Step by Step Guide to Writing Your First Blog Post
Writing your first blog post can be very intimidating. There are too many scary questions. What if no one reads it? What is no one likes it? How do I even write a blog post? We have all been there and I think all blogger would give the same advice. Just do it!
Even if it isn’t perfect. Even if no one does read it. Just do it! The only way to get better is to just give it a shot and learn from each blog post!
I do have some good news for you though, I am going to help you so you aren’t jumping in blind.
First, you aren’t always going to be able to write a perfect blog post in my opinion. Of course, there are going to be great ones and not so great ones but I don’t think any are perfect.
I say that because everyone is different. What one reader may find it as amazing advice and another won’t. But still, there is a guide to go by to get pretty darn close to perfect!
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Step by Step Guide
There are certain checkpoints you want to cross off with each blog post to ensure that you are doing everything you can to make that the best blog post for your readers and for your blog.
For Your Readers
You want to create a blog post that is interesting and educational. Something that grabs your readers attention and takes them on a journey to the answer.
Some blog posts it will be easy to grab their attention and keep it throughout the post. Others that don’t have a personal attention-grabbing story behind it (like this one) may be harder to do that.
But my goal is just to help you solve the blog you are looking to solve! And for this post, it is writing your first blog post!
Each post should also have the goal to do well with SEO and be easy to read. If your blog post checks off all the tips to do well with SEO then it will do better in the blogging world.
Google will share your post, Pinterest will share your post, and readers will share your post.
How to Use WordPress
(Already know how to use WordPress? Just skip on down to the good stuff!)
I like to share even the basics in my blog posts because it was hard for me to find these details when I first started blogging.
That is why I decided I wanted to teach others how to blog. So I could help them skip the trouble I had!
Once you log into your WordPress site on the left side you will see Posts and the Add New Post. Click on that and it will take you to the next screen.
Title and URL
Now on this screen is where you are going to write your first blog post. At the top, you will add your blog post title. It will automatically generate a URL for your blog post.
You have the option to edit it. If you want to edit it do that right away. After you share your blog post you won’t be able to edit it or then everywhere else you shared it won’t link back to this post anymore.
On the right side, you can see there are options to edit when your blog post goes public. Right now as you write it, it will only be a draft. Make sure to save your blog post periodically as you write it.
WordPress will automatically save it for you but I have unfortunately lost a lot of work when I lost connection once and it didn’t save. Now regardless I will save the draft as I write my blog post.
Once you are completely done with the blog post you can publish it immediately or schedule it out.
The next set of drop-down menus is the format of your blog post, the categories you want this post in, tags you want to be added to this post and a feature image for this post.
The format should stay the same. It is only changed if you want to create a video post or other options besides just a blog post so just leave that.
The categories tab is where you will check the categories you want this blog post to go in. If you have categories about healthy eating and parenting tips and your blog post pertains to both of those then you would check off both of those.
It is a way to organize your blog posts to make them easy to find for you and your readers.
The tags section is where you can add keywords you want to be associated with this blog post.
Again, if your blog post relates to healthy eating and parenting then you can use those keywords plus healthy recipes, parenting hacks, healthy food, etc.
Anything that you think people will search for regarding your post.
The feature image is the smaller thumbnail image that will pop up on the other pages of your blog.
When your readers click on the blog section of your blog (depending on exactly how you have it set up) then they will be taken to a page where it will display all of your recent blog posts with the feature images.
I use the Divi Theme and it has an option to remove this image from the blog post itself. If a reader clicks on the feature image and is taken to that blog post, I don’t want the feature image at the top of the blog post.
I already have a pin image at the top of my blog post so I don’t want the feature image there as well. So keep in mind you probably have that option with your theme as well.
A great resource to have to ensure that your blog post checks off all the SEO points is to install the Yoast SEO Plugin.
It will tell you if your blog post needs improvement with SEO and Readability. When both turn green then you are good to go!
Just click on the different sections and it will tell you where you need to improve to get the green lights.
The Blog Post Checklist
Now let’s move on to the good stuff, the blog post itself!
You now know how to write the blog post in WordPress but let’s talk about actually writing the blog post itself. What all makes a great blog post?
Great blog posts contain:
- Have great content
- Follow a structure
- Have inbound and outbound links
The best course (and at the best price) for mastering writing the perfect blog post is Suzi’s course Post by Number. It is currently only $9 and if you know anything about Suzi she only provides the absolute best.
The best part about this course (besides all of this for only $9) is that at the end of the course you get to submit a blog post to her blog!
It is worth $9 to get the exposure and traffic you will get from posting on her blog! It is geared towards moms so keep that in mind regarding the guest posting part.
But the course is packed full of useful information on writing the perfect blog post for any niche!
Every post should have keywords to make it easy for readers to find your post when searching for relevant information.
If someone types into Google “how to bake a cake” and your blog post is about “how to bake a cake” then you should have those keywords in your blog post.
However, if you are just using any keywords that no one is searching for then you will have a hard time getting SEO love.
In Post by Number Suzi walks through how to find keywords and what makes them good keywords.
Here are some of the tools that I use to find keywords.
Or you can check out my post 7 surefire ways to come up with blog posts where I talk more about finding keywords!
Each blog post should be knowledgeable and full of great content. You don’t want to have a short 500-word blog post that doesn’t give the reader much information and is just packed with keywords.
That won’t work.
You need to answer a problem or provide value to your reader on the subject. Give them useful and helpful information to help them solve their problem.
I have heard that highlighting or bolding your keywords throughout your content is also a great way to help your SEO. I just recently started trying it to see if it helps!
I actually like it so far because it has helped me make sure I am using keywords throughout my post as well as using the Yoast SEO Plugin.
Another great tool to use to make sure that your content is easy to read and make sense in the Grammarly extension. This tool is my best friend!
When I write I do it as if I’m talking to a friend. So when I do that it is too easy to have long sentences and misspelled words.
I talk a lot and so, therefore, I type a lot.
If I get to going too fast then I have many grammar errors. This extension underlines the errors in red for me. This saves me so much time.
I just start typing and Grammarly will tell me what to fix! Of course, I always go back and reread my posts too.
Yoast SEO also tells me when I have used the same word too much, when my sentences are too long, and when I have too much text and not enough headings.
Follow a Structure
Suzi goes more in-depth in this section but you should make sure that each blog post follows a structure.
No one wants to read a sea of text.
You need to make sure there are headings throughout your blog post. Only have a few sentences between breaking them up.
There should be images throughout your post to also help break up the text and even give examples on what you’re trying to teach your readers.
Like I said before, you should bold keywords or important information you want to grab your readers attention.
Each blog post should be at least 1,000 words and people love bullet points or a numbered list.
This really helps show them exactly what they are looking for. If they are in a hurry and scrolling through your post these bullet points will show them this information is important.
Inbound and Outbound Links
Lastly, you want to make sure that your blog posts contain inbound and outbound links. What that means is there are links in your blog post that link back to other blog posts on your blog and links that link out of your blog.
