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How to Create a Blog – 9 Steps to Success

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Blogging this… Blogging that… everyone is talking about blogging and there is good reason for it — it works!

Before we jump into the 9 step process of how to successfully create a blog that you can actually turn into a legitimate business or even just a side-hobby that generates income on the side, I want you to first forget about everything you’ve even heard about blogging. Scratch that… forget about everything you’ve also learned about blogging as well.

Right now you need to think with a clean slate and apply these lessons as we cover them. Blogging isn’t just about writing about what your passionate about and having your own little space on the internet. No, it’s about WordPress being your content management solution (CMS). Every web site needs content and WordPress is simply the best way to create, manage and grow your content over time.

So forget about what you’ve heard about “blogging” or what you might even think it is. The key takeaway here is that blogging and WordPress are one in the same and that’s what this “How to Create a Blog – 9 Steps to Success” guide is all about.

How to Create a Blog with Purpose

There are over 300 million blogs in the world today and that means you are going to need to stand out from the crowd and have a purpose if you plan to compete. This is where most bloggers go wrong. Instead of planning ahead before they even start, they simply register a domain name, setup hosting and start creating content… only to find themselves right back where they started six months down the road.

So why do some blogs succeed? Simple… they serve a purpose!

For instance… why are you still reading this blog?

Most people only have an attention span of 3-6 seconds. If you are still ready thing, then you are clearly interested in how to start a blog of your own and maybe even make some money from it in the process.

Enough chit-chat… the rest of what we are going to cover is all about building the foundation for your blog, creating content that provides value and not wasting your time with creating another blog on the internet that serves little to no purpose.

9 Steps to Creating a Successful Blog

Starting a blog is not as simple as “starting a blog”. If you want to create a blog of any real value, you are going to need to treat it like a legitimate business — which means you are going to have plan out your success, what methods you are going to focus on, who your audience is and how you will monetize your content and traffic.

To make this process easier and more seamless, I’ve put together this 9 point checklist to get you on the right path for blogging success.

Researching a Topic

Ideas are a dime a dozen. Everyone has one, but only a select few will actually take their idea and put it into action.

The topic and focus of your blog is everything. It’s why you wanted to start a blog in the first place, it’s why people are going to find your site and it’s likely something you will be working on for the next 12-24 months.

With all of that said, you need to spend a serious amount of time one choose your niche before actually going live with your site — especially if you are creating a blog to make money.

To kick things off, let’s first get a few questions out of of the way to set you off in the right direction.

– Are you blogging for fun, business or passion?
– Do you plan on making money with your site?
– How often will you blog and do you have enough to write about?

These three simple questions play a huge impact on the direction of your site, before you even choose a niche.

Now I have few more questions for anyone who said they are interesting in starting a blog for profit?

– What type of content can I create around my possible niche topic that people would pay for?
– Who are the top sites and resources already within this industry?
– How can I create a better resource, experience and purpose to my audience?
– What are the best methods of monetization that go with my site?
– Who is currently advertising in Google in this niche market?

All of these questions are important for you to answer right now, because the last thing you want to do is invest your time and money into a project that has no legs, or even worse… feels like another job!

Niching Down

After finding a topic for your blog, now it’s time to niche that topic down so you can focus on the exact type of content your audience is looking for. At the same time this may allow you to potentially become the authority in that space — which is what many of us are aiming for.

The reason why it’s so important to find a clear and cut niche focus for your site, is that you want your content and audience to be exact. Give your audience what they are looking for, and they will love your content. At the same time it will allow you to focus on premium content instead of trying to push out junk articles everyday for the same of putting something new out.

So what do we mean when we say “niche down”? Simply taking your existing niche and getting a clear and narrow focus.

You want to become the authority within your space, so it’s important not to select a niche or topic that is too generic or wide range.

Niching Down Example:

A perfect example of choosing a niche and breaking it down level by level would be “Basketball” to “Jump Training”. Basketball is extremely generic and when most people are searching for basketball online, they are only looking for scores, news and highlights. This is the exact reason why you see advertisements all over ESPN.com, and not them trying to sell tickets, products or services. With that being said… you much “niche down”.

