Last updated on August 1st, 2018 at 06:37 pm
Why do people write blogs? Are there really any benefits to blogging that can make it worth my while? If you have laid awake at night wondering if you should start a blog and what it actually takes to succeed, you are in the right place.
By the time you get done reading this post, you’ll understand why first-time bloggers are willing to work so hard in hopes of turning their hobby into a business.
You will also find out the 4 things you absolutely must have to get started and succeed. So grab your favorite beverage and let’s get started.
Why Do People Write Blogs?
So many of us start our blogs with the intentions of helping people through our content. Our goal is to be the best blogger possible.
Then there are some of us who start a blog in hopes of turning it into a full-time business.
A lot of bloggers nowadays decide to start a blog because we’re tired of trading hours for dollars. With the cost of everything continuing to go up, except our wages, we have no choice but to start a side hustle.
I was watching the Today Show the other day and there was a segment that was talking about how the 24% of Americans now have side hustles.
Not all of these people are doing side hustles because they want to, but they were forced into it because their full-time job just isn’t enough. (which is very sad in my opinion)
We’ve all been there, where we go to work at a job that we may or may not like. When payday comes and all the bills are paid, there’s barely anything left for fun.
Which sucks and that’s why so many people are starting blogs. They want to take control of their financial future.
Maybe you fall into that category where you are tired of going to work only to pay the bills? If so, then I have great news, you can start your own self-hosted WordPress blog and start working towards your passive income lifestyle.
If Others Can Do It So Can You
If you have never had a blog in your life, then you’re probably thinking?
- How do I get started?
- What blog topics do I write about?
- Can I start for free
- How does blogging work?
- How do bloggers get paid?
There are endless questions running through your head right now. You might even be skeptical that it’s possible to become a professional blogger and get paid.
In fact, if you gave in to all those blogging questions swirling around in your head, it’s enough to make you stop before you start.
We’ve all had those thoughts at one point in our lives. What I can tell you is that it is indeed possible to learn how to start and make money with a blog.
If you are completely new to blogging, I recommend signing up with this free 12-Day Blogging BootCamp. It will help you lay the proper foundation for your blog.
Blogging Is Simple
Now before you get all excited and start your blog with unrealistic expectations, I want to make sure you understand what I mean.
Creating a successful blog does take time, but it all boils down to a specific formula.
That formula is to provide valuable content that helps your readers solve their problems. You do this by writing long-form content and learning how to promote your blog.
As you continue writing content, you will use your blog data Analytics to help you find out what your audience loves. This will help you write more content that helps your readers.
Eventually, you’ll know what and who your target audience is looking for. Once you do this, then you’re golden because writing blog posts will come naturally. Which will help you stay on a blogging schedule you can maintain easily.
The most important thing to remember is to find out what your audience wants and give provide them with what they need. This is the fastest way to make money online.
If you’ve been thinking about starting a blog, then here are the only 5 things you need to get started.
5 Things You Need to Create a Successful Blog
1. A Working Website
You might have heard people say that you need to start on a self-hosted WordPress site if you’re serious about building a business. While I personally think that having a self-hosted WordPress blog gives you more advantages than a free platform.
You’ll be able to choose a theme that looks like you paid a thousand dollars for, not to mention that it will be mobile friendly without you having to touch a code.
You do not need to invest in a $1200 custom design for your new blog. Your visitors are NOT going to care if your blog is plain. As long as your blog provides them with the information that they came looking for, you’ll be fine.
Later on, if you want to spend the money on a custom design, you can. For beginners, I recommend getting a great looking theme from StudioPress or Restored 316. You’ll also need to get the Genesis Framework.
Not only that, but you’ll have the option to choose from several different plugins that will help you improve the functionality of your blog. Here’s a list of plugins I recommend for new bloggers.
Many bloggers choose to start on a free platform because they do not want to invest in hosting their blogs. The truth is that getting reliable hosting for a new blog doesn’t have to make it break it decision.
It’s extremely affordable and it is the same hosting account that I use for this blog. Once you reach your first 25,000 pageviews, you can either upgrade to the next level on SiteGround or move to a different hosting account.
I personally plan on moving this site when I reach my first 25,000 pageviews. The only reason that I am considering migrating my site to another hosting account is that you always get new customer discounts on pretty much every hosting company.
2. Write Great Content
You do not have to write the next New York Best Seller, but you do need to learn how to write amazing content that helps your readers. That being said, you want to learn how to make your content entertaining.
No one wants to read a blog where it sounds robotic and nothing more. I know that I prefer to read blog posts where the blogger injects some of their personality into their blog posts.
It’s much more entertaining and helps me learn a little more about the blogger. When I started this blog, I had a very hard time sharing my personal journey or failures online.
I’m an introvert and hate being the center of attention. However, as I started getting more comfortable with my writing, I started injecting more stories into my blog posts.
I am not as good as some of the blogs that I love to read, and I have a lot of work to go. The point is that I no longer feel the need to hide behind my monitor and blog anonymously.
My content has helped some readers and I love it when they send me an email like this.
Start putting yourself in your reader’s shoes. What type of content would they expect to find on your blog? Choose a popular blog topic that people actually enjoy reading. Of course, you can also use your blog data Analytics to help you uncover content you should be writing about on your blog.
