Having a hard time figuring out exactly what goes into starting a blog of your dreams?
Then look no further worthy web browser, because you have just stumbled across the ultimate resource for starting a blog from scratch. We are going to take you inside absolutely everything you need to know in order to get your blog up and online as soon as tonight and customized with loads of great content so you can start attracting visitors and earning commissions.
Let’s get started.
Step 1: Big Ass Problem (B.A.P.)
Before you do a damn thing with a blog or any business idea for that matter, you need to figure out the B.A.P. (big ass problem) that your blog is going to solve.
For example, this blog talks about building a sexy, location independent online business by providing free tutorials, videos, audios, and all kinds of really great stuff that helps people achieve their goals of blogging, and building online businesses. In return, we get paid on Digital Bankroll for making top notch recommendations in the form of affiliate links.
That is likely how you will monetize your blog or website as well. Affiliate marketing is extremely lucrative, but we will talk more about that when we get to the monetization section of this article. Patience young grasshoppa.
Right now is THE most important part of the process, because if you get your niche wrong, you will not be able to create an audience, and your website will be lame.
Really spend some time and think about what you can help people understand better. This becomes your niche. Because chances are that you have been doing something all of, or most of your life that you know or are better at than most people in the world. That is your niche.
Run with it.
Step 2: Domain Name
One of my favorite parts of starting a new business venture is anointing it with a name, or in this case, a domain name!
There are a few tricks to choosing the perfect domain name.
- Domain Name needs to end in a .com, bottom line. This is what people want to see, it’s what the expect and it gives your blog, website and brand more authority to be taken seriously when you launch it and grow it.
- Domain Names are not allowed to have any dashes or strange punctuations marks in them. By doing this, is says amateur. The domain name you want may be taken already, but might be available with dashes in the name. Do not fall into this trap. Dashes suck.
- Domain Names must have correct spelling. Again, nothing says amateur more than a misspelling in your very own domain name. How embarrassing. Make sure you do not make this mistake. Spell things correctly.
- Domain Names for brands and blog websites should be short and to the point. Preferably two words, or maybe three is you need to. My rule is this, if you are driving by someone on a street corner at 40mph and you shout your domain name out the window to them, they should be able to understand it, remember it, and visit it on their smart phone. Get it?
- Domain Names take time to think of. Here’s the method I used to think of Digital Bankroll. When I first registered this domain name, I knew I wanted it to be a two word domain name. I wanted one word to mean Internet or Online, and the other to mean Cash or Money.
So what I did was write a list of hundreds of words that mean those two things. Then I would cross reference my favorites and how they sounded. Next I started checking domain names, and when DigitalBankroll.com was available, I registered it immediately at GoDaddy.com.
Once you have the perfect domain selected, register it.
Step 3: Hosting
Getting the right host is an important question to ask. There are probably thousands of web hosts out there, knowing which one to use could result in your blog being a winner or a loser. Chose wisely.
Digital Bankroll is currently hosted on GoDaddy at the moment, but that will all be changing shortly. Here’s why.
We’ve found that shared hosting is NOT the business, and thats the kind of account we have over at GoDaddy. Since turning on JetPack Monitoring with WordPress, we’ve found that GoDaddy hosting as not been as reliable as we thought it was.
Very shortly we will be moving to a dedicate server on either Host Gator or Blue Host. Still having a debate amongst the DB team as to who we should ultimately get.
But one thing is for sure, we’ve hosted multiple niche sites and other blogs on Host Gator and they have been great to us so far. They are the most likely option for us go with at this point and therefore, is what we will recommend to you.
Be sure to watch our Host Gator tutorial to see exactly how to install WordPress and make your first blog post, in less than 10 minutes.
Step 4: WordPress Theme
Your WordPress theme should give you a boner. lol
I’m serious, that probably sounds weird but your WP theme needs to be something that, every time you look at it, makes you be like “Damn, this website is incredibly sexy.”
If you site does not do that yet, you are not using the right WordPress theme.
