How to Start a Blog in 15 Minutes
A Step By Step Guide
Last Updated: May 28, 2019
Building your own blog doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive.
You can get started today by following my simple, easy-to-follow steps here at Build Your Own Blog. In just a few hours, you can start using a functional, quality blog that gets results for your business or whatever your blogging goals may be.
Build Your Own Blog is here for new bloggers as well as experienced blog owners who want to learn more about effective, results driven blogging.
My name is Matthew Loomis, and I’ve been blogging professionally and for fun since 2005. I put together this total blog building program so that more people can get out of the rat race and find meaningful work they love to do through their own high quality blog.
This is your opportunity to do the same. Or get left behind.
Ready To Start Your Own Blog? Get started now with the first step in this guide
A blog can not only improve your business but also change your life.
Whether your motive is to make more money or simply to have fun, setting up an attractive, professional-looking blog that matches your goals and personality is quite simple these days.
What makes this guide different from the others?
You can find other websites like this one just by using a search engine. They are out there…
I took some time before launching this site to check out a large portion of other “blog success” type websites.
After studying the competition, I determined two key elements that were missing, and this missing information is what prompted me to start a website.
I made it my mission to reveal the missing pieces because without this critical info many people would continue wallowing in mediocre blogs.
Want to know what the two “missing pieces” are? Okay, let’s look at each one.
System vs. Content
While studying other “how to” blog sites out there, I noticed they’re commonly based on the same approach… Systems. Systems. And more systems.
Systems are fine. But without great content, a blog system isn’t going to do much to help you attract readers or clients in the long run.
My focus on high quality content as the key to blogging success is what separates this site from the herd.
This lack of information on content typically found on other blog sites creates a second unfortunate result for their users…
Providing Shallow Advice Instead of Deep
You see, most of the other sites out there end up being shallow—they get people started, but then abandon their students before they can build a level of momentum for their blog that’s sustainable.
In other words, most blog training websites stop educating their users after they launch their blogs. As a result, people get left treading water.
If I may use another swimming metaphor: People don’t learn how to swim in shallow water. They learn how to swim (growing stronger in the process) in the deep water.
Here at Build Your Own Blog you will get “deep water.”
Build Your Own Blog provides you with ongoing training after your blog is up.
Can’t Wait To Get Started? Take me to 1st step in the guide
No Need to Fear
WordPress is something I am comfortable teaching to other people. If you are nervous about using it, I would be happy to help you get started.
I can relate to those scary feelings of the unknown. Before using WordPress, I was a bit worried at first, too.
When people do something new or different, a little coaching can really be helpful. I have seen blogs of all types succeed just by following the steps on this site—from Cooking, Fitness, Music, News Aggregation, Bobsledding, and the Meaning of Life, and many other topics.
The advice here is free—but I don’t recommend using a free blog service.
You Can’t Lose with this Process
You will succeed as a blogger if you are willing to follow these simple instructions step-by-step.
I’ve been able to see people quit jobs they despise, start their own business through blogging and reap the rewards over time. This is a great feeling.
My goal is to help even more people learn how to build their own blog this next year. So don’t hesitate to message me if you have a question. To be honest, my web host gives me a small commission each time I help someone set up their blog. That way, we both get a return on our time investment. But it doesn’t come out of your pocket. So don’t be shy.
I’d love to hear from you.
Ready To Start Your Own Blog? Get started now with the first step in this guide
Step 1: The Basics of Starting a Blog
In 15 minutes or less, most people can get their blog set up with the guidance found in step 2.
Don’t feel bad if you hit a snag, as some people do end up getting stuck now and then. If that’s you, please contact me so I can help you get back on track.
I’m here for you.
Before starting your blog with step 2, there are two important decisions you must make first:
Decision One: Pick your domain name.
Decision Two: Select your blog host.
Already have a domain name picked out? Jump to Step 2
Picking a Domain Name
The domain name of my blog is buildyourownblog.net That’s where people find me on the web.
Unless you have a good reason to target your blog audience within a particular country, I would advise you to using a .com, .net or .org name. (Only bloggers who need to focus their domain on a country should use an extension like .co.ru or any other national extension.)
Audiences around the world can immediately recognize a .com or .net domain name, which is a beautiful thing…why limit your blog when you can attract a Global audience, right?
Keep in Mind: There is only ONE form of punctuation you can use in a domain name: the dash. Example: matthew-loomis.com
What matters most is Your level of happiness with the domain you choose. After you decide, then you are ready for decision #2.
Check now if your domain is available!
Pick a Web Host
This is another highly important decision.
Web hosts provide the online storage that all blogs need. The host also allows visitors to access your blog. Choosing a free host or a lousy host is not the way to go, unless you want a bad experience. Don’t go there.
Find a host you can trust with your baby (your blog), so you won’t end up paying someone to repair or reboot your blog after your really cheap host lets you down.
FULL DISCLOSURE: Some links on this site are affiliate links. Bluehost compensates me when you use this discount link. This enables me to provide you with the free blogging tips on this site.
You can’t beat their customer service with 24/7 support thru chat, email or phone. And their blog set up is stress free.
They also give a 30-day Money-Back Guarantee, No questions asked.
Since Bluehost is so good, their rates tend to be higher than many other hosts. But the good news for you is that Bluehost agreed to give a huge discount for Build Your Own Blog users.
Following any links here in this guide to Bluehost will get you a huge discount for your hosting service. Just click through and you will see the Exclusive offer for BuildYourOwnBlog users for the first year. Pretty cool, eh?
I have been happy with the hosting service Bluehost provides for my websites. They provide great customer service, which enables me to recommend them to you with confidence.
I’m Here to Help!
Step 2: Setting Up Your Blog
DISCLOSURE: Bluehost compensates me when you purchase through my link at no additional cost to you.
Click this link to open Blue Host in a new tab, and follow the steps in this video to set up your blog in less than 15 minutes.
BYOB Special: Bluehost is having a sale for BYOB visitors on hosting for just $2.75/month instead of $7.99/month. This is a great deal that you should grab while still available.
Click here to view the screenshots based step-by-step guide
1. Open Blue Host and then click this button, “get started now.”
2. The next thing you will see is a choice of three different plans. You can choose whichever one best fits your needs. However, I highly recommend the Prime or Plus plan because it offers some great features for free that will help you grow much faster.
