“14 Quick Actions You Can Do When Starting a Website with a Blog for Massive Success” written by Mike Marko.
I am a huge fan of blogging. There are so many benefits to having a blog on your website… but in this blog post I am not going to bore you by standing on my soapbox again. You can read all the blogging advice in the world, but none of it matters unless you take action.
In order to set your website and blog up to be a massive success, you have to ruthlessly focus your efforts on things that work, and stop spending precious time on things that don’t.
Quick Action Steps When Starting a Website with a Blog
In this blog post I’m going to make it easier for you to take the action you need to take to make your blog better. All you have to do is set aside 10 or 15 or 60 minutes to tackle one of the 14 simple steps below.
The more steps you complete especially when starting a website, the more progress you’ll make. And you DO NOT have to complete these steps in order. Sounds pretty simple, right?
Now you’ve probably already completed some of these, but I guarantee you haven’t done all of them. If you have completed all of them, please tell me in the comments below. And you have some extra tips, please share that as well.
So let’s get started.
Step #1: When Starting a Website Start Building an Email List Right Away
If you aren’t building an email list, you’re missing out… big time.
Not only can you send visitors and customers back to your blog by emailing them, you can also promote products to people on your list. The “money is in the list” as they say. With an email list, you become less and less dependent on external sources of traffic, and gain more ability to interact with your blog’s audience.
Start building an email list in 20 minutes:
- Sign up for an email marketing account with AWeber or GetResponse.
- Create a sign-up form or capture page for your email list. I use a clickable image made from PowerPoint that takes my visitors to a capture page. But you can just as easily add in a sign-up form as well.
- Put your sign-up form in the body of your blog, in the sidebar, and on your about page.
- (optional but highly recommended) Offer a free giveaway for people who subscribe to your list. Offering a workbook or an ebook or video series (like our free bootcamp series) can drive many more signups than not offering something. This is commonly called a lead magnet.
Don’t wait to start your email list. The sooner you start building an email list, the faster your list and your blog will grow. And if you goal is to make money with your blog… the more money you will make.
When you have an email list, you can create forms and ask people to sign up for email updates like this:
Since I already created it once, that took me less than 30 seconds to add this to this post. It is also very successful at collecting leads.
Step #2: Start a Blog Post Ideas Journal
Unfortunately, the best ideas for blog posts don’t come while you’re sitting down to write. For me they often come with I am driving, or answering questions about IPAS2. Try keeping a simple journal of blog post ideas so you don’t miss out on your best ideas.
Sure you can actually carry a small book in your pocket to jot down ideas… but let’s get real. You probably have a smart phone… and mostly likely it has the ability to take dictation. I use my iPhone to dictate ideas into the notes section of my phone. I have even used this feature to complete entire blog post drafts while on longer trips.
It doesn’t really matter how you do it. The point is just to keep a running list to work from.
Step #3: Make a List of the Leaders in Your Blogging Niche
Whatever you blog about, chances are there are other people who blog on the same topic and are very successful at it. Your job is to become friends with as many of your fellow bloggers as possible, especially the leaders.
You are probably asking, “Why would you want to become friends with my competition?”
The answer is very simple.
In every niche I’ve studied, the bloggers who succeed fastest are the ones who band together and help each other out. There is no point in trying to block others out. Don’t think of other bloggers in your space as competitors. They’re actually your best chance of making your blog a massive success.
The strategy is simple: make a list of everyone who blogs on similar topics to you.
Then study what they do. If you can model what they are doing then you have a higher chance of being successful. Modeling (not copying) what they are doing will help you be successful faster than if you do it on your own.
Making the list is the first step. Next comes the real work. Make it your goal to reach out and create genuine relationships with as many people on the list as possible.
Step #4: Refine and Explain Your Blog’s Unique Niche
It is important to know how your blog stands out from the rest to help attract and retain visitors to your blog. Be sure to know the answer to the question, “Why should I read your blog instead of the hundreds (or thousands) of other choices out there?”