As you can see in the illustration below, we go from Basketball to Basketball Skills to Basketball Jump Training. “Basketball Skills” was more niche specific, but it was still too wide range. For anyone who is looking for “jump training” online, it’s pretty safe to say they want to learn how to jump higher.

Niching-Down-Your-Topic

With “Jump Training” as your niche and blog focus, you can then cover all aspects of jump training, such as how to jump higher videos, exercises to jump higher, reviews of jump training shoes and much more. The end result if all of your content being based around “jump training” — which is exactly what your audience is going to be looking for.

Creating an Editorial Calendar

As we continue to mention the importance of your niche and content, it’s also important to plan ahead and make sure you will actually have enough content to write about as well.

The best blogs in the world have a great supply of new content going live everyday. While this isn’t completely necessary, it is important to have an idea of where your blog might be 6, 9, 12 months from now.

With that being said, the last thing you want to do is select a niche and start a blog, only to find yourself without anything to write about after a few weeks.

This is where an editorial calendar can come into play.

You editorial calendar can be a list that you jot down on a piece of paper or even a built in WordPress plugin that can help you organize and plan out your blog content for the coming weeks. No matter what method you choose, knowing where you are headed is the best way to plan for success.

Besides any content topics and ideas that you might already have off the top of your head, you can also do a simple Google Search for your blog topic as well. Scroll to the bottom of the search results and you’ll see a “Searches related to…” which shows even more ideas and relevant searches based on your niche.

Searches-Relating-to-Basketball-Jump-Training

From this simple, yet effective data from Google, we can come up with a few more content ideas:

– Best Jump Training Equipment
– Reviews on Different Jump Training Manual
– 
How to Use Resistance Bands to Jump Higher

Just based off Google Related Searches we could easily come up with many different post ideas. You can also click on each of the recommended searches and go in different directions to get more ideas.

Choosing a Domain Name & Web Host

Once you get through the frustrations of choosing your niche, breaking it down and then seeing if you have enough to content to scale out your blog, then it’s time to get ready for the fun stuff! — which is securing your own domain name and web hosting!

In most cases, a domain name will cost around $10-$20 per year (depending where you register it). Web hosting will run anywhere from a few dollars to $30+ a month as well. If you are starting your first site, there is no need to go crazy with hosting, so I have laid out the best options for you below.

Picking the Best Domain Name

When choosing a domain name for your blog, be sure to follow these key points:

– Always choose a .com, .net or .org domain TLD
– Stay away from numbers and dashes
– Pick something relating to the niche of your site
– Don’t get creative with words (skate vs. sk8 / 4 vs. for)
– Use generic words and not trademarks or brand names
– Make it easy for people to remember and spell

By following these guidelines, you will make it much easier for people to remember your name and find your site online

Setting Up Your Web Hosting

Thinking up a good domain name for your site might actually take you more time than anything else. When it comes time to setup your web hosting and blog, it’s actually quite easy.

I’ve been hosting a bunch of my sites with HostGator for many years now. It’s extremely easy to setup and as a ZacJohnson.com reader, you will also receive 30% off your first month of web hosting. In addition to hosting various sites of mine, HostGator powers of 10 million different sites on the internet.

Web_Hosting_with_HostGator

To get started, simply click on the image above and it will send you to the HostGator site. Once you are there, click “Start Your Site Now” and go with the “Baby Package” and your site will be live in just a few minutes.

Installing WordPress

As mentioned earlier, WordPress is the CMS (content management system) of choice for nearly all blogs on the internet. Another great advantage to using HostGator for web hosting, is that they offer a one-click installation process for all of their users.

Wordpress-Installation-300x75

You can also view a complete walkthrough of the wordpress installation process here.

Once Wordpres is installed, you can start creating content for your site, while also customizing how it looks by using WordPress Themes and Plugins.

