5 Easy Steps to Start a Blog

5 Easy Steps to Start a Blog

I have been writing a blog since 2008 and I have worked as a blog editor/manager and ghost blogger since 2009. Every week or so, I have someone ask me about how to start a blog.

This is by no means an exhaustive explanation, but I offer you my best overall tips for how to start a blog:

1. First, decide where you see the blog going—will it be for hobby or for profit? Would you EVER want to make money on the blog? Even if you don’t think you’ll want to make money on the blog, I believe you should set up as if you did. Here’s why.

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Disclosure: I am not a medical doctor. Any statements made on this blog about essential oil use are not meant to treat, diagnose, or cure any condition. My statements about essential oils are my opinion and are based upon my own experiences and research.

I occasionally feature affiliate links in my blog posts. Should you follow my link and make a purchase or join a membership website, I will be compensated for my referral.

Overcoming Writer’s Block

So I know this blog’s name is The Writer’s Block.

But I didn’t choose that because I actually suffer from it. (No. I just thought it a cute play on words.)

From time to time, however, I get writer’s paralysis, I guess I’d call it. I have snippets of ideas and phrases and story starts all swimming around inside, but I find it terribly difficult to put them together and coax them out.

I always am writing and rewriting in my mind, as my husband is always playing music in his.

When this happens, I have a few tricks to unleash my subconscious and trigger the writing.

  1. I really like doing mundane tasks, such as vacuuming, folding laundry, and washing and drying dishes. I’ll rephrase: I don’t always like doing them, but I like what results and goodness knows, I need to be doing them anyway! I always, always, always have something come to mind when I do these things. I get kernels of article starters or even whole paragraphs for a project I’m agonizing over at work.
  2. Listen to good conversation. I hate inflammatory and irate talk radio. But I love thoughtful commentary on current events from all different perspectives. I enjoy call-in radio shows and Christian talk/preaching. I’m an NPR junkie and believe Terry Gross is one of the best interviewers in the world. The ladies of The View even get my wheels turning from time to time. You get the point. Bring words and thoughts and news and ideas into your head through your ears and eyes from all different points of view and see what happens.
  3. Try PLR articles for idea prompts. I have just discovered PLR (private label rights) articles within the last year. These articles are extremely affordable (typically about $1 per page) and in purchasing them, you buy all rights. This means you can slice and dice them any way you want. Edit them, use them as is, put one paragraph in today’s blog post and another in your newsletter—whatever. You want to find quality written PLR, of course; and as with most everything, junk does exist. But I have isolated a few reputable sources, take advantage of their free offerings, and purchase from them occasionally as well. If you are stuck and you need content, PLR is the way to go. It’s great to have in your arsenal! I recommend Tiffany Dow’s PLR MiniMart and Nicole Dean’s Easy PLR and my very own AllContentPLR.

Disclosure: I am not a medical doctor. Any statements made on this blog about essential oil use are not meant to treat, diagnose, or cure any condition. My statements about essential oils are my opinion and are based upon my own experiences and research.

I occasionally feature affiliate links in my blog posts. Should you follow my link and make a purchase or join a membership website, I will be compensated for my referral.

It’s Been a Year

Hi.

It’s been a year since I’ve written over here.

It’s been a few months since I’ve blogged, period.

Anyway, I was getting a little bit homesick, I guess you’d say. And I have an idea.

I think I’m going to do something with this blog that I probably should have done almost four years ago.

Talk (almost) exclusively about writing. That kind of goes with the name and is certainly a passion of mine. I’ll still blog from time to time about faith and family at Look In Your House.

So, if you’re curious, you may want to stick around for more writing-focused posts.

 

Disclosure: I am not a medical doctor. Any statements made on this blog about essential oil use are not meant to treat, diagnose, or cure any condition. My statements about essential oils are my opinion and are based upon my own experiences and research.

I occasionally feature affiliate links in my blog posts. Should you follow my link and make a purchase or join a membership website, I will be compensated for my referral.

New Year, New Blog

I have a new blog.

It’s called Look In Your House. I invite you to check it out, subscribe, and tell your friends. Every new subscriber from now until January 31 will be entered to win a great Winter Survival Kit, full of my favorite Melaleuca products.

I’ve been wanting a more niche-focused blog for almost a year now. It’s just taken this long for me to figure out exactly what it would be. It’s not 100% perfect just yet, but I’m giving up perfection! I want it to be in full swing by January 1, so I’m just going with it. (Aren’t you proud of me?)

I’ll still be here writing from time to time, but the bulk of my efforts in the new year will be at Look In Your House.

See you over there! (Leave me a comment and let me know what you think.)

