Marcus Sheridan of TheSalesLion.com: An interview on content marketing and how to start a successful blog

In this interview, Marcus Sheridan of The Sales Lion was kind enough to share answers to sixteen questions on blogging.Marcus Sheridan of TheSalesLion.com: An interview on content marketing and how to start a successful blog

The reason I’m sharing this with you is this: from his answers, you can pick something that you can start implementing today to either start a new blog or grow the one you already have.

To the first question and Marcus’s answer to it then…

1. Why did you get into blogging and decided to start your own blog?

I had no choice really.

My swimming pool company was on the brink of going out of business. I was going to lose my home. We were in trouble.

So we decided to do the only thing we could afford to do—become better teachers—online.

We figured if we became the best teachers in the world about what it is that we did (fiberglass pools in the case of my swimming pool company) the results would follow…and eventually they did.

2. How long have you been blogging, on what topics – why? (share your story)

I started blogging with my swimming pool company in March of 2009.

Within months of starting that practice, I noticed some pretty incredible results and kept pushing the envelope with the types of content we were producing.

Because of the outstanding impact it was having on my business, I decided to start another site–The Sales Lion– where I’d post my findings/results.

Little did I know The Sales Lion would become the blog/brand it is today.

3. How are things going so far? Have you been able to achieve the goals you set out when you first started?

With my pool company, the idea was to save the business, and we did. In fact, today River Pools has the most trafficked website in the world for swimming pools and we generate massive amounts of leads every day.

To put it simply, the business is on solid ground.

As for The Sales Lion, I’ve simply wanted to grow my brand and build a platform that would allow me to teach and speak and help others in a greater capacity. This is exactly what has happened.

4. Here’s what most people ask themselves when their blogs still get little traffic: How do I get more? What do you tell such people? What can they learn from your story growing your site?

First of all, traffic doesn’t pay the bills.

Customers pay the bills. Now granted, increased traffic on a site will often assist in increasing customers, but such is not always the case, as there are a number of other factors.

Truth be told, I wish everyone would stop saying the phrase “Get more traffic” and replace it with “Get more customers.”

But if you want more customers, here are 2 tips:

  • Address their problems and stop talking about yourself
  • Be bold and push the envelope. If you don’t have opinions, you likely won’t stand out from the noise

5. How many hours do you spend blogging every week, today, a month ago, a year ago, and what are your reasons for spending that amount of time on your blog?

I spend less time today blogging than I have ever over the past 4 years since starting. Why? Well, the simple answer is two-fold:

  • I spend much more time today with paying clients
  • I don’t need to produce as much content as I did before now that I’m established

That being said, when I started with River Pools and The Sales Lion, I wrote 3-4 times a week on each to get the momentum going, and that is generally the amount I find most businesses need to really get traction, at least during the first year.

6. What’s your definition of great content? How do you go about creating great content yourself?

Great content is anything that is understood by another person and they’re able to say, “I get it. This makes sense to me.”

7. Networking is said to be a good thing. What have you done, or do today, to connect with other bloggers, leaders, entrepreneurs and business owners in your niche and other niches?

Networking is a big deal. And over these 4 years, I’ve commented on many blogs. Shared the content of others. Mentioned and supported dozens and dozens of folks I respect.

Networking is a constant commitment, and it never stops.

8. What’s the one thing you’d spend most of your time doing if you started a new blog today? Where would your focus be? (do share your reasons please)

I wouldn’t really change anything, other than maybe a bit more networking than I did at the beginning.

I say this because I think it’s important that we all learn, fail, and grow. I look back on those early days with a huge smile.

9. What can one do to create a blog that says what’s been said over a thousand times differently and still manage to attract readers and get their content shared?

I don’t really care how many times something has been said. After all, my opinion is mine, and I need to think/write it out for me, if not for my readers/customers.

I think it’s a tragedy that so many great blog articles never get written simply because they think someone else has said it before.

10. People are obsessed with getting more traffic, money, comments, followers…Tell me, what should they really focus on when they start worrying over the numbers – for example how they only have a few followers and people come to their site after working really hard on their site for months?

This is why people must know their true goals and what’s important to them. But if it’s a business, it needs to be treated as such.

11. What’s your advice for someone who starts a blog because they simply want to make money online – and they think that blogging is the best way to achieve this goal?

Blogging is just a way of communicating a thought or idea.

If someone wants to make money online, they sure as heck better be passionate and interested in the subject, and they better be in it for the long haul.

The blogosphere chews up and spits out more bloggers than you can possibly imagine that simply wanted “to make money online.”

12. How much effort did you put in your blog before you made your first USD 100 from it – and how did you make the one hundred dollars?

I didn’t make any money on The Sales Lion for the first year if you can believe that. But I had another job and it was paying my bills.

Eventually, I started consulting, which is how I made my first $100, then my first $1,000, and then my first $100,000….

13. What steps did you take to go from someone that doesn’t make money blogging to someone who makes money blogging?

I don’t look at it like “I make money blogging.” I make money because I teach and communicate really well.

Blogging happens to be one of the methods I’m able to teach people. And because I teach so well, businesses come to me and ask me to “show” them how to do what I’ve already “told” them how to do. 🙂

14. What are some non-blogging things you had to deal with in your life in order to keep growing your blog into what it has become today?

Well, to answer this question, let me just say the current time as I write this is 1:03 am….Why am I up so late?

Well, once I embraced blogging and online marketing, I sacrificed sleep and other non-fruitful activities in order to make this dream a reality.

15. What is the best advice you received that has helped you stay with your blog and continue improving it? (If you remember where the advice came from, mention names please)

Mitch Joel helped me understand my value as a teacher and speaker.

He once asked me what I was charging for my presentations and when he heard how low I was, he proceeded to reel into me for undercharging and not understanding my true value to clients. I’ve since fixed this problem. 😉

16. Any ebooks, courses, products or services that you highly recommend other blog owners to get now?

Of course, I’d recommend my free eBook, Inbound and Content Marketing Made Easy found at The Sales Lion for starters. As for regular books, I think Jay Baer’s Youtility is simply an amazing read.

You can find more about Marcus Sheridan by clicking here. If you’d like to share your thoughts, experiences, and suggestions, the comments section is all yours.

Benny Hsu of Getbusylivingblog.com: An interview on how to start a blog and grow traffic with guest posting

In this interview, Benny Hsu of Get Busy Living Blog shares some answers to over eleven questions that people usually ask themselves about how to start blogs, get traffic to them, make money from them, and be as useful as always with the content they publish for readers who arrive on their websites.

To Benny

1. Why did you get into blogging and decided to start your own blog?

I decided to get into blogging because I love the way I’m able to communicate to anyone in the world.

I wanted a place where I could talk about what I liked and find people who shared the same interest. I created it mainly as a creative outlet for me.

2. How are things going so far? Have you been able to achieve the goals you set out when you first started?

It’s been going well. I have 30,000 visitors a month to my blog.

I would like to have grown much larger by now, but I know it’s cause I haven’t put in the time and effort needed.

However it is still growing slowly ever month. I haven’t achieved all the goals I’ve set out for the blog yet, but I know it just takes time to focus on it.

3. Here’s what most people ask themselves when their blogs still get little traffic: How do I get more? What do you tell such people? What can they learn from your story growing Get Busy Living?

Get more traffic by doing guest posts on other blog.

Write great content so that readers will want to come to your blog and read more. Also form relationship with other bloggers.

Don’t ask them to share your work all the time, but if you feel like you wrote a great post, you could ask. That’s what I did.

I also left a lot of comments on other blogs to add to the conversation and get to know the blogger better.

4. How long have you been blogging, on what topics – why? (share your story)

I’ve been blogging for three years now on personal development. I’ve been fan of it for many years because I wanted to find out how I could change my life.

I have always been interested in finding the right buttons to push in our mind to help us reach our potential.

5. How many hours do you spend blogging every week, today, a month  ago, a year ago, and what are your reasons for spending that amount of time on your blog?

A week I could spend 10 hours at least because for me the writing process takes awhile.

When I first started my blog, probably the first year, I spent double or triple that.

I was networking, reading blogs about how to blog better, optimizing my blog, and writing content.

It was important for me to really learn the ins and out of blogging if I wanted to become a better blogger.

6. What’s your definition of great content? How do you go about creating great content yourself?

Great content provides value. I want people to walk away with a good feeling. Not just “oh that was nice”. For me I write about the topics that I would want to read.

Sometimes I write content as if it were only for myself because I’m sure some other people would want to read the same thing. Personal stories can be great content too.

Stories of struggles and triumphs always inspire.

7. Networking is said to be a good thing. What have you done, or do today, to connect with other bloggers, leaders, entrepreneurs and business owners in your niche and other niches?

When I first started out, I would go to their blogs and leave comments.

Sometimes if I liked their Facebook fan page I’d leave a comment about something they posted.

Or I’d be on Twitter sharing their content or having a small conversation.

Going to conferences is also great because you get that face to face interaction.

8. What’s the one thing you’d spend most of your time doing if you started a new blog today? Where would your focus be? (do share your reasons please)

I think creating content that people want to read and share. If you write content that’s been done so many times and isn’t unique, it won’t be memorable.

So my focus would be on creating great content.

9. What can one do to create a blog that says what’s been said over a thousand times differently and still manage to attract readers and get their content shared?

To put their spin on it. People read blogs because of the content, but they also read because of the person that is writing it.

I write about personal development. It’s a crowded market but I still have long time readers because they enjoy my point of view or how I write.

So write in your own voice because no other blog will be the same as you.

10. People are obsessed with getting more traffic, money, comments, followers…Tell me, what should they really focus on when they start worrying over the numbers – for example how they only have a few followers and people come to their site after working really hard on their site for months?

Work on great content. If you get a new visitor to come to your blog, and you have boring content. They’re never coming back.

Have something great, and they’ll come back. Focus on writing content that is going to make people glad they found you.

11. What’s your advice for someone who starts a blog because they simply want to make money online – and they think that blogging is the best way to achieve this goal?

I’d say if you want to start a blog with the goal of making money there are much better ways to do it. A blog alone isn’t going to make you money.Benny Hsu of Getbusylivingblog.com: An interview on how to start a blog and grow traffic with guest posting

You can’t put up ads and get paid that way unless you have millions of visitors a month. If you really want to make money from your blog, have a plan from the start.

How are you going to do it?

Create your own products? Promote others? But throwing up a few ads isn’t going to make you the money you imagine. Usually, a blog is just a platform and people have other ways to make money online.

12. How much effort did you put in your blog before you made your first USD 100 from it – and how did you make the one hundred dollars?

I made my first $100 from selling my own product. I put a lot of time into it. I don’t remember how many hours but it took me months to create the slide, record the video, and put it all together.

13. What steps did you take to go from someone that doesn’t make money blogging to someone who makes money blogging?

Treating my blog like a business. If I wanted to make money from it, I had to stop thinking of it as a nice hobby, and really look into the business side of it.

How to monetize it, how to create products, how to engage with my readers.

14. What are some non-blogging things you had to deal with in your life in order to keep growing your blog into what it has become today?

Make time. We’re all busy and it’s easy to not make time to blog. In order to blog, or do anything else, you’ve got to set aside time for it.

Try and do it the same time everyday if that’ll help you stick with it.

15. What is the best advice you received that has helped you stay with your blog and continue improving it? (If you remember where the advice came from, mention names please)

The best advice I’ve gotten for my blog is to choose a topic I’m interested in. I had to imagine if I could write content for it for a year before I started because a blog needs content. I knew I could because this is a topic I really enjoy.

That’s why I’ve been able to continue to blog three years later. I’ve started many blogs before with just the focus to make money, and the topics I chose were not interesting to me at all.

16. Any ebooks, courses, products or services that you highly recommend other blog owners to get now?

Read blogs like Copyblogger.com, Problogger.net, and Smartpassiveincome.com to learn more about how to be a better blogger.

To visit Benny Hsu’s site and learn more about him and the work he does, click here. If you’d like to share your thoughts, experiences or suggestions, please do so in the comments below.

Get traffic and make your blog popular: 10 ways to get noticed as a new blogger

Want to make your blog popular? To get found and ranked high in Google Search? To get traffic to your blog? Read on to learn ways to get noticed as a new blogger.10 ways to get noticed as a new blogger

Starting a new blog isn’t always an easy thing.

I mean installing everything and making available your new blog on the internet may be easy, but we all know that that’s only a tiny part of what makes a blog grow to be successful.

You want your blog to be noticed, right? Most people do! Not all people? Yep, not everybody.

There are those who talk about the big things they want to do with their blogs, the number of unique visitors they want to get from search engines, how many of those they want to turn into email subscribers, how many they want to click on their ads to make some income, how many page views they want every single day…

Then there are those who don’t only dream. They do. They take the necessary steps to make those dreams come true.

I believe you are one of those people, or at least, you are going to try for the sake of your blog and the people coming to it.

So, how do you get noticed as a new blogger?

 NOTE: For more ideas to help you find opportunities to get your blog noticed and ranked high on search engines, read the blog post Why Blog? 30 Reasons to Start a Blog

10. Do a top 50 – 101 list of some great blogs in your niche

The bloggers who run the other blogs in your niche may be your competitors; individuals after the same people you are after.

You can choose to look at them differently – as people doing the same thing you are already doing or want to do.

And what’s that? Solving problems for the readers who come to their sites.

Meaning? They share in one of your big goals – the goal to provide information that the readers like, find useful, helpful – in short, information that satisfies the curiosity or needs of the readers.

They are your friends, not your enemies.

Some of them will welcome you and spare you some time.

Some may see you as someone out there ready to eat their lunch.

I am sure the majority will be glad to share your posts with their readers once they notice the link coming from your top 50 – 101 blog post.

After all, there is room for everybody –  and most readers often look for the answers to the same questions on different blogs.

As Marcus Sheridan points out, your experiences, perspective and attitude can go a long way in helping you say the same thing that has been said a million times in a way your readers resonate with.

Write the post and link to the blogs. Then email each blogger you mention in your post with a link to the published post on your blog just in case they don’t get to see the post.

9. Comment on other blogs

What I like to do is this: Write an article and publish it on my blog, then visit any search engine and search for the title of the blog post I have just published.

Once I do this, I visit some of the sites listed. I obviously read the posts then leave a comment but I don’t link to my site’s homepage in the comment’s URL field.

I add a link to the similar post published on my site.

The comment must be good, of course.

To give you an example, I created a child theme for the Twenty Thirteen WordPress theme.

I wrote a post about the Twenty Thirteen child theme and published it on my blog with instructions on how to get it (hint: one has to subscribe to my email list to get access to the download link).

Guess what I did next? I searched for my blog post’s title on Google and found some blogs mentioning 2013 child themes.

I commented on a few and obviously mentioned the child theme I created, linking back to the post that talked about the theme on my blog.

There are days when these comments bring me no traffic.

But there are days when they do – which is a good thing.