You may worry about outbound links sending your readers away. Well, if your content was good they will be back! Outbound links are great for SEO so make sure that you are linking helpful links for your readers.
When I come across a blog post that is full of great content I will bookmark it to come back later. I may click out and read the other post they suggested from another blogger but I don’t want to lose that post so I will save it to come back to.
Or that is exactly why you need to have beautiful pin images for each blog post. Then your reader can pin your blog post to come back to later!
Pinterest Perfect Images
If you are writing your first blog post then odds are you aren’t very familiar with creating Pinterest images either.
Each blog post should have a beautiful eye-catching image that makes your reader a) save it to Pinterest and b) entices others on Pinterest that see that pin to click through and read your blog post!
I created a Free Pinterest Image Course where I share how to create images for your blog and for Pinterest.
Sign Up Here!
In this course it covers:
- What makes a good pin
- The different types of pins
- Where to get stock images
- 5 different programs you can use to create images
- How to reuse on image multiple ways
- How to add your new image to Pinterest
One of the programs I just recently started using it a huge time saver for creating images!
Don’t forget to sign up for Suzi’s course if you are interested in learning more about writing a perfect blog post and getting the opportunity to guest post on her blog!
I hope you found this post helpful!
Helpful Blog Posts:
Where to Purchase Your Domain Name for Your Blog
No matter what kind of site you want to create you are going to need a domain name. A domain name is the URL address of your site or blog. I am going to show you where to purchase your domain name for your blog or website.
For this, I am going to assume you are starting a blog. If you are a new blogger then don’t worry we have all been there. It may seem overwhelming learning all of this but really it’s pretty easy once you get the hang out it.
To start a blog it takes more than just a domain name. If you need help with all the ins and outs of starting a blog then I suggest my freebie the 30-Day Challenge to Start a Blog workbook.
For now, let’s walk through where to purchase your domain name for your blog.
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Choose a Company
There is more than one place you can purchase your domain name through. And sometimes it is included in your hosting plan so make sure to check that before purchasing it.
I have used two different companies when purchasing a domain name. Like I said there are many more but I like to cover things I have personally used before.
NameCheap is just like its name. They offer cheaper domains than other companies. If you test it out by searching for available domains at both sites you may see that sometimes GoDaddy actually has a cheaper option. However, as you continue on with the checkout process they upsell you to death.
Some of it you may need so then your total goes up to what it would have been at NameCheap. A lot of it you don’t need and they just keep on trying to add more on.
I have purchased my last two domain names through NameCheap and it is a one and done deal. Just add it to the cart and purchase. No upsells or hassle at check out.
That all said there are plenty of people who use GoDaddy. I’m sure the comfort of the name is part of it. When you see it advertised all over you feel more comfortable that you are purchasing something with a bigger well-known company.
Just be aware as I said they do try and tack on upsells at checkout.
I didn’t realize this until writing this blog post but Google actually sells domain names as well. You can’t get much better than that! Here is the link to check out domain names at Google.
Here is another option that came up while I was researching more places for you to purchase a domain name. There is a domain.com that you can purchase your domain name through too.
Again, each person is going to have their own opinions and things they like or dislike about a company so just review these options and maybe do a little more research of your own to choose one that fits you best!
Since I use NameCheap I am going to walk you through how to purchase your domain name through them! Again, you will want to double check that the hosting you have doesn’t already provide a free one for you.
I know when I signed up for SiteGround (the hosting company I use) they provided a free one for me. I don’t know for sure if that was a special they were running at the time or if they always do that.
If you haven’t purchased your hosting yet you can check out my post on why I use SiteGround to help you decide on a hosting company.
Go to NameCheap.com
First, go to NameCheap.com. It will look something similar to this screenshot below that I took today.
In the middle of the screen, you can see there is a search bar. Search for the domain name that you are wishing to purchase. In this example, I used “www.searchdomain.com”.
Not to my surprise that domain name was already taken. After a few different tries, I was able to find one that was available.
As you can see below “helpsearchdomain.com” is available.
If you need help coming up with a domain name for your blog then again I suggest that you download a free copy of my 30-Day Challenge to Start a Blog. There is a section in there that helps walk you through coming up with a domain name.
Once you have found an available domain name you like for your blog then you will see it shows you the total. Most domain names average between $2.99-$14.99 per year.
Usually, the more years that you purchase it the better the price. For instance, if you purchased it for two years versus only one year.
Those are all factors you will have to think about and decide what’s best for you.
Now hit add to cart and then view cart.
Also, you will see that below it is showing you a list of other domains that you might like to add to your cart. I like how it shows you the different options that are available and the prices.
Once you are in your cart you will see there is an option to add a promo code. When I purchased my domain name I was able to find a 10% off coupon code at RetailMeNot.com.
To look for a coupon code, go to retailmenot.com and search for NameCheap.
I love using RetailMeNot.com for all sorts of things. I usually use it for a coupon when we decide to order pizza but I have even got $40 off of SeaWorld tickets before!
Over on the left side of the screen at RetailMeNot, you will see the option to search the coupons by type. I like to do the codes. If I have a coupon code then I can see if it works on top of a sale that is already running. Sometimes it works!
After you enter the coupon code (if you were able to find one) then you continue with your checkout process. If you don’t have an account already with NameCheap then it will ask you to create one here. If you do then go ahead and sign in.
Now you are ready to purchase your domain name. Select your payment method and continue on with the checkout process.
It will then take you to your NameCheap account where you will be able to see your new domain name for your blog! Congrats!
You have now taken the first (or second if you purchased hosting already) set to setting up your blog! It is a scary and exciting feeling!
Next would be to go ahead and purchase your hosting which averages about $3-$5 a month. You do have to purchase the full year but I can think of many other less important things that I waste $3-$5 a month on so to me it is worth it!
After you have your domain name and your hosting you will then need to connect them. I feel kind of silly saying that I didn’t know you had to do this but if you are like me then you didn’t know either. That is why I created this blog. To help people that are like me and need a literal walk through!
I created this short video last year that walks you through how to do that. You can check that out here!
Congrats again on talking those first steps to starting a blog! Once you are up and rolling I would love to feature your blog on Mom Blog From Home!
P.S. Don’t miss out on any more helpful tips! Sign up for my email list to stay up to date on what’s new on Mom Blog From Home!
The Only 3 Things New Bloggers Should Focus On
When you first decide to start a blog there are really only three things new bloggers should focus on and master. I’m sure you are so excited and you want to master it all right away but trust me on this. You only need to focus on these three things.
I heard multiple other bloggers say “new blogger should focus on this” but I was too ambitious and I thought I can handle it all. I’m not like other people. Well, guess what, if I would have taken their advice I would be a lot further along than I am!
I took courses and read ebooks and again I heard this over an over. “Don’t try and tackle everything at once”, “new bloggers need to focus on…” but I thought “how hard could it be?”
It turns out, harder than you might originally think. It takes a lot of time and commitment to master just one of the many pieces to blogging. So again, if I would have just stuck to the three main ones then I would have been able to move forward and master the rest one at a time.