Photo credit: cohdra from morguefile.com

Disclosure: I am not a medical doctor. Any statements made on this blog about essential oil use are not meant to treat, diagnose, or cure any condition. My statements about essential oils are my opinion and are based upon my own experiences and research.

I occasionally feature affiliate links in my blog posts. Should you follow my link and make a purchase or join a membership website, I will be compensated for my referral.

More to Come!

I’m up to something over here at The Writer’s Block. Stay tuned.

I’ve moved my blog from Blogger to self-hosted WordPress, and I’m having a few glitches as I get the blog settled here.

Anyway—welcome. I’m excited about new directions for my blog.

One Day Sale on Savvy Blogging Summit Sessions

To celebrate, the ladies are offering a 50% discount on the audio sessions of the 2010 Summit. All of the sessions were terrific, but I highly recommend the ones on SEO, monetization, media kits, and the law. These were areas where I learned the most because I had a knowledge deficit in these areas. 
If you want to order the recordings, I’d love for you to use my affiliate link below (and yes, I do receive 50% of the purchase price from sales I refer). 
But hurry! This discount only runs through Friday, July 31, noon EST.


Click here to visit Savvy Blogging.

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5 Steps To Starting a Money-Making Blog

I’ve been blogging for about 2.5 years and have learned a lot about the craft. I have people ask me all the time how to begin blogging and about the prospect of making money doing so. I’ll share with you my 5 steps to starting a money-making blog.

1. Create.

Find a topic about which you are passionate. I believe that niche blogging can be the most lucrative. Since the web is world-wide, your audience literally spans the globe. Find your passion, focus your mission (why will you write this blog?), then go find your audience. Approach it as a “they need what I’m offering, I just have to find them” problem.

2. Establish.

Technically, the best course for setting up your blog is to buy a domain from a manager such as GoDaddy.com and self-host your site, using WordPress.org and hosts such as MomWebs or DreamHost. From there, you can find templates for design or hire a designer. This will cost you a little bit of money, but it shouldn’t be much. I’ve enjoyed my time on here on free Blogger, but were I beginning a brand-new blog, I’d probably go the self-hosted route.

3. Post.

Write posts that convey your passion. Write often—at least three times a week. Write from the heart.

4. Monetize.

Place ads on your blog using Google Adsense and Lijit (I have these). Sell your own ads. Become an affiliate for other products and companies, such as Amazon. The goal here is to diversify. You must also be prepared to make little to no money in the beginning. The title says, “money-making” not “lotsa money-making”!

5. Promote.

Remember: you are trying to find your audience. Go where they are and draw them in. Use Facebook (my second biggest source for referrals) to create a “Like” page. Use the Twitter search function to find like-minded persons to follow. Be active on communities such as BlogFrog. Send an email to your family, your Sunday school class, your co-workers asking them to check out your blog. Have business cards printed with your blog address. Creatively seek out your audience within all the circles of your life.

The magic formula for a money-making blog is this:

CONTENT ——–> TRAFFIC ——–>  PAGE VIEWS ——–>  AD $$$ ——–>  MONEY for you

Keep unique and high quality content first and the rest will follow.

Do you have a money-making blog? If so, would you tell us how much you make—roughly—each month? What other tips would you offer bloggers?

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photo: blary54 at stock.xchng

The Savvy Blogging Summit 2010 Saved My Blog

I went to the Savvy Blogging Summit this past weekend, prepared to come home and shut down my blog.

Yep. You read that right.

I was half-way expecting to leave the Summit, feeling soberly deflated from my crazy notions that this blogging thing could ever be a business for me.

But that didn’t happen.

In fact, just the opposite is true.

Let me back up a minute, though, and tell you how I approached this trip.

For the first half of 2010, I’ve felt my life has been topsy-turvy: the unprecedented Nashville flood, losing a friend in the Haiti earthquake, watching my church shut its doors, leaving Blissdom with little more than a handful of business cards and some groovy swag as my “take-away.” Because I’ve always been a “big vision,” idealistic person, these losses have chipped away at my grandiose ideas.

When loved ones die, when cherished items are destroyed, when the unthinkable happens, when expectations are never realized, dreams are obliterated.

Such disappointments cause me to reconsider everything in life and become a bit stingier with my dreaming.

Sure, I had always salivated at the thoughts of my blog making money. But I had also ballooned those thoughts to the point of worship, blurring the lines between authentic calling and my own assertions in the pursuit of success.

Going to this conference, I did my best to dismiss me and my ideas, opening myself to God’s ideas instead.

I had all but decided that—although I would continue to write—I would most likely abandon the idea of trying to make money with my blog.

