Are you sick and tired of all the “How to Start a Blog” posts out there?
Do you read them and pin them desperately trying to find out how to create a profitable blog, only to find out that after reading it you are left wondering “What’s next”?
Sure you can study how to start a blog all you want, but most posts out there will only show you the physical way to start your blog and get your blog up and running. They only walk you through the basic steps. It’s pretty annoying actually.
When I first started my blog, I was intrigued with how many “How to Start a Blog” posts I saw out there. Mainly if you read a “How to Start a Blog” post, you will quickly learn the ins and outs of how to set up a domain, get hosting, and install WordPress.
This is all good, as of course these are the major first steps to starting a blog. But then what?
After you finish your initial blog set up, you are left with a blank post page staring back at you. Your menu is empty. Your categories non-existent. The simple part is over, now you have to create content for your blog.
Most new bloggers find this task daunting. I know I did in the beginning.
I am not an extrovert. I can’t ramble on about a particular topic for too long. I am more introverted so my mind switches from one topic to the next. I get overloaded with information and it forms a sort of paralysis. Suddenly I am stuck between what to do next.
Eventually, I end up watching a video on YouTube about how to set up a Pinterest account (even though I already know how) and debating whether I should call it a night and see if there are any funny cat videos on Facebook.
When you start to think about how much actually needs to get done, it is overwhelming.
What You Need to Do to Fully Set-Up a Profitable Blog
Just for kicks, here are a few things that need to get done before you have a fully functional blog:
- Create awesome content
- Install a theme that matches your blog’s style
- Create a free product
- Create a paid product
- Write an email sequence for an autoresponder
- Set up your Paypal account and Pay button
- Find and research an affiliate program
- Set up social media accounts
- Get your “technicals” such as lead pages, sales pages, autoresponders, and social media schedulers in place
The truth is you need to do all these things (and more) in order to have a successful blog. But no “How to Start a Blog” posts tell you how to or even where to start with all this.
So I made this post to be a step two to the traditional “How to Start a Blog” posts. In the post I provide strategies based on how I brainstorm and create an action plan for my blog.
Envisioning Your Concept and Theme of Your Blog
Start by writing. Once you start to write your blog and realize that you have common and re-occurring themes, you are able to cater further posts and design to the style you naturally possess.
The first thing I do is brainstorm topics and titles for my blog. I start to list titles using a generic “How to…” just so I can see how many things I know about for my particular topic.
I look back and review them frequently. Maybe one day I will write and outline of the blog post, the next day I will write the full post, then I will revamp the title into something more keyword oriented, then the next day I will create the Pinterest image.
I remain productive by batching similar tasks. Creating headlines one day, doing SEO the next day, writing posts another day, creating images another day. When you batch similar tasks you can get more done with short amounts of time.
Every day I do a little work on my posts. Sometimes I feel like working on one post over another, so I work on what I am in the mood to work on. Since all the topics I am going to talk about are in my titles already, I can switch to working on a different post when I feel the urge to write about it. Since the topic is already created, I don’t have to worry about it not matching the rest of my content. Being consistent is key.
Are you having trouble defining the purpose of your blog? Check out my post on 9 Questions to Help You Discover Your Blog’s Purpose
So what if you have all your titles mapped out and get stuck on creating content?
Blogging is easy if you just spend some time on it and have patience. People like reading original content that is interesting. You will have the best response if you use your own voice and write about what you are passionate about.
Write a rough draft and then expand on it. For me, writing a rough draft (which is just me rambling about a topic) works to get my creative mind flowing. I begin to find how I can piece up my content into different subsections.
You can also write an outline, just write some quick keywords about the topic and how you can expand on the idea. You may want to include research, a call to action, a killer introduction section. Figure out where you want to put these in your outline.
Hint: Don’t write and edit at the same time
Leave your mistakes for now, your creative mind is flowing. Edit later.
If you still are staring at a blank page, DON’T WORRY!
Some people are better at writing than others. In fact, the people that enjoy writing content are most likely selling their writing services. You can always outsource your post to a writer.
Outsourcing your content writing is not a bad thing. In fact, it can get your blog off the ground in no time. Think about it as an initial start-up investment. When you get back the draft you can ask them to revise it to have a certain tone or sound a certain way. Or you can revise it yourself and add your own original voice.
For outsourcing I recommend Fiverr.com. There are many people that are skilled in all areas of website creation. You can find content writers, webpage designers, ecommerce professionals, and more.
What do you do when you are finished writing a post?
Once I have a finished post, I will set a deadline for it, then post it on that deadline. I will make sure that my deadline is a few days out so I can finish the necessary tasks in order to create a professional blog post.
