How to Be Your Own Boss 101: the perfect newbie guide!
Starting a blog and making money sounds like something only outgoing people and social media experts do. But to be honest, I’ve gotten to known some bloggers who started theirs just so they can quit their 9 to 5 jobs and travel the world full-time. That was a huge inspiration to me! I was craving being my own boss and working from anywhere in the world. The ideal laptop lifestyle!
So starting a blog doesn’t have to be a famous person’s thing. But it does take work and a lot in the beginning!
I have spent a solid 6 weeks just writing content and recipes so when I did get the traffic to my blog, every person has lots to look at and explore. I’m not a professional writer but I think of it as if I’m writing to my best friend and that way I can write for hours.
It’s important to have 15-25 posts ready before launching. And good posts like over 500 words at least.
I say this because if you put a lot of effort into getting readers to your blog, wouldn’t you want them to stick around a little bit and be curious enough to keep coming back?I sure do!
So I make sure to have longer posts and more eye-catching content, like “How to Make Money From Anywhere in the World!” or “How to Work From Home and Quit Your 9 to 5 Job.” Oh one more “How to Pay Off Your Student Loans Without Selling Your Soul.” I know a lot of my friends and many others who would love to learn that!
For me, it was more about being DEBT FREE and traveling whenever and wherever I want! Doesn’t that sound nice! 🙂
Whatever your reason is, you are here and are curious enough to learn more about life’s new possibilities!
Take a second and think about what you would like to change or improve, well I have the solution for you. Right Here!
Look, I’m not an expert by any means but before I started my blog I did a lot of research, and I mean A LOT! My head was spinning lol!
Now, there is such a thing of having too much information and this creates a desire to be absolutely perfect before doing anything. Then you become too overwhelmed to even start, well this happened to me so I’m giving you the bullet points that I believe are the most successful and simple points.
I was looking up the top earners in the lifestyle blog world because I knew that’s what I was going to write about and I saw the common link between all of them. (This goes for all types of blogs niches not just lifestyle)
What I Found Out:
- Each top blogger is being themselves, no gimmicks and no BS. Readers can smell it fake from miles away!
- They each put time and effort into everything from spending 40 + hours a week (sometimes 80 hours) to design a universal friendly website. (The truth is it’s a lot easier than you might think and I’ll show you in a little).
- Lastly, they give the readers something that they can get immediately satisfaction. Now, this might take some practice but definitely doable, like providing a service/downloading an e-book, giving some tips with a recipe that they might not have known before, or letting the reader feel like the author knows what they have been through and knowing they aren’t alone.
This is just some of what I picked up but these I feel are super important!
So let’s get to how do I actually start a WordPress blog?
Well for starters, its way easier than you actually think like I said before.
STEP 1: Signing up for Hosting
Do Not, and I repeat DO NOT go with a free blogging profile. Yes you can get traffic, but making money on them is so hard (and to be honest, some people and companies won’t take you seriously!) So sign up for a hosting site like Bluehost which is $3.95/month right now if you go through my link now. Also when you click on to my link you get a FREE domain name ($15/annually for FREE)! It’s super simple to get and they have awesome support to walk you through it.
If you are interested in ever making money off your blog (whether its now or later), freelancing or turning it into a business, then paying for your hosting, such as through Bluehost, is a MUST. It’s extremely cheap as well to go through Bluehost AND you get a free domain through this link. You can run any of your own advertisements, affiliate links, direct advertising, etc. with a blog ran on Bluehost. Making money on Blogger or any other free blogging platform is very difficult, and in many cases never happens. Most advertisers and companies tend to run away from Blogger websites because they don’t view them as professional as self-hosted WordPress blogs, so that’s another big reason to use Bluehost.
Also BIG PERK is WordPress and your very own domain name is FREE through my link on Bluehost!
Check your domain name here:
For Newbies- common terms to know when starting a blog:
I decided to write these definitions below because I had no idea what people were saying so I had to look everything up. I am not a technical person but if I can make a website anyone can, trust me!
- WordPress is an online, website creation tool. But user-friendly, it’s probably the easiest and most powerful blogging and website content management system.
- Hosting or ‘Web Hosting’ is a service provided by a vendor which offers a physical location for the storage of web pages and files. Think of a Web Hosting Company as a type of landlord, they rent physical space on their servers allowing webpages to be viewed on the Internet.
