Learn How To Build A Blog

 

This might sound like a weird way to make money but it really is a legit way to make money online while building a business and controlling your lifestyle. Blogging is one method that can start the ball rolling for you to take charge of your career and provide the work life balance you want. It does take time at no point am I suggesting this is a magic pill that cues bad money management, improves health and makes you a squillionaire. You need to be creative, dedicated and disciplined to complete the work that must be done.

The best part about starting a blog is the learning curve. You don’t need to be a coder or a technical marketer you just need to know how to write and perform basic website edits. Ive been blogging for a long time and I find it relaxing creating content and writing for specific audiences. Now Ive broken the process down for a beginner to follow along and understand step by step whats involved.

No scams or fake claims just legit actionable advice that you can use to grow your new business.

Build a Website

 

Create something people will enjoy and engage with that ranks and pays you.

Build an Audience

 

The blog is phase 1 but building an audience is where the money is.

Build a Lifestyle

 

You should aim towards building this to suit your ideal lifestyle.

1 The Research

  • Market Research
  • Choose a Niche
  • Keyword Research
  • Content Pillar Tactic 

2 The Website

  • Buy a Domain
  • Buy Web Hosting
  • Setting Up Your Website
  • Site Architecture 

3 Building A Blog

  • Choose Your Theme
  • Setup Your Plugins
  • Building The Site
  • Start Your Blog

How To Build A Website: Start Here 

I have been where you are right now, searching for more than my crumby 9-5 job. Looking to the internet to make money online and work from home in my underpants. When you say it out loud it seems a bit crazy to think that this can actually be real. For so long I could’nt talk to my friends about what I do because they did’nt understand and often made fun of the stigma attached to get rich quick scams.

Blogging is not a get rich quick scam, it takes months of consistent work and like a garden it needs to tended to weekly at least at the beginning. When you have some momentum you will start to see how your website can make you money.

The 7 key takeaways of this blog are:

  1. Research a niche considering the market landscape 
  2. Choosing either a branded or keyword rich domain name
  3. Setting up your blog with WordPress
  4. Choose profitable and highly relevant keywords and search phrases
  5. Plan and create your websites content
  6. Generate website traffic and promote your new business
  7. Add money making elements to your website so you get paid

The key takeaways are just an overview of what you need to put in place as foundational measures. There is so much more that you can do but I want you to place most of your focus on the above bullet points. These are your critical triggers that will put money in your pocket and put your website in Googles index.

One excercise thats paid off time and time again for me has been putting in a solid couple hours on market research and niche discovery.

Below Ive broken that out into my niche market research and how you can take a proven step by step guide to find niches that you can target.

Market Research

One of the leading indicators in starting a money making blog is the niche. If you pick a oversaturated niche you will not be successful. If you pick a niche with no competition, that usually means that others could not sustain a business in that niche and the money is not very good. Picking your niche is a key process in building a successful blog.

Choose A Niche:

This will be one of the hardest choices you make when building your blog. Where to start?. I know Ive built a lot of blogs and this is where I get stuck the most the actual selecting what you be spending the next 6 months building with your blood sweat and tears.

Keyword Research:

This is also a critical part of starting your blog. Keyword research used to be a very simple process but in recent months the focus has shifted to search intent and user satisfaction.

Content Pillars:

Every successful website uses several key content pillars that are the main topics and keywords of that website. Your blog wont be any different. I suggest looking at your competitors and checking how they use content and blogs to see if they have a specific style for content promotion.

Whats Your End Goal?

You must have an end goal in your mind before you start building your blog. You can pray and spray just to get the momentum but in your mind you must have a goal that you are working towards.

There are a couple of types of websites 

  • General Barometer site
  • Niche site
  • Content Factory site
  • Authority site

Each one has its own strengths and weaknesses. They each have a timeframe they will need to reach a level where you can make money consistantly from them. Ill say this upfront the authoirty and content factory sites will be the long play for you where you would ultimately want to end up.

I would suggest you think of this path as you would building a real world physical business. Take it just as serious as YOU CAN flip these websites when they get to a profit and decent size for HUGE return on investment.

