When it comes to making money with a blog there are at least 10 steps every blogger goes through in order to become successful in the blogosphere.
While these steps are simple the work that’s required to become successful takes time, energy, focus and knowledge, however if you continue to focus on the core elements and build your blog it’s very likely that can make some money!
By focusing on building your relationships and providing value you can grow an audience that will help you build your blog.
If you already created a website and chosen a theme you can skip the first step.
Let’s get started!
Step 1. Create your website
If you already have a website you can skip this part!
If you don’t have a website yet the first step would be to set one up.
In order to do that you need to choose a domain name for you website, choose a hosting service to house your website, and pick a theme for your blog.
If you need help creating your first website than check out this post and come back after you’re done: 8 simple steps for creating your first website.
Step 2. Decide on the focus of your website
Decide what your website is going to be about and what topics you will be discussing on your blog.
The more you can narrow down on whats important the better you will be at finding your target audience.
This is extremely important because in order to attract an audience to your website it needs to have a focus that’s related to their wants and needs, and your content has to be able to help them reach their goals.
If you’re having trouble thinking of what you want to do than you can do some reasearch to find an existing market that is in high demand and choose one that matches you skills and abilities or develop the skills you need to teach a specific topic to a proven market.
By finding a market that has already proven that it has wants and needs, and is willing to pay for a solution you can get a better grasp of how you’ll build your business and what area’s you have the best chance of impacting based on the skills you possess.
Step 3. Create highly useful content for your target audience
After you’ve narrowed down your focus the next step is to begin creating content for your target audience.
Create highly useful content that gives your readers inspiration, teaches them how to better at a skill or reach a goal and helps them find success in their own life.
As the saying goes teaching sells and by teaching others what you know you’ll have a much easier time building an audience and helping them reach their goals.
If it’s a review site give them some good advice on the best choices they can make.
If it’s about comedy than make your best stuff stand out.
If it’s about a service you provide show them samples that will catch their interest.
The point is that you narrow down on whats important to them, highlight it and give them the best information so that they can implement it into their own lives or at least get enjoyment out of what you have to say or show them.
Step 4. Grow your audience one person at a time
In the beginning growing an audience takes time.
Unless you have some connections or you’ve created something that’s so good people can’t ignore it building an audience is going to take some time.
Respond to your readers whenever possible, listen to their wants and needs and focus on them.
Your audience is the reason for your blog so their opinions matter.
Don’t try to be a hero to everyone, just focus on those who can provide the best results.
You can only do so much, but those who are at the heart of your blog are the ones who will help you grow it.
Step 5. Create a marketing strategy for your blog
There’s a saying that goes “in the beginning you should spend %80 of your time outside of your blog (marketing and building relationships) and 20% working on your blog (such as communicating with your audience or writing content)”.
In some ways I agree with this idea.
In order to get noticed you’ll have to get yourself out there.
Communicate with as many people as possible and use whatever opportunities are available to you to get yourself heard.
Some of the things you can do to get yourself out there include writing for other blogs, interacting with people on a variety of social media platforms, partnering up with other bloggers to create a webinar or start a project, create how to video’s and upload them to YouTube and start a podcast.
As your blog begins to grow you’ll need to shift your focus and spend more time on your existing audience.
If you work hard enough your marketing efforts will eventually pay off and help you build a sustainable audience of raving fans.
Step 6. Build an email list
Email lists are extremely important for those who are serious about succeeding with their blogs.
Having an email list allows you to proactively interact with and engage your audience without them having to search for you or go to your website by giving you the ability to send them an email whenever you have something important to say.
While some of your visitors may not think to proactively visit your website they’ll automatically be reminded when you send them an email.
It keeps your readers engaged and since they’ve given you permission to send them emails you have a large advantage over others who do not email their readers.
Not only are email lists great for simple communication and giving your readers value they’re also great for announcing product/service launches, getting feedback on ways to improve your website and content and letting your readers know of any new changes you’ve made to your business.
Email lists are also a great way to secure your audience in case something happens to your website.
Even if you lose your website or shut it down you can take your email list with you wherever you go.
In fact some businesses take email marketing so seriously that the entire focus of their business is to build and grow their email list.
Step 7. Create a product or service to sell to your audience
As your website begins to grow and take shape it’s likely that your readers will have a want or need that they are willing to pay for in order to find a solution.
By connecting with them and learning about what is most important to them you’ll be able to create products and services that meet their needs.
By help your audience successes you also create a sustainable income for yourself.
It’s a win/win situation.
If you don’t have any products or services or you lack the desire to create one you can always sell affiliate products.
It’s a great way to get started because all of the hard work is done in creating the product is done.
All you have to do is teach your audience how the affiliate product will help them reach their own goals and if they decide to purchase your affiliate product you make a commission.
If possible try to start selling your products or services as quickly as possible so that you can get feedback and improve your strategy.
Step 8. Get feedback
Feedback is extremely important.
When your audience gives you feedback you can use it to improve a number of things related to your business such as whether your content resonates with them or not, if your website is easy to navigate and gives them the value they are looking for, whether you’re sending them emails at the right time or using the right forms of multimedia to communicate with them and whether or not they have an interest in your products/services and if it’s improving their lives.
Without feedback it’s almost impossible to know if you’re heading in the right direction.
By using analytics you can also gain lots of helpful feedback on the interests of your visitors.
What they spend the most time on, where they’re coming from and if they are sharing your content or buying your products.
All of this information (analytics + visitor feedback) can be used to help you shape and grow your website in the right direction.
Step 9. Improve your content, products and services over time
As you continue to build your blog it’s important that you keep expanding your education so that you can provide your readers with what they want.
The more knowledgeable you have about your field the more you can contribute to solving the wants and needs of your audience and the more they will value your opinion when they need help with something.
By focusing on the core elements of your blog you can consistently increase the value of what you’ve built and you can take your mistakes as lessons and improve upon them until you reach the success you’ve been searching for.
Step 10. Wash, Rinse, Repeat
As your website grows and your money and knowledge increases it’s important to go back and remind yourself of the basics.
Understanding how you got from A to B and being able to repeat it and do it better than you did previously is the best way to ensure you’ll continue to grow and get better.
Whether you decide on starting another small business or you simply want to continue building your existing one you need to continue to focus on the core strategies that got you there and if possible find ways to improve and automate them.
Go through each step of your business from creating your website to writing quality content, building an audience, selling products and getting feedback and find out how you can make it better next time and improve it now.
The more clarity you can bring to what you’re doing the better you will be at foolproofing your business and yourself.