Watch This First- How This Blog Made Me An Internet Millionaire
Thinking about starting a blog?
Let me share with you why starting a blog is a very wise decision…
Since launching my blog I've made over a million dollars online and my life has completely transformed for the better because of it.
The best part is that i've helped thousands of people get started online and many people have gone on to create six and even seven figure incomes since starting their journey with me.
This business model works in almost every single niche. I've used this model in 150 + niches and many of my readers are not in the “Make Money Online” niche. I want you to understand you have unlimited potential to build a successful blog that will create a full time income.
Steve Howell made his first six figures online with a small audience of just 1000 people. (Real Estate Niche)
Fred McNiff discovered me a few years back doing a random Google search.
He then applied what he learned from me to take his offline business- teaching Thai's how to speak English to an online format using a blog.
Within a very short period of time he was making $30k-$40k per month. After I gave him and his wife a few tips, his business is now making as much as $70k per month.
I've also helped 100's of people in the Direct Sales & Network Marketing niches grow their following and make sales for their company by teaching them how to setup their blog and generate qualified leads for their business.
So in this post I'm going to show you step-by-step how to start your blog the right way and how you can turn this into a full time career.
If you have just 20 minutes you will be able to launch and setup your first blog.
Below you will find step by step diagrams and supporting videos to show you how to do everything.
So let's get started!
Important! – Before We Get Started
Note Before We Get Started: To be 100% transparent if you purchase Bluehost on this page you're purchasing through my affiliate link. With that being said I use Bluehost for my websites and I would never recommend something I don't believe in.
I only make recommendations for products I know will help my readers.
Myself and my team have built 500 + websites for our clients with my agency using Bluehost. So we love them and recommend them to all of our clients.
With that being said I've put together some amazing bonuses to help you kick off your blogging career when purchasing Bluehost and launching your blog.
Option 1: You can follow this step-by-step tutorial and setup the blog yourself. When you purchase Bluehost through my link on this page you will get:
My Blogging Mastery Training Course ($497 Value) – This course used to be sold for $497, but I've pulled it off the market. The only way to get access to it now is to purchase my “Top Earner Mentor” group coaching program or to buy Bluehost through my link.
This training course will teach you how I made my first $500,000 with blogging and it's constantly updated.
Other people are charging $500-$997 for similar training, but I want to make sure you have everything you need to turn blogging into a full time career.
Access To My Private Facebook Mastermind Group ($997 Value)- Every week I hold live coaching sessions teaching you what I'm doing in my business, the latest traffic and conversions strategies and helping you with anything you need in your business.
Just this bonus alone is worth the price of purchasing Bluehost through my affiliate link so you have a mentor to guide you and show you what to do and how to do it effectively.
This can save you months or even years of not getting results.
Option 2- My team will setup your blog for you free of charge for purchasing Bluehost through my affiliate link on this page.
(It's important to note that “ONLY 25 PEOPLE” can use this option each month. We've limited this option to make sure we can deliver your blog on time and I devote most of my team to working on my business.)
When you select option 2 you get all of the bonuses above and you also get:
Premium WordPress Theme ($89 Per Year Value)- As I mentioned above I own a marketing agency in the Philippines and we have an agency account with several theme providers.
If you decide to have my team setup the website for you then we are going to set you up with the best theme on the market by Elegant Themes(Divi). This theme is drag and drop friendly and will allow you to build anything from a simple blog to a complete master piece if you want to expand in the future.
My team will install Divi for you when they setup your blog.
Install The Best Free & Paid Plugins- When they install your blog they will also install all the best free plugins to help optimize your blog and make sure it's Search Engine friendly. They also will be installing premium social sharing and email optin plugins from Elegant Themes as well.
If you have any questions- Please send an email to my team at firstname.lastname@example.org for the fastest response. They can help you if you're stuck on choosing a domain name or any general questions you may have. You also can send me a message here personally on my fan page.
If you setup the blog yourself- Once you purchase Bluehost through my link make sure to send an email to email@example.com with your receipt from Bluehost and let them know what domain you used with your Bluehost account so they can verify you purchased through me.
