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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.

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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.

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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

Expert Roundup Posts: 20 Examples in Different Niche Markets

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Expert roundups are getting a lot of attention lately. If you haven’t participated in one, I’m sure you’ve at least seen them being passed around through social media or even found on your favorite site. The main reason why expert roundups are such a hot content creation method these days is that not only are you creating new content and value for your audience, your site is also getting a ton of social media shares, expert exposure, and authority in the process.

This is also one of the main reasons why I decided to launch my Rise of the Entrepreneur podcast, with the focus on interviewing experts within our industry.

Here’s a typical 5-step formula for how to create and find success with an expert roundup.

  1. Choose a hot topic or question relevant to your niche
  2. Email/outreach experts the question within your space
  3. Once you get enough answers, publish them all to your site
  4. Send outreach again to your experts and ask them to share your post
  5. Repeat the process and continue to promote previous roundups on your site

The formula works extremely well and it one of the best ways to get expert names within your niche on your site. Since the experts who contribute content back to your site are getting free exposure and a link back to their site, it’s no problem for them to spend a few minutes answering your question and getting back to you.

If you are currently in need of an expert round-up for your own brand or blog, contact me and let’s make it happen! We’ll put together an action plan and outreach strategy that works best for your niche and target audience.

Examples of Expert Roundups in Different Markets

What’s even more exciting about this type of content creation, is that it works in really any niche market. Sports, business, entertainment, finance… they all have hot topics and talking points that can easily be covered.

Let’s take a look at several examples of different successful expert roundups in various industries today.

21 Branding Experts Love Using Infographics

The actual value in expert roundups is always a big question. Sure, you will likely get a lot of engagement, backlinks and social shares to your article, but how are you generating new business or money from it? In this infographic roundup, the question asked was how to use infographics within your outreach and marketing. This is perfect for the site, as they are an infographic design service. No matter what type of roundup you are creating, always try to have a monetization play in effect as well.

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80 Blogging Experts Share their Tips on How to Start a Blog

Expert round ups are all about creating content for your existing audience, while also helping you reach new audiences and further establish yourself as an authority. Below you will find a perfect example of this in motion, through my how to start a blog expert round up. As with most expert round ups, the concept was simple… as a bunch of site owners one question that they could provide a great answer for. The end result was over 80 different ways to find success with blogging — all from proven experts who already put their recommended tip into action.

blogging_tips_-_how_to_start_a_blog_expert_roundup

22 Nutrition Experts Want to Keep You Healthy

The health and weight loss space is flourishing with content that is read, shared and viewed millions of times daily. In short, there is a never ending need for creating new content in this space. An excellent way to accomplish this, while bringing a new feeling into this mix, is through expert roundups. In this nutrition expert roundup post, Nutrition Fox was able to share numerous tips with their audiences, while creating an effective new way to increase backlinks, views and social activity in the process.

22_Nutrition_Experts_Reveal_Top_3_Natural_Weight_Loss_Tips

75 Relationship Experts Share their Advice

When you think about expert roundups, you probably don’t think about some of the best niche markets and industries that they could be used in. This relationship roundup is a perfect example. What makes it even more exciting is that over 75 different experts were able to contribute to it!

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How 27 PR Experts Handle A Media Crisis

Something like reputation management and PR is huge for any existing personal brand, business or organization on the internet today. We all know that once something goes online, not only is it there forever… it also has the potential to go viral and cause problems quick! So what would some of the smartest minds in PR do to protect themselves? You will just have to check out this expert roundup to find out.

26_PR_experts_reveal_their_secrets_for_handling_a_media_crisis__-_Media_Minded_-_Expert_Media_Coaching_-_London_and_UK_Wide

12 Foodie Expert Share their #1 Tip for Health Eating

No matter what type of blogger or expert you might be, healthy eating is something everyone can relate with. While most bloggers are focusing on creating roundups that are extremely niche focused, bringing together a collection of food bloggers to contribute to a great generic topic like healthy eating is a perfect way to reach new audiences around the world. Wondering what these food bloggers recommend for cooking fast and easy healthy meals? You’ll just have to check out each of their answers in the foodie roundup.

12_Food_Bloggers_Share_Their__1_Tip_For_Cooking_a_Healthy_Meal_Fast_-_Toot_Sweet_4_Two

30 Expert Opinions on Why Men Cheat in Relationships

If you want to have one of the most read and well-respected relationship sites on the internet, you are going to need to have some expert advice for your audience as well. That is exactly what you will find at Marriage.com. Not only does their site have thousands of articles on relationship, love, and dating, they also have expert roundups as well. One of the more popular ones on the site focuses on why men cheat and highlights the opinion of thirty different relationships experts and their own unique reasoning.

