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Starting a blog is a great way to bring in additional income for military spouses, remote workers, and everyone in between. It can be done from anywhere in the world and all you need to get started is a little time and determination. While it’s difficult to become a major influencer in this day and age, it’s not hard to monetize a blog.
Many companies are willing to work with micro-influencers with a small but loyal following, not to mention the other money-making options you have at your disposal, such as affiliate links, ebook or digital course sales, and more. If you want to get started on a blog of your own, here are 6 tips to help you get started.
1. Choose a specific topic.
You’ll have a much easier time attracting an audience as a blogger if you have a specific topic that your blog is about. Choose a niche, such as fashion, books, food, or crafts, and make sure the bulk of your posts are about your chosen topic.
While you can branch out with off-topic posts on occasion, it’ll be hard to keep an audience if every post is about something wildly different. By choosing one main topic, readers who are interested in that topic will want to stick around.
2. Host with WordPress.com.
WordPress makes it easy to get started with a blog. Once you make an account, you can choose from a selection of templates and customize them to match your vision. You can start for free or choose a very affordable annual plan for as little as $48 a year.
WordPress is easy to navigate and highly popular, which means there are tons of resources out there to help you make the most of it. There’s a reason it’s one of the most popular blogging platforms around.
3. Find a “dot com” domain.
You’ve probably seen a variety of different domain types, but for your blog, you’re going to want to go with a “.com.” It’s reputable, but most of all, that’s the default most people associate with a website. It’s easier for people to remember a “dot com” domain than any of the other options, even options like .net or .biz.
Try testing out different domain ideas with Google Domains to see what’s available before getting too attached to a name for your blog (but don’t buy from Google!). Ideally, you want the domain to match your blog name and it might take some trial and error for you to find one that’s available.
When you find a name that’s available and you’re happy with it, hop back over to WordPress and get started setting up shop.
4. Use free stock images.
As a blogger, you can get in some serious hot water by just using photos you find on Google Images. The best way to avoid a lawsuit is to use photos that are free for personal and commercial use.
You can find these on free stock photo websites, such as Unsplash, Pexels, or Pixabay. Be careful to read the licensing restrictions on each photo you download, however. If your blog generates any kind of revenue, you’ll have to stick with commercially licensed stock photos.
5. Create on multiple platforms.
The fastest way to grow your audience is to expand your web presence to different platforms. By increasing the number of places you can be found, you’ll increase the odds that new readers will stumble across you.
Social media is a great place to start as it allows you to interact with readers and other bloggers alike. Friendships forged on social media can lead to long-lasting connections and even business collaborations down the line.
Potential sponsors take social media following into consideration when deciding which bloggers to work with, so growing your audience is important for that reason as well.
6. Be consistent.
Finally, it’s so important to be consistent with your content and your posting schedule. If you don’t post for a long period of time, your readers may assume you’ve abandoned your blog and stop checking back for updates.
Regular posts, on the other hand, will keep your blog fresh in their minds, and they’ll know they can expect new content from you on a regular basis. Consistency is key to attracting and retaining a loyal audience.
Consistency also plays a huge role in search engine optimization (SEO). When people do a search on Google, SEO determines the order in which results come back for each search. The big goal for bloggers and marketers is to land on the first page of search results. This is a big topic that takes a lot of time to understand and it’s not a short-term game – good SEO takes time – but it pays to know that keeping your blog consistently active is an important part of the deal.
Starting a blog requires a significant up-front investment of time and energy, but once the initial legwork is done, it’s a great way to put your writing out there and share your thoughts with the world. With hard work and determination, you can turn your blog into a source of income in no time.
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