If you have my team setup the blog for you- When you purchase Bluehost on this page follow the steps on each page. I will walk you through each step and then you will submit your information for my team to get started on your blog right away.
Now that we got that out of the way we can jump into the tutorial…
How To Start Your Blog In 5 Simple Steps
Here is what we will cover:
1.) Why you want to use WordPress for your new blog.
2.) Choosing your custom domain name.
3.) How to setup your blog with just 1 click (no tech experience needed)
4.) How to customize the design of your blog.
Watch the video below for a step-by-step tutorial to setup your new blog.
Step 1- Why You Want To Use WordPress
WordPress is the industry standard for bloggers.
When you use WordPress you're using the platform all professional bloggers use to build big businesses, but it's beginner friendly enough that anyone can customize their blog to fit their needs without needing technical skills.
Why Everyone Recommends WordPress:
1.) It cost you nothing to use (you only need web hosting like Bluehost and a domain name)
2.) It's beginner friendly so anyone can learn how to start and use their blog.
3.) There are thousands of free and paid themes to create the perfect design for your blog. (You can upload a new design in minutes)
4.) There are thousands of free and paid plugins to create advanced functionality for your blog. (Just requires one click to install)
5.) It's the platform that powers over 99.9% of profitable blogs including my blog.
Why You Shouldn't Create Your Blog On A Free Platform:
I get asked all the time why you can't just use a free platform like Tumblr, Blogspot or Blogger…
All of these platforms are lacking a lot of features and customization options if you're serious about blogging.
Why you should not use a free platform:
1.) You will not be taken seriously- If you want people to trust you and buy products from your website then using a free platform is not a good way to get credibility.
Ask yourself if you would take me seriously if you landed on this blog, but instead my domain name was “zachcrawford.blogspot.com”.
Blogging is one the most affordable businesses you can start so there is absolutely no reason not to have your own hosting and domain name.
2.) Limited to how you can make money- A lot of the free platforms have strict rules on what you can promote or sell. Some of them will not allow you to sell your own products or recommend affiliate products. Even worse some of them display their ads on your blog and you can't control it.
3.) Limited customization options- You will be limited to basic templates when you use a free platform. With WordPress you have thousands of free and paid options to build anything you can possibly dream up.
4.) Zero control- With the free platforms you literally have zero control over your business. They can tell you what you can and can't do, they can run their own advertisements on your content and at any given time they can delete your blog without warning. (Just Google it and you will see it's a real problem)
If you're serious about making a full time income blogging there is only one option – Your own domain and web host.
Blogging is affordable enough that anyone can afford it if they're serious about building a business online.
Step 2- Choosing Your Custom Domain Name
I've created over 200 + websites in my career and I don't think the domain name matters as much as most people will tell you.
What truly matters is your content.
You can have the best domain name, amazing branding and design and make zero dollars if you don't focus on your content.
With that being said I'm going to share a few tips with you to brainstorm ideas for your domain name.
Tip #1- Most good domain names will not be available.
My domain Psychologicallyunemployable.net is a perfect example. I wanted the .com, but it was taken when I started my blog several years back.
I actually own Psychologicallyunemployable.com now because I connected with the guy who owned it years later and negotiated a trade to take it off his hands.
Most of the domain names you think of or want will be owned by domain brokers. I wanted my name Zachcrawford.com, but someone purchased it and they want $2,000 for it. No F^*cking thank you!!!!
A domain name is not that important, I don't care who tells you it is.
If you can get a domain name that is easy to say, spell and remember then by all means snag it up, but a domain name will not define your success.
A perfect example of this is my blog “Psychologically Unemployable”.
When I got started I didn't actually plan to turn this into a marketing and make money online blog it just happened over time.
I created it because I believed i'm truly Psychologically Unemployable and I wanted to document and share my process to reach success and transform my life.
If you think about it Psychologically Unemployable is a mouthful, it's hard to spell and I use the .net
I literally broke all the rules the “so called experts” tell you and yet I made over a million dollars with this blog and my customers all tell me they love the brand name and they too think of themselves as “Psychologically Unemployable”.
So if your favorite domain is taken… Don't let that stop you!
Tip #2- Get the .com if possible
Ideally you want to get the .com if it's available.
