Blog Guide

Your 10-Step to Build a Good Earning Blog - A Blog Guide



For many, blogging conjures up fears of being chained to one's computer spending countless hours on content that no one will read. But it doesn't have to be that way. From an online journal at 1,000 words per post to a simple 140-character Twitter feed, blogging has taken center stage largely because of how useful it has proven itself to be in almost all areas of business. Blogging can also be profitable according to research by Technorati, an Internet search engine for searching blogs, which reports that for blogs with 100,000 or more unique monthly visitors revenue averages about $75,000 annually. As a companion to my popular series on Blogging, here is a step-by-step guide to getting your blog from zero to thousands of readers.

Step 1: Determine why you are blogging

 A blog can also support any one of these goals. Which goals are you trying to accomplish with your company website and which are you trying to accomplish with your blog?

Define what success looks like? If your goal is branding, what awareness studies will you do? If your goal is advertising revenue, how much do you hope to make? How many readers and page views do you need? For lead generation, how many phone calls or e-mails do you want to get from your blog? These goals can change, but it is important to put a stake in the ground and then measure against it.

Step 2: Determine the "concept" of your blog.


What is the niche you will write about? Who will care? Once you know WHY you are blogging, you can think about WHAT to blog about. You may go back and forth between Step 1 and Step 2 for a few rounds before making your final decision. Some people start with an idea for a blog but when they put it to the test of actually generating revenue the idea changes. Step 1 and Step 2 must work in tandem and you have to know that there is an audience for what you have to say.

Your blog concept can be very narrow, attracting a small but passionate niche of readers and few, if any, competitors, or it can focus broadly on a topic that is widely popular but has a lot of competition.

Much of your decision may rely on the resources available to you and ultimately your goals. Do you have a large marketing budget, staff and resources for your blog? Do you already have access to a large audience of readers (thousands to tens of thousands of readers)? Do you have a long period of time (2-3 years) over which you can consistently devote 5-10 hours per week of writing and marketing efforts to slowly build your blog audience and subscriber base? If you answered no to all of these questions you may want to consider focusing narrowly since creating a very unique voice or speaking on a unique topic is a much easier and faster way to break through the noise than writing about the same thing that everyone else writes about.

 Step 3: Will your blog be separate or integrated into your site?

This is actually two questions:

1. Will your blog be under the same domain name as your site? The benefit of this is that you will get more (search engine optimization) SEO value out of the content of your blog. Some advise putting your blog under a different domain and linking generously between the two sites in order to gain "link popularity." But link popularity is not necessarily the most important element of SEO (nor will it help you much to have many links between two sites neither of which is itself highly ranked). Having a larger amount of keyword-rich content on your site is usually far more important. Having your blog hosted under the same domain name as your site will add all of your blog content to your site content when search engines determine where to place your site in the rankings. For more about Search Engine Optimization read this detailed guide or my blog post on the topic.

2.    Will your blog exist within the same software as your site? If your website is built within a Content Management System (which is usually a very good idea because updating is made easier) it is typically most useful to have your blog constructed within that same CMS. These programs, including Drupal, Joomla and WordPress, will typically allow users to build both a website and a blog. The benefit here is that you only have ONE login to access and update all of the content of your site. Plus, there's only ONE system to learn. See my post titled "Build Your Blog" for a lot more detail on different options for building your blog, including free vs. paid, self-hosted vs. blogging-company hosted, vs., etc.


 Step 4: Decide what you will write about.

There are several decisions you'll need to make somewhat in tandem:

1) Frequency – Look at your resources and determine how often you can comfortably write content. Do you plan to pay someone to write content or write it yourself? While blogging frequency varies widely, the most typical frequency is daily, weekly or monthly. The more often you post, the more traffic you'll get.

2) Content – Now comes the part where you actually have to write something. It will be harder than you think. My strong recommendation is to compose your first five posts ahead of time and post them according to the schedule you devise. From there, you can determine if your frequency is realistic. Don't forget the power of headlines - a great headline will do a lot to attract readers. A great resource to help you with headline writing, copywriting or even blasting writer's block is CopyBlogger.

3) Content Organization – Some content can be organized in topic categories while it may make sense for other blogs to be listed by date. If your style is more of a personal journal like the author of, categories won't make as much sense. Dooce blogger Heather Armstrong writes about whatever is on her mind at the moment so chronology works best.

4. Call to Action – How will you engage your readers to reach your ROI? Here are some phrases to include in your blog: 

•    Join my email list
•    Download my ebook
•    Buy my product
•    Sign up for my service
•    Call or email me for a consultation
•    Buy advertising on this blog
•    Connect with me on various social sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace etc.)
•    Visit my store or office
•    Come meet me at this live event

Integrate the calls to action that make sense for your needs into both the content and design of your blog. Your calls to action should impact your success goals from Step 1. If success for your blog is just having 10,000 readers per month, then your calls to action will focus heavily on marketing to new audiences and keeping existing readers happy. You can accomplish that by making content easy to find, highly engaging and being available to your audience.

 Step 5: Determine your process.

Will your blog be managed by a single person (i.e. you are a solo entrepreneur) or will each blog post be reviewed by senior management? Who will be responsible for updating blog posts? These questions will affect frequency. This article on Blogging for Business highlights the things to beware of in establishing your blogging process, matching it to your goals and maintaining transparency and authenticity.

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