In this article, I’ll show you the 6-step SEO checklist to help you make sure that every post you published is perfectly optimized.
In fact, this is the checklist to get first page Google rankings and grow your organic traffic.
6-Step SEO Checklist for 2019
So let’s kick things off with Step #1 of this SEO Checklist,
Step 1 – Basic SEO Checklist: Set Up Essential SEO Tools and Plugins
Your first step is to make sure that you have three important SEO tools set up and ready to go.
1. Google Search Console
The first tool that every site needs to have is the Google Search Console. This tool makes it super easy to track your site’s performance in Google.
It can also help you find technical SEO problems that are holding you back. But most important of all, the Search Console shows you the exact keywords that you rank for, and where you rank for them.
And unlike third-party tools, this data comes straight from Google, so you know it’s legit.
2. Google Analytics
The next tool you wanna set up is Google Analytics. Google Analytics is the best way to see how people find and use your website. But that’s just scratching the surface.
With Google Analytics, you can do all sorts of cool stuff like find pages on your site that bring you traffic.
You can also identify the exact websites that send you traffic, your site’s Bounce Rate, Paid Views, and Time on Site, and lots more.
3. Yoast SEO Plugin
Finally, if your site runs on WordPress, you need to install the Yoast SEO Plugin.
Yoast is by far the most popular SEO plugin on the planet, and for good reason.
Yoast makes it super easy to make your WordPress site SEO-friendly right outta the box.
And now it’s time for the second step in this SEO checklist,
Step 2 – Keyword Research Checklist: Find Keywords That Customers Search For
It’s no secret that keyword research is super important. The question is, how do you find keywords that your customers search for? Here are three simple techniques,
1. Find long tail keywords with Google Suggest
To use this technique, type the keyword into Google, but don’t press enter or the search button. Instead, take a look at the keywords that Google shows you.
Google only suggests keywords that people are actually searching for. So when you see a Google Search suggestion, you know that lots of people are searching for that term.
2. Find keywords with the Google Keyword Planner
The Google Keyword Planner is Google’s official keyword research tool. This tool is technically designed for Google ads, but it’s still super useful for SEO keyword research.
To use it, just enter a seed keyword, and check out the suggestions that the tool spits out. That’s all there is to it.
3. Spy on online communities
Fortunately, this isn’t as creepy as it sounds. I’m talking about reading threads on sites like Reddit, Quora, and online forums.
All you need to do is head over to the community and find questions that crop up again and again.
Let’s jump into step #3,
Step 3 – On-Page SEO Checklist: Keyword-Optimize Your Content
So, you’ve installed all of the important SEO tools, and you’ve found a handful of keywords. Now it’s time to actually optimize your site. Here’s how,
1. Use your keyword in the first 100 words of your page
Google puts more weight on terms that show up at the top of your page, so make sure you use your keyword in the first 100 words.
2. Use your keyword in the beginning of your title tag
Just like with your page’s content, Google puts a little bit of extra weight on terms that show up early in your title tag.
3. Use short URLs that include your target keyword
Why is this important? Well, a recent SEO industry study found a correlation between short URLs and higher Google rankings.
So you’ll wanna keep your URLs short and sweet.
4. Use your keyword in a H1, H2, or H3 tag
Honestly, H-tags aren’t really that important, but every little bit helps, especially if you’re trying to target competitive keywords.
Learn more about the On-Page SEO checklist in the full infographic attached below:
Moving right along, let’s quickly blast through the fourth step in this SEO checklist,
Step 4 – Technical SEO Checklist: Find and Fix Technical SEO Issues and Errors
The truth is, technical SEO problems can tank your rankings, so if your site has technical SEO problems, you’ll wanna find and fix them right away, here’s how,
1. Make sure that your site is mobile-friendly
As you might’ve heard, Google now runs on a mobile-first index, which means if your site isn’t optimized for mobile devices, it won’t rank.
Fortunately, you can easily see your site’s mobile-friendliness with the Google Mobile-Friendly Test. Just pop in a page from your site, and Google will tell you whether or not your page is mobile-friendly.
2. ID crawl errors
A crawl error just means that Google is having trouble indexing all the content on your site, and if they can’t index your page, it’s not gonna rank.