It's getting harder and harder to find good .com domain names.
It's best practice to get something that is shorter, easier to say, easy to remember and easy to spell.
If you brainstorm domains with my tips and still can't find a good .com then I would consider getting a .net or .org
Tip #3- Brainstorm words or phrases related to your niche.
One of the best ways to come up with good domain names is to brainstorm keywords that are related to your industry.
I like to do this by playing with broad keyword phrases in Google Instant Search.
Once I start playing with basic keyword ideas I will look at the results for each search and check out competitors websites.
I note down:
- Competitors website names
- Keywords they use in their blog post titles
- Unique keywords Google suggests to me as I try different searches.
You should be able to come up with 50 + different keywords or terms rather quickly by doing this.
Tip #4- Brainstorm slang words or makeup your own words
Don't be afraid to use your own unique sayings or add words onto the end of keywords.
Example: Fitdadhappylife, Fitdadfitness, Fitdadz
If the domain you want isn't available, try adding just one letter or one additional word to get the .com
Tip #5- Use your name if it's available
I've seen people use their personal name for marketing blogs, fitness blogs, personal blogs and just about every major niche you can imagine.
If my personal name was available I would have used it from day one.
Speaking of which if your name is available, I would buy it right now even if you don't plan to use it this very moment. You may want it in the future and then it will cost you $2,000 like my name.
Tip #6- Combine words from your research
If you did a little digging you probably found several keywords you like.
Now combine them to make a catchy domain.
The final step is to see if your domain is available
Once you've selected a few ideas you like you can use this tool to check if the domain is available to purchase.
Step 3- How To Setup Your Blog
Now that you've figured out your domain name it's time to purchase website hosting from Bluehost to setup your blog.
If you prefer to watch me build the website step-by-step then I suggest to watch the video earlier in the post. Watch a few minutes of the video at a time and then pause the video to implement the steps.
If you have any trouble setting up your blog reach out to my support team at firstname.lastname@example.org and we would be happy to help you.
Now if you prefer to follow the post I will walk you through each step visually.
How To Setup Your Blog With Bluehost
The first thing to do is Click here to open up Bluehost in another window then follow each step below.
Click the green “Get Started Now” button on Bluehost's website.
Once you click the green “Get Started Now” button it will bring you to a page with the pricing options that looks like this.
I suggest you just select the basic plan because it's all you need to get started.
If you ever want to create more websites you can upgrade at anytime.
Note: The lower price for $3.95 per month is when you select 36 months of web hosting (paid up front). I suggest you purchase the 36 months for a few reasons:
1.) You're making a commitment- If you're serious about blogging then this shouldn't be an issue with you at all.
You now have 3 years of your web hosting covered and if you follow what I teach you inside my Blogging Mastery training and you attend my weekly coaching sessions you should be making this investment back quick.
2.) You're saving money- This should be a no brainer, but it makes no sense to pay $7.99 month when you can save 50% monthly by purchasing 36 months.
3.) No Risk To You- Bluehost offers a 30 day guarantee. So if for whatever reason you're not happy during the 30 days you can ask for a full refund.
After you select a plan it will take you to a page where you need to enter your “new domain”.
Select the new domain option and type in the domain you decided on in this box.
Hit the next button and it will take you to the next screen…
Now you will need to fill out your basic contact information.
Now you will need to select how many months you want to purchase hosting. As I mentioned above I recommend the 36-month plan because it provides the best value.
Note: Some of the boxes may already be checked, but you don't need all of these options. The only option I suggest to keep is the “Domain Privacy Protection”. This feature will keep your information private from the public.
Once you pay you will get a email with your receipt and also a email with your login details.
At this point before going forward make sure to send an email to email@example.com and let them know you purchased Bluehost through my link and let them know your domain you registered with so they can get you access to your bonuses.
Now once you login to your Bluehost account you should be asked to pick a password for your account.
Once you login to your account you should be asked to pick a theme for your WordPress blog. The screen should look like this.
Just select any of these free themes to get started. You can change this at any time, and I will be showing you how to do this in a bit.
Once you select your theme your screen should look like this.
Select the “Business” option to be taken to the next screen. If for some reason you don't plan to monetize your blog then you can select personal.
