Creating a successful blog and becoming an influencer is a good alternative to leave the routine of a normal job and be your own boss traveling the world or simply working comfortably from home.
But before we continue… nowadays we hear a lot about bloggers and influencers, but what do these terms mean? These are the definitions you can find in Wikipedia:
- Blogger: is a person who writes on a blog, which is a website where content is published in the form of articles. This content could be ideas, opinions, experiences, etc.
- Influencer: someone who has become famous through the internet. This allows people to reach a large audience all around the world.
The advantage of having a large audience is that it is a great marketing tool that will allow you to start your own business as you will receive income from advertising, affiliate marketing, product reviews or your own online store. You will be able to make partnerships with hotels, airlines, clothing brands, and restaurants among many other businesses.
Nowadays influencers usually have a blog where they write articles and then attract traffic by sharing photos or information on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or SnapChat.
There are also influencers who only use social media but 3 advantages of having a blog are:
- Brands prefer bloggers: in an article, you can explain in more detail a product or service you want to promote so many brands prefer to work with bloggers.
- You can earn money without effort: you can monetize your blog by placing advertising and affiliate marketing (which means having income only from having traffic on your blog).
- You can gain more followers on your Social Media accounts: from the blog, you can expand your audience by attracting people who for example come to your site looking something in specific on Google; after entering your blog these people will see all your social media accounts and may decide to follow you.
Of course, the bigger your audience, the more profit you can generate.
In this article, I’m going to explain the easiest and most efficient way to create a blog, promote it on social networks and monetize it. I’ll try to be as clear as possible for beginners like you!
- Step 1: Find your niche
- Step 2: Find a name for your blog and social networks
- Step 3: Buy your domain and hosting
- Step 4: Install WordPress
- Step 5: Choose a Topic
- Step 6: Add Plugins
- Step 7: Create the Sidebar
- Step 8: Create pages and blog posts
- Step 9: Promote your blog on search engines and social networks
- Step 10: Start monetizing your blog
Step 1: Find your niche
To attract a good audience and have loyal followers, you will need to choose a topic and then a subtopic in which you will establish yourself as an expert.
Example: if you choose “Travel” as your topic, you will need to find a subtopic such as “Luxury Traveling” or “Backpacker Traveling” and specialize in it. Otherwise, if you start writing about low-budget trips and after a few months switch to luxury trips, you could lose a large part of your audience.
So depending on your passion choose a topic, then a subtopic and focus on learning as much as you can and become an expert.
- Topic: Travel, Subtopic: career
The focus of my blog is to develop your professional career with international experiences (volunteering, studying, and working) to have a better lifestyle.
Step 2: Find a unique name for your blog and social networks
In addition to creating your own website, you’ll need to have a presence on social networks so you can easily share the content you create and also advertise brands directly (for example, a picture on Instagram).
Try to find a unique and original name that is easy to remember, short and available on all or most social networks. If all your platforms have the same name, it will be easier for people to find you.
On this website you can write the name you have in mind and it will automatically check if the domain is available (like .com, .net, or .org) and the most important Social Networks (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, Pinterest, etc.).
- Buy a .com domain: My advice is not to buy a domain ending in .net, .org or .com.mx. The best is .com because it is international.
- Consider variations: if someone else already has your name, you can add words like “the” at the beginning. For example “thetravelblog.com” instead of “travelblog.com”.
- Try not to put special characters like accents (ó) or letters (ñ): if for example someone from another country is looking for your website and her or his computer doesn’t have that letter on the keyboard, it might be harder for her or him to find you.
Step 3: Buy your domain and hosting
But what are domain and hosting? Having a website implies that some company is “keeping” it in a virtual space. The domain is the name of the site, for example, travelblog.com and hosting is the space where all the articles, photos, videos, etc. are stored. There are two options:
a. Free sites
Sites like Wix and WordPress.com have the option to create free blogs but they will make your name be for example travelblog.wixsite.com or travelblog.wordpress.com. I recommend you not to use them because they don’t make you look professional, they don’t allow you to monetize them, customize them, nor are they well seen by search engines like Google and Yahoo.
b. Hosting service
My recommendation is that you buy your domain and hosting service together. This is very cheap and will let you use the best platform to create websites that is WordPress.org (note: it is wordpress.org not .com).
There are different companies that offer this service, however, I always recommend GoDaddy because in my experience it has been very good. It’s easy to use, it’s cheap because you’re going to pay only for the services you want to use and has customer service 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
I recommend you to buy the domain and hosting together because they give you the domain for free in the purchase of hosting for 1 year. But if you still don’t have time to start your blog, you can just buy the domain so nobody else takes that name.
Click HERE and write the name you have in mind, you can buy it at a very low price from 0.99 USD per year.
You can start with the cheapest hosting and as your website grows and you have more traffic, you can buy more capacity so that your site is not slowed down with more traffic.
Click HERE and follow the simple GoDaddy steps to have your domain and hosting. You can buy it at a very low price from 1 USD per month.
*I recommend you to buy the annual plan because it is cheaper.
Step 4: Install WordPress
WordPress.org is the best platform for a beginner like you, and in fact, it is used by both new bloggers and websites like BBC, CNN, and the New York Times.
