2 Feb 2017


Why Do You Need a Blog?
Let's cut straight to the point. The purpose of your blog is to generate leads so you can sell something – whether it is ebooks, training courses, physical products, or whatever.

The way to look at it is, you are not really a “blogger” in the true sense of the word.
You are a just marketer who happens to have a blog.
This may come as a shock to you but this the approach the successful “bloggers” follow to build their six figure businesses.
Your blog is the first port of call where people are going to find you and then find out more about you.
The blog will help you to build a relationship with your visitors through interesting and helpful content and they will grow to like, get to know and trust you.

You then drive your visitors to sign up to your mailing list (more on this later) and then you sell products to them.

That's it. Plain and simple.

Your blog is not just a space online to idly write about your hopes, your dreams or what you had for breakfast this morning. While you should include your “story” so your readers can identify you, the “story” has to have a purpose and be relevant to what you want to achieve with your blog.
There are millions of “hobby bloggers” who do this every day and that's fine if that's what they want to do but they will never make any money doing it.
You will see how this all works a little later but for now let's just get you in the right frame of mind as to what the purpose of your blog is:

1. A person arrives at your blog. If you follow everything that is outlined in this post then they will find it useful and informative.

2. Having grabbed that person's attention, you now ask them for their email address. They give it to you and are subscribed to your mailing list.

3. You can then start converting that lead into a sale.
When you fully understand this you will appreciate what the true purpose of your blog is and keeping it updated will be a lot easier and more enjoyable.

What to Blog About
If you want to create a successful blog which will result in hordes of dedicated followers who are almost desperate to throw money at you then you need to choose a topic which you are both knowledgeable and passionate about.
Your passion about a particular topic will shine through in your writing and will enable your audience to feel a connection with you.
The worst thing you could do is merely start a blog on a subject where you think there is money to be made. You could well be right, but what value are you going to bring if you know nothing, or worse still, couldn't care less about the subject matter you are blogging about?
Think of it this way. What subject would you happily write about every day, even if you would not get paid? This enthusiasm for a subject will make it that much easier to produce regular, informative content for your blog.

However, with that said, you are a marketer who has a blog and as we have established the aim of your blog is to make money. So, what you need to decide upon is a subject you are passionate about but also one where there is money to be made.

The Make Money Online Niche

Arguably the most successful blogger is John Chow, who earns around $40,000 per month blogging about how he makes money blogging. This is a huge market because who doesn't want to earn more money, in a seemingly easy fashion that is writing on your own blog?
Chow may put up the odd blog post here and there about what he had for lunch at Red Lobster, but don't let that fool you. He is a very savvy marketer first and foremost and his blog is geared to generating a huge mailing list, just as we are talking about achieving in this guide.
If you are a beginner, but want to get into the “make money online” niche, then your blog is a great way to document your journey as you go from newbie to full time marketer!
Don't try and come across as an expert if you are not, just write about what you know and try and teach your readers what you have learned. You only need to be a few steps ahead of your audience to do this effectively. You don't need to be some celebrity guru to make money in this niche!

What About Other Areas?

If it's a different subject matter you want to focus your blog on, ask yourself whether it has a rabid following who are willing to pay good money to solve their problems or achieve their goals.
Let's have a look at some of the more popular niches:

Dating. Single people want to know how to find a partner. Whether you target women who are looking for Mr Right, or men who just want to know how to “pick up” women for more casual encounters, it's a huge market where people are desperate to know the “secrets” of attracting gorgeous members of the opposite sex.

Weight Loss. An absolutely colossal market. People in their millions around the world want to know how to shed those excess pounds, usually without having to give up chocolate and do exercise!

Make More Money. I don't think there will ever be a time when people won't want a little extra cash in their bank account, especially if it's “easy” money which is less work and more fun than their day jobs. This niche covers everything from making spare money doing some form of online “work” to beating the bookmaker or casino.

Self Improvement
. This covers a whole range of different areas such as being more productive, saving time, being more spiritual, having a more fulfilling personal life and career, the list just goes on and on. People just want to be “better than they are already.

Hopefully this will give you some more food for thought on blog subject matter but as long as a partcular niche or subject has a following, problems which need solving and products available, then there is a lot of money to be made!
Now you have a clear idea of what you want to blog about, let's get your new blog online!

Don't worry if you have never set up a blog before! The following sections are “step by step” and geared towards helping beginners set up a professional blog online which is geared to make money.