You will then be taken to a screen that looks like this.
At this point you can start navigating the WordPress dashboard or publishing your first post, but I'm going to walk you through how to select a theme to customize the design of your site first.
Step 4- How To Customize The Design
Now that you have access to your WordPress dashboard, it's time to customize the look of your blog. Don't worry, it's easy!
I'm going to show you how to pick out a free theme to get you up and running, but I would suggest to upgrade to a premium theme as soon as you have the money to do so.
A free theme will work just fine for a beginner blogger, but they lack a lot of features and tools that a premium theme will provide you.
I will recommend a few premium themes below, but if you're on a budget don't worry the free themes will do just fine to get started.
To change the theme navigate to the left hand side menu. Now click “Appearances” -> then click “Themes.”
Once you click themes it will take you to a page that looks like this… Click on WordPress.org themes.
Now you will land on a screen that looks like this. You can either browse through featured themes or popular themes.
If you like the look of a theme and want to see what it looks like just hover your mouse over the theme – > then click preview.
This will show you what the theme looks like so you can get a better idea if it will fit your needs. Once you like the theme simply hit install and your new theme will be live.
Now if you have more money to invest into your blogging career then I suggest a paid theme.
Paid themes give you more flexibility and tools to work with to create the design you want. Some of the themes even provide you with tools to help build your email subscriber list.
Elegant Themes- You can't go wrong with any of the themes from Elegant Themes. Divi is by far one of the best themes on the market currently because of it's flexibility and drag and drop editor. Divi would be my recommendation to start with.
Elegant themes has been around for years, constantly updating their themes to make them better and have great customer support.
I've built hundreds of websites for clients with Elegant Themes and I use their themes on almost all of my personal websites.
Thrive Themes- My second favorite theme provider is Thrive Themes.
I personally like Thrive Themes because they have a lot of lead generation tools built into their themes to help you build your email subscriber list.
They also have a lot of great plugins that allow you to customize the look and functionality of your blog. You can see an example of that below with the Q&A section.
Frequently Asked Questions & Answers
I've compiled a list of the most common questions I've received over the years about blogging.
The questions are organized by category below and if you click on the question a drop down will appear.
If I didn't cover your question just comment below and I will make sure you get the help you need. If you need any additional help at all you can reach out to my team at firstname.lastname@example.org
How To Start Your Blog:
How much does it cost to start a blog?
Blogging is one of the most affordable ways to get started making money online, but there is a small investment to get started.
The costs can vary depending on if you want to start with a basic setup or you want to purchase tools, premium plugins and premium themes.
My personal recommendation if you're on a budget is to start with a basic WordPress blog with a good web host like Bluehost and then upgrade later with the profits you make from blogging.
You can get 3 years of hosting for about $150. ($50 per year).
I launched my blog when I was in massive debt and 3 years later I was a millionaire. So if you treat blogging seriously it can change your life.
I'm not saying you're going to become a millionaire from blogging, but I believe anyone can make a full time income with blogging if they take it seriously and apply themselves.
I've had about 10 different designs for my blog and at one time I invested around $2,500 into the design to make it fancy.
In the end I switched back to the simple design you see now because it loads faster for my readers which is the most important thing to me and I still make a high multiple six figure a year income with this simple blog.
The point I want to make here is don't let your lack of resources or not having a lot of money stop you. I started my blog when I was $50,000 in debt and struggling.
You can always improve and make things better as you go.
If you want the best bang for your buck to get started with a premium theme and my blogging mastery training to show you how I made my first $500,000 online then I would suggest letting my team setup your blog for you for free here.
Now if you have money to invest into tools and premium design then I will recommend a few resources to you below in some of the other questions people asked about design and tools to use.
What is the best blog host?
I personally recommend Bluehost.
I've built thousands of websites for clients with my agency on Bluehost and I've used Bluehost myself for years on 100's of my affiliate sites.
The other reason is because it's very beginner friendly and you can setup your WordPress website with a click of a button. (literally)
If you don't want to setup the blog yourself when you purchase Bluehost through my affiliate link on this page my team will:
- Setup your blog for you for free
- Set you up with a premium WordPress theme – Divi. ($89 a year value)
- Install the best plugins (free and paid)
- Give you access to my Blogging Mastery training which will teach you how I made my first $500,000 with blogging.
