If you are thinking about joining the growing group of people that created the ultimate freedom lifestyle for themselves with a big online brand, or you are maybe just thinking about a subtle side income to cover perhaps a car payment, a blog is always a viable option.
It has probably never been easier for anyone to get their message out with all the social media available. New apps and platforms seem to pop up every month, and with the big dogs like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat offering huge playing field for marketers and, blogging comes off like something out of the 90’s that isn’t very cool and effective compared to the other hipster media available. So should you start a blog and if so – how?
Short answer – YES. If you are looking to build a brand, personal or business, a blog is very much relevant still today, and should definitely be at the core of your operation. The reasons?
Blogging is freedom. What do I mean by that? Is it free to setup a blog? Well no that’s not what I’m saying. What I mean by freedom is that it’s something that can be a huge asset and is something that you have almost total control over. Once you have set it up on your hosting service – it’s there and you can do whatever you want with it.
Compared it to Facebook or YouTube – you have to follow a strict set of terms to be in compliance with them. Or you can get banned. People have lost entire Facebook accounts or business pages for having published something that was not in order with the platform’s terms of services. With a blog you are much more free regarding this – even though you should always go by good ethics and not publish content that could put you in trouble. Also Google loves
Google really loves blogs and will start sending you organic traffic in time. Organic traffic means people that have searched for a specific keyword and your blog was in the search results. Kind of like the holy grail of online marketing.
Operating a blog also really doesn’t require a lot of technical skills. The only real skill needed is writing and that is something you will get better at with time even as you publish more blogposts.
It’s also rather easy to monetize your blog when you have gathered enough followers and readers. The potential profits can be huge if you are consistent in your publishing.
So how do you start a blog? Well the first thing you should do and probably the most important is to decide on topic that your would be willing to write about for month and years to come. I know that this sounds scary but it really isn’t. Take me for example, I’m in the “Make money online” niche. The topics and areas that is possible to go into are almost limitless. “How to set up a blog”, “How to use an autoresponser”, “How to monetize your blog”, “How to set up a YouTube channel”, “How to outsource for cheap”, these are just a fraction of topics that can be covered in this niche. Whatever niche you decide to go into it’s the most important to recognize if there is potential to write a lot of content around the topic – and also importantly – if this a topic that has a market. If there are no buyers in the niche/market then it’s not going to be easy to make money with your blog. That’s just how it is.
The three biggest niches (markets) online are “Wealth”, “Health” and “Romance”. These are like “ever-green” niches which means that these are topics that people will never stop talking about, wanting and buying product about. People buy supplements (Health), online courses on “how to save their marriages” (Romance) and courses on how to make money online “Wealth”. There are many sub-niches of these niches that can be entered and made huge money from.
There are of course more niches than these but just be aware and make sure that you research the potential market for them before you go all in and decide on what your blog should be about.
When you have decided on your niche – congratulations – this is the most difficult part! Now think of a name for your business or branding. You have to decide if you want to brand yourself (personal) or build a business with it’s own name. What I did personally was to go to domain.com and put potential names into their search engines to see if they were available as .com domains. If you see that your name idea is available go and purchase the .com. If it’s available it will give your blog and brand more authority as people associate that more with a .com domain than other domains. A domain should go for $5-$10.
Next step is to decide were you are going to host your blog. You may have heard about WordPress before as it’s the biggest online platform for people to blog as it’s so easy to operate. It’s basically an online word processor with drag and drop website editing capabilities. You can choose to go for the WordPress.com option in which case WordPress hosts the blog for you and you don’t have to buy hosting. The bad thing about that is that your domain will have WordPress inside it. For example if your brand is “Internetmoney” than you URL (your web address) would look like this: http://www.internetmoney.wordpress.com We really don’t want that as with time your business will grow and this can hurt your brand. You really want to have full control and not link your business this way with a another brand. This also hints that your brand can’t afford a measly $10 for a domain.
What you rather want to do is to go for the WordPress.org option. This way you can download all the necessary files to your computer and then upload them to your host. There are plenty of webhost companies available but the one I have tried personally is Bluehost and I can highly recommend it. I changed to an Icelandic host company some years ago but they had a huge server crash some months ago and I have been thinking about returning to Bluehost again.
It’s pretty easy to upload the files via FTP to your webhost once you have it up and running but the tricky part can be to setup the database for the blog. That’s a PHP database that stores all your blogposts, images etc so that they can be easily found again with search engines or with your internal search on your blog.
As I say, for a complete beginner it can be a daunting task to set up the technical stuff. The good news is that it’s a one-time setup and can be easily outsourced online if that is something you really don’t want to mess with. You can find people on Fiverr or Upwork that can probably do it for a small payment. After you are set up then it’s just fire away on the keyboard as the user interface for WordPress is very similar to a modern Word Processor.
Then start blogging about your journey. What you have tried and tested. What worked and what didn’t. Share it with people. Get feedback. By doing this you are documenting your journey and it’s going to be fun for you to track your way back maybe years down the line.
If your are thinking about building an online brand then a blog is for sure a thing to recommend. The most important thing is to just decide on the topic your are going to be writing about. Make sure it has possibilities regarding content publishing and that there is a market willing to spend money on products. Then start publishing and stay consistent and with time you will get momentum and start earning money from your blog possibly.