Some things you should know when commenting on other blogs:

  • Be among the first people to leave a comment on a published post
  • Be a regular commenter on the blogs you like
  • Take note of bloggers who respond to comments and regularly comment on their sites
  • Mention, in the comments, something the blogger may have left out of their post that could be useful to other readers
  • Check if your comments have any replies and respond to the commenters if necessary

8. Link out

When writing an article, you might find another article published by another blogger that your readers can benefit from.

So, what you do is you link to it from your article.

This serves three purposes:

  1. Your readers are directed to more useful resources by you. This can help with your credibility. It shows that you are not scared of sending readers to another blog if that’s the right thing to do. It saves your readers time…and if you are worried, they’ll forget you and never come back to your site, remember that as long as you continue putting out useful posts on a regular basis, they’ll remember you and your blog – and they will come back.
  2. The bloggers you link to get new readers. They appreciate you noticing how useful their posts are to your readers. That’s why you are linking to them in the first place, right? Don’t expect them to link back to you or say thank you, but rest assured that some will write you an email saying thank you and asking you a question or two. Some may link back to you and send their readers your way. You just never know. Remember to send emails to the bloggers you link to, telling them how thankful you are for their resource. Also share, in the emails, your reasons for linking out to them.
  3. When you start doing this from the early days, you’ll tend to want to give your readers the best of the best even if that means directing them to another resource outside your blog, interviewing someone and publishing the email interview or podcast on your blog. You don’t become an impediment to your readers achieving their goals. You become the person who makes the process smooth, easy and memorable. People like that.

7. Start on a proper foundation

Be the person who learns and implements.

Master the basics of blogging. Know the few things you do that bring you closer to your blogging goals every single day.

That goal could be getting a few thousands more coming to your blog and subscribing to your email list.

It could be making a certain amount with your blog.

So, instead of playing with plugins and themes, dashing from Facebook, Twitter to the social network that’s getting a lot of buzz lately in the name of being busy building a successful blog, setup and configure the plugins and themes the right way then focus on the things that matter most.

Like what? Creating new content and publishing new posts to your blog on a regular basis or reaching out to other bloggers, businesses, leaders and allowing other individuals who can provide your readers with useful content to contribute posts to your blog.

If you need a place where you can find all you need to get started as a blogger, with a step by step instruction, get this How to Start a Successful Blog online course or buy the 100-page ebook with a similar title here.

As a blogger, there will be things baying for your attention that shouldn’t.

Deal with them right away then channel your energy on the things that will propel your blog to the elusive next level as Darren Rowse of Problogger likes to call it.

Have a blog mission.

Do your keyword research properly.

Decide if you want to start a niche site or have a multi-niche blog.

Decide how many times you want to publish new blog posts a week and what you’ll do to adhere to your set schedule.

Russ Henneberry of the DigitalMarketer blog wrote a great post on how to find writers for your blog.

Read it.

6. Introduce yourself to other blog owners

While linking out to other blogs and commenting on different sites on a regular basis can be a great way to introduce yourself to other bloggers, you can go an extra mile:

  • By visiting sites you like and sending the blogger an email. Some bloggers share their email address on their blog (on the sidebars or contact me page). If you can’t get the email, use their contact form
  • By calling them and chatting via Skype or leaving them a voicemail, for example
  • Telling them about a product or service you want to give to their readers. How do you do this? First, you can give them a few copies (licenses) to software they and their readers can find useful. What you are doing here is giving them a special deal, expecting nothing back in return but just the chance to know more about another blogger and a potential friend. No bugging them. No thinking they owe you anything. If you have a coupon, an addon or some awesome discount, let them know about it.

5. Interview others

As a new blogger, who wants more people to find their blog, visit it, read posts, share some and come back to the site regularly, getting people to do interviews with you can be difficult but not impossible.

As someone who has sent interview questions via email a few times before, I can say that it is not easy.

Some will take you on your offer and do them.

Some will tell you how busy and pressed for time they are, and that you will have to plan to do the interview at a future date.

Here are a few things you should know:

It is easy for some people to do audio interviews (say if you also have a podcast) than receive questions via email and take their time to write out in-depth answers to each question you send them, before emailing them back to you.Get traffic and make your blog popular: 10 ways to get noticed as a new blogger

If you tell someone that the reason you want to interview them is so that they can share their knowledge with your readers, they are more likely to accept your offer on the interview.

Yes, it is a joy to interview some of the busy and popular people you admire, but your interviews are, as you already know, not for showing off.

The questions should be tailored to benefit the people coming to your blog.

Be specific about how their knowledge will benefit your readers even if your questions already provide a hint to this because guess what, you’ll have to first send them an email (or call them) asking them if they are willing to do the interview.

If they answer in the affirmative or you get a may be, that’s when you’ll provide them with more details and let them know about the questions you’d like them to answer.

I have done some interviews via email myself. You can read them below to learn how I framed the questions:

  1. Marcus Sheridan on how to start a successful blog: More than 11 tips you can start using now
  2. Benny Hsu of Getbusylivingblog.com: An interview on how to start a blog and grow traffic with guest posting
  3. How to start a blog and grow it into a success – tips by Cindy Buccieri
  4. Rob Cubbon: An interview on how to start a blog and make it successful
  5. Matt Smith of Onlineincometeacher.com: An interview on how to start a blog, promote it and make it successful

How do you get the busy and popular personalities to take you on your offer for an interview?

Interact with them, via their site’s comments section for example.

Get to know them. Let them get to know you.

As I mentioned above, comment on their blogs, introduce yourself via email etc.

You can also subscribe to their blogs via email and reply to them whenever they send an email to your inbox.

They are more likely to read these emails anyway, however busy they are.

You know how most bloggers treat their email subscribers a little more differently than they do the readers who just leave comments or contact them via their blog’s contact page?

I am not saying that they pay little attention to the others, but I have noticed in more occasions than I can count on both hands that it is easier to get a reply from some popular bloggers if you sign up to their email list and reply to an email they send you than it is if you just blast an email to them via their contact form.

4. Give something away for free, something valuable

Unlike in tip 6 where I told you to give something premium to a blogger to share with his readers when introducing yourself, here, you simply create something that your readers and basically anyone can get for free.

You can create a video course and give it away (choosing to give it to them once they opt in to your email list or not) or a tutorial packaged as an ebook, an infographic, a plugin, a theme, a custom made product or service to solve a particular problem a number of people suffer.

You can create this yourself or hire a freelancer to help you.

Think about one specific problem your readers experience, create an in-depth guide on it and give it away for free.

3. Don’t mess your site

Have you tried going to a blog and found several 404 not found errors or 500 internal server errors?

These happen for different reasons.

One of those reasons?

It is easy to get in the mode where you just make changes to your new blog, clicking here, clicking there, adding this, deleting this, changing this and that, sometimes not even knowing what you are really doing – all sorts of changes that can mess your site so that when readers come to your site they don’t have a pleasant visit.

So they leave.

And search engines notices these little things you know, and might assume whatever content they served their searchers isn’t useful.

And this can contribute in your rankings dropping to the bottom of the search engine results pages (SERPs).

You don’t want that.

You want your blog posts ranked at the top of the SERPs.

When your blog is messed, it also denies you the chance to solve your readers’ problems and give them the opportunity to share your post with others.

See how a messed site can cause you a lot of pain?

Then there is the big problem that is frustration.

When your blog is messed, you can waste many hours trying to restore it to the status it was in before.

Which takes away time that could be used creating new content, promoting blog posts you have already published or interacting with your readers.

And this slows down your chances of getting more people, the right people, from finding your blog, reading the posts you have published, signing up to your email list and becoming regulars.

As shown in this blogging course, you can create a site to test different plugins, themes and make changes – a site different from your main blog – reducing the chances of you messing up your blog.

I highly recommend you creating one of these – just for the sake of having peace of mind and more time to dedicate to promoting your blog posts.

Also remember to choose a good web hosting company. All bloggers need a dependable hosting service.

2. Let people know about your blog

I have talked about emailing others, linking out to other bloggers and commenting on other blogs.

Most new bloggers stop here.

But we all know that telling a few of our friends, strangers, parents or siblings about our new blog doesn’t cut it.

You have to be active about getting the word out.

As much as you spend more time promoting your blog online, remember that people aren’t online all the time.

They have a life outside the net, too.

Whenever you have a chance (create them, as many as you can) give out brochures to promote your blog.

Come up with a contest on your blog and promote it offline as well.

If you are offering a service or a product, there are many people who could spare a minute to listen to you share how they can benefit from it (or benefit from helping you promote the product or service – think giving them a commission for their hard work getting you new clients).

Most new bloggers promote their blogs yes. But some actively involve themselves and others in getting the word out about why people should come to their blogs. Notice the difference?

1. Have enough useful content published on your blog

You just started, that’s why your blog has less than ten posts? I hear you.

Remember the more posts you have on your blog, the higher the chances that a person who visits your blog will stay a little longer having found a post that they deem worthy of their time.

Say, you are promoting a new blog, with very few posts, you may get people to come to your blog but they won’t stay long and may not even remember your site’s URL once they leave.

Notice how the blogs you visit and read have more than ten articles?

Some have articles in the tens, hundreds and thousands all linked together in a way that makes you click from one post to another, right?

I mean it is like the blog owner knows how to get you hooked to their content and get you to spend more of your time reading post after post.

You want that too, no?

As Patrick Meninga says, as a blogger it is good to publish quality articles to your blog, but that is not enough.

He also, from experience, advocates for quantity – something some popular bloggers are against.

But the guy built a successful blog – and there is truth in what he says.

Keep publishing new posts to your blog – can be text only, images, podcasts, videos, infographics or a mixture – you decide.

With more posts, you’ll also get more opportunities to turn more of your readers into email subscribers, then customers.

Then you can spend some of the money you make on Facebook advertising, banner ads and Google AdWords to attract more of the right people to your blog.

Ready to get your blog noticed? Share the challenges you are experiencing, the tips you are already using and new ideas you are going to implement to get more people to notice you – and the work you are doing.

Like this post?

Share it with others via the social networks and the messaging apps you use. And share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Why blog? 30 reasons to start a blog

Whatever we do, there is always a reason why we do what we do. In blogging that happens to be the case as well. People start blogs for different reasons. Spent sometime writing this – would have come up with a list of 10 or 15 reasons, but what I ended up creating is this massive post, with a total 30 reasons to start a blog.

Read on to see if your reasons for wanting to start your own blog are listed below. Get inspired going through the list below and pick a few things to start implementing right away when you launch your site. The post will answer questions such as why blog, why start a blog – personal blog, niche site or business blog – and much more.

1. Start a blog to connect with people who share in the same ideas you espouse

If you ever wanted to connect with people who share in ideas similar to yours, there are many ways to do it – and many platforms, websites and groups (online and offline) that make it easy for you to do this.

30 reasons to start a blog - read this post on why you should be blogging
By: Christian Schnettelker

You can start a blog for this – and build a community around the ideas, topics or hobbies you cover on the blog posts you publish to your blog.

Your blog can be a place where people interested in the same topics or ideas can come together to share their ideas, expand on different topics (ideas), share experiences (and real stories of struggle and achievement), share systems and processes and most important of all, help each other.

On the same note, you can go a step further and allow people with contrary ideas (and opinions) to contribute to the discussions via your blog’s comment section.

Listening to them can help you see things from their perspective and use any observations you make to expand on your own ideas and use anything good you gain from such interactions to improve your own ideas, take on certain topics and how to interact with the other guys with ideas and opinions contrary to yours.

With all the ideas streaming in your blog, you can then turn them into free or paid ebooks, online courses or different services and products (physical and digital).

And remember all these things you create can be made better as you work on developing your ideas further – and the refined versions and editions released to the market for other people to enjoy as well – for free or at a fee.

2. Start a blog to learn about your industry (niche)

There is only so much you can learn when you are outside looking in (a niche or industry) trying to glean insights on various aspects of a niche you are interested in.

In this case, you are not deeply involved in the niche.

Your curiosity at this point can only afford you the title: researcher.

You are outside looking in, hoping to learn more (quickly).

With a blog, you can involve yourself a little deeper in any given niche or industry.

How?

Say, you have registered a domain name, paid for web hostinginstalled and setup WordPress, the necessary plugins and themes, installed analytics (like Google Analytics and Jetpack Site Stats), came up with a posting schedule (and actually published some articles – like ten or twenty for a start) you are now ready to learn more about your niche in more ways than you ever could just browsing the internet as a person outside looking in.

When you do the above, you will, after some time, have access to more information about the niche:

  • by checking your analytics (incoming searches, referrers, time on site, age, location, device used, operating system, type of browser etc.)
  • know about the merchants, customers and clients in the niche through the questions they ask via email, telephone, text messages, live chat, comments, social networks, forums or in person. You will be in a whole new level – getting to interact with the people that are part of the niche or industry you are interested in.

You can even bring in more traffic by paying for website clicks (and using remarketing or retargeting) to get more people to your blog just so you can get more data to work with.

3. Start a blog to make money which you can use as capital to start a business or something else

It’s possible to start a blog cheaply, make money off it and use that as capital to start another business (or organization or school) with a physical location or online.

However, this is not for people who will write one to five blog posts and wonder why their site is not getting traffic from search engines and social media (and why nobody is clicking on their affiliate links or ads by their ad network of choice) – then give up.

If this is your reason to start a blog, you are going to have to put in a lot of effort and throw any speck of entitlement (from search engines, readers, ad networks and affiliate networks) out of the window.

You are going to have to go beyond expecting everything for free and put in some money to get traffic to your landing pages, services and products sales pages, articles, videos etc.

Patience is also going to be key!

All in all, you can spend less than 100 US Dollars to start your blog and earn thousands of dollars in profits down the road – money which you can then use to start a business or any other thing you fancy – like investing the money you make – planting more seeds that will earn you more through compounding.

4. Start a blog to promote your services (and get leads)

Blogging can be a cheap way to let more (of the right) people know more about your existence, your name, your business and the services you offer – and why they should work with you when there are already thousands of other people already offering something similar to the one you have brought to market.

For example, I do offer freelance writing as a service on Niabusiness.com (this blog you are reading now).

I could have just created one page with a title like (Services, Hire Me or Hire Us), sprinkled it with a few details about how a client can go about hiring me to write for them and called it a day.

Or create more detailed pages about the writing service – thinking of questions a potential client may have and answering them in advance.

So, at the end of the day, I end up with 30 to 50 detailed articles about every aspect of this one service I’m offering.

This results in more indexed pages.

More pages ranking for ‘freelance writer for hire’ type keywords.

More doors (pages) for searchers can go through to find me.

More leads and detailed answers to reduce the back and forth before I land a new client ready to take advantage of my writing services.

At the end of the day, I get more leads and clients paying for my writing service just because of thinking about them and the information they may need before they hire me.

One could argue that all this could be achieved using just the one Hire Me page, but believe me when I say that going into detail and letting the client (prospect) in on the service (and every aspect including my rates) plays a big role in moving them from just a searcher that lands on Niabusiness.com to someone who hires me and pays me well for my services.

You can start a blog and use it to promote your services, expand on your frequently asked (answered) questions by answering most of the questions in detailed blog posts of their own.