Gardening Experts Trying to Save Your Garden

If you have a question about your home garden or even how to grow one… where do you go? For most people, it’s probably the local Home Dept or Lowes. Instead of trekking out to the store, why not search online and see what you can find. An excellent way to provide a useful resource to your audience while also answering commonly asked questions is through gardening roundups like the one featured below. Not only is this roundup niche specific, it’s also evergreen content — as it will be useful year after year whenever gardening is in season.

9_Vegetable_Gardening_Mistakes_Every_Beginner_Should_Avoid__An_Expert_Roundup___Ratingle_com

25 Experts Discuss the Future of SEO

In the world of online marketing and branding, expert roundups seem to take place on a daily basis. A few of the most common reasons for this is that so many people in our industry are willing to help each other out with information, while there also being a wide range of sites and resources always looking to create valuable content through such roundups. A perfect example of this can be seen at RankWatch, where they compiled answers from 25 different marketing experts to help us all better understand how to rank in Google and what the future of SEO might hold.

16 Cycling Bloggers Want You To Go Biking

When it comes to creating content for a niche focus blog, it’s all about knowing what your audience is looking for. For example… if you had a biking blog, how much could you possibly write about on biking? I’m sure there is plenty if you are in expert in this space. Another option is to simply interview other biking experts within your industry as well. Here’s a perfect example of a roundup in the cycling space.

16_Cycling_Bloggers_Tell_You_Why_You_Should_Start_To_Ride_Your_Bike_Now_-_GeraldRhodes_com

10 SEO Experts Want to Expand Your Site Reach

Yes, I’ve even featured a few expert roundups of my own on a few of my sites. Some people like to go with super long roundups and will try to get as many people as they can to contribute. On this one, I simply went with 10 and it worked out extremely well. All it took was a few minutes to send out emails to a few SEO experts, send them a question and then compile all of the answers into a nice looking roundup post.

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90 SEO Experts Discuss Effective Link Building

When being in a competitive niche industry like SEO or online marketing, associating big name experts with your site can be a huge deal. Tim Soulo did a great job with in this in his ahrefs roundup which featured 90 different SEO experts within the industry. Not only did this result in massive shares and branding for the site, it was also hitting their target audience as well — people wanting to do more with their SEO.

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Beauty Experts Discuss Personal Looks

If you search around Google long enough, you will probably find expert roundups on just about anything. I was able to come across this one on a lesser known beauty blog, but it was still enough to grab my attention. The goal of this site is to review hair straightening products. Through the use of this personal looks roundup, I’m sure they were about to creep their way higher in the search results and move passed a lot of their competition.

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48 Experts Share their Preferred eCommerce Platform

In the world of online marketing and business, it’s always important to choose the right hosting, advertising, and ecommerce platforms. With so many different solutions to choose from, what better way to get an idea of what’s working best, than through the use of asking experts what they are using. That is exactly what you will find in this ecommerce software round up. This round up was yet another one, completed by Minuca Elena.

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16 Experts Look into the Future of Virtual Reality

When you have access to a lot of experts (which is something we all have), sometimes you just need to get creative. Don’t feel that you need to always ask the same SEO or marketing questions. Some of the best roundups or conversations happen when you step away and get more personal. A great example of this is seen in the virtual reality roundup with experts in the mobile application space. Let’s check back on this post in a few years and see how many of them were on the right track!

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17 Marketing Experts Share Their Favorite Logo

When you see a logo design from the likes of McDonalds, Starbucks or Disney… how does it make you feel? Some of the most famous logo designs in the world today don’t even have names associated with them, yet people know who/what they are. Some people will a lot of money just to have a brand name logo on something, versus getting a generic version. Logos make people feel differently about brands around the world and this logo design expert roundup is a perfect example of why and how. Not only is this roundup focused on the thought process of different marketers and why logos make us think the way they do, it’s also a great promotion tactic for the site to push their logo design services.

