This post probably contains affiliate links, to items I am in love with, and I am confident you will too!
Okay, this is the post I wish I read when I first started blogging. When I first started, I was so excited to write, photograph and merge a passion into a business. Writing, marketing and all-things motherhood are basically ho I am at that core. My degree is in Communications, I lived and breathed entrepreneurship in college, and I still have a small web-design and online marketing company that I take select clients for. That being said, I did not set myself up correctly to create a passive income from blogging in the beginning. I’ve solved that problem finally, after 8 months of blogging, and you definitely don’t need to wait that long. This is the only post you need to read to create a blog that increases in traffic and income each month. And no, I didn’t invest in expensive courses to do this. I may do that soon, but I bought just a few eBooks from other bloggers, which helped tremendously!
I want to reiterate that I am here to help you, not do the same things I did. Seriously, I went months focusing on quality writing and getting published in the Huffington Post, which is great, but nobody sends you a check. You just get a great big pat on the back.
I believed I needed to have the best blog articles, best photos and basically a viral blog in order to start making money and bringing in traffic. NOT TRUE. You can bring in high-quality and high-quantity traffic as soon as you publish if you do things correctly.
Okay, let me get you started creating your blog and making money.
How To Start a Blog (If You’ve Started already, skip down for more details on traffic and income!)
First, you need a domain. I talk about Bluehost more in this post, Why Every Mom Needs To Start A Mom Blog = The Super Easy Way To Start a WordPress Blog. which I need you to read. I will skim over what I said there, but I linked it in another tab, so you can switch back and forth between the information.
You want to buy your domain and set up your hosting there. Once you set up the affordable, quality hosting, don’t be afraid to just call them to help you set up WordPress hosting with their one-click install…you will be able to navigate in your account where that is. Its honestly, a very easy process to get WordPress ready! Here are the basic instructions:
We provide a program which makes it very easy to install third party scripts to your hosting account. If you want your website to have a WordPress blog, you can use Marketplace to install WordPress to the root of your site or to a subdirectory.
Installing WordPress with Marketplace
- Log in to your Bluehost cPanel account.
- Find the Website section and select Install WordPress.
- Click the Install button.
- Choose the domain name to install it to. In the field next to the domain, you can enter a subfolder such as ‘blog’ or leave it blank if you want the site’s main page to be the blog.
- If necessary, you can edit the email address, username and password for the new WordPress installation. Click “advanced options” and you can change those settings.
- Read through the license and service agreements and check the boxes.
- Select the Install Now button.
[bha size=’190×60′ variation=’01’ align=’none’]
Once you have WordPress , you need to upload your theme. I have my theme, and some other super cute and free ones linked on the post I gave you above, but if you don’t want to go back to your other browser, here are the themes.
This theme is super pretty. See the DEMO or DOWNLOAD HERE
Enamored by Beautiful Dawn Designs. See DEMO or DOWNLOAD HERE.
Fashionista by Design Wall. See DEMO or DOWNLOAD HERE.
Kalon Theme a Rara Theme. See DEMO or DOWNLOAD HERE
SKT Girlie Light by SKT Themes. See DEMO or DOWNLOAD HERE
Once You have Your Theme Set Up, It’s still not time to write your first blog post.
Now, I want you to make sure you have a Pinterest account set up. This is where I failed miserably. I went straight to Instagram and Facebook for traffic. Sure, you’ll get some views, but not like being on Pinterest, because this is where users are actually looking to read blog articles. This is your place to get the traffic that wants your opinion, expertise, information and suggestions.
I am still frustrated with myself for not doing this right away in the beginning, so if you listen to only one thing I tell you, DO THIS!
After I started my Pinterest, I was still lost on what to do. It took me a couple months of just randomly pinning without much luck til I found this book. It’s not expensive, and it changed my Pinterest life and my blog traffic. I went from maybe 100 people a day, to 1,000 just by implementing her strategies. You can also email her directly with questions. She actually responds, and is a great resource to have!
(you should have a Sendowl Account ready to go. Most affiliate links, if you are going to link to eBooks from other bloggers which I think is a great way to go, are done through them! I will write a post soon with more details on Sendowl, and how I am going to use it for my eBook on Instagram coming out soon!)