5. Start a blog to receive payments on your online shop

There are many ways to do this. You can do this with a service you offer. An example is the freelance writing service example I’ve shown you above.

With WordPress coming with various robust ecommerce plugins, you can easily add an online store to your blog (using plugins like WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads or self-hosted shopping cart software that you can embed on your site like Ecwid or Gumroad) and receive payments without your readers leaving your site – except may be when finalizing payment with payment processors like PayPal, Stripe or Skrill.

Here you simply get people to your blog (free organic traffic from search engines after publishing articles to your blog or paid traffic) and then sell them something – a service or product. For example, used cars, ebooks (guides), a software (app, addon or extension) you had some developer create for you, a checklist, products you source from say China (Kenya, Taiwan, India, Japan, US, UK etc.) and ship to your country, coaching or consulting.

Most readers will readily welcome services and products on your own blog – than if you were to redirect them to another website for the same, though this is not always the case as attested by the hundreds of thousands and millions of dollars earned by various site owners using ads and affiliate marketing as a monetization strategy.

6. Start a blog to promote a book or ebook

It can be your ebook (book) or someone else’s.

Think about all the great books you’ve read in your life – that you’d gladly recommend to others – not once by sending them an email telling them how great the book is – but having one place (the blog you start) where you review the books you’ve read in detailed – so that people searching through search engines can easily find them.

And when writing the emails (or messages) recommending a book to your friend or family member – you can simply link to your blog (specifically the post with more information on the book you are recommending) and tell them to follow the link to learn more.

Of course, when they land on the page, they should also find information on how to get a copy of the said book.

If it is your own, link to a page where they can quickly checkout and get their copy shipped to them (or where they can download the book in digital format).

If the book isn’t yours you can link to it on stores like Amazon using your affiliate link and earn commissions whenever someone clicks through and decides to make a purchase on Amazon (or any other online store you link to).

To add more meat to your recommendations, you can occasionally publish articles that delve deeper into the main topics covered in the books you recommend.

Found recent news related to the topics in the ebooks you recommend? Blog about it and link to your recommendations page from this new post.

Find the life of a certain author fascinating? Write your own profile of him and link to the posts where you have reviewed some of his books.

Want to turn certain parts of passages (in a collection of books you have read) into quotes? Go ahead, create a list post of related quotes from different books and link to your review posts from this new article you publish.

7. Start a blog to get investors to invest their money in your project

Say, you don’t have enough money for a big goal you have in mind – like creating a product or service that may cost thousands or millions of dollars you may not have right now – you can scale down the idea and just start with the little capital you have.

There are many ways to do this. Blogging is one of those ways.

You can start a successful blog – and use it to get investors – where people, with their own money, who come into contact with you through the blog you create, decide to invest in your ideas, products and services.

To do this, you will have to create a series of posts about who you are, what you do, where you are now (in terms of growth, patents, system, processes, product development, short and long term goals, sales, costs, profits) and where you want to be in the future.

In these articles, you will have to go into detail on the kind of help you need to reach your goals – and also be clear about whatever it is you are offering to whoever decides to invest their money in you.

You must also be clear about who you want to invest in you – and be very selective before any new contract is created between you and the party you decide to work with (also smart to involve a lawyer or attorney).

Be clear about what you are looking for.

Let potential investors know about their obligations for the period they work with you (and after that as well).

Be clear about what they get for investing their money in you (equity in your company, royalties, interest on their money, duration it takes for them to get their money back) including the necessary steps you follow in case the investment turns out to be a bad one (a position you are going to put a lot of effort to avoid!)

Also put in place a simple contact form on the articles where interested investors can submit their information – so you can engage them some more via phone or email about the finer details of the investment (and answer any personal questions they may have regarding this deal).

Why the contact form? To separate those who are serious about working with you from the people that may just engage you in back and forth emails wasting your time before fading into thin air.

To be successful at this, make sure you have a registered business and have a physical location the investor can easily reach you.

Also be truthful and reasonable in your estimations avoiding declarations that are purely inspired more by excitement about what you are doing (and what you want to achieve in a given period of time) than real numbers backed by a determination to work hard to achieve (or even over-achieve) your targets and keep everyone happy – you, your users (readers) and the investors that trust you with their money (and your ability to grow it = ROI).

A very important thing to note is that, this can be easily done by targeting your message (and desire to get investment money) to the people already reading your blog and even reading your emails (subscribers).

So, start with those first: the people who come to the blog you start – or the ones that decide to connect with you on various social networking sites.

You can also put forth different figures you have in mind to ensure you don’t lock out any potential investor from entrusting you with their money to further your ideas, grow your business, improve a service or refine a process (system).

So, you can offer various options to people interested in investing their money in you.

You can have an option for $1000, $5000, $10000, $20000, $50000, $500000, $1000000, $100000000 or any amount you have in mind. Of course valuations are also very important when arriving at these numbers. So, put aside a little bit of your time to do the math.

Remember that investors are interested in how they are going to get their money back (besides their return on investment).

Work those figures out.

Then go out start your blog and get your investors.

If you get many related questions from your potential investors, turn them into a FAQ (frequently asked/answered questions) and have them in a page (on your blog) that others interested in working with you, by investing their money, can easily access them.

 

8. Start a blog to critic, review and recommend different products and services

How do you do this?

First, let’s start with why you should do it.

Say, for example, you have used various products or services in a given category (blenders, for example) – and having had different experiences using the various blenders in the market with regards to say, brand, capacity, noise levels, power consumption, speed, durability and cost – you can write reviews of each blender you have bought and used (may be it wasn’t even yours – you used it when you paid a visit to a friend, relative, sibling, parent etc.) sharing your experiences using each one of them, mentioning their features and specifications then recommending the ones one should invest their money in depending on: how much they have, brand, durability among any other worthy criteria.

Each blender can have its own post. Then you can go ahead and create lists such as 25 best blenders under 200 US dollars in 2019 or simply title the post, 25 best blenders 2019.

You can do this with furniture, washing machines, toasters, cars, smartphones, watches, clothes, apps or any other product or service you have used.

Just walk in every room in the house or office you are in for ideas.

There are plenty of ideas for things you can review on a new blog you start.

Also make sure to check your receipts – physical and the digital ones sent to your email’s inbox (or phone’s text message inbox) for even more ideas.

The main reason why you should do a review of products or services in a category you are familiar with is to help other buyers hear (and access credible reviews) from individuals who have had experience with the products or services they are considering spending money on.

It is a great way to help others make a great buying decision.

Coupled with affiliate links to stores where your blog readers can quickly order the products you recommend, your blog can also start making money – which you can then use to spend on more products in the category of your interest to have more stuff you can review.

You can also use the money you make to get more people to your blog via paid methods from wherever they usually hang out – like some of the popular social networks and messaging apps – and sell them your own guides on the items you review.

You can also email manufacturers to send you various products for review purposes – items which you can then send back to them once you are done creating and publishing your reviews.

If they let you keep the product, that’s great too. You can keep it or give it away to your readers, friends or family. Or sell it.

How do you do this? Find products or services you already use – some that you have bought and are using in your own home.

Since you have a good understanding of them compared to someone who haven’t used them (the buyers doing their research before they part with any of their money), write about what you love or don’t like about the products.

Mention how you get the maximum use from the products.

Mention things potential things to look out for.

Mention how to take care of the product.

Mention the ideal conditions for use if one wants to get the maximum benefit for the funds used in purchasing the product.

And then don’t forget to mention to recommend the product or service (mention the person you recommend it to and why. Also mention the right situation or circumstance buying the said product or service would be ideal).

Publish all this information as blog posts.

In the posts, you can include text, images, videos, tables (comparing different or almost similar products) and finish by telling the readers how to proceed (how to buy online or offline, where to find great deals and of course your affiliate link where appropriate).

9. Start a blog that acts as a customer care agent (support) available 24/7 by answering frequently asked questions

This is one of the best ways to use a blog – for those of you looking forward to starting your own blogs.

It’s true that most websites have a FAQ pages somewhere on their site – which is better than having none.

However, you can go into greater detail answering the questions on your site’s FAQ page by taking each question and turning them into blog posts – detailed ones – with text, audio, screenshots, slides, video, infographics, comparison tables, free ebook lead magnet or any kind of giveaway.

It’s more like the freelance writing service example I shared above.

You envision the questions that might come from clients, prospects and customers in your niche and answer each one of them in great detail in blog posts that you then publish on your blog and link to from your main FAQ page.

On the same note, every question that comes your way concerning you, your products, services, company, processes or story are also given their own blog posts where appropriate.

The most important thing to do is to be in-depth and detailed as possible.

So, next time you encounter a question you have already answered in one of your blog posts from a prospect or client, you simply give them the link where they can easily find the answer they need.

Even when you are away or asleep, the people who visit your website or blog will easily find what they are looking for when they visit your main FAQ page or use your site’s search feature.

Do this often with most (or all) questions you receive and soon your new blog will become a customer care agent available twenty four seven to any person with internet access no matter which part of the world they may be at the moment they come to your site.

10. Start a blog to make it easy for people to find you online on search engines

The reasons people want to be found online are many.

Fame and curiosity are some of the reasons.

But here I’m specifically thinking about something tangible that may entice people to go online and search for you – or anyone with your qualifications or characteristics.

Using the freelance writing service example again, it goes without saying that I want to be found in the search engines for freelance writer for hire type keywords.

I want people with internet access looking for a freelance writer they can hire to find me and give me their business. But so do many others.

I can rely on freelance marketplace websites like Upwork, Fiverr, Freelancer, iWriter or classified ads sites – and actually be found easily by anyone using search engines to find a freelance writer they can hire.

But these places are saturated with many competing freelancers – and besides we, freelancers, don’t own the sites and don’t have much say about ranking our pages on the sites.

So, I can still use these sites but also start my own blog, where I can rank pages related to the service I offer.

It may take awhile before they rank at the top of the search engine pages – but they do eventually.  And what a good thing (investment) that is when the articles are ranking well.

People searching for freelance writers they can hire can now find me through one of my article ranking for terms they searched for.

My pages on the third party sites may also be ranking – and some searchers may come across them.

You see, the reason you should start a blog to be found easily on search engines is so that you can have your own site that you can refine and improve to rank highly for the keywords you want searchers to find you with.

Having your own blog increases your likelihood of being found by searchers compared to relying only on sites you don’t own.

Other things you can do on your blog include keeping your visitors engaged by sharing your portfolio (like designers, photographers and developers), your story, your CV (resume) or your personality (shining through your writing and any other content you create: videos, audio, images etc.).

You can rank your name by creating a page with your first and last name as the title – and push it up the search engine pages through incoming backlinks, interlinking and creating more pages around your name and what you do.

This is even more significant if you have other people’s name coming up whenever you search for your name (or a combination of your name and any word you want to rank for) using any of the popular search engines.

11. Start a blog to own your digital land – and free yourself from the danger that is digital sharecropping

Sharecropping is where a tenant is allowed to use land by the owner and in return the landowner gets a share of the crops produced by the tenant from the land apportioned to them.

On the internet, sharecropping, is where you find businesses and individuals investing a lot of their sweat on other people’s websites (instead of their own) – for activities that lead to more business – leads, engagement, social proof, customer support, and more sales.

Soon, sometimes because of the popularity of such sites (given how many users they have), people come to depend on the sites to give them more of what they want (sales, leads and engagement) in return for producing content for the sites (user generated content – UGC), seeing ads, giving more of their information away – data which is used in various ways to profit the owners of the sites.

So, it looks like a give and take relationship. There is an element of fairness.

That is until the tenant (users of such sites) realize that the owner (or admin) of the site has an upper hand – since he owns the site and can do whatever he pleases – like deactivating a user’s account or shutting down a page a business has come to depend on for web traffic and sales.

Same can be said of search engines with their constant tweaking of their algorithms that sometimes lead to a dip in incoming traffic to a blog or website of owners who have become too dependent on the search engines to keep sending readers and customers their way – not realizing the search engines can decide any time to divert that traffic elsewhere.

You see the danger there?

As Nicholas Carr – who came up with the term digital sharecropping – you can see that the means of production (e.g. all the content you create and upload or publish to these sites) is placed on the hands of the masses – which seems like a great thing.

However, the few websites that dominate the internet (few hands making handsome profit from the free labour) withhold from the same masses ownership over the product of their work.

You can start your blog and massively take action to build it into a valuable resource that helps you and your visitors achieve the goals you have.

Why is this important? Because some of these sites people come to depend on a lot for their traffic and sales are like any other business.

Some thrive then die – and with them your expectations of sending you traffic and sales on a daily basis.

Some just get old and people run away from them.

Some are sold to new owners – who at times are indifferent to your expectations and not quite as tolerant and generous as previous owners.

Some just stop being innovative and then new players come on the scene – and the once popular sites just fade away like that.

Some are killed by their owners or new owners.

And most of the times users have no say!

So, instead of concentrating most of your content creation and publishing on some of these popular sites (which results in their value and profits always increasing) you can start your own successful blog – and bring people there.

Don’t depend on the ease and comfort you get from the tools made available to you by these sites.

Use them, yes. But concentrate on your own website (blog) where you rule and do have a say unlike say Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, eBay, YouTube or even Google (and other popular sites you have come to depend on – way too much).

Bring the games home. Let people travel to you (your blog). Play. Win.

12. Start a blog to grow a platform where others can also share their writing and ideas

You can start a blog that acts as a platform where others can share their content in the form of guest contributions for example.

It’s funny how I mention this after making your levels of disdain for the big sites to up a little.

May be I am teaching you to be a generous landowner that many tenants will love working with.

You can grow your new blog to a level where you start getting emails from people who want to contribute useful and valuable content to your blog.

In the blogging world, the common terms for this are: guest posts or guest blogging – usually text and some graphics.

But WordPress, if you choose to run your blog using this script, is so robust you can use it to build a community – using BuddyPress – and make it easy for people to sign up (register) and upload all kinds of contents in formats they want.

With great content from your blog’s users (readers) you can quickly grow your site’s traffic – add a marketplace (and earn commissions of each sale that takes place), add a classified ads section (and earn from featured listings), add a forum (and increase time on site and pageviews) … so many things you can do.

If you are the only person publishing content on your blog (blogging solo as opposed to having a team of writers) and you post three pieces of content per week – that is 3 articles a week (12 posts per month or 144 posts in one year).

Now say, you can increase that number – and publish 3 quality articles on your blog each day. That comes to 21 new posts per week (or 84 posts per month which results in 1008 published articles per year).

Most blogs don’t publish this often.

If the contributions to your platform makes it easy to increase your posting frequency without the quality of the published content suffering – that’s a great thing – something you should not shy away from implementing.

Most popular blogs in the world today have become platforms publishing a lot of content (in the tens, hundreds and thousands of articles) every day.

They are no longer just blogs but platforms many people actually want to contribute to.

They have become very selective in the kinds of content they publish and most people who want to contribute to some of these websites are forced to spend a few hours creating just one piece of content that may either be accepted or attract a rejection.