The Three Things to Master
Don’t worry too much about all your social media accounts right now. If you master these three things and are ready to move on right away then you are rocking it and keep going.
But if you can’t seem to master these then don’t move on until you have!
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1. Write One Blog Post a Week
New bloggers should focus on writing one new blog post a week.
If you can make it a full month or two and you have consistently produced one blog post a week then you are probably good to move on.
But for some, this is actually harder than it sounds. Learning how to properly write a blog post can be difficult. You need to have keywords, the right structure, it has to be interesting, and your readers need to learn from it.
You can’t just write a post about what you did over the weekend. Sorry, but no one but family and close friends cares. You aren’t sharing tips or giving advice so no one is going to read it.
If you whip out four great blog posts in the first week then make sure you schedule them out to publish once a week for that first month.
Then every other blog post you write can either continue to be scheduled to be published once a week or you can fill in your schedule with two blog posts publishing a week.
I just don’t want you to write four blog posts and publish them all at once and then think man I’m a rock star. Then the next thing you know the month has gone by and you didn’t write anymore and now you’re behind. (Been there, done that.)
Google will like that you produced a bunch of content but then it will notice that it was a one and done time of thing.
That can hurt you and if you would have just scheduled them out then you would have shown Google you are reliable to produce valuable content once a week.
Google is more likely to share your blog when you show you consistently produce valuable content.
Plus, then that just takes the load off of you to have to write more blog posts right away. If your blog is brand new then yes you will want to get 5-10 blog posts on there right away but again it is better to have a consistent schedule.
Put a few posts on there and then each one after that schedule them to post once a week.
This just takes the pressure off too if you are always ahead and have a schedule going in case things pop up because let’s face it life gets crazy sometimes!
Especially as a new blogger, you will appreciate the routine of always having a blog post scheduled to publish once a week as you are learning everything.
Need help coming up with blog post ideas? Check out my latest blog post – 7 Surefire Ways to Come Up with Blog Post Ideas
New bloggers should focus on pinning to Pinterest.
Pinterest is a bloggers best friend. Sometimes you two will be besties and Pinterest will send you a bunch of free traffic and then sometimes you may be in a fight and Pinterest won’t “talk” to you.
Either way, you are still best friends and if you are fighting there is always a way to make up!
So how do you become best friends with Pinterest so they send you traffic and how do you make sure you don’t ever get in a fight?
The best way to become besties with Pinterest is to give “her” a lot of attention. Pinterest likes creators that are active in their Pinterest accounts.
That doesn’t mean that you have to be on Pinterest all day every day but it does mean that you can’t just set up your account and fill it with your own content and then leave it.
You have to be actively pinning your content and other creators content. There are different opinions on this part but some say you should make sure that you are active on both the desktop site and the mobile site as well.
What I do is when I have a minute in the day instead of checking Facebook or my email, I will pin a few pins on Pinterest from my phone. Then other times when I am working I will do the same from my desktop.
Don’t ignore your new best friend. That is the best way to get into a “fight” with your new bestie. Similar to number one, Pinterest likes attention but to avoid a fight where you will have to earn her trust back, don’t ignore Pinterest.
I have done this before and I went into Pinterest’s “dog house” and I had to earn the trust back.
It is a fun analogy to think of it as a friendship but in all honesty that is what it is. Pinterest is there to give it’s users the best possible content. So if you as a creator, create great content, then Pinterest is going to share it with its users. Just like all friends do!
When you go onto Pinterest as a user you are looking for the best cake recipes, the best DIY projects, or the best workouts. You don’t want to have to sort through all of the unrelated or spammy sites that can pop up like when you Google something.
You are looking for the answer right away.
Pinterest is always there for you as a user because they make sure they provide the best content and images right away.
So if you start adding content to Pinterest and start building that relationship with them then you stop and ignore Pinterest. Then they are going to think you are not a reliable source.
Pinterest isn’t going to share your content when users are looking for the best content.
The only way to get out of the dog house is to prove yourself. Consistently add good quality content and images and build that trust back up so Pinterest will start sharing your content with its users again.
Learn From My Mistake
I hope that makes sense and you don’t make the same mistake I did. When I first started I used Tailwind to add pins to Pinterest and I received a bunch of traffic from Pinterest!
When I was still a new blogger, I didn’t know what to do and I learned the hard way. My traffic started declining because I wasn’t creating new content to add to Pinterest.
I was too focused on other things and not these 3 important things I am sharing with you now.
It cost me and I don’t want that to happen to you! That is why I am sharing this advice I received from a veteran blogger that I wish I would have listened to and focused on these only.
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Google, Pinterest, Social Media
So why only focus on Pinterest?
Google, Pinterest, and Social Media are all completely different. They can all be used to drive traffic to your blog but they are each used in different ways.
Google takes a long time to drive traffic to your blog. You have to build your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) before Google will start sending you traffic.
Social Media takes a long time to build an audience that will drive traffic to your blog.
How Pinterest Works
Pinterest however, doesn’t take long at all! As I said before I was able to send thousands of page views to my blog within the first week of using Pinterest.
Some mistake Pinterest for a social media platform but there is nothing social about it. You don’t go onto Pinterest to chat with other members. You go on there for inspiration and for answers to a problem.
Pinterest is more like a search engine. Bloggers and website owners create an image that will attract the attention of Pinterest users and then they attach their URL to that image.
Made By Bloggers
If you go onto Pinterest to find the best cake recipes you are going to see awesome images. Those are most likely were created by bloggers to entice you to click on their image and go to their blog post.
Once on their blog post, they will show you how to make the best cake just like you searched for.
All of those pins you see when you type in “best cake recipes” are from bloggers or website owners that created those images as advertisements of their blog posts or websites.
Pinterest is going to show the best images and the best content first when someone searches for something.
If you keyword your pin correctly and have a beautiful image then your pin will do well and drive traffic to your blog!
3. Grow Your Email List
New bloggers should focus on growing their email list.
The third important thing you must do as a new blogger is to build your email list.
You have worked hard on your blog and driving traffic to your blog so you want to make sure you keep those people and get them to come back.
Now it’s impossible to keep them all but it is still important to try and keep some of them as returning readers. The best way to ensure that they come back and continue to read your new blog posts is to get them on your email list.
Then you can email them with new updates about your blog and they can return and check them out!
The Power of The Email List
I knew I needed to do this from the beginning but it still wasn’t clear to me exactly why it was so important.
Then as I learned more I realized the power of the email list.
It’s like building your tribe or building your followers on social media. The ones that follow you look forward to what you have to say next and are much more likely to make a purchase from you versus someone that just came across your blog.
Your goal with your audience is to build trust with them and show them you are there to help and solve their problem.
When you solve a problem for them for free then they will trust you when you try and sell them a product that will also solve their problem.
Help Them Don’t Sell To Them
We can all spot the ones trying to only sell to you from a mile away. When they provide no value but only want to sell to you then you don’t trust them and you don’t trust that the product they are selling is good for you either.
