You will of course need to continually create great content (and plenty of “evergreen” content), but this process I am about to share with you is going to help you create a hub for your content that is optimized for traffic and a place that you will actually want to write.
Step #1 Pick a Niche [1 HR +]
Your niche should be a combination of something that interests you and something that makes money. If your topic fulfills only one of these, it isn’t a good money earning/brand building blog.
If you want a hobby blog and aren’t looking to monetize, go for it, but EntreResource.com is about helping you make money.
- Finding Your Niche in 20 mins or Less, with 3 Simple Steps! by Chris Ducker
- How to Decide What to Blog About by Amy Lynn Andrews
Step #2 Choose a Domain [1 hour]
It doesn’t matter what it is, just keep it short and relevant to your topic. Also, I recommend good old fashioned “.com” over anything else.
My favorite tool for finding domain names is leandomainsearch.com. It is free and will give you hundreds of ideas.
There are plenty of guidelines and best practices for choosing a domain name, but for now, pick something and get moving.
- 8 Rules for How to Choose a Domain Name by Rand Fishkin
- The 8 Best Blog and Domain Name Generators by Jamie Spencer
Step #3 Buy Hosting (and Domain) [20 mins]
When you purchase hosting with BlueHost, you will also get a free domain.
Again, once you grow, you can always switch hosting providers with little issue (just be careful when doing this not to lose all of your hard work!)
Step #4 Install WordPress [30 minutes]
WordPress is the only thing I recommend blogging with. It is free and you can find how to install it easily inside the hosting provider you pick.
If you purchased BlueHost, installing WordPress is very simple.
Step #5 Pick a Free Theme [10 minutes]
This is a weekend blog, so don’t fool around with a paid theme yet. Use one of the built in free ones inside WordPress.
Most people who buy themes before they have written a single word don’t make it long.
When you’re more serious and realize you’re in it for the long haul, you can head over to Envato and grab a premium theme for around $19-$59.
The theme I use on EntreResource was $59 I believe.
Step #6 Install Basic Plugins
There are thousands of different WordPress Plugins, but there are only a couple that I feel are necessary right out of the gate.
- WordPress SEO by Yoast -> This will help simplify the SEO process. You are new to blogging so you need all the help here you can get.
- Backup Buddy -> There are other backup tools, but this one does a fine job.
- W3 Total Cache -> Speed up your site with this cache tool
Be sure to not overdo it with plugins. You will be tempted to install everything under the sun, but it can quickly weigh your site down and hurt you performance.
Step #7 Get a Simple Logo on Fiverr or Design Your Own [1 hour]
This part doesn’t matter much yet. If you don’t want to do it, don’t, but it doesn’t take long. If you want a premium logo (recommended later) you can check out 99 Designs, but for a weekend blog, don’t worry about that yet.
- Logo Design for Newbies: How to Create a Simple Logo in Adobe Illustrator (if you choose to do it yourself).
- Logo Inspiration: 350+ Simple, Smart Logo Ideas And Examples
Step #8 Create Your About Page [2 hours]
Before you write any articles, you need an about page.
- How to Make the Perfect About Page by Neil Patel
- Are You Making These 7 Mistakes with Your About Page? by Sonia Simone
Step #9 Research Your Competitors and Brainstorm Article Ideas [2 hours]
Don’t worry about anything more at this point than coming up with the best blog topics. Make a huge list of them and decide which would be the best and most valuable to your audience.
Step #10 Start Collecting Emails [Immediately!] [2 hours]
Do not wait to start collecting emails. I spend quite a bit on my email marketing tools, but you can get started for free.
So many people screw up and start putting side bar ads instead of grabbing emails. Reality –> You aren’t going to make much money on ads on a new blog, but emails will make you money far into the future.
- ConvertKit (How I send my emails)
- SumoMe Pro Version (Pop-Ups)
- Snip.ly (Bonus opt-ins on currated content)
- Opt-in Monster (Side bars…I don’t like the ones from ConvertKit)
- Zapier (Various integrations)
BUT YOU ONLY NEED THESE TWO…
- SumoMe (free version for collecting emails)
- Mailchimp (free emailing software for first 1,000 users) or ConvertKit if you want to pay something for a better service (highly recommended, but later)
Step #11 Create a Bribe to Subscribe to Entice Email Opt-Ins [3 Hours]
Set up your email opt-in first, but before you write any articles, create a killer bribe to subscribe.
People don’t just sign up for newsletters anymore for the heck of it. You need to earn them and the best way to do this is by giving them some juicy, irresistible, free content.
This can be a report, ebook, video series, downloadable tool or anything that you can give digitally.
Step #12 Create Your Social Media Presence [3 Hours]
You won’t have a significant number of members for awhile, but you should create AT LEAST a Facebook fan page.
There are other mediums of course and it is up to you which you pursue the most. I like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest (in that order).
Twitter is dead to me and I know I need to get on Snapchat, I just haven’t.
Step #13 Start writing articles! [Rest of time]
If you don’t get any articles written but do everything else above, that is a win in my book.
I recommend that you start writing in Google Drive (Google Docs technically, but they are stored in Google Drive). This makes saving, sharing and editing accessible from any computer with internet.
Ok, good luck to you!