Blogging had turned many people into millionaires. You’re the next!
This article will show you exactly how to build a blog and turn it into a multi-million dollar business.
Do you think it is impossible to make millions of dollars through blogging?
Okay, let me tell you some examples:
Jim Benning and Michael Yessis decided to create a travel blog back in 2001. Six years later, they sold their blog for $6 million. That blog I’m talking about is World Hum.
Graham Hill started his blog back in 2005. He sold it for $10 million two years later. That blog is called Tree Hugger.
In 2005, Michael Arrington started TechCrunch, a technology and gadget blog. Five years later, he would sell the blog to AOL for $30 million.
So, you can make millions of dollars through blogging.
But how can you build a blog that would be worth millions few years later?
This article will tell you everything you need to know about building a successful blog.
Follow the simple steps below and you won’t regret it.
Finding Your Niche
Successful blogs have a consistent theme they write about. This is what helped them built up a large base of readers who have certain things in common.
Blogging about Your Hobbies and Passions
What are your hobbies? What are your passions?
Before you choose a topic to blog about, make sure it’s the one you can write week after week without getting tired or running out of ideas.
The hobby topic you choose should have depth with lots of related topics connected to it. This is what would help you pump out contents over the long term.
For example, a hobby topic like traveling has depth.
You could travel anywhere in the world. That means lots of cities, parks and experiences to write about on your blog.
A hobby topic like swimming has limited depth.
Consider your topic good as long as it has depth and a lot of related topics you could write about.
Teaching a Valuable Skill through Your Blog
What useful skill do you have?
Is it photography? Cooking? Web developing? Personal Finance? Or, copywriting?
Blogging can help you turn your knowledge into millions of dollars every year.
There are millions of people out there who want to learn that valuable skill you have.
If you can create a how-to blog that teaches the different aspects of that skill, millions of people would start trooping into your blog every month trying to learn from you.
Blogging for Career Development
Blogging also has some indirect benefits…
For example, you can use it to supercharge your career and rise to greater heights in your field.
What I mean by indirect is you may decide not to make money directly from your blog. You could, instead, choose to use it as a springboard to help people discover you in your industry.
For example, if you’re a consultant, you can use your blog to gain more clients.
Blogging to Promote Your Business
If you currently have a business that takes bunch of your time, you could start a blog to promote it.
Business blogging will give your company more search engine traffic which will help you win more customers.
Before you choose any topic to blog about, make sure you really have deep interest in it. Period!
Choosing and Registering A Domain Name
Website addresses are called domain names.
For example, Pluck My Feet domain name is http://www.pluckmyfeet.com.
Having a good domain name is vital if you want to make serious money through your blog.
You’ll find out that most good domain names have been taken. You’ll have to come up with your own unique name. This could take some time. Don’t worry, I’ll show you how to come up with a good domain name:
Keywords vs. Branding
There are two types of domain names: Keyword and Brandable domain names.
- Keywords Domain Names: As the name implies, they contain keywords of what the blog is about e.g. ElectronicsMarketer.com, DiabetesDoctor.com.
- Brandable Domain Names: This type of domains may have some relation to the topic but they sound memorable and can become an identity by itself. Examples are SearchMetrics.com, LifeHacker.com, and BusinessInsider.com
Brandable domain name is the way to go when starting your blog. Most of the top blogs have brandable domain names.
Think of The Future
Do not go with a name that would limit your market scope to a single niche when choosing a domain name for your blog.
For example, let’s assume you are a retailer and wanted to create a blog centered on baby shoes, then you decided to register BabyShoes.com. Your market reach will immediately be limited to that one niche: baby shoes.
If you register a domain name like BabyWears.com, you could venture into baby clothes and baby diapers. But you won’t still be able to expand into adult wears. So, there’s still a future limitation there.
In addition to that: don’t register a name that will become irrelevant in the future. For example, registering domains names like HealthWise2014.com or Chocolate2016.com is unwise.
As a rule of thumb, I don’t register domain names that are over 20 characters long.