Here’s what the Prime plan provides that the Basic does not:
— Unlimited amount of websites
— Unlimited amount of email accounts and email storage
— Domain privacy and site backup pro is included
If you need to select the Basic plan, just know that you can always add these features to your blog later on. Whichever you choose, just click “select” and you will continue.
Whichever you choose, just click “select” and you will continue.
LISTEN UP: You are going to get billed for hosting only one time, regardless of what plan you choose. So don’t let that scare you, it’s actually more convenient that way. Again, you’re only going to be billed one time, and I just wanted you to know that up front.
3. Here, you will see a choice of two paths to take to get your domain. If you already own a domain from another registrar (like Go Daddy) you can transfer that domain to Blue Host. Just put this domain name you already own into the box on the right.
If you are grabbing a new domain name for the first time, you will put that into the box on the left to see if its available. Then click “next.”
4. Once you find the domain you want, you will see this page that says “congratulations” at the top. You might need to make a slight revision on your domain to get one.
For example, here I select www.golfaroundtheglobe.com. If I had typed this in the first time and saw that it was already taken, I might simply change the suffix of the domain and grab www.golfaroundtheglobe.net Or I might have revised it to be golfaroundtheworld.com.
So, if your first choice isn’t available, you don’t have to totally give up on it. See if you can come up with something similar.
Once you do, then you begin typing in your account information as seen below.
5. After you put in your account information, scroll down and select your package. You can uncheck all the extras listed below. You don’t need them. You can always add them later.
Important note about the package selection: As you can see here, the 36 month and 60 month plans offer the lowest monthly rate, saving you money in the long run.
Then simply put in your billing information.
6. Make sure all the boxes for extras are unchecked so they’re not added to your cart. When your done, click the green button “next”.
7. Here, you don’t need any of these upgrades. Just skip them.
8. You don’t need any additional domains either. You can scroll on down and click “complete” as seen below.
9. Your purchase is now complete. Time to create your password, so click “create your password” like you see below.
10. Now it’s time to create your password that logs you into your Blue Host control panel. Make sure the “I confirm” box below is checked, then create your password.
11. Now you can use your new password here to log into your Blue Host control panel.
12. Now you’re inside the control panel. You may see a “free trial” like this one for an email tool called Constant Contact. You don’t need this, so just click at the bottom where it says, “No thanks, I’m not interested.”
13. At this point, you have a choice that is really cool….if you feel confident enough to download WordPress to your blog, you can do it yourself by clicking ‘i can do it’ This is the quickest way to finish the process and really is pretty simple. But, if you are not feeling confident and you want some help, you can click “do it for me” and someone with Blue Host will finish the WordPress set up for you. Very cool. So if you do get confused here, know that Blue Host is able to help you finish. It just might take a little longer than 15 minutes overall.
14. So, if you do go forward yourself, this is what you’ll see next (below.) You can click “close this guide” and move forward.
15. Next, you want to find the WordPress icon where it says “Install WordPress” below the WordPress logo as seen below. Click on that to continue…
16. When ready, click “Install“.
17. Next, you will see your domain there and you will then click “Check Domain.”
18. Last step! Just check the box that says you have read the terms and conditions, then click “Install Now.”
Your install is complete. You should see this at the top of the page.
Step 3: Blog Configuration
Last Updated: March 1st, 2019
First, login to your WordPress blog. Just type in your domain into the browser and add /wp-admin to the end of it.
So it will look like this: www.yourdomainname.com/wp-admin
That should take you right to the login page, where you’ll put in your user name and password.
To find your first WordPress blog login username and password, just pull up the email from Bluehost to find it.
Here is what you are looking for…
1. The Bluehost email with the subject line “Notice Regarding Your Recent WordPress Installation.”
2. In the email, find “Your Admin Username” and “Your Admin Password” like you see below…
Now type these in to your WordPress blog login page that should look similar or exactly like this:
(Click on the bar below the video that says “Click here to view the screenshots based step-by-step guide” to see more details.)
How to Configure Your Blog to WordPress
This is pretty simple if you just follow along with the steps here…
First, you want to log in to your blog and have your WordPress dashboard in front of you. Like you see here…
Again, you want to start with logging into your WordPress dashboard. To do that simply type this into your browser’s URL address bar: www.YourWebsiteHere.com/wp-admin/ (replace ‘YourWebsiteHere’ with your domain name) This is what it looks like when you log in for the first time. Type in your user name and password.
Then, you will want to scroll down the left sidebar of your dashboard, click on Settings, and then scroll down to Writing… Be sure to look in the box below where it says Update Services and make sure the address shown in this screenshot below is in the box. This is important because this enables WordPress to notify various search engines that you have uploaded a new post. You need this to help people find your blog through search engines.
Usually this will automatically be in there, but not 100% all the time, so you should check to make sure. If its not, go ahead and put this address in the box: http://rpc.pingomatic.com/
Next, you want to click on the Reading tab under Settings
What you find on this page are different ways you can present your blog. For example, there are decisions for you to make here with your Front Page Displays, Blog Pages to Show at most, Syndication feeds show the most recent, For each article in a feed, show, and Search Engine Visibility.
This is where you decide on how many posts you want to display, which page is your front page, whether you want to display the full text per blog post or only a summary of the post.
Make sure that the box for Search Engine Visibility is NOT checked. You want your blog to be found in search engines, so don’t do anything to hinder that.
Save your changes when finished.
Next, click on the Discussion tab under Settings:
You should see this now:
You have several different options to choose here.
- Default article settings
- Other comment settings
- Email me whenever
- Before a comment appears
- Comment moderation
You’ll need to make your own choices here on things like…
Should commenters be required to leave a name and email? (I would say yes.)
Do you want to get emailed every time someone posts a comment? (Beginners usually do. Once you get lots of traffic, you will probably leave this box empty.)
Should the admin always need to approve a comment? (I normally do, as this helps prevent spam comments from appearing on your blog.)
Next, you want to scroll down so you can see this lower portion of the page:
My blogs normally don’t need any changes with the avatar setting or maximum rating. Then under Default Avatar I like to check the Gravatar Logo so that people who leave comments can have their profile thumbnail show up next to their comment.