Register a Domain Name

First things first – you need a domain name for your new blog.
If you are looking to create a blog about yourself, then it is beneficial to register a domain name which includes your personal name.
It is preferable to register a dot com domain name over the other extensions, but if you are unfortunate enough to have a reasonably common name like myself, then the dot com option may not be available, even if you put a hyphen in between your first and last names.
If this is the case, you could try one of the other domain types, such as .net, .tv, .me or your country such as .co.uk.
Alternatively, if you are adamant you want a dot com domain name, you could try and register something along the lines of the following to include your personal name:
● YourNameBlog.com ● YourNameOnline.com ● YourNameMarketing.com ● YourNameDotCom.com ● AskYourName.com
With a little imagination you should be able to come up with something both suitable and brandable if the obvious choice is not available.
You are literally spoilt for choice for domain name registration companies. One of the most popular domain name registrar's is GoDaddy who charge around $10 to register your domain name for one year.

Getting Started With Blogging
I'm not going to go into great detail on how to create a Blog and. The content management system is very user friendly with most blog hosting platform and intuitive and the best advice I have is to just get stuck in and play around with it. You are not going to be able to start blogging until you have a go. All you can hire a web designer to do that for you.
That said, here are a few pointers on some of the most common areas to get you started:

Producing Content
At this point you should have a professional looking blog set up which is capable of attracting fresh leads to your mailing list.
However, an empty blog is not going to achieve this. The next thing we need is... CONTENT.
Well written. Highly informative. Value providing. Content.
If you are going to persuade people to hand over their email address to you in order for you to market to them, you need to set yourself up an authority to those people.
You achieve this by providing them with high quality blog posts which add significant value to your niche.

Your First Blog Post
There are two schools of thought on what your first blog post, or initial series of blog posts should contain. Some of the well-known professional bloggers, such as Yaro Starak and David Risley argues you should initially create 5-10 high quality blog posts which will become your “pillar content”.
You are laying the foundations for your blog with these posts and when you attract new visitors, you can hit them smack between the eyes with your strongest content. The aim is to “wow” them with some incredible stuff so they won't be able to hand over their email address to you fast enough.
Then, as your blog increases in content, you will be able to refer new readers back to these pillar blog posts as your “best of” content.
However, what if you want to get involved in a niche where you are not already an authority or may not even have much knowledge on the subject?
The “make money online” niche is a prime example of this. In cases such as this, your first blog post should be to introduce yourself, inform your readers of your “story” and outline what you want to achieve from your blog and your online business in general.
You will still be able to create “pillar content” but it will take a little more time. You can write a pillar blog post on a key area when you learn about it, to teach any readers who are a few steps behind you.

Keep Blogging!
How most blogs fail miserably is the blog owner runs out of steam and does not post regularly enough. Once you have your pillar content or at least a few introductory blog posts in place you simply must keep blogging.
You need to decide straight away how often you are going to post to your blog and stick to it rigidly. If you plan on posting three times a week, then make sure you do it week in and week out.
A lot of people start with great intentions and churn out a fresh blog post every day for the first couple of weeks before posting once a week, then once a month and then even less frequently.
One way to conquer this and to churn out a week's worth of high quality blog posts in a matter of a few hours is to invest in a countdown timer and switch off all your distractions, such as email, mobile phone, Skype, MSN etc.
What you are going to do is set your timer to countdown for one hour and work solidly with no distractions to complete a single blog post. If you do this four times in one day, you will get more work done in one four hour work day than most people get done in a week.

Amazing or what? So, in just half a day you can write three to four really good blog posts, save them as drafts and then post them throughout the week. This leaves you with the rest
of the week to work on driving traffic to your blog, building your list and even creating your own products!
By completing your week's content early, it will help to avoid the inconsistency that blog readers loathe. A dead blog is no use to anybody – not your readers who will become uninterested and find someone else to follow, not the search engines which love to crawl fresh content and not your business because it no longer pulls in fresh leads.

There is NEVER “Nothing” to Blog About
A common misconception among failed bloggers is they complain they have “nothing” to blog about.
What rubbish!
Do newspapers have a “day off” if there is a slow news day? Of course not. They find something to fill their pages with in between the adverts!
Those bloggers who find they have “nothing” to write about are usually people who are neither passionate nor knowledgeable about their niche's subject matter and are merely running a blog in that niche because they “think” it's where they should be getting involved to make money.
Of course, this is not going to happen to you because earlier we discussed the importance of choosing the right niche, but if you are suffering from a bout of writer's block, here are six ways you can come up numerous new blog post ideas today!

1. Draw inspiration from other blogs! Whatever niche you are in, there will be numerous other blogs on the same subject. Take a look at what other people in your industry are writing about and create your own post around that topic. Don't just blatantly copy them but put your own spin on things to add to the subject matter.

