7 Steps To Starting A Successful Blog
So, you’ve been thinking about launching your very own blog. Good for you!
Starting a successful blog is one way to create a lifestyle business that can provide you with flexibility and a source of income.
But there are tons of blogs out there that never really get their feet off the ground.
Wondering what steps you can take to make sure you’re starting a successful blog that has the potential to turn into a lifestyle business?
Good news! I’m here to shed my insight and tips for starting a profitable lifestyle blog.
What Is A Lifestyle Blog?
A lifestyle blog really describes what you want to achieve with your blog. The ultimate goal with this type of blog is to give you more freedom. Financial freedom and location independence.
Ultimately, you want to eventually be able to replace your full-time job with blogging (or at least have that option).
This means you can hop on and do work from virtually anywhere.
Your home, a coffee shop, Hawaii, Japan—it doesn’t matter because you’ll be independent of a physical office.
This is one of the main draws of a lifestyle blog because it gives you the freedom to live on your own terms.
The first step of planning in order to grow your blog to have the potential to replace your full-time job is knowing how much your “perfect” life costs.
Do the math and really sit down to calculate how much you’d need to earn from your blog in order to live your ideal life.
Most likely, unless your day job already includes sources of passive income, you won’t be able to replace your full-time job immediately.
Keep the number in the back of your mind and be mindful of that goal as you start to create and grow your blog.
Choose Your Lifestyle Blog Niche
Blogging is a big world, so you have to narrow down and decide which niche you’re going to make your own.
You can find your niche in 3 steps:
Survey Your Passions & Interests
What are some of your biggest interests? Chances are, there’s a niche for it online. Food, gluten free baking, interior design, makeup, fashion, sports, politics—all of these interests can be, and have been, turned into blogs.
Is There An Audience That Spends Money?
Remember your long term goal: to replace your full-time job. So, knowing that the audience has buyers is important. Think about if your interest or passion is something that can be monetized by buyers right now.
Do You Have Some Knowledge or Expertise in the Area?
You don’t have to be an expert in the field. Part of blogging is allowing others to share in your unique journey, but you should have some working knowledge of your niche. It just makes it easier for you to find your footing and plan content.
The ones that overlap in all 3 areas make good niches.
Monetize Your Blog
Do I need A business to start a successful blog?
No, you don’t.
If you already have a business, great, starting a blog will be a great way to get more traffic to your business and earn more revenue.
But if you don’t have a business yet, don’t fret.
Here are 5 great ways to earn money from your blog:
You can earn a decent living from just running ads on your blog alone. If your blog receives 100,000 page views per month you can expect to earn between $800-$2000 per month just from advertising!
100,000 page views may sound like a lot but it took us just 5 months to get to 100k page views consistently.
You may need more or less time.
While advertising is a great way to earn money from your blog, it’s not our favorite method and it requires the most amount of traffic to earn a decent living.
Digital products are things like online courses, photo packs & artwork, memberships, tutorials and more.
A good majority of bloggers invest time in creating digital products because they have potential to turn into passive income.
If you have an expertise in social media and turn that knowledge into a course or webinar, you can then promote that product long-term. So, you front the work to create a product that can turn a profit passively in the long run.
Selling digital products on your blog is a great way to earn revenue with much less traffic. Even just a few thousands visitors a month could translate into a full-time income.
Physical products, on the other hand, are tangible items that can be sold like t-shirts, journals, meal kits, etc.
This can also be a good stream of income to utilize through your blog. You can create a separate store portion of your blog, or simply plug items in relevant blog posts.
Are you an accountant? Perhaps you could offer bookkeeping. Are you a personal trainer? Maybe you can provide weight loss coaching. The sky is the limit here.
You can sell your services to visitors on your blog or your email newsletter subscribers.
This is common for life and health coaches, personal trainers, and even digital marketers.
This is different from digital products because you’re selling your personal expertise and time rather than a product or item.
We’ve talked about affiliate programs before and that’s because they’re one of the most popular ways to monetize your blog.
Some companies, blogs or brands have affiliate programs. When you sign up for them, you get a custom link for different products/services that they offer.
When readers click through to your personal link (that you’ve plugged in your email list or posts) and purchase something, you earn a percentage of the commissions.
It’s basically an exchange for promotion. There are many individual programs you can join, as well as larger affiliate networks that house multiple brands under one platform.
Most bloggers will use multiple monetization methods in order to diversify their income streams, especially in the beginning when you aren’t sure what’s going to land or not.
It’s important to create products and plug things relevant to your niche.
But before you can monetize your blog, you have to actually have a blog and a niche.
Coming Up With Ideas For Your Blog Posts
We survey our audience a lot to figure out what topics they want to know more about. We do this both on the blog and through our email list.
What better way to give the people what they want than to just ask them?
We also use Pinterest to see what has been most repinned. This can give you clues about what your audience is interested in. We use the Pinsearch tool to organize Pinterest content by most liked and repinned.
With that said, it’s important to post consistently. For us to get to 100 thousand page views in 5 months, we were posting 3 times per week.
If you know that you won’t be able to crank out 3 posts consistently each week, just do what you know you can commit to. If that’s one post a week, then just do one post.
Posting once consistently is much better than posting in batches. You can always add posts into your weekly schedule.
For example, we increased our weekly posts from 3 to 6. Just get a regular posting schedule under your belt and then you can play around with increasing.
The Technology You Need To Run Your Blog
When launching your blog, there are some definite monetary and time investments that you’ll need to make.
First, you’ll need a domain name. This is around $10.
You’ll also need hosting. We use Bluehost. It’s $5/month and you usually get a free domain when you sign up.
An Email Service is also going to be needed.
We use our email list to send new blog posts and promote products and services, so I think an email list is a must for bloggers.
We also use SumoMe, which lets you build opt-ins on your site to build your email newsletter.
Finding The Time
In regards to a time investment, that will really depend on your individual goals.
How quickly do you want to grow your blog? How much time can you feasibly dedicate to creating content? Let that inform your decision.
The first few weeks will be most difficult because it involves the most work upfront.
But it’s important not to let yourself feel overwhelmed. This should be fun for you!
You’re working on giving yourself the freedom and flexibility to live the life you want.
Promote & Engage
Once you start posting content, you need to promote and engage.
There are 3 main ways to do this:
Pinterest is the main way we boosted traffic to our blog.
We do extensive keyword research when planning out content to post and we make sure that we’re using keywords in our posts and titles.
Keywords and SEO are important when blogging because it can help you rank higher and have more organic visibility.
We also use keywords when we pin our content on Pinterest to ensure that our target audience has the best chance of finding it.
We use paid Facebook ads primarily to promote our content to new audiences.
There’s your crash course in starting a successful blog. Starting your own blog can be an incredibly exciting time. You’re working on investing in something that has the potential to help give you the flexibility you need to live your ideal life.
And it is completely possible to monetize it! It will take some trial and error, but starting a successful blog is totally doable.