How can I start a blog for free?
I get this question a lot from people who don't want to invest anything into starting their business.
I'm going to be 100% honest with you here…
If you're not willing to invest the small amount into getting your own custom domain name and web hosting then you will never do well with owning your own business.
You can start a business online with very little investment, but some things you absolutely can't sacrifice and using free web site builders or free web hosting is an absolute “No, No” if you're serious about creating a successful blog.
Here is a few reasons why using a free platform will make it impossible to succeed as a blogger:
- You will not be trusted- When someone goes to your website and sees you're using “yourname.blogger .com” they're going to hit the back button before even reading your content. People will not purchase products from a website, brand or person they don't trust.
- No control over your content- When you use a free platform you have zero control over your content. At anytime the free platform can decide they don't like what you're doing and delete your website without warning.
- Limited options to customize your blog- Most of the free platforms have very little customization options like plugins and themes available. This gives you very little flexibility to modify your website for the needs of your business.
- No custom domain name- As mentioned above no one will take you seriously with a domain like “yourname.blogger .com”. You can get a free custom domain name when you purchase Bluehost.
Do I need a web developer to customize my blog?
It's not necessary to have a web developer/designer to create a beautiful blog if you're using WordPress.
WordPress uses what is called “Themes” which makes it very easy to customize and tweak things on your own.
In fact even the more advanced themes a complete beginner could learn to make look amazing with studying video tutorials in a weekend.
I prefer simple themes that are both desktop and mobile friendly like Elegant themes. The Divi theme from Elegant themes is one of the most beginner friendly themes you can use and it allows you to build just about anything you can imagine with their drag and drop editor.
If you purchase Bluehost through my affiliate link here my team will set you up with the Divi theme($89 per year value) and install everything for you because I have an agency account.
Where can I find custom WordPress Themes?
As mentioned before my personal favorite is Elegant themes.
My second favorite theme provider is Thrive Themes. I use their premium plugins for optin forms and even this very drop down feature you're reading this post with is a Thrive plugin.
Another great place you can find good themes is ThemeForest.
I can personally vouch for Elegant Themes and Thrive Themes, but when picking a theme somewhere like ThemeForest make sure to do your research and read customer reviews.
Some developers don't update their themes and that is why I stick to Studiopress because they've been around for years and they're well trusted.
Where can I get a logo or custom graphics made?
For logos and small graphic design jobs I recommend Fiverr.com.
I've been using this site for years to get logos made for my affiliate websites and small jobs. If you're just starting out this is the best place to start.
You can find logos for as little as $5 and the price goes up based on peoples reputation and how complex of a logo you want created.
This option is for someone who has money to invest into growing their blog business.
I'm not a good writer! What options do I have?
I will be honest, I don't consider myself a good writer.
I still to this day struggle with grammar and spelling from my motorcycle accident back in 2006. However I didn't let that stop me.
Even if you have the best grammar and spelling I don't think you will be a good writer.
Writing is a skill and just like anything new you try to accomplish, it will take practice to get better.
These days I focus more on video because I communicate better with video than I do with writing, but I try to constantly write to develop the skill.
Now if you absolutely don't want to write you can do video or podcasts, but I would suggest to transcribe the video or audio and publish a written version on your blog as well to help your content rank in Google search.
If you're still interested in writing I would like to suggest a few tips I've applied to get better:
1.) I write like I would talk in person- Throw out the “professional” image you have in your head and embrace who you're. The beauty of the internet is that you can be yourself and there will be an audience who will love you.
2.) Short sentences and paragraphs- If you look closely you will see I write in 2-3 sentences max to make it easy to read.
3.) Listen to feedback- Screw listening to haters who hide behind a keyboard, but be open to constructive criticism. By listening to my readers over the years I've developed my ability to communicate with them better.
4.) Less thinking and more doing- If you spend too much time thinking about it you will never stick with it. You will get better the more you write. Most people write 1-2 posts and then compare themselves to someone who has been blogging for 5 years. This is not a fare comparison. Focus on getting better everyday.