Choosing-a-Wordpress-Theme

BONUS: For all new bloggers who sign up through the HostGator link above, I’d love to set you up with a premium theme for your site at no extra cost. This will make your site instantly stand out from the crowd and give it a professional look and feel, without the high costs of paying a designer. This is a $67 value in itself. To get started, sign up for hosting then click here to send me a direct message.

Creating Quality Content

With the pre-planning and technical details out of the way, you can now focus on your content creation.

The success of your blog will be solely reliant on the quality of the content you put out. In short, you need to provide value to the end user and give them exactly what they want (usually based off the search terms you are going after and what they searched for when hitting your site).

Going back to our original concept of creating a site that focused on “jump training”, the content is simple — give people the best details and information on how to jump higher. It’s not just about providing them with the right information, but also how you deliver it as well.

Look at the top ranking sites for search terms you are trying to rank for. If they are only using text, then you should be using text and video. Create even more value by adding video or even designing your own infographics.

Creating content will only get you so far. You will also need to build backlinks and get people to share your content.

In reference to creating great content, here are some tips you should always follow:

– Longer content is usually better. Stick with a minimum of 800-1200 words per article
– Include high quality images to break up content and bring content to life
– Use proper formatting, such as H1, H2 tags, descriptions and shortcodes
– Always include a “call to action” at the end of each post

Follow these key points to not only see much faster results for ranking in the search results, but also for seeing user interaction as well.

As mentioned, getting backlinks to your site is also key. Depending on your niche, guest blogging is still one of the best ways to do this. It’s cost effective, provides real value and also builds your personal brand and authority in the process. It’s still one of my most used marketing and backlink building tactics I use today.

Social Network Coverage

Blogging and WordPress isn’t just great for content creation, it’s also great for interaction and engagement as well.

Not only can people leave comments on your blog and provide you with valuable feedback, they can also share your content with their social followers as well.

The largest blogs in the world today are all using social media to dramatically increase the number of people that are accessing their sites. No longer do you have to wait for the search engines to find and rank your content… there are over 2 billion users across the top social networks just waiting to share your content.

WordPress has thousands of free plugins that you can use for pretty much anything — social sharing being one of them.

When you make it easy for people to share your content, you will see more engagement and social activity.

The floating social bar plugin is a perfect example of how you can add social sharing buttons to the top and bottom of your content posts and increase social sharing instantly. All a user needs to do is click one of these buttons, and your content will then be shared with all of their friends or followers.

Floating-Social-Bar-Plugin

In addition to setting up social sharing buttons on your site, you should also create new social profiles for your site on Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook. This will allow you to build up a loyal following for your blog, while also ranking for your blog name multiple times on the first page of the search results.

Setting Up a Mailing List

The content of site your is extremely important and crucial to the longterm success of your site, however… most people that come to your site are never going to come back.

In fact, 70% of the people that visit your site for the first time will never return. It’s nothing personal or even based on your content… it’s simply a numbers game and that there is just way too many distractions, sites and content out there to choose from.

So how can you keep a much higher percentage of people coming back to your site time and time again? The answer is through a mailing list!

Just like how we setup a domain name and hosting for your blog, we can easily do the same thing with a mailing list.

I’ve been using Aweber as my personal mailing list service for many years now and currently have tens of thousands of emails on my lists with them. If you would like to try them out, it’s only $1 for your first month and you can start adding mailing list subscribe forms to your site in just a few minutes.

Aweber-Mailing-Solutions-1024x403

After setting up your account, you can walk through the Wizard setup and create your own mailing list form. You can also use Aweber to build your mailing list through powerful popup plugins like OptinMonster.

To see how other top bloggers are giving away free ebooks and resource guides to increase their mailing lists, be sure to check out my mailing list secrets revealed article.

Product & Service Creation

Probably the most exciting of all, is learning how to monetize your site and audience as your blog continues to grow. There are many different ways to monetize a blog, such as on site advertising, affiliate marketing and even creating your own products or online courses.

