is a great way to start building a blog and business online. If you have expertise in any subject it can be easy to start a blog, provide value, build an audience and then monetize it. If you aren’t an expert you still have a chance to learn how you can blog on your favorite topics and build a business around it.

In these modern times when any skill can be monetized, you should definitely be taking advantage of them. You may have significant knowledge on a topic, but as you begin blogging you will get better over time on how you express yourself, learn how to communicate better to your audience and build a fan of readers from all over the world.

One of the advantages of blogging is that you can show your body of work as your marketing material which can be used to pitch yourself to brands who might want to work with you. Your content shows the level of work you’ve put into your blog and if you are serious about it you can turn them into a thriving business.

To me, you should only blog to use that free content as a means to get subscribers and leads into your business. Use content as a means to market your brand and business online.

Blogging as a form of business

Before you get into blogging, there are a few key things you need to know. Blogging is actually a profession and people make a full-time income blogging and if you are serious about earning income from your blog it should be treated as a business and not as a hobby because when you treat it as a business you’ll be able to make money soon and it can completely change your life.

Blogging is a long-term game. You should get into blogging thinking about first helping people, educating them and solving their problems. Because when you solve people’s problems you’ll be able to build trust and likeness with your readers who will then become your customers who will eventually purchase from you.

Another thing is to think of running your blog from a business standpoint because as a business you will have to set up shop (here it is your online website/blog) then you start putting out content that is relevant to the target audience you have in mind.

You need to get clear on whom you want to serve, whom you are creating this content for and how it will help them.

Your content has to attract the right people to your blog and become your fans. And they will signup to your newsletter or other free updates that you give out. That’s when you know they know, like and trust you.

You will start to play an important role in their life. You will be providing free content as a means to solve their immediate problems.

Finding out your readers problems is your duty to research and ask people on the internet. Once you know their problems it becomes easier to create content around it.

The simple Formula you need to know about blogging is:

Provide Value -> Bring Customers -> Build Audience – Sell Products.

Once your content is ready you will have to start looking at promotion of your blog posts. We will discuss blog promotions in another post.

Whenever you put out content you should think about building your brand. Your blog represents your brand and you’ll have to build it to such an extent that people who come across you on the internet maybe via google search or your Facebook post or Instagram post or a Pinterest post will check you out and if interested will want to find out more about you.

Do this before starting your blog

Before you start blogging take these points into consideration:

  1. Passion – You need to find out your passion first because there are many things down the line that will affect your business. If you are not passionate about it, you’ll not do it every day, if you are not passionate about it; it will reflect in your content delivery, it will literally show in everything that you do and will eventually affect how you position yourself.  This could lead to a lot of people having a turn off when you are put some content out on the internet.
  2. Purpose – Your purpose is your mission behind why you are running your online blog or business. Clearly define your purpose and get it out there on your website and all your social media channels. This should help you have your target audience in mind. You are looking to solving their problems or helping them achieve their goals with your blog or business.
  3. Problems – Identify the problems for the purpose you are pursuing. If you can find problems and solve them people will gladly pay you to help them out. No one has time to go up and research things unless they are completely broke and can’t afford you or your training.
  4. Products/solutions that Amaze: To present your solution you need a product or solution that will help the potential customer choose to come to you and be amazed by how well you deliver your solution. It ultimately should get the results. People pay for results that you can get them. That right there is the “Wow” factor that amazes them.

How to start a blog

Well, let’s get into starting a blog now. The following steps will help you get it set up and running live in a few minutes.

A blog or a business online needs a website. To find out what you need to call your blog or business you need a website name. (or a domain name).

So the first thing you need is a domain name or the name that you would call your blog or business.

The second thing you need is where you are going to host your blog or website.

The third thing you need is a website or a blog theme that will look good online. It needs a good theme.

And the last thing would be to use some plugins that would make some tech work in the background for your blog or website.

1. Domain Name:

To get a domain name we need to decide what we want to call our blog or website as.

So to decide a domain name come up with blog names that are related to what is closely related to what you are gonna be writing about.

I picked up my blog name as “My Digital Yard” just out of random. I wanted it to be a place where I can share all the knowledge I have about blogging and online marketing and help people get out of their day jobs and live the digital lifestyle.

Some interesting blog names from existing bloggers are:

  1. Smart Passive Income – Run by Pat Flynn. (A blog on Passive Income)
  2. Cash Overflow – Run by Pardeep Goyal. (A finance Blog)
  3. FITnancials – Run by Alexis. (A finance blog)
  4. DigitalDeepak – Run by Deepak Kanagaraju (A digital marketing blog)
  5.  The She Approach – Run by Anna (A Blog on Blogging)

Likewise, you can come up with blog names that sounds easy for people to get it and it also relates to what you will be talking about on your website.

So after you found a blog name (It can be a two or three-word blog name). Go on Lean Domain Search and see if the blog name that you are looking for is there.

Come up with something good to go. I looked up my domains on there and found My Digital Yard.

I would say go for a .com domain. It is what people naturally search for when you say your blog name to them.

If it is not there you can go for a .in, .co, or some other domain. But always go for a .com as it looks professional and is easy to find.

Next, you can go on Siteground and this is where you are going to do both your hosting and domain purchase from.

Siteground has an awesome support team that can be reached 24/7, highly dependable fast speed, and amazing security that will keep your site protected

2. Hosting

Creating a WordPress blog on SiteGround can be done with ease.