Can I do a video blog instead of writing?
The short answer is Yes.
My blog is more of a video blog now.
I still write content from time to time, but I focus more on video content with Youtube and then I have written transcriptions or summaries of what the video is about for my blog.
If you prefer to do video my suggestion is to make a transcription yourself of the video or you can have transcriptions outsourced at places like Rev.com
The transcription is useful because it will help your blog post rank in Google to help people find your content.
Can I do a Podcast instead of writing?
The short answer is Yes.
If you prefer to do a podcast my suggestion is to make a transcription yourself of the audio or you can have transcriptions outsourced at places like Rev.com
The transcription is useful because it will help your blog post rank in Google to help people find your content.
What type of content should I create?
This question could be a dedicated blog post or training by itself.
Inside of my free course I teach you how to research your audience and figure out exactly what content they want you to create.
However these are basic types of content you can create:
- Interviews- You can interview people in your niche who already have credibility. Some of the biggest podcasts are based on this model.
- How to posts- Tutorials and step-by-step posts like this post on how to start your blog work well in almost all niches.
- List posts- One of the most popular posts that work in all niches are list posts. Example: 7 Foods You Can Eat To Shed Belly Fat.
- Google & Youtube Research- Go to Google or Youtube and just start typing in terms you think people would use to search for information in your niche. Look for popular blogs and Youtube channels to get ideas on content you can create yourself.
Another great tool you can use is Buzzsumo. You just type in a search phrase and it will find the most popular articles on the web for that search term.
If you haven't signed up for my free course yet I would suggest to do so. I walk you through step-by-step how to research and create the right content that will help you generate leads and sales for your blog.
How often do I need to blog?
This is a question that could have a different answer depending who you ask.
There are successful bloggers who create one blog post a month and spend their remaining time promoting the blog post with either social media or paid advertising.
Then there are bloggers who blog daily, weekly or several times a week.
I honestly don't think there is a right or wrong answer here, but the real answer is how much time do you want to dedicate to your blog?
For me I create content very frequently, but I spend most of my time building my audience with Youtube and I also do paid advertising.
For yourself maybe you want to blog 1 time a week and spend your time promoting the post to get people back to your blog.
The important thing is to pick a schedule and stick with it. The people who are successful with blogging create a schedule and they're very consistent.
The people who're not successful with blogging just do it whenever they feel like it. That is a recipe for disaster.
If you're a stay at home mom for example and have lots of free time you may find you love creating content and prefer to blog more often.
Personally I think creating content frequently in the start is good to develop your ability to write and once you feel good about your writing you focus on higher quality content and spend more time on promotion.
The most important thing is to get started and don't wait for the perfect time because there never will be a perfect time to start.
How many words should your content be to rank in Google?
Years ago when I started my very first website the industry standard was 500 words to get your blog post to rank.
Now based on case studies and research I've read people say 1,500-2,000 words is the sweet spot to get your content to rank.
I find this to be true because longer form content generally is very detailed and answers the search someone types into Google better than a blog post with just 750 words.
However, with that being said I don't think you should create all of your content to be a specific word count focused on ranking in Google.
You want to focus on writing your content to your readers first and foremost. So if it takes you 750 words, 1,000 words, 1,500 words or 5,000 words to get your point across and help your reader then that is what is most important.
Now another thing to consider is how your readers respond to the length of your content.
If you're writing long form content and your readers are not engaging with the content it wont do you much good to rank at the top of Google.
So for myself personally I don't focus on a specific word count. I try to keep my content as short, sweet and to the point as possible to explain the concept i'm trying to teach.
Sometimes that means the content will be 1,000 words and sometimes it can be as much as 5,000 words +.
I think when you focus on creating content your readers love and listening to their feedback then you can find a happy medium that helps your content get more Google love and also keeps your readers happy and coming back for more.
Can I outsource my content?
This is one of those questions that will vary depending on who you ask…
In my opinion the answer is both yes and no.
Getting high quality content is going to cost a premium. A lot more than most people just starting out can afford.
I learned this lesson the hard way with my first website on HVAC (Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning).