Over the past 20 years, I’ve had a lot of experience with online advertising and figuring out the best monetization methods for my exact audience. Here are some of my recommendation monetization methods:

– Google Adsense – Google Adsense is simply the easiest way to make money with a web site or blog. Google makes billions of dollars every year by selling advertising space within the search results (on a keyword and pay per click basis). Google Adsense is based off this same concept, except all advertising is done on your site. To get started, all you need to do is apply for Google Adsense, place a line of code on your site and then Google does the rest! (ad serving, tracking and sending out payments)

– Direct Ad Placements – Google Adsense is great for new site owners that aren’t sure how to sell their own ad space, or for bloggers that simply don’t want to deal with selling ad space. One of the best ways to increase your sites’ revenue is through the use of direct ad placements, which means you can sell banner advertising on a flat monthly basis instead of on a per click basis. With direct ad placements you also earn 100% of the revenue instead of a small percentage.

– Affiliate Marketing – Affiliate marketing has always been one of my favorite ways to generate money online. In short, you will earn a commission by referring users or customers to other web sites when they take an action. For instance, if you mentioned a product on your site and linked with Amazon.com with your affiliate link, you would earn a commission on anyone who went to Amazon as a result of the link on your site and made a purchase. Affiliate marketing is great because there are 1,000s of affiliate programs to choose from and you never have to hold any inventory, deal with customers of process any orders.

– Product Creation – Many people start a blog and end up with a powerful resource that helps thousands of people throughout the course of the year. As more people find this content, their site becomes a well trusted resource for information. Instead of just relying on affiliate programs or Google Adsense to make money, the site can create a product of it’s own and earn a much higher percentage (if not all) per sale.

– Services – Much like product creation, creating your own services is another big step for any successful blogger or brand. Since many bloggers become experts at their blog topic and authorities within their niche, it’s common to see consulting and other services being offered.

No matter what monetization methods you decide to use, always be sure to put their visitor experience and value first. In many cases, it’s best to first focus on gaining a loyal audience and following before implementing any monetization methods on your site. However, every blog should grow their mailing list from day one!

Ready to Start a Profitable Blog Right Now? Let Us Help!

An insane 3,500+ words later and we’ve finally made it to the end of the post — there is simply no better time to start a blog!

It was a lot of content, but it was actually necessary to give every would-be blogger, entrepreneur and site owner a thorough look at the detailed process of creating a blog that will stand the test of time and potentially turn into a full time business.

Unfortunately many of you are going to ready this article and say “Wow, that was great information and told me everything I needed to know!” — only to still sit on the sidelines and not take immediate action! 🙁

As mentioned earlier, I want to make this as easy for you as possible. If you would like to get started with your own WordPress powered blog today, all you need to do is sign up through our HostGator link, and we’ll do the rest!

After your account is setup, simply send us an email and we’ll quickly follow up with you to see which premium WordPress theme would be a great fit for your site, and we’ll also setup the best WordPress plugins for you as well.

Web_Hosting_with_HostGator

How to Make Money Blogging [Infographic]

In addition to the insanely detailed guide provided above, I also wanted to give you a visual summary, which can be seen in the “How to Make Money Blogging: From Start to Business…” infographic below — courtesy of Blogging.org.

How to Make Money Blogging Infographic

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Blogging

Blog Post Ideas: How to Turn Your Ideas into Engaging Blog Posts?

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Blogging and creating content on the internet is all about ideas and getting creative with what you have to offer. However, what most bloggers and content marketers don’t realize is that you aren’t supposed to come up with new and innovative ideas for content or making money online, but instead, new and innovative ways to portray that message.

This is something I often cover in detail in many of my articles and online courses. The concept of making money online and getting the attention is no different than any other business in the world today. At the end of the day, people are using the internet for three different reasons.

  1. To find information
  2. To be entertained
  3. To buy something

Instead of trying to come up with that completely new and original million dollar idea, just spend the necessary time and focus on a legitimate business model and demand from your audience, while also catering to their needs in the process. Once you have all of this in place, you can then start refocusing your efforts on how to create better and more creative content based on these needs.