However, when you have a good relationship with someone because you have provided all kinds of valuable information to them for free. They won’t second guess that a product is valuable when you mention it that could help them.
They trust your advice and your intentions.
So, if you keep building that trust with your readers and grow your email list then when you are ready to launch a product you can announce it to your list. They are much more likely to purchase it!
Learn more with my post on How to Grow Your Email List and Why it is So Dang Important!
There you have it!
Those are the 3 most important things you should focus on as a new blogger. I can’t express this enough. If you do these three things first and then work on the back office stuff you will be fine!
If you get caught up in learning everything there is to know about blogging and you don’t do these three things then you will regret it. Trust me on this one. I know from experience!
It is too easy to get caught up in making your blog look all fancy and learning everything there is to know about blogging. Which obviously you will need to know but don’t lose focus on these three things.
It does you no good to have a pretty blog with no traffic.
- One Blog Post a Week
- Add Content to Pinterest
- Grow Email List
Freebie For You
If you are like me and you need a reminder of the basics then you will love this free printable I made for you!
It is to help keep you focused on what is important and to not get lost in the whirlwind that comes with learning everything about blogging.
These 3 basic steps are what you need to focus on!
Grab your free copy of this printable right here! And stick it somewhere in your workspace where you can see it every time you go to work on your blog!
I hope you found this advice helpful and you are able to keep your blinders on long enough to master these three things for new bloggers to focus on!
It is very hard to not get shiny object syndrome and chase after every new thing you come across. Which again, you can still learn and grow your knowledge but don’t forget to focus on these first!
P.S. Do you want to be featured on Mom Blog From Home? Learn more here!
How to Add Your Profile Picture to Your Sidebar
One of the reasons I wanted my blog to be about helping new bloggers was because I understand how hard the simplest thing was for me at the beginning. As I learned something new it was like a light bulb came on and I was like “Oooh, that’s how you do that!”
Yet, those simple things were the hardest answer to find when I was learning how to start a blog. Everyone would share the basic fundamentals of how to actually set up a blog with hosting and domain names but no one was showing you how to do the little tricks like how to add your profile picture to the sidebar!
So, I decided early on that is what I wanted to blog about. The problem, of course, was that I still had to learn everything to be able to have a blog to then share with others. For me, it has been a slow process. I love learning all these things but I felt I had to know everything before I started sharing anything.
I later discovered that was the wrong way about doing it. A piece of advice for you is to not wait like I did. That is part of blogging, you are always going to be learning so don’t wait until you know everything to start!
If I would have been sharing as I went then I would have a lot more done!
For now, let’s tackle this sidebar picture so hopefully, you can have an “Oooh, that’s how you do that” moment too!
I am going to show you how to edit a picture, how to add it to your sidebar on your blog, and how to link it to your About Me page. This way when a reader clicks on your picture it will take them to your About Me page for them to learn more about you!
How to Edit Your Profile Picture
I don’t want to just assume that you have a beautiful picture ready to go. Let’s assume that you need to create one first before adding it to your blog.
If you do have a picture ready to go then feel free to skip all of this and go down to the part where I walk you through how to add your profile picture to your sidebar!
If you are like me then you don’t have an expensive camera or have the time or money to pay someone to take this perfect picture for you and that’s okay! All you need is good lighting and we can make it work!
Here is my profile picture:
It was taken at my front door with my husband’s iPhone. I knew that I needed good lighting and that was the best spot. He had just gotten the new iPhone 8 and it takes amazing pictures so that part helped our process but I will show you how you can still make any picture have a blurred background.
In this picture, I am standing just inside our house and he is standing outside.
This gave the lighting from the sun without it being directly in my eyes like this picture below. This is a picture taken in front of our front door.
The sun was too bright and it made me squint too much and I didn’t like the background at all.
I opened the front door and left it open and then took a couple steps inside still facing the same way and he took a picture from there and it looked like this.
As you can see the phone did blur the background and the lighting from the sun was perfect without blinding me. My eyes are open and brighter and it just looks much better and professional.
A Good Profile Picture
All you need is a good clear headshot to have a good profile picture. But make sure that it doesn’t look like this…
Not a horrible picture but this was taken in our backyard and again the sun was too bright and it made me squint and so my eyes are dark and it’s just not as good as the picture above it. Test it out and try different angles and even different times of the day that would work better.
I have noticed that it is much easier to just use natural sunlight than trying to recreate it with lights. If you can do that then power to ya! I don’t know much about photography so I just stick with sunlight!
Now, once you have a picture taken that is bright, clear, and shows your face well I will show you how to edit it and how to make it a circle if you are wanting your profile picture in your sidebar to look like that.
Edit Your Picture
Now that you have your picture taken you are ready to edit it. If you look at my original picture and then at my actual profile picture you can tell I did some editing.
Not only did I crop it down and make it a circle but I smoothed out my skin and brightened things up a bit because why not right?!
There are several different programs out there that you can use to edit your picture but my absolute favorite is PicMoney!
Many bloggers use PicMonkey so I am sure you have heard of it before but just in case you haven’t let me tell you real quick why it rocks and is perfect for bloggers!
- It is user-friendly. I think I have made it clear that I am not a tech guru so anything that is user-friendly and super easy to use is my best friend. Everything on PicMonkey is pretty self-explanatory and it isn’t a complexed overwhelming software like photoshop (so I have heard) and that alone makes it worth using!
- You can save your creations within PicMonkey’s hub. This is a fairly new feature and it has been a life saver for me with making images for my blog. I have created several images that I later wanted to edit a few things on or repurpose them and with the PicMonkey hub you can click edit photo and start right where you left off on that image you created months ago!
- Very inexpensive! PicMoney does have a free trial of 7 days and then after that (at this moment) it is $7.99 a month. Completely worth the 8 bucks for something that I use almost daily!
- PicMonkey has an app that you can use while on the go to edit a quick picture for Pinterest or Instagram.
- They offer Templates of different images you can use for your blog, website, social media, and pins on Pinterest.
- PicMonkey has Layouts to show you what size images are on different platforms. For example, if you want to make a Facebook cover for your Group they have it premeasured so you know it will fit perfectly before you even start working on it. No more uploading and adjusting it 5 times.
If you are interested in trying PicMonkey out for free then you can use my link right here!
Now let’s move on to editing your picture inside PicMonkey.
Step One – Upload Picture
When you first log into PicMonkey your screen will look something like this. Not exactly like this if you are new to PicMonkey and don’t have any images created on there yet but you get the point.
As you can see there is my Hub that has all of my images saved so I can go in and edit those images or edit a copy of them and keep the original the same. You can also see the templates they have created for you to use or for inspiration.
Then lastly you can see the layouts that have the measurements already created for you. This makes it very easy to just click on the layout you are needing and go on to creating without worry if it is going to fit or not.
Edit New Image
We are going to click on the edit new image box at the top left to start editing your picture.
Next, click on blank canvas so we can enter in the measurements we are wanting. You can choose one of the layouts if you want to it really doesn’t matter too much.