13. Start a blog to interview people – and share their stories

In a post I published on Niabusiness.com blog awhile ago (10 ways for new bloggers to get more people to come to their blogs), I mentioned doing interviews as one of the best ways new bloggers can use to quickly grow their blog – and fill it with valuable content.

You can start a new blog and publish email interviews or podcasts (audio and video interviews) with a transcript for each episode.

You can always hire a transcriptionist to turn your audio or video to text which is then made available to your blog’s audience as a PDF download alongside the MP3 or MP4 (or any other format you use for your audio and videos).

You can email people in a certain niche by asking them questions and sharing your responses via your blog.

For example if you are interviewing online business owners working from home, you can ask them about their life (growing  up, college, hobbies, interests, beliefs, experiences), how, why, where and when they got started with online business, their observations, their advice for beginners, their success tips, how they deal with procrastination, what others should focus on when building a business on the internet, their numbers and what stats one should focus on when testing things or checking their analytics tools, how they get customers and close sales, challenges they’ve experienced and overcame, great resources they’d recommend to others, what their business is all about – and why people come to them, or how the relationship between them and their customers has been from day one among many other questions you might think of.

The key is to get detailed responses from whoever you interview – so that when you finally publish the interview on your blog, anyone who comes across it leaves having learned something useful they can implement to better their own lives (business) and other people’s lives.

Craft your questions in a way that encourages responses that offer solutions to problems others may be experiencing in your given niche or industry.

14. Start a blog to test your endurance level and ability to learn quickly and implement well what you learn

Have you seen how many bloggers complain about how a tip or strategy they learned from a certain internet marketer doesn’t work?

Of course you have if you’ve spent a considerable amount of time checking the kinds of comments people leave in forums and various blogs.

People want it easy, but blogging and making money online is actually hard work.

And hard work calls for endurance and the ability to learn quickly, implement what you learn, analyze what works or doesn’t (use any of the paid or free analytics software) and adjusting accordingly.

Now, you can start a brand new blog – and see if you can rise from your comfort zone (to stay away from complaining and shifting blame) and simply choose to put in the hard work – learning, implementing, analyzing your results and adjusting what you focus on to grow your site (which in most cases involves learning from the successful sites, creating lots of great content on your topic and promoting it).

People read how some of the successful bloggers around toiled in the beginning – sometimes publishing between 3 to 30 articles a day but they don’t learn from that.

Why? It’s a lot of work.

Or they get the idea from some other bloggers that encourage epic posts less frequently (not realizing that some of these so-called epic posts have word count in the thousands. Sometimes like short posts in a series rolled into one.).

So, even those who publish less frequently still put in a lot of effort in their 2 to 3 posts per week (per month) schedule.

There’s no running from the hard work.

Why do many resist it then? Why do people just complain and look for quick gimmicks to inflate their stats – when they can just as easily sit down and create lots of great and valuable content.

Why do many bloggers listen to the top bloggers speak on the secrets and right way to blog – when they can simply focus on their work (and pay little attention to the distractions out there), interpret well whatever their analytics is telling them (what’s working and what doesn’t) and adjust accordingly?

After all most successful bloggers have contradicting advice on how to start and grow a blog – but most of them do agree on two things: creating great content (however they define it) and putting it in front of the right people.

So, you can start a new blog – to test your endurance – to test your courage; to see, if you can rise from laziness and procrastination to become a prolific blogger.

You can start a blog, work hard at it for at least 12 to 18 months, and test your ability to deal with stress and frustration.

Your new blog can help you come up with great strategies to build something amazing from scratch.

On top of that, your ability to quickly rise from mistakes will get better the more serious you get working on your project (your blog).

15. Start a blog because it’s even cheaper to start one now

The prices for web hosting and domain registration have significantly gone down over the years as more web hosting companies try hard to win more of the increasing number of people taking the plunge to create their own blogs.

Even if you are going to be that guy or girl that publishes new posts once or twice a week (and pay for your hosting plan annually) you will have accumulated between 52 and 104 published articles by the end of the year.

It doesn’t look much.

But when you publish valuable content – and decide to sell a product (offer a service) of your own (or one which you promote as an affiliate), it’s likely that the blog will start paying for itself.

You won’t have worries about forking money out of your wallet (purse, debit or credit card) to pay for hosting and domain renewal in year two onwards.

Plus the blog can start making you some side income which you can decide to save, invest or use to outsource content creation to a freelance writer whenever you are busy.

When your new blog brings you, say a conservative figure like a hundred dollars a month – which you save or invest – by the end of the year you can easily double, triple or even quadruple that amount – and keep growing.

You can use this money to pay your small loans or chip away on your debts.

You can use it to pay for great courses, books (like some of Jay Abraham’s books), coaching or consulting that result in a greater increase in the value of your life and that of your family.

You can use the money to buy other websites – and hire a virtual assistant to help you run them.

And of course, during the period you run your blog, you can meet some great people – just because you decided to take the leap to start a blog – and build your email list.

If you are tired running the blog, you can sell it in marketplaces like Flippa or Empire Flippers, among many others.

For investing less than US$100 a year on a new domain name and a web hosting plan and putting in a little time everyday (e.g one hour Monday to Saturday = 6 hours a week which in turn comes to 312 hours a year – a mere 13 days out of 365 days) to writing in-depth posts, you can build a great blog.

Start your blog, come up with a plan and stick to it.

The returns, if you execute your plan well, can be tremendous.

16. Start a blog and later turn the posts into an ebook, book, online course, meetup or conference

You can start a blog today on a given topic and nurture it – growing your audience from one to hundreds, thousands or millions.

The more articles you publish the deeper you’ll be delving in your topic – answering questions and creating posts addressing the concerns your audience have.

As your readership grows so will be your subscribers – and valuable data that you can use to grow bigger as fast as reasonably possible depending on the number of resources currently at your disposal (or those you seek later on as circumstances may dictate).

You can then, having gone through all the posts you have published, comments, emails, questions, search terms and all the data in your analytics, write and publish a book or ebook (or create an online course) on a specific issue related to the topic you cover on your blog.

Offer your expert advice in the material you publish. Solve problems. Help your readers move from where they are to where they want to be. Give them what they want – and are willing to pay for. Or give away the material for free.

Your new blog can inspire you to write one or several books similar to the content you have on your site, but you don’t have to stop there.

You can go ahead and start meeting with your readers offline in mini-meet-up sessions (in a village, town or city) or full blown conferences (with keynote speakers and all) – and even share bits of those sessions in webinars – so that those who are not able to come meet offline can also experience a bit of you and the other readers brought together through your blog.

17. Start a blog to introduce, promote and sell your online course

Having created an online course hosted on another website, like Udemy, or made available on a membership site or your own WordPress blog using WooCommerce (Easy Digital Downloads) ecommerce plugins with extensions like Sensei or WP Courseware, you can publish some 10 to 200 posts with content related to what you cover in the e-course – linking back to the course sign up page from each one of these posts to boost enrollment.

In these articles, you can also share a giveaway. If a person is interested in getting it, they can just optin via email, click the confirmation link in the email you send them and start pushing to their inbox a series of tips, stories and case studies related to your course using the autoresponder feature in your email marketing software of choice.

In these emails (or in one or two of them) you can then sell them on your course and invite them to come over to your blog – to sign up for the course.

Also you can buy traffic and send people to some of these posts (and not only buy traffic to your main course’s sign up landing page) to see which ones convert well.

You can then adjust accordingly – test different variations of copy, link text, giveaways, graphics, add-ons to improve your conversion rates.

18. Start a blog to build a brand (not just a business)

There are a lot of businesses online and offline. Businesses similar in many ways: voice, products, services, pricing, promises, customer experience, approach to customer acquisition and retention, interaction with competition and non-competing businesses in and outside their niche (industry) etc.

Too many are just forgettable – and they don’t even try that hard to make a great impression (and be remembered for their good treatment of clients and customers).

Some look just the same. Generic on the outside – and it’s just because they don’t capitalize on the things they already have, like their journey (and story) since inception.

Business owners get busy with the daily activities of running and managing a business that soon everything becomes a routine.

And once everything becomes routine a sort of comfort sweeps over everything they do sometimes to the extent where they are blinded and unable to put in real work to realize some of the noble goals they have in mind.

But putting in the effort to be remembered (in a good way) doesn’t mean only spending thousands or millions of dollars (Kenyan Shillings or any other currency) every month on TV, radio, newspapers, shows and magazines burning your logo and message in the minds of consumers.

You can do it cheaply using a blog. And not just by going on and on about your products and services on every article your company publishes – if at all you have already embraced business blogging.

You can share your story (everyone’s story – from the founder, CEO, manager and the rest of the team), your systems and processes (in an enjoyable way and to a reasonable degree), your goals, full blown case studies on customers who have used your products or services (not just two paragraph testimonials), immersive tutorials (with text, videos, audio, graphics etc.), offer quick and very reliable support and most of all be someone prospects and customers can easily trust to help them whenever they are stuck.

You can use your blog to do all this. To be involved even more in making the lives of your customers better. To be the good neighbor. To be that person they are pleased to meet every time knowing you will do everything to make sure they are treated well – and given what they want – putting their needs first before your agenda to make more.

That’s how people remember you and come to you when they know they can get help from you.

You can easily start a blog and use it to reinforce in the minds of consumers what you are known for (or what you want to be known for).

Your reputation. Your drive. Your purpose. Your guaranteed results.

The more you do this (involving your team and being creative and consistent in your approach) the more your brand will grow and the more people will be thankful for your (business) existence by spreading word about you (and recommending your products and service) or becoming a client  – consistently buying from you – and referring those close to them to work with you.

19. Start a blog to teach – spread knowledge and wisdom

There are many ways to generously share what you know (on a given topic) with others who want to learn.

For example you can speak with someone face to face.

Or chat online.

Or speak on the phone.

You can publish a manual, guide, book, ebook or course.

And that is all good.

Most people I know just share their knowledge with the people around them – some only when prompted.

But all the questions you get every day in an area that you are good at (and considered to be an expert in even if only by your family and a few friends or colleagues in the real world) can be the foundation for a new blog.

You can start a blog – and increase your reach. Sharing freely your knowledge in the form of blog posts online so that anyone with internet access can learn from you and implement what they’ve learnt.

Sometimes we also tend to focus deeply on a given topic for a period of time (like a few months) then switch focus and with that start forgetting all the great tips, tricks and strategies we learned by trial and error and hours upon hours of dedication to get better at something.

This is true for new skills, gadgets, devices, software, games or even subjects at school.

Instead of letting your knowledge fade away if you ever switch focus, you can put them all down in a new blog you start – so that whenever you or anyone needs the tips, access to the great resource (the blog) is all one needs.

You can even turn the posts into a book, downloadable guides, online course or auto-responder series for your email subscribers.

All you have to do is start the blog and fill it with your knowledge.

20. Start a blog to share your views on current issues

Now instead of posting your open letters to the editor via post or courier like most did in the 1990s and early 2000s, you can now start a blog where you share your views on current issues like news or the things happening in your industry, field, niche, country, city, town or village.

If you are not driven by getting millions of people to read your news commentaries (that would be nice) everyday right after you start blogging on a site you own, and simply want to air your views in your own space – without worrying about whether the editor will finally accept your contribution this time round – then you now have a good reason to start a blog in 2019 and the years to come.

Yes, you can do this on social networking sites like so many people do – but there is a lot of competition there.

Though the blogosphere is saturated with opinions from different people, the competition there is not as stiff as the kind too common on social network sites.

On your blog, you can be very detailed when sharing your views – and even bring people from outside your blog to read your current posts.

Little by little your readership will grow – and you can then turn your small blog into a small online newspaper, a hyperlocal blog or online magazine – and invite others to contribute posts as well.

You can invite the leaders and experts (in various capacities) in your city, town, niche, neighbourhood or community to contribute articles to your new blog.

You can interview people and publish the interviews on your blog.

With a decent readership, you can even approach local businesses (in your area of focus) to advertise on your blog – that is if they don’t come to you first with the intention to advertise to your readers.

21. Start a blog to make money with ads using different ad networks

To make money online with ads from ad networks like Google AdSense, Propeller Ads, Media.net, Mediavine, BuySellAds among others you are going to need to publish a lot of valuable posts that attracts a lot of traffic – direct, organic (from search engines) and social media referrals.

Most ad networks pay you a certain amount of money every time a user of your site (like the visitors that come to read the content you publish) clicks on an ad you insert on your blog. Some also pay you per every one thousand views.

To be successful at this then you need to publish content consistently, promote the content, tweak your ads – and of course get lots of people visiting your site.

You can start your blog and patiently build it by publishing say 3 to 10 (or more) great evergreen articles a day for 12 to 24 months.

Soon you will be having lots of content – which when promoted well leads to a lot of unique visitors coming to your blog and an ever increasing number of pages viewed on your blog by visitors.

You can easily make great money with ads with say 1 million unique visitors a month. Which takes 1000 blog posts each getting 40 hits a day or 500 posts each getting 80 unique visitors per day or 2000 articles each getting 20 hits a day.

Writing 1,000 great articles can take you 500 days (if you publish 2 a day), 200 days (if you publish 5 articles per day) or 100 days (if you publish 10 a day).

Writing and publishing 500 great articles can take you 250 days (if you publish 2 a day), 100 days (if you publish 5 a day), 63 days (if you publish 8 posts a day) or 50 days (if you publish 10 a day).

You can get the help reaching your daily quota of posts published by enlisting the help of a freelance writer you can easily hire and a virtual assistant to help with content scheduling.

You can even use paid traffic if you have your numbers right and are able to spend money on advertising and still ending up making a profit – or at worst breaking even.

You can then use the money you make from the ads to grow your existing blog, launch new blogs, outsource content creation and site management to an editor, invest in creating different products or services for your audience etc.

22. Start a blog to build your email list

With the many tools available nowadays to help you build your email subscriber list – one can say that it is easier than before to just put a landing page with an opt in and get people signing up in the thousands (or millions).

We have MailMunch, Optimizepress, LeadPages, Click Funnels, and many WordPress email optin plugins like Thrive Leads, Optin Monster…and more.

If you create a landing page on a blog you start you can increase the chances of more people spending more time on your site going through your material – hence increasing the chances that finally a person will opt in and become a subscriber – gladly receiving your emails in their inbox.

Why is this so? With a blog, after publishing a few pages and blog posts, you can encourage optins in several ways.

You can add an optin box in the sidebars, add opt-in forms inside post content area, use lightboxes (pop-ups), use links that when clicked shows an opt-in box, show forms with specific offers at the end of each post – and apart from all these create unlimited landing pages specifically designed to get people signing up to receive your emails – the message in them and to take the action you want them to take.

If most people who visit blogs rarely go back to the same blogs later in time – unless they have a very good reason for doing that – how many people do you think take the time to go back to one-page website with a squeeze page encouraging them to optin as a subscriber?

With a blog, a person visiting can get to know you a little better – and decide if opting into your email list is something they should do – right before leaving your site.

With a one page website they may just leave and never return.

With your blog – every post they read – reinforces the idea that they should sign up via email – and confirm their subscription.

And this actually increases the chances of more of the right people – hesitant to give you the right to periodically send them emails – opting in.