The longer a domain name, the more a web user is likely to make a mistake when typing the address into the web browser.
Short domains are easy to remember and there have less room for errors.
People can easily spell out short names when telling their friends. You don’t have difficulty saying Facebook, Google, Yahoo, YouTube and Twitter. It’s because they’re so short and catchy.
…Dot Com, or .Net, or .Org?
There are two types of common Top Level Domains (TLDs).
There are generic ones (e.g .com, .net, .org, .edu).
And there are also country code TLDs (e.g .au, co.uk, .ca, .es).
The one you go with will depend on where you are targeting. I recommend you choose .com if you’re targeting a global audience.
Simply go with your country TLD if you’re targeting a local audience. This will help you rank higher for searches performed in your country.
Ignore Domains with Hyphens
I rarely see successful blogs with hyphens these days. This is because hyphen devalues the worth of the blog.
Most web users find it hard remembering domain names with hyphens.
Stay Away From Trademarked Names
Many bloggers have lost their hard works, sweats and had to start all over again due to choosing the wrong names.
Before you register your domain name, you should do an extensive background search to see if there’s any company whose name is closely related to your domain.
You should also avoid using acronyms within your blog’s name.
For example, registering domains such as iLoveBOA.com, NSAmoney.com or AONexperience.com could get you into legal troubles with the organizations whose names appear in that domain.
Don’t Use the “Blog” Word
Most new bloggers often make the mistake of including the word “blog” when registering their domain names. Don’t make this mistake.
Even though you’re planning to start a blog with your domain, you shouldn’t add the word “blog” to it. It makes no sense.
One of the limitations faced by this is you won’t be able to expand your business beyond the blog format in the future.
Buy Multiple TLDs
You should secure your domain name by buying other TLDs.
If you register the .com version of your domain name, you should also register the .net, .org, .co.uk as well as other versions.
After you’d registered them, you should now redirect all of them to the .com (or main) version of your blog. Heeding this advice will help you protect your domains from being taken by your competitors.
My Thought about Previously Used Domains
There are domain markets out there where you can buy some short and catchy domains. Most of these domain names could be cheap, while some may be a little expensive. The danger attached with buying these domains is spammers may have used and abandoned them. You surely won’t know if the domain name has been penalized by Google before.
If the domain name has been slapped with a Google penalty, you’ll face a poor start and may find yourself trying to clean up the mess the previous owner did with the domain.
Therefore, I advise you to come up with your own domain name rather than buying from any domain market.
After you’ve come up with a good domain you’ll like to use, proceed to Namecheap to get your domain name registered. It costs less than $15 per year.
Deciding Where to Create Your Blog
Now that you have a domain name, it’s time to find a good blogging platform to host your blog.
There are many popular blogging platforms out there, but the below four are the most popular.
- Blogger: Google owns and run blogger. It’s a beginner friendly platform and very easy to use. Google provides you with its tools to help you succeed. It also let you use your custom domain name which you registered. If you’re not interested in getting your own domain name, you can use Google’s Blogspot. Your blog address will look like this: yourblog.blogspot.com. The downside of this blogging platform is that it makes your blog look old-school as Google hasn’t done much to upgrade this blogging platform. Because there are very little tools to work with, I don’t advice people to start their blogs on Blogger.
- Tumblr: This is a micro-blogging platform owned by Yahoo! It lets you blog and network with people at the same time. Its user-interface is easy to work with. However, this platform isn’t the best place to start your blog. The platform has been heavily criticized before for promoting adult, self-harm and suicide related contents.
- WordPress.com: This platform is a blog hosting service provider owned by Automatic. WordPress.com offers its users free hosting with their address at the end (yourdomain.wordpress.com), or you can get a custom domain name on the platform. This will cost you $18 per year. The disadvantage of this blogging software is, it restricts bloggers from making money with their blogs. Users don’t have full control over what they do. The worst part is, they retain the right to display Google ads on your blog without seeking your approval. This platform isn’t an ideal place for bloggers who wants to make serious money from blogging.
