With all the fancy social media outlets surfacing these days, it can seem like blogging is a thing of the past. But nothing is further from the truth. Today I’m breaking down the practical steps to How I Made Over $9457.65 My First Year Blogging.
But before we get started if you have always wanted to start a blog but just aren’t sure how to get started, I have a special gift for you.
I created a simple guide that breaks down the blogging process in 6 simple steps.
In this guide, I break down the steps of starting and monetizing a blog in a very short time.
For years I wanted to start a blog but I let so many excuses hold me back. I told myself I wasn’t a writer, I didn’t have anything important to say, blah blah blah.
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But in hindsight, I wish I would have started my blog the day my uncle suggested it. I just had my first baby and I thought he was crazy!
If I would have taken his advice, my blog would probably be me making a full-time income.
I have so many conversations with friends about starting a blog. So many people say that they’ve always wanted to start a blog yet very little do. And many of them that do won’t ever make money because they aren’t strategic.
Because the ugly truth about blogging is that you can easily spend years on a blog and not make a dime. It pains me to think about it but many people do it.
But the really encouraging truth is that if you take the time to implement a few simple strategic steps, you can easily monetize a blog and quickly.
How I Made Over $9457.65 My First Year Blogging
Note: This post may contain affiliate links. Meaning that at no cost to you, I may make a small commission on anything you purchase through my link. But don’t worry, I never promote products that I don’t believe in or truly love <3
Invest In A Course
Never underestimate the power of paid education.
Can you find tons of free blogging resources on the internet? Absolutely. The problem is not that there isn’t enough information.
The problem is that it is too much and it becomes very easy to get sucked into trying to do all the things but never really making progress.
Shortly after I started blogging I invested in EBA (Elite Blog Academy). At the time it felt like a huge investment, but it has been the number one tool that allowed me to make the progress I’ve made in such a short time.
I also purchased a Pinterest course and built my Pinterest account to 1.7 million views in less than a year.
My primary source of traffic is through Pinterest.
I know for certain that I would not have seen the results I have if I hadn’t invested in myself and my business and purchased these courses.
If you want to create income from your blog, I highly recommend investing in a course or two to learn exactly how to grow it the right way.
I took the Pinterest ninja course. You can get it here.
Niche Down To Very Specific Topic
The first thing I did was niche down to a very specific topic.
Yes, there are a lot of bloggers out there, but many are all over the place in terms of topics.
People want to read about something from an “expert”. I use that term loosely because what I mean by an expert is someone who knows a lot more than they do. Don’t let that term scare you.
If you are all over the place with posts and topics, it’s hard to know exactly who you are talking to and what they are interested in reading.
That’s not to say you can’t talk about different things. There are many successful lifestyle bloggers.
But If you are going to be a lifestyle blogger, you should still niche down within that space.
For example: Choose one to three topics within the lifestyle niche such as travel, organizing, or personal finance.
Then you can structure very specific posts around those topics that are relevant to the person you are trying to reach.
The cool thing about niching down is that you can even create a niche within a niche.
For example, I blog about curly hair care which is a very specific niche. But within that niche, I have three main categories that I write about….
- The Curly Girl Method – Which focuses on healthy habits and application techniques
- Curly Hair Products
- DIY Curly Hair Products
Since I have created specific micro-niches, I can create very targeted posts which in turn gives me a higher quality reader.
And A high-quality reader is much more likely to click and/or buy from you as well as become a long time reader.
How I Made Over $9457.65 My First Year Blogging
Nail Your Avatar
If you take anything away from this post, let it be this.
The more specific you can get with your avatar, the greater connection you will have with them. And sometimes that means excluding people.
Hear me out……
If you truly want to create a loyal audience that is obsessed with you, you have to know who you’re talking to.
To truly nail your avatar, that means repelling people (to a certain extent).
I’m not saying to be a jerk.
I’m saying to become very clear on who you are talking to and what you have to say. Because one of the oldest rules of business is to talk about things that matter to people that will listen.
I have had so many people come to my blog only to tell me they had no idea what I was talking about.
And that is my biggest goal.
If I had made my blog an all-encompassing hair care blog, I may have been able to attract more people on a surface level, but by niching down to only curly hair, 2c-3a curls hair, It sets me apart from my competitor.
There is only one me with my specific view on curly hair. And that cannot be replicated.
You need to do a deep dive into who your avatar is. What they like, what are their hobbies, where do they shop, what’s important to them?
The more specific you make your avatar, the better you will be able to communicate your message to them.
Then talk about your niche as only you can.
The biggest mistake you can make is trying to talk to everyone and not your specific avatar.
Write 20 Pillar Posts
Once you’ve established your niche and taken the time to nail your avatar, it’s time to get your writing on!
But don’t just start writing willy nilly.
Be strategic with what you write about by creating 20 pillar posts that answer a direct problem from your avatar.
Some of my best posts are those that I wrote my first-month blogging. I wrote about things that I was personally struggling with my curly hair and solved that problem.
So think super basic, catchy, and answer one specific problem that your avatar is facing.
For example, I write about curly hair and the curly girl method. These are a few of the first posts I wrote that still bring in a ton of traffic.
