I can go all Martin Luther on you and tell you how you do have a dream, that needs fulfillment and how the ‘Internet Lifestyle’ can make it happen for you.
But I won’t fool you. You already know that ordinary people take ordinary steps and become extraordinary. Action is the number one tool in their arsenal that adds that ‘extra’ to the ‘ordinary’.
You are here because you want to start a blog, to earn a healthy, clean income that can support you fully (or partially, depending on your lifestyle plan). This will explain the steps you’d need to take to make it happen online. These things are tried and tested, and the possibilities of earning anywhere between 500 to 50,000 dollars per month lie within these steps. Pay attention now, it gets interesting.
Here’s how ‘online success’ with blogs work:
Now there are a lot of ways of doing each of these steps. That is where ‘analysis paralysis’ kicks in, and you are left jumping from one method to the next. This might as well be the NUMBER ONE REASON most online entrepreneurs fail; too many options and no clarity. No strategy. And without strategy, your action is usually wasted.
Now you have the strategy to start.
With the above number of steps, you can have a clearer focus and will be able to do each step before the next one. This will cut off all the noise and let you build a blog that gives value to the reader and provides you with the lifestyle that you want.
Project Management 101
In any given project, a lot of tasks can be started concurently, whereas some tasks are dependent on another task. For example, you can get a domain, get hosting and a basic design for your blog before you refine your idea or work exhausitvely on your market research. At the same time, you can write valuable, helpful content only after you have established your niche (this is done after you have refined your idea with some solid market research). No need to worry though, a lot of these tasks are not as difficult as they sound. In fact, as you will see (in Blogstarta’s email course), I will tell you EXACTLY how all of this is done. But you must treat your blog as a project if you want to make it profitable.
Starting a blog – the tasks at hand
If you’d notice, the ‘cheat sheet’ above is all ‘action’. It says ‘have’ an idea, ‘get’ hosting etc. These are tasks. Things that you’d have to do (or get others to do it for you).
Have an Idea
What interests you? Chances are, a lot of people share the same interest. You can reach out to them via your blog and hence have an audience to write to and to write for. For example, this very blog here, blogstarta, is a classic example; I have a deep interest in blogging, and from being interviewed at Wired to setting up DOZENS of blogs for myself and clients, I had first hand knowledge of blogging. So my idea was to share what I know about blogging. I have another blog, about stress management, but I am not a qualified anything :), so I get qualified teachers and professionals to write on the topic. The idea is to be motivated about ‘something’. Maybe you feel that you can provide a good resource for dairy farming, or maybe woodworking. The choices are pretty much unlimited.
Do Market Research
What do I mean by Market Research? I want to start a blog on golf. Fair enough, that’s the idea stage. Now I need to QUALIFY my idea and see if there is a large enough audience interested in golf. Market Research will help you decide if your idea is viable (hence, sell-able).
Of course, golf being a world famous sport, you would be right to assume that there already is a lot of people interested in many different facets of golf. But you see, you need to find out EXACTLY what they are interested in. In fact, you would have to find out the ‘keywords’ people are using to search for golf related information online. Are people searching for ‘golf instruction’ or ‘golf tutor’ online, for example? If you ‘thin down’ the bigger market, you will then be able to ‘write for that audience’. The trick, of course, is to find a niche that is interesting to you and has a decent amount of people searching for it online.
When you get to the writing helpful content stage, you would want to address problems people are already facing, right? I mean, at the core of any successful business – online or offline – lies the solution to a problem. People want to learn ‘how to improve their golf swing’, well that is a problem, and if you decide to select that as a topic for a few posts on your blog, then you are better off in learning EXACTLY what kind of keywords are being used to carry out the search. This is where Market Research gets technical. But we don’t need to delve into such intricacies as we have a better way of doing Market Research; in fact, as you will see in the 7 Day Free Email Course, Market Research is easy and can actually be fun. And besides, if you do this one step right, this Market Research, you will give your blog/website the most solid of foundations. You will not only enjoy building your readership, but will also be able to earn a healthy income while doing so! How cool is that? 🙂
Domains are booked on a yearly basis, so a minimum of one year is going to cost you anywhere between 9 to 15 US dollars. To buy a domain, you need to come up with a name of your blog. In most cases, the name of the blog is the domain name (but this is not always true as it is getting harder and harder to get even ‘pronounceable’ domain names). A lot of famous bloggers have domains named after themselves (such as John Chow and David Risely) but many have established brands by using different domain names (such as Yaro Starak’s Entrepreneur’s Journey, Michael Dunlop’s IncomeDiary etc). I have a very simple rule for domain name selection, and that rule is that “a domain name is only important till you don’t have it” because people will come to your blog NOT because you have a good, memorable domain name, they will come because your content rocks! Names are overrated.
Host Your Blog
Finding a good, reliable host for your blog is – oddly enough – one of the most ‘painful’ experiences for bloggers. I know it was for me, and I run a small hosting company! But the reason for such pain is that a lot of folks TRY OUT a “cheap” web hosting provider only to be severely disappointed. Please, do not do that. Blogstarta initially was that small hosting company I was talking about :), but our hosting has a limited number of ‘seats’, so I have compiled a list (it is a small list though) of tested, reliable web hosts. I highly, highly recommend that you do not try to save four to eight dollars PER YEAR to get tangled in the hosting mess.
Check out Blogstarta’s 7 Day Free Email Course on How to Make Money with Blogging for more details.
Ready to take ‘earning money online’ seriously?
If you really want to test the online world, you can start off by trying out a few techniques that are proven to work. For example, as I mentioned in my “The Blogstarta Experiment” post, I have already tested the internet and have earned about US $ 500 in the 60 days (I ‘worked’ for 7 days and the remaining days I just ‘sat and watched’). How did I do this? I used Profit Instruments, a very well-structured course by Ritoban C. Currently the course is not being offered.
What you can do is try out Mobile Monopoly. It does one thing quite nicely; it mixes two very powerful mediums. It focuses on Mobile marketing and covers the selling of Clickbank products through Mobile marketing.
If you are not familiar with words like ‘Clickbank’ or ‘Mobile Marketing’, or you feel that you still need to learn the basics of Affiliate Marketing, then I have a free blueprint on the current state of Affiliate Marketing, called BLOGSTARTA’s Guide to Affiliate Marketing 101: The BLOGSTARTA Blueprint. Go here to download the blueprint; I have tried to cover the very basics of affiliate marketing and build the foundation up from there. It is a quick read, and you will be wiser. You may even start levitating. Click Here to Get the Affiliate Marketing 101: The Blueprint