You can easily find crawl errors in the Google Search Console using the Coverage Report.
3. Improve your site’s page speed
Your site’s loading speed is a confirmed ranking factor. Now, to be clear, page loading speed isn’t gonna make or break your rankings, but in general, the faster your site loads, the better.
Both tools give you a benchmark for how quickly your site loads.
They also hook you up with recommendations to help you speed things up.
And now it’s time for our next step,
Step 5 – Content Checklist: Create Content Designed to Rank in Google
There’s no denying it, if you wanna rank in Google, you need to publish great content.
But what is great content, exactly? In my mind, great content is content that actually ranks in Google. And now I’m gonna show you exactly how to create the type of content that ranks on the first page of Google.
1. Create awesome content with the Skyscraper Technique
The Skyscraper Technique is a three-step formula for creating amazing content. In fact, I used this technique to double my search engine traffic in two weeks.
Here’s the three-step process,
- First, find a piece of content in your industry that’s popular.
- Next, create something even better.
- And finally, promote that content.
2. Break your content down into chunks
Because here’s the truth, no one, and I mean no one likes reading giant walls of text like this
Because it makes your content super easy to read and skim. And because your content is easy to read, your Bounce Rate (a key Google ranking factor) is super low, more on that later.
3. Make sure to cover everything there is to know about your topic
Besides making your content in-depth, you also wanna use lots of multimedia on your page.
I’m talking about stuff like images, polls, visual content, videos, charts, and infographics.
4. Double down on content formats that are working best right now
I recently teamed up with BuzzSumo to analyze almost one billion blog posts, so what did we find?
Well, there was some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that most content is completely ignored. In fact, we found that 94% of all published content gets zero external links. That’s right, zero.
Now, for the good news. There are certain content formats that attract more backlinks than others. We found that “Why-posts”, “What-posts”, and infographics get significantly more backlinks than other content formats.
Obviously, you can’t just publish a “Why-post” or an infographic and expect the links to roll in, but our data shows that sticking to these three content formats can increase the odds that people link to your stuff.
Speaking of links, it’s time for the last step in this SEO checklist,
Step 6 – Link Building Checklist: Build Links to Your Website
So, are backlinks still important for SEO? In fact, a recent study by Stone Temple Consulting found that backlinks are still one of Google’s most important ranking factors.
The bottom line, if you’re serious about ranking in Google, you need backlinks. And lemme walk you through a handful of link-building strategies that are working great right now.
Link roundups are one of my all-time favorite ways to get backlinks, why? Because the entire point of a roundup is to link to amazing content.
So if you publish something amazing on your site, there’s a good chance that you could get a link from a roundup.
So, why do I say strategic guest posting and not just, guest posting?
That’s because guest posting can work, but you need to be strategic about it, and if you do guest posting the wrong way, your site can get slapped with a Google penalty.
So, how do you do guest posting the right way?
- The right way is to publish your guest post on a respected site in your niche.
- The wrong way is to publish guest posts on any website that has a Write For Us page, even if the site has nothing to do with yours.
A good rule of thumb that I follow is to only guest post on sites that are gonna send me targeted traffic, and related to my site.
3. Go on podcasts as a guest
This is one of the most underrated link-building techniques on the planet. Just like with a guest post, you get a nice contextual link from your podcast appearance.
But unlike a guest post, there is much less legwork. You don’t need to pitch topics or work with an editor. Just schedule your interview, and show up and provide value, that’s it.
4. Mentioning influencers in your content
This process couldn’t be any simpler. First, mention influential bloggers in your post. Then, let ’em know about it. Seriously, that’s it.
Tap Into Advanced SEO Techniques and Strategies
At this point, you’ve got the basics down, so lemme walk you through a handful of advanced SEO tips and strategies that are working really well right now.
SEO tip 1 – Delete zombie pages
Zombie pages are pages on your site that don’t bring in any traffic, and as it turns out, Google hates sites with lots of zombie pages.
In fact, a Google employee recently stated that they prefer to rank sites that have a small number of high-quality pages over those that are bloated with lots of pages that don’t provide any value.
That’s why you make sure that every page on your site is awesome.