Gravatar is an abbreviation for Globally Recognized Avatar and is a service that allows you create a unique Avatar that you can use through your engagement and interaction with any blog or website that allows it. Most do these days.
The next tab under Settings is Media:
This is where you can adjust the sizes of your images. I normally just leave these alone. But that’s up to you.
Once you are done with Media, go to Permalinks page. This tab is just below Media tab.
You should see a page that looks like this:
You can read at the top where it explains that by default, “WordPress uses web URLs which have question marks and lots of numbers in them, however WordPress offers you the ability to create a custom URL structure for your permalinks and archives.
This can improve the aesthetics, usability, and forward-compatibility of your links.”
The day and name is one I would avoid, as it dates your article, so even when you rework the post and republish it at a later date, the original publish date will still appear in the URL. That could drastically hamper your search results. So that’s why I stay away from that choice.
Personally, I prefer the Custom Structure option, because with this you can customize the URL. So if you decide to change the name or title of the blog post, you can also change it in the URL.
Another step to blog configuration is the [tooltip text="Coded accessories you can add to your wordpress website to boost the features. There are thousands to choose from, like social media sharing buttons, pop-up windows and email services." trigger="hover"]Plugins[/tooltip]. You need to point on the Plugins tab on the left sidebar, then scroll down and click Add New. You should see a page like this:
Here is where you can choose your plugins. For example, you should consider a plugin for SEO.
There is a new plugin for seo called WordPress SEO by Yost, which does a great job. If you put “wordpress seo” into the search here, and click Search plugins, you will find the right one close or at the top of the results. Like this:
Whichever plugin you choose, simply click Install, then Activate the plugin.
Another helpful Plugin I would recommend is called Akismet.
Just type Akismet into Search and you’ll find it easily.
Akismet analyzes each comment you receive on your blog and filters out the spammy comments. You get to review the comments it holds to make sure they aren’t actual comments you want. This plugin works well and is easy to use.
Step 4: Designing Your Blog to Look Attractive, Unique & Highly Functional
Last Updated: March 1st, 2019
Okay, so now it’s time to consider the look and feel of your blog.
This step is crucial.
Your goal should be to design a website that visually appeals to the people you are targeting. Approach this step the same way you do when meeting someone for a business lunch or before attending a large social function—in these scenarios you normally want to present yourself in the best possible manner, right?
You know, take a shower, comb your hair, make sure nothing green is stuck between your teeth, choose an outfit that looks great on you, etc.
When it comes to selecting a design, just be yourself. Your truly best self.
If you are authentic in your blog design, this will help you succeed.
For example, if your target audience is a pretty relaxed, casual group of people, you don’t need to put a “suit and tie” on your blog. A clean, ironed, sharp looking “polo shirt” design that accentuates your eye color could be all you need.
Of course, I’m using fashion and grooming metaphors here…please don’t put a shirt on your computer monitor. 😉
When it comes to designing your blog, using a bland or cookie cutter type of blog design is like wearing cheap, wrinkled clothing to a first date with your blog audience. So, to help you do this (without any technical experience), let me introduce you to a fabulous tool I recommend called a WordPress theme.
What is a WordPress theme?
Taking my appearance metaphor a step further, a WordPress theme is like the “skin” of your blog (that’s how WordPress dot org describes it.) Only a WP theme is more than skin deep…themes include giving you control over the look and presentation of your blog content.
If I may get technical a moment, a WordPress theme is a group of files collaborating as one to provide a graphical interface that includes a tightly knit design for a blog. The files are known as template files. So each theme changes how a blog looks, while maintaining the functional software that runs a WordPress blog. Themes can include customized templates, images (.jpg, .gif), style sheets, custom pages, along with code files.
he power and control you gain over your website design is amazing. You can have a variety of different looking posts on your blog. Each category of posts can have a unique design to better help visitors know where to find specific information. You can be as creative as you want to be using WordPress themes.
2 Types of WordPress Themes to Consider
You can take one of two routes on this…both have their strong points and weak points. Here’s the rundown:
1. Premium WordPress Themes
These WordPress themes are typically just $49. They can range anywhere from $30 to $200 each, but most of the ones I recommend can be had for $49 (I’ll get to that in a second.) Some people will see this as a negative while others may see it as a positive. Aside from this, you must think about the other advantages and disadvantages before you decide… Advantages…
- Premium themes add value to your website. If you hope to one day sell your blog, this will help increase your profit
- You get a LOT more features for your website. Many provide complete control over color options, widths, fonts, and navigation menus
- Providers of premium themes have a vested interest in maintaining the product while providing customer support. A developer who offers a free theme may update the product, but typically takes their time since they have no paying customers pressuring them.
- You don’t get something called “credit links” automatically in your layout. These are links to the theme creator’s site (that alone seems fair), along with potentially unwanted links to other sites that can make you look unprofessional or worse, Google may punish your search ranking for being linked to spammy sites. Premium themes don’t have these links
Disadvantages to Premium Themes…
- You’ll need to spend some time on your design to look unique. There are so many premium themes to choose from (literally thousands) its really easy to have a unique looking website, which is great–it just takes a little bit of time and effort. The good news is the time invested is well worth the results.
- Having more features means more time learning and creating your theme. The good news is there will likely be video tutorials and support for you.
How to install a premium Wordpress theme
This helpful video shows you how from start to finish:
Where Can I Get a Premium WordPress Theme?
MOJO has given you a discount if you will visit them from my page here and then you can give them this discount code when placing your order:
Get 20% Off an entire order (includes services, themes, plugins, etc.)
Be sure to locate the “Add Coupons or Credits” at the bottom of your shopping cart–currently below the “Complete Order” button. It will look like this:
Click “Complete Order” button after applying your coupon code.
Mojo Marketplace is like a giant open market filled with WordPress themes you could easily browse all day. They sell themes for all the commonly used CMS (Content Management System) and e-commerce platforms on the web, including premium WordPress themes, Tumblr themes and others.
The available themes range from basic to complex premium WordPress plugins. Whatever design you have in mind for your blog, chances are Mojo Marketplace has something right for you.
Here is the best reason of all why you should consider using WordPress Themes to design the look and feel of your blog or website: You can change the theme anytime.
Did you catch that?
If for some reason you don’t like the way your WordPress theme looks or you need something different for your website functionality, you can simply change the theme.