- WordPress.org: This platform is owned by the WordPress Foundation. It is regarded as the best blogging platform. WordPress.org was used by more than 23.1% of the top 10 million websites as of August 2013. With WordPress.org, bloggers have complete freedom over their activities. Search engines are also in love with this blogging platform. WordPress.org offers unlimited awesome tools that keep your blog ticking in the right direction. This is the blogging platform I recommend and will be talking about in this article.
Hosting And Setting Up Your Blog
You need a good reliable web-hosting service to run your blog on WordPress.org.
Selecting the right web-host is one of the most important aspects of blogging.
Beginners are likely to make the wrong choice. You can avoid this costly mistake by reading this section.
Below are what you’re likely to see when you choose the wrong web host:
Loss of Revenue
Whenever your blog goes down due to a bad web-hosting service, visitors to your blog won’t be able to view your contents and read your product pages.
Amazon had a 40 minute outage sometime in 2013. It was reported that it costs them about $5 million dollars.
Negative Effects on Rankings
Search engines like Google and Bing like blogs that give web users what they want, but if your blog site frequently goes down, they will have to down-rank your blog pages on their search results.
You don’t want Google to down-rank your blog. That’s why you need a good web-hosting service.
Security and Malware Attacks
Just like your computers, your web-host server could get hit by malware.
As you may know already, there’s no excellent software for keeping out malwares. Those hackers are working around the clock to invent new malwares.
The best solution is to continually back-up your files and make it easy to restore them in case your blog gets hacked. A good reputable web-host does that for you.
Choosing The Best Web-Hosting Service
The Internet never goes off. It’s always open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 52 weeks a year. So, your blog should be accessible at all times.
You need a good web hosting service.
I recommend Bluehost. They are reliable and secure.
Bluehost is the largest brand name when it comes to WordPress hosting. They’re one of the oldest webhosts. They have been around since 1996.
Their web-hosting plans come with a free domain name registration. That’s almost $15 saved.
Setting up your blog is pretty easy with Bluehost. They have easy to understand tutorial videos to guide you through the steps. Their support can also get things done for you.
Choosing A Theme For Your WordPress Blog
Why WordPress has become extremely popular is due to the 100% freedom it gives bloggers to customize and design their blog in a way that suits their personal needs.
Numerous WordPress Theme frameworks have been at the forefront of this movement.
You don’t have to worry about how HTML works to design a good theme. With WordPress frameworks, 80% of your theme has been done. You only have to use the remaining 20% to make it look unique.
You can hire an experienced web designer to help you customize your theme. Most designers will customize things to suit your personal needs and branding.
I advise you first get a basic theme that looks good to start with and don’t worry much about the unique aspect.
I didn’t worry much about the unique feel of the theme I’m currently using on this blog.
I feel the blogging aspect is more important, but design shouldn’t be neglected too. At least, you should always start with a good-looking design.
So where should you buy your blog theme?
Let me quickly introduce you to the popular WordPress theme frameworks available.
This is the most popular WordPress Framework at the moment.
It was developed by my favorite, Copyblogger Media.
This framework has a lot of interesting features you won’t get elsewhere: detailed SEO options, HTML 5, supports Schema.org, clean responsive design and a lot of beautiful pre-made child themes to choose from.
It currently costs a one-time fee of $59.95 to purchase the Genesis Framework. They offer unlimited support.
Thesis is a more advanced WordPress theme framework. It offers more control over design and functions.
They have a simple do-it-yourself dashboard where you can comfortably build your own Theme to suit your needs without learning how to code.
Their basic license costs $87 with no support included while their Professional license costs $197 with an unlimited support.
Note that you’ll need to renew each year to continue using their themes.
WooFramework + Canvas Theme
WooThemes is one of the popular WordPress Theme stores.
They have their own framework called Woo Framework. Their framework can’t be used alone so they sell it with a base theme called Canvas.
The team builds their themes which are highly respected in the WordPress design industry.
It costs $97 to buy WooFramework + Canvas Theme.