The advantage of WordPress is that in addition to having a site with text and information you can install Plugins that are applications made by programmers that let you, for example, add a search bar, create a Facebook comment section or create a virtual store.
a. Follow GoDaddy’s steps
Once you have purchased your domain and hosting with GoDaddy, you will be able to select WordPress when you are installing the platform with which you will create your website, simply select it and follow the steps.
b. Enter your Dashboard
At the end of the installation, you will be able to access and modify your site by entering the WordPress Dashboard (for example at http://travelblog.com/wp-admin/) and entering your username and password.
*Please don’t use Wix, I made a site on this platform and it’s very difficult to customize because its Plugins are very limited. WordPress has hundreds of Plugins and many are free, there are also Plugins with extra cost that can be very specialized.
Step 5: Choose a Theme
The theme is the main design that your site will have (colors, font, and order & appearance of your site). Don’t worry if you don’t find the coolest one at the beginning, later you can change it according to your preferences.
There are many free themes but if you want something more specific there are also companies that sell original themes and that can be adapted according to your preferences. These are some examples:
Step 6: Add Plugins
Plugins are applications that will help your blog work and look better. To start, here are the free Plugins that you can easily add by going to your Dashboard: click on ‘Plugins > Add New’. In the search box, type the following names and click ‘Install’.
- Akismet: protection against spam comments.
- Jetpack: offers many tools, such as ‘Site Statistics’.
- Yoast WordPress SEO: helps to optimize your site for Google.
- Google Analytics: for this, it is very important that you first configure Google Analytics which is a powerful tool that helps you to measure and analyze your blog traffic. In the future, brands will need data from this platform.
Step 7: Create the Sidebar
Typically the sidebar appears next to your blog posts (or even your pages if you wish). To control the content that will be displayed here, just access your widget section at Appearance > Widgets.
Usually, you can put the following sections there:
- About: your photo and a brief description of yourself and your blog.
- Social Networks: promote your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, SnapChat etc.
- Popular Posts: you can put the posts that have had the most impact among your readers so that new users can find them quickly.
- Newsletter: invite your readers to subscribe to your updates. With Plugins like MailChimp you can send emails with specific content that you want your readers to receive.
Step 8: Create pages and blog posts
a. Create pages
Apart from the ‘blog’ section (where the articles you write are going to appear), you need other pages such as:
- About: write a brief description of who you are and the purpose of your website.
- Contact: let people write to your email. You can leave your email written or you can put a form using the Contact Form 7 plugin which is my favorite.
- Sections: depending on the topic of your blog you will be able to create pages with different sections. For example, my blog has the sections Study, Work, Volunteer, and Travel where you can find such articles. And in the Travel section, I have pages for every continent and every country I’ve visited. This will allow your readers to find faster the information they are looking for.
b. Create blog posts
Some advice I can give you is:
- Become an expert in your niche: research what you want to write about, follow other inspiring bloggers, and try to create better content than what already exists.
- Create original and engaging content: in addition to writing interesting text, buy a good camera and take amazing pictures. You can share them on your social networks and you can also make some extra money as a photographer. Read more about sites to sell your photos in the “Photographer” section of the article “Jobs that will let you earn money as you travel the world“.
- Quality is always better than quantity: in my experience, it is better to spend more time writing a blog post that is informative and useful than to write many blog posts that are not meaningful. A good post can bring me a lot of traffic and it will have been worth the time writing.
- Try to publish regularly: this not only keeps your readers up to date but also helps your Google rankings. I recommend you publish at least once a week. Some bloggers publish for example on Mondays so their readers already know that they can go to their website every Monday and they will find something different.
Step 9: Promote your blog on search engines and social networks
Once you have finished your blog and you have enough posts so that it doesn’t look empty, add it to search engines like Google and Yahoo and promote your articles in Social Networks.
a. Search Engines
Search engines such as Google and Yahoo will allow you to connect with people who are looking for specific information.
b. Social Networks
Create your Page on Facebook (note: create a Page, not a personal profile). In your page, you will be able to copy and paste the links of your articles and if you want them to reach the whole world you will be able to buy Facebook advertising and show them in selected countries to people with certain characteristics and interests.
Create an Instagram account and each time you post an article, upload a related photo and mention in the description that there is a new article on the blog and that the link is in your biography.
Pinterest is the best platform to promote a blog (it’s where most of my blog traffic comes from). You can create “pins” which are images that when clicked will take people to your blog posts. And you can save the “pins” in different “boards” to keep them organized in categories.
For example, here you can see my Pinterest account where I have several boards such as Volunteering, Study, Work and Travel among others.
Step 10: Start monetizing your blog
Once you have enough traffic you can start earning money by placing advertising between the text in the posts and pages of your blog. Some companies that you can work with are the following:
b. Affiliate Marketing
This allows you to earn a commission if your readers decide to buy products or services through your specialized links. Some companies where you can register are:
c. Product and Service Reviews
You can start with free hotel stays, or receive free products like clothes or makeup. Then, once you have enough traffic and followers you can charge a fee in addition to receiving the free products/services. Two ways to contact brands are:
Contact the brands directly:
You can create an email template and send it to hotels or companies you want to work with.
Use apps or websites to connect with brands
For example, there are the following:
d. Online Shop
You can also create your own products (clothes, diaries, digital books, etc.) or services (translation, web design, transcription, etc.) and create an online store.
I hope you are now motivated to start your own blog if you have doubts leave a comment below.
*Note: this blog post contains affiliate links.
In the Work Abroad section, you can find more experiences earning internships and full-time job positions abroad! If you had a similar experience and want to inspire others to apply please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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