Doesn’t matter when or how often—you have the freedom to change anything you aren’t happy with.
Isn’t it good to know that once you implement a design, you’re not stuck with it for a year or whatever?
Starting out, be sure to give some thought to your branding and the “vibe” you want visitors to feel. Will your blog be fun or serious? Promote deep thoughts or silly cartoons? Offer technical information or silly sayings? No matter what you need, I’m sure you can find a great design using Mojo Marketplace. So why put it off? Check out Mojo Marketplace and pimp out your blog today.
2. Free WordPress Themes
Everybody likes free, right? You certainly can go this direction with your blog design. So aside from being free, what are some other advantages to choosing a free WP theme?
- These are easy to install. Usually with one click
- There are thousands of theme choices out there
- You can switch themes easily at any time without losing anything (like money and your blog content)
Now here are some disadvantages to consider:
- Your website looks like a million others. This hurts your branding and ability to stand out from the herd
- Lower amount of functionality. Keep in mind that themes are for your design and plugins are for your website functions. Free themes don’t provide many plugins to help your site perform well
- Free themes typically offer zero customer support to maybe a tiny bit. You’re also more likely to use a theme that the author (creator) doesn’t regularly update, which leads to the next negative
- Less security not only opens you up to more malware and spam, some theme developers intentionally put pernicious codes and spam links into their themes, giving you a bad user experience
How to install a free WordPress theme
If you do not include a Free WordPress theme in your blog setup, you will automatically end up with the default Twenty Fifteen theme. You can replace the default theme anytime with a free theme. This video shows you how to find free themes and change them with one click–all in your dashboard:
Here are a few places where you can find free WordPress themes:
B. Codexcoder offers this list of 101+ Best Free WordPress Themes 2015
C. WordPress.com has a list of 325 WordPress Themes that are naturally free.
Finishing Touch: Your Awesome Logo
One final piece to your blog design you should consider is a logo.
A logo helps your blog stick in the mind of those who visit your site. A well crafted logo will do this by capturing the essence of your personal brand. Your personal brand probably ties in closely to your blog branding, unless you already have a well branded business you are just now sharing online. In those cases, I would recommend your business logo represent your blog also.
If you can afford to invest in a high quality logo, then by means you should. If you have a limited budget, you can still put together a solid, quality logo by using a service called Fiverr. There’s a couple of helpful articles on my blog on how to best use this service. One is called How to Use Fiverr to Build Your Blog Business. The second article is my own story of using Fiverr for a logo and how you can avoid my mistakes. Check out Custom Logo Design Using Fiverr: Read My Story Before You Dive In.
Have you noticed my new images that are popping up all around this website? These well drawn caricatures of myself are drawn by a talented artist I found on Fiverr!
Ta-Da! Your Handsome Blog is Ready for the World
Pretty simple process, eh?
That’s why I’m such a big fan of WordPress. With the free blog services out there, your blog looks just like a million others. With WordPress, your blog looks like a million bucks.
Your ability to update, spruce up, pimp out and do a complete makeover on your blog’s appearance is limitless.
If you have any additional questions on your WordPress theme, you will want to send those to the person who created your theme. You can easily see who is behind each custom theme as you browse Mojo by clicking “Details” on each theme.
Otherwise, you can contact me.
When you’re done with your WordPress theme, I’d love to see it, so send me a link to your blog.
Want more blog design tips? Check out:
In Step 5 you’ll find my extraordinarily helpful WordPress tutorial videos.
Step 5: Learning WordPress
Last Updated: March 1st, 2019
Whatever you want to do with your blog, there’s a good chance you’ll find a helpful video here! Learning WordPress is a snap with Matt! 😀 Customize your blog today!
(And if there’s something you need that’s not here, contact me and I’ll make a video for you. 🙂 )
Appearance and Design
Advanced Design Changes
Discovering Your Dashboard
Users and Roles
If you prefer to read while learning instead of using video, check out
Step 6: Writing Blogs in 2019 that People Love to Read, Respond & Retweet
Last Updated: March 1st, 2019
Now that you own a website that’s ready to shake up the internet, let’s focus on picking up some quick and powerful tips on writing blogs that grab attention and get results.
Just Blog It
Here is a simple, effective guide on how to start crafting amazing blog posts. I’ve created this outline of writing tips for you to bookmark so you can reference it whenever you start writing. Eventually, this will come naturally to you.Until then, enjoy this handy A to Z guide on creating a blog post, from start to finish, that people notice and share.Just blog it. Don’t let perfectionism, the fear of making a mistake, or fears of ridicule keep you from writing blogs.
Here’s What You’ll Learn Here
For starters, let’s say you want to come up with a seductive headline people will find irresistible—just scan down to the headline writing section for help (#2.)Or if you are having trouble creating an opening paragraph that grabs people by the arm and pulls them in, just review 3. Crafting the Opener section here.Each section is concise and easy for your eyes to scan over. I’ve intentionally laid this out using lots of bullet points and short paragraphs.Enjoy!Oh, and don’t forget to start writing after you’re done. 😉
Writing Blogs in 2019 That Get You Noticed
1. Identify Your Content Target
Before anything else, decide what topic you will write about. Before you jump in, consider these three questions. Make sure you answer “yes” to all three:
- Will the information I share somehow benefit my audience? (Your article should have a useful takeaway for the reader.)
- Do I have something new to say about this topic? (“new” can be simply your own experience. Tell a story that you went through. Be real.)
- Do I have a clear idea who my readers are? (Keep the profile of your audience in mind. Write as if you are speaking to just one of them.)
2. Write a Magnetic Headline
How do you get people to start reading an article?
Pull them into it by the shirt collar with a powerful headline.
The headline is where the slippery slope begins. Your goal is to get the reader to slide all the way down your article to the bottom like a greased pig down a coal chute covered in baby oil.
Remember that your blog post headline is the first impression of your post. Your title is the first hook people see in various places online, like…
- Your blog archives
- Social media
- Search Engine Results
- RSS feeds
- Emails passed around
A seductive headline works in any location where online readers find them. Just remember they have to be seductive, not suck. So take your time when you write a headline.
There are some different approaches you can make with a headline. You won’t use all of these with every headline. Sometimes only one technique is needed to craft a beauty of title for your article.