For beginners I strongly suggest looking at either a general barometer site or a niche focused site that you can really build into something bigger.

Authority & content factory sites will be expensive to build and maintain. Until you have the trust and social proof from your following you just have to build build and build. That all adds up.

Smaller niche or general sites can get traction much faster by covering specific topics that appeal to their audeinces. The easier way to start and also much cheaper to get started from $80-150 start up investment.

Your immediate goal is to build something that can generate revenue. Your long term goal should be to build something that you will either retain and maintain as it grows or build the asset to then be flipped for a high revenue multipled figure.

 

Step 1 Market Research

Taking the plunge into online marking is a daunting feet the first time you get really stuck into it. My first dive into this type of project was a disaster and so was my rebound attempt and the one after that. But the next couple were not so bad they actually made me some money. What was the difference? I had experience not much but more than before and I improved my market research to allow me a chance.

A chance to be successful is all you need to make your first online doller. There are broad niches like finance, health, pets and make money online type niches that can stretch far and wide and very very deep.

When we say the riches are in the niches its true, there is money in specific niches. To get this money you would take a seed niche like pets as an example and dive into all the topics that steam from pets.

Off the top of my head I would list out the following:
1 Dogs
2 Cats
3 Pygmy Goats
4 Snakes

These are four categories within Pets.

Category 1 dogs and 2 cats are quite broad still this still is not deep enough to give you a fighting chance. The categories of 3 pygmy goats and 4 snakes now thats starting to look much better as niche selections.

This might explain it more:

  1. Broad term
  2. Category Topic
  3. Sub Category
  4. Niche

Then relate the above to your keywords:

  1. Pets
  2. Snakes
  3. Indoor snakes
  4. Indoor snake housing

What you will want to do is find a large broad term with a lot of interest and start drilling down into that to explore categories and the sub categories and eventually find a suitable niche that you can build your new blog around.

If we were to use our snakes example, we could focus on the houses that indoor snakes live in as our niche. That keeps us focused really tightly on our niche. We could take a step back and build our blog around indoor snakes and then include more indoor snake related content and money making streams.

For this example lets keep it super simple.

Our focus topic is Indoor snake houses.

We need to get a feel for what is out there. We need to see several factors to get a feel for the market. This is a basic supply and demand assessment.

Our process
1 We need to do some keyword research around what people use to find this niche
2 We need to see what already exists for those search terms
3 We need to see what affiliate programs or products exist that we can promote or sell
4 We need to know search volume and actual click through rates to estimate earnings
5 We need to review our competition

This is quite niched down so its a good example for building really targeted niche sites that speak directly to a niche type of audience. For this you can plan out your topics and your content schedules. I like to whiteboard my user journey and the way that they would search for my keywords. This allows me to take a different look at my customers and how they search. The bonus here is I uncover new search terms, new solutions, new problems and increase my understanding of search intent.

project manager takes control

 

Answering the search intent is one sure fire way to get people who are actually interested in your niche on your website. This increases your chances of putting targeted content in front targeted audiences who have a problem that your content or review answers. This is how the process of traffic works. You have good helpful content that will help people solve problems, the biggest problem people who fail at this have is they can not connect problem and solution via search intent.

When this clicks for you I want to warn you, you may expereince a adrenaline boost and start to get a craving for making even more search intent bridges for people to solve problems. Ill be honest with you that I LOVE the feeling of cracking the bridge of search intent from I have a problem to this guy has teh solution.

Site Architecture:

Mapping out each main page of your website can be a nerve wrecking exercise but a critical one. Building to complex and you risk confusing not only readers but the Googlebot so I always say keep it super simple.

Now if all this is overwhelming and you don’t know where to start, Ive built a training course that explains each pathway that you can take. This explains each roadmap and the use case for getting started with that money making method.

Get the course here

What will each module include?

> Detailed overview of the pathway
> How much competition to expect
> What the average earnings are per pathway
> How realistic is it that you can do this for a living

Ive worked in most of these methods and can give you first hand information, share some failures and some successes so you can have a realistic overview of what you can expect if you want to work online for a career.