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39 Companies Share their Key Methods for Retaining Talent

Running a business in the world on the internet today is hard enough. Keeping your best employees and staff is even harder. This is often referred to as ‘employee retention‘ and is something that every business will need to go through and something that some are betters with than others. In this expert round-up from TimeDoctor, we can learn from 39 different businesses and tech-companies on what they are doing to grow their business, while also keeping their best employees

50+ Internet Security Tips from the Experts

The more focused your expert roundup is to the core of your business, the more likely you are to find success. Internet security probably isn’t one of the most exciting topics to read or write about, but when you bring in a lot of expert opinions, it instantly becomes more interesting. This is also a great example of how to create content that helps with backlinking and social activity.

50__Internet_Security_Tips___Tricks_from_Top_Experts_-_Heimdal_Security_Blog

28 Parenting Bloggers Share their Buying Mistakes

Mommy and parenting bloggers are some of the most powerful people on the internet. While most of them won’t have a massive reach or following, the following that they do have is usually quite loyal. The same holds true for many of the shopping and coupon bloggers out there as well. When they aren’t saving money or dishing the dirt on the latest parenting tips, you might just find some of them on parenting expert roundups like this one.

28_Parenting_Bloggers_Share_Their_Biggest_Mistakes_When_Buying_Toys___Cool_Kiddie_Gifts

25+ Industry Veterans Reflect Back on Affiliate Summit

To bring this “expert” expert roundup series to a close, I wanted to bring us back to one of my best and most favorite roundups on the internet — which also happens to be right on this very blog. This round up is from Affiliate Summit attendees (mainly industry veterans), who were all asked what their favorite / most memorable story or event was over the past 15 years of Affiliate Summit events. This round up was perfect for many reasons, but mainly because they were all genuine stories that related not only with other Affiliate Summit attendees but also the person telling the story.

As mentioned in one of the earlier roundup examples… don’t feel obligated to always just ask a single question. Feel free to make it more open ended to bring more conversation and engagement to the table.

Affiliate_Summit_-_Stories_and_Moments_You_Don_t_Want_to_Miss

Creating Your Own Expert Roundups

Now that you’ve seen what’s possible with expert roundups, it’s time to start creating one of your own. The most time-consuming part of this whole process is the outreach process, as you will need to individually email each of the experts you would like to include within your roundup. What takes even longer is the process of actually finding the contact information for each person. To help with this process, I highly recommend using a solution like Outreach Ninja (14 day free trial).

Once the outreach process has taken place, then it’s a waiting game to see who is getting back to you. Again, a tool like Outreach Ninja can help with this, as you can build contact lists and see how is getting back to you — which is useful for future roundups. After going live with your roundup, be sure to then contact everyone who contributed, to let them know it’s live. Tell them you will be promoting it through social media and you’d appreciate if they could do the same.

Follow the example expert roundups above and the quick action guide above to start creating similar high-quality posts for your own site!

Don’t forget — If you are currently in need of an expert round-up for your own brand or blog, contact me and let’s make it happen! We’ll put together an action plan and outreach strategy that works best for your niche and target audience.

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How to Build a Website in Three Simple Steps with SITE123 Site Builder

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When I first started creating websites back in the mid-90s, it was quite a task! Not only was everything in HTML, it was also a process of individually uploading images, pages, making sure they were all connected together, using FTP software and everything in between. I actually used this same process to create all of my sites up until 2007, then I started using WordPress — which also lead to a massive uprising of drag-and-drop site builders that quickly eliminated the need to ever touch a line of code or have any required design or site skills.

This is exactly what you will find at SITE123, one of the top sites on the internet for creating a website within minutes, and also never needing to worry about technical design skills or hiring a designer to work on site. SITE123 has made this process extremely easy and straightforward by allowing users to sign up, select a ready-made style or layout from their directory, then add content and go live with their site.

It’s really that simple, and today we are going to look at why and how SITE123 became one of the top go-to sources for creating a site online.

SITE123 Makes Website Building Easy

As you can imagine, the website hosting and creation space are extremely competitive. However, SITE123 has established themselves as one of the key players in this space, while also providing their users with everything they need to get started with a personal or professional website of their own. In fact, there are now more than 1.25 million websites running on their site builder platform right now.

If you’ve ever wanted to start a website of your own, but haven’t made the leap yet, there were probably a few common reasons why. More often than anything else, people are scared of the idea of going live with a site and needing to learn something new. Another common reason is the associated costs of having a website. The last reason might have been that you just didn’t know what you would do with a website in the first place.

SITE123 makes this decision process quite simple, while also giving you solutions to these many questions in the process. As mentioned, SITE123 makes the process of creating a website dead-simple, and there are no design skills required. The platform also allows users to get started with a website of their own for free, which provides 500MB of storage, 1GB of bandwidth and also a subdomain. As for the reasoning of why you might want to start a website… I could give you a million! However, consider your options with starting an online diary, a blog, a new business, something you are interested in, or maybe just throwing together a few ideas and going live with a site, then seeing where it goes.