To help with this process, today we are going to share some valuable insights that will help you turn your idea in a series of blog posts, while also highlighting a few examples of what’s currently working for other bloggers, brands, and content creators.

How to Know Your Idea is Suitable for a Series?

Being a writer, you have no shortage of ideas. But when it comes to establishing your own niche, there are various things you should consider before penning down your series. This includes everything from your basic knowledge on a specific topic, how far out you would like to schedule your content, and also the monetization and optimization of your content. It would also be a huge benefit if you understand SEO and know how to look up the necessary keywords to see how much of a demand there currently is for your proposed topic.

Below you will find some of the important points that suggest your idea has the potential of a great blog series.

– Different People with the Same Issue: For instance, a physician who blogs about obesity and its health hazards can create a series of articles consisting of several diet and workout tips or plans to help people lose weight. These posts can encourage readers to adopt a healthier lifestyle.

– Come up with a List: If you write for your living, then you have a sense for how to delve deep into your ideas and develop them for an audience.

– Overflow: When you start writing, you a flow but soon you find the post turns out to be something that is focused on more than one topic, like a collection of relative ideas.

– Your Audience Wants More: This is a clear giveaway! You have received several queries related to your posts, and your readers want you to explore a specific topic, expanding your grasp and library.

– A Theory: If you want to teach your readers about something deep and complex by exploring a theory or idea, then creating a series of blog posts will be a great idea.

Hubspot also pointed out “According to our own analysis at HubSpot, headlines between 8–12 words in length got the most Twitter shares on average. As for Facebook, headlines with either 12 or 14 words received the most Likes.“. This is something every blogger and content creator should focus on before and after completing their articles. Not only will the overall content length of your article be important, but so will the headline and words you choose for your article title as well.

Creating Your Own Series

It’s not enough to simply create content for your site, you also need to make sure it stands out from the crowd and has it’s own style as well. The more time and effort you put into your site content and the user experience, the better ROI and longterm growth you will likely see. With all of this in mind, let’s take a look at a few valuable tips that will help you establish a well high engaging series of blog posts that will win you a loyal audience.

An Introduction

You need to an introduction to your series. This can be a dedicated blog post or a paragraph. Make sure you convey your message with it. This is something ConvertKit does extremely well. Not only are they one of the top email marketing and delivery platforms on the internet today, they also know how to create valuable content for their audience. In the example below, you can see how to create a killer introduction for one of their content marketing series. By starting out your article strong, with the necessary text, call to actions, and resources, you can immediately impact the user engagement factor from the start.

Review Your Work

Proofread your post, and search for natural breaking points. Look for areas where you stopped talking about one point and started talking about another. If you aren’t interested in proofreading yourself or would like to hire someone with a better English history, this can easily be done through freelance sites like Fiverr or FreelanceMyWay.

The Format

You need to come up with a format for each post. Try a formal layout but be quick and stay to your point. In case you are going to a traditional format, then compose your introduction and conclusion.

Make it Easy to Digest

Keep things simple, and write short paragraphs. Divide your content between sub-headings to help the reader navigate. Make your content digestible for the audience. To see an example of how to effectively do this in a ‘review style’ article, be sure to check out how the content is laid out on Frank’s review site and start implementing these same methods to improve your own engagement rate.

Be Independent

Write as people read every piece as a standalone post. Consider they won’t read related posts or may read them in a different way than you intended. So make sure every point makes sense on its own.

Interlink Your Content

Help people navigate through your content by putting links to your previous posts. You can also list them at the bottom of newer posts. Let your audience know what ideas you have already discussed.

How to Create the Best Content Possible, from Your Best Ideas

As you can see, there are plenty of factors to consider when creating content for your site or training series. The most important thing to remember is that your title is going to get the most attention, and article length is going to play a big role in the SEO process. At the same time, quality is always going to be important.

Once you’ve laid out all of your content and made sure you have some great titles with call to actions and trigger keywords, it’s then time to make sure your content is format in the best way possible. Separate your text with visuals, resources, reference links and anything else that might be of value to your audience.