I just created mine using 600×600 pixels and instead of scrolling through all of the blanket layouts I just did it this way to get to the size I wanted.
At the top of this screen, there is an option to create a custom size blank canvas. There isn’t a specific size that you have to have for your profile picture and I will show you later on why that is. I just picked an easy size of 600×600 to make it nice and square.
Add An Image
Then click on “add an image” and add your picture you just took for your profile picture.
The reason I do it this way instead of just uploading the picture from the beginning is so that I have the option to edit the image further with a different box that pops up. If you start with editing an image instead of editing a blank canvas that you add an image too then you don’t get the option to edit it further with the Graphics box that pops up.
Below on the right, you can see the Graphics box pops up but if you just upload the picture instead of adding it to a blank layout then it doesn’t. You can make edits and changes with this Graphics box to your image in addition to the ones I am going to show you below.
Step Two – Adjust Picture
I am going to first make my picture bigger and make it fit the layout I picked. This makes my image bigger and cuts out some of that additional background I had in the original picture.
I do this by clicking on the corners and dragging them to fill the white background. Now my image is fit to the layout we chose and it removed the extra background I don’t need in the picture and it focuses on me.
Especially since in the background of this picture it is my hallway. Don’t worry too much about cutting all of the background out as we will be trimming more of that out when we put the circle frame around it later on.
Step Three – Edit Background
Now that the image is fitted to the layout I am going to go into the effects area on the left side of the screen. From there you can scroll down until you reach the Area tab and you can see there are two different options for blurring out the background and making you the focal point of the picture.
Again in my example, my husband’s phone has already done most of that but this is where you will blur out the background of your profile picture.
Side note: If you have an iPhone 8 or higher you can use the portrait feature in your camera and it will blur the background for you. We now both have the iPhone XR and the camera is amazing!
Here you can see how to blur the background of your profile picture and make you stand out in the picture.
You don’t have to do much of it but just toy around with these options until you feel your picture is perfect and make sure to select apply before moving on.
Step Four – Facelift
This is where I decided to give myself a little facelift because again…why not?! If you go to the Touch-Up area you will see a whole list of options! You can airbrush your skin, whiten your teeth, remove wrinkles, give yourself a tan, and more!
I do not suggest getting too crazy here. You want to make sure the person in the picture and the person that your readers will see in your videos match. As fun as it gets sometimes to add a bunch of filter’s to our pictures, it will become pretty noticeable quickly. What I am saying is that if I can smooth out a few scars and eye wrinkles real quick then I’m going to! Haha!
Once you have finished editing your image then all you have to do is hit Export at the top middle of your screen and save it to your computer! Done!
Step Five – Circle Frame
The last step is for those that want their image to be a circle. PicMonkey can help do that as well!
I wasn’t able to get this part to work without uploading the image again and editing just the image. Like I said before we started with a blank layout and then added the image to be able to get the Graphics box to pop up. Which gives you more editing options.
For the example I showed above, we didn’t use the Graphics box but I just wanted to show you how to get it to pop up. I’m not sure why it works this way but it does.
So to make your picture into a circle, click on the create new at the top left.
Now from here, you will click to upload an image from your computer and you will upload the picture we just edited for your profile picture.
Over on the left side, you will click on Frames and then click the shape you want. In this case, we will click the first one that is a circle.
As you can see the background color is transparent. You want it to be transparent so you can place this image anywhere and it will be a circle image instead of your circle image on top of a red rectangle if that makes sense.
It makes the grey and white squares in the background disappear and it just shows the background color as whatever color that’s already on the page you are adding it to.
For example, if your website has a yellow background the grey and white squares pictured above will be yellow. So it will only show your circle image.
Adding Your Picture to Your Sidebar
Now here is the fun part of getting this beautiful profile picture you worked so hard on into your sidebar menu!
Upload Your Picture
Start by uploading your picture to your WordPress site. If you’re not sure how to do that follow these steps.
On the left side click on media and add new.
Then click add new or upload and find your picture on your computer to upload.
Now that it is uploaded onto your WordPress site click on it to expand all of its details. You are going to need your picture‘s URL as you see it below in my example. Copy that URL and paste it in a Word Doc or in your notes app. Somewhere where you can get to it again to paste it with a special code I am going to give you for your sidebar menu.
About Me Information
Next, go to your About Me page and copy your permalink or URL for that page on your blog. Paste it where you put your image URL.
Go back to the left side and now click on Appearance and Widgets. In this section is where your sidebar information will be. If you don’t have a sidebar yet then this is where you can add all the contents to your sidebar. If you do have one then you are familiar with this and it will be super easy!
You can drag any of the widgets on the left side of this screen and add them to your sidebar or your Header or Footer areas. As you see I have several widgets I have added to my sidebar but for this, you will need to add a text widget to your sidebar.
You can title it “About Me” or “Person Behind It All” or whatever you want to put.
Then I want you to click on the Text Tab. You can see there is a Visual Tab and a Text Tab. Click on Text.
Here is where you are going to add the special code with your two URL’s you have copied.
The code you need is <a href=”http://www.momblogfromhome.com/about-me/” target=”_blank” rel=”"noopener””><img style=”border: none; max-width: 100%;” src=”https://www.momblogfromhome.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Head-shot-for-blog-mom-blog-from-home.png ” /></a>
You will need to replace the first URL highlighted in pink with your About Me URL that you copied eariler.
Then replace the second URL highlighted in orange with your profile picture URL that you copied earlier as well.
Now take the whole code with the new URLs in it and copy and paste that into the Text Tab side of the Text box in your widget for your sidebar. Then click the Visual Tab and it should show your profile picture that you created!
From here you can adjust it and make it smaller if you would like. This is why I said the size wasn’t too important at the beginning because you have the option to adjust it right here.
You can now add a short introduction under your image telling your readers a little bit about you. Then if they want to learn more they can click on your profile picture that will take them to your About Me page for them to learn more!
That wasn’t so bad, was it?! I hope I didn’t lose you anywhere!
Now to test it out go to your live view of your blog and check it out! And like I said before you can add more to your sidebar with different widgets like social media buttons and more!
I hope you enjoyed this simple tip on how to add your profile picture to your sidebar and how to link it to your About Me page!
Let me know if you have any questions or need any other help with setting up your blog!
Need More Help?
If you need more help making beautiful images for your blog and Pinterest then check out my Free Pinterest Image Course!
7 Surefire Ways to Come Up With Blog Post Ideas
Have you been at a loss on what to write about next? You have come to a dead end on ideas for blog posts and sometimes you just need a little inspiration to help get the creative juices flowing again. Well, here are 7 surefire ways to come up with blog post ideas!
Of course, this is the answer to everything, just Google it! But there is more to it than just googling “blog post ideas“. Think of some keywords in your niche and write those down as ideas to Google. They may be things you have wrote about a hundred times. That’s okay. I am going to show you how you can take those keywords and come up with brand new ideas for blog posts.
First, start by typing in your keyword or keyword phrase into Google’s homepage.
