Blogging Let’s You Own Your Words And You Can Make It Into A Career!
I began to own my words in 2005 , that is when I was introduced to the blogging world. It started off as a hobby, just an outlet to share how I was teaching one of my children who could not attend public school, but still needed an education.
Many people I was meeting along the way kept asking for my help in various areas of motherhood, raising children and home educate them. So instead of helping just a small group one by one, a friend helped me get a blog set up. From there, I was hooked! I love talking to people, helping them get their needs met. And I can do it better through blogging.
One of the great perks besides the gratification I get from both writing and helping others is that I can also make some money from it.
That is what we do as a Blog Colleague Team
Own Your Words, How To Get Started
Many ask me how I got started, keep going, how to get set up, and more importantly how to continue without getting burnt out.
Blogging to own your words is a commitment, you can do some great things with a minimum of fifteen hours per week, that will help you get into the groove of blogging. I am a full-time blogger who not only owns multiple blogs but I have also written for other companies too. As a full-timer, I work just as many hours as others do, and when I can not, I enlist the help of others such as a virtual assistant. I do all my own writing, Every Word Is Mine; Always, unless it is a guest author.
There are others who use what we call PLR to help them with content creation. Others may pay writers to help them with content creation, I have done this a few times, I always provide specific criteria and I give them what I have already written up and they help expand it or ensure I have everything “just-so”.
There are just a few steps to actually get started
Determine The Topic(s) – What type of writer do you want to be? A comical one, a mom or dad one, a health one…. What is the one main topic that you can talk about forever? You want one or two main topics, if you have two main topics, make sure they compliment each other, they need to be related so that you don’t lose your readers.
Determine A Few Sub Topics – These subtopics are going to be categories that relate to the main topic. Choose them so that again, you can talk about forever. For example, a health blogger would have one main topic such as “Going Organic” and their subtopics can be things like using organic ingredients and getting recipes together that are organic or organic supplements. A food blogger can encompass it all, their subtopics can be broken down into the various courses we consume.
A Writing Plan – This is crucial! You need to outline various topics that you want to write about. Put together fifty-two blog titles, then outline the content of those posts. You can easily use Google docs and then copy-paste the content into the blog post. This writing plan should also have future content ideas. This gives you one blog post per week, for the entire year. Start with one a week and add more if you feel it is best for you to do so and will not burn you out.
Your writing plan should also contain how many times realistically you can post per week or per month. I don’t recommend going for daily, unless you are going to be a news blogger, this will dull the quality and burn you out, especially if you’re the only writer.
A Business Plan – Your blog is going to make you money, especially when you set yourself up from day one to do so. Always be realistic. Set goals and celebrate each milestone along the way. Enjoy the blogger ride. You can download a basic business plan from the SBA or create a simple one in Google docs. You have to figure out how much time and money you will be able to invest in your business and how much you will be making from it too. Be sure to plan out a money flow plan to help you become successful. List out all the ways that you will use your blog to make money. Plan it out in quarters, just twelve weeks at a time to help you stay focused. Always have the next quarter in mind so you can keep reaching your milestones.
Some of the ways to earn money through blogging are
- Affiliate Selling
- Sponsored Posts
- Ad Space
- Contextual Links
- Banner Ads
There are many other ways too. You can create products and sell them through your blog too. It is your platform, use it to your advantage.
Determine A Domain Name – This can be the hardest probably. As a blogger, it is also a business, so you will have to follow rules, requirements, and laws as such. Choose a name that envelopes into just a few words what the blog is about or what they expect to find in it. For example, I have a blog that is all about being financially conscious, budgeting, saving and spending too because we do have to live. The blog is called Financially Living and Shopping – this tells you that it is a financial related blog that has a shopping component, in order to be financially mindful, we have to get a grip on spending! The domain is FinanciallyShopping.com And my parenting blog is TiltaMom.com moms are dizzy running around trying to get everything done.
