Ready to share your experiences with the world, but not sure where to start? Here are some steps for setting up your own blog to earn revenue.
(We kept getting requests for a more in depth guide, so we created a step-by-step course. Part one is available now and part two will be launching in January!)
1) Find a name.
Keep in mind that this may be a name you want to turn into a business one day too. Check for availability in your state (usually through the Secretary of State) and for possible domain names. Keep in mind that what may be best marketable may not fully represent your blog and vice versa. We chose a name that had a personal meaning for us, and also looked at all of the abbreviations and variations we could use in the future.
2) Determine your audience.
This is important as it helps you decide what your blog will be about, what channels you should be on, the best monetization options, and will make drafting your initial information easier. Some examples of blogs would include lifestyle, fitness, cooking and baking, DIY, travel, etc. The other most important thing you must keep in mind is “What is in it for the reader?” Something like “learning about my story” isn’t a good option unless your a celebrity already or have a truly compelling background to share. Without a purpose and an offering, it will be hard to get the blog off the ground.
3) Reserve profile names and set up your platforms.
- Your business filing (name registration and sole proprietorship / LLC)
- The domain registration
- Your hosting service
- The CMS (content management system) platform like WordPress
- Your social profiles like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Tumblr, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Google+, etc.
4) Configure your content management system (CMS).
Before you can generate blog revenue, you need to have the blog set up. This includes picking your CMS platform (Squarespace, WIX, and WordPress to name a few) selecting a template, picking your brand colors and fonts, uploading background images, and filling in your initial info about your blog. Remember, you can play around with branding as you get a better feel for your site.
5) Determine your monetization options.
Will you do ads, affiliate links, subscriptions, webinars, books, paid promotions, or a combination of those? If so, you’ll need to set up accounts and in the case of the last four, possibly wait until you have a following to incorporate those. You can start with things like Google Ads and VigLink affiliate marketing, and add the code into your blog.
6) Set up your social profiles.
This includes an image, a background image, a short description, your website address, and in cases like Instagram where you can’t link in individual posts, a bio page like tap.bio.
7) Draft initial content.
Before you start attracting followers, you’ll want to include some initial content on your blog. This will help it organically populate in searches, showcase your expertise, and give potential subscribers a look into how often you post.
8) Sign up for an email subscription service.
Whether you want to start with something as simple as Feedburner or more customizable like Mailchimp, GetResponse, Constant Contact, or Drip you want to have the ability for people to sign up before you begin promoting on social.
9) Create evergreen social content.
Once you have some blog posts started, generate some social posts and images for your social platforms to start promoting. You’ll be amazed at how much reach you can get organically.
10) Promote posts and use paid search options.
Organic social and SEO can only get you so much reach. Once you’re ready to start spending money on promoting posts, you can do paid search ads (one platform being Google) and promoting existing social posts. Keep in mind that you’ll likely pay per engagement. So whether you get 1 or 1,000, be sure that it’s worth the investment and that you make the most of it.
11) Start a regular posting schedule.
To keep your blog revenue going, you’ll need to continue posting new content. Now that you’ve gotten everything set up, you can start adding more! Set up an editorial calendar, determine how regularly you want to post, and go!