No matter why you create a website, SITE123 makes the process easy.

The Most Simple Site Builder Ever?

Over the years, I’ve tried a lot of different platforms and built many websites using drag-and-drop platforms or even complete CMSs like WordPress. If you are completely new to site building and don’t want to mess around with any of these advanced CMS platforms of designers, you will love how simple SITE123 is.

After creating a free account on their site, I was able to create the start of my new site (below) in less than two minutes. Simple click on any area of the site design on the right side of the page, then you can fill in the details and customize it through the options on the left side menu.

In the screen above you can see the “Homepage” customization options, but also take notice of the many other sections as well — such as the inner pages, design, settings, domain, and more. Click on any of these areas, and a whole new tab section will appear for you to make all of the customizations and changes to your site.

You can actually watch the short 2-minute video below to see how quick and easy it is to run through the site design wizard and completely customize the look and feel of your site in just minutes.

Of the many features built into SITE123, I love how the site is instantly being made and updated as you created it. This will make the content creation and design process so much easier for anyone who is completely new to the concept of site ownership.

SITE123 Offers a Wide Range of Site Templates

Earlier I touched upon some of the most common reasons why someone might not have a website of their own yet. We also covered how easy it is, but we can also see the many different ideas, focuses, and markets you could create a site for as well.

When you first sign up for a SITE123 account, one of the first questions is what type of website are you interested in building? Based on your selection, the site builder will then select a theme that you can start working off of.

No matter which of the categories or templates you choose, each user is given access to a wide range of features that are built right into the platform. These features include, but aren’t limited to:

  • free hosting
  • free SSL/HTTPS encryption
  • unlimited web pages
  • email accounts
  • 24/7 website support
  • access to their large image, icon and video library

Depending on the focus of your site and the style you go for, users will also find different features and design structures within each theme. A perfect example of this would be if you selected “photography”, you would then find the theme is more visual focused and allows for the uploading and displaying of images and photos throughout the site.

To truly understand and experience the many features and site designs on the platform, it’s best to sign up for a free account and start playing around with the site builder tool.

How to Start a Blog with SITE123

As mentioned earlier, there are many drag-and-drop site designers on the marketplace today, but many of them are just for building static sites. What makes SITE123 stand out from the crowd is that they have blogging capabilities built right into their platform. This makes the concept of blogging even easier, and especially for anyone who might want to avoid learning how to use WordPress altogether.

Keeping with the simplistic navigation and setup as most of the features on SITE123, setting up your own blog through their platform is quite simple as well. All you need to do is select the “Add New Post” button, and start adding your content. The option is also there to edit/delete content as needed.

Just like all website and design templates on SITE123, blogs are fully responsive and viewable on all devices as well.

When working on an individual post (shown below), the option is also there to schedule for your content to go live at any given time. You can also see the text/formatting options on the right side of the page as well. All extremely simple to use, and pretty much no technical learning or design skills required.

If you are familiar at all with the concept of blogging, this will all seem quite simple. If not, SITE123 makes the process easy enough. All it takes is a click of a button to insert images and videos, add links to your text, adding tags, titles and descriptions are also a breeze as well.

Again, the best way to learn and experience this firsthand is to simply create an account and see what you can start making on your own.

What is the real cost of SITE123?

SITE123 is a business — which means they need to make money. However, they’ve done an extremely good job at catering to all markets with this, while also making their technology and site builder free for anyone who wants to go live with a site of their own.

If you would like to go live with a free site, all you need to do is sign up and that’s what you will get. This includes a subdomain, and limitations of 500 MB of storage and 1 GB of monthly bandwidth. For anyone just wanted to get started with a personal site of their own and wanting to learn the process, this is more than perfect.

However, if you want to go more professional and start a business or branded website, it’s definitely recommended to go with one of their premium plans — which start out at just $9.80 per month. You can see a break down of each payment and membership plans below.

Some of the most immediate benefits of going with an upgraded plan on SITE123 is getting a free domain name, having the branded floating tag removed, and also the ability to set up e-commerce features on your site and getting much higher levels of storage and bandwidth.

Now that you’ve seen how easy it is to create a site with SITE123, why not create an account and get started with one of your own?

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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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Hi, I’m Zac Johnson

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