To be clear, you don’t wanna start deleting pages like a crazy person. This is a process you wanna do slow and carefully.
So use Google Analytics to find a handful of pages that don’t generate any traffic, then delete them, or redirect them to another related page.
Wait a week or two to see how it goes. Then, over the next few months, slowly delete more and more zombie pages.
SEO tip 2 – Boost your organic click-through rate
As you might’ve heard, Google pays very close attention to how many people click on your site in the search results.
If people skip over your site and click on the other results, your rankings can drop like a stone. But if lots of people click on your result, Google considers your page a great result for that keyword and you’ll get a rankings boost.
In fact, a Google document states that “When you click on a link in Google Search, Google considers your click when ranking that search result.”
So, how do you improve your organic click-through rate?
Scan the first-page search results for your target keyword, and imagine what someone searching for that keyword would want to click on.
Then, optimize your title tag and description to match what a searcher wants to see.
SEO tip 3 – Keep your content up-to-date
So, you make sure to update every single post on your site. And then you will notice a huge spike in search engine traffic much higher than before the update.
Which strategy from this article are you gonna try first? Are you gonna update your old content, or try link roundups? Let me know by leaving a comment below, right now.
How to Make a Full Time Income With Affiliate Marketing
If you have an online presence, whether it’s a website, an email list, or social media pages, you’ve probably heard of the term “passive income“.
For those who have never heard of it, it’s nothing less than money coming in while you sleep at night.
Most of us all make the same mistake in the beginning. We tell ourselves that since it’s passive, we don’t have to work, so it’s easy.
Let’s get started. You start a blog about your passion and add Google AdSense advertising. You’ve got the perfect package!
A few months later, you realize that your SEO strategy is not as effective as you would have hoped.
Yes, you have some traffic, but not enough to generate enough revenue with PPC (pay per click).
However, it was your friend “who knows about the web” who suggested it to you!
Well, he should have told you about affiliate marketing.
What is affiliate marketing and how does it work?
Affiliate marketing allows you to promote someone else’s products & services to your audience and earn a commission on sales.
You’re the one who has web traffic and is looking to monetize that traffic.
This can be through your site, your social media pages, or your email list.
If you decide not to go directly through the company, you can join an affiliate network that normally has a directory of hundreds, if not thousands of companies.
There are many and I am sure there is at least one with an offer in your niche.
Finally, we have the consumer, an individual targeted by your ads. When he clicks on your affiliate link, a cookie is installed in his browser.
If the duration of the cookie is 30 days (the duration varies for each seller) and the user buys the product/service within those 30 days, you get a commission on the sale.
5 Steps to Make a Full-Time Income With Affiliate Marketing
You can actually turn affiliate marketing from a side business into a full-time career:
1. Build Your Credibility
Before buying a product, consumers love to look for reviews, unbiased sources, and people who have experience with the product or the service.
If someone actually feels that they come across someone that they can trust and recommends this product, then they’re more willing to buy it.
So, you want to make sure that you’re building some credibility, you’ll be able to sell more of that product.
2. Choose The Right Niche
If you want to make affiliate marketing a full-time income, then choosing the right niche is very essential.
A good niche is one that you have some experience in. You want to make sure to be the product of the product and make sure that you know what you’re talking about.
3. Diversify Your Content
You know we all learn differently. So, whether it’s doing a video, writing a blog post, or even podcasting, you want to make sure that you’re diversifying your content so that you’re able to reach more people.
You can even do a live stream video and repurpose it online.
You can have it transcribed and written to a blog post, have it converted into audio, and make it to a podcast. There you go, you’re having one piece of content being able to diversify all over the Internet.
4. Choose The Right Affiliate Programs
If you want to create a stable online income and make this a full-time job, then you want to make sure that you have a product that has a great foundation and reoccurring revenue.
The magic key right there is if you’re able to sell a product that you’re getting payments for on a monthly reoccurring basis, that almost helps you create more of a stable income.
Also, promote a product that has high commissions.
A lot of programs, if you’re a beginner, like Amazon will be a lower commission but if you’re promoting a product that has 40% or even higher, then you can make a lot more money.