I outsourced a bunch of cheap articles for $20 a piece and I got the site to rank at the top of Google for most of my search phrases. The problem was that no one was buying the products I recommended because the content sucked and therefore people left my site.
Understand that no one is going to take your blog or business as serious as you do. So if you want to outsource content you can, but it's going to cost a premium to find a great writer.
I also personally find the best blogs are written by one person and people fall in love with that person and their unique perspective. So if you're asking me can you outsource the content I would tell you “NO” for most scenarios.
I would never outsource content for my blog unless it was a high quality guest post from someone who is an expert on what they're teaching my audience.
How To Get People To Read Your Blog:
How do I get people to read my blog?
Generating traffic (people) to your blog is rather simple.
In my Free course I share with you my best strategies that will guarantee you get laser targeted people back to your blog that will read your content, subscribe to your email list and generate sales for your business.
There are literally so many traffic sources now you have unlimited options. My personal suggestion for any beginner is to always pick one traffic source at a time and focus everything you have to master driving traffic back to your blog.
You can never go wrong with Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, Pinterest, Google and Forums.
Traffic is a very simple equation:
1.) Where does your audience hangout? Go There!
2.) How do they communicate on that channel? Do research and figure out how best to connect with them on that channel.
3.) Then you create content that answers their questions to help them.
4.) You share your content with them leading them back to your blog and ideally collecting their email.
If you pick one traffic source and focus on it you will be able to send a steady stream of traffic back to your blog. Once you get good with one traffic source you can add in a second, third and so on.
What is the best traffic sources for blogging?
I don't think there is a “best” traffic source to be honest.
One person will tell you Facebook, another person Instagram and if you ask me it's Youtube and Google search.
The important thing to consider is where does your audience hangout and also which channel do you want to build?
Then from there you focus on mastering the platform and driving traffic back to your blog.
The right traffic source will be the one you pick and decide to focus on and get good at.
Do I have to use social media to be successful with blogging?
You don't have to use social media, but I think it's a good idea.
In my early years I focused almost 100% of my time on blogging because I hated the idea of social media.
Eventually I realized social media is a great way to develop the relationship with your audience and to connect with them outside of your blog and email subscriber list.
Social media is also a great tool to remind them you published new content to bring them back to your blog.
My suggestion is to pick one social media channel you plan to really focus on and go deep by learning to master the platform.
It's just not realistic to master 3-5 platforms if you're a one man/woman show. Once you get one platform down then think about adding a second channel.
How To Build Your Email List:
Do I need to build an email subscriber list?
You don't have to build an email subscriber list, but it would be a huge mistake.
If you look at any big blogger that actually makes significant money you will see that the key to their success is building an email list.
I view a blog as a marketing tool that helps me build a relationship with new readers and previous readers.
I view my email list as my real asset/business.
Without and email list there is no way I would have made a million dollars plus from this blog.
If you don't collect emails you will be missing out on a lot of potential income. Most people don't buy the first time they land on your blog.
You also will lose lots of readers because some people will land on your blog and never come back. However, if you collect their email you can bring them back when you publish new content or want to send them to an offer they can purchase.
My income shot through the roof once I started collecting emails on my blog. So my suggestion is to start building your email list from day one.
What is the best email marketing provider for bloggers?
My personal recommendation and the email autoresponder I use is Convertkit.
I've used many programs in the past like Aweber, ActiveCampaign and Drip. Many of these programs are very confusing for a beginner and some of them I had a hard time using myself.
Convertkit is very easy to navigate and as your business grows it will allow you to do more advanced email marketing with segmentation.
You can start as a beginner and learn how to master the basics of email marketing with Convertkit, but have peace of mind knowing you wont need to find another email autoresponder when you're ready to do advanced email marketing.
The reason I like Convertkit is because it was built by bloggers for bloggers.
Convertkit makes it very easy to build email sequences when someone subscribes to your blog to receive your free giveaway.
Now another great benefit about Convertkit is their built in email subscriber forms.
If you don't have the money to invest in a tool like Clickfunnels to build nice email optin forms and squeeze pages then Convertkit is a great tool to use when you get started.
What are the best tools to build your email list?
I personally only use two tools to build my email list.
#1 Recommendation is Clickfunnels. I literally use this tool every single day on both my blog and when I drive traffic from other sources like Facebook ads to a landing page.