With a blog, you are also sure that people who come to your blog – and not your main email sign up squeeze page – to a specific post (from paid sources or free organic traffic) can also, quickly, without going through many hoops sign up via email for your freebies and future communications.

23. Start a blog to promote your podcast

If you have started a podcast chances are that your hosting your MP3 or MP4 files on LibSyn, SoundCloud, Amazon AWS or a similar service with emphasis on iTunes, Stitcher and similar services to get more people to download your podcasts, rate and review your show etc.

You can start a blog and use it to promote your podcast (and use your podcast to promote your blog as well).

In your new blog, you can do the following:

  1. write articles regularly on a topic that is related to a show you have already started (or launching soon)
  2. use various WordPress plugins to ensure people can listen to – and download – your podcasts right there on your blog
  3. add show notes, encourage comments and also include a downloadable pdf transcript – that your listeners and readers can save to their device or open in a new tab to read

Apart from the above, you can also create a dedicated page linking to each of your podcasts – all neatly arranged – to make it easier for the people who haven’t had a chance to listen your shows – to quickly go through all your past episodes and listen (download) their favourite ones.

24. Start a blog to promote your videos

If you are hosting your videos with services like Wistia, Vimeo or Amazon you can embed them in related pages or articles so that your blog visitors can easily find and watch them.

By themselves, the videos may be hard to find. But when you create specific posts for them – with detailed descriptions – on your blog and embed them in the post content area, readers are able to easily find them.

This translates to more people watching your videos, sharing them and taking the necessary action – like clicking the links (back to your blog and articles) you add to your videos using Microsoft PowerPoint and tools (like Snagit and Camtasia) that make creating and uploading videos to YouTube.com simple and quick.

If you have a channel on YouTube, you can use various WordPress plugins to automatically show related videos (from a particular channel – like your own) at the end of your blog posts.

So, apart from readers reading your articles, they will also be able to easily find and watch your videos – even subscribe to your channel.

With more of these actions, the views and rankings of your YouTube videos will increase.

Which then results in more people watching and sharing your videos – and your earnings from video ads (if you’ve enabled AdSense for videos) also increasing.

You Tube also makes it easy to embed your videos wherever you want on your blog. So, you can just as easily add them in your post content area just like you do with images.

25. Start a blog to improve your writing

To keep your blog updated, you will need to publish new posts regularly. How regularly, that is up to you to decide.

Publishing regularly for awhile will help you come up with a posting schedule that works for you. And with that a commitment to consistency, of course.

Which means you’ll be writing more and more – delving deeper in your topic – researching it, writing, editing and proofreading your content and of course publishing the content that is ready.

Your writing will get better and better as you publish more – which is, essentially, practice. This may not be true for everybody but it is for many.

You can notice the difference in quality looking at the first few blog posts published the first few months most blogs are launched and the posts published several months or years after launch.

Some attribute it to bloggers finding their voice, writing more (exercising), publishing more, researching more, thinking deeply about a subject, putting more of their ideas down on paper or screen and learning from other writers, authors and copywriters.

Blogging can help you get better at these four things:

  1. being confident sharing your ideas in written form
  2. staying consistent (persistently writing and sticking to your writing and posting schedule) even during the times you don’t feel like creating new content
  3. learning from others – those with similar and contrary opinions, perspective and take on the subjects you are interested in
  4. exploring the world of writing and the many gifts that come with it

Start a blog and practice writing.

26. Start a blog to learn how to get website traffic (and rank your site)

Here is what happens.

Most people who launch new blogs at one point start making searches for articles, products, services, courses and videos with answers to help them increase their website traffic, ranking, organic search traffic, backlink profile, social shares, pageviews, customer acquisition and conversions.

And that’s when they are flooded with material after material on different tools to use, different tactics and strategies from different corners of the web.

So one can learn for free (and pay with time) or find trusted premium info products that costs tens, hundreds or thousands of dollars on the best practices to follow in achieving higher metrics in the areas I have mentioned above.

If they are a good student, they’ll quickly learn from others but also listen to what their analytics (and gut tells them) and make the necessary adjustments to achieve their short term and long term blogging goals.

The good student will test things. Quickly implement and put in the hard work – especially in putting out more quality content on their blog and promoting it.

The good student will experiment with different word counts when writing and publishing posts, test use of different media, call to actions, publish different content types (case studies, how to posts, why posts, resources posts, interviews, viral type posts, news commentaries, list posts etc.) – and do this for the long haul (always measuring – and adjusting accordingly depending on what is working and what doesn’t).

27. Start a blog to reach people beyond traditional borders like neighbourhood, town, city, country, continent, culture, class

In the traditional world (let me call it that) you couldn’t share your ideas wide. If you could it would be expensive because of the many boundaries you had to go through, jump over or go around.

Think about boundaries like location (town, city, continent or village), language, race, religion, age, education level, culture or class.

It would take a lot of courage (if not money) to reach people in certain groups.

With the internet (and blogging) you can reach a wider population – and go beyond the limitations that were once common either because more people didn’t have access to the internet (compared to now) or mistrusted information, ideas, stories, opinions and input from people belonging to certain groups (learned prejudice that looking back now – they only see as stupid).

With internet access, people can search for things they are interested in. If their search terms bring up one of your articles (video etc.) on search engine results pages, good for you if they click-through and like what they see.

People who wouldn’t normally listen to you can now, from their little corner of the world, just come to your blog – and consume what they are interested in then leave (when they are full) to come back for a dose of your blog at a later date.

But you first have to start your blog if you haven’t done so already.

28. Start a blog to showcase your portfolio – or act as a curriculum vitae

Though many recruiters aren’t interested in the details in most CVs they receive, you can make things a little interesting by starting a blog where you post a CV that is available to anyone with internet access 24/7.

And I don’t mean one page on your blog with details your regular paper CV usually contains.

The whole blog should be your CV showcasing your work, skills, accomplishments, character, take on life and various topics – all these geared towards landing you well paying jobs or freelancing contracts.

Look at your CV the way it is now and come up with ways to break up different parts of that resume into detailed standalone pages that all link back to the main page.

You love to swim? What’s the story behind that? Can you tell it an article of its own and link to it (the article) from your main CV page.

Built a plugin, app, addon or extension for a particular OS (operating system) or web browser? Well, what’s the story behind that?

Wrote a book, guide or run a newsletter sharing some useful info on your particular niche or industry? What’s the story behind that?

Came up with a novel idea that saves people (like you or a potential employer) time, money, mental anguish? What’s the story behind it?

What great books have you read? What are your 10 best autobiographies (case studies, interviews, quotes on a particular subject) or biographies…novels…or short stories? Why do you find them fascinating?

Interviewed some expert – famous or not – and learned some great things from them? Well, what are the insights you gleaned from them? Note: this also applies to questions you ask a mentor or any valuable lessons you learned as an intern.

Your name, your childhood, your life in school, where you grew up – all these are inspiration for great stories that people interested in hiring and paying for your services (not all of them of course) may be interested in.

29. Start a blog to give people updates on an ongoing project

You can start a blog where you share updates on various projects.

Like something your readers, peers and customers are interested in – and waiting for.

Like that tweak you promised in a forum.

Like that sequel you promised once your novel landed on Amazon Kindle and made lots of sales.

Like that integration between your app and a certain software.

Like that next phase of your app development.

Like your journey the first year as a blogger.

Like that follow up post (some commenters requested after reading one of your blog posts) you promised.

Like the results of the tests you have been running.

Like the life lessons you learn as you age – you know you are not a project but your life’s journey could be very interesting to many people!

30. Start a blog to share your story

Now, your life’s story doesn’t have to be limited to a small circle of people: friends, family and relatives.

You can start a blog and share your story with people from different walks of life.

You can share your journey, successes, failures, beliefs, experiences and perspective on different issues.

For example, if there is some mistake you made, you can share your experiences and advice so that other people (with working ears) can learn from you instead of repeating the same mistakes.

You can share your successes. Which means others can learn a lot from you like how you dealt with challenges, kept your stamina, leaned on God, fueled your willpower and just kept going despite doubt and discouragement even from the only sources you expected encouragement to come from.

And don’t really keep postponing sharing your story on your blog because you are afraid of the one or dozen trolls that will come to your site and leave you nasty comments and emails just because they don’t like you (envious maybe) or don’t agree with you even when what you are saying is right.

The wise ones always take what they can (what they can use to enrich their lives and those around them) and leave the rest – and if they have to disagree with you do so with respect – spending their energy on implementation instead of wagging tongues and wasting valuable time on trivialities.

31. Start a blog to build your presence on social media sites

Though this may be contrary to the point on digital sharecropping above, you can, if you want to, use your blog to encourage your site visitors to connect with you on various sites like Facebook (like box for your page in the sidebars) or Twitter (follow button widget in the sidebars or tweet this/click to tweet links in post area).

You can do the same with Pinterest, Instagram, SoundCloud, Linkedin, WhatsApp, SnapChat, Google+, YouTube or any other sites and services you have in mind.

You can also use WordPress giveaway plugins like KingSumo Giveaways by Sumo to increase awareness of your various prizes or giveaways by encouraging shares on various social networking sites. So at the end of the day, you have a bigger email list with the right people and more shares.

32. Start a blog to quickly and easily create landing pages

If you want visitors coming to your soon to be launched blog not to be distracted by the many links to read posts, widgets on sidebars, related posts, popular posts, sharing buttons, images, navigation links or author box you can use various plugins like the ones from Thrive Themes to create beautifully designed landing pages to fully capture their attention.

With a singular expectation (outcome) in mind for this landing page, you can then send traffic to that page sure that more of the people landing on that page will heed your call to action.

With the many tools available now, creating landing pages on your blog is easier and fast – so you keep the traffic coming back to your asset – which is your blog.

Thank you for reading this article. If you have (or haven’t) started a blog already (I can help you install and set up WordPress, themes and plugins), I’d like to hear your opinion in the comments. What was your reason for starting a blog? If you haven’t started one yet, what is stopping you?

If the reasons above have inspired you and you are ready to start your own blog, please read this detailed guide on what to expect and do if you want to start a successful blog – regardless of whether you want to register your blog’s domain name (and pay for a web hosting plan) with Niabusiness.com or another hosting provider.

Details on how to get Niabusiness.com How to start a Successful Blog ebook and online course

You can also download my detailed ebook here or register for my online course here (on How to Start a Successful Blog) – click the links for more details.

So, there 30+ reasons why you should blog. Which one was your favourite? Let me know in the comments.

Rob Cubbon: An interview on how to start a blog and make it successful

In this interview Rob Cubbon of RobCubbon.com shares a lot of great tips on how to build a successful blog. He shares tips you can use to choose a topic for your site, drive traffic to it, give your visitors something valuable every time they visit your site, make money from your site, network with others and more.

Ready? Rob, takes it from here.

1. Why did you get into blogging and decided to start your own blog?

Back in 2005 I had a static HTML site of only a few pages and a guy at work (a techie guy who’d actually helped me with domain registration and hosting advice) recommended I install this cool new blogging software called WordPress.Rob Cubbon: An interview on how to start a blog and make it successful

I did it just to shut him up.

One year later when I was looking for ways to drive traffic to my simple site I read, not that blogging could help, but that creating more pages would help. I realised you could create new pages quickly and easily with WordPress.

Then, after writing a few really bad blog posts, I realised that the blog was getting more traffic than the static pages. I was hooked.

2. How long have you been blogging, on what topics – why? (share your story)

So that was in 2006. It’s 2013 now and I’ve been blogging consistently since then. It’s interesting to see how things have changed. When I started the blog it was called “Freelance creative artworker London” and has morphed through “Freelance graphic designer London” to now “Design and Marketing”.

So, from that, you can see how I started off very narrow and wrote about a wider range of topics. However, I wouldn’t advise other people do this as it’s better from Google’s perspective to pick a niche and stick to it. But that’s too boring for me and I want to blog about what I want to blog about.

3. How are things going so far? Have you been able to achieve the goals you set out when you first started?

The goal I had when I first started was to drive traffic to my site in order to pick up a bit of freelance work on the side. However, the blog meant I was able to stop working for anyone else completely and only work with clients I’d picked up through blogging. So I was able to grow a whole business because of the blog.

Now I’m looking to grow the passive side of my business with my own products.

The goals constantly change – along with everything else.

4. Here’s what most people ask themselves when their blogs still get little traffic: How do I get more? What do you tell such people? What can they learn from your story growing your site?

I always tell people to concentrate on two things – content and relationships.

Do something you enjoy. Enjoy writing the content and then hopefully people will enjoy reading it. Make it as great and as useful as it possibly can. And create as much of it as you can. Stop wasting your time on social media. “Real artists ship”.

And, at the same time, enjoy fostering relationships with people who are interested in the same things as you. It doesn’t matter whether they’re more successful or less successful than you. It’s the connection that’s important.

These two things – content and relationships – will bring you traffic. Forget about SEO (aside from the basic on-site stuff). Forget about social media (aside from the relationships). Forget about everything else.

Enjoy yourself.

5. How many hours do you spend blogging every week, today, a month ago, a year ago, and what are your reasons for spending that amount of time on your blog?

I probably only spend a few hours blogging every week. But I spend longer on creating products, etc.

6. What’s your definition of great content? How do you go about creating great content yourself?

I usually write about something that’s happened to me recently. A problem with a client and how I solved it. A problem with a website and what I did to correct it. Or if I’ve been thinking about a more general point, I’ll write about that. I write about my own experience.

7. Networking is said to be a good thing. What have you done, or do today, to connect with other bloggers, leaders, entrepreneurs and business owners in your niche and other niches?

As I said in the earlier answer, relationships are extremely important. The best way to foster relationships is through the blog. You’ll get to know someone either by them leaving comments on your blog or by leaving comments on theirs and then the dialogue will move over the email. That’s the most regular way I network but it can happen in other ways as well.

I also love Meetup.com because I’m lucky and live in London. You can’t beat the face-to-face thing but that’s not always possible.

8. What’s the one thing you’d spend most of your time doing if you started a new blog today? Where would your focus be? (do share your reasons please)

Again, my focus would be on content and relationships. However, as it’s harder to start a blog today than it was when I was starting out, I would try the “newer” platforms of podcasting and Kindle publishing.  In fact, I am starting a new blog and that’s exactly what I’m doing. 🙂

9. What can one do to create a blog that says what’s been said over a thousand times differently and still manage to attract readers and get their content shared?

Write about these things from your own perspective and it’ll be attractive to some people.

10. People are obsessed with getting more traffic, money, comments, followers…Tell me, what should they really focus on when they start worrying over the numbers – for example how they only have a few followers and people come to their site after working really hard on their site for months?

I would sympathise with them. However, maybe they’re writing content to get visitors rather than writing content they they personally really love. I think the fun, enjoyment and love has got to come into it.

11. What’s your advice for someone who starts a blog because they simply want to make money online – and they think that blogging is the best way to achieve this goal?

They’re probably right and good luck to them. I’ve met plenty of people who are making money in niches that they have no personal interest in. It’s not been my way of doing things but it’s not necessarily the wrong way.

