How to Start a Blog

How to Start a Blog

Dennis Bradford

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Are you interested in blogging?  Would you like to understand the right procedure for how to start a blog?

Are you interested in using it as a way of earning income online?  If so, the following may interest you.

(If not, you are already on my blog on well-being, which has hundreds of posts on how to live better and is not monetized.  So you already have an example of a personal blog that is not used as a way of earning income online.)

One Way of Earning Online Income Part-time

A standard method to make money online (or to try to make money online!) is to select an affiliate offer (or create your own product) for which there is demand in a market niche, put up a landing page with an opt-in form, drive traffic to it, send people who opt in to a sales page, and profit from any resulting sales. Even if a prospect fails to purchase, at least with the opt-in form information you are able to generate an email list of people interested in that topic and use it to market to that list repeatedly.

TIP: Never send traffic directly to a sales page; instead, always send traffic to an opt-in or squeeze page to capture email addresses first and then send those who opt-in on to a sales page.

Blogging

Think of a WordPress blog or website as similar to that standard method except that its posts are all landing pages in a single market niche. Instead of being isolated landing pages, they are congregated landing pages. So, instead of driving traffic to an isolated landing page, drive traffic to one website that is a set of landing pages that are related to the topic of the blog.

Understanding.
Aha!

Furthermore, blogging is a way of content marketing. Content marketing educates prospects before pitching anything.  It’s a way of leading with the giving hand. Especially when the content is “edutainment” (i.e., entertaining as well as educating), it is a most effective way of stealthy marketing.

It’s the best way of getting strangers to know, like, and trust you.  After you do that, they are much more likely to take your advice.

Each blog post is specifically designed in advance to have an in-demand topic. Demand is the sine qua non of any business.  Help people solve their problems, which is exactly what I’m doing in this post for those who are considering blogging.

A website is a long-term asset that is built over time. It’s more like running a marathon than sprinting. It can keep gaining traction in the marketplace, i.e., ranking in the search engines for relevant keywords.

There’s no need for any particular blog post to stimulate a lot of sales; instead, only a few or even occasional sales from each post over time can generate significant income if there are plenty of posts, which is why blogging can be very lucrative.

A blog can be built part-time. The key is consistently posting on topics that are in demand, whether that be once a week or five times a week.

Writing the posts can be done oneself or outsourced.

Traffic can be driven not only to the blog itself but to its posts. Using social media like Pinterest skillfully can be an effective way to drive traffic.

It’s false that perfection is required. Imperfect action beats no action.

ACTION STEPS

First, select a niche.

Second, set up a WordPress site focused on that niche.

Third, post consistently, but only after researching possible topics for each post.

Fourth, monetize every post. You can sell your own products or services. You can place ads on a post from ad networks such as Google’s AdSense, Exoic, or Mediavine or simply use Amazon affiliate display ads. You can do affiliate marketing for related products from Amazon, Clickbank, Max Bounty, JVZoo, and lots of others. TIP: reverse engineer what blogs in your niche with lots of traffic are doing to monetize their posts and emulate them.

Fifth, drive traffic to the website as well as to the posts.

REPEAT

Once you have a successful blog that is monetized, set it up so that others such as outsourcers are doing its posting and maintenance for you. Obviously, ensure that your blogs are not alligators that will eat you; in other words, ensure that they are making you more money than they are costing you.  Cash flow is critical.

After you have one blog that’s making money, you’ll have learned a lot about how to do it. So, use that understanding and set up a second blog.

Is it better to have one fruit tree or a whole orchard? Why not have a whole orchard of blogs?

DEMAND

What you think is important is not necessarily what the marketplace thinks is important. Put your values into the background and focus on where in the marketplace demand already exists.

The biggest mistake in business is trying to build a business in situations in which there’s no demand for its products or services.

If you fail to research demand properly, the website will fail to interest and help people with their problems and, so, will fail to make money. So researching is critical, which is why it’s the only one of the six steps discussed here.

How should demand be researched?

Initially, using a Google search, find 5 or 10 blogs in the prospective market niche. Make a written list of them, perhaps on a spreadsheet. It’s not necessary to be an expert in a niche, but it is important at least to have an interest in a niche.

Then check their traffic. One software to use for that is similarweb, which is a free Chrome extension.

Focusing on some of the blogs with the highest traffic, visit some of their posts. What are their topics? How do they monetize them? Are those topics and monetization methods something that interests you? Might you be able to emulate them?

Another way to check for relevant traffic is to use buzzsumo. This free Chrome extension is especially helpful for finding blog topics that go viral.

Another way to check for relevant traffic is to look on Pinterest and Facebook.

Another way to check for relevant traffic is to use keyword software (e.g., Google Adwords Keyword Planner). Install the (free) Chrome extension Keywords Everywhere on your computer and use it in conjunction with the (free) Keyword Shitter software. Used in combination, they can be very helpful in determining demand and a good list of initial keywords for posts.

However, there’s no magic bullet. Perhaps the most important lesson I’ve learned in the last 20 years about internet marketing is this:

Spend some time and energy doing research and finding a market niche that has demand and interests you before seriously beginning any business.

Once you have that, set up a WordPress blog properly, start posting consistently, and regularly drive traffic to it. There are multiple books and online courses that teach how to do that (including Bloggii).

Remember:  no demand, no business.

I wish you well.

Dr. Dennis E. Bradford
Dennis E. Bradford, Ph.D.

2 thoughts on “How to Start a Blog

  1. sharon

    comprehensive list of steps to follow to create a successful money making blog…many different methods to chose from….very informative…

    25/09/2018 at 8:52 pm
  2. june cea

    Excellent! If you are dreaming to be a blogger and you don’t know where to start, this is a great blog post to read and learn how to start to achieve it. Thanks, Dr. Dennis Bradford for this informative content! Hope to read more from you. 🙂

    25/09/2018 at 11:31 pm

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