5. Stay Innovative
The Internet is always changing. So, it’s great that you are on top of your game and promoting yourself as the credible expert in your niche.
How to find affiliate offers on the web
Sometimes people have a clear idea of the products & services to be promoted because that’s what they use in everyday life. So there is a good chance that it will also interest their audience.
To find these products & services, simply do a Google search for “affiliate program + company name + product name”
Chances are that if the company has an affiliate program, they will have a page that explains how to become an affiliate.
Some companies decide to insert this page in the footer of their site, while other companies decide not to index this page.
Be aware that all affiliate programs and affiliate networks are free to join.
7 ways to promote your affiliate links
The seller or affiliate network will give you a URL link.
According to the restrictions and terms of service of the sellers and affiliate networks, you promote the products & services.
There are many ways to promote an offer, here are a few of them:
The best-known way is to insert a link in a blog text.
The advantage is that you can put your selling points throughout the text without it appearing because you give the reader the content they want.
2- Review / Best of
“Review” & “best of” websites abound on the web and it’s a great way to do affiliate marketing.
Many of these websites are affiliated with Amazon.
Coupons work because people are always looking for ways to save money.
4- Push Notification
A push notification is a message you receive on your phone, tablet, or computer.
For example, if a new product is launched or a new blog post is published.
And why not put an affiliate link that leads to a landing page?
5- Search Engines
You can appear on Google for free, thanks to SEO strategies. It may take a few months to a few years before it appears in the first search results, but once it’s done, it’s very rewarding.
The good thing about Google is that people are looking for specific information, often a solution to their problem.
So it can pay off to put affiliate links in it because the user’s intention is great.
6- Email Marketing
The email list is one of the oldest marketing methods on the web, but it remains the one that converts the most.
It may require a greater investment when you have a lot of subscribers, but it’s worth it because it’s still a great way to turn a reader into a buyer.
7- Social Media
Facebook is still a very good platform to promote products & services.
Social media is the source of traffic that fluctuates the most because they respond to current trends and because platforms are free to do whatever they want.
So, I advise you not to rely only on social networks, because in the end, the traffic does not belong to you.
How to maximize your chances to convert as an affiliate
Now that you know where to put the affiliate URL, here are some tips that might help you increase your revenue.
Submit Affiliate Offers That Your Readers Needs
Let’s take again the example of the Moment lens. The blogger on photography and videography with smartphones could promote the lens of Moment AND also raincoats. Yes, raincoats, because his blog often talks about outdoor activities and he likes to take pictures & videos of animals in nature, rain, or shine.
Don’t limit yourself only to what you talk about, but think about everything your audience might need (related to your niche of course).
Build a Sales Funnel
No matter where and how you present the product & service, you may need to add selling points to get it converted.
To do this, you can add a landing page to your sales Funnel.
If after clicking on your link, it takes him directly to the buying page, he might turn back because he is not convinced enough.
So, the user can click on your link and then bounce to a capture page and then the buying page.
Tell a True Story
Tell about a problem you have experienced in relation to the product & service, mentioning that the solution is the said product & service.
Offer a Discount
The fact that they buy from you may give them an advantage over others, such as a 10% discount.
Remember that the goal is to monetize your traffic, so you shouldn’t rely only on leads, but rather on conversions.
Until now, you must have used very friendly language with your audience. This is normal because you didn’t have a sales intent behind it.
Now you will have to keep this language, but sell something without it appearing. That’s the marketer’s job. That’s what you become.
You want to be the one we can confide in our problems and who brings us real solutions.
Since you already have your traffic and becoming an affiliate is free, it would be very simple to become an affiliate starting with just one product & service today.
13 Easy Steps to Create and Sell eBooks Online
If you intend to create and sell ebooks online, you’ve come to the right place! Online courses offer an excellent opportunity, for those who wish to work on the internet, to generate income from their knowledge and skills.
Through these ebooks, it is possible to create a business and even work on your own, as many people wish!
In this article, I’ll walk you through how to create your ebook and finish with the different ways to sell it on the web.
Do You Know About Ebooks?
The ebook is a book in digital format, which can be read on any electronic device, such as a computer, smartphone, e-reader (digital book reader), or tablet. They can also be printed and read like a traditional book.
