So you’re sick of the 9-5. Alarm, shower, commute, work, commute, eat, bed, repeat. Throw kids into this mix if you have them. Like so many others I was the same. Well I can help you get your blog started. Or at the very least, provide you with some blogging for beginners tips.
You decide to do some research online for working from home, why not dream of being your own boss? Maybe you come across blogging for beginners and wonder how that makes anyone any money. You stumble across six figure bloggers who are living the life of Riley. How you crave a piece of the action.
But where the hell do you start?
You can’t yet afford the costs for numerous online blogging courses. So you’re a little confused as to the initial steps you need to take to get your blog off the ground.
For the purpose of this article, and since you are here looking for help about blogging for beginners, I am going to assume that you at least know what a blog is.
I have laid out 7 important blogging for beginners tips.
1. Choosing your Blogs’ Niche
Before you even think about a pretty website, you need to know what niche you want to write in. You could do a little research and find out what niche makes the most income for bloggers. However you should start by asking yourself, what do you enjoy writing about?
If you want to make a living from blogging, you are going to have to post at least once a week. Believe me, you are going to want to write about something you enjoy.
This will help keep you passionate about your blog and will ultimately make it more successful, as you will care a whole lot more.
I would suggest following the below steps:
What do you enjoy?
What one thing could you talk someone’s ear off about for hours on end?
You may think that there are lots of blogs already, doing exactly what you wanted to write about. Do not fret, this confirms that there is a market for your blog’s niche.
I suggest researching if your chosen niche is a profitable one. Brandon Gaille has a great article, where he has meticulously researched blogging and what makes money. If reading this doesn’t get you pumped to start blogging and to make a living from your blog, I don’t know what will.
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2. Create a Blog Editorial Calendar
This is a must for any new blogger.
If you are anything like me, you may struggle to find the time to write. Perhaps you have a full time job, when you get home you just want to relax. I know that feeling!
Therefore having an editorial calendar allows you to see when you can complete things.
Below are things you are going to need to consider when putting together your blog editorial calendar.
Your current availability
You may have a full or part time job and have kids. Sometime you may need to take care of an elderly relative. Whatever it is that consumes your time in the day, you need to know and write this down. Doing this will allow you to see where you have availability to dedicate to your blog.
In other words, understand what sacrifices you may need to make to get back time for your new craft. Even if it means cutting out TV for a few evenings a week!
Blog Post Research
Before you start tapping away on that keyboard you are going to have to research your posts chosen topic, this takes time. Set aside 7-8 hours, assuming you already know your niche and topic quite well, to research what is out there, and how you can make this better.
Writing / editing
80% of your time is likely to be taken up putting in the work that gets you to the point of writing and editing your post. That final 20% is actually writing and editing it. If you have slacked a little on the research stage, subsequently you are going to find it could take a little longer.
Do you research so you don’t have to worry about flitting back and forth between writing and researching.
I have a 90 day editorial calendar to help me see long term posts. It helps me keep at least a month ahead of what I am going to post and when.
3. Create a Blog Plan
This may be just me, as my background is in project management, however I like to plan. It helps me visualise everything I need to do, and it stops me losing track of tasks which leads me to becoming overwhelmed and stressed. Now I could waffle on here for sometime about the advantages of putting this plan together. However, I won’t bore you, so for the purposes of this article I have highlighted below the main things to consider for your blog plan.
- What are your goals for your blog?
- How do you measure the success of reaching these goals?
- Now work back from here and think of the major milestones you need to achieve, to reach these goals
- Break these milestones down further into tasks that you need to complete
So an example of this may be laid out as below:
Create and sell an online course for your community.
Measure of success
Have at least 20 people sign up, complete and pay for the course.
Remember to work back from the measure of success
- You will likely need to launch a campaign to get your course out there and known to your audience
- Well you will need to create a course first
- Before you can create a course though, you should complete research about what your audience wants to get from your course
- Create an email campaign for research
- Have an email list of 1000 subscribers
From here you create the tasks that go into each and every one of these milestones. For example I will take the major milestone in the above items of having an email list of 1000 subscribers. Note, the below is not an exhaustive list of tasks, it is just a sample.
- You need to create an email subscription base that you can contact your list with. I personally recommend and use ConvertKit
- Create content for opt in freebies so people can sign up to your list, and receive some tools or resources that will help them along their blogging journey
- Create click through pop ups or sign up forms on your website
As you can see, things build up when you start to break them down tasks. Now after you have done this, it can seem a little overwhelming, however do not despair! Having taken the time to break this down into tasks, you now know what it takes to deliver your goals. Consequently, you are now less likely to become overwhelmed, and more likely to stay the course and achieve them.
There are many Project Management tools out there, most of which can be expensive, or completely free but not very good. I personally use Asana, it is free to use and will allow you to create a plan adding all the details you need. There is a paid version you can use. However, I would only recommend this if you have a large team working for you.
4. Have a Conversation with your Audience
One of the best tips when blogging for beginners is to write like you are having a conversation. Sure there is a time and place for being super professional but a blog is not really that place. A blog’s style is meant to be conversational, people are going to click away from your blog very quickly if you don’t take note of this.
5. Pinterest, Pinterest, Pinterest!
This is killer for increasing your blogs’ traffic and increasing the size of that important email list. How to do this is a course in itself and well worth the investment.
Not only is using Pinterest great for increasing traffic for any post you create from now moving forwards, but it would be good practise to go back to all your old posts, identify posts that are not generating great traffic and get these out there on Pinterest as well.
To clarify, get on Pinterest, it really is a no brainer.
6. Create an Outline for your Blog Posts
I don’t know about you but I cannot just open my laptop and know what I need to type and in what order and so I use a template. You can grab one of my templates here.
I have my partner read through my posts before I publish them, as I am just not the greatest when it comes to grammar. I know, and I write a blog, which people read!
There are tools which you can also use to help you along the way such as Grammarly. Some are paid and some are free. I personally use the free version.
The editing steps I recommend are:
Finish writing your post and walk away
Do something else for at least an hour. You need to get away and get your head out of the post and into something else. Walk the dog, play with the kids, get a coffee or read a book.
Re-read your post, aloud
You may feel silly doing this, but trust me it helps.
Once you have corrected mistakes, identify where you need to cut or add content.
Re-read your post again
Have someone proofread
You know that saying, “you can’t see the wood for the trees,” well get someone else to have a read for you and ask them to point out every error they come across.
For the love of god, check you have added your keywords and phrases into the post. And no, I don’t mean just throw them in willy nilly. HA HA, willy nilly! Please try to ensure your keywords and phrases follow the natural flow of your conversation with your reader.
It used to be that you could just throw keywords randomly across your site, to get you up the rankings, stop that if you’re doing it. Google is on to it and they will be on to you, and you will see your rankings suffer as a result.
Final re-read and publish!
So that’s it
Remember that if you want to make a living from blogging you are going to have to put in the work, even more so at the beginning. But don’t let that discourage you, see it as a challenge. And one day you can hopefully look forward to turning that alarm off!
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