Last but not least, ALWAYS put in the necessary time and research to effectively promote your content. There are more than a billion active sites online today — which means you are going to need to promote the heck out of your content in order to compete.

Follow all of these steps and you should have no problem finding success with your latest blog post ideas and content series.

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7 Writing and Marketing Skills to Improve Your Guest Blogging Efforts

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If you are a guest blogger or if you have guest bloggers create posts for your sites, you will want to read this post. It’s important to know how to improve the quality of your posts and maximize the impact you have on your target audience. This is true even if you are posting on other sites.

When you write a guest post for another site, the site or blog owner trusts you to represent their blog in a positive way that will improve their traffic and ROI. Remember guest blogging helps you, too because it serves as a backlink to your site. So you should treat the content that you write for others’ sites just as you would your content for your site.

How can you improve the quality of your blog posts and guest blogging efforts?

Check out these seven tips for writers and marketers that will help you to take your guest blogging to the next level.

1. SEO Content Writing

SEO content writing involves the skillful use of keywords as well as using backlinks and other techniques to increase targeted traffic. SEO is to search engines as excellent quality is to reader engagement. In other words, search engine optimization is the basic sauce you need as a writer or marketer to get your message in front of the people who will be interested in what you have to say.

In addition to having a solid understanding of SEO and writing content that ranks in Google, it should also be a required skill to have a solid foundation of social media as well. As effective and valuable as SEO and organic search traffic is, social media is still one of the most active areas of traffic today. With this in mind, impress your clients and sites that you contribute content to by staying up to date on the latest social media trends, while also growing out your own profiles and social followings in the process. And of course, always be sure to share your guest posts as often on social media and be sure to tag the site you are promoting as well.

2. High-Quality Content

Google still states that producing high-quality content is the most important factor in rankings within their search engine. You do need to include some SEO for natural results. But focusing on your content guarantees that you will rank and that people will stay on your page longer. The goal of effective online marketing and guest blogging is to increase the traffic of the site you are writing for, as well as to keep people on the blog once they get there.

Writing exciting and engaging content includes some various factors including connecting with the audience on a personal level, addressing their problem and offering solutions, and creating value for the reader. This is all a part of creating high-quality content. With practice, you can learn to hit on all of these critical aspects in your guest posts so you will get the results you need.

This is something we are seeing across many freelance writing platforms that not only specialize in creating content for websites, blogs, and brands but also in specialized writing services as well. Once such example is in the assignment writing service industry, where students, professionals, and business experts are looking to outsource their time and expertise from others who can simply put their thoughts and work into written publications. No matter the reasoning behind the content — whether for business or guest blogging efforts, the ‘high quality’ component is a must.

3. Creating Value

Creating value for your posts is perhaps the most important part of blogging. This is because you need to create the kind of content that will make people want to return for more once they read your content. To do this, try to create a personal connection to readers. Study previous posts of the blog on which you are writing and learn what their audience wants. You can do this by viewing comments that were left by readers on former posts or ask the blog owner to tell you more about their audience.

When looking at yourself as a freelance writer or even as simply a guest blogger, you need to be looking at the big picture. The act of creating quality content, value, and getting exposure on big media sites is actually an exclusive service and expertise in itself. At the same time, it’s actually become one of the best ways to turn a side hustle into a real business. If you understand the value and demand of an audience, while still providing a service, there is no reason you couldn’t flip that skill and dedication into a full-service content marketing and brand business.

Knowing the audience, you are writing for is important because you need to know who you are writing for. You are not just writing for the site or blog owner; you are writing for their audience. Recognizing this fact and understanding who you are talking to will go a long way toward improving your posts on other people’s sites.

4. Solve a problem.

The “problem/solution” method in advertising is still as effective as it always has been. Even though the methods and technologies have changed, the technique of showing how your post can help people solve a problem is very effective in creating high-quality posts, whether it is for your site or someone else’s site.