You Won’t Who You Are Writing to at the Beginning
Most bloggers who have been blogging for awhile will tell you that you should know who you’re writing to. The truth is that most of us have no idea who is the target audience is.
Sure we might know a little bit about them. After all, if you started a “vegan food blog” then your target audience is going to be anyone who is a vegan.
It’s great that you know who you are writing to. But the truth is that you’re going to have to start learning what type of content makes people want to click and read your blog posts.
There’s more to it than just writing great content. You need to learn how to write blog titles that make people want to click.
As you continue writing content, you will want to make sure that your blog posts are properly SEO optimized so you can start ranking on Google.
Don’t freak out or throw in the towel yet. That’s one of the reasons that so many people say that blogging is a long-term strategy. It takes time to become a good blogger.
With every blog post that you create, you will improve your writing skills, SEO skills, design skills and promotional skills. Before you know it, you’ll have your own blog promotion checklist that you follow each and everytime you publish a new post.
3. Email List
We hear it all the time, the money is in the list. If you want to make money blogging, you need to start focusing on growing your email list.
Yet, most of us put off building our email list until we’ve been blogging for a while. When I started this blog, I set up my opt-in forms and created a freebie that got me some subscribers.
But to tell you the truth, I never focused on improving the conversions on my blog. I love writing blog posts, but when it comes to promotion and email list building, I am not that good.
Instead of working on improving my skills, I figured as long as I had a lead magnet I was okay. The truth is that you need to keep testing different lead magnets to see what improves your conversions.
Since working on my conversions, I am now averaging around 150 – 200 subscribers per month. There’s still a lot of improvements that I can make, but it’s a lot better than when I used to get 20 subscribers per month.
This is the plugin that helped me improve the conversions. Plus I’ve been able to test out different lead magnets by setting up a resource library in WordPress.
Don’t wait until you’ve been blogging for 6 months or a year to start growing your email list using your WordPress blog. Learn as much as you can about growing your list.
This means that you’ll have to read what other bloggers like Jennifer Maker did to increase her email list to thousands of followers in just a year.
Your email list is going to play a huge role in whether people buy your products, services and affiliate recommendations.
As I mentioned above, blogging is a long-term strategy. This means that you will have to work on your blog business day on a daily basis. No, you don’t have to write daily blog posts.
I don’t publish blog posts every day, but I do try to write at least 1,000 words per day. One of the things that you will have to get used to is writing content.
Whether you are writing content for your social media networks, blog posts, products, emails or autoresponders. You are going to have to learn how to write.
The cool thing is that if you’re not a fast typer when you started your blog, your typing skills will improve. When I first started my blog, I probably typed around 20 words per minute.
If your typing skills suck like mine did, try improving your typing speed with this free online test. If you can get faster at typing, you’ll be able to churn out content quickly and focus on other important areas in your blogging business.
When you first start your blog, you’ll be excited. It’s always exciting to start a new venture.
The hard part is staying motivated day in day out when you’re working so hard on growing your blog. Only to hear crickets and you’re not making money at the beginning stages.
Unfortunately, many new bloggers will give up because they start to think they will NEVER make any money from their blogs.
It’s hard to continue when you are putting in all the work on the front end and nothing is happening. You’re not making any money from your affiliate links. No one is even reading your blog posts.
This is the part where most new bloggers quit. When I was at the beginning stages, all my close friends and family told me I was crazy to keep working so hard.
I was working hard writing my foundational content, weekly blog posts and learning how to promote my content. It felt like I was on a hamster wheel day in and day out.
There are still some days where I still feel like I have no clue what I am doing. But that doesn’t stop me from chasing my dream of passive income.
You can call me crazy or you can call me persistent. I personally think that every blogger who is serious and is building a business has to have a little bit of craziness in them. (or as my close friends and family say being psycho)
After all, not many people are going to keep persisting for months or even years before they start to make an income.
What I Can Tell You
As long as you keep blogging and keep working on improving your blog, you will see results. It may not be as quick as you want.
I am an optimistic person at heart and I truly believe that there is enough room on the Internet for all of us to have success. As long as you are building a legitimate business and trying to help your readers.
You will succeed. So whatever you do, just keep doing something to help you grow your blog each and every day.
Final Take Away
Don’t believe those income reports that say you can make it big online in just 5 months. Yes, some blogging niches are more popular than others.
If you are building a real business and you do not come from an entrepreneurial background, there is a lot to learn. This free 12-Day Blogging BootCamp course will help you understand what it takes to become a blogger.
Don’t stop believing that you will reach your goals. Work hard and one day you’ll look back and see what you created online.
Hand Picked Articles for You
- What Kind of Blog Should I Start for The Confused and Clueless
- How to Get Followers On Your Blog and Make the Most of Your Blog Traffic
- 11 Ways to Improve Your Blog Right Now
Are you considering starting your blog or have you started it already? I’d love to hear about your experience.
Recommended Blogging Resources:
- Free 12 Day Blogging Bootcamp
- Article about using Yoast SEO for optimizing your blog posts and how to do it.
- SEMRush Free Trial to Gather Low Competitive Keywords
- Quiz: Which theme is best for your blog?
- If you want to build an email list and send newsletters, I recommend ConvertKit (starts at $29)