 

Step 2 Everything You Need To Start A Blog

Now we will start the setup of your blog. You need a couple of things before you can start your blog and these are unavoidable costs to get started.

certifications

Buy a Domain Name:

You need a domain name

One really key thing you will need is a domain name. This is the place people will visit online. I like to build long term brands and not just churn and burn sites.

There are three schools of thought about this and Im always testing this for best results.

  1. Choose a brand name domain
  2. Choose a partial keyword match domain
  3. Choose a exact match keyword domain

The brandable domain allows you to build a long term brand and have higher chances of expansion of topics. You will also get a higher payout when and if you decide to fip this site later on.

Example: mybrand.com

Partial match domains include a keyword with another word in the domain name. These work well but do put some restrictions on your ability to be relevant for some topics.

Example: snakesplace.com

Now the exact match kewyord in a domain name is a super quick way to rank your site because of domain name relevance. But this will also pigeon hole you to one single topic, ringing true to the naming convention of a true nich esite. They talk about 1-3 topics under a main topic.

Example: indoorsnakes.com

 

Where can you buy domains?

I like to split my domains up in a couple of accounts. Always thinking of safety and divrsity. For you astarting out I would suggest using one domain registrar.

I suggest NameSilo.com or NameCheap.com as great choices for registering domains.

Domains range from $7-16 a year for standard domains.

You may be suprised but domain name flipping is an actual business modal that can be quite lucrative. There are domains that can retail for thousands and thousands because of the name, percieved value or the age of the domain. Ill cover this more on the blog for those interested.

Register your domain for 1 or 2 years and I suggest using WHOIS name privacy. This keeps you safe when registering your domain.

Now very important! Save your access details and the domain name particulars and registration expiry dates somewhere safe like your site manager excel sheet or password manager.

I like to use a couple of domain registers for my blogs but for beginners I suggest using just 1.

I like Namesilo.com and Namecheap.com for buying domains.

Basically you will create an account and save your info somewhere safe and where you can easily access it later on.

The average cost of a domain ranges between $8-14 per year. There are different prices depending on what extension you choose like .com.au, .io, .net or like me here using a $0.99 domain with a .xyz.

 

virtual server

Buy Website Hosting:

You need a hosting account

Every website needs some form of hosting where the website lives. Your domain will connect to the web hosting by adding some connecting ID’s. The hosting account should include a cPanel where you or a developer can setup the website and [email protected] email addresses.

For beginners this can be very confusing and Ill be honest it took me a lot of playing around to really know what to do in this part of my hosting account.

Hosting is what your domain name will live on top of. The hosting keeps the domnain name live on the web.

You need website hosting to be the place that powers your domain name. This is where your domain name will live. Hosting plays a part in website performance and below Ive listed 3 hosting providers for each type of blogger that have a mix of affordability, performance and then mid tier.

You will be able to make email addresses for your websites in your web host cPanel, create aliases, redirects, set security levels and configure a lot of extra features and layers for yoru website. This is NOT for beginners to play around with and I would expect beginners spending a lot of time with tech support at least on their first website setup.

Recommended Hosting

My suggested hosting providers

  1. Bluehost for beginners with 1 site starting at $299 monthly
  2. DreamHost for beginners with 2 sites
  3. Kinsta for fast load times and scale as you need web hosting.

The average cost of website hosting ranges from $3 to $9 monthly.

For one blog I suggest Blue Host a affordable hosting option.

For really fast hosting and more than 1 website I like Kinsta web hosting.

The good news is these providers do this full time and have a decent knowledgebase and support tutorials for when you do get stuck. We all start somewhere and I’m sure as hell I would of wasted many hours of my first web hosting support persons day with my random “I’m stuck” questions. They are your hosting provider and they can help you buy you need to ask.

TBC I will create and upload a guide showing you how to do this later.

Once this is setup you are all good to go.

Now you can start building your blog.

 

Setting Everything Up:

Now you need to set up all of the things. I like to do the setup in sections and especially when you dig into the nuts and bolts of building a conversion focused website it can get really techy really fast.