Here are the ABCs of headline writing techniques…
Add a Benefit in the headline
When someone stumbles upon your headline through a site like, well, StumbleUpon, if they notice some sort of benefit to them in your wording, there’s a good chance they will click on your link to find out more (make sure your articles back up what your headlines say.)
Bloggers are going to click headlines like “8 Blog Tips and 2 Tools for Faster Audience Growth” if they want to increase their readers quickly. Faster audience growth is a benefit. Another headline on this blog is Feeding Google: How to Use YouTube and Google+ to Outrank Your Competition—since there are a lot of people out there who want to stay ahead of or beat their competition, this blog post gets many clicks.
Bring a Question Directly to the Reader
Using a question like “Should You Use Fiverr?” sparks curiosity and does a great job of pulling people in because of the way the human brain works. Questions are even more powerful when they are written as if talking to one individual. I’m a big proponent of using the word “you” in my web copy. Writing in the first-person contributes to the conversational tone you want to project. “How a Chainsaw Juggler Can Build Your Blog Business” is much more effective than “..Can Build a Blog Business.”
Choose Potent Words
There are certain words that have been used to grab people’s attention for centuries. Julian Sivulka wrote in her book Soap, Sex, and Cigarettes that in the colonial days of America, “One theme runs through all the promotions aimed at attracting investors and settlers to the New World—the promise of free land.” Free is definitely still an effective word to include in a headline because getting something for nothing trips an automatic response in most people.
Here are a few other potent words to help crank up your headline magnetism…
Secrets –these are always alluring to humans. We want to know what others don’t know.
Easy – Humans are naturally drawn to the path of least resistance. “4 Easy Steps” draws readers’ in. “4 Difficult Steps” makes people run away.
Discover – I use this word a lot, because who doesn’t like to “discover” something? Whether it’s a buried treasure or a new ability you didn’t know you had, this word works.
These power words can create an element of controversy or debate, which is actually a good thing for you because controversy pulls in readers. You may not believe this at first, but those who try to please everyone end up with less readers. When you think about it, successful bloggers are mostly those who take a strong stance on something and then effectively prove their point in their blogging, despite ruffling some feathers. So don’t shy away from these types of “lightning rod” words as long as you can back up your claims and prove your points with facts.
One last note on headlines: Although we’re starting at the top of the article and working our way down, you can wait to write your headline until after the article is finished. I do that a lot because it can be helpful to see how your article comes together before writing the headline. Or you can write it first, whichever you choose.
Let’s move on now to the next part of your blog article…
3. Crafting the Opener
Okay, let’s suppose your headline was good enough to get a reader to move down to the first sentence (always a good thing), so your blog visitor starts reading the first line.
There are several techniques you can choose to apply to this next crucial step.
One is to again write a compelling question….same approach as using a question in your headline. Just don’t use this one if you already have a question in the headline. That feels redundant.
Sales professionals, both in-person reps and copywriters, have been using a technique known as “Getting your prospect into a yes frame of mind” for decades. What I mean by a yes question is asking the reader something that pretty much guarantees the reader will say yes—“Do you want to make more money next month?” or “Are you ready to find the success you deserve?” These are two examples.
Yes questions increase the slipperiness of your article, encouraging readers to continue.
If you plant several yes questions through your copy, the reader will be much more receptive to your CTA (Call to Action) that you placed at the end of the article.
Another approach to kicking off your article is by springing a surprise on them—say something unusual or share a story about a topic you don’t discuss much—“I met my wife on a reality television show” grabs the reader with a personal story. As long as your opener relates to the topic of the article, you have a winner.
You could also start with a benefit that your reader will jump on. Finding the right benefit requires a deep understanding of your blog audience. Take your time here and have patience, as gaining perspective on your audience can take a while. The more you research your target audience, the quicker you will know their needs.
At some point you will want to test opening your article with a statistic or two. If I started out a blog post with “3 out of 4 Bloggers Succeed Using this Little Known Tool,” you would likely want to read more.
Of course, there’s a reason why most blogs include a eye-catching image at the beginning…photos and illustrations grab attention. If you find a mind blowing photo that says what your keyboard can’t express about the topic, you just raised the potency bar tenfold.
The Close: Keep the Suspense Going Till You Reach the End
Getting your article off to a great start is important….and so is how you finish.
Hooking your reader into a post and then losing them half way is like snagging a big fish only to feel your fishing line suddenly become easy to reel after the fish got away. You end up with nothing.
Here are some quick tips on closing out your blog post with a bang.
1. Know Your Article Purpose
Do you know what you want to achieve before you start writing? This really helps your writing process if you begin with the end in mind. Now if your goal changes during the writing process, that’s okay. Don’t feel bad about that. It happens to all of us sometimes and usually turns out better.
Ask yourself these questions to help pinpoint the goal of the article:
- What’s the main point to communicate?
- What do you want the reader to do after they finish reading?
- What emotions do you want the reader to feel?
- What’s the take away your reader gains from this post?
2. Cut. Cut. And cut some more.
Even the most talented writers’ trim the fat off their rough draft. This is because they know having too much copy can take away from the purpose they want to achieve. You may love a certain paragraph or section of the article, but honestly ask if it supports the purpose of the post and if not, go ahead and delete it. As writing legend William Faulkner said, “In writing, you must kill all your darlings.”
I wrote a screenplay several years ago that ended up being 190 pages. But the screenplay industry standard is 120 pages, especially for a newbie trying to break into the industry. No producer will read a screenplay by an unknown writer if it’s longer than 120 pages…so that meant I had to cut 70 pages of my “darling.” It was painful and took some time, but I knew I had to do it to succeed.
3. Close with a Call to Action
Nobody likes to feel pushed into something.
We do appreciate friendly reminders and helpful encouragements, though.
Many new bloggers don’t understand how a call to action works and how to put them into their blog article without feeling awkward about it.
Many are skittish starting out. New bloggers don’t want to offend their readers by asking them to do something. But isn’t that how relationships are built?
When the blogger masters the skill of treating readers with respect and friendliness, they discover many of their readers are happy to respond to their requests…
- Want to get some comments on your blog post? Ask readers to comment.
- Taking an informal survey about something blog related? Ask readers to participate in the survey.
- Desiring more email subscribers? Encourage folks to opt-in.
- Hoping to sell something? Share with them the benefit to buying now. Include a deadline to create urgency or make a special offer of some kind to get more interest.