12. How much effort did you put in your blog before you made your first USD 100 from it – and how did you make the one hundred dollars?

I never tried to make money from my blog initially as I’d first wanted to get freelance gigs through it (and I would recommend this to other people). So it was probably a few years before I made my first passive $100 (although I’d made my first active $1000 after a few months of blogging!)

The first $100 definitely came for affiliate links in an article I wrote about web hosting. I still make money from that today!

13. What steps did you take to go from someone that doesn’t make money blogging to someone who makes money blogging?

Add affiliate links and create products. But, of course, the content and engagement on the blog comes first.

14. What are some non-blogging things you had to deal with in your life in order to keep growing your blog into what it has become today?

I’ve already mentioned the Meetups here in London. I actually plan to start my own Meetup soon. I also recently was involved in a day-long mastermind session. You can’t beat getting out there and meeting other people on their blogging/entrepreneurial journey. And I love meeting members of the community.

15. What is the best advice you received that has helped you stay with your blog and continue improving it? (If you remember where the advice came from, mention names please)

Hard question to answer. My whole blogging journey has been as a result of advice. So, in no particular order (and I’ll have to leave people out). I’ve read great blogging advice from: Pat Flynn, Darren Rowse, Steve Scott, Ileane Smith, Ana Hoffman, Chris Brogan, Kimberly Castleberry, Brian Clark, Paul Jarvis, Dan Andrews, Leo Babauta, Seth Godin, Tim Ferriss, etc., too many to list here!

16. Any ebooks, courses, products or services that you highly recommend other blog owners to get now?

I’ve not been one to buy courses, usually. I’d just recommend people get a good host and email marketing company.

And that’s how Rob wraps it up in this interview. Thank you. Check him out on RobCubbon.com any time for more tips.

Matt Smith of Onlineincometeacher.com: An interview on how to start a blog, promote it and make it successful

Hello. Today, we have Matt Smith from OnlineIncomeTeacher.com. He has a lot of great tips for businesses and individuals who want not only to start their own blogs but build successful blogs.Matt Smith of Onlineincometeacher.com: An interview on how to start a blog, promote it and make it successful

Different people measure a blog’s success differently. People focus on leads, unique visitors, pageviews, money, engagement, sales, feedback and many other things.

But here’s Matt answering a few questions, that’ll help you think deeply about what it is you already do, or want to do, with your blog. Ready? Enjoy the interview.

1. Why did you get into blogging and decided to start your own blog?

I got into blogging after I finished University.  I graduated hoping to go into the film & TV industry, working behind the scenes  doing SFX (special effects), but due to the global financial melt-down there weren’t a lot of jobs in that sector.

Instead of getting a regular job, I wanted to at have a go at starting my own online business.

I’d done a bit of web design during University, so I ended up creating a few blogs for myself, family and friends.

Whilst this didn’t make me much money initially, I did really enjoy it and inspired me to set up my first proper (full-time) website and I haven’t looked back since.

2. How long have you been blogging, on what topics – why? (share your story)

I started building websites about 3 and a half years ago but didn’t really get into blogging until about a year after that.

Since then, I’ve blogged on a number of different subjects, from sport to politics, technology to movie reviews.

Think I have managed to try a little bit of everything, but now I mainly blog about social media, internet marketing, SEO, etc.

I wasn’t really sure what to blog about when I first started, which is why I tried a little bit of everything.

Some sites worked, some completely failed, but I learnt a lot from doing each.

One thing I have learnt is that you should pick a subject that you are passionate about.

You are going to be spending a LOT of time working on your blog, so it’s good to pick a subject that you love writing about.

3. How are things going so far? Have you been able to achieve the goals you set out when you first started?

Well I can’t say that I made much money when I first started out, as I was still learning a lot, but I’m doing pretty well at the moment.

You have to give yourself time to grow your site and get people visiting regularly.

I’ve got lots of plans to expand my existing site in the coming months and am working on creating my own products which should be released soon.

4. Here’s what most people ask themselves when their blogs still get little traffic: How do I get more? What do you tell such people? What can they learn from your story growing your site?

Well I always tell people not to give up.

Blogging is pretty difficult, especially when you first start a site and have no traffic.

It’s all about being persistent.  You can’t expect to get thousands of hits everyday after a few weeks of blogging, as people won’t know who you are.

You have to get your name out there, create quality content and begin to grow your site.  It won’t happen overnight, but put in the hard work and you will begin to see results.

5. How many hours do you spend blogging every week, today, a month ago, a year ago, and what are your reasons for spending that amount of time on your blog?

I’m a full-time blogger, so I work from 9 am til 6 pm (sometimes longer) every day, 5 days a week (and a few hours at the weekend).

Blogging is no different than a regular job, you just don’t need to commute anywhere.

Personally, I do it because I enjoy it, but I also do it because it’s my business.  If I didn’t, then I wouldn’t be making any money.

There seems to be this myth that blogging is easy and can make you rich overnight.  Well that is complete rubbish and anyone that says that is lying to you.

Blogging is just like any other business, you need to put in the hard work, dedication and long hours in order for it to become successful.  If you don’t, you won’t get anything out of it.

6. What’s your definition of great content? How do you go about creating great content yourself?

That is a hard question to answer, as my view has probably changed since I started (and will continue to change).

Personally, I think great content has to be both helpful and engaging for readers – you can’t have one without the other.

You have to engage the reader with your writing, make it interesting and visually pleasing by including lots of images and videos (where appropriate).

You can have the best article in the world, but if you don’t sell it well by presenting it in an interesting way, then you won’t get any interest in it from readers.

I thought I was fairly good at creating content when I first started, but looking back on some of my earliest posts, they are pretty rubbish.

I have definitely got better as I have gained more experience, but I still think I can improve.  I suppose the key is to keep pushing yourself to make the best content that you can, not settle for second best.

7. Networking is said to be a good thing. What have you done, or do today, to connect with other bloggers, leaders, entrepreneurs and business owners in your niche and other niches?

Networking is very important and shouldn’t be overlooked.  I have managed to build up a nice group of connections since starting my site.

I wouldn’t say that there was any trick to it, it’s just a case of getting out there and talking to other people in your niche.

The best thing people can do is to make sure that they are on ALL the major social networks (Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc.) and link it back to your blog.  That way, when people find your site, they can follow you, or add you to their friends list.

It’s also good to get in touch with people yourself. I have made a few really good connection by asking people to do an interview or write for my site, where you can then talk about and get to know them.

Blogging is a community, you have to get out there and get involved if you want to be a part of it.

8. What’s the one thing you’d spend most of your time doing if you started a new blog today? Where would your focus be? (do share your reasons please)

That is a great question, though a bit of a difficult one to answer.

There is always SO much to do when starting a new site, it can be difficult to concentrate on one thing.  If you had to push me though, I’d say to concentrate on creating your initial content first.

There is no point trying to drive traffic to a site that has barely any content yet.  Work on writing posts and building up, say 5-10 really quality articles first before you look at promoting them.

9. What can one do to create a blog that says what’s been said over a thousand times differently and still manage to attract readers and get their content shared?

I used to think about that question quite a bit when I first started.  I mean, it’s pretty hard to come up with something new when everything has already be said, right?

Well no really!  Just because a topic has been covered countless times, it doesn’t mean that content is any good.

I have lost count of the times where I have been looking for a tutorial or information on a subject, only to find some rubbish someone has posted that doesn’t really help.

I’d probably estimate that 99% of the information online is not very helpful, so you need to just create something that is better than everything else.

Think about all the questions that people have when they visit one of your posts.  If you can’t answer everything (or at least point them in a helpful direction) then they will go elsewhere.

What twist can you bring to a subject?  What experiences, helpful tips, opinions, etc. can you give to help people out.  Do that in a good way and people will be more than willing to share your content.

10. People are obsessed with getting more traffic, money, comments, followers…Tell me, what should they really focus on when they start worrying over the numbers – for example how they only have a few followers and people come to their site after working really hard on their site for months?

I used to obsess over my stats a lot when I first started.  I’d constantly be checking my Analytics numbers, follower count, comment numbers, etc. I found though that when I stopped worrying about them, they improved.

That may sound bizarre, but all that time that you spend worrying/checking those things is time lost actually working on your site.  The more time I spent into creating a really good post, the more popular it actually became.

That doesn’t mean that stats aren’t important, but simply that you shouldn’t put as much emphasis on them as you currently are.

Maybe you have only just started and haven’t quite built up a following yet, or maybe you need to look at concentrating on something else.  Focus on the actual work that you need to do and you should see a difference.

11. What’s your advice for someone who starts a blog because they simply want to make money online – and they think that blogging is the best way to achieve this goal?

I touched upon this briefly earlier, but anyone that thinks blogging is some sort of easy way to make money is in for a shock.  It’s not!  Blogging is hard, very hard.

You need to be self motivated to get on with what you need to do, as there isn’t going to be anyone standing behind you making sure your not slacking off.

You are the sole person responsible for making it a success or not, so if you fail, you only have yourself to blame.  Blogging is not for everyone and I know many people that have dropped out after only a few weeks.

That said, if you are the right type of person and enjoy it, it can be great!  Just remember that blogging is no different from a regular business.

12. How much effort did you put in your blog before you made your first USD $100 from it – and how did you make the one hundred dollars?

Lots!!!  It took me a lot of hard work to begin to make any money from my site.  I was a complete novice back then, so it was me not really knowing how to monetize my site that hindered me initially.

As I learnt more though and grew my site, money began to trickle in.  You begin to get the odd sale, more ad revenue, get enquiries about freelance work, etc.

I can’t remember how I exactly made my first $100, but it was probably from a combination of all of them.

Now, I make a nice regular income from a number of different methods. One of the things I love about running my own site is that you can add more income streams where you feel they will work.

They may not bring in loads individually, but add them together and you begin to see the true potential that sites can have when you work at growing them.

13.  What steps did you take to go from someone that doesn’t make money blogging to someone who makes money blogging?

Like I say, you have to look at adding different revenue streams to your site.

There are many ways to monetize a blog, such as; PPC advertising, affiliate marketing, selling your own products, consultation services, sponsored posts/reviews, selling ad space, freelance work, etc.  It’s just a case of introducing one at a time.

14.  What are some non-blogging things you had to deal with in your life in order to keep growing your blog into what it has become today?

There was tons I didn’t know when I first started blogging, so it was just a case of learning about each aspect and implementing it for my site.

There is still loads that I need to learn, but I know that that will help me to grow my blog further in the future.

Things like; setting up a businesses account, tax returns, writing out business plans, budgeting, learning how to use different software programs, etc. There is so much to learn about running your online business that you probably haven’t even considered yet.

It’s just a case of taking it step-by-step and learning as you go along.

15.  What is the best advice you received that has helped you stay with your blog and continue improving it? (If you remember where the advice came from, mention names please)

The best advice I ever got was just to keep going.  Blogging is hard and there were times where I thought “Is this worth it?” but I carried on.

If you want something in life, you have to work at it to achieve it – nothing is easy.  It’s important that you don’t give in just because you haven’t seen instant results, it may just be a case of you not quite getting there yet.

16.  Any eBooks, courses, products or services that you highly recommend other blog owners to get now?

Well, other than my own site ‘OnlineIncomeTeacher.com’ 🙂

I’d recommend people check out: Problogger – Secrets for Blogging Your Way To a Six-Figure Income by Darren Rowse, The Chimp Paradox by Dr Steve Peters and Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki.

Got something you’re going to use today? Please do share what you liked or learned – and what you are going to do with it in the comments below.

If you’d like to learn more about Matt Smith, visit his site here.

Why your business will need a blog eventually (and the only two options you have now)

There once were two people who eventually had the courage to turn their ideas into real businesses.Why your business will need a blog eventually (and the only two options you have now)

Two individuals in the same industry. Similar businesses.

All working very hard to keep growing their new businesses.

So?

These two small business owners hear about blogs and how they can be a cheap way to make money and increase profits.

The two hear all these great things about blogs after visiting this site.

I mean when they are reading, they are all alone seated somewhere staring at their phones. They don’t even know each other.

They don’t know that another person with a similar business is reading the same articles.

You can still grow your business and be profitable without using a blog for inbound marketing

After reading, the two realize one thing: that even without a blog, they can still grow their businesses and be profitable.

And that’s where one of them stops. He doesn’t go further, doesn’t ask the right questions…doesn’t investigate. Just another article read for the sake of reading.

Giving business blogging a try (start a corporate blog)

The other one also takes action. Reads some of the articles again and decides he’s going to give blogging a try.

That night he sits down to come up with questions he needs answers to before he starts… Two weeks later his business has a blog.

Everyday, things like this happen to business owners. There are many opportunities. Seeing them is one thing. Not letting them pass, while you smile content with your current achievement and progress, is another thing altogether.

Is business blogging over-hyped? Is it worth it for owners of small businesses online and offline?

Some may think that blogs are just so over-hyped. No, they are not. There are noisemakers everywhere, in almost all niches online and offline, but true business owners know that they cannot make their blogging decisions based on the noise alone.

They have to do their own research, ask questions and then make a decision that is good for their business not what they are comfortable with.

The business must be, as mentioned in the free ebook, 10 Things to Look at if You Are Thinking of Starting a Business, be in the first spot.

Meaning, you do something not because it is good for you or avoid it because it is hard for you.

You pursue an opportunity when it is good for your business (of which customers and prospects are a big part).

In your heart you may know that…

In your heart you may know that starting a blog for your business (whether it is new or old, profitable or not) is the right way to go but then decide to do two things:

  • wait
  • do no research

While you do these two, someone else, another business owner just hungry for growth as you are, might be doing these two:

  • researching
  • making the decision to start and take things one step at a time. Just like the business owner above who started a blog for his business in week two.

It means that even if there is an opportunity you don’t want to pursue now, others doing and after similar things as you are, will not pass on the same opportunity.

While you may make the choice to wait, they can make the choice to learn more about how they can use blogs to promote their products and services.

While you spend your days answering the same questions over and over over the phone or email, they may decide to start a blog where they answer all these questions as articles linked together.

When you take some time to read a few blog posts on how businesses can benefit from having their own blogs, they, the people you are competing with, can go a step further and get an ebook where they get all the details on how to build a successful blog arranged in one place.

It is easy to delay starting a blog. After all the usual stories you hear is about how hard it is to write new articles and update the site consistently, how difficult it is to drive traffic to blogs that are less than ten months old, how they are a time-suck and all that.

But consider what you get when you start one and commit to making it successful. You take a risk, just like with most things you do to make your business grow and be more profitable.

You increase your chances of building a site that works for your business, attracts customers and brings more money in the business more than it takes.

Your two options: to start a blog for your business or not to?

You either start one or you don’t. These are your two options.

If you choose to launch a blog, start by educating yourself about what a successful blog is, and then build one. You can read free ebooks and articles and also buy some.

All these things helps you when you want to build something that can be an asset to your business, especially when you don’t have a map to look at to see if you are walking in the right direction.

They also help you stop burning hours and hours of your life chasing things that don’t matter like many do when it comes to building blogs.