Here’s the best WordPress themes I’ve found online
Currently, Digital Bankroll runs on Thesis 2.0 framework. It’s probably the most customizable way to run a WordPress blog out there to date. You can do virtually whatever you want. However, it does comes with a bit of a learning curve, and therefore we only recommend Thesis to people who are a bit more advanced in the web design game.
If you are the type of person who is completely new to online marketing and want to get a website up and online, looking sexy as hell, then you need to check out Elegant Themes. When I first started blogging, Elegant Themes was all I used because I got access to over 100+ themes for $39 dollars. It made buying their themes a complete no brainer.
And that’s what I recommend for you.
Step 5: Categories & Navigation
Mapping out your categories and navigation is a critical piece in determining the success of your website.
The way I like to think about this is…
The website you create has a broad niche topic. Like Digital Bankroll for example, it’s a website about making money online. So naturally my categories are going to be sub niches of making money online. Or in other words, it will be all the various different methods I use to make money online.
If you investigate our navigation bar at the time of writing this post, you’ll see that we have a tab called “Make Money Online”, and when you mouse over that tab, you’ll see that we have all kinds of cool sub-navs like, Social Media, Blogging, Branding, Entrepreneurship, SEO and many more.
The idea here is to create your categories as the content that will ultimately fill your website. It gives you writing topics.
For example, on Digital Bankroll, at the time of writing this post, some of the categories were as follows.
Make Money Online (broad category)
• How To Sell
• Social Media
• Traffic Secrets
• Video Marketing
Do you see how Make Money Online would be the broad category and then each sub category is like a sub-niche of Make Money Online?
In other words, each sub topic can have hundreds and what will eventually become thousands of posts inside them, all created to solve peoples problems and generate loads of search engine and viral traffic for this website in the long run. Beautiful right? I thought so.
Implement this same strategy on your blog or website.
Step 6: Sidebar
The sidebar of your blog is where you make money!
What we do on our sidebar is a mixture of ways to follow us on Social Media, lead generators, banner advertisements and links to our most popular posts of all time. By combining all of these factors together, you are able to leverage the maximum effectiveness of your sidebar.
Think of your content as a means to drive people to your blog. And then your sidebar is what’s always on the side of the content, presenting possible money sources in the form of banner ads, that, at any time, someone could click on and you could earn a commission.
How To Monetize Your Sidebar
- Affiliate Banner Ads
- Sell Banner Ads To Advertisers
- Google AdSense
- Email Optin List
- Links To Popular Posts That Monetize With Affiliate Links
What will you put on your side bar?
Step 7: Footer
The footer of your blog can do a lot of really cool things for you.
At the time of creating this post, we have four footer text widgets that link out to various parts of this blog. Things like important articles, product links, and the like. But eventually what this will turn into is much more than that.
One of the most creative things we’ve seen done with a footer is have a full page width optin box. This is a great way to collect extra leads that hit the bottom of your blog posts by offering them a free gift in exchange for an email address.
I believe that sidebars have 3 extremely important functions.
3 Things Your Sidebar Should Do
- Important or most popular posts on the website (money posts)
- More information about the website or the author/s
- Generating an email optin from a free giveaway
I think that great footers encompass all three and you should most definitely do the same.
Step 8: Plugins
Every WordPress blog needs plugins. Plugins are the little extra bells and whistles that allow your websites to do extra cool things. The power of a plugin is that is allows your to add the needed functionality to your site without having to use a CMS that has every built in feature imaginable. That would drag down the overall site speed and performance.
But the question is, which WordPress plugins are truly essential, and which ones are completely unnecessary?
Here is a list of some of the plugins we run on Digital Bankroll.
• WordPress SEO by Yoast
• Table Press
• Google Analytics
• Popup Domination
• Fanciest Author Box
• Digg Digg
• JetPack for WordPress
• Manage WP
• WordPress Editorial Calendar
What are your favorite and most effective WordPress plugins that you use on your blog?
Step 9: Content Is King, Distribution Is Queen
Now that you have almost everything setup perfectly on your blog, it’s time to start creating EPIC content that you readers and followers will love.
