The contents in Blog Towkay is organised around the 6 S framework I specially developed to help us remember the key ingredients of building a successful blog. The 6 S of Blogging as a Business are:
Strategy: Planning your Blog
Before you begin blogging, you will need to ask yourself a very important question: Why do you want to blog? People blog for many different reasons. Some people blog for fun, some setup blogs as an extension of their corporate businesses, some blog to promote causes they believe in, while some others blog to earn some extra cash. Blog towkays like myself are very focused when it comes to blogging because it can be turned into a business that can help us to achieve financial independence. But whatever the reason, you must be serious about blogging or you are unlikely to earn serious money from this activity.
After you have decided on why you want to blog, you will need to strategise and plan how you should go about blogging. There are many tools which you can employ to help you strategise for your blog. You should start by brainstorming the type of contents you plan to write, organise the contents into different categories and map out the brief ideas that will form the main topics you will be writing under each of those categories.
As you plan for your blog, you should also start asking yourself, what would you like to name your blog and what URL address should your blog use. Do not restrict your choices initially and try to brainstorm as many names as possible. However you will need to shortlist a few nice and relevant names for the next step.
Structure: How to Build a Blog?
Start a search online to see if your shortlist of blog URLs have been taken. Choose your favourite URL which has not been taken and register it for free with one of the many web hosting providers such as Bluehost.com or Hostgator.com when you sign up for their hosting packages. Due to the intense competition, most paid web hosting providers will provide virtual server hosting for your blog at a reasonable cost. It is important to choose the providers which provide reliable server up-time and good technical customer service support.
Personally, I choose to use Bluehost for Blog Towkay as WordPress.org highlighted them as a featured web hosting provider. I particularly like their one-click auto WordPress install and competitive pricing packages. They have also proven very reliable so far with almost no down-time and a responsive customer service.
Hostgator is another good alternative as there are few complaints about this web hosting company.
There are many existing tools which you can use to build your blog. Many of the top web hosting providers provide convenient ways to install WordPress, the free and very popular blogging platform onto your server. Once you have installed WordPress and access the admin panel for the first time, you can start building the structure of your blog quickly. WordPress offers a dazzling choice of high quality themes (blog skins) and plugins (tools), most of them which are free to help you get started immediately. The beauty of self-hosted WordPress is that it is a very powerful and flexible tool which allows beginner bloggers to customise your website easily.
Story: Content is King!
The easiest product to create for your blogging business is knowledge. Even if you are using the blog to complement your other objectives, you will also need to display good knowledge of what you are promoting or selling. Therefore it is important to remember that content is king!
In the Strategy step, you would have made plans for the type of topics you plan to cover in your blog. Use the outline to help you develop your blog articles and to provide the inspiration during those days that you ran out of ideas to blog. To attract the readers, your contents will need to add-value for your readers by providing useful information, entertaining them, or even annoying them with strong opinions. It is okay if you are not able to write with beautiful sentences or pepper your articles with impressive vocabulary. The trick is to keep it simple, and preferably error free. I feel that as new bloggers, you should also be mindful to steer clear of topics which promote hatred and generally anything that are illegal under the local laws of the country you are residing in.
Sell: How to Promote your Blog?
Since the main objective is to earn money from your blog, you will need to increase traffic to your website so that you can monetise the traffic. You are wrong if you think that once you write it, people will start visiting your blog and read it. The traffic you will be getting initially will sadly only be from yourself, your family and your friends.
It takes time for the search engines such as Google’s spider bots crawl the content of your site organically and get your blog posts listed in their search results. But this is actually an important source of traffic, especially if you are planning to monetise using Google Adsense. To improve your ranking in the result pages of search engines, you will need to understand how to use SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) techniques.
To promote your blog quickly in the first few weeks or months, you can either do it by word of mouth or by buying traffic through advertising. You could conduct word of mouth promotion through social networks such as Facebook, Twitter or popular internet forums. You could also promote your website by advertising through Google Adwords or your local newspapers. The are many different options which will cater to your preferences and budget.
$: How to Earn Money from Blogging?
Blogging can only be a business if you are able to earn money from the activity.
The most popular tool which appeals to many new bloggers is Google Adsense. Google AdSense is a free program that is really easy to use and it allows online website publishers to earn revenue by displaying relevant ads on a wide variety of online content. The primary way is to insert Adsense codes through your blog admin to display contextual ads on your blog. This will allow you to earn from CPC (cost per click) or valid clicks.
There are many other ways of monetising your blog and some of the more popular methods include displaying ads to earn from CPM (cost per thousand) or valid page views, writing sponsored reviews and selling products through affiliate marketing.
Sustain: How to Keep Blogging?
Many of us will eventually become burnt out and grow tired of blogging. This is particularly challenging if you keep your full-time career while trying to grow your blogging business in your spare time. This is why it is important to develop a strategy from the beginning and draw inspirations from it. You will need to constantly remind yourself not to procrastinate and to be disciplined with your blogging. After all, no successful entrepreneurs grow their businesses and wealth without some hard work.