2. Check out what people are discussing on forums. There should be at least one prominent, busy forum in your chosen niche. Forums are a constant source of new blog post material because they contain threads about topics people are talking about.
Use the  “reply count” as an indicator on how hot the topic is. If one thread gets five or six replies but another gets 35-40, then you should be writing about it on your blog!
Forums are a great source of diverse blog material. Opinion pieces, “how to” features, list based articles and product reviews can all be developed from trawling the threads on a popular forum.

3. Check your email. Somebody may have emailed you with a specific question and instead of just answering it privately, create a new blog post around the topic. I always encourage replies from my readers in every email I send out by specifically asking them if they have any issues or questions which may need answering. By doing this, you are also building a personal relationship with your subscribers by actively helping them out!

4. Similarly, when your blog gets a little more established, check out your reader comments on your posts. Did your post raise any questions from your readers or were certain aspects still unclear to them? Resolving these problems should be the focus of your next post.

5. Another source of new post ideas when your blog is more established is to poke around your archives. Have a look to see if you have covered a topic which is due for an update. Create a new blog post on this topic and link back to the older post you made so your readers are able to draw their own comparisons.
6. If you are still struggling for new blog post material, then I recommend 31 Days to Build a Better Blog. This ebook was written by Darren Rowse, the genius behind the hugely popular ProBlogger.net and includes ideas for new blog posts and methods to increase your readership.
There is a new exercise to complete every day for 31 days so technically you will never run out of things to do, even on a daily basis if you repeat the activities month in, month
I own this workbook myself, printed it out and have it within easy reach on my desk. Any time I find it difficult to come up with my next blog post, or feel a bit unmotivated, I just read a few pages and I am soon back on track.
I really, really recommend Darren's ebook if you are serious about making your blog a success.

Driving Traffic to Your Blog
At this stage you should have at least one or two posts live on your blog but there is no point in their existence if we don't drive some traffic to them.
We want people to come and visit your blog, be astounded over what you have to offer them so they sign up to your mailing list and hopefully become long-term customers!
There are loads of ways to get traffic to your blog but I want to concentrate on some of the easy, free methods you can put into practice and get the first trickle of visitors to your blog TODAY.
These methods can then be scaled up to turn that trickle into an uncontrollable FLOOD!

Commenton Other Blogs
Remember the blogs we identified for you to draw inspiration from in the last section? As well as using them for new blog post ideas you are also going to snatch some of their traffic!
You can do this by leaving an informative comment, along with a link to your own blog underneath their latest blog post.
Moronic, one sentence comments which simply read “I agree” or “Great post, I will be sure to come back often” will not fool anybody and are likely to get deleted. The focus is on quality here.
If you can spend around 10-15 minutes per day crafting a good comment for two or three posts on different blogs then those readers will see you are knowledgeable in that particular niche and will visit your blog to see what you have to offer them.
A couple of other tips to consider when commenting on other blogs are as follows:

1. Target the more popular blogs. This goes without saying. There is not much point in busting your butt coming up with a great comment if the blog you are leaving it on does not get any traffic. Take a look at Technorati's Top 100 Blogs to see what the hugely popular blogs in your niche are, or if your niche is a little more specialised, their blog directory will be useful to you.

2. Be the first to comment if you can! If your comment begins directly after where the post ends then you have a much better chance of the reader clicking to visit your own blog! The sad reality is blog readers seldom read comments beyond the first 10, so if your comment is near the bottom of a popular blog post, then you are unlikely to see any traffic benefit.

3. Try and comment on blogs with a Top Commentators List. Some of the more popular blogs reward their consistent commentators with a place in the a top commentators list, usually found on the blog's homepage. Being in a list such as this can drive a lot of additional traffic to your blog and is a great thank-you by the owner to reward your commitment to their blog!

Twitter is currently my favourite method of driving free traffic to my blog. It is also very easy to build a large, targeted following on Twitter of people who are interested in what you have to offer. So, whether your blog is about internet marketing, dog grooming, stamp collecting or whatever else, there will be lots of people on Twitter who like the same things as you.
It will take you about five minutes to set up a free Twitter account and start attracting followers:

