Starting a blog can be an incredibly expensive thing, but it doesn’t have to be. You can get started and still be professional on a shoe-string budget. That’s how I started my blog, which now gets over 50K views a month. Let’s talk about what you really need.
The first thing you need is a place to share what you’re planning on writing. You don’t necessarily need to set up a whole website. You can start somewhere else for now, until you have a bit more experience under your belt.
I started my blog with WordPress. They have a free option that still gives you some flexibility to design the look and feel of what you want. It’s your website and you can change it as you want to. They also give you the option to grow. When you have more money you can purchase one of their paid programs and you won’t have to move any content. Learn more here: https://wordpress.com/.
It’s you’re not really tech savy you still have options. You can write a blog on your LinkedIn account. Did you know that? I just learned that a few weeks ago. LinkedIn gives you the option to publish articles, as described here: LinkedIn. This is a great option if your content is business related in any way. Your audience will be right there!
Another option is Medium. Their platform is really easy to use and it’s really simple to set up an account. Medium also has an audience built-in, but don’t expect people to just read your blog. You’ll still have to draw people to it. Learn more here: https://medium.com/
Another website builder, like WordPress, that has a free option is Wix. Wix is supposed to be easy to use, with it’s drag and drop website builder. I find it really clunky and frustrating, actually, but a lot of people like it. And it’s free! https://www.wix.com/
Squarespace is another website builder that is really powerful and can grow with your business. They don’t have a free option, but they have a free trial if you want to try it out. https://www.squarespace.com/
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Ok, so now you have a blog, but how do you get people to read it? They won’t just come. You have to get them there. The best way is through social media. You have to tell them that you’re there and what you have to offer. They also want to get to know you, which is what social media does as well.
You don’t have to be on every platform though, just pick the one where your target audience is. Generally speaking, if your audience is over 35 then you should be on Facebook. If they are between 25 & 35, Instagram is the place to be. If you’re more business-related you should be on LinkedIn.
Make sure you post every day and post consistently. You can utilize HootSuite as a free scheduling tool so you don’t have to be on social media every day, but still post consistently.
You should also be on Pinterest and post your new blog posts there. Pinterest is more of a search engine than a social media platform. If you think of it that way it will help you to remember to use keywords in your posts. You can set up a business account with Pinterest for free that will give you a huge amount of analytics. That way you can tell which posts do well and what your audience is interested in.
The absolute best way to make money with your blog is through your email list. The people on your list will be your most dedicated and invested followers and customers. It’s important for you to start building your list from day one. You can set up an email service provider account for free through Mail Chimp. It’s really easy to set up and get started.
Making money is the most important thing, right? A lot of people will tell you to put ads on your website or use affiliate links for making money. While you can make a lot of money doing these things, you need a big audience that’s interested in clicking on the ads or buying things through the links. There’s not really a good way to tell if your audience will be engaged with those things. And what you’ll find is that you’re constantly chasing page views and never getting enough.
The best way that I have found to make money is to sell something. Don’t start sweating yet! I’m not a salesperson either, but when you do it right, it doesn’t feel like sales at all. There are several different options for things to sell. Here are a couple of the things I sell that make the most money.
Group coaching and one on one coaching make the most money for me. Group coaching is fun because you get to know a few people at one time and they are able to encourage each other as well. I also enjoy one on one coaching because it’s more personal. You can hit on the specific things that your client needs rather than the more general approach that group coaching is.
The great thing about coaching is that you don’t need any special certification in order to do it. It’s not required in the United States, at least. As long as you know something, you can teach others how to do it. Think about all of the people who make money teaching something as simple as making bread or putting a bookshelf together on YouTube. There’s endless possibilities here! Whatever you know, I’m sure there is an audience out there for you!
Another great way to make money is by selling ebooks. I love ebooks because you can write about anything and you can sell them indefinitely, as long as your content is evergreen. If you’re a writer, this might be your jam. It’s fun not only to write the book but then to see it come together in design as well. You might be surprised how much money you can make from a $9.97 book too! It’s all about the numbers.
There’s so much you can do with little to no investment to get started. You can make money almost from day 1 with your blog. It all depends on you. How bad do you want it? How much are you willing to work for it? I won’t lie to you. It doesn’t happen overnight and it’s not easy. But it is possible. If you stick with it, you’ll have your own business up and running in no time.
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Sarah Kuhn is the founder of INFJ Woman and The Quiet Ones podcast. When she’s not serving her clients, writing or recording podcasts, she geeks out on reading books, listening to podcasts about business and New Kids on the Block. She calls Boston, MA home.
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