I talk about her book more in my post, How I Got My First Viral Pin, and I can’t disclose what’s in the book because it wouldn’t be fare, but I can tell you that her method is unique and based on actual Google Analytic stats on what pins are driving you traffic, and how to utilize that to your advantage. I combine her tactics along with Boardbooster campaigns to keep pins moving. The tactic in the book involves manually looking at specific pins and boards. It IS A MUST!
She walks you through the basic set up of your Pinterest account, how to create great Pins and more way better than I could, so if you are super new to Pinterest, I want you to buy it even more!
Okay, so if you are set up and feeling ready for Pinterest, then you can start writing. You want to create a minimum of 3 Pinterest images per post with a variation of titles and even images. This will give your post more of a chance of catching some good traffic and pinning.
After setting up Pinterest, I highly, highly highly recommend reading the book, Blog By Number by Suzi at Start A Mom Blog. This is jam packed with literally everything!
The reason I wish I started with this book specifically is because I spent countless hours finding Facebook groups and Pinterest group boards to join. I also spent way to much time looking for affiliate programs. She actually lists the best groups, Pinterest Group Boards and goes over affiliate programs…all in one book. Do you know how many months this would’ve saved me?? The book in itself is a lot. I didn’t purchase the full course, or one on one phone call, though I believe those would be valuable too. Just the book, when you land on her page, is only $17.99. I think it could be a lot more, considering the in-depth knowledge and valuable resources she shares.
I was determined to save money, and not invest any money in my blog until I figured out how to make money myself. That was stupid. I didn’t start making $100 per sponsored post (DOSH program I’ll post about soon) $87 last month through Amazon and just under $300 in affiliate sales last month without first investing in information created by other bloggers.
My suggestion with this book, because it is so much information, yet really everything you need to know, is to get your blog started, get your Pinterest set up, start writing and creating pins. Then come to this book. The reason I want you to write and pin first is so you can start getting traffic and building an audience. It will motivate you to read this book, when you see the traffic coming in!
I am very interested in her course and her affiliate book. If you have started your blog, have a decent amount of traffic, and are looking to expand your affiliate income, I’ve heard great things. That’s about where I am at now. I am wanting to pursue more information to better my affiliate income.
Take a pause now! Lets think about what you want to write about in your blog, and corresponding products to go with it….leading into affiliate marketing.
If there are products one can buy, that you love or relate to what you write about, sign up for Amazon Affiliates account. Its simple to use, you can search for almost any product, and most people are comfortable buying from Amazon.
In order to make some decent money from their little bit of commission, you want to link products in all your posts and put native shopping ads where they fit. I like these because you aren’t pushing people to buy anything, they are just there, and if someone wants to shop they’ll head over to Amazon from your link, and you will get commission on what ever they buy.
Amazon Affiliates is the simplest method to start making money right away. Affiliate links and sponsored posts are most-likely going to be your main source of income in the beginning. The posts with Amazon Affiliate links I make the most money from are these ones:
In all of those posts, I simply suggest items I actually use and love. I suggest them because they work for me, and my audience is interested in my suggestions. That is how you work Amazon Affiliates. You can also do a roundup post of products, like the one below, where I get some sales from as well.
You may also be interested in working with brands. I personally love Instagram, and I have been able to work with brands even as a small account.
If you’re interested in working with brands, check out:
If you aren’t that new, and looking to really increase your pageviews and traffic, I am working my way through the book, 17 Strategies I Used To Increase My Pageviews by Lena at What Mommy Does.
So far, some of it I knew, and I am doing. The Facebook share tips and Google Plus info...why didn’t I think of that! That is the best bit of information I’ve found yet to increase your Google rankings as well as get some Facebook shares outside of your own Facebook bog page.
I haven’t finished the book yet, but once I do, and implement some more of her tips, I will let you know my full review and thoughts, and if I think it will help you in your blogging journey.
Have more questions? I’m a real mama, blogging my way through life, so send me an email! Let’s connect and share the journey! firstname.lastname@example.org