Don’t start just another blog, learn how to get started blogging to make money with these six steps
I’ve gotten a lot of emails about our 10-page resource guide on how to start a blog. It details everything you need to get started blogging and making money. The only problem is…it’s too darn long! I thought I would take some of the key points in the post on how to start blogging and put together an infographic that’s easier to scan quickly.
The infographic outlines the six critical steps to get started blogging from finding a hosting service to getting Google love and using plugins on your blog. I’ve highlighted additional articles in each section below the infographic for more detail on each step.
Getting started blogging is a lot of work and it will feel like you’re talking to yourself for the first six months. Stick with it and you’ll start to see visitor traffic grow and your monthly income will start growing. I was making over $2,000 after just a year of running my blogs part-time and know many bloggers making over $5,000 a month after just a few years.
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Getting Started Blogging in Six Steps
Successful bloggers spend hundreds a month on tools and resources but you should start by keeping expenses low. Your first expense and one of the only absolutely necessary ones is web hosting. You can get started blogging cheaply through the basic plan on most web hosts, usually between $4 and $6 per month. I reviewed the most popular WordPress hosting websites recently including plans for different needs.
For new blogs, I generally recommend GoDaddy for better reliability and cost. Click here to get your site up for just $1 a month with this special deal.
Spend some time picking the perfect website name because it’s really difficult to change once you get started blogging. Stick with the standard .com unless you run a charitable organization and use sites like Instant Domain Search to make sure your name is available.
Use plugins to get started blogging without being a Techie
Plugins are programs you can put on your blog to do things you can’t do without being a coding genius. These include everything from cleaning up your blog to placing advertising and collecting emails. There are tens of thousands available but start with a few basics.
- Akismet – helps to filter out spam comments…and there are a ton of them
- Broken Link Checker – Readers hate clicking through a link to a dead end and so does Google. This plugin helps to catch broken links on your blog.
- EWWW Image Optimizer – Helps to reduce the file size of images on your blog and speed up the time it takes to load.
- SEO by Yoast – Half or more of your blog visitors will be coming from Google so you absolutely must SEO each article. This plugin makes that easier.
I don’t have a post yet exclusively about plugins but include a full list of the ones I use on my sites in our start blogging resource guide. Most plugins are extremely easy to use. Just download and install them in WordPress and the come pre-loaded to do the job.
Don’t write the perfect blog post, just get started blogging!
Don’t freak out and spend hours trying to write each article. Start out by picking a topic and outlining your thoughts. Then just write it out without worrying if it’s Pulitzer-material. You’ll learn how to write faster and more persuasively the more you write.
How long should your articles be? A study of the top ten search results on Google found an average post length greater than 2,000 words with the top two spots averaging more than 2,450 words. There are a couple of likely reasons. First, longer posts are more likely to get linked to by readers because of more information. Longer posts also carry more potential long-tail keywords for Google to find.
Try writing one post per month over 2,000 words but keep the rest at a more manageable 750 to 1,250 words.
Get some Google Love for your blog!
Getting your articles ranked on Google starts with what’s called on-page SEO, adding the right words in the right places.
- Use relevant images and graphics with your keyword tagged
- Link to other articles on your site and other authority websites
- Use your keywords in headings and make the H-tags with your WordPress editor
After on-page SEO comes off-page SEO through link-building. This is where you get other websites to link to your content, boosting your blog’s authority with Google. It’s one of the most neglected strategies by bloggers and the key to getting started blogging. I share my three favorite link-building strategies in a prior post including one that has gotten me tons of quality .edu links.
Take your Blog Viral with Social Media
Facebook and Pinterest account for 95% of the social media traffic to most blogs so spend your time on those two networks. Many bloggers also do well on Twitter so spend a little time learning how to use the 140-character network.
Social media can be frustrating because it takes a lot of work to get started and build a community. With click-through rates around 1% and lower, you need hundreds of followers just to see a few visitors a day on your blog. Build your social community over time and you’ll start to see more traffic and stronger engagement with your posts.
One of the hardest things to do in your social media strategy is constantly engaging and posting your articles. The life of a tweet is less than 18 minutes, meaning your post gets buried and stops attracting visitors in no time. Really driving social media traffic means sharing constantly through the day on multiple networks. Social media management tools like Hootsuite make this easier by allowing you to link all your accounts to one page and schedule shares in advance.
Blogging Rules to Live By
Don’t steal articles from other sites. Google will see it and ding your site’s search ranking…plus it’s illegal!
Don’t libel or print false information about someone or a company. Reviews of a product are fair but make sure you can support your claims or face legal challenges.
Understand fair use of images. Using copyrighted images without permission is one of the first mistakes by new bloggers. Avoid expensive lawsuits by knowing what you can use.
Getting started blogging and making money will take more than these six steps but the infographic will give you a good idea of how to begin. The biggest secret to blogging success is just to get started and keep at it! You need at least six months to a year to really start seeing traffic grow to the point you are making real money. Check out some of the other posts on the blog about how to start a blog and make money and you’ll be on your way.