As I just hit my 230th post and this site has begun generating an income, I wanted to share some of my experiences and lessons I’ve learned through writing this blog and creating my website. So, here are some tips for those who wish to distribute their thoughts to the world.
Find your niche. Find what interests you, what others are interested in, and most importantly, pick something that you can confidently explain. Some of the most successful blogs, at the start, are fashion and entertainment. The tech niche is hard to get followers and viewers; however, it is what I am passionate about. Don’t give up, do what you love.
Pick a canvas. There are several ways to create a blog. Self-hosting is arguably the cheapest way to do it, going through a service such as WordPress.org (different from WordPress.com), Wix, or Weebly. With these sites, you can have access to an extensive database of various themes, a massive amount of customization, and are much less expensive than sites such as WordPress.com, which I use. I honestly prefer WordPress.com from all the other options. While it costs significantly more for the Premium and Business plans, they are great tools to use to help you start an online business or create a blog. You also get access to monetizing your site, plugins, and their fantastic customer service. If you are not skilled at coding, there are very helpful forums to help one learn as well. Make sure you do your research before you commit to a platform. However, several sites do support simple transfers of content to other sites.
Promotion. Now that your content is online, getting traffic to it is now the goal. There are several ways one can achieve this such as commenting on other blogs, writing consistently, using trackbacks, using social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram, and also using guest posts on your site. You should also optimize your site for search engines, use paid traffic sources such as Google Ads, and using different mediums such as Amazon Alexa to get your content out there. Creating an email list is another recommended task. By emailing your users directly, you can bypass search rankings and other online roadblocks when promoting your content. Finally, creating contests and giving away free resources or items is another thing that helps develop faithful followers. This will all take time; most give up on their blog before it starts gaining a considerable amount of traffic. However, patience is a key.
Network. Aside from benefiting promotion, networking with other bloggers and online businesses is a great way to share ideas, gain and perform guest posts, and have others review your site. I belong to several excellent blogging Facebook groups such as Blogging Network, Blogging Newbs, and Blogging for New Bloggers. These groups feature daily promotions such as sharing your most recent blog post, goals for the week, and are a great resource to use when asking questions.
Monetizing your site. I created my website for personal/professional use, simply because I enjoyed it; although, making some money from it isn’t a bad thing, right? There are numerous ways to accomplish this such as using WordAds on WordPress, Google AdSense, including affiliate links, selling digital products, selling memberships, or even using private ads. Most advertising pays you when a visitor actually clicks on an advertisement on a site, so the income won’t be substantial until you get a high traffic volume. You can also make money by guest posting on other sites, which also funnels their traffic to your website.
Back up your content. Just like anything that is valuable, make sure your content is backed up. Merely keeping an extra copy of all of your posts on a removable storage device or separate blogging site is ideal. I personally use a different site, Blogger, to store all of my content. This ensures that all my hard work is maintained even if I lose my original website for some reason. WordPress.com and Blogger are also able to easily transfer content to and from each other.
By following these tips, you should be well on your way to creating a successful and profitable blog or website. While the process can be frustrating and challenging, the end result is well worth it. My advice, do it for yourself, not for the income. I love both writing and technology, so creating my content is not a chore, rather a hobby.
Categories: Random Thoughts