To start off you should try to complete the following tasks first before moving to site architecture.

Your To Do List:

  1. Buy the domain name
  2. Buy the website hosting
  3. Add hosting server records to domain name
  4. Instal WordPress blog from your cPanel hosting.
  5. Configure WordPress basic settings
  6. Add your website theme
  7. Add your required plugins

Once you have ticked off all of these tasks you can start thinking about building out your site. The key is that the website is live and it’s ready for Google to know it exists.

Once your new website is all setup you are ready to start blogging. The blogs themselves are designed to show up in Google when people search for things like “How do I setup a WordPress blog?”. This is what this blog is designed to do.

You will need to have a few articles that help you build your topic relevance on the niche that you are targeting. The aim is to well and truely cover the topic that you are targeting so well that you have a lot of search term variations for that topic. Google will see these articles as helpful information and your website answering the questions related to your target topic, this will help Google categorise you as a good reference for information about that target topic.

How many articles will you need estimatation:

  • You will need at least 10 articles
  • You will need 5 pages at least
  • You will need some legal pages

This is a baseline measurement because variables really do matter but on a universal estimate 10 articles should give you some traction around your topic. I’ll show you how we target what search terms and questions so you can get more from your articles later on this article.

Creating 10 Articles

Here is where you will be doing a lot of the work. This content is absolutely required for you to get any momentum with your blog. I say 10 pages as a start because every niche and SERP is unique, but 10 is a decent baseline measurement for you to cover that topic.

I like to split these into 4 or 5 articles as informational keyword focused. This helps get the search intent for curious people who want to know more about the topic.

I would strongly suggest targeting 3 or 4 articles on transactional search terms and search intent. This will be more likely vistors to click on teh links to your sales offers or promoted products.

The last 1 or 2 articles I would focus on very long tail keywords like 4 or 5 word or longer topics. The reason I say this is because these are quite long the search intent is very specific and its actually easier for you to get to page 1 faster for these terms. If you are a beginner this will also give you some confidence seeing your pages listed on Google on page 1 for your new blog. That feeling is amazing when you first seethe power of SEO.

 

Building 5 Pages

Now pages are very different to posts on your website. Think of pages as permanent pages and posts as temporary things.

You can use your websites home page as an actual static or fixed page where you can introduce your website and its key terms and lead ins to offers or you can use a blogroll as the homepage. I like to use a fixed homepage.

Its good to have a couple of pages that you can use to funnel your readers.

Basic pages I like to setup:

  1. Home page
  2. About page
  3. Contact page
  4. Tools or Resources page
  5. Mega page (like this one)

My mega pages act as a controller page for a collection of topics. Depending on how busy I have been each section on this guide should lead you to a connecting page that is specifically targeting one topic from this guide.

Building Legal Pages

Every website should have some fundamental legal pages on them. These pages do not need to be unique and can be copied from other websites and edited to cover and suit your business needs. There are hundreds of privacy policy templates guides and terms and conditions template guide. You could even build a very targeted niche blog around this for example as there are a lot of search volume around these terms.

 

 

Step 3 Building Your Keyword Set

Now we have built all the framework for our money making blog we can actually start to blog. What we need to do is call on our keyword research from earlier and use the most appropriate keywords or search phrases as our content focuses. We will aim to build out several artciles focused on a specific topic.

I firmly believe in 2020 and beyond that there is no universal guide for keyword research. I think its better to use a 3 prognged research process to get a clear understanding of what type of keywords, terms and search phrases people will be using.

  1. Review top Google searches
  2. Look the relevant niche sites for ideas
  3. Understand questions people ask around the topics inside the niche

If you can bundle these three questions together to create a keyword set that covers informational and transactional queries.

With the hundreds of keyword research guides available online I just dont want you to follow blindly because some blogger is trying to make a buck. The way to do research involves actually doing research and not blindly following numbers provided by a software.

The considerations you need to have when researching your niche and competition will involve the following elements: 

  • Your website (authority, number of pages, quality of content, etc);
  • Your business goals and objectives (branding, exposure, traffic, leads, sales);
  • Your budget, resources and deadlines;
  • Your niche or industry and competitive landscape.

