If you’ve been on this site for more than 5 minutes, you already know that I’m a gargantuan (which is much bigger than huge by the way) fan of starting your own blog.
I started this blog in 2010 and I’ve earned more than $100,000 because of it – heck, Penny Hoarder even featured me in a post about it! It’s been a fun ride to say the least, but now my mission is not just to keep earning money online, but to teach you how to do it too!
In order to get you started with a bang (meaning…getting you some visitors and pretty soon, some MONEY!), I’ve committed to writing one post every couple of weeks to help you grow your blog bigger than you ever thought possible.
In case you missed some of the prior posts, here’s a list of what I’ve written already:
- Start Your Own Blog page
- How to Start a WordPress Blog on iPage for $24
- 2 Steps to Make Your Blog Look Awesome (and actually make some money!)
- Top 10 Blog Topics for Your New WordPress Blog
And now of course, we’re talking about 10 things you need to do to set up your blog for success.
10 Things You Need to Do to Set Your Blog Up For Success
At this point, you’ve already signed up for your blog through iPage, and you’ve adjusted the formatting and theme so that it’s looking great (if not, refer to the above links to get caught up)! Now it’s meat and potatoes time. It’s time to set up your site to get it prepped for thousands and thousands of visitors.
And, to help you more than just telling you how to set your blog up for success, I actually put each of these steps into practice on my new test site, SimpleSideHustles.com. If you have any questions about how something should look once it’s done, take a look at the Simple Side Hustles’ site!
Want people to take your site seriously? Then stop giving people your Yahoo! or Gmail address and start your very own website address.
Pretty cool, huh? Now that you’re a website owner, it’s time to set yours up too! It’ll enable you to field questions, reach out to fellow bloggers, and to respond to your future clients!
Related: Setting Up Your Email
2) Install the Yoast SEO plug-in
After you set up your email and before you do anything else, I beg you to find and install the Yoast SEO plug-in and start learning how to use it.
Yoast SEO is one of the best search engine optimization tools that will help you get onto the number one page of Google and Yahoo! search directory results. And that’s the whole reason we write these posts, right? To get noticed and to have real live people reading our stuff!
To set your blog up for success, you MUST score well well it comes to search engine optimization.
3) Set Up Your Contact Page
If you want visitors to reach out to you or have advertisers contact you, then you need to provide them with a simple way to do it. The most preferred way is via a “contact” page. It’s simple for visitors to find and use, and it keeps spammers from getting your email address.
To set up a contact page in WordPress, simply log into your WordPress Dashboard (remember… http://yoursite.com/wp-admin), click on “Plug-ins”, “Add New”, and search for “Fast Secure Contact Form“.
Then just follow this great YouTube video to set it up the rest of the way.
4) Set Up Your “About” Page
If you want your visitors to hang around your site for more than two seconds, then set up an “About” page. This is where your readers can find out a bit about you, the awesomely talented owner of this blog they’re on.
So what do your readers want to know? They’d like to hear:
- What this site can do for them
- Why they should believe you (what experience do you have)
- About your personal story (you want them to feel connected to you)
If you’re still not quite sure if your “About” page is up to snuff, match it up against the top 10 “About” pages that are on the web today.
5) Set Up a FeedBurner Account
Haven’t heard of a FeedBurner account? Many first-time bloggers haven’t. Basically, it’s just a way for bloggers to get subscribers to their site via email. Sounds rudimentary and unnecessary, but it’s HIGHLY important.
How many times have you Googled something, found the site that answers your question, and then NEVER visited that site again? Probably thousands upon thousands of times. When people find their way to your site, you want to do everything in your power to make sure they come back. One of the best ways to do that is to get their email address and let them know every time a new post goes live on your site.
You can also see what the finished product looks like at my new site, SimpleSideHustles.com.
6) Choose Your Top 10 Categories
Have you ever visited a site that was tough to navigate? There were articles on the home page, but if you wanted to find a specific article you didn’t have a chance. You DO NOT want a site like this.
To keep visitors on your site (which Google rewards highly by the way), think of 10 categories that best describe your site and your future articles.
For my site, SimpleSideHustles.com, I’ve chosen these categories:
- Techie side hustles
- Handy man side hustles
- Homemaker side hustles
- Personal care side hustles
- Low-skill side hustles
- Intellectual side hustles
- Low-cost side hustles
And…I still have three more to think of, but it’s a solid start.
With these categories, my readers can quickly find side hustles that work for them. If they know they’re not tech savvy but are pretty handy around their house with projects, they’ll know exactly where to click.
If you want to set up your blog for success, you’ll need to categorize it well.
7) Write As Many Posts as Possible
If you only have one or two posts on your site, there’s pretty much no chance of you getting picked up by Google as a quality resource. So before you tell anyone about your page, set your blog up for success and write a crap-ton of quality articles. This will keep your readers around for longer, which remember, Google loves because it means your readers are getting a quality experience.
If you’re just starting out and aren’t sure if blogging is for you, start with 5 posts. If you’re a little bit more confident, load 10 articles. I personally recommend that you try the “go big or go home” method and write 20-50 articles before you tell a soul.
I wish I would have known this tip six years ago… Pillar posts are articles that are between 2,000 and 2,500 words and are considered the major resource for a particular category on your page. It’s the post that all your other posts in that category will point toward because they contain a ton of useful information on the topic. Then, because the post is so useful and has so many links pointed toward it, your article will quickly move up the search engine rankings and attract even more readers.
Here’s my attempt at a pillar post on SimpleSideHustles.com within my “Low-Skill side hustles” category: 3 Simple Steps to Succeed in Life With No Skills Whatsoever. The article shows people EXACTLY what they need to do if they want to start a basic side hustle (without a special skill-set) that earns a ton of money. It’s 2,142 words and it’s gold for anyone that wants to start a low-skill business of their own.
9) Register Your Blog With the Top Sites
Only when you’re confident and proud of the content that’s on your site should you even consider registering it with the big search engines like Google, Yahoo!, or Bing. Once you’re ready though, it’s the first big step to getting noticed. Don’t take it carelessly.
10) Set Up Google Analytics
“In order to get to where you want to go, you first need to know where you’re at.”
This is certainly the case when you’re driving across the country, but it’s also true of your blog visitor stats.
If your blog is limping along and barely any visitors are being driven to your site, it could be due to multiple reasons:
- your visitors are leaving your site faster than they came
- due to poor web design, or
- due to poor content
- no other pages are linking into your site
- your site is too slow to load
Google Analytics will tell you all of this, so it’s obviously important to keep tabs on. But at the same time, I caution you against paying too much attention to the analytics. I listed this at #10 for a reason. Yes, it’s important to know that your blog is moving in the right direction, but there’s no need to check your analytics 10 times a day (I speak from experience on this one).
Which do you think your readers care most about? Your analytics or your article content? Hands-down…your content. Every. Time.
Set Your Blog Up For Success
With this simple post, you officially have all the tools necessary to drive some serious traffic to your new website. By implementing these 10 tips, you’ll be taking the next step to making your dreams come true.
You remember right? All of those reasons why you started your blog in the first place?
- to make some extra money to get out of debt
- to prove to the nay-sayers that you CAN make a difference in this world
- so you can free yourself from the tyranny of a job that you hate
- so you can travel the world and teach others how to do it too!
Plus many more! It’s time make your blog a kick-butt resource, to attract hundreds of thousands of visitors, and to make more money than you ever thought possible! I know you can do it, and I can’t wait to hear your success story!