10-Point Checklist for Starting a Successful Blog

10-Point Checklist for Starting a Successful Blog

Blogging is one of the fastest and easiest ways to get on the internet. It’s also one of the most cost-effective. In short, all you need is a domain name, hosting and a quick install of WordPress and you are potentially on your way to starting a nice little hobby or side business for yourself. Still not sure if a blog is for you? Just check out the many benefits I’ve had since starting this blog back in 2007!

If you get a little lucky and put in the time and effort, you may end up creating a site that could make more money than your full-time job, and allow you to live the “laptop lifestyle”. While this dream is quite a dream for most people, finding success with blogging is definitely possible if you know what to do and look for.

Today we are going to break down a 10-step process for how to start your own blog, while also keeping the goal of making money with your site in mind. More specifically, these ten steps will be covering the foundation process and to make sure you have enough structure in place for long term success. While some of these points may seem basic, they are often overlooked and can lead to further disaster down the road when not set up correctly.

In addition to the many resources that can be found online, you can also check my latest blogging tips course on Udemy, which currently has over 10,000+ students and more than 100+ 5-star reviews. It’s definitely a great kick-start course to help you get your blog headed in the right direction within the next 30 days.

How to Start a Blog

Figure out the point of your blog.

With over a billion active sites on the internet and more than 300 million of them being blogs, it’s safe to say that anything you were thinking about blogging about is probably already being covered. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still start a blog… it simply means you should be thinking about why you are going to create one. Questions to ask yourself are, why are you creating your site, who is your target audience, how do you plan to make money with it and how will you stand out from the crowd. Knowing the answers to these questions beforehand will allow for faster success as you develop your blog.

Unique_Blog_Ideas

Create a persona

Starting a blog is easy, building a brand is not. To follow up on my previous point, with over a billion sites in the world today, you need to have a personal brand or persona for your site that helps it stand out from the crowd. Not only will associating a name and expertise with your site make it more personal, it will also grow your personal brand and reach in the process. If this is something you want to do as a real business and develop into something big, building out an established blog of your own is one of the best ways to do it.

Becoming_a_Top_Blogger

Choose a domain name.

The domain name for your site is how people are going to find you online — it’s essentially real estate on the internet. Just like you have a home address that no one else has, domain names are the same. Once they are gone, they are usually gone for good.

This is why it’s heavily recommended to always try and register and secure your personal name as a domain name (preferably .com). There are likely several other people in the world with the same name as you, and if your name as a domain is still available, go grab it as soon as possible. If you currently have a brand or business name, you should register that as a domain name as well.

Wordpress_and_Coding

Pick a hosting provider.

One of the first things you will need to do to get online, is to setup a web hosting account. For first-time site owners, this might seem quite confusing. All you really need to know is a web host stores your site data online, making it easy for people around the world to access your content. To find a hosting solution,  simply look up hosting reviews online to see what their customers say about them, then sign up for an account. Hosting usually costs less than $10 a month and some will even offer a domain name for free. When looking for a host, try to find one that also offers one-click WordPress installs.

Responsive_Blog_Design

Install a theme.

WordPress is the free software that is used to power the majority of blogs and sites on the internet today. As mentioned, most web hosts now offer the ability to install WordPress on hosting accounts for free. If you can learn how to use Microsoft Word, you should have no problems with WordPress.

One of the many perks of WordPress is not needing to touch any lines of code or programming to design your site. Instead, you can download and install WordPress themes. There are millions of themes to choose from, many of which are free. However, I personally use and recommend MyThemeShop as they have the best premium themes around.

Setting_Your_Blogging_Goals

Optimize your SEO.

SEO stands for search engine optimization and that is how your site will rank in the search results. SEO comes down to many different factors, but site content, structure and linking are three of the most effective factors of it.

Again, WordPress makes the process of SEO on your site quite simple. Refer to this list of SEO tips for beginners to learn more about ranking your site in Google.

Blogging_Research

Write out a list of articles.

With most of your site foundation now in place, it’s time to start thinking about the content you are going to create. One important thing to remember is that longer content is more effective than short content. Many site owners and bloggers get this wrong. They think going live with a new 500+ word article every day will bring them traffic and success, but it won’t. Instead focus on creating a few 1,000+ articles per month, then spending the necessary time to promote each of them effectively.

In reference to what type of content you should be creating for your site, go back to the questions asked at the beginning of this article. Know what your audience wants, and provide it to the in the best way possible. Always put content value and user experience first.

Blog_Content_Writing

Create your first post.

The first post on your site is quite important and not one that should be taken lightly. Way too many bloggers will leave their first post as “Hello Word”, and not leave much content on it. Instead, delete this post and create a detailed 1,000+ word article that will provide value and act as a resource to your article. Even if only a handful of people are coming to your site when it’s soft-launched, you still want them to see something great. This first post should provide text, images, videos and shareable content such as infographics — all with the common goal of providing value and acting as the launchpad article for your site.