Gantry is not the easiest WordPress framework to work with, but it offers extreme customization that makes your blog looks unique.
The framework is designed by another popular WordPress theme store, RocketTheme.
At $99 per year, you’ll be getting a Framework that lets you design a theme that’s unique.
The Best WordPress Framework
Genesis Framework and Thesis Framework are considered the most popular out of this four. But Genesis is much better than the rest.
I’m a fan of Genesis Framework, so is many other popular bloggers out there.
Why do I rate Genesis above Thesis?
If you visit many WordPress design communities, you’ll hear designers mentioning “child themes”. That’s the name given to the WordPress themes created by designers using the Genesis Framework at StudioPress.
For example, I’m currently using the Eleven40 design which is a child theme of Genesis Framework.
Genesis costs a one-time fee of $59.95 and comes with an unlimited lifetime support. You can’t get that elsewhere. And many more.
I highly recommend you get Genesis Framework today or one of its Child Themes over atStudioPress.
Top WordPress Plugins To Install On Your Blog
Every day, we chase new ways to work smarter, faster and become more productive in things we do. The same is true for WordPress too.
Almost every single day, old plugins are being upgraded to perform some simple functions better. New plugins are also being introduced.
Presently, there are more than 30,000 plugins in the WordPress repository.
With over 30,000 WordPress plugins, you can easily get stuck with deciding which plugins are really important or which ones to use for your blog. I’ve decided to help you with that.
Below are 11 WordPress plugins you should install as soon as your new blog goes live.
This is a very important plugin to add to your WordPress blog. You need to keep track of every development on your blog. Google Analytics helps you with that.
After installing this plugin, you’ll know where your blog visitors are coming from, how much time they spend on your blog pages, the average age of your readers, what devices, browsers most of them are using to access your blog and a lot more. With this valuable information, you’re better equipped and doing the right things becomes easier.
This is another popular WordPress plugin. It lets you optimize your blog posts in WordPress.
You don’t need any advance SEO knowledge or programming skills to use this plugin. Just install it and you’ll be able to evaluate and analyze your blog posts.
Effective use of this plugin will no doubt help you increase your blog’s search engine rankings.
This plugin help improves your blog’s user experience without making any change to your blog’s contents.
There’s also a similar plugin that does the job well, it’s called WP Super Cache.
This plugin does a single job and it does it well.
As the name implies, it generates an XML sitemap for your blog site.
What a sitemap does is it helps search engines crawlers crawl your site faster.
This plugin has been downloaded over 16 million times.
You can manage multiple contact forms with the help of this plugin. You’re also free to customize it to suit your needs.
Ever visited a web page and saw a list of related posts beneath the post you just read?That’s exactly what this plugin does.
It helps optimize and reduces the sizes of images to improve your blog’s page speed.
This plugin does a good job in improving the user experience of your blog.
Broken Links occur from time to time. It could be in the comments, within posts or pages.
As soon as a broken link is detected, you will receive an email asking you to correct the link.
This social sharing plugin was developed by the Buffer team. It’s so flexible and very easy to use.
With Digg Digg, you can add floating social sharing buttons that follows users while they scroll up and down on your blog site.
Disqus is a powerful and easy to use commenting system on WordPress.
All comments are neat and well-organized. You have total control over your comments.
One of the biggest problems face by bloggers is comment spam. With Disqus, you can say goodbye to comment spam.
This plugin was built by the WordPress team itself. You bet they know their stuff.
VaultPress performs daily backups of your blog and protect your blog from malwares.
This is the only plugin in the list that will cost you money. It starts with $5 per month.
Valuable Tips for Becoming An Excellent Blogger
Let’s assume you’ve registered your domain, bought hosting, got a beautiful WordPress theme and installed all the plugins mentioned above, so what’s next?
It’s time to start blogging.
This is where the real work starts. Your success or failure will be determined by how good you are in this activity called blogging.
Reading this entire section will tell you the dos and don’ts of building a successful blogging career.
Pretend You’re the Reader
When the idea of writing this post came into my mind, I thought about my readers and how I can better serve them a content that would help them succeed in blogging.