They have great potential to generate new business, and they are very simple to produce.
Read this article to learn how to create an ebook to sell on the web!
1. Adopt The Ebook On Your Content Strategy
Ebooks are more complete than a blog post and, therefore, they are very useful to educate your audience about you and to show what kind of problem you can solve with your product.
When you deliver valuable content to your reader, you reinforce your authority on the subject.
2. Define The Theme of The Ebook
Choosing the theme is one of the most important steps in the process of creating your digital book. It is important that your ebook is about something that you master and can easily teach, thus conveying more credibility to the reader.
The chosen market niche must also have enough demand to guarantee a good volume of sales and make your investment worthwhile. Use tools such as Google Trends and Semrush to find out which themes are most sought after in the segment you want to act on. This can be a tip for the most common customer issues.
Don’t forget to access the sites that are on the top of the search results to see how they handle the topic and think of ways to differentiate your content and deliver even more comprehensive material for your audience.
Another strategy is to use your blog data (if you have one) to find out what topics your audience is looking for to get to your page and which articles are most accessed.
3. Know Your Persona
Even before writing your digital book, you need to know the reader’s profile to create content that is aligned with their needs.
This type of information is also important when choosing the best channels to promote your ebook.
4. Optimize The Production of Your Content
If you already have content published on the same subject in your ebook, you can use it to create your digital book.
Blog posts, videos, or podcasts can become more complete material on the subject, and the reverse can happen too: an ebook can become smaller content for your blog or YouTube channel.
When we talk about a digital product, it’s always good to think about multi-channel strategies. This way you will be able to reach more people with your content and optimize your production time.
5. Organize and Structure The Elements of Your Digital Book
Once you have decided on the theme, the persona, and your objective, it is time to decide which elements you will cover on your ebook.
Make a draft on each one and organize the chapters coherently, to keep the reader interested.
It’s important to justify your ideas, so do good online research on what has already been written and what is newer in the discussion of the topic you want to talk about.
Remember that your text must be easy to understand and, at the same time, it must offer all the information your reader needs to solve his or her problem.
Keyword search tools, such as Google Keyword Planner, can help you a lot with the selection of topics.
These tools help you understand the interests of your target audience. As a result, you will be able to organize your content more efficiently.
6. Illustrate Your Ebook
The use of images helps reading and leaves the content more attractive, especially when the subject is very technical.
You have two options to use pictures on your digital book, without the high cost.
The first option is to use images from your personal folder or to produce your own images, which will not cause you any problems with copyrights.
In this case, the only requirement is that the photos are in high resolution and that they are related to the content being discussed.
The second option is to use photos from image banks. On the internet, there are several available, even free of charge. Here are our recommendations:
Search site that brings together thousands of royalty-free photos at affordable prices.
Pexels is free, so you can use the images there for your personal project or for commercial use.
More than 5,000 photos and 8,000 illustrations for free use.
Over one million royalty free photos, illustrations, and vector graphics.
The advantage of image banks is that you save one step in the ebook creation process and you are sure to get high-quality images.
7. Choose The Format of Your Ebook (PDF or Epub)
The main difference between the two formats concerns the adaptation of the texts to the reader’s screen.
An ebook in the Epub format is reformattable, i.e. it offers the possibility of adapting the text and the size of the source automatically to the available display area.
Nevertheless, files available in PDF always maintain the same format as the printed version, regardless of the display area.
Features of Epub :
- Allow text resizing and source modification;
- Allow word search and insertion of highlighted parts;
- It is possible to change the page using the touch;
- Ideal for simpler ebooks without a lot of images.
Features of PDF files :
- They exactly reproduce the printed page model;
- Allows you to enlarge or reduce the page to better display the content;
- The navigation bar can be used to browse the pages;
- Ideal for more complex ebooks, where the number of images is significant and the format is more complex.
Again, your audience profile will choose: Is your consumer used to using mobile reading devices like tablets, or do they use the desktop instead?
8. Pay Attention to The Layout
In addition to being well written, your ebook must have a good layout. This will give a more professional look to the work.
One of the factors that most influence the user’s experience is the reader’s ability to take a look at your content and already know what it is about.