- Domain or ‘Domain Name’ is referring to the web address that you enter to go to a website like www.xokatierosario.com is my domain name, the xokatierosario.com is a name I purchase so I am the only owner of this name.
- Affiliate Marketing is when you try to earn money by placing an affiliate link on your website, social media account, etc. and have people purchase a product through your link. (I’ll tell you more about that in Step #4)
If you are interested in learning more specifically about Affiliate Marketing, check out this course from my friend Michelle Schroeder-Gardner founder of MakingSenseofCents.com. Michelle goes into so much detail and she shows you how she makes over $102k+ a month! That’s right I said a month! How insane is that!
I also have other Blog-Related Tips on my Recommendations Page! Check that out!
Step 2: Picking a Theme
Once you have purchased a hosting plan and domain name. Then the next step is to download WordPress. The instructions are super easy. Now you can choose one of their themes, but just make sure to choose one that’s very visually appealing. So don’t rush it and really look at several before making a decision, they have nice free themes but you are also welcome to purchase a theme.
Remember, the more flash there is on your website the more distracted your reader will be, so my advice is keep it simple. The content is what they will come back for!
Step 3: Do the Work Before
Like I have stated earlier, I had put 6 solid weeks of writing content for my blog before I launched it. I’m not a professional writer so for me I had to get use to writing everyday even if it was a little everyday. One step forward is still progress!
This helped develop a habit for when it was launched then I had no problem sitting down and writing. You want a minimum of 15-25 posts that are over 500 words each, at least. Make them you! It doesn’t and shouldn’t be perfect, just write them down, edit later. I know you can do it!
Remember, this is really important because you want your readers to stick around a keep coming back, how can they do that if you don’t have enough for them to read and look at. Also this helps for Step #4.
People in general get bored really easily so make it interesting for them as you would for yourself. Write something you would like to read over and over again!
If you don’t want to make money on your blog right away or at all, then you can jump to Step #5.
STEP 4: SIGN UP FOR ADSENSE OR OTHER AD NETWORKS AND AMAZON AFFILIATES (IF YOU WANT TO MAKE MONEY FROM YOUR BLOG)
Now some of you might know about these programs, but some of you might not know, so I’ll tell you!
What is Google Adsense?
This is one of the most widely known and used ad networks. Simply put, after applying Google places ads on your site and you get paid from how many people click or see them.
What is Media.net?
Media.net is a contextual ad network, which means that it hosts advertisements based on the context of the page. For example, if you are running Media.net ads on your page about dogs, your readers will be seeing advertisements related to dogs and dogs products. Similarly, a page about cameras will have ads related to cameras and photography accessories.
Media.net is powered by Yahoo! and Bing, and you will see only high quality and high paying ads through Media.net.
Infolinks is a global another image advertising platform offering ad solutions for both publishers and advertisers. Online advertisers utilize the Infolinks Self-Serve Marketplace to customize their own campaign. Advertising with Infolinks means delivering brand messages to engaged users.
Online bloggers and website owners monetize their websites with Infolinks while keeping the Look & feel of their sites undisturbed. Infolinks publishers can select their winning Infolinks ad combination from our ad unit buffet: InFold, InTag, InText, and Inscreen. It takes less than a minute to integrate Infolinks on a publisher’s site.
What is Amazon Associates?
Basically, once you have signed up to be an associate (which is free btw), you can start referring products (for example, the ones you know and use and most importantly like), to your readers in posts. And if they use the link that is connected to your account, then you’ll make a percentage of what they buy. This comes at no extra cost to the reader, so it’s a nice way to make income.
For me, I buy a lot of my baking and cake supplies on Amazon since I don’t have the storage space to hold huge bulk items. So when I buy items on Amazon, I do usually have to plan ahead but it’s so easy and mostly discounted, compared to other retail stores.
So earlier from Step #3, I said its important to have a lot of content written before launching. Well this is another good reason why. Adsense is Google’s ad service. They’ll display ads on your site for people to see.
However, Adsense can be picky about who they accept, so you’ll want to have some good content on your site before you sign up. The way they can see that you’re legitimate, not use some person who started up a blog, threw a few lame posts up there, and never really do anything with it again. They want real traffic seeing their ads because if they don’t make money neither will you.
So make you have good content before applying, otherwise you’ll be rejected. Think of your blog as a business, if you put enough time and effort in the beginning and have steady posts. then you’ll definitely see that hard work pays off. Or more money in your pocket!