After hours of thinking, I made the decision to write for someone who has zero clues about how blogging works.
As you can see, I was able to write in such a way that a new web user can understand.
I also reveal every single baby step a reader needs to take. That’s how your writing should be.
You should write in such a way that your article addresses most questions your target reader might have.
Don’t Edit as You Write
Writing is fun. It develop you even though you’re writing to improve the lives of others.
The biggest writing mistake is trying to edit as you write. That will hinder your creativity. It will also make the writing process boring.
So, whenever you sit down to write either in Microsoft Word, Google Doc, or any other writing software, do not edit.
This is important because while you are editing a paragraph you wrote, you can easily forget the point you’ve had in mind for the next paragraph. This kills the flow and rhythm of your writing.
You have to get all your points down first, and then edit later.
Don’t Format as You Write
This is another writing mistake many people make.
The first draft is more important than anything else. It’s not the finished product but it’s the framework the end product will be built upon.
After you’ve put down all your thoughts, you can then start formatting how you want the page and each paragraph to look like.
As you read this article, you’ll notice some bold texts, headers and images. I did those stuffs after I’d completed writing the first draft.
Save Often and Do Backups
Anything can happen as you write. You must always plan for the unexpected events. They do occur from time to time even if you use a new desktop or laptop…
While writing, make sure you’re saving your work. A computer crash might happen and the next thing you see is your computer shuts down itself.
A malware may hit your computer hard that you may have to get rid of all the precious documents you have on it.
Backing up your content on the cloud is the best bet.
You can upload your content files and save them inside your email folder, or use a cloud storage service like Dropbox or Google Doc. It syncs your documents so you can always access them on any device you’re using.
Losing a precious piece of work could weigh you down for weeks and could spoil your entire day. Therefore, you should always save and back-up your contents.
Form a Writing Habit
You should have a particular time during the day which you’ve set aside for writing.
If you’re a full-time mom and have toddlers, this could be the time when your kids are sleeping. If you’re good dad, this could be when your kids are in school.
Establish a Posting Schedule
Readers should know when to expect something new from you. Do not publish today and wait till the first day of next month before you publish another.
You should choose days when you want to post.
I noticed that most bloggers post on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Some bloggers also like posting during the weekends.
Write with a Timer
You can make writing less overwhelming by learning to take short breaks when you write.
Writing for long hours without taking a break could affect the quality of your contents.
For every 30 minutes I write, I take 5 minutes break. Then I relax my mind for 30 minutes after writing for 3 hours. This helps me maintain my writing energy.
Using a timer when you write lets you concentrate on writing instead of watching the clock and wanting to take a break.
Live Your Life
Don’t write all the time because I said you should be active in blogging. You should learn to live your normal life too.
Blogging shouldn’t deprive you of living your life and having fun. You should see blogging as an interesting activity you do at a set time.
The more you make blogging deprive you of the good things you enjoy, the harder and boring blogging becomes…
So, don’t sit there in front of your computer all the time till you get sleepy and tired, go out and have some fun!
Write in Batches
I didn’t write this article at a time.
What I did is, I broke down the writing process and dedicated some set time to each one.
The entire writing took me 4 days to complete. I know you may suggest I’m slow and should’ve finished within 2 days.
The truth is I made it fun, not chore.
I watched some good movies between and also went out and see some good friends. I don’t think about it because I have a set time dedicated to it.
I like writing in batches because it makes the writing process seems easy on me.
Keep a Note-Taking Booklet or App At All Times
Every day, you come across nice quotes, ideas, facts, statistics or stories that could make a great blog post.
Saving these ideas on a booklet or an app like Evernote guarantee you never run out of content ideas.
Turn off All Distractions
Writing is a creative work.
Constant distraction can shut down your creative imagination. That’s why you need to make sure you don’t get distracted while writing.
Always turn of all notifications on your smartphone before you start writing. And don’t forget to let disturbers know that you won’t be available at certain times.