You will be surprised at the level of response you get when you build trust and nurture a long term relationship with your readers. As long as your call-to-action has these traits:
- Stays on target with your blog post (Somehow relates to the content.)
- Doesn’t go overboard—in other words, you don’t have too many calls to action. One, maybe two is good per article.
- Remain simple. A complicated call to action gets few results.
- Stand out. Make your CTA have a larger font. Even bold it. Whatever it takes to prevent it from blending into the copy. Treat it like a subhead of headline.
- Spontaneity. What I mean is your CTA is not always in the same spot of the page. Yes, many times the call to action works well at the end. Just occasionally surprise your reader and place it in the middle or even up front so it doesn’t become predictable and easily ignored.
Once your CTA is finished and then you have edited and proofed your article to satisfaction…..
You will probably feel some butterflies in your stomach right before you hit the Publish button. This is completely normal. Even longtime bloggers experience this. It’s the thrill of the blog post.
Now is the Time to Release Your Inner Blogger
Blogging can actually be quite the adrenaline rush…and it’s much safer than skydiving.
But there’s one final thing you need to do after you “jump out of the plane.”
Pull Your Parachute Chord
To ensure a soft and successful “landing” so to speak, you need to apply a few simple measures…many of these are things you already do.
To help your blog post gain more readers, do these things:
1. Email your growing subscriber list
Here’s an example of a quick and easy email I send out to my readers whenever my blog posts a new article.
” Hey, I just wanted to share with you the latest Build Your Own Blog post. Let me know what you think.
Why Smart Bloggers Build Their Own Email List–Here’s How to Get Started https://www.buildyourownblog.net/blog/build-email-list/?utmx=emailmar7
Consider how many websites ask you for your email address….how else would they stay in touch with you? Postcard?
Sometimes we need to remember how email is still free and saves bloggers’ a lot of time and money.
Email deserves more love.
You will only get her respect in return once you put email into action, though. So don’t let this incredible, free tool go to waste. See how it’s done…
If someone took the time to subscribe to your email list, they will normally appreciate your emails as long as they are done well, are not too frequent and avoid spam-like traits.
2. Take time to LISTEN to comments and provide thoughtful responses.
This is not something you can just do in five minutes. Giving back to your readers requires some thoughtful engagement on your part. Don’t just say “Thanks for dropping by.” You want to really encourage deep, satisfying dialogue between you and your readers.
3. Use Social Media to Spread the Article to More People
Chances are you already use Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, even Google Plus or Reddit. These along with LinkedIn and other platforms provide FREE advertising for your blog post.
Now Go Crazy Writing Blogs!
You have just reached the bottom of this slippery slide. Time to put these blog writing tips into motion. Go get ’em, Tiger!
If you want some feedback on your first post (or 35th), email me (firstname.lastname@example.org). I’ll reply back with some thoughts.
Step 7: How to Promote Your Blog in 2019
Last Updated: March 1st, 2019
Please, do not ever think that providing fantastic content alone is enough for your blog to reach its maximum traffic potential.
Don’t let yourself go there. Doing so is just lazy.
Let’s be real with each other here a moment…. You are probably already spending a lot of time on some of the marketing tools we will look at.
Yes, I’m primarily talking about social media here.
If you’re already using social media, that’s great! You will know how to promote your blog right out of the gate. All it takes is some dedication on your part to use your social media platforms to help promote your blog.
This will cut into your time viewing cat videos, but if you really want your blog to succeed, I’m sure you will somehow find the strength to make this sacrifice.
Promoting a business has never been easier or more cost effective than it is today.
Since your blog business is online, I’m sure you will want to learn as much about the FREE ways to promote your blog as you can.
Using social media isn’t totally free actually….you will need to “spend” some time on it, but otherwise, social media is a free tool unless you choose to invest in some of the paid offerings, like sponsored posts on Facebook or Twitter ads.
Let’s start some of the best known social media platforms, then I’ll share some additional ways aside from social media to promote your blog without spending much.
Social Media & Blogging Expert Jay Baer hit a blog bulls-eye when he said, “Content is fire, social media is gasoline.”
He is right, but I want to add that “stellar” content is the best fire. Lame content is like soaked oak.
The more stellar your content, the more “flammable” it will be (flammable in this context means useful, entertaining, persuasive.)
You want content that easily catches fire. That’s huge for your blog.
Because what do we all do today when we find great content?
We share it.
Yes, social media is like gasoline in when it comes to marketing your blog. Social media can spread the “fire” from your hot blog like a strong wind spreads a wildfire.
Let’s briefly go over the most widely used social media platforms:
You can create status posts that will hook your followers to click the link to your latest blog article. Do this with your personal Facebook account and Business page (or Blog page) if you have one. I recommend you do.
Optimal Posting Time: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Visuals are crucial with Facebook…effective research will lead you to the perfect visual for your ad. Another great way to drive traffic to your blog.
WordPress has a set up where your newly published articles go straight to your Twitter account as well. If you have lots of Twitter followers, this can be an amazing source of traffic. And don’t forget to include Twitter share buttons for each article!
Optimal Posting Time: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
This is a new opportunity now available on Twitter.
Don’t ignore this platform. G+ is currently experiencing phenomenal growth, and it is easier to add influencers and engage with a relevant audience to your business.
You will get lots of +1s and shares when you join the right groups that match your blog niche.
Optimal Posting Time: 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Quick blogging tip: Network like a boss on LinkedIn and share your articles in the newsfeed.
This can really be a great platform if your blog is related to your career, but don’t rule LinkedIn out if your blog doesn’t cover your career.
Consider how your web writing and blogging skills are being demonstrated to an audience that can appreciate your skills.
Optimal Posting Time: 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Yes, Pinterest is visual, but remember that blogs with great content include awesome visuals in that content—photos, infographics, illustrations, logos—all useful visuals on your blog make excellent marketing opportunities…
just create a delicious smorgasbord of boards with your Pinterest profile, then pin the images from your blog onto your boards.
Each one will contain a link to your blog.
Optimal Posting Time: 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. & 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Pinterest sharing boards
Pinterest really is heaven for visually oriented people. But readers use it too.
As a blogger, start making connections on Pinterest, share other people’s content…you know, practice all the same effective engagement skills you use on other platforms…don’t just self-promote all the time.