Make sure to research the domain name! I see this so many times, you get super excited and then because you didn’t fully research, it can be costly later on. You want to make sure that you have a dot com and yes, if you have the funds grab different extensions of it that make sense like the .blog extension. Please don’t try to think that because you are new that a company will not take you down, they will. Make sure you are being unique and true to yourself and don’t infringe on any copyrights or trademarks, don’t even try to mimic or resemble them.
Put Together A Style Guide – This is basically your blogs “look book” and operations manual. Choose a few fonts that compliment each other, a nice color palette, tone of voice and vibe you want your words to be. For example, my finance and shopping blog, I know others think finance needs to be boring and I can’t and don’t want that. I chose colors that give the feeling of trust, warmly invites you, and is slightly serious. The tone that I try to use is more matter of fact but in a light way. For the mom blog, I just chose my style guide and the colors are fun. I use the same fonts for most of my blogs, Aleo for the headings, raleway for subtitles and other things and areille for the body. For quotes, I use bold and that is like a red-violet color.
Basically how it looks, feels, works together and flows is what you want to determine. I didn’t learn about this until about two years ago and I have changed these many times, which I also don’t recommend haha. But it does take time to choose what feels right, so sometimes you do need to go and change things, but they can be simple changes. I am telling you now so that at least you can start thinking about it. If you need help and designer can help you figure it all out.
Now Start To Make A Living and Own Your Words
Be Self Hosted! – You want and need to be self-hosted so you can have the flexibility to make money from the start. I use WordPress as my blogging backbone or skeleton and Siteground is my hosting services. This allows me to be self-hosted and Own My Words. When I switched to Siteground, they gave me a free domain, if not, you can get domains cheap, like $1.00 from Go Daddy. and Name Cheap
- Grab Your Hosting Package → Own My Words
- If You Need A Domain → Grab Cheap Go Daddy Domains Or Name Cheap Domains
- Register Your Blog As A Business With Your State And County
- Create Earnings Spreadsheet For Tracking
The Actual Blog Setup
- Log into your Cpanel click the Softaculous under the auto installer section or one click staging. Follow the steps to install it.
- For your username, you can start with the admin however, you don’t want that to be your login because people can easily hack into your site. Once you get that done and it says success, then go to your blog to create the main username and a backup one. The username is what you use to login and do all the blogging through the WordPress application.
- Now on your phone install the WordPress app, and click add self-hosted domain, follow the steps. This allows you to blog through your phone and on the go!
- Click themes, you can start off with a free theme and as you really get into your writing groove, later on, you can buy a theme. I bought my first theme and had a designer after one year into blogging. For one of my other blogs, it took me about two whole years to find a theme that I was completely satisfied with before I purchased its theme.
- Now for plugins, this is what helps everything move and flow together, it helps you achieve certain things you need to be done. Click plugins on the left and install some basics, like Askimet, Yoast, Google Analytics, Get Social, SumoMe, As you get more familiar, you can add more if you need to.
- On the left, click on permalinks. Click the option of your choice, I recommend the blog name and post, blogname.com/posttitle when it is too long it will take u too much space.
From the time you grab hosting and domain name to installing the blog takes less than half an hour.
Now You Are Ready To Get To Writing!
Now it is time to own your words, in real life! On the left where you see all the admin options, click on “post”, then new. It brings up the space where you can begin letting your beautiful and meaningful words flow. It is where your story comes to life.
In WordPress you have the option to click distraction-free writing, it means you will only see the space where your typing and take away everything else. Then when you’re done, untick it to bring back everything.
Or you can also do this by using the Wordp\Press phone app, this is great on the go. Or if you happen to get post ideas or think of something to add to a draft you have started, you can use your microphone on the phone to use the speech to text option.
Then I use my laptop to do the formatting and adding photos, others go from start to finish using their phone app. I just feel more comfortable doing the finishing touches on my laptop. I use Canva for editing photos that I took myself and adding text, they do have a phone app too.
For photos, I use Get Free Digital Photos and I make sure to give credit to the author if you are not properly giving credit, you can get into trouble legally. Remember, always be legit, always credit the original author and when you are not sure, email the author to get written permission!