If you’re in any blogging groups, you probably know by now that almost everyone is switching to Siteground.

I’ve never heard of anyone complain about Siteground, but I hear countless complaints from other hosts. Several of my online blogging friends have had their websites completely shut down on other hosting companies. You do NOT want that to happen.

There are 3 hosting plans within siteground.  The Startup plan is good for beginners. But if you can afford it you can go for Grow Big Plan which will allow you to host multiple websites at no additional cost.

Or you can choose to upgrade as you grow as a blogger.

Choose the right plan and the next page would ask for your domain name. Enter your domain name and select hosting plan and make the payment.

3. Installing WordPress

Siteground makes it really easy to install WordPress. Their support team is ready to install WordPress for you at no cost. After you purchase your hosting, the next page will show you how to install WordPress.

If you run into any problems, Siteground will help you and install it for you. All you have to do is contact them using the huge “Our Support” tab on Siteground.

Their support team is ready to answer questions 24/7 (which is seriously awesome!). The max wait time is 10 minutes for a question. So if you need help at 3 in the morning, you’ll get a response immediately.

4. Installing WordPress Themes

Your theme is what your website will look like when someone visits your blog. Your theme should suit your blog content style.

You can look for free themes that come with your blog or choose paid themes. Paid themes give a more professional look to your blog. You can get some professional themes at StudioPress Themes for WordPress.

So once you can contact their support to set it up for you. It will save a ton of time.

Once you choose your theme, you’ll want to follow the steps below. (Please find them in photos below).

1. Go to Appearance –> Themes.

2. Click Add New.

3. Click upload theme.

4. Upload .zip file. You will receive this when you buy your theme.

Essential Plugins

Plugins are some essential to help your blog either from spam or it helps maintain your site. Go to Plugins below Appearance on the dashboard and add new and search for the following plugins. Click Install and Activate.

Some essential plugins are:

1. Akismet:

Akismet protects your blog from spam comments. It’s algorithm automatically marks spammer’s comments as spam and allow real people’s comments to appear on your articles.

Usually, its algorithm is 99% correct. You just have to occasionally check if spam comments are getting approved or real people’s comments are getting filtered out.

Usually this plugin by default in your WordPress login.

2. Yoast SEO:

It is the plugin that allows you to install on WordPress that allows you to optimize your post so that it can do the basic SEO(Search Engine Optimization) and rank for google searches.

It will allow you to target a keyword or phrase and also allows you to perfect your blog post title for google searches. It is a must-have plugin.

3. Sumo Me:

Sumo Me is a plugin that allows you to capture leads for free. It has a lot of features to capture leads and build a subscribers list. It also has a share feature that allows people to share your posts or pages on various platforms.

It is free for a certain number of subscribers.

4. Monster Insights:

Monster Insights is the best Google Analytics plugin for WordPress. It allows you to set up Google Analytics for WordPress with just a few clicks.

It also tracks and reports the number of things like content views or page views of various activities of your blog after it is integrated with Google Analytics.

5. Social Warfare:

It is another social share plugin that allows people to share your posts on social media and other platforms.

When you’ve installed this plugin it will automatically allow you to configure what all social share platforms you want on every post or page.

6. W3 Total Cache:

W3 Total Cache is a plugin that allows you to increase the site loading speed. It basically scrapes some static content and scripts so that it loads the visitor’s website faster.

It is recommended to use the default settings and not change on anything on the settings.

7. WP Smush:

WP Smush allows you to you minimize the file size of your images as it compresses them for loading your website faster without compromising the quality of the image.

If you want your website to load faster you absolutely need this plugin. If your website loads faster then it has a higher chance of ranking on google searches.

People leave your website if your site speed is slow. So this plugin does some incredible work.

8. Pretty Links:

This is a plugin you need to have because whenever you are recommending affiliate products it comes with a long unique link. This plugin allows you to make them neat for website visitors and also looks good for google searches.

All you need to do is to add the link where you want you to point to as the destination URL and the new link that should show up to the visitor or reader. All this can be done on the back end.

9. Pinterest PinIt Button:

This plugin allows you to use pin the Pinterest images right from all across the internet or from other people’s blog posts.

It allows you to pick up Pinterest images from other profiles also.

10. Edit Flow:

This plugin allows you to plan out your content well in advance and start getting them ready for publishing. I figured this allows you to plan out your editorial calendar and then allows you to assign which date your drafts would be out.

Then it allows you to finalize for final publication.

Benefits of Blogging for Business

A few benefits of blogging are:

  1. Allows you to share your message with the world
  2. Helps others
  3. Allows you to make affiliate income by referring other people’s products
  4. It becomes a source of passive income over time.
  5. Allows you to teach, educate and engage with readers and build an audience.
  6. It could grow into a full-blown business allowing you to make a living from it full-time.

3 Courses that I have taken is worth taking too

1. Blog Start-Up

2. Traffic, subscribers, Yours

3. Page views from Pinterest

Next Steps

We will cover more of the next steps in blogging from the links that will be posted below.

Content Publishing & Promotion

Driving Traffic to your blog

  • Look at google search – Learn SEO
  • Social Media Traffic
  • Pinterest Search Engine Traffic
  • Traffic from Blogs
  • Traffic from other sites
  • Traffic from other social media network

Capture your leads – Techniques to capture more leads

Bottom Line: Provide Value – Teach, educate, entertain, help and inspire your readers.

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