This is why I suggest edging on the side of caution when reading random keyword research articles online. 

Step 4 Building Your Blog

Now we have built all the framework for our money making blog we can actually start to blog. What we need to do is call on our keyword research from earlier and use the most appropriate keywords or search phrases as our content focuses. We will aim to build out several artciles focused on a specific topic.

Quick overview:

There are three types of pages on websites and each one has its own superpower and you need to know when to use each one.

  1. Pages – more permanent
  2. Posts – designed as status updates
  3. Categories – post collections

Pages: You should be building pages that help build your websites knowledge of the niche. Look at my site Im focusing on onlien learning so Im using pages for learning, tools to help do the work and this page that helps you get started.

Posts: These artciles, blogs or posts as they are known are best used like status updates but more indepth. You can build unlimited posts and cover any range of topic. These are great at helping to build out your website as they live mainly on the www.yourwebsite.com/blog/ page. You can use these to fatten out your content around any topic and interlink them to your main pages where you make money.

Categories: These are best used to group collections of posts about a specific topic. Like this blog I have a category for affiliate marketing, one for sales funnels and more  related to each sub topic within the online marketing niche. These categories help me group a topic together. You can use the category hubs to build really intent foocused content that people want to learn.

Site Structure

You should decide if you will have a pages structure or use a blogroll.
Using the page structure setup allows for more of a brand or business feel as you have built out.
The required pages will be:
  • Home static page
  • About page
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms or Service
  • Affiliate Disclosure page

You can fatten this up with an contact page, tools or resources page and then adding assorted other hubs like a learning hub or guides etc that will help serve the audience you are attracting.

You can use your niche site like a blogrool wher ethe homepage is a reel of blog posts that is updated everytime you post new content. This depends on your busines model. I personally dont like doing this I would go for a newspaper or magazine style homepage over blogroll.

Foundation Pages

Think of your website as a house. You have your four walls that hold up the house but then there are internal walls that connect rooms to other spaces, well your website should follow this building blueprint. Websites use something called a sitemap that helps keep a running log of your pages and posts. This is also what the Google crawler will follow when it visits your website.
I hope this gives you some clarity to how your websites clarity should give users an idea of what to do and where to go.
the sitemap for a house
Source: John Atkinson of Wrong Hands.

How Many Blogs Should You Have?

You should have at least 10 before you start to see any real traction.

How Affiliate Linking Works?

This will be what makes or breaks your success. There are several ways to use affiliate links and depending on your end goals you can select the way that you want to implement it.

Direct linking – you will get your affiliate link and add that to the words you want to link or the post that you are promoting without changing the URL.

example: offerpage.com/ref?ID3487G-taptap this is ugly it can deter people to click on it.

A second considerations is you can not direct link to affiliate offers on most platforms and require a safe neutral page to link in most cases.

Link masking – This is a way that you can take the direct link above and make it click friendly using link shorteners or pretty link generators like Bit.ly etc 

example: offerpage.com/ref/?ID3487G-taptap  will be changed to bit.ly/sweetmate a cleaner looking URL.

Link cloaking – This is where you the link will be cloaked and hidden to platforms and users. 

The best way to use affiliate links to link to  bridge page where you can provide some value about the offer you are promoting and then creating a link funnel that no matter where the person clicks they get funnelled to the affiliate offer. This is seen as safe from example Facebook or Pinterest platforms and you dont risk having your account shutdown.

 

Lead Capture Forms

The lead form is not really that important for affiliates but I dont want to tell you to skim over this. The lead capture can be used in so many ways to help build your email list or for selling leads if you go down that route.
Using forms to capture emails will significantly help you build that email list. Most use cases are contact or enquiry forms. I suggest also looking at pop up forms, slide ins and redirect to form pages for building the list. 
For readers exloring lead gen as a pathway the form will be your money maker. I use Gravity forms for this and zapier or a native integration to my extension or CRM. 
ClickFunnels has a really smooth lead capture form flow that passes data to the email sender and CRM. 
Dont overlook lead capture forms for your niche sites.