Pay attention to very long parts and check if you can separate them without disturbing the consistency of the text.
Another important tip is to choose images that are related to the topic you are discussing. This visual consistency helps increase consumer loyalty to your product.
And, finally, the visual identity of your ebook should be aligned with your other communication channels, such as websites and social networks.
The intention is to make money with the free, so if you are not familiar with the formatting tool and implementation, analyze the possibility of hiring a professional to perform the task.
9. Review The Content
When we are focused on content, a few details can go unnoticed. For this, we recommend having an external perspective. This ensures that you are running the best possible version of your material.
The revision of your ebook should have two steps: content revision and grammar revision.
From a content perspective, your text must be clear and objective. Ask for feedback from people in your market and outside, and ask them the main questions about the content.
For grammar review, consider hiring an editor, as this professional is more experienced at identifying errors in handwriting, accent, and tuning, almost invisible to those with no experience on the subject.
It is always good to remember that the Internet allows a certain informality, but this does not mean that you have to deliver complex or erroneous texts.
10. Set The Price of Your Product
As we said at the beginning, the ebook serves the different stages of your sales funnel and can even be your main product.
Generally, an ebook used to attract leads, also known as “digital bait”, is distributed free of charge, in exchange for the contact information of the downloader.
For obvious reasons, this strategy has no immediate financial return. You will need to nurture a relationship with these users if you want to convince them to make the purchase. Nevertheless, this model has shown excellent results for entrepreneurs who wish to have a recurrence business.
In case your ebook is your main product, its price will depend on the value you deliver to your audience.
In fact, good design wins people’s trust and screams “high quality!” Exactly what you need to stand out from the crowd, and sell more at a higher price.
If your content is of high added value, equivalent to a course on a subject, feel free to put a value above what is charged in the market.
11. Choose The Distribution Platform
After your ebook is ready, it’s time to set :
- How do I deliver my ebook after the sale?
- How to receive payments by internet?
- How to guarantee that my content will not be replicated by third parties?
To answer these questions, choose an online course distribution platform.
The platform you choose should have all the tools and infrastructure for all the details of the sales process so that you can only worry about creating a quality product.
12. Promote Your Ebook
Create strategies to publicize your work. Don’t forget to focus on the channels where your audience is most present.
Tips for promoting the ebook:
Promote your work on Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, and any other social networking sites that your target audience uses.
Don’t forget to leave the CTA clear for your subscribers to download your ebook.
Contact the sites that provide content related to the theme of your ebook and offer articles for publication, also known as guest posts.
This strategy is also good to strengthen your domain, very good for future launches.
Create a blog on the theme of your ebook, to create a network of contacts with individuals interested in the theme, and use the tool to market your ebook.
Through an affiliate program you can offer a commission to all those who sell your ebook, you can still define what the value of this commission is.
Build an email list of people interested in your content. From this, you will be able to communicate with your audience directly and promote your ebook.
The landing page is ideal for highlighting your content and making it easy for users to download your material. Today there are several free tools for creating landing pages for people who have no knowledge of design or programming.
If you don’t have a lot of traffic on your blog, use sponsored links to give visibility to your ebook.
This technique consists in paying the network of search engines, such as Google, to display ads that direct the user to your landing page.
13. Follow The Results
You wrote the ebook, paid attention to every detail, and put it online. You have the right to celebrate this result, but after that, get ready for the follow-up step.
This work is fundamental to understand the weak points of your promotion and optimize them for better conversion rates.
5 Advantages of Creating An Ebook And Selling It On The Internet
If you’ve come this far, you may have noticed some advantages of making an ebook and marketing it on the internet!
With a low production and disclosure cost, a high-quality ebook may be for sale at a lower price than a traditional book, allowing the seller to reduce the price to sell more, or simply maintain the price and increase your profit margin per sale.
To use a digital format, it can be distributed quickly and efficiently over the Internet to any part of the world.
The consumer does not have to go to a store or wait for your book to arrive at your home after an online purchase.
It is available immediately after payment approval and the customer can already start studying as soon as possible!
There is also the possibility to make sales for people from all over the world, regardless of the day and time.
With a system that receives payment and makes the product available automatically, you automate the whole process, and boost your sales even more.