To utilize this technique, only describe a problem that reader might be having such as finding the right car dealership, and then present a list of tips that may help them to locate the best dealer for their needs. This method does not require using sales-based language. In fact, this is discouraged because people come to the blog to learn information rather than to be presented with a sales pitch.

5. Entertain and Inform: Create Shareable Content

If you can develop a skill to entertain your readers, you will be on the right path to providing high-quality, valuable content to your audience, whether you are writing for your blog or someone else’s. Some of the factors in creating compelling copy include the following:

  • Discussing trending or popular topics
  • Creating humorous posts
  • Using emotive techniques that appeal to emotions
  • Posing a question for readers to comment on

All of these techniques will help you to make your posts more entertaining. Informational text can be entertaining at the same time by merely including exciting facts that correlate to the information that you are presenting in the post. People mainly read a blog post to get the information they want about a specific topic. They probably already go to the blog regularly to read the latest post on the site you are posting on. So, when you are presenting a guest post, all you have to do is to continue the high-quality informational posts that the site owner already provides while making it entertaining by citing side references or through creative wording or other techniques.

In addition to this, you should be good at posting and maintaining social media posts and reactions. If you can master this skill, along with strong writing skills, you may be able to offer bloggers more for their money than just excellent writing.

6. Define yourself as a “go-to” source for certain kinds of information.

Another way to look at this is by thinking of yourself as an influencer. If you are an expert on a particular topic, you can create a name for yourself while also adding value and credibility to the site on which you are writing. Influencers can make a big impact on their industries by presenting helpful information for others in their industries. Big names like Neil Patel, Seth Godin, and many others all started by creating their content. But they also often serve as a guest poster on other sites to share their knowledge and skills with other audiences.

7. Creating Writing Portfolios

This tip may seem simple, but it is a good one if you want to guest blog regularly. Most online publishers (including site owners), want to see what you can do with your posts. They are primarily looking for aspects of your blogging that will help them promote their brand or purpose. You may not know who looks at your portfolios every time, but it’s a good idea to have a variety of posts that you have done that blog owners can look through.

By presenting your work in this fashion, you may be able to capture the attention of potential bloggers who are looking for a certain style or writing. You could also post a short resume or cover letter that explains what you can do for bloggers that will help promote their brand.

Guest Blogging Still Works… Just Make Sure to Use These Tips!

This is not a comprehensive list of skills that you need to be the perfect guest blogger, but they should help you to get started when going after blogs to write for. Remember to check to see what their policies are regarding pay vs. shareability. Many blog owners don’t have the budget to pay other bloggers. They may, instead, share your link with their readers in exchange for the post or other perks.

The main thing is to read, read, and re-read the blog you want to write for. Once you have an idea of their audience’s likes, dislikes, and pain points, you’ll be able to provide consistent or intermittent content that will resonate with their target audience. This means they may ask you to do it again, which will be beneficial to your sites, as well.

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11 Expert Tips on How to Successfully Grow and Scale Your Business

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Business growth is always exciting. Seeing your revenue, client base, workforce and market share expand is proof that your hard work and tireless efforts are paying off. Best of all, this is something that you can control, as long as you are putting in the necessary time, work, and effort.

While you may be eager to move your startup onward and upward, you shouldn’t forget about the potential negative impacts of scaling up. Expanding too quickly can mean biting off more than you can chew, and it’s easy for a business to collapse on itself if it cannot handle rapid growth.

Here’s what you need to keep in mind as you scale up if you want to avoid toppling your business, according to 11 members of Young Entrepreneur Council.

1. Do What You’re Best at and Outsource the Rest

As you scale your business, your highest priority is to identify what you do best in the company and then find someone who is even better than you to do that task. This will free up your time to focus on growing your company and not just working for it. For example, my strength is ranking websites so I hired someone I trust to implement my system and it’s saving me 80 hours per month.