Successful bloggers have a set time when they’re left alone. They only do one thing at that moment — they write.
Find Time for Inspiration
Writing is only half of blogging. Keeping up with the latest updates and learning new things is the other half.
The more you learn, the more you know. And the more you know, the more you have to tell.
Constant researching widens your brain capacity. That helps you have more story to tell your audience.
You should continue learning if you want to be an excellent blogger. Don’t assume you know everything. Learning doesn’t stop. Even the so-called gurus are still learning.
SEO Copywriting Tricks For Getting Massive Search Visits
You may have seen me mention “SEO” very few times in this article. But what does it mean?
SEO is the acronym of search engine optimization.
Most bloggers use various SEO tactics because they help them increase their blog rankings on search engines.
Bloggers are competing to be at the top positions of Google search results. Why is because it increases their chances of being seen by many searchers.
The more visitors your blog receives, the faster you realize your dream of making your first million through blogging.
Because you’ll be writing most of the time, I think it’s best to incorporate SEO into your writings. That leads us to SEO copywriting.
SEO Copywriting is the process of integrating SEO into your blog contents. It increases your chances of ranking high on search engines.
How do you do SEO copywriting?
Below are some effective strategies that will help you drive more quality traffic from search engines.
Write Longer and In-Depth Contents
This article you’re reading right now is a perfect example of what I call in-depth content.
It’s in-depth because I explored many aspects connected with the process of creating a successful blog.
Content length does leads to higher rankings on Google and other search engines.
Google believes that longer contents answer most of the questions a searcher may have. Therefore, it ranks long-form contents over short-form contents.
Because Google wants to provide its users with the best results, having a more through contents will give you a big edge over other bloggers who are competing with you for the same audience.
A study conducted by SERPIQ shows that pages occupying the top 10 results on Google for most keywords contains over 2000 words.
So if you truly want to build a successful blog within a short time, you should start writing contents that are longer than your competitors.
Speak Your Audience Language
You should use phrases prospects are likely to type into the search box when writing your blog contents. This is very important if you want to get found on search results.
Internet marketers call these phrases Keywords. They’re GOLD!.
How do you find these keywords?
Google has a tool called Keyword Planner. Just by typing a word (or phrase) related to your content into the box in the Keyword Planner, you’ll discover up to 800 phrases potential readers are typing into the Google search box.
Copy those words you found in Google Keyword Planner and use them a few times when writing your content.
2 Multi-Million Dollar Internet Business That Originated from Blogs
Many blogs transformed into multi-million dollar businesses. I’ll limit my talk to two examples:
Neil Patel started his blog, QuickSprout back in 2007. Then his company, Crazy Egg was making lots of losses.
After many months of active blogging on QuickSprout, Neil had acquired lots of new information on the type of software that would succeed in the Internet marketing industry, so he decided to create another product which is called KISSmetrics.
KISSmetrics became an instant hit.
Neil already had over 100 blog posts on QuickSprout before launching KISSmetrics.
KISSMetrics made a lot of sales and he was able to recoup all his loses. His blog helped generates the kind of visitors that are very interested in his software product.
Today, Neil Patel now makes millions of dollars per year. Thanks to his blogging activity.
Brian Clark decided to quit law in 2006 and started his blog, Copyblogger.
For four years, Brian Clark and his team were pumping out lots of contents every week, and signing up partnership deals here and there.
Finally, in 2010, he decided to bring them together under one company called Copyblogger Media.
Below is what Brian said about his blogging success in 2010:
Over the last 4 years, I’ve launched several companies from this simple blog of mine. The idea that building an audience with content and letting the revenue-generating ideas, products, and services reveal themselves based on what the audience actually wants has worked out amazingly well.
Through this simple blogging theory, Brian became a millionaire and now makes millions of dollars per year from his blog.
So what are the takeaways from these 2 stories?
Start your own blog. Be extremely active. Launch a software product that perfectly addresses your readers’ needs. And YOU will become a millionaire!
Can be found on: http://www.pluckmyfeet.com/how-to-start-a-blog/