So you wanna know how to start a blog from scratch in 2020. Good for you!
But if you’ve been here before, you KNOW that I’m not gonna tell you that it’ll be easy, right?
I’m not here to tell you that your blog will be easy to start and grow, as long as you start that blog in “one of these 7 niches”.
I’m also not going to tell you that you should get your domain and hosting for the “low low price of $2.95 a month, IF you sign up with MY link…” (Wink)
You know what I mean.
I’m also not going to tell you that “I made $XXXX in my first month blogging, because it’s JUST THAT EASY”.
I’m done reading that BS. And I’m sure you are too.
I was excited when I started this blog. AT FIRST. I read everything there IS to read about starting and growing it. I hunted for ways to shorten the WordPress learning curve (because you should know, it’s a BEAST).
When I started this blog, I worked on it for 6 months straight. Day and night. I wrote post after post, after post. I SEO’d my brains out. I read and commented on the posts of ‘bigger’ bloggers.
I did it all.
And do you know what happened?
That’s what happened. I was frustrated, and discouraged. So I walked away. And I stayed away for six months.
After that six months was over, I came back with new eyes. I got a Pinterest account, and I started making some headway getting traffic to my posts with it.
It was really good for awhile. I was getting up to 2100 pageviews a day! The feeling that I was doing all of that work for nothing was gone.
But then the inevitable happened. Like every other platform on the web, the Pinterest algorithm changed. WILDLY. And I KNEW it as it was happening. Bloggers big and small were getting locked out of their accounts. The platform was ‘buggy’. That’s generally what happens when they’re working on changing things.
Instagram was the same. People were freaking out about the so called “shadow ban” when they discovered that a huge percentage of their ‘followers’ weren’t seeing what they were posting.
For God’s sake. It’s not a ‘ban’ so much as it is a symptom of the platform ‘tightening up’ it’s algorithm, so as to keep our followers from seeing what we post….unless we pay for the privilege.
Pay to Play is the Way.
Blogging as we knew it is no more. But there are very few bloggers who will tell you that.
So…I’m going to tell you what you SHOULD be doing to start a blog from scratch in 2020;
- Domain name and hosting (duh)
- Nail down your social media accounts for your blog (sounds petty, but it’s a BFD). Pay particular attention to Pinterest. You’ll need that one.
- Grab your email/newsletter software (because believe me, you NEED to own access to your audience, and you need to start building an email list from the jump). (I use this company because their forms are just so easy to build)
- Write a few really good blog posts (by “a few” I mean 15 or 20)
- ONE (or two, up to you) “extra juicy” posts that you can “give” away (more on that in a sec)
Install your blogging platform to your hosting account. Your provider will have instructions on how to do that. Ideally those instructions will have been emailed to you upon sign up.
Choose your blog theme.
If you’re using WordPress, you can choose your new theme from their theme directory. Be sure to check out your theme documentation for instructions on how to ‘pimp out’ your theme to your liking. Without the documentation, you might as well be coding from scratch.
In my course The No BS Blogging Guide, I’ll show you the secret hack that I use to build all of my blogs, reducing my time and frustration by about 90%. Seriously. This is a game changer.
Nail down your social media accounts
Because this is how you’ll be distributing your content, and therefore getting traffic to your new blog, it’s imperative that your social media accounts are the first things you set up once you’ve started writing content. Yes, you also want to be mindful of SEO in all of your content, but SEO is a long game. Don’t expect any kind of results (good OR bad) with it for at LEAST a few months…maybe longer.
Set up your newsletter software. SET UP YOUR NEWSLETTER SOFTWARE.
Did I make that clear enough? I had to say it twice, it’s THAT important.
Did you see that obnoxious box that dropped down in your face when you entered this blog? That’s one of my email newsletters sign up forms.
A lot of new bloggers underestimate the need for an email list when they’re starting out. But TRUST ME when I tell you that you NEED to own access to your audience. PERIOD. With all the algorithm changes on the various platforms, email is the one thing that lets you reach out to your readers when YOU want to. You don’t have to pay another company to allow you to ‘speak’ to the people that you attract to your work when you have a list of people who WANT to hear from you.
Write Some Really Great Blog Posts
Because no one wants to read garbage (DUH), and your first posts kind of set the tone for your blog. These will be the first that your new readers will see, so take some time, and make them as enjoyable as you can. These posts are also going to kick-start your content marketing game, so make them good. Tweak your titles, creating those that will catch your reader’s attention.
Create Some “Extra Juicy” Posts that You Can Give Away
You’re going to use these ‘extra juicy’ posts to start building your email list.
Give them something that you haven’t already written about; some ‘hack’ or secret to doing something that your audience would love to shortcut. Make it something that your audience will be happy to get in exchange for their email address. And once you get that email address, for the love of GOD, don’t spam them!
Ok. There are more steps that you should do to start a blog from scratch in 2020, but I’ll follow up on that with another post 😉