What Should a New Blogger Do? For Absolute Beginners.

What Should a New Blogger Do? For Absolute Beginners.

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What should a new blogger do?

If you are looking for ways to make money to fund new adventures, you might want to explore the possibility of blogging. What should a new blogger do?   As it turns out-a whole awful lot! Before jumping in, there are some things to think about and some planning to do.

Why blogging?

Blogging is an appealing option because it offers the possibility of a substantial income, you can work from anywhere, and your success is not dependent on your experience or lack thereof. To help you on your journey, I’d like to share what I’ve learned in my first three months of blogging in the hopes of helping the absolute beginner see the big picture.

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Start Your Blog Now

Start With the End in Mind

To start with, know your end game. Put another way-why are you doing this?  Are you looking for a hobby or the chance to share your passions?  Are you looking to earn some money on the side?  Are you hoping to grow this into a full-time career?  Maybe you just want to make some money to fund new travel adventures. Any of these are valid reasons, but probably require a different level of commitment depending on your goals.

Let Your WHY Be Your Rocket Fuel

Once you know your WHY, it’s a good idea to fully understand blogging in a business context. Think of blogs as a modern-day example of a magazine. If you are interested in modern home décor, you might pick up a copy of HGTV magazine. Alternatively, if you want to know about pop culture, you might pick up a copy of People magazine. You know what you are getting with either of these choices. Similarly, a blog needs to serve a specific niche in the same way that a magazine does.

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Find Your Niche

The Power of a Defined Niche

Do magazine writers, editors, and photographers put together a publication “for the fun of it?”  No. It is clearly a moneymaking venture. Do they make most of their money from their subscribers that buy the magazine?  Well, yes and no. They need an audience-that’s the magazine subscriber. They make most of the revenue off of the advertising they sell. If they don’t have a big enough audience, advertisers don’t want to advertise with them. Blogs are like this. You need a large audience to be successful.

Absolute Beginner Blogging Concepts

Blogs survive on an audience of readers who become raving fans and subscribe to an e-mail list. Readers clicking on a post produce pageviews. It’s even better if the reader sticks around for a while and clicks on a few posts because this increases average session duration. It’s not a good sign when the reader clicks on a post and quickly leaves a blog-this produces a high bounce rate and lower is better. High bounce rates suggest a lack of audience engagement. Pageviews, average session duration, and the bounce rate are all very important metrics that indicate the health of a blog. Advertisers evaluate these metrics to make decisions with their advertising dollars.

Find Your Tribe and Love Them Hard

When considering what should a new blogger do, priority one is to find an audience. How do you go about this?  Before purchasing a domain, building a website, or purchasing web hosting, stop! It’s time to reflect. The importance of a well-defined niche cannot be overstated.

***At the risk of being tiresome, this post is deliberately written at the absolute beginner level because, when I was trying to put all of the pieces of the blogging puzzle together, other writers often left me scratching my head. They tend to assume you know certain things already. I continuously felt the need to say, “Back up-I don’t get it!” I don’t want that for YOU. So…..my apologies if I’m starting to sound like Captain Obvious here.***

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Tips for Bloggers That are Absolute Beginners

Find Your Niche

Let’s go back to our example of a magazine. I know that if I want to read about recipes, I should pick up a copy of Food Network magazine and probably not HGTV magazine. Similarly, when I want to check out some new recipes, I click on one of my favorites-Skinny Tasteand not at a decorating site like Kaleidoscope Livinganother favorite blog. Your reader wants to know what to expect when they get to your blog.

One of the things you quickly learn in the sales and marketing world is that a confused buyer never buys. Also, complexity is the enemy of execution. What does this have to do with what should a new blogger do?  A whole awful lot.

The human mind is a categorization machine. Like a heat seeking missile, your brain is looking for where to put people, places, and things. A ranking system, if you will. As a blogger, you have seconds to get the reader’s attention and convince them that only YOU can solve their problem. If they can’t figure out your area of expertise quickly, they are going to click away and go looking for one of your competitors.

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Wealthy Affiliate is Perfect for (Absolute Beginner) Bloggers

Some Niches Are More Profitable

When I think of what should a new blogger do, defining my niche is my greatest challenge three months into the blogging journey. There is a tendency to not want to narrow down the topics and paint yourself into a corner.

I learned that certain blog niches tend to be more profitable than others. Specifically, it is important to assess your choice based on how it helps the reader achieve better health, wealth, or relationships. For this reason, fitness, weight loss, recipe, finance, personal development, travel, and dating blogs are the most profitable types of blogs.

Brainstorm Your Way to Your Niche

If you truly want to build a business around blogging, you must ask yourself some key questions regarding your proposed niche.

  • What problem am I trying to solve for my reader?
  • How big of a problem is this to the reader?
  • How likely is the reader to be seeking a solution to this problem?
  • How large of an audience deals with this problem?
  • Can you figure out which social media platforms reach your reader online?
  • Can you see yourself writing about this topic in 3-5 years?
  • Are there products and services available to promote that solve this problem?
  • Can you imagine products and services to create and sell to address this need?

