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All I knew is that I wanted to create a professional blog surrounding women’s issues — I am, after all, Diane Prince, Wonder Woman’s alias…at least, almost. I wasn’t sure where to start, but I did my research and was able to get my blog up and running quickly — and I even started earning money from it during the first month, with less than 500 visitors.
Within the first week, after only having announced my blog in a single post on my personal Facebook page, I started earning money and the title of “professional blogger.” And I’d like to tell you how I did it.
- Website Conception
I spent some money upfront to secure a website designer rather than do the work myself, but it saved me literally HOURS of time and I started earning back that startup investment within one week. I could devote my time to researching, planning, and writing content, knowing my blog was simultaneously being designed, created, and coded. You can use a free WordPress theme, or you can buy one — there are lots of beautiful ones, for example, on Etsy. However, I didn’t want to spend time looking through hundreds of templates and adding the plugins. This is not my specialty.
Instead, I mapped out how I wanted my blog to look and work, and hired a designer on Etsy to create it for me. I like to support Etsy because they are a B Corporation, or a company that uses business as a force for good. The designer I used, CreativeSantosh, was responsive, quick, and able to translate my ideas into an actual blog. I wanted a look that was different than what I had seen before. I got as detailed as possible in my description. Here’s what I shared with CreativeSantosh:
- Content Specialization
I had an idea of what I wanted to blog about, but I quickly found that I was being too general. An article of advice by content experts helped me to focus on my niche of inspiring women to thrive and make money, especially after divorce. I know that I can write forever on this topic, and I am passionate about it — two key elements for a successful blog. I know that by blogging about a subject that is near and dear to my heart, and in which I have personal experience, I would be able to offer the most value for my readers. Having been divorced for eight years while raising three daughters, continually redefining the way I earn a living, and navigating the world of online and in-real-life dating — all while connecting with other women going through similar things — gave me the background that I need to become a go-to resource for other women trying to traverse this unfamiliar territory.
- Domain and Host
As soon as you can, secure your domain name and your host. Most bloggers seem to love Bluehost for both, plus the service gives you a domain registration for free when you use their hosting plan. If you use Blogger, Weebly, or Wix, your website hosting will be included. However, with WordPress, you own your site. On Blogger, the hosting is free but it is owned by Google, who has the right to shut down its service or your access to it at any time. I enjoy being able to easily make my own simple edits and add blog posts through WordPress. WordPress is an open source software, so you can easily extend it to add new features
- Content Creation
You need to create content, and you need to do it consistently. Working from home, this can be a struggle. I tend to get side-tracked and I use different tools to make sure that I stay focused. The Productivity Planner helps me to make sure that I complete my most important tasks of the day. However, if you don’t like to write, or your strengths are in other areas, like photography, DIY, or fitness, you can hire virtual assistants to write the content that you envision. I haven’t done that, except for with proofreading and editing, because creating content is on my list of “core” things that I love to do. But, if you are not a writer and you still want to blog, then you can outsource content creation through companies like 24/7 Virtual Assistants and Upwork. It’s a lot like having a ghost writer, which most celebrity personalities have for the books they publish.
- Finally — the Money!
There is no doubt that blogging takes work and careful planning, and it’s not like I started rolling in dough my first week, but I did start making money almost immediately. Because I didn’t have my own e-course to sell yet, I decided to promote products that I love and to learn about other resources and e-courses that my readers would find valuable.
To understand the potential online goldmine, I decided to learn from one of the best. The e-course Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing was written by Michelle Schroeder-Gardner, a 27-year-old MBA graduate who was recently written up in Forbes for having earned $1 million by blogging in 2016. I cannot recommend Michelle’s course more. It is very simple, but it gave me the basics and the outline of a plan for my blog. When I joined the course, I was also invited to Michelle’s private Facebook Group with her other students. Michelle leads the group and interacts with us when we have questions. This alone was worth the price of the class. If you have any desire to learn how people earn big money through affiliate marketing, this is a great place to start.
So there you have it: Five simple steps to becoming a professional blogger that took me less than a month to accomplish. Have you ever wondered if you could blog for income? What’s holding you back? Leave me a comment and let me know.