As a reader of this site, I know that you are someone who is serious about turning ideas into businesses and then doing everything right to promote the businesses you start.

That means you are fine with educating yourself more, everyday.

And part of being fine with educating yourself more means that you  know that education should lead to meaningful action – which lead to failure (with great lessons that eventually lead you to success) or success.

It is a choice. And you don’t have to jump into blogging only when you start hearing great stories about other business owners with blogs that make their business more profits.

Blogs are hard work and require a lot of patience, but so are most of the things you will encounter in your life as a business owner.

So go for it. Start by learning how to build your own blog. Learn. Then do.

Better fail and learn than do nothing and learn nothing – and have nothing.

Choose. Now.

Cindy Buccieri: An interview on how to start a blog and grow it into a success – get the tips

In this interview, we welcome Cindy Buccieri of CindyBuccieri.com to share her knowledge and thoughts on how to start a blog, choose a topic for the blog, get more blog traffic, create quality content and network with other bloggers (and entrepreneurs).Cindy Buccieri: An interview on how to start a blog and grow it into a success - get the tips

She also shares more, for example, how she grew her blog – how much effort she put into it before she made her first USD 100 from it and a lot more.

The first question?

1. Why did you get into blogging and decided to start your own blog?

In 2009, I had an inspirational idea to start an online magazine with helpful articles and tips for mothers like me.  I had a web design background and soon discovered that a blog would provide the best vehicle for me to share my thoughts, ideas and tips.

2. How long have you been blogging, on what topics – why? (share your story)

I started blogging in 2009.  My first blog, Busy Mom’s Tips, provided helpful articles for women and mothers on topics such as home decorating, saving money, and recipes.

A few months later, I started 3 additional blogs focusing on blogging tips, family vacations and working at home.  In 2012, my original blogging tips website transformed into Cindybuccieri.com.  Blogging is my passion.  I love writing posts and interacting with others in the blogging community.

In 2010, I started receiving a lot emails asking for blogging and website help.  I then started my business CB Virtual Services.

My company provides website design, social media, email marketing, blogging services and consulting.  I was also asked to speak and give workshops on a consistent basis.  I love working one-on-one with clients on how to write blog posts and get their business noticed online.

At my workshops, I was frequently asked to write a book about blogging.  Eight months later in 2013, I published “Blogging the Right Way: Learn How to Launch a Blog and Start Making Money”.  Blogging is my passion and I love sharing information, tips and training other bloggers and business owners.

With the publication of my book, I also launched a Blog Talk Radio show where I share blogging tips and have guests on who are fellow bloggers.

3. How are things going so far? Have you been able to achieve the  goals you set out when you first started?

My goals haven’t changed too much from when I first started.  In the beginning, my goals were to provide interesting information and connect with other bloggers.

Now in addition to my original goals, my goals are to educate as many people as possible on how beneficial a blog can be for so many reasons.

A blog can be a way to make money online, increase sales for a business and provide a way for others to provide inspiration.  I want people to share my passion with me.

4. Here’s what most people ask themselves when their blogs still get little traffic: How do I get more? What do you tell such people? What can they learn from your story growing your site?

Blogging is a part of the new way of “relationship marketing” which means that you have to build connections with your target audience.

They also need to understand search engine optimization.  The three parts to effective SEO are to write high quality blog posts on a consistent basis, be active in social media and have high quality websites linking to you.

However, THE one most important key is to write high quality blog posts.  And these blog posts need to provide value to their audience.

It’s also extremely important that your blog focuses on one niche and that your blog posts are focused on topics related to this niche.  Blogs that cover a lot of different topics are harder to rank within search engines.

For those who use WordPress, I highly recommend they use the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin.  This is a great tool to ensure that your blog post has the appropriate number of keywords and elements for effective SEO.

In my experience, you shouldn’t underestimate the value of commenting on niche related blogs and forums as well as being active in social media.  Again, these are all relationship building strategies.  In summary, keep your blog posts focused and stay active online.

5. How many hours do you spend blogging every week, today, a month ago, a year ago, and what are your reasons for spending that amount of time on your blog?

I spend approximately 10 hours per week on my Cindybuccieri.com blog.  This includes writing blog posts, posting to social media, commenting on blogs and forums, posting to article sites, interfacing with other bloggers, and preparing for my BlogTalkRadio show.

This amount of time has increased within the last few months as I restructured CB Virtual Services so that I could spend time educating, speaking, writing and training.  I devote at least 2 hours per day to my blog, radio show and increasing traffic.

This amount of time works out well for me at this time while I continue to perform website design, speaking engagements and attend local networking events.

6. What’s your definition of great content? How do you go about creating great content yourself?

To me great content is when you answer a reader’s question, solve their problem or give them that “ah ha” moment.  It’s all about their needs and not about pushing a product.  The post needs to be believable, authentic and include the writer’s personality.

I go about creating great content for myself by listening to my clients and readers.  Often times, I will get questions about a certain topic.  Or if I’m chatting with a client over the phone, they will express the areas they are having difficulty.

I will usually then write my next blog post to answer their question.  I believe that if one person has this question, then others probably do too.

I also review my Google Analytics results to see what people are searching for.  For example, I recently saw that people were searching for information on keyword density.  So, I will have an upcoming post on that topic.  I want to give my readers what they are looking for.

7. Networking is said to be a good thing. What have you done, or do today, to connect with other bloggers, leaders, entrepreneurs and business owners in your niche and other niches?

In my particular “blogging” niche, the three things that have been most effective are:

  • commenting on niche related blogs,
  • participating in “blog hops” and
  • participating in blogging related groups in LinkedIn.

I have met some great bloggers using these three tools.  And some of these people have agreed to be guests on my radio show and review my book.  I also make a lot of connections at my speaking events.

From my CB Virtual Services perspective, face-to-face local networking events have been the most effective.  However, at this point most of the clients I get are from referrals and word of mouth.

As with both online and offline businesses, it’s all based on referrals and word of mouth.

8. What’s the one thing you’d spend most of your time doing if you started a new blog today? Where would your focus be? (do share your reasons please)

If I started a new blog today, I would spend most of my time writing great content.  Content is the heart of your blog.

It doesn’t matter if you have a hundred people coming to your site, if you have nothing of value for them when they get there.

So first, I would write great content and a lot of it.  However, before I could start writing I would need to do some keyword research so that I can understand what people are searching for.

It’s important to give the readers what they are looking for.

My focus would be on following your passion.  I believe that when you follow your heart and your passion, then the results are limitless.

Often times people choose topics that they don’t have an interest in only because there is a chance they can make money from it.

While this may be true short lived, they won’t be able to maintain it in the long run.  I have learned that it is so important to do the things you are passionate about whether it is a business idea or a blog.  You will be happier and more fulfilled in the long run.

9. What can one do to create a blog that says what’s been said over a thousand times differently and still manage to attract readers and get their content shared?

Regardless of the subject, everyone has their own opinion, thoughts and feelings about it.  And while the overall concept may be the same, nobody is going to say it the same way you do.

And you may say it in a way that the reader better understands or can relate to.  For example, there are a lot of people who write and speak about blogging.

However, because I am woman, a mother and a business owner I can provide a different perspective to the subject.

For this reason is why bloggers should choose a topic they are passionate about because their passion will show through in their posts.

10. People are obsessed with getting more traffic, money, comments, followers…Tell me, what should they really focus on when they start worrying over the numbers – for example how they only have a few followers and people come to their site after working really hard on their site for months?

The two numbers they should focus on are website visitors and conversions (i.e., money).

The number of comments and followers should be less of a concern because often times people are reluctant to be the first one to post a comment.

People are like sheep and they will follow if someone else posts a comment first but they don’t want to be the first.

And as far as followers, most people don’t want to have their email box bombarded with blog post updates.  That’s why I wouldn’t focus on comments or followers.

Your attention should be; How many people are coming to my site on a daily basis?  Where are they coming from? And Are they buying my products or clicking on my affiliate links?

By using Google Analytics, you can see where your visitors are coming from.

If you organic searches are low, then you will know that you need to work on keyword research and SEO strategies.

If you find that you have a lot of visitors on a daily basis but they aren’t converting, then you need to work on your sales page or affiliate posts.  For those who solely use Google Adsense, the more visitors you have results in more money earned through Adsense.

All sites whether they are only a few months old or have been around for years need to be evaluated on a weekly basis to see what’s going on with their traffic.  They basically need to test, evaluate, implement changes, test and evaluate again.

11. What’s your advice for someone who starts a blog because they simply want to make money online – and they think that blogging is the best way to achieve this goal?

For those who start a blog to simply make money online, my advice is that they need to balance free valuable content and resources with their products.

The reason is because starting a blog and making it successful takes time and dedication.  If they are only focused on making money, they will more than likely lose interest or give up before it starts to be fruitful.

Blogging is a great way to make money online but there needs to be a balance between providing value and making money.  Sites that are setup strictly to sell their products won’t be able to build relationships with readers.  These relationships will lead to referrals and repeat customers.

12. How much effort did you put in your blog before you made your first USD 100 from it – and how did you make the one hundred dollars?

With my first blog, I put a lot of effort into it because I was learning everything from scratch. I knew web design but I didn’t know anything about blogging and SEO.  I believe I made my first $100 after my blog was 3 months old.

I made it through Google Adsense and Commission Junction, the affiliate marketing site.  Because it took me so long and a lot of trial and error to make my first $100 is one of the reasons why I wrote “Blogging the Right Way”.  I didn’t want others to spend as much time as I did getting their blog off the ground.

13. What steps did you take to go from someone that doesn’t make money blogging to someone who makes money blogging?

I spent a lot of time at the library and bookstores.  I read as many books on SEO and making money blogging as I could find.

Today, the SEO practices are quite different.  However, through my business acquaintances I have access to experts in the field who provide me with advice.

In the end, it took a lot of dedication.  I was determined to not give up until I figured it out.  I knew there were other bloggers online making money so I knew it was possible.

14. What are some non-blogging things you had to deal with in your life in order to keep growing your blog into what it has become today?

Time management is a big one.  With running a business and taking care of a home, a husband and children, and maintaining a successful blog, it can become extremely overwhelming.

The biggest thing I had to learn was boundaries and balance.  This meant that I needed to let my business clients know that I wasn’t available after 2 pm or on weekends.

It was also important that I had balance in my life.  Balance between time for my clients, time for my blogs, time for my family and time for myself.  Often times, people believe that they don’t have time to take time for themselves.

However, this time is essential to clearing your mind and being able to focus on your goals.  Now, I use time blocking to ensure that I spend my time effectively.  I schedule so much time for blog post writing, marketing, dealing with clients, answering emailing and returning phone calls.  It works out great!

 15. What is the best advice you received that has helped you stay with your blog and continue improving it? (If you remember where the advice came from, mention names please)

That’s an easy one.  Darren Rowse of Problogger.net.  His book was the first book I read on blogging and is what inspired me to start blogging and never give up.

His book and his blog posts are written in such a way that they are educational as well as inspiring.  I truly consider him my role model and mentor.  I also learned a lot from Rosalind Gardner on affiliate marketing.

16. Any ebooks, courses, products or services that you highly recommend other blog owners to get now?

Well, I recommend my book, “Blogging the Right Way: Learn how to Launch a Blog and Start Making Money” for those who are just starting out and wanting to learn all of the different way to make money and increase their blog traffic.

I also recommend Darren Rowse’s book, “Problogger: Secrets to Blogging Your Way to a Six Figure Income” as well as Rosalyn Gardner’s book, “The Super Affiliate Marketers Handbook”.

Much thanks to Cindy Buccieri for sharing her thoughts, tips and knowledge with us. Check out her site here.

To start a blog to promote your business. Should you? Not until you read this

Do you wish you, as someone who is into business blogging, had a blog that netted you more loyal customers? It’s a good wish.To start a blog to promote your business. Should you? Not until you read this

One that can be granted when you get your domain name, pay for web hosting, and decide to work a few hours a day on your brand new blog, with the aim of turning it into a success.

Previously, we have looked at the 4 reasons why every business needs to blog. Then went further, mentioning, in the same post, how blogs can be used to turn ideas into small businesses and the only two options you have on this matter of to blog or not to.

From the title of this post, it seems like I am taking a different stance today. Am i? We’ll find out in a minute.

But first…

Understand why businesses blog before you do anything else

Why do they do it?

1. Businesses and brands know blogging is an easy way to get new leads and paying customers

How? They think of a solution they want to provide (and to whom) and then they sit and come up with post titles which later become drafts filled with useful information.

Those drafts are edited and proofread then published and made public, accessible to anyone with an internet connection.

Someone looking for such a solution may stumble across their post, read it, love it then stay on their blog reading some more: about them, their products and services.

Say they want more and the business offers better and premium solutions which can be purchased right away, will they buy?

Not everyone will. Some will. Others will ask a number of questions before they open their wallets.

Read this interview to learn more.

2. Blogging is an inexpensive way to promote businesses, products and services

Starting a blog doesn’t cost a lot. You need a domain name and hosting. With the two, you are often ready.

Starting a successful blog however, requires a lot of time.

In the beginning, you will be paying more in time than money – though some say that time is money.

Blogging, it is inexpensive.

3. Businesses are told to embrace content marketing and take advantage of blogging

The reason? More businesses start blogs everyday, which means more crowding – more competition.

The sooner you start the better.

The main reason why they are told to do so is this: blogging actually works.

Businesses that blog regularly, say every week, and post quality content increase their chances of getting more email subscribers

Getting more email subscribers

More email subscribers means more people giving you the permission to connect with them – on a whole new level.

And the subscribers can be easily nurtured into paying customers.

Getting found online by searching for things on the internet

Blogging makes it easy for a business to be found by the increasing number of people turning to search engines and review sites to research businesses, solutions, products and services before they make a purchase offline in the local store or place their order online.

They, in effect, increase their visibility on search engines with every piece of content they publish.

Knowing what works in their online marketing effort

They can do this by simply taking advantage of the different analytics tools available in the market.

With their analysis, they get to easily switch tactics and strategies to suit their needs – doing more of what works for them while rethinking their approach to the tactics and strategies that haven’t showed much promise yet.

Expanding their reach to other markets

Consider two very small businesses, similar in products they market and practices, with lean budgets and limited capital trying to win new customers.

A, which does their marketing like B, decides to create a blog and commit to work on it everyday to turn it into a resourceful site.

Note that B also has a blog, but it was last updated five months ago and is mostly filled with a dozen newsy types of posts about their products and the team behind the company.

A year passes by and these businesses that do almost everything the same way begin to look different – online.

A’s resourceful site attracts customers they wouldn’t normally reach offline.

And so, that little blog of theirs helps them expand their reach and win more market share – attracting even some of B’s customers.

Keeping people’s interests up

How? As mentioned in How to Start a Successful Blog, their blog becomes like a customer care rep that never sleeps.

This works only if the blog is filled with content that answers the questions the prospects and customers have – in a detailed way.

So, all these advantages and I am here ready to tell you…

Why you shouldn’t start a blog for your business just yet?

Why would I do this? Here are a few reasons.