But this is a two part strategy. Because you can’t have a queen without a king. However you can have a king without a queen. Don’t make that mistake.
What this refers to is the fact that you can create the most epic content in the world, but if you don’t have a way to distribute that content, you will ultimately lose.
There is a certain way you should create content on a blog, and that’s to create posts that feed into each other and keep people on your site. It will also dramatically help your bounce rate in Google Analytics.
Here’s what you do.
Remember how you created categories for your posts? Each category should have one main PILLAR post. This the kind of post that you might have seen us write on Digital Bankroll before. Typically it might be like “The Ultimate Guide To Blankity Blank” and would range between 2,500 and 5,000 words. This is a pillar post.
Then, once you have your pillar post created, you can create sub topics of that post. So let’s say for instance, that you talk about a few WordPress plugins as I did earlier in this post. You could then go create individual posts about each plugin and link to those posts from this page.
Since this page will get the majority of the traffic, it will then get people to ‘click’ links inside this post to learn more about a mentioned resource, thus keeping them engaged on your website, learning more, and possibly buying something from you.
You get it?
Step 10: Inbound Marketing
The exact opposite of what you’re used to seeing. Inbound Marketing is a new paradigm shift in the way we do business online. In the past, you’ve probably seen or done things like send direct mail or buy emails lists and hoped and prayed for leads to come your way.
Instead of trying to convert cold traffic, Inbound Marketing attracts warm prospects to you. By publishing content that provided solutions to the problems you potential customers are seeking, they naturally find you and subscribe to what you are doing on your blog.
It is by creating content in alignment with your target audience that people find what you are talking about and buy your products without hesitation because it’s what they already wanted.
Inbound Marketing has 4 phases.
When you realize that this new paradigm shift in marketing is something that is more powerful that you probably realize right now and something that doesn’t happen by accident, you’ll create more profits in your business.
Step 11: Search Engine Optimization
Of course, we couldn’t leave out Search Engine Optimization. Google, Bing and Yahoo are one of the biggest traffic sources online and then send us thousands of visitors every single month.
However, a lot of people confuse SEO for what is really is. Many times people think that they can just put some words on a page, drive a ton of back links to it and rank on the first page of Google. And while that might work for a brief period in time, in the end you will get your site banned from the search engines.
It’s kind of like robbing a bank, and then trying to deposit the money you stole the very next day at the same bank. lol. It’s not very smart.
Instead, your should put your focus on creating EPIC content that people will naturally want to share with others on Twitter, Facebook and the like.
In fact, that is one of our many strategies here at Digital Bankroll. Our entire purpose of creating content is to create a website that is like the ultimate resource for anything relating to making money online. And as a result of that vision and that goal, we will win all kinds of crazy traffic in the process. You see?
Never do something just for the money.
Writing content that PEOPLE love wins you shares and viral traffic, which in turn, wins you search engine rankings. Everyday, search engines move more in this direction.
Step 12: Marketing & Syndication
And the final phase of your blog is promoting the living crap out of it! lol
Because what good is all your epicness if no one reads how epic it really is?
There are a few favorite ways we like to promote out blog and our individual blog posts.
• Email our subscribers
• RSS• Facebook Status Updates
• Twitter Tweets
• Social Bookmarking
By doing all of these things in combination with each other, it’s going to rally people to your new blog posts like crazy. And what’s really cool, is as your grow your business and your following on all of these different places, you’re going to see your traffic grow exponentially.
It may start off small in the beginning, but just remember that 1 reader can easily turn into 10 at the push of a button, with one Tweet, or one Facebook update. It’s coming. But only if you publish the epic content.
The Last Thought
You’ve literally just received a massive download of brain nectar about how to start a blog from scratch, all the various different components that you need to put a killer blog together, the tools we use to do it, and the strategies behind why we do what we do.
The next step is up to you. Will you do it?
I sure hope that you do, because I would love nothing more than to shake your hand at a live conference one day, and you tell me that the reason you’re here is because you read a blog post on Digital Bankroll. That’s why I do this stuff. That’s why I wake up everyday.
Now let’s change the world together.