Bryan Kesler, CPA Exam Guide

2. Invest in Talent Management Early

Too many startups hire for the present when they should be hiring people with the skills for 18 months into the future. Design roles for capable people to grow into. While a jack-of-all-trades talent seems valuable at the earliest stages, hiring experienced functional leaders is important during a startup’s growth phase. Lastly, turnover is inevitable so be prepared for this necessary reality.

Eddie Lou, Shiftgig

3. Implement Top-Notch Project Management Systems

As you scale and hire people, there will be more to manage and more minutiae will be created to account for the increase in projects and personnel. Having a project management system that can account for tracking projects at the macro level, as well as the minutiae of each project, is essential as you grow. Find a project management solution that is flexible, customizable and scalable.

Marcela De Vivo, Mulligan Funding

4. Make Sure Your Technology Can Grow With You

Make sure that your technology has the capability to scale with your business. For example, many e-commerce businesses find themselves needing to migrate from their current platform to a more robust solution in order to handle higher user and order volume. This is a complex process that can stunt a company’s current growth rate. To avoid this, select a platform built for scalability.

Duran Inci, Optimum7

5. Constantly Monitor Cash Flow

As you grow your business, you will be acquiring new obligations and spending more money. Make sure to constantly monitor your cash flow and P&L. New expenses are not directly proportional to the contracts you are getting. Contracts have different arrangements and payment schedules. I have seen a lot of companies grow really fast and end up failing for this reason.

Felipe Cornejo, Devsu LLC

6. Invest in Continuous Education

When I first launched AFS, we were a small company with an idea. As we expanded to a national player, we maintained the way we did things as a small company, and we didn’t adapt well. Once we instituted a continuous training and education program, we built teams that could adapt to growth and I found myself better equipped for the new challenges we faced as a larger organization.

Rahim Charania, American Fueling Systems

7. Build Your Internal Processes to Handle Scaling

Scaling a business is not necessarily about getting more sales or hiring more employees. If your internal processes aren’t built to handle more business, then you could be wasting money overstaffing due to repetitive tasks that can bottleneck the workflow — an error that could cost you in potential sales and revenue.

Codie Sanchez, Www.CodieSanchez.com

8. Have An Exit Strategy

When times are good, it can be deliriously satisfying to expand your business exponentially. However, it’s important to have a plan for when the money stops flowing in. Markets are unpredictable and can turn sour at any time. A bit of foresight and careful planning can ensure that your business survives a recession.

Bryce Welker, CPA Exam Guy

9. Improve Your Customer Service

Too many complaints can bring your business to a crashing halt. You can’t stop every complaint, but you can reduce them greatly by beefing up your customer service. Train staff to resolve complaints. Stay engaged on your social media pages where customers love to take out their frustrations. Reply and make them feel like they are a priority. Just replying can make a huge difference to customers.

Blair Thomas, eMerchantBroker

10. Prioritize Employee Career Development

To sustain high growth, a company needs to retain and attract the right people. One necessary tactic to employee retention and attraction is designing career growth within a company. Employees need to see themselves progressing as fast as your company — and there needs to be buy-in from both employer and employee on what that career development looks like so you can both grow together.

Brett Farmiloe, Markitors Website Development

11. Take a Slow and Steady Approach to Growth

It can be easy to get caught up in growing quickly, but I’ve seen a ton of businesses do that and then have to downsize immediately. It puts people out and isn’t a great way to build a solid reputation for your company. It’s important to take a step back, move slowly and really think about the next steps you’re taking to grow your business so you don’t get ahead of yourself.

John Hall, Influence & Co.

Grow Your Business, By Growing Your Personal Brand

Of the many different ways to grow your online business and brand, don’t forget about the importance of growing your personal brand in the process. This is especially true if you are the face of the brand. Through the power of social media, it’s extremely easy and effective to not only reach new audiences but to also rank higher in Google for personal names and brand names in the process. Be sure to try out this method, along with each of the recommended tips above for growing your brand or online business in 2018.

If you enjoyed this expert roundup, I recommend you also take a look at our previous ones on expert SEO tips and best tips for making money online.

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Hi, I’m Zac Johnson

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