Possibility to work with what you like
If you have something that you really love to do, why not take advantage to make money with your talents?
You can teach your ability to thousands of people and, therefore, earn with it.
Some digital producers end up working integrally with their new business and there is also the possibility of getting extra income to supplement the salary.
With all of our tips, it became easy to organize ideas and create your first ebook, which will also be your digital product to sell online!
How Much Does it Cost to Start a Blog
Are you wondering how much does it cost to start a blog or start a blogging business? In this article, what we’re gonna do for you is break this down into two sections. One is your first three months of blogging and then what you can expect after that.
I know that many of you are interested in starting a successful blogging business but you just haven’t taken those steps forward. You might have seen online that people are making a lot of money blogging and be really like weighing the pros and cons of starting a successful blog.
Because we want to outline really what your most important expenses are at the beginning and show you that you can actually get started for a very reasonable amount.
We get this question all the time: how much it costs to actually start my blog?
We know many of you are sitting there considering doing it.
You probably have seen the income that people are making blogging. You’re like “I’m really considering doing this” but you’re probably feeling a little overwhelmed by the financial decisions that you have to make.
We want to clarify this for you so you can make the right decision.
The Blogging Mindset You Should Have When Starting
The first thing that we want to talk about is that when starting out you really have to treat your blog like a business. It’s important to remember that a new blog is very distinct from any purchasing activity because it’s an actual business.
When you start a blog, you’re actually starting a business that can bring you money.
Keep in mind that as a business there’s always a risk that you won’t make any money with your blog. Although we are in the belief that if you don’t give up, it’s really going to be hard for you to fail.
One of the distinctions I would say between blogging and other businesses is that blogging is just not a get-rich-quick scheme.
So you have to understand and accept that you’re gonna have to make investments in your business for that profitability over time.
It’s more of a long-term play than it’s a short-term play.
Why You Should Avoid Free Blog Software
Let’s talk about why you should avoid free blogging software before we get into specific finances.
If you start a blog on the cheap you can expect cheap results.
What specifically tell people is that there’s no such thing as a free lunch, somebody always has to be paid, right?
So if you start your free website on Wix, the people who run those ads that have to get paid somehow. They’re going to get you to give them your money somehow down the road.
Let’s say you have a blog and you’re getting a few thousand subscribers or some readers, they’re gonna be like “hey! your traffic’s maxed out, now you have to pay us”.
You’re going to have to pay some amount of money at some point.
If you want to be successful, don’t go with the free option first. Go with a higher quality option which is WordPress.
Free Blog Hosting
Another thing that people do, is to start out on a free platform like blogger or free WordPress.
Free blog hosting platforms are incredibly limited.
They’re gonna be limited on what they allow. For instance, they don’t allow you to advertise, and they’re going to be limited to how much bandwidth you can use.
You don’t want to be limited in making a business and making a blog by using these free blog platforms.
Free Blog Theme
A free blog theme is another way that people try to avoid money.
This one is probably the most important thing you can spend money on. Because most free themes don’t allow you to make simple customizations like changing the color, even changing your menu, etc.
So with a free blog theme, you’re going to run into a ton of problems.
When you are opt-in for something free, you are never going to get as high-quality as something else.
Free Email Marketing
If you want to make money from your blog as quickly as possible then you need to start building an email list right away.
If you’re new, email marketing might be way over your head to start. But this is the same thing goes is that people try to start with free everything.
Because they just think that free is the way to go. It’s really not the way to go.
How Much Does it Cost to Start a Blog?
If you are trying to make money from your blog, you will have to spend money to make it.
Blog Expenses in The First 3 Months of Blogging
The good news is that the expected costs of you starting a blog is not going to be that much.
Let’s walk through what you can expect from starting a blog.
Bluehost is the top provider recommended by WordPress. You can sign up for a 12, 24, or 36-month plan.
This is going to end up costing you about $59 to $95, depending on what plan you sign up with.
That’s one of the expenses you will have and trust me this is the way you want to go.
WordPress is the only place you want to be if you want to get massive traffic and have a fast website. You don’t use Wix or Squarespace.