Let’s use the example of “cake recipes”. You can see that right away Google is giving you ideas on what other people are searching for when they typed in the phrase “cake recipes”. This is a great way for you to come up with your next blog post idea because these are what your readers are searching for. These are questions that you could answer for your readers.
If you have a bunch of cake recipes on your blog but you don’t have any that are without eggs that would be a perfect new blog post. Or one without butter. These are things that people are searching for and a great way for you to come up with a blog post idea that you know people want to read.
Next, after you hit enter on your keyword term “cake recipes”, again Google comes up with suggestions for you to search for based on what others have been searching for. Once again, you now know what other people are searching for these terms and those would be good blog post ideas.
Already you have about 10-15 new ideas of what you could write about just based on one keyword phrase! But wait, there is more!
If you stay on just the term “cake recipes” and your scroll down to the bottom of the page Google gives you related searches. These are more ideas of what other people are also looking for when they search for cake recipes. It lists several different kinds of cakes.
The list above was more about how to make the cakes but these reaches are different flavors of cakes. People searched for “best cake ever” and “types of cakes”.
Then below those two boxes, it says “searches related to cake recipes”. And once more it lists a bunch of related keyword searches that people are searching for the answers to!
Let’s say that you typed in “the best cake recipes” and you scrolled down to about the middle of the page on Google.
Besides all of the related blog posts that come up that you could read through to get your creativity going, there is a box that says “People also ask”, here is where you can hit the jackpot on blog post ideas!
The box that lists what “People also ask” is almost a never-ending list.
Each time you click on one of the questions it will drop down to tell you more information but then more questions are added to the bottom of the list. Look at the example below.
Each time I clicked on one of the questions it added more. After clicking those questions listed above you can see that it added 11 more questions that people are asking.
Just off of the term “cake recipes” you have already come up with a bunch more longer keyword phrases that you could then search each of those individually. You can see how this method alone could help you come up with a whole list of blog post ideas all related to just cake recipes!
If you do this whole entire process again with a completely different keyword like “baby food” then you would have another whole list of blog post ideas related to those keywords.
This is a very fast and easy way to find out what people are searching for and what blog posts you could write to help your readers find the answers they are looking for! AND this is only one way. Let’s move on to the second way to find blog post ideas!
Using Pinterest to find your blog post ideas is very similar to the Google method. Pinterest is a search engine just like Google and they also will provide you with what people are searching for the most. But the results that Pinterest gives you is for its users.
Google is much bigger than Pinterest and so the results you get with Google are not has narrowed down to your target market as much as Pinterest will be.
For example, if your keyword is “cake recipes” then odds are it is most likely a mom that is searching that term. Also most likely it is a mom using Pinterest to search for cake recipes too.
The average user of Pinterest is a 40-year-old female. Although, more and more men are joining Pinterest so it is still a great tool to use even if your keyword is “men’s haircuts”
So when you use Pinterest to search your keyword keep in mind that these results are based off of the users of Pinterest and what they search for. Also, keep in mind that those users may be more your target market than people searching on Google.
Moving on, type in your keyword and Pinterest will automatically show you what others searched for related to your keyword. It will also show you people and boards that you may be interested in following related to that keyword.
The people and the boards would be a wonderful way to find blog post ideas. If you click on those and search through all of those pins you are bound to come up with a list of ideas!
Once you hit enter and actually search the keyword you entered then Pinterest will again show you what others have searched for. This tells you what people are looking for related to your keyword.
What I just noticed is that Pinterest is now helping you narrow your search even more with bundling suggestions. Instead of listing at the top a bunch of different times, different diets, or ingredients they bundled them together in drop-down menus!
This is a pretty cool new feature I haven’t seen before!
If you look across the top at all the different colored boxes, those are more keywords that people have searched when looking for cake recipes. If you click the arrow at the top right it will show you more.
Then after you click on one of those keyword boxes it will have more colored boxes narrowing your search even more!
Don’t forget to actually scroll down on each page and look at all the pins that have come up under each search. Those pins are bound to spark some ideas!
Besides just searching keywords, another great way to use Pinterest to come up with blog post ideas is to do as I stated before and go to profiles and boards that you follow that are in your niche. There are plenty of ideas you can come up with scrolling through all of those pins!
3. Answer The Public
Answer The Public is a website for keyword search and content ideas. If this website doesn’t help you come up with new blog post ideas, nothing will! The possibilities are endless with this website.
When you first visit Answer The Public there will be a funny guy there and you will search for your keyword.
After you enter your keyword you will be taken to another screen where it breaks down your keyword or keyword phrase into the categories circled in the picture below.
As you scroll down it will go through those categories and it even gives you the option to download a CSV file of it all.
These are the questions that are asked regarding your keyword or keyword phrase. The public asks the following questions pertaining to your keywords.
Just this alone gives you so many different options for blog post ideas.
But as you continue to scroll it gives you more and more!
Once you get to the Alphabeticals Category it breaks down alphabetically all the different searches the public searches for.
I can’t say this enough…the possibilities are truly endless. We have covered three platforms to use to come up with blog post ideas and it is all based on the same keyword phrase “cake recipes” so just imagine if you did this all for several different keywords.
You would have a brand new giant list of blog post ideas! But let’s keep going on to the other ways!
4. Keyword Search Sites
Of course, you can also use keyword search tools to help you find popular keywords in your niche. There are paid and free options to find keywords.
KW Finder used to offer like 5 free searches per day but now every time I try and use it, it wants me to sign up because of high use.
I do not think I need to pay for keyword searches. I have found a free keyword search tool that tells me the popularity and competitiveness of the keywords that is free so I am going to stick with that.
The tool I am talking about is Ubersuggest. I came across it while reading an ebook on Amazon affiliate marketing (that I loved! and I’m even on her sales page!) and this keyword tool is really easy to read and understand.
I have used others that are so in-depth that it gets overwhelming! This one is straight to the point and I really like it so far!
The last one is Keywords Everywhere. This is an extension you can add to a Chrome or Firefox browser.
Here is how it works:
I don’t use Chrome or Firefox but I think I will go ahead and start using Chrome just so I can take advantage of this keyword tool!
5. Ask Your Readers
You may not get as many responses doing this as you would from doing the above options but it would “come straight from the horse’s mouth” on exactly where your readers are struggling and need help.
Then you can find out where you are missing out with your readers and what blog posts would benefit them the most.
There are several ways you can reach out to your readers to get responses to market research ideas.
- Email Your List
- Social Media
- Survey/Poll Your Readers
1. Email Your List
In your weekly broadcast just ask your list where they are struggling and how you can help. Sometimes it is just that easy!
You can either send out a specific email just for that or add it to the existing email you already have planned.
2. Social Media
Ask your following on your social media platforms for ideas. If you don’t feel comfortable enough to just flat out ask them for ideas you could make it more interesting by using a poll on Facebook with different options for them to pick from. This will most likely get more responses and is more interactive. Use a funny GIF to grab their attention and ask for their feedback!
Or take a fun selfie and ask for help from your followers on what your next project or post should be.