- What You Actually NEED For Curly Girl Method On A Budget -This was one of my very first posts and it has done nothing but gain traction over the past year bringing in thousands of views and leads. I did zero keyword research on this title. I just simply answered the basic question that my avatar was searching for
- How To Start The Curly Girl Method | Beginner’s Guide – This is another post I wrote early on in my journey answering a simple question for my avatar
You don’t have to spend hours on keyword research to write posts that resonate.
Don’t get me wrong, keyword research is helpful and I have implemented it in my business. But some of my most genius posts were simple and right in front of me.
Focus on writing 20 specific posts that answer a question for your avatar. And if you are having a hard time coming up with topics, pick one and start writing.
Oftentimes when I feel stumped, I spend a lot of time on one specific post and by the time I’m done, I have 3-10 more ideas that relate to the post I’m writing and answer the next question.
Create Specific Email Opt-Ins
Once I had a good foundation of posts specific to my avatar, I began creating specific email opt-ins.
When it comes to an email opt-in, the more specific your opt-in is to the post, the higher the conversion rate.
Remember how we talked about having a niche within a niche earlier?
Well, I created opt-ins for each sub-niche.
Let me explain…..
I write about curly hair care, the curly girl method, and curly hair products (both store products and DIY’s).
So instead of having one generic “curly hair care” opt-in, I create 4 separate and very specific opt-ins.
- Curly Girl Cheat Sheet
- 5-Step Curly Hair Guide
- DIY Curly Hair Products Recipe Book
- How To Choose Curly Hair Products Cheat Sheet
I know it’s hard to wrap your mind around specific opt-ins because don’t all these people want to learn about curly hair?
But when you offer them a specific opt-in that answers their question within a post, they are much more likely to convert.
Another bonus to separating your subscribers into very specific categories is it makes it easier to sell products.
A person who opted into my “curly girl cheat sheet” is much more likely to buy my course.
While the person who opted into “How To Choose Curly Hair Products Cheat Sheet” is much more likely to purchase a product.
I was able to grow my email list to over 7,000 subscribers in a year using this method without any paid ads.
Utilize A Trip Wire
Don’t let the term “tripwire” scare you. They are an amazing tool to start bringing in revenue from your blog right away.
I didn’t install a tripwire until months after I started my blog which left money on the table.
A tripwire is a landing page that immediately redirects your email subscribers to a sales page promoting a product.
You can see my tripwire my signing up for my email list here.
A tripwire should be a quick summary or ebook of your niche and should range between $5-$20.
The way I look at a tripwire is like a study guide in college.
Each semester, I would take detailed notes in class, consolidate them into one guide, and then sell them to my classmates for $5 on test day.
They already had the information, but having a quick summary of everything the needed to know for the test was worth the $5 investment.
So think of your tripwire as a summary of what your niche is.
What are the key items they need to know? Can you break it down into 3-7 actionable steps?
Take some time to brainstorm some ideas that are specific to your niche and avatar and install your tripwire right away.
My blog brings in between $400-$600 passive income each month from a simple tripwire.
Qualify For Mediavine
The two best ways to monetize your blog is through ads and selling your products.
I was able to qualify for Mediavine in six months which skyrocketed my revenue.
Since then, Mediavine has changed its requirements and it can take some time to qualify. So you can get started using AdSense but I highly recommend switching to Mediavine as soon as you are able.
I make three times more on ads using Mediavine because they work with their clients very closely to help you maximize your ad revenue. I cannot recommend Mediavine enough.
But the biggest takeaway here is to utilize ads on your blog.
It costs nothing to your user, and it’s a huge source of revenue. Not to mention that anymore it’s pretty much a given that you will see ads on quality free content.
Create Products For Your Avatar
Once I had mastered all of the above items mentioned, I zeroed in on course creation.
Repeat after me……DO NOT OVERTHINK THIS STEP!
You don’t have to sell a massive course for $1,000. All your course needs to be is a step by step breakdown of the process that yields the results that your avatar would like to achieve.
Shortly after starting my blog, I would find myself in multiple conversations with my friends about curly hair care.
They would ask me so many questions and I would tell them exactly how to get started.
And that is where my course was born.
All you have to do is take those conversations you are having regarding your topic and teach it.
Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!
You don’t have to be an expert and you don’t have to now and share all the things. When it comes to creating a course, less is more.
You want to make the content easy to digest, easy to take action on, and very simple.
Don’t believe the lie that blogs are outdated.
Blogging is very much alive in 2020 and there is so much space that needs to be filled on the internet.
The key elements to running a successful blog can be broken down into seven basic steps.
Don’t be afraid to invest in courses that help jumpstart your success.
Your mind is your biggest asset, and taking courses will set you apart from failed bloggers. That’s not to say that you can’t be successful without purchasing a course.
But you will waste much less time and money if you do.
Niche your blog down to very specific topics.
If you have a lifestyle blog, live in a particular niche for 10-20 posts to start gaining traction.
Become very clear about who you are talking to.
Remember that when you cater to the crowds, you lose quality connections. And that is the number one thing that will set you apart.
Draft and publish 20 very specific pillar posts that answer the question of your specific avatar.
Be strategic in creating a specific email opt-in that will convert.
Install a tripwire that breaks down the process for your niche.
And lastly, create a product specifically for your avatar that will teach them how to get the results they are trying to achieve.