That way, people here will send you invites to join groups. This provides you the opportunity to pin blog links to these group boards.
“Pin-it to Pinterest” CTA (Call to Action)
Don’t be shy about creating an occasional visual that has a CTA for sharing your published articles directly on THEIR Pinterest Profile.
Niche audience contacts love to do this when your blog has stellar content they eat up.
Now, here are a few other effective (and free!) ways to promote your blog!
Once you figure out the best voting groups to participate in, some networking prepares you to effectively share your articles.
Stumbleupon paid discovery
Using a paid discovery does increase the size of your reach here, but you’ll still need to have a hook in your title.
If you do that, get ready for some exciting blog traffic.
Those you have built trust and engagement with here will probably not mind if you post a link to your blog on their page.
Just leave a short hook with a magnetic title. Should be fruitful.
New threads on forums
Participate in forums where most other members have a need that your blog meets, or an answer to their questions.
By contributing useful information to the forum, people will want to to click on your signature to learn more about you. Bam! Your link takes them to the blog.
Usually you can promote your newest article in the signature of every post you create on the forum, at least 5 times a day for effective promotion.
Leave Comments on Other Blogs
Pick some other blogs that relate well to your blog. In other words, you want to leave comments on blogs who share a similar audience to your own blog.
If you go beyond the lazy comments like “Nice article, Bob!” and leave thought provoking comments, this can work to bring your blog traffic.
The closer your relationship to the blog owner, the better your chances here.
Unfortunately, not all bloggers are secure in themselves and have a generous spirit.
Don’t be shocked if an associate blogger you don’t know personally doesn’t allow your link to post, or worse, doesn’t approve your comment. This is rare but possible.
Press Releases Still Work
If you have experience and a good track record with writing press releases, then do this for your blog. (Or hire someone skilled in writing press releases.)
This can bring your blog lots of traffic when you have a new product that’s news worthy, or content in an article that news sources like Fast Company, Time, NY Times, or CNN might be interested in using.
Create an Email List
Email still works. You want to make it so easy for people to join your email list that they barely think about it.
Be sure your email sign up is easy to spot in your website design and place this at the top of your home page.
Offering a free eBook or report can be the hook to pulling in lots of sign ups.
As your list grows, you can send your subscribers the latest blog post.
To get the traffic to your actual blog, don’t include the entire blog article in the email.
Only provide an excerpt, like the first paragraph, and a link to read the rest.
To discover all the details of building an email list, you can read my blog post Why Smart Bloggers Build Their Email List–Here’s How to Get Started
Hey, since we’re talking about email lists, why not use this box below to join my email list? Go ahead if you haven’t yet so you won’t miss anything.
Here are two great articles for you to check out if you want to learn more about blog promoting and marketing:
Step 8: How to Make Money Blogging – Beginners Guide 2019
Last Updated: March 1st, 2019
How to Make Money, Reach Your Dreams and Find Freedom with Your Blog
Now is the Time to Take Control of Your Financial Future.
Got debt? Hate your job?
Perhaps both are stealing your peace of mind…a low paying job combined with a strong “I’m taken-for-granted” vibe in the office is enough to make your life a drag (and restful sleep a distant memory.) Sadly, this is how many people spend their entire working years—groping through a cubicle maze, searching for some sort of escape.
You deserve better.
This website offers hope to those looking for a way to break free from the chains of debt or the daily drudgery of a miserable, dead end career. This could be the escape you have been searching for. No matter what your background is, you can start a blog today. Anyone can do it.
No need to quit your job to start. Just begin laying the groundwork for a more prosperous future in your spare time. Would an extra $500 a month change your financial future? That is definitely possible. In fact, you could earn a lot more per month as a blogger. Once you are in a position to commit full-time to your blog, you can rise up to the $5000 per month income level. That and much more is also possible. Being your own boss means you get to choose your salary.
The amount of time and resources you commit to your blog will determine how much money you make.
Picture this: One day, your successful blog enables you to hand your boss a resignation letter. Can you visualize the look on her face?
The key to accomplishing that goal is to follow a trail of tips from someone who already happens to be a full time, successful blogger. That’s where I come in. 🙂
If you haven’t setup your blog yet, click here to Step 1 of my “dummy proof” guide and start the process. You will have your new blog live in 20 minutes or less. As an official blogger, you can then come back here and read more about building a blog that brings in extra income.
Why wait? The quickest way to learn how to earn income with a blog is to start blogging. Take control of your financial future by building your own blog today. Ready to build something for YOUR future? [Build Your Blog Now]
Once your blog is up and running, here is a tool you can use right away to generate online income.
Getting paid from your blog can happen in a myriad of ways. Since you are just getting started, let’s focus on one simple monetization technique that’s easy to use. This tool is not complicated. Keep reading if you want to make money blogging right away. Okay, let me introduce you to Google Adsense…
Run Ads on Your Blog
Now, don’t freak out here. Running ads is the most common way people earn income from blogs. Bloggers who have ads on their site get paid every time someone clicks on these ads. So don’t worry, ads on your blog are pretty simple to set up.
How Do You Set Up Ads on Your Blog?
Having ads on your blog doesn’t mean you have to spend time looking for advertisers. You can pick one of many programs out there that do all the leg work for you. The service for placing ads on a blog that I recommend is called Google Adsense. Even if you are new to blogging, you probably know that Google is a huge internet company that spans the globe. They have connections with possibly millions of advertisers. With Google Adsense, you get access to all the Google relationships they’ve made with adveritisers—enabling you to place ads from these corporate connections on your blog. In a matter of minutes, you will start to receive a portion of the commissions these advertisers make when people click on the ads.
Google Adsense is simple to set up and 100% FREE.
You will want to start with Google Adsense because it’s quick and easy to use. But keep in mind that as your blog audience multiplies, your options to using ads for income will get even better. Shoot for three hundred thousand visitors per month to your blog. (Great content will help you get there.) You’ll get excited about your options after that. But for now, Google Adsense is a great starting point.
How Does Google Adsense Pay You?
You have two ways to get paid. Getting a check in the mail is one option. Or, they can directly deposit your earnings straight to your bank account. Direct deposit is always the easiest and quickest way to go. The deposit comes in at the end of every month.