How To Get Readers
A number of regular readers will depend on the topic. You need to be consistent in promoting the blog and each post. Create both an online and offline marketing plan for each post. Where are your readers most likely to hang out and join conversations? Which Facebook groups can you join to contribute to the conversations in there? What community events can you network and mingle in to add value there too?
Never just post your links and run, this will never work. Join conversations and show people that you know what you are talking about because you are well educated on that topic. You can let them know about your blog, when asked to learn more or asked to tell them more, read their cues and go with the flow.
Comment and share other peoples things, they will reciprocate. Join some blogging groups, these are very helpful and supportive. I have two groups that you can join, Blog Colleagues and WAHM Colleagues. We do not link drop in there, we help each other get the content out there. We talk about how to get better at our craft, legal stuff, moral support, ideas and more. The goal is as a team, we help each individual on their goals.
The more active you are in helping others, the more chances you have to promote your blog. Use various ways, like in-person networking events, your marketing plan and strategy will be the most important.
You have a story to share, you can help someone else. You can do this! It isn’t easy, but it also isn;t hard once you get into the groove of things.
You Should Monetize Your Blog From the Beginning
Blogging has made it easier to connect with people across the globe. With Internet access and a computer, you can share your message with billions of people. The process is easier because of all the technology we now have. I remember when I started my blog in 2005, there were not things like apps to help, there were not many courses or much of anything like there is today to help us become successful. You may have heard of some of the success stories of bloggers that make 7 figures a year. Of course, it took them time to get there, commitment and dedication, but it can happen to you too.
Monetizing Your Blog From the Beginning
Joining the right affiliate programs as one of your income generating streams can help you from day one. You can also sell your own products or services, sell advertising or find companies that will pay you to write a sponsored blog post. So why not get started making money from your blog on day one?
If you attempt to monetize your blog from the beginning, your audience knows what to expect. From your very first post they understand there are going to be products and services offered. On the other hand, some web surfers are turned off by advertisements and other efforts for you to get paid in return for your time. It all depends on if you are being natural, up front and never being spammy.
Netizens prefer to establish a relationship with you first before they see any monetization attempts. In many niches, developing a rabid, loyal following is more important than trying to make money immediately. In some niches or markets, monetization efforts are rewarded immediately. You may just want to start off with contextual links or ease into affiliate marketing slowly, or you possibly can get great traction with small ads. You can experiment as you see how it is coming along.
In your blog’s business plan you should have listed out various ways that you will or plan to explore or implement as income streams. Start off with just one of those ways, master it before adding in another. You want to get as much experience with each form of income generating so that you learn what works with and for your audience.
Blogging Is Not Just For Your Own Needs To Be Met
You have a deep passion to tell others your story, give them ways to solve problems, send them into belly laughs, grasp them into a fully engaged emotional whirlwind.
People are looking for someone to help them tap into their emotional and mental side of themselves. With all the things going on today, we need to be reminded that we are actually human, with needs, emotions and be able to express them.
You can tell someone your story, what happened to you, even if it was negative and you would be relatable to someone, they will know they are not alone. You can help them find coping skills, give them techniques and many other things to help them live their day to day life.
Blogging is not dead, it is not over saturated, we all have a unique twist, even if it is similar, we all approach it in a different angle.
Now Go Get Started! Go Help Your Group Out!
Why I Chose Siteground: Well, the speed on all my sites and their uptime is crucial. Siteground lives up to their claims for uptime and speed. I regularly check my speed time for loading on all my sites and they range from three seconds to sometimes seven seconds, depends on which blog and how I have it set up. My sites are never down! This is always important, with my old hosting company, my site was down 80% of the time, especially during the holiday selling season too. This is why I recommend Siteground. The other important factor why I chose them is because I stink at technical stuff, yes even though I have been doing this for many years, I still mess up. Their support team has been very helpful and very understanding about my tech disabilities.
Affiliate Earning Courses
These are courses that have given me skills and tools to help me improve what I do and lead me to make money.
My blog Financially Living and Shopping has its theme from Theme Forest, Envato.