Want to get your blog off the ground?
Whether you blog as a hobby or want to turn it into a business, then these tips will help get your blog off the ground and get you noticed by the right people.
A lot of us want to have a successful blog that brings in thousands of views each month, sells lots of affiliate products or your own products and services and connects you to people all over the world.
Personally, I am trying to turn my blog into a full-time business, which is no easy feat!
When you first get into the world of blogging, it can be so overwhelming.
There are thousands of posts, courses, and videos with advice, tips, and walk-throughs to help you, and knowing what to do first can be a nightmare!
We all want to do the best things to really boost our blog and get it out there, but knowing what to choose and which way to turn isn’t always that simple.
I decided to create a guide of the 10 things you need to do in your first six months of blogging. These are the things that I’ve discovered during my first six months of running Digital Millions and have implemented myself. I’ve learned them from trial and error and working out the things that work and the things that don’t.
But don’t forget, we all have to learn and we all make mistakes along the way.
It’s okay to get things wrong, to try things out, and to experiment.
There isn’t a definite way of doing things in relation to blogging and you should always give things a go! There’s no harm in trying!
1. Get A Good Hosting Company
If you want to turn your blog into a business, then you are going to need to become self-hosted. I explain in more detail in my post how to start a blog.
Being self-hosted gives you ownership of your blog, rather than using a free service such as Blogger or Wix. If you want to make money from your blog, then it’s necessary to become self-hosted.
I use HostGator, and I cannot fault them.
They provide a great service, quick and simple hosting, and have an amazing live chat service that you can contact 24/7 if you are having any issues.
I’ve had to contact them when my site went down, and they gave me great advice. It turned out that it was due to a plugin that I was using, but HostGator still did all it could to help and investigate the issue.
They are also really reasonably priced for the service you get and I definitely recommend them as your web host. Click Get Started Now and you can have a look at the packages available depending on the level your site is currently at.
2. Choose A Beautiful, Customisable WordPress Theme
To begin with, you will most likely have chosen a free theme.
I certainly did when I started Digital Millions. But as time goes on, and you want to make a stunning website, then you are going to need to buy a premium theme. You can get all sorts of amazing ones from StudioPress.
My theme is the Blocksy theme which costs $49 and it has a free version.
Once you’ve chosen the right theme for you and your blog, you will find that all you need to do is customize it and make tweaks!
When I used free ones I was changing them constantly because they just didn’t look right and didn’t have the functionality that I needed.
Now, using the Blocksy theme, I never want to change it!
I just make simple changes, and I would definitely recommend settling on a theme that you know will work for you long-term.
3. Choose An Email Service Provider
To run your blog as a business you will need to collect email addresses. It’s a huge part of becoming successful and something you should start doing right away.
I use GetResponse as my email service provider.
I’ve tried out a few and finally settled on GetResponse.
They are really useful and provide amazing software. You can get up all kinds of sign-up forms, including freebie exchanges, where the download is right there in the form. They enter their email address and are directed to the download immediately.
You can also send newsletters, surveys, and more directly from the site, and the autoresponder service is so easy to set up and use.
I cannot fault them and have been so happy with the service.
They are also an affordable option depending on the size of your list!
4. Social Media Icons
An obvious one, perhaps, but people often forget to include these on their site!
Make sure that they are displayed prominently on your homepage and anywhere else you see fit such as your sidebar.
I have mine displayed on my homepage, at the top of my site.
Having your social links on your site will help any potential brands and collaborators easily see and connect with you. They can check your followers and your social presence with ease and this is exactly what you want!
5. Logo & Header
If you are looking to turn your blog into a business, then you definitely going to need a logo. It really helps you stand out and set yourself apart.
It also becomes what you are recognized for, and becomes part of your brand. You can pay to have a logo made up for you, or you can create one yourself.
A great tool for creating any kind of graphics is Canva. I use Canva all the time, as they have so many amazing tools that you can use to create beautiful images.
I created mine using Canva, and I am very happy with it now. It looks pretty and distinctive, and I love the minimalistic design.