Clickfunnels lets you do optin pop up's, squeeze pages, landing pages, webinar pages and build complete sales funnels to market your products or affiliate products.
If you have the money this tool will do everything you need and more. Clickfunnels will integrate with any popular email autoresponder on the market.
#2 Recommendation is Thrive Leads.
With Thrive Leads you can build optin forms, pop up optin forms and even landing pages for your blog. Thrive leads will integrate with any popular email autoresponder on the market.
If you don't have the money to invest in paid tools I would just use the optin forms and landing page builder with Convertkit.
I would however recommend to reinvest money when you can into one of the tools above because you have more options to customize your optin's and they have a lot more features that will make building your email list much easier.
General Blogging Questions:
How do bloggers make money?
There are many different ways people make money from their blog and some are better than others. I cover this in detail and teach you how to pick the right monetization path for your blog in my free course.
These are the four I recommend:
1.) Email Marketing- Building your email list is the most profitable business model online in my opinion. Email marketing is used with every major business online even Amazon.com.
The reason you want to build an email list is because it's an asset. Maybe in the start you promote affiliate products, but one day if you ever change your mind and decide to create your own products you already have an audience you can market your products to.
I always prefer to collect the email over make a sale. When you collect the email you have the ability to create repeat customers who will purchase multiple products or recommendations from you.
2.) Affiliate Marketing- This is the business model I recommend all beginners to intermediate start with.
Affiliate marketing is the process of marketing someone else's product and you get a commission when you refer someone to purchase the product through your unique link.
It's much easier to learn marketing and how to sell products correctly when you're selling proven products people already buy.
Once you learn how to sell affiliate products it's very easy to sell your own products.
I've made a million dollars with affiliate marketing not even including my products. So affiliate marketing can be a full time income without ever needing to create your own products.
3.) Consulting- If you want to venture into selling your own products or services the best place to start is with one to one consulting.
Consulting allows you to really get to know your customers and how you can help them best. Once you refine your teaching process you can create your own digital products to leverage your time and make more money.
4.) Product Creation- I love creating my own products, but this is not a beginner friendly way to make money online.
This requires more skills and knowledge to make profitable. Once you can make a full time income with affiliate marketing you can 10x your profits by creating your own products.
Make sure to signup for my free course here where I teach you how to turn your blog into a six figure income.
How much money can you make from a blog?
I've personally made over a million dollars that I can tie back directly to my blog.
I have other sources of income, but my blog was a big piece to helping me make a large percentage of my income.
My average month is around $50,000 + and I'm working to getting my income over $100,000 + a month.
How much you can make all comes down to how much time you dedicate to building your blog. Obviously the more consistent you're over a long period of time the results will compound and your income can grow.
I personally think someone could build a $10,000-$20,000 month income in 6-12 months if they treated this like a real business and constantly focus on getting better.
If you haven't subscribed to my free course I suggest to do so now because I teach you all the steps you need to take to become a pro blogger and make blogging a full time career.
What pages do I need on my blog?
When you start your blog I would start with the basic pages below:
1.) About Page- This is a page to explain who you're or what your blog is about.
2.) Contact Page- This page is so someone can contact you. You can use the WordPress plugin “Contact Form 7” to create a form so people can email you.
3.) Terms of Service- This is a page that explains how your blog operates and it is to protect you legally.
5.) Affiliate or Earnings Disclaimer- This page explains to your visitors how you earn money on your website.
Those are the basic pages I would setup when you launch your blog.
What are the best WordPress plugins to use?
I don't suggest loading up your blog with plugins when you get started.
I follow a general rule of thumb to only use what I need.
Sometimes when you start adding lots of plugins it can cause your website to slow down or different plugins just don't work well together.
For that reason I keep my blog pretty lean so the blog loads fast and it makes the user experience better for my readers.
Good plugins to start with:
Yoast SEO- This is my favorite plugin to use for Search Engine Optimization for my blog posts.
WP Smush- This plugin will compress your images and help your website load faster.
WP Super Cache- This plugin helps with site load speed.
Akismet-Anti Spam- This helps prevent blog comment spammers.