The Importance of an Email autoresponder

This is the tactic that will be your backend sales machine. You can create a following and this will be how you connect with them and send them promotions where they can purchase based on your recommendation.
You can use what ever you like I prefer a email platform that has a form builder and tagging feature for more advanced control of messaging and campaign management. Ive covered a few tools Ive used in the marketing tools page and why I moved email provider, I also listed some platforms Ive used before that can do the job.
Here are the most popular email autoresponders:
  • Get Response
  • Send Grid
  • AWebber
  • Mailchimp
  • Active Campaign
  • Moosend
  • Email Octopus
  • Wishpond
  • MailerLite

Every tool has its pro’s and cons but it comes down to what you need from yoru email tool. Some allow you to build landing pages and build lead forms where others focus more on automating campaigns, sequences, tagging and split testing.

This is how you will communicate with yoru followers so depending on your current status and following you may need to spend some money to get started. I didnt realise the importance of building a email list when I was starting out I thought it was more of an expense than I cared for and skipped over email marketing totall and what a regret that turned out to be.

I had a cosplay superhero niche site and had a lead form and newsletter setup without connecting any emailer platform and it just didnt occur to me to check on it but I had over 30k subscribers and had no way to email them promotions or offers. Oh man what a rookie move.

So really what I want to convey right now as it wasnt highlighted for me in the beginning is building yoru email list is CRITICAL to your online success. You own it you control it and you can build it. If you take one thing away from this blog I would suggest its the email list.

Above Image: This is how it all starts. A small trickle of traffic and keyword rankings and then you start to see the momentum. It isnt easy and it doesnt happen overnight. This was a brand new domain setup with 10 pages around a specific niche. This image represents day 24 and is a screenshot of the Google Search Console performance report showing that the impressions have increased overnight.

 

Below Image: This will be what you want to be aiming for once you get that momentum built up. This is the same tool measuring a different domain that has more content, more age and more traffic. The goal is to create helpful content to get Google & people to read and enjoy your website content. 

Step 5 How To Get Traffic

Lets take the example of the 2020 corona virus where millions of people lost their jobs 😥 this happened because the business they worked for didnt have diversified revenue streams. Why is this relevant? well just as diversified revenue streams is a smart business move the same rule applies to traffic diversification.

You dont own your Facebook Page

You dont own your YouTube channel

You are building your castle on someones land. This is a problem and one you can fix. Having multiple sources of traffic protects you when something changes from a channel that you dont control.

Here are some ways you can own your traffic source:

  • Your email list
  • Your students (if you teach online)

There really isnt a lot of other traffic sources that you can own. You can only pay to play or hope that Google, Facebook and the mega powers do not change the rules overnight.

The best traffic sources for affiliate marketing and blogging are:

  1. Social media
  2. YouTube
  3. Google search engine
  4. Paid advertising
  5. Solo Ads

Making sure you have a voice on each of these will be how you can generate traffic to your website. There are a lot of advanced strategies around generating traffic and Ill cover those in future posts.

Traffic is the lifeblood of the internet and will make or break your success.

Whats Next? 

This may seem like a lot for you to do, but the reality is that in online marketing you build it at the front end so that it converts and generates revenue on the backend.

If you take your time and build your website with a plan you will suceed its just when the site picks up momentum and starts generating revenue. This type of business can be push button success but it is so rare in reality, it does take work and so it should. This passive inccome “thing” exists but only after you put in the hard work upfront.

So what next? Well you have the plan laid out for you above, you can do this alone or you can join a community where you can get help, tips, guides and someone who can help you because they have done this before. I network and can introduce you to other likeminded people who are on the same journey as you.

Thanks for reading.

Insights Into My Niche Store Top Selling Products

Insights Into My Niche Store Top Selling Products

The thing that I really love about what I do is that I can take an idea and within a day or two turn that idea into an actual thing. Im talking about ecommerce dropshipping or other product promotion ideas.  It is not uncommon for me to have an idea on Friday and by...

Pin It on Pinterest