●Visit Twitter and register an account 
●Upload a head and shoulders photograph of yourself 
●Write a short paragraph to describe yourself 
●Add a link to your blog
 ●Start posting tweets!
Your Twitter account is not a place to spam an endless stream of links to your blog, affiliate products etc. If you this then people will get fed up pretty soon and not want to follow you.
Use your account to communicate with your followers in the following ways:
●Let your personality shine through in your tweets 
●Post helpful content for your niche: 
●Set up Google Alerts for your niche 
●Stuff to Tweet   
●All Top 
 ●Ask questions 
●Reply to tweets made by other people 
●Retweet what your followers have posted 
●Post humorous or generally interesting tweets: 
●Slip in your own links once to every seven posts you make.
I will write a guide to achieving a huge, targeted Twitter following, but to get going you only need to know a few things about attracting followers.
Unless you are a famous Hollywood star, chart topping singer or even a Z-list media
“personality” then nobody is going to actively seek you out to follow you.
The only way you are going to get people to follow you back is to follow them first.
Your first port of call to find like-minded Twitter users is Twellow. It's a user directory organised by subject category, so you should find lots of people in your niche and you should also submit your own profile there. Once you have found Twitter users who are in the same niche as yourself, follow them and follow their followers.
Do this until you see the Twitter warning sign that you cannot follow any more people at this time. Make sure you follow me too – I will follow you back!
Wait between 24-48 hours to give people time to follow you back but if they haven't, it's time to unfollow them to enable you to follow other people who may be interested instead.
There's no room for sentiment here and don't take it personally if people do not follow you back. If someone just isn't interested in you, get rid of them and find someone else who wants to follow you!
There are a few resources you can use to automate your unfollows but my favourite is Social Too. For just a $5 investment, you can click a button which will unfollow everyone who you have followed who is not following you back. This can literally save you hours of manual work every week and you can do this as many times as you want.
A word of warning about any automated following software you may come across – don't use it! Automated following is against Twitter's terms of use and by using such software you run the risk of your account being suspended.

Article Marketing
After writing a blog post, it is also worthwhile writing an abridged version and submitting it to several article directories. For example, if your blog post is around 800 words in length you can rewrite a version of it between 400-500 words for syndication. It is important not to just submit the same post which appears on your blog to article directories because you don't want to fall foul of any duplicate content penalties.
How this drives traffic back to your blog is at the end of every article you submit to a directory, there is a resource box area, which allows you to write a little about yourself and include a link back to your own website. If your article is republished by a large number of different websites, then the traffic and also backlinks you receive can be significant.
If you don't have time to rewrite your own articles, they can be outsourced quite cheaply but it may take a little trial and error to find a balance between good writers and low prices.
A few of the more popular directories to submit your rewritten articles to are as follows:
●Ezine Articles   
●Go Articles  
 ●Articles Base 
 ●Article Dashboard  
 ●Article City  

Social Media
The explosion of social media over the past few years means its easier than ever for a complete newbie to begin attracting droves of targeted traffic to their blogs, websites, forums, affiliate offers etc.
So far we have discussed getting yourself noticed on other peoples blogs, Twitter and the main article directories, but there are still lots of other places on the internet where you need a presence so people can find you.

 For example, you can register a Facebook account and use the Twitter/Facebook app to automatically publish your tweets on Facebook.
You can create a Squidoo lens based around your niche and plug in your blog's RSS feed so that the lens is updated automatically every time you publish a new blog post.

Video is a very popular way to drive traffic to your blog. While you should definitely register a Youtube account, you should also not forget the other popular video sites. Register an account with TubeMogul to distribute your video to 12 different video websites at once!

Depending on your blog's subject matter, some of your blog posts may be suitable for social media websites.

Technology, scientific and humorous content tends to do well on the likes of Digg and Reddit, search engine and internet marketing content should be submitted to Sphinn while Stumbleupon and 

Delicious are open to any content you can think of.
If one of your blog posts of videos is popular enough to reach the front page of Digg, then you could realistically get up to 100,000 unique visitors to your site in a 24 hour period, Stumbleupon can drive tens of thousands of uniques over the course of several days while Sphinn can give you anywhere from several hundred to a few thousand visitors across a few days.
It's always worth submitting your content to these websites because if they capture the imagination of the people who visit them, you could drive a tidal wave of free traffic to your website.
Even if you only get a small and steady trickle of traffic from these websites, it will cost you nothing but a few minutes of your time to submit your content to them, so make sure you do it!

Search Engines
Finally, we get to the search engines.
Search engine traffic is not the be all and end all to drive visitors to your blog the way it used to be.
These days it is far easier and more powerful to drive targeted traffic to your blog by building relationships via social media and then, over time, as your blog grows in content and authority, you will find your search engine traffic increases.
You can optimise each blog post you create for the search engines but do not dwell upon this too much. You are far better off writing for people rather than the search engines.
If you check your webstats, you will discover people are finding your blog via the search engines through specific phrases and questions. Put simply, people have problems and they are looking for answers.
Create further blog posts around these questions and interlink them to really start racking up your search engine traffic.
Here are a few tips to give your blog posts a better chance of ranking highly in the search engines:
●Include search keywords as part of your post title or create a post title entirely out of a phrase somebody may type into a search engine. 

●Modify your post “slugs” to include the search keywords. 
●Use Header Tags in your posts, e.g. H1, H2 etc. 
● Use the All in One SEO Pack plugin on your blog to create search engine friendly title, description and keyword META tags.


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