Before I post it, I need to make sure some things are in place such as tags, category, links, and I create a captivating featured image using Canva.
The reason I stay working on all posts simultaneously is because a blog is not just one post after another. It is a connected web of posts and links to other posts and pages. In this blog post for example, I link to some of my other blog posts so that someone can easily find what they want to know more about. This keeps your readers engaged and improves your click-thru rates.
Get Your “Technicals” in Place
When I say “technicals”, I am referring to your autoresponder and it’s email sequence (what’s that), your social media posting accounts, your PayPal buttons, your affiliate links. All these are your technicals, they are going to get you paid.
There are several resources I recommend if you are starting out with your blog building.
This is often times the most forgotten step and the step that is seldomly covered in “How to Start a Blog” posts. A blog is a lot of moving parts, but if you are trying to set up a profitable blog, then those parts need to be in place as well. You can’t get paid if you don’t have your PayPal information set up on affiliate sites or a Pay button on your products.
“Technicals” That Are Worth Paying For (But You May Not Have To Initially)
Before you look into paid products such as Leadpages for your email captures, or Convertkit for your autoresponder, make sure you have your content created. If you have your content already created and set up ready to post, you will be able to take full advantage of the free trial period on these sites.
Most paid products that you will need for your blog give free trial periods that are 14 days or 30 days. This will give you the opportunity to test their product and see if it is right for you and your blog.
Convertkit is a good example as they give you a trial period of 14 days so you can test it out. I use Convertkit for all of my email marketing as it is an easy system to operate and allows me to create great looking lead magnets.
If you haven’t created content yet, you can’t set up an autoresponder or sales page for a product. So don’t sign up for these until you have your content or product in place.
When you are ready to use these products effectively, head over to my resources page and set up your services.
Other “Technicals” That You Should Have on Your WordPress Blog
On your WordPress blog, you also want to include several plug-ins that will optimize your blog. I have a whole post on what plug-ins you can use and what they are for, so feel free to view it at your leisure.
Creating Your Own Product 101
Consider selling your own products. Based on your topics, what stands out as a good product that will relate to your content? Does this product already exist and do they have an affiliate marketing program?
For example, maybe you talk a lot about the benefits of yoga. Do you have enough information to be able to write a short E-book on the benefits of yoga or on another topic associated with yoga? If you have created several posts about it already, turn your posts into an E-book. You now have your own product.
One word of caution, make sure your E-books are not your blog posts verbatim, especially if you want to charge for it. Make sure you change up your chapters so that it expands on the blog posts and adds something new to the information you already have on your blog. At the end of the blog posts, let your readers know that if they want to learn more they can get your E-book. It should be a fluid suggestion after they have just read your post.
If you find that your blog posts talk about a product that is already out there, then you can become an affiliate marketer for that product. You will want to find out how to set up your affiliate product on your server. Once you have done this you can promote it within the post with affiliate links or at the end as an extension of your post.
Be Fearless With Your Social Media Voice
Now that you have everything in place for a successful blog, don’t hide your blog from the world.
You must believe in yourself and your blog for it to be successful. This blog is your brand, what you will be known for (no pressure). You’ve spent a lot of time and hard work on it. You should want to show it off to the world.
Choose a few social media platforms and build your reputation. You can choose from:
- and more…
Create an account and get started building your reputation on your chosen social media platform.
Building a reputation is not just about providing others with your blog and your articles, it is about becoming part of a community. It is about supporting other bloggers and website owners, re-posting their articles, liking their posts, and speaking with them personally.
For me, this step is the hardest. Why?
I am a major perfectionist. I wanted my posts and website to look incredible and worded perfectly before I had others look at it. If I were to give you any kind of advice, it would be this…
Your blog will never be perfect. It will never be static. It is always changing. It is always evolving into something better.
Your blog is a living organism. It will evolve many times. In a year, it will be something completely different than what it started out as. This is because your readers are what help your blog evolve. Your readers will give you input and advice that you will use to improve your blog.
If you don’t get your blog out there for people to read, then there is no way it can improve.
Afraid to put yourself out there on the web? I had the same fear and this is how I overcame it.
While there are many more step to creating a profitable blog, these are the next steps you can take after reading that “How to Start Your Blog” post.
If you need to get started, you can read Stop Wasting Time and Start A Blog.
If you would like more blog advice, check out some of my popular posts:
- How to Create Awesome Pinterest Images
- Ways to Improve Your Blog (and make more money too!)
- Resources for Setting Up Your “Technicals”
Any questions or concerns? I would love to hear from you. Feel free to comment below or send me a private message.