As you can see, there is a lot to consider here. Once you decide on a niche, it’s important to understand the path towards a viable business.

The first goal of a blogger is to find an audience, but it’s useful to map out a business plan before you begin this endeavor.

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Great content is key

Create a Plan and Work Your Plan

What should a new blogger do?  In a perfect world, she would be making extra money to fund all of her hopes and dreams. I was inspired by Lynn Strough who traveled the globe solo for four yearsHaving a source of income so I could travel the world for four years is all the motivation I need. Start with your WHY statement and create a purpose behind your plan.

Reasons to Build Your Blogging Empire

The following are some reasons why women like you choose to blog for business purposes:

  • To pay college tuition, fees, room and board for your children
  • Travel to all those places you’ve been dreaming of, but can’t afford
  • Afford to do more fun stuff on the weekends
  • Save up for a spectacular retirement season
  • Plan a special surprise for a spouse, other family members, or a friend
  • Quit a job you’ve outgrown
  • Provide financial assistance to relatives
  • Desire to be self-employed and control your own destiny
  • Fund a non-profit for a cause you are passionate about
  • To give generously to the charity of your choice
  • Buy a house (or a better house)

There are plenty of reasons, but a plan is necessary otherwise you run the risk of just writing a bunch of posts that fall into the dark hole of the internet never to be read again.

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Yes, You CAN Do It!

Who Are You Writing For?

My blog is written for moms that are empty nesters (or about to be) and seeking new travel adventures and fun pursuits. It’s important to write for real people. What should a new blogger do?  A helpful strategy is to create an avatar. You create a fictional character that represents your ideal reader and you identify her traits and characteristics.

Here are some questions to ask about your ideal reader:

  • What is his or her name?  (Yes, really)
  • What does he or she look like?
  • What does he or she do for a living?
  • What does he or she like to do for fun?
  • What does he or she NOT like to do, see, or be around?
  • What are his or her political or religious affiliations (or lack thereof)?
  • What makes this person feel joyful?
  • What makes this person angry?
  • What age is this person?
  • What stage of life is this person in?
  • What is this person’s marital status?
  • What does their family look like?

Once you have an idea in your mind, find a picture of a person that resembles what you imagine your avatar would look like if he or she was a real person. Print it in color and post it in your office (or place you write the most). In the future, when you write a post do it with your avatar in mind.

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Get Started at Wealthy Affiliate

Create a Business Roadmap

Part two of this series will delve into how to monetize a blog, but in order to more effectively make money a blogger should take a holistic view. When discussing what new bloggers should do, it’s important to have a long-term vision for the business. These are the steps to creating a sustainable business:

  1. Select your preferred blogging platform.
  2. Purchase a domain name and hosting for your new blog website.
  3. Create your blog website.
  4. Create content around with a specific niche and publish to your blog.
  5. Attract a large audience to the blog through promotional efforts.
  6. Design a valuable free offer for subscribers to your e-mail list.
  7. Set-up an e-mail marketing system and grow your e-mail list.
  8. Select your monetization strategy (ads, affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, or/and creating your own products and services).
  9. Create a strategy to engage with your readers.
  10. Promote products and services that solve a real problem for the reader and add great value.

That, in a nutshell, is what new bloggers should do and, as you can see, there is a lot to consider.

One Step at a Time

The ten steps described above each require a thorough explanation, but finding a blogging platform is your first order of business. There are many platforms, but it seemed like a “no-brainer” to me to go with Wordpress. If you wish to do your own evaluation of the various options check out this article comparing blogging platforms .

Next, you will need to buy your domain name and hosting. If your domain name is your web address, think of hosting as the house located at a specific address. You could spend hours finding just the right domain name and hosting companies, but I suggest you take a look at Site Rubix to simplify the process.

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Find Your Teacher Here

When in Doubt, Find a Teacher

Many enter the blogosphere filled with high hopes that are quickly dashed by the complexities of building a profitable blog. Don’t let this dissuade you before you even get started! Maybe it’s the former middle school teacher in me, but when in doubt, I go searching for an expert to share knowledge and “show me how.”

A thorough investigation of the mountains of research available revealed that the the best teachers are the founders behind Wealthy Affiliate . What I love about my Wealthy Affiliate membership is that it is a one-stop shop. I built my website through their embedded Site Rubix feature where I got both my domain address and hosting.

To figure out what new bloggers should do, I needed teachers to explain the other eight steps described in the business roadmap above. This membership program included courses, discussion forums, and people to reach out to every time I was confused. Over the last three months, I do not think I would have gotten this far without my Wealthy Affiliate membership. What new bloggers should do is take a look at the comparison table below to evaluate which Wealthy Affiliate membership best fits their needs.  

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Wealthy Affiliate Membership Comparison Table

In future posts, I will share what I have learned about creating content and promoting it so that your posts get read. Once you have an audience, it’s time to turn your attention to what should a new blogger do first. The next post is affectionately called the Show Me The Money Project (ie…….how to make money blogging).

Related Post:

What will YOU blog about and which of your ideas do most want to sprinkle throughout the blogosphere? Start writing!

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