If you start on Wix and you start to get traffic and your website’s slow, you’ll eventually have to switch to WordPress anyway. So start on WordPress.
Estimated Blog Hosting Costs: $59 (one year) to $95 (three years).
A blog theme is a tool that allows you to customize the appearance of your website, including the layout, color, typography, etc.
Premium themes usually have a reliable code base and offer support if something goes wrong.
The funny thing is people will try to save $60 by getting a free theme. But they’ll end up spending many hours trying to get that theme to look the way they want to.
Usually what ends up happening is people get frustrated and they quit.
Divi theme is probably the first recommendation for new bloggers.
Another great theme is called the Avada theme. If Divi isn’t right for you, you can try out Avada as well.
Avada is very customizable and beginner-friendly. It comes to a lower price tag of $60 as a one-time payment and not a yearly payment as Divi.
Estimated Blog Theme Costs: $60 to $89.
Email Marketing Service
Email marketing service is very important. The lifeblood of blogging and making an income blogging is having a solid email list.
Even though MailChimp is your best free option, it’s really only free until your first 2000 subscribers, and MailChimp obviously is going to be significantly limited compared to other services.
The software that we recommend the beginners is actually ConvertKit. You can actually try it for free. We have a special link where you can have a free trial to testing out ConvertKit.
It’s the simple best email marketing software for bloggers. ConvertKit saves you tons of time and helps you focus on content creation.
Estimated Email Marketing Costs: $29/month (first month free)
Social Media Tools
We recommend Social Media Warfare and the Tailwind app.
Social Media Warfare allows your content to be shared. It’s actually very cheap.
Tailwind is something that you use for Pinterest. If you’re a blogger, Pinterest is sort of the peanut butter to the jelly of blogging.
So we added in another $10 to $30 per month.
Estimated cost in the first 3 months:
- First Month: $119
- 2-3 Months: $39
We believe that is the bare-bones minimum of doing it the right way.
Obviously, as your business grows, your spending will increase (the courses you buy, the products that you need to run a successful blog, and the hosting package you need will grow over time).
Thankfully, and if you’re doing it right, your income will be growing over time as well.
So it won’t be so hard to pay off the expenses as they grow over time.
Blog Expenses After 3+ Months of Blogging
After the initial “start a blog” phase, including set up and website design, you will start focusing on bringing visitors to your site and monetization.
Depending on how fast you move, you will reach this stage one month after starting.
if you are good with WordPress, you can get a blog started and set up within a month. It’s not that hard once you have the right tools and the right roadmap to do it.
At this stage, you are going to start incurring some additional costs of growing your blog.
These costs will grow as your blog grows. So they are harder to estimate because it based on how quickly you grow your blog.
If you are growing really fast and you’re getting a ton of traffic, your expenses are gonna be a little bit higher for those who are starting out a little bit slower.
Investment in Courses
The learning process is not stopping because the internet is always changing and there is always more to learn! If you’re starting out, it’s just not gonna stop at the very beginning.
So as you’ll continue to grow and continue wanna make money, you’ll want to continue to invest in your blog.
Total estimated blogging costs After 3 Months:
- Regular software on a monthly basis: $50-$100/month
- Investment in courses: $150+ (optional)
This is going to be kind of an average thing that you do as you move forward.
The right mindset about going into blogging is that you make the best investment that will get you money back.
Another investment is your time investment. Obviously, this is going to be the biggest investment that you make at the beginning. You have to have a massive amount of time focused on your blog in order to make money.
Keep in mind that in order to make this work, you will have to invest a lot of time.
Let’s summarize It!
The First 3 Months of Blogging
- Blog Hosting: $59 to $95 ($2.65/month with our Bluehost discount)
- Blog Theme: $60-90 (#1 recommendation: Divi theme)
- Email Marketing: $29/month (first month free)
- Social Media Tools: $10-30/month (Social Pug + Tailwind)
Total Expected Costs in the First 3 Months of Blogging: $119 upfront + $39/month after that + optional blogging courses.
Expected Costs in the After 3+ Months of Blogging
- Other Software: $50+
- Additional Blogging Courses: Optional
These expenses will definitely grow over time. So just keep that in mind, these expenses will grow as you move forward.