I follow a few bloggers and online “mentors” who I take inspiration and advice from to help me build my business.
One of those is Darren Rowse, from ProBlogger. Darren asked for some input from his readers regarding their blogging story and some tips or advice you might give to someone starting in 2018.
Here are my thoughts:
- Action trumps research, analysis and procrastination.
- Be clear on “why” you are blogging. You need to find people who believe what you believe. Watch this Ted talk from Simon Sinek on this topic. My “why” is: I believe anyone can build their own custom motorcycle. I believe you should enjoy that sense of satisfaction that comes from creating something with your own hands. I believe you don’t have to pay someone else to do it. I believe you can learn the skills to do it yourself. Build this into your “About” page so people who find you might choose to follow you.
- Don’t muck around deciding which platform to use. Just get hosted WordPress (which is WordPress.org). You can learn how to make it work. Refer point 1.
- Additionally, don’t muck around choosing a host. I’ve used GoDaddy since 2012, and switched to their WordPress-specific hosting mid 2017. I have found their support to be 24/7 and exceptional. Refer point 1.
- Best WordPress resource: WPBeginner. Search for topics you need help with. They are awesome. Don’t go down a rabbit hole on Google. Refer point 1.
- I took Ramit Sethi’s course Zero To Launch. It walked me through customer research, setting up a site, an online course, and a basic sales page. Eye-wateringly expensive (especially if your local exchange rate is crappy compared to US dollars). But when you spend your own money, you are invested in the outcome. And, you can get there a lot faster. Don’t go searching for reviews etc as you’ll find plenty of people on both side of the “we love/hate Ramit” fence. Just do something. If you don’t find and follow a path to getting your blog running it will take you longer. Refer point 1.
- Lead-magnets (or “content-upgrades”) give people a reason to follow you. I use Leadpages to facilitate this, but its expensive. It was recommended to me so I just paid for it.
- To collect email addresses, you need an “Email Service Provider”. I started with Mailchimp which is free to start. I switched to ActiveCampaign in mid-2017 so I could get more sophisticated (at the time I also felt it was better value when I got to 1500-ish subscribers). Don’t get hung up choosing an ESP. Just start with Mailchimp. Switch later if you have to. Refer point 1.
- If you have done point 2 properly, then creating content to serve your readers is easy (well, it is to me). My content is simple: teach, teach, teach. Share knowledge. Provide counsel. Give away great content.
- In late 2017 I launched a video course and a membership site. I used Vimeo Plus to secure my training videos so they only play on my domain. I use Paid Membership Pro to lock down certain areas to my paying customers. I use Stripe to process payments.
- I’m still new in the marketing/promotions game. But I got a deal writing 10 long-form articles for an influencer after I cold pitched with a link to my cornerstone content. This has helped a lot. But my cornerstone content is super long and detailed AND (hopefully) USEFUL.
- Subscribe to Neil Patel‘s email list for good marketing info.
- You can do anything for free, but you have to weigh that up against time taken to find and implement the free solution. I strategically pay for some services (that save me time and effort): ActiveCampaign, Leadpages and Vimeo (at the moment). I’d pay for others if I had the revenue. That will come later….
Hope this is a helpful start. Comment below if you have any questions….!