There are many different ways to find out what they are thinking without flat out asking. If you have a good engaged audience then you should be fine asking for their input without worrying no one responds.
Use a survey or a poll to ask them what they need help with or for new ideas to write about. Just like the above two options you could include this survey in your email list, on your social media, or add it to a couple opt-ins or blog posts.
Get creative on where you place the survey and I think you will have better success with it!
For a period of time, I had a question on “what’s your biggest struggle” to my feature plan form. Bloggers can sign up to be featured on Mom Blog From Home and when they submitted their blog information I had a question on there asking them what their biggest struggle was as a way to get feedback from them.
It didn’t take long to find out what most bloggers struggle with and so I was able to take that question off and focus on what I knew they needed.
I also added a similar question to my Facebook Group. When they requested to join they had to answer questions and one of them is intended for feedback on what they struggle with so I know how I can help my readers!
6. Read through Facebook Groups and Tailwind Tribes
Speaking of social media, reading through all of the different Facebook Groups in your niche is another great way to come up with blog post ideas!
I am in several Facebook Groups in my niche and there are always people asking questions and needing help and advice. Each one of those questions is a perfect blog post idea!
My niche is helping people blog so there are always questions on how to do that, so naturally, each one of those is a blog post idea.
However, let’s say you are in the cooking niche then you could join Facebook Groups such as the Instant Pot group I am apart of. I joined it to learn more tips and tricks about my instant pot and there are over a million people in that group!
There are so many questions being asked. Even if your niche isn’t based only on instant pot recipes you still could fill a need that people have by having a blog post on how to use or how to care for your instant pot!
Or start following others in your niche and you can get inspiration from them or see what their followers are asking for help on!
Even if you are a part of the Facebook Groups that talk about blogging there are still hundreds of other people in those groups that all have different niches. You could make a post in there and ask all those bloggers for ideas on blog posts in your niche!
Everyone is more than happy to help in those groups! That is exactly why they are created! To help each other! You can join my Facebook Group right here! Or follow me on Facebook here!
The same goes for Tailwind Tribes. There is a chat box in Tailwind Tribes and you can ask other Tribe members for ideas and I’m sure you would get all kinds of responses!
Plus, while you are in there you can check out all the other pins that members have shared and you are bound to find inspiration in there as well! Join my Tailwind Tribe right here! If you don’t have Tailwind yet and you want to try them out you can use my link right here!
Not sure what Tailwind is? Read how I use Tailwind and Pinterest to send traffic to my new blog!
7. Keep Notes as You Write and Read
As I write blog posts or read other blog posts, ideas will always pop in my head of another great blog post I could write. I have even decided to write blog posts just like the one I was reading because I felt like there was more I could add to help my readers on that particular topic.
I love to continue to learn and try new ideas out with blogging so I have a whole list of all those ideas I want to share with my readers. As I look back on my list I will come up with even more ideas.
Sometimes you just have those days where it feels like you have come up with 100 more ideas of blog posts you could write. Other days you feel like you are stuck and can’t seem to think at all.
That’s when I try the methods above or like I said I love to learn and to help break through that wall I will pick back up where I left off on an ebook or course.
I purchase the Genius Bloggers Toolkit every year and it is packed with ebooks, courses, tutorials, printables, you name it! All worth thousands of dollars but once a year it goes on sale for normally around $97. So it literally is a no brainer for continuing education in blogging.
(Depending on when you are reading this! Ultimate Bundles is having a flash sale on the GBT on April 8-9th 2019!! Normally this bundle is only available one time a year in October! This bundle has 77 products worth $5,867.88 for only $97! These products include 15 eBooks, 41 eCourses, 9 printable packs and workbooks, 5 templates, 5 stock photo sets, and 2 membership sites and again it’s all on sale for only $97! Check it out here!)
So, I will scroll through all of my options and pick one I have been wanting to learn more about and then as I go through I come up with a list of ideas to write about!
Anytime inspiration strikes make sure to write down your ideas. I have made the mistake several times of thinking “oh, I’ll remember” and I never do. So now I just pull out my phone and make a note in my notes app.
This also works super well for when I am out somewhere and I have time to work on a blog post but I don’t have my computer or paper. I just pull up my notes app and read through my blog post ideas and start writing one of them.
Then later when I get home I can easily transfer it to WordPress and make a few changes and additions and be done!
What about you?
Do you have any other methods to come up with blog post ideas? I would love to hear them!
4 Super Simple Steps to Turn Your Hobby Blog into a Business Blog
So you have a blog but it is more of a hobby than a business right? Or maybe you have a business blog but you treat it like a hobby? (Raising hand)
I know exactly what you are talking about. In the summer of 2017, I started a blog and my goal was to just have it ready to launch in the fall.
On September 1, 2017, I reached my goal and launched my blog. I was so excited! I finally reached one of my long-time goals to have a blog.
Well then, the holidays came in like a whirlwind and the next thing I knew it was the end of December!
Between all the holidays and all of our family’s birthdays that fall in October, November, and December, it just flew by!
So, here I was with my new blog that was now four months old and hadn’t changed much in those four months.
Over the summer I had poured my heart into it but I let it go over the fall. I jumped back in at the beginning of the year in January 2018. I added a new opt-in and implemented Tailwind and Pinterest.
The traffic came ROLLING in! I couldn’t believe it! It almost felt too easy! I later learned I was right. It was too easy. I couldn’t replicate it again… because I wasn’t treating my blog like a business.
I was offered a job at the Church Preschool and they badly needed help so I decided to take it and I worked from February to May as a Lead Teacher. It was a wonderful time, but I bet you can guess what happened to my blog.
Yep, it was pushed off and the traffic went with it.
I told myself “Okay, I am going to work on it all summer and get it back up and going”.
Well, being home with my daughter over the summer was great but trying to entertain an 8-year-old who doesn’t play pretend by herself anymore was a struggle.
It was either let her sit in front of a device all day or let friends come over and then it was loud and crazy.
We would go to the pool, go out on the boat, do all kinds of summer fun things, but once more my blog got pushed back.
I felt like I had to focus on her and since I was home I tried hard to keep all the housework taken care of so my husband who works long hard hours didn’t have to worry about anything when he got home.
At the end of the summer, my husband and I decided that I would stay home once she started school back up and I could work full time on my blog. (I know isn’t he the best!)
I do help out some of the neighborhood parents and get their kids on and off the bus to make a little extra money. I also watch one little girl twice a week.
Plus, I have all my house chores. Which since my husband is being so sweet to let me chase my dreams, I do make those a priority, so he doesn’t have to stress about a messy house after a stressful day at work.
BUT I now have technically all the time I need to work on my blog!
So how can I turn my clear hobby blog into a business? And how can you? With these 4 Super Simple Steps!
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Make it more of a priority. Make time for your blog.
If you want to turn your hobby blog into a business, then you need to treat it like a business. Like it is your job (because it is).
You may not need to work on it 8 hours a day like a real job and thank goodness for that! But you do need to make progress on it daily!
Here is a post I wrote on how to easily find time to blog!