Media.net and InfoLinks are great solutions to Google Adsense. If you find that you are rejected by Adsense then these 2 platforms are super easy to apply, install and make money from.
*Note: Also, remember affiliate marketing from earlier, well its another great way to make money. It’s a something most bloggers forget about or are too scared to use. I’m mentioning this again because it’s really that amazing!
I recently signed up for this course about affiliate marketing called Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing!
This has been so eye opening and actually exciting to learn about. Michelle, the ultimate personal financial blogger, explains that every blogger leaves money on the table and for not that much more work you can really make a lot more money. Ummm hello! Why isn’t this talked about more?!
I literally tweaked a few things on my site. This course hands down is the best investment I have ever made! I have tripled my income in ONE MONTH by using the strategy Michelle lays out for you! It is unreal! I’m so excited about it because I have seen real results!
Step 5: Set up a Pinterest Account and other social media
Remember all that research I told you about. Well I was blown away! The key to all the top earners is Pinterest! Literally this is everything; getting lots of traffic and making money.
What is Pinterest? And why is it important?
I know this can be a lot of information thrown at you but honestly this one post is all you need just to start.
Pinterest: is great in that it’s basically is a visual search engine; once a person finds a pin (a picture + text) that they like (such as a recipe or a helpful tip), all they have to do is to click on the image and a larger picture will come up.
Then when the reader clicks on it again it leads them right to your site. That’s traffic to your site. (traffic meaning readers going to your site). It’s not difficult to use and very easy to understand.
If you sit and think about it when you are on any social media sites, what is it that made you click, like or comment on a post or picture? The picture has a lot to do with your decision, right?
For example, What made you click on this link for my website?
This is also a great way to connect with other bloggers and learn, not copy but learn from their success.
Other must have social media sites:
You can set these sites up later but if you want to be seen as professional then you should set these ones up. When you are ready to set them up. Start posting on them a little at a time, so when you launch your site and readers are coming in more and more they will want to see your other social media sites. Most businesses success is from social media, so it cant hurt right?! I have to tell you, I have to schedule time with alarms to post regularly every week, for example on Facebook and Instagram, because I am just so terrible at it, it doesn’t come natural to me. Maybe for you its the same, don’t worry you’ll get the hang off it. Especially when you start seeing awesome results lol!
Facebook page: set up a page that links to your site. You can announce on Facebook that you have a new post on your blog and all your followers should check it out! This also helps people to get to know you and your brand better.
Instagram for your blog: I just explain Pinterest and how important pictures are nowadays to get people to your blog well. Welcome to Instagram, it’s nothing but pictures!
Again, you can post a picture of your newest blog post and you can put the link in your bio to guide people. You can also post sneak peeks of new ideas you plan to write about or vacation pics with soon to come posts about them. Think about it, people can tell when someone is being insincere so this helps show your readers you are human too! Live it up!
Also, Instagram has added an easy way to switch accounts. When you are at the home screen click on the bottom right corner where your profile pic is and the drop menu will appear and you can switch to your other account. So this makes it super easy to post on several accounts in minutes without signing out each time!
Twitter: Now for me personally I never got a twitter account because I had nothing to say in 140 characters but for a business/ blog its perfect! And when you set up Instagram you can link Facebook and twitter to it, so when you post on Instagram you can have content on those instantly, without extra work. So great! One less thing to think about lol!
Don’t do that all the time since your followers can figure out you haven’t put enough effort into it, so why should they care kind of thing.
Remember 2 things
Now this may be overwhelming for these of you who are new to the idea of blogging. But I promise you that if you put the work in, really pay attention to what is and isn’t working. Follow these tips and strategies in this post, you’ll be able to work from home or anywhere you want too!
And even if you feel like it’s a lot of work (it is), just remind yourself of 2 things:
- Putting a lot of work into a blog definitely beats working a 9 to 5 job, or making any location your office to make money. Seriously, I had to tell myself this when I was tempted to get another stupid part-time minimum wage, and it paid off in a huge way!
- In a year from now, you’ll wish you had started today. That was a bit of advice I had read and took to heart. Even now I wish I had started a year ago.
Now I hope I was able to inspire and help you. If you have any questions, just let me know in the comments down below. I’ll be happy to help out! Let’s do this together!
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