Blogging_Schedule

Create an editorial calendar.

If you are already having problems coming up with ideas for content for your site, you may be in trouble. However, remember how it was mentioned earlier that you don’t need to come out with a lot of content… but instead, just long form and great content. This will always be the case with online content.

For bloggers that have what seems like an endless amount of content ideas, setting up or writing out an editorial calendar is a great option. This will allow you to write out what content you want to go live with, and when. This will also help you come up with better ideas and a streaming flow of content so it comes out in the correct order. Along with content creation, make sure to also set up social promotions within your calendar as well.

Outreach_and_Promotion

Outreach and Promotion.

The last step in the foundation process is to make sure you focus on your outreach and promotion. It’s been mentioned several times now, but so many site owners and bloggers keep neglecting it. The success of your site will come down to the content you create and the promotion you put behind it. There is simply way too much content out there already, you need gain new backlinks and site mentions to stand above the crowd.

This can best be accomplished through organic SEO (going after long tail keywords), creating shareable content (like infographics) and contributing to other sites within your niche (through guest blogging).

Start Your Blog Today and Make Money Tomorrow

Yes, starting a blog is extremely cost-effective and easy, but actually making something out of it and earning a few dollars will take some work. Don’t look at the most successful bloggers in the world today and expect to see the same results overnight — or even within your first few months! This is a very competitive space and it takes a lot of time to compete and see growth.

Follow each of the ten steps listed above to build a solid foundation for your blog, which will allow it to continue to grow for many years to come.

8 Strategies Super-Successful People Use to Accomplish More

8 Strategies Super-Successful People Use to Accomplish More

Here we are, just weeks away from the closure of yet another year. As a new year is just around the corner, it’s important not to just look ahead, but to also look back at the one that is currently coming to a close. Instead of just thinking about how you are going to make 2017 your best year ever, you first need to ask yourself a few questions about the current one.

  • Did 2016 work out the way you expected it to?
  • How many of your goals did you hit or surpass?
  • Of the goals you missed… why didn’t you achieve them?
  • Are you going to approach 2017 with a different action plan for success?
  • What are your goals for 2017 and how are you going to achieve them?

The truth is, it’s easy to make a goal… but it’s extremely hard to achieve them — especially when you don’t have an actionable plan in place.

Goal without a Plan

New Years Resolutions at a Glance

Did you start off the year with a resolution of your own? Most likely you did… and one of them is probably even listed below among the “top five New Years resolutions” that are made almost every year. (source)

37% – Stay fit and healthy
32% – Lose weight
28% – Enjoy life to the fullest
25% – Spend less, save more
19% – Spend more time with family and friends

Now let’s take a look at some statistics on how successful these resolutions usually are. (source)

News Years Resolution Statistics Data

38% – Percent of Americans who absolutely never make New Year’s Resolutions 38%
8% – Percent of people who are successful in achieving their resolution 8%
49% – Percent who have infrequent success 49%
24% – Percent who never succeed and fail on their resolution each year 24%

The reasons for this mass failure (92%) is clear. The majority of resolutions will never have an action or goal plan in place. Instead, they are just made on a whim, during a drunken midnight celebration. But at the same time… they are continually made year after year.

Now think about how you would feel if you actually hit a few of your goals or surpassed them! Not only would you feel great, I’m sure you would also be counting down the days until New Years to get started with your next resolutions and goal setting targets.

The good news is, the best time to prepare for success, is before you even get started.

Actionable Tips on How to Have Your Best Year Ever

In order to have the best year ever, you must know what you want in both life and business, but also how to achieve them. This is where most people are left in dark, and simply try to figure it all out on their own.

Michael Hyatt is a best-selling author, entrepreneur and mentor to millions of people around the world through his public speaking, books, blogs, and podcast. In addition to everything else previously mentioned, he is also an expert at goal setting, creating action plans and teaching others how to find success in both life and business.

With the new year right around the corner, Michael just released his free PDF report on how to “Achieve What Matters Most in 2017“. It’s 100% free to download and include 8 strategies from super-successful people that are already implementing these tips into their own lives and business.

best_year_ever_-_achieve_what_matters_in_2017

Best of all, it’s an extremely fast and simple read through. As you can see in the screenshot below, each page of the report is beautiful in design, loaded with profile pictures and also broken apart in a way that it’s all easy to read through and absorb in the process.

best_year_ever_-_achieve_what_matters_in_2017

Industry experts featured in the report include Tony Robbins, Jeff Walker, Ray Edwards, Jeff Goins, Derek Halpern, Lewis Howes, Dave Ramsey, Andrew Warner, Pay Flynn and more — each providing their own actionable tips on how to get more out of your time, life and business.