How You Can Give Yourself a Raise with Google Adsense
Earning a higher income is pretty simple…just get more traffic to your blog. Somewhere between 1-10% of your blog visitors will click an ad. This varies according to the blog topic, but whatever your blog is about, you will see over time how consistent this plays out. Every month. For example, consider your earnings if 3% of your blog visitors click an ad. At 3%, if you have 20,000 visitors in a month, you will generate 600 clicks. Now suppose your blog audience grew to 100,000 visitors per month, you would generate 3,000 clicks. See how this works? If you are diligent in building your blog audience, your income from ads will increase exponentially. The time taken to build up traffic provides huge amounts of satisfaction in the long run.
What Pay Rate Does Google Adsense Offer?
Again, your blog topic will play a major part in the return you receive per click. Google Adsense has paid out rates of $0.05 per click all the way up to $20 per click and beyond. For new bloggers starting out, you are probably going to earn $0.20 to $0.50 per click. Using Google Adsense is pretty much a numbers game…but that’s true with all advertising to some degree. Filling your blog with great content will definitely put the odds more in your favor. I’ve seen this with my blogs. And since creating great content is my specialty, you will definitely want to read the lessons I provide on how to produce great content.
Here’s a Simple Visual Guide on How to Apply for Google AdSense
Step 1: First you want to go here and then click the red button that says Get Started Now.
Step 2: Next, if you do not have a Google account, click the Create a New Account. If you do have a Google account, just click Yes, then proceed to Google Account sign in.
Step 3: Type in the domain of the website you want to use with Google AdSense in the “I will show ads on” box. Then put in the language of your website. Review the Terms and Conditions and click Continue.
Step 4: Fill in your AdSense application and click the blue button Submit my application.
Step 5: You’re finished when you see the “Thank you for applying to AdSense!” You can check out a few tutorials here to teach you more about Google AdSense if you need it.
You have submitted your application and Google will let you know whether your website is approved or not. This approval process didn’t take long for me here. I received the approval email from Google in a couple of hours.
The approval email you get looks like this:
Get Started with Google AdSense
When you click “Get started now” in the email, you will first see a terms of service to review and accept. Then you will see this below. Notice that it tells me in the red bar that my domain is still under review. So what you do here is proceed to your WordPress blog and place the code in your website. Google tells you here that the ads will be blank until your blog is fully approved. So click “Get started now” to continue…
After clicking “Get started now,” I found the navigation to finding my ad codes to be a bit tricky. If you find it challenging to locate your needed ad codes at this point, simply type in the URL I’ve pointed out below to get to where you want to go. You will then want to click the blue button “Create your first ad unit now!”
Here is where you set up your ad(s). You select the style of the ad and then click “Save and Get Code.”
You should then see a box like this that contains the ad code you will place into your website.
Once you copy the code with your pointer, sign into your WordPress Dashboard and place the code where you want the ad to go. In this example below, I’m placing the code atop my “Services” page. Notice how the code is being placed in the “Text” tab located in the upper right corner of the Page Editor. That’s where you find any code, like for an infographic or for an embedded link. Once the coding is in, simply click “Update” and your ads will be done.
You will then need to wait for Google to give you the final approval. Until that happens, visitors to your website will not see the ads at all. You will be able to see blank, or empty ads at first. Only after your approval will you and your blog visitors see ads.
Your approval email can take hours or days to show up in your inbox. Mine was approved about 8 hours later. The email looked like this:
Google Adsense is a great way to start monetizing your blog. It’s simple, easy to set up, and best of all, it’s FREE.
If you’re reading this and you still haven’t started your own blog, stop procrastinating, do it now by following my step-by-step guide today.
Here is a Second Way You Can Make Money Blogging in 2019
Affiliate marketing is a proven way to earn income online. I know firsthand, as that is what I do here on this website.
Anyone can do it (with a website), you just need to pick what service or product to affiliate with and then take the necessary steps.
Like any business, there are some positives and negatives to consider before jumping in.
You don’t need to spends thousands of dollars in researching, testing and assembling your own products. Your only expense here is in the setup of a new website. If you already have a website or blog, then your investment will be purely the time spent on creating the web pages needed. If you have a limited budget, this probably sounds like a good option for you. You’re right! This works well for someone wanting to generate a part time income or full time. That’s up to you!
Another positive about being an affiliate marketer is that YOU get to choose the products or services that your website offers. You won’t ever be forced to sell something from a business that doesn’t align with your core values. You can find a sense of congruency in your life by only promoting products or services that align with your beliefs and personality.
Naturally, a business opportunity with so may positives up front is going to be COMPETITIVE. This means you’re going to need to be ready to run a marathon here before you see a significant income result. Like I said, once you pick your affiliates, you then need to take some steps to get things moving. You will need to get the word out about your website, attract people to it, and then, you must create a marketing funnel on your website that actually encourages people to buy what you’re recommending. The knowledge to set up this process and execute it well takes some time and practice.
Social media is an obvious tool to spread the word. There are more effective ways to using social media that you may need to learn, but its worth the time, because these social media platforms can connect with your target market quickly.
There is also the ins and outs of promoting your affiliates in ways that keep your own identity…you can lose yourself if you over-market your affiliates, and that’s a real negative when you have your own products or services to offer also–books, courses, events, your own product invention, etc.
If you’re strictly doing affiliate marketing, this may not be an issue for you.
How Much Money Can You Actually Make?
When asked this question, affiliate marketing expert Alan Roy Hocking gave this great answer on his website:
“The answer to the question; “How much can I earn affiliate marketing” is that there really is no limit to the amount of money you can earn.
In the last ten years more people have become millionaires through affiliate marketing than in any other industry and every day ordinary people just like you and me are learning how to tap into this incredible unlimited income source.
How hard you are willing to work and the niche you choose will determine how quickly you’ll succeed and how much you will earn but remember this…..
Today,somebody somewhere will quit their job and enjoy the financial independence affiliate marketing provides.
One day, it could be you.”
In other words, your income potential depends on you. That is great if you’re motivated and self disciplined and want to learn new things. If you’re not, well, your income will reflect that.
I recommend searching for some additional resources on affiliate marketing.
And one last thing to keep in mind…
Remember: you must have a website to succeed at affiliate marketing!
If you don’t have a website set up yet, I can help you with that right now.