6. Branding – Fonts & Colour Theme
To create the full ensemble of having your own personal brand, you need to create a font set and color theme that connects to your site.
Use it for everything – your blog, your social media, and any other elements of your business.
It makes such a difference in how cohesive your blog looks and how you come across as a brand. Settle on a set and write them down somewhere so that you don’t forget, and you can use them across anything you create.
7. An Affiliate Marketing System
Certainly, if you are looking to make money from your blog, then using affiliate marketing is a great way. It’s a passive form of income that you can earn money from without having to sell your own products or services.
Personally, I think it is a great way to add a form of income to your blog.
I use Awin, which I came across one day when researching ways to make money from All In My Head. It’s an amazing affiliate network, full of access to hundreds of brands. You pay £5 to get set up, but this is returned to you once you have been authorized [and reached the payment threshold].
I have formed affiliations with some massive brands through Awin.
There are a number of affiliate networks you can use but I would definitely recommend Awin, as there is so much choice and they are so easy to use.
You can have a look at their site here.
8. A Scheduling System For Social Media
Once you have quite a few posts under your belt and you are trying to promote, advertise, write new content, connect with other bloggers, and generally keep up with #allthethings, it is important to use automation to help you with getting your content out there. It makes life a lot easier, and I know I’m all for making things easier for myself.
I would recommend trying out two different automated scheduling tools, and so far I have been massively impressed with what they can do.
Buffer is great for scheduling posts on Twitter and Facebook.
It will help you set up the perfect times to share your posts, and will make it easier to get your content out there. You can spend a couple of hours setting up all your posts for the week and then you don’t have to worry about it!
The only thing I would advise is to be careful when using it with Instagram, as I’ve heard it can lead to you being shadowbanned.
Tailwind is used in conjunction with Pinterest. It’s an official partner of Pinterest, which is a great thing because it means they are happy for you to use it with their platform!
You can set up a schedule of all your Pinterest graphics, and external images from other people. Just download the Tailwind Chrome extension and you can schedule anything you like directly into your own Pinterest account.
It has created a schedule based on the best times that Pinterest sees the engagement for my pins. You can, however, use the clock icon to add or remove time slots based on your own personal preference.
Using these kinds of scheduling tools will take hours off your daily to-do list and give you the time to concentrate on other important elements, such as creating content!
9. A Media Kit
A media kit is basically a CV for your blog.
It is full of really useful information that you would want to share with a brand or collaborator should the opportunity arise.
You can also send it to brands yourself with a friendly email.
You can go and reach out for opportunities!
Basically, you need to showcase who you are, what you blog about, your stats, and the opportunities you offer.
Your Own Product/Service To Sell
Whilst selling affiliate marketing products can be amazing for your blog, and bring in significant income, it’s always best to have some form of product or service that you sell that is completely your own.
It gives you the freedom and the ownership of your products, and you have complete control of what happens with them.
If you want to change them, reduce the prices, add new items or take your business in a completely different direction then you’re free to do whatever you want.
I use WooCommerce and they are great for setting up your own e-commerce store with ease. They take care of adding in all the new pages for you and get everything set up for you. All you need to do is personalize it, and add your products.
This is a relatively new venture for me but one that I am very excited about.
I offer Blogging Consultancy services for people who are wanting to start a blog or have just started one, and need some help with setting up certain elements of their site.
I also help those who currently have a live blog but are stuck in a rut and are struggling to get out of it.
It could be that you need help with social media management.
Or, you want someone to help design you a logo. It could be that you need someone to help you direct traffic to your site.
I wanted to create a system where people can get help with their own site, rather than using generic tips that may or may not relate to their site and their vision.
Courses can be amazing, and I’ve used some myself.
However, I like the idea of being able to give people specific advice that relates to their site, and their dreams. I want to be able to give people the advice that they really need. Or on that one specific area that is frustrating them the most.
If you are interested in the Blogging Consultancy Service and would like more information, please contact me.
I hope you have found this post useful and informative.
If you have any questions or need help with anything, then please let me know! I am happy to help my fellow bloggers.