And here is a post on how to stay focused and create more content.
This post walks you through how to not waste time on your blog but actually make progress on your blog (aka writing blog posts not just post on social media).
I love to learn so I could spend all day every day watching videos on how to blog but then when it comes down to actually putting those steps into action I seem to always struggle to finish.
I have shiny objective syndrome or bunny hole syndrome. Maybe it’s a fear of rejection. “What if someone doesn’t like it? I know! I just won’t put it out there and then no one can hate it!” But that’s obviously a bad idea.
So, whether you want to or not, whether you feel like it or not. Make it a priority that you work on it every day. If it is only 30 minutes a day then that’s fine! At least you are working on it!
The more you put into it the more you will get out!
Maybe you aren’t like me and you don’t struggle with that part. Maybe you have a successful blog, but it just doesn’t make any money yet.
So, you want to turn your successful hobby blog into a successful business blog. Well, I can still help!
See I am knowledgeable about this all (remember I love to learn and take courses on all this) so I can help walk you through what you need to do to monetize your blog.
I think that’s the frustrating part for me. I know all this stuff I just need to do it! (me kicking myself)
That is why I am drawing a line in the sand and I am saying no more. From now on I am going to treat it like a business!
I am going to work on writing blog posts and helping my readers reach their goals!
Get out of your comfort zone
I think that’s a major part of this too. We are still in our comfort zones and we like it that way.
But staying in our comfort zones isn’t going to get us very far though is it?
We need to push ourselves and get out of our comfort zones!
For me, I don’t like making videos.
It is easy for me to think all these things to say but the second I push record my mind goes blank!
I know videos are an important part of blogging, so it is something I have to push past!
I have seen other very successful bloggers do not so great videos and it just shows that they are human just like all of us but for some reason, it is a major hurdle for me.
What are your weaknesses?
Do you struggle with…
- time management?
- content creation?
- Creating images?
- Promoting your posts?
- Creating videos?
Find your weakness and do that one first. Focus solely on your weakness and work on it. Or maybe you have the funds and are able to outsource your weakness.
If you struggle with balancing housework and your blog, then hire someone to help you clean your house.
I am not to that point yet, but I want to be!
2. SOLVE A PROBLEM
To turn your hobby blog into a business you need to be helpful for your readers. They are looking for an answer to their problem.
Help them find a solution to their problem.
Whether that be a course you created to solve it, an affiliate product that will solve it, or maybe you just provide the answer and that traffic to your blog brings in ad revenue.
Solving their problem will also create trust between you and your readers. They will come back for more. Knowing you helped them last time they will trust you can help them again.
Also, they are more likely to share your blog with their friends that have the same problem you solved.
There are several ways you can monetize your blog. If your blog is a hobby blog and you aren’t monetizing your blog yet, but you have consistent traffic then all you have to do is add the following to capitalize off of your traffic:
- Affiliate links
- Sponsored Posts
Ads or advertisements can be placed on your blog and the advertiser will pay you for it. You get paid based off of the amount of traffic that sees the ad and by how many people click on that ad.
For more information on ads on your blog, I suggest this eBook by Victoria Pruett called Make Money Blogging at any level.
She has successfully grown her blog about life on her homestead to making over $8,000 a month!
She has updated her income several times so I have noticed that it says a different number depending on where you look on her blog but the last email she sent me she told me $8,000 and that was months ago! So it is most likely more now.
A large portion of her income comes from ads! She goes into detail in her ebook.
Adding affiliate links are links that take your reader to a product by someone else and if they purchase that product you receive compensation for that sale.
So, for example, the eBook above that I mentioned is an affiliate link. I read that book and really found it helpful, so I signed up for Victoria’s affiliate program.
Now if anyone clicks on that link and purchases her eBook through my link, she will pay me for that sale.
I have heard of other affiliate programs that pay out differently and not only on purchases but that is definitely the main way to earn an affiliate commission.
Amazon is a great affiliate example. They were able to grow so big off of affiliate sales. Bloggers put links on their blogs to products off of Amazon and when a reader clicks on that link and makes a purchase then that blogger gets a cut of that sale.
Here is a great resource to learn some awesome tips for making money with Amazon! I had the pleasure of being a test reader for Dale for this ebook and I am so glad I had that opportunity! It seriously is packed with awesome tips and tricks to making the most of Amazon’s affiliate program.
She has some amazing insight and it is definitely worth the small investment for all of the time you will save and shortcuts she gives you to get right into making money with affiliate marketing.
I thought I knew it all and I have even purchased and taken Michelle Gardner’s Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing which is also a great course but it does come with a price tag.
Although since Michelle makes over $100,000 PER MONTH on her blog she does know what she is talking about!
But even after reading everything I have read over the years and taking many courses (course junkie remember) Dale’s ebook Amazon Affiliate Affluence was packed with new and helpful information!
A sponsored blog post is when you receive payment for posting a blog post on your blog. Either you or the sponsor can write the post that you will then put on your blog. I personally haven’t dabbled much in the sponsored posts area so I suggest checking out McKinzie’s post on How to Make Money Blogging with Sponsored Posts.
Adding your own products to your blog is another way to earn money off of your blog.
If your blog is all about baking cakes, then you could create a course or write an eBook that combines all your knowledge into one convenient place. People will pay to get the quickest answer.
Just like the affiliate ebooks I previously mentioned. I would rather pay $20-$50 bucks and get the answers right now that I know will work than search through all of their blog posts trying to piece it together myself.
Your readers could read all of your blog posts and try and put the pieces of the puzzles together on their own but if you offered an easy and convenient course or eBook that will walk them directly through it, most people would just pay the $10-$100 to get the answer now.
It depends on how in-depth you make your course or eBook as to the price you want to sell it for.
I have seen courses go for hundreds of dollars. If it is your first one, then I would suggest to not make it too big and not have it cost too much.
Just to test out your audience and see how they respond. You could even ask them what they think about some different course ideas and also how much they would be willing to pay for it.
Get some feedback and maybe offer them a discount or a free copy for their feedback!
Once you have gotten your feet wet with adding one or all of those options then you can focus on using your email list to your advantage and selling to them.
You can make sales sequences for them to go through to warm them up before trying to sell to them.
You can also create a sales funnel for them to go to. Those are all things you can focus on later once you have gotten the first step done.
Focus on adding ads, affiliate links, sponsored posts and/or products to your blog and start treating it like a job and before you know it, it will be a business bringing in an income for you!
Here is what will set your blog apart from Hobby Blog to Business Blog. Just like I have said before you have to make it a priority. Part of that is staying consistent.
It is important to not only stay consistent to show Google that you are a serious blogger but it is good for you to stay in a routine with your blog.
If you take a long break in between working on your blog you will come back to it and be completely lost where you left off. You will end up spending all of your time catching back up on where you left off.
Then if you go another long break again you are once more in the same boat of trying to remember what you were going to do next.
Stay consistent. Make a schedule and stick to it! This will improve your productivity and efficiency.
Those are the 4 super simple ways to turn your hobby blog into a business blog!
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