Nevertheless, I went into it prayerfully that God would use it to show me “yea” or “nay.” Keep it or close it? Pursue it or leave it? I wanted to know. I wanted God to show me. I was so tired of striving for my own idols in my own strength. I just prayed God would show me how to do well that which he had created me to do.

The fact that I even got to go was a wonderful sign to me of God’s validation (thanks to the three women behind My Grandmother is … Praying for Me). The fact I found three other Christian bloggers for roommates was another. The fact that there was no traffic to the airport on Thursday morning? Well, what better sign could I ask for?

Seriously, God gave his favor on every aspect of this trip. I am reminded that God says his yoke is easy and his burden is light. I think of so many of my previous pursuits and how HARD they’ve been. Obstacle after obstacle.  Dead end after dead end.

But God confirmed that this blogging/writing endeavor is an “easy” and “light” place for me to be. What freedom to simply walk the path God has laid!

My “Take-Away”

I came home with a notebook full of scribbles of nuggets of wisdom. I made lots of new friends and have a small stack of business cards to file away. I have a to-do list and a to-read list that spans a couple of pages.

I “took-away” much in terms of practical, legitimate, immediately usable information to make my blog more readable, more easily discovered, and—ultimately—more profitable.

But, by far, for me, the biggest take-away from this conference was that I am meant to do this for God’s glory. He will equip me to do that which he calls me to do. Will it all come overnight? No. Will I become an instant millionaire? Probably not.

I am simply called to follow step-by-step in faith and watch God’s plan unfold.

And I have a bunch of like-minded Savvy Blogger friends watching with me, cheering me on every step of the way.

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Disclosure: I am an Amazon affiliate and make a small commission based on purchases that I recommend. I am also working on the publicity team for My Grandmother Is … Praying for Me

Adorable Card Holders

You need one or two or … ten of these adorable business card holders from Megan Dunham at Half-Pint House.

One of the first times I read Megan’s work was over at the World magazine site. I then found her blog and started following her on Twitter.

I’m excited that I’ll get to meet Megan in a few short weeks at the Savvy Blogging Summit.

BUT.

She needs your help in raising money to pay for her trip. So go buy some of these adorable, handmade card holders from Megan.

And if you’re feeling extra-generous and want to throw some money my way, I still need some additional funds for my trip. I can’t sew. But I’d love to barter writing or blogging services in exchange for travel money. If you’d like to sponsor me for part of the trip, we can talk about publicity I can bring you (or your company) through this blog and through other online outlets.  Let’s talk.

The Savvy Blogging Summit is a small gathering of social media professionals. We are going to learn in an intimate setting from the best in the areas of technology, media, law, photography, design, and more.

I absolutely. can’t. wait.

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Around the Block: Favorite Blog Posts This Week

As I continue with the NaBloPoMo theme of “Now” for the month of June, I thought I’d really get with the ballgame and participate in Saturday Stumbles with Mandi at It’s Come 2 This.

I actually sat beside Mandi on a shuttle bus for a Savvy Blogging Dinner excursion at this year’s Blissdom. She may not remember (it was oh, so brief and in the dark), but I enjoyed our little conversation. 

Anyhoo …

For Saturday Stumbles, I’ll be highlighting for you some of my favorite blog posts that I read this week. I’d encourage you to:

  1. Check them out and leave them a comment.
  2. Go to the Saturday Stumbles list and read some other good posts recommended by those bloggers.
  3. Leave me a comment telling me what you think and/or what you found interesting this week on the web. 

It’s always fun to find new friends and new blogs!

Around the Block This Week

  • My sweet friend and fellow blogger, Rebecca at Toothwhale, wrote this great post about preventing dirt in your home. I find it so simply profound; I just love it! Maybe it’s because I’m such a mediocre rotten housekeeper? Anyway, I love Rebecca’s simple tips for keeping the house tidy when dirty kids are roaming throughout.
  • I love. love. love. this beautiful post from Jennifer at Surprising Joy. A transparent and honest seeker of God, she lays it all out. It inspires me and convicts me at the same time.
  • What a great post about blog content from Social Media Examiner! This is a hugely practical and helpful article, full of great tips for creating GOOD blog posts consistently. I printed this one and stuck it in my “blogging” reference folder. 
  • Rena from AllPersonality.com is a new The Writer’s Block reader. She left a comment on one of my posts and asked me to visit her site. It’s all about the Enneagram. I’ve just begun studying it, so of course, my interest is piqued! Her site is full of interesting insights about the Enneagram and the personality types. I could get lost reading there for hours. 😉 
What were your favorite posts this week? 

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