You will quit blogging for your business / company before you see the results you are hoping for

Blogging is a long term game and may be time consuming. If you want to do it for a few weeks or months then quit, you have what it takes but may be you are not ready.

Blogging also takes a lot of work. If you are already overwhelmed by the other aspects of your business, it is going to be hard to stay consistent.

Businesses, the ones that try to stay consistent, often get discouraged because they can blog blog blog for several months before anything good comes out of all their effort.

If you imagine yourself creating new content everyday, publishing a few times a week only to get results that don’t please you, and the thought of this makes you shudder, it could be because you are not ready.

What if you feel ready but just don’t have the time to manage the blog?

Are you ready to do the opposite of what most businesses do – giving up on starting their site until some future unknown date –simply find someone to help you to help you write blog posts – which could mean paying more initially?

Yes. Then there will be no excuse of overwhelm and you will have more time on your hands to focus on those aspects of your business that are already making you feel overwhelmed.

You can find a person that hosts, installs and manages your blog. Here at Niabusiness.com, I can help you do that and more.

Typical hosting may be cheap. Niabusiness‘s may cost a little more.

When you find someone who can help you do all this, you can eliminate some of your fears and actually start the blog with their help even if that means paying more, right?

You are not convinced yet of the benefits a blog can bring you, your company and team

Nothing will easily convince you otherwise unless you start one and commit to making it successful. There are so many case studies and research on the benefits of blogging to businesses.

When will you be convinced to the point where you are ready to give this a try?

You are not ready to create a lot of great content for your business blog

How many blog posts do you need to write before you start getting serious traffic and leads? 1? 10? 25? 50? 100? 500? A thousand? 2000 published blog posts?

It depends on how much web traffic you want. Note, though, that the more content you publish to your site, the more you increase your chances of being found.

I have read about some businesses that saw great things happening when they wrote and consistently published 50-100 posts.

How did they do they do it? They created their own 30 day challenges.

Challenges like this means you have to be ready to do things that takes away your comfort and pushes you closer to your goals.

More content means the likelihood of those landing on your site, sticking around and exploring some more, goes up.

Creating more content and seeing your traffic steadily rise will also motivate you to create better content (of different lengths) more frequently.

If you are not willing to do this and only write a handful of posts, that may take forever to attract traffic, you will be discouraged by the slow growth.

When that happens, it puts you in a position where you are likely to abandon your site.

Creating more content also makes it easy for you to contribute to other blogs, which then results into more exposure for your blog, business, your products and services.

Business blogging: 4 reasons every business should start a blog even if it doesn’t make them money

One thing you’ll notice when you take a closer look at the web is the small number of great blogs started and owned by businesses.

This is the case even with lots of posts, statistics and case studies – clearly pointing at the benefits of business blogging – already published all over the internet by bloggers and companies reaping the benefits of blogging already.

You’ll also notice that most of the businesses with blogs have not yet made the decision to work with bloggers who run some really great blogs to leverage their clout to grow their own blogs.

So, what is stopping these businesses from starting their own blogs…

and making a vow to build something useful to them and the prospects and customers they are keen on building  a lasting relationship with?

Could assumptions like blogs don’t make you money be what’s stopping them? Let’s look at some of the reasons and assumptions that may be holding them from starting and building great blogs to promote their businesses.

1. Some businesses think blogs are so hyped

There are business owners who wonder why go the blogging route when they can simply slap an ad on Facebook, Google, local FM radio and TV stations, newspapers, magazines or a cause or show they are sponsoring.Business blogging: 4 reasons every business should start a blog even if it doesn’t make them money

After all some of their efforts in these areas brings instant results and gives them the opportunity to catch the attention of many people.

And what do they get from their blogs, if at all they have one? Numbers not pleasing to the eyes and spam, a lot of it. What they don’t realize is that blogs are for the long term. If properly built, they can help a business do so much, cheaply.

Imagine the power your business wields if you have a place where your customers and prospects can find answers to almost 99% of their questions any time of the day, fast, and still have a chance to talk to you about the 1% if it so happens that they come up with unique questions you haven’t yet covered.

That is the advantage you can get from a blog. So even if you think they are hyped, build one that doesn’t ride on hype. Build something useful, because you can.

You don’t want to wait till the results you are getting (from your marketing efforts right now) dry up to put together a blog for your company.

 Also check this detailed post on Niabusiness.com: Why Blog? 30 Reasons to Start a Blog. Take your time reading it. It will give you plenty of ideas for what to do once you launch a blog for your small business, company or startup. 

2. Some business owners don’t know how blogs (and inbound marketing) work

Talk some business owners into getting blogs and the first thing that may come to their mind id, ‘How do they work?’

Start explaining, and you’ll notice the changes in the faces of some. Instead of getting more interested, certain words you use may give them another reason to avoid starting a blog – even when there are more than 30 reasons to start one.

To those who are interested, blogs simply gives you the advantages of being a publisher. You can teach, entertain, inform, and be friends with those who come to your blog.

And doing all this doesn’t stop you from making more money. It could actually help you attract more profits, and you like profits, just like every business owner, right?

A blog could be one of the best places where you connect with people who are interested in what you do.

People who see (or want to know) the value they can get from you. Even if they don’t buy immediately, they are likely to talk about you and recommend your products and services to their friends and family.

Choose to use this advantage to grow your business today. And if you need help starting and growing your blog, get this.

3. Some business owners dread running blogs for their businesses

There’s so much time and money that goes into building successful blogs, and this is a big reason why some businesses don’t start their own blogs.

But what if you take things one step at a time, to choose not to be overwhelmed by very long lists of things you need to do to build a blog that’s just perfect.

To some business owners, blogs are liabilities, sinking company time and money in return for very little traffic, poor conversion rates and low sales.

So, they do actually start one but abandon it. No new content, no theme and plugin updates, no moderation of comments…no engagement.

They just let the thing sit online for a year, until their web host calls them to pay the annual fee (domain and hosting) if they still want their site online.

The good news is that running a blog is really easy when you have clear goals, reasonable expectations and the will to make your blog work for you and not the other way round.

Don’t be the business owner who will only be ready to deal with the ‘hassles’ of running a blog only when you see a growing trend of businesses increasing their profits owing to the efforts they put in their blogs.

So even if you think a blog can’t and won’t benefit your business or make you more money than it takes, you still need to start one:

  1. To make it easy for the increasing number of people turning to search engines to research companies , businesses, products and services, to find you, talk with you, and open their wallets and buy from you.
  2. Because it is cheap, doesn’t necessarily have to take tons of your time and can become a great asset in less than a year. But, of course, you won’t know this until you start one.
  3. To separate yourself from the crowd that strongly believes that a blog won’t be beneficial to their business in any way, and instead of starting one to prove if they are right or wrong, simply cling to their usual ways of doing things – and wondering if maybe, just maybe, starting their blog last year would have been a good move..
  4. Because it can give you the opportunity to build an email list filled with customers and prospects who are likely to stick with you and buy from you for a very long time. You love repeat customers, especially the ones that know you and you know them, right?

With all this said, you can also…

Start and use blogs to turn your ideas into small businesses.

The first question that may come to your mind when you read that is, ‘Is this possible? Can I build a blog and use it to turn my ideas into small businesses?

The answer to that question is maybe.

It depends.

I don’t want to say yes to get people excited and then have all that excitement lead to one big disappointment when they begin struggling with some of the newbie challenges mentioned in the ebook / online course, How to Start a Successful Blog.

What about a no? I don’t want to say that either because it is possible to start a blog that eventually leads to a profitable small business.

Why start and use a blog for sales (lead generation), your business, company or for your marketing department?

1. It is easy to test the viability of your ideas without investing tens or hundreds of thousands in a business startup

Most ideas are subjected to the viability test – a period where the owner of a new business does two things: one – offers a solution at a certain price or fee, and two – determines whether the results he gets for his efforts to make the idea work justifies putting in more effort, reaching out more, asking for more sales and generally keeping the business alive.

Doing this offline can take a lot of time and money – though this is not always the case.

Online, it may cost less. And that’s always an option for people who want to start businesses but don’t have the time or money to cater for all the expenses that come with testing an idea offline. Besides, a blog also gives individuals the opportunity to test their ideas offline and online.

Say your business offers editing and proofreading services to small businesses, you can test the viability of your idea offline (for example by visiting businesses in your local town or city, showing them the solution you have for them and what pains your solution is made for – and getting them to work with you) and online (by writing articles related to editing and proofreading for small businesses to get search engine traffic from people looking for a solution like the one you offer, and by connecting with persons that can benefit from your services – inviting them back to your blog every time you make contact).

2. You can use a business blog as a tool for market research

Your blog can be an inexpensive way to get business and also learn from the people who come to your site. And it is in the learning that you get more ideas to polish your product, improve your service and meet the needs of those you are serving.

If you don’t have the money to start offline, you can jump online. Add your blog on the internet, build relationships with prospects and customers and learn from those relationships.

With a blog usually you can see the keywords leading people to your site. They can get in touch with you via email, live chat or phone, leaving you feedback you can use to move from idea to business to more growth.

They can leave you comments, testimonials, tell you what they like or dislike and why. And the good thing is that you don’t have to limit yourself to a particular geographical area.

They can come to your site when you sleep – and all the stats you get (traffic coming in, sales, bounce rates, email subscribes and unsubscribes) can be really helpful when thinking of ways to grow and do a better work at helping your clients.

3. A blog can be a great platform to connect with other people

You can do this offline, sure, and bit by bit turn your idea into a real business. You can also do this online. Or both – which is better.

But what happens when, for various reasons, you find it difficult to build a platform that gets the attention of persons who are interested in, or know people who are interested in, the solution you are charging for?

One option is creating a blog with the goal to make it a success and using it to connect with others.

After all business is all about connections: solutions to pains, customer to customer, business to customer, business to prospects. Money flows in these connections when value is given.

A blog can give you a quick way to position your idea as a solution – that for the money paid gets whoever takes money out of their pockets, a solution they’ll love, love, love.

It also gives you the individual business owner a chance to be found by others, a chance to be referred to by others and a chance to grow the connections you make further – developing them into stronger relationships.

What happens with this is that it then gets a little bit easier for more people to find you.

It gets a little bit easier to reach new and existing customers within and beyond the borders of your country.

It gets a little bit easier to get more people spreading the word about you.

It also gives you the chance to reward such people by creating solutions that are even more useful, involving them in what you do and giving them a chance to say, everyday, that they are part of something important – your vision, allowing them to make some money for the referrals they make etc.

4. Reinvesting the money you make online into your business

When, as a result of your blog, your idea makes money, that money can be used to grow your business depending on the plans you have.

In the example above, on an editing and proofreading business, you can make money working with the businesses located in your town or city.

With your blog, you can reach more businesses inside and outside of your town, city, state, province or country.

You can use the money earned for the services you render to the people living in different cities, towns, countries and continents to create even better things for all your clients.

Blogging is an affordable way to turn an idea into a business if you don’t have the capital to get started and don’t want to start with loans from banks, saccos or micro finance institutions.

It takes time and requires a lot of hard work and restraint. And this may not be the best route for everyone / every idea.

If you are ready to give this a go, all you need is the discipline to build a successful blog.

Have questions or suggestions? Share them with me in the comments below.

Twenty Thirteen WordPress child theme (Legend)

Do you need, for your blog, a WordPress child theme for the Twenty Thirteen theme that displays post excerpts (with continue reading or read more links added to your blog posts)?2013: Twenty Thirteen WordPress child theme (Legend)

You are in the right place.

If you have always wanted to use the Twenty Thirteen theme but didn’t like how it displays posts in full in your site’s homepage, here’s a ready-made child theme, that you can add to your WordPress blog (website) right now, click activate and you are done.

Who should download this 2013 WordPress child theme?

To answer this question, let me tell you a little bit about the theme I was using previously. The Twenty Twelve theme.

It was, and still is, a good theme with a sidebar on the right. I had a great child theme to go with it that made it easy to show post excerpts.

But then came a time when all I wanted to use was the Twenty Thirteen theme, mainly because of the way it looks:

  • A design that makes reading blog posts and pages easy on the eye
  • Bigger post titles. Headlines like that easily catch the attention of people who come to a site
  • Sidebar on the footer. So, what the reader has before they reach the sidebar is the main navigation, the post they are reading, links from the current post to other articles in and outside a site, the related posts area and the comments section.

If you want all these things, but with the post excerpts feature added in the mix, then the Twenty Thirteen Legend theme is for you.

In addition to all the things I have mentioned above, this theme can become handy if you want to monetize your blog by inserting ad blocks in your posts (or pages) to:

  • Make money with Google AdSense, or
  • Make money with Chitika ads

How to get the Twenty Thirteen Legend child theme

To get this theme, enter your email address below and click subscribe.

Or better, subscribe by clicking this link.

After doing this, you will receive an email in your inbox prompting you to confirm your email address. Click the confirmation link inside the email.

Once you do that, I will send you an email with the download link. Click on the link to get the child theme. Twenty Thirteen Legend is very light, so it should download in less than two seconds.

Save it in a location in your computer (tablet or phone) where you can easily find it when it comes time to upload it to your blog (website).

How to upload the Twenty Thirteen Legend child theme to your WordPress powered blog (website)

Once you have downloaded the theme, it is now time to upload it to your blog.

First, make sure that you have the Twenty Thirteen theme installed and activated on your site. It will act as the parent theme to the child theme you have just downloaded.

Now, in your WordPress dashboard, go to Themes (under Appearance). Click add theme. Click upload. Then select the Twenty Thirteen Legend theme from the location you saved it.

Click upload. Then activate the theme. Once you do this, you posts won’t be displaying in full on the home page (or BLOG page) anymore.

They’ll each have a few sentences followed by a Continue reading link.

So, a user scrolling up and down will be able to view more post headlines and excerpts and click the Continue reading link on any post they find interesting.

You can also upload this theme to your site via FTP if you don’t want to use the method above. For that you will need Filezilla (which you can download for free) installed in your computer.

If you already have Filezilla (or any of its alternatives), unzip the Twenty Thirteen Legend child theme you just downloaded, then upload the unzipped folder to your WordPress site in the themes directory (found under wp-content).

Login to your site (WordPress dashboard) after that and activate the child theme once the parent theme is active.

How will I get more information about (and updates on) the Twenty Thirteen Legend child theme

I’ll keep you updated by sending you tips and news about this theme via email. So, it might be a good idea to stay subscribed via email once you download it.

On top of that you will occasionally get tips to help you get the most out of your WordPress site from Niabusiness.com.

So, no worries about missing updates.

What else do I need to know

If you’d like to tell others about this child theme, that’d be great.

You can do this in many ways.

  • Link to this page. The URL is https://niabusiness.com/twenty-thirteen-legend
  • Use the buttons below and above the post to share this article on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Linkedin and other social networks or forums that you use
  • Send them a message with the link to this page

Thank you for reading this far; for downloading the theme and using it; for telling others about the theme.

If you have any questions or suggestions you’d like to bring to my attention, feel free to use the contact form here to get in touch and share what is on your mind.