Click here to download Michael Hyatt’s free report, and start implementing actionable decisions to make 2017 your best year ever!

The Most Important Web Metrics to Create a Successful Website

The Most Important Web Metrics to Create a Successful Website

When it comes to the eventual success or failure of your website or online business, it will ultimately come down to your profit/loss numbers. However, at the core of your online business are many other factors that will come into play — many of which are happening behind the scenes.

Today we are going to take a look at some of the most important factors when trying to create a successful business online. Each of these factors are unique in their own way, and depending on the type of business and revenue methods you have in place, some may be more important than others. No matter which you are currently focusing on, they all play an important role in how, where, why and when people will end up on your site.

Are You Aware of the Following Key Metrics for Your Site

From SEO, domain authority, social media and more… I’ve listed some of the most important metrics for you to keep an eye on, while also providing you with some valuable resources, case studies, and tools in the process.

Social Media

We all know the power and size of social media, but not enough of us are effectively tracking our results and finding where there is room for improvement. Instead, what most brands and bloggers are doing, is sending out a tweet or social share right when their latest content goes live… then ultimately forgetting about it right afterward. Another key element of social media is engagement and the new relationships that are formed through it — however, once again, many brands are leaving their social media accounts to just sit there and blast out content, while missing out on the real engagement that can happen from followers, fans, and customers.

There are actually 5 key metrics found right within social media itself, and while most people are actively using some of them, it’s rare to find all of them being a real area of focus — as it social media management across multiple platforms is very time-consuming.

  1. Followers and Fans
  2. Content
  3. Demographics
  4. Brand Exposure
  5. Hashtags and Keywords

To learn more about each of these areas of focus, I recommend you take a look at Cyfe’s social media metrics list, which goes into detail in each of these areas and why they are so important.

Domain Authority & Page Authority

Back in the day, Alexa and Google PageRank were two of the most common ways to measure the power and rank of a website. Now it’s all about Domain Authority and Page Authority. Moz describes each of these and their ranking process as follows:

  • Domain Authority is a score (on a 100-point scale) developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engines. Use Domain Authority when comparing one site to another or tracking the “strength” of your website over time.
  • Page Authority is a score (on a 100-point scale) developed by Moz that predicts how well a specific page will rank on search engines. It is based on data from the Mozscape web index and includes link counts, MozRank, MozTrust, and dozens of other factors.

In short, both of these ranking factors are determined by a mix of different factors. For the most part, the quality of content on your site and incoming backlinks are likely to influence these numbers the most. The better the sites linking back to your site, the more likely you are to see an increase in both Domain Authority and Page Authority over time.

In addition to the Moz Toolbar, a quick an easy tool for checking the DA and PA of your site (or multiple sites) at one time, can be found at SEOReviewTools.com.

Bounce Rates and Conversions

When it comes to improving your site and how to make money online, we often forget about some of the most important stats and factors of our sites, simply because they aren’t visible through SEO, traffic or revenue dollars. These type of site factors would income bounce rates, conversions, page views, time spent on a site and much more.

OptinMonster actually has a great article on this set of metrics, where they go into detail on eight specific ones, which includes;

  1. Page Views
  2. Mobile vs. Desktop Visitors
  3. Page Timings
  4. Traffic Acquisition
  5. New vs. Returning Visitors
  6. Time on Site (TOS)
  7. Landing Pages
  8. Exit Pages

As you can see, there are many different components sitting right on your site that need to be measured, tracked and improved upon. Even though most of these metrics won’t immediately increase the SEO or traffic on your site, they can make a world of a difference on your customer engagement and revenue numbers.

SEO Audit of Your Site

Last but not least… we have SEO Audits. In addition to everything else we mentioned above, running an audit on your site can drastically improve not only its performance but also keep it in good terms with Google as well. The good news about SEO audits is that they are easy to run and offered on a wide range of services like SEMRush, Ahrefs, and Mondovo — each scanning the content on your site and letting you know what needs to be fixed and how much of a factor it can be.

As SEMRush points out on their site, the follow metrics can all be measured through a simple site audit.

  • Optimize your internal and external links;
  • Add tags where they are missing;
  • Make titles, meta descriptions, and other HTML tags unique and comprehensible for users and search engines;
  • Correct broken images and provide them all with an alt attribute;
  • Detect and erase error pages;
  • Find duplicate content pages;
  • And fix other problems blocking your SEO progress!

When running an audit on your site, be sure to fix as many problems as you can, then run the report again. This will allow you to continually see improvements in your site score and what tasks have been successfully completed.

To Be the Best, You Need to Beat the Best

As you can see, when it comes to running a successful website and online business, there is a lot more to it than just creating content and ranking in the search results. At the same time, if you put in the time and effort to work on all of these areas, you will be much better off and have everything you need to start making your way passed the competition.

Don’t just listen to these words. Take action and start working on the core metrics of your site today.