To help answer that question, you need a point of difference or unique niche. Your blog needs to be different in some way from other blogs in your space. This difference can be subtle… and it could be because it is a reflection of your personality.
Step #5: Learn SEO Basics
I love SEO (Search Engine Optimization). It’s one of those things that can take roughly an hour to learn, and a lifetime to master. But by just learning the basics you can set yourself to build long term traffic. If people can find your content using Google, you can have an evergreen source of traffic that you can convert into leads and sales.
Step #6: Include a Call to Action
The best way to get website visitors to do something is to explicitly ask them to. This is known as a call to action.
If you want people to comment on your blog post? Ask people to comment.
If you want more email subscribers? Ask people to subscribe.
Want people to buy from you? Ask people to buy now.
Let’s try this in your next post: ask your audience to do something you want them to do. If your content is good and you’ve provided genuine value, some of your readers will be more than happy to help you out. Ask politely, and experiment with different tactics to see what works best for your audience.
Once you dial in your call to action technique, make a habit of using a call to action whenever you want your visitors to take action.
Step #7: Reduce or Eliminate those Ads
When you are starting a website, one of the worst things you can do is to plaster “in your face” advertisements all over the place. While your blog is still small those ads will not earn you very much. But those ads could be costing you big. You’ll turn off visitors and stunt your growth during your critical formative months.
Is it really worth limiting your growth potential over a few extra bucks?
Once your site is bigger than you can start being more aggressive with your advertisements. An effective way of earning income from your blog is to use affiliate marketing, consulting/coaching, or by developing your own products.
For now, tame down the ads and focus on growth. Your calls to action towards the end of your blog posts will be more than enough to get some sales until your website get bigger.
Step #8: Highlight Your Best Stuff
You have to put your best foot forward when new visitors arrive at your website. The easiest way to do this is to link to some of your best posts in your sidebar, or within a special “start here” page that you link to from your main navigation menu. We actually post these best of blog posts under our intro video.
How you determine which posts are your best is up to you. You could show your most linked to posts, your most commented posts, your most viewed posts, or something else. You could hand pick the posts you think best represent what your blog is all about.
On our website, we have our highlighted blog posts on the Home page. We also highlight blog posts in the Resources section.
Step #9: Commit to Syndicating Your Blog Posts
Syndicating is an important concept in blogging. Your blog is your central platform, but social platforms like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc. can help you find and interact with new readers where they already hang out.
The key to making the best use of social media and similar platforms is to get in the habit of updating them regularly. If you have multiple social media sites already you might want to focus on just one at first until you get the hang of making regular updates. You need to make regular updates to show your visitors you’re committed to the platform and that you’ll be providing additional value there.
One way to commit to updating your outpost regularly:
- Set a reminder on your calendar at first to update your outpost every day.
- Study examples of other blogs (ideally in the same niche as yours) which have a thriving social media presence. Observe the types of content they post, how they interact with members, and the frequency of posts.
- And make sure you don’t just treat your outpost as a glorified RSS feed (where you post only links to your recent blog posts). I was doing this at first because I didn’t know better. If you want your external community to thrive, you need to provide extra value.
You can automate posting of your blog posts to these auxiliary sites using a tool like OnlyWire.
Step #10: Know Why You Are Blogging
Do you know why are you blogging? There are lots of reasons to blog, but there’s got to be one reason that at the top of your list… and you need to know what it is in order to have massive success blogging.
Step #11: Interview Someone Influential
The cool thing is that when you’re just starting out, you don’t need to have all the answers. And believe it or not but your visitors don’t expect you to either. You just need time to find your voice, develop your style, and form your opinions.
During the early stages, sometimes it can help to think of yourself as a facilitator instead of as an expert. Your job is to provide great information to your audience instead of creating all of it yourself. I follow the mantra, “Learn, Do, Teach”.
Interviewing someone influential in your niche can be a great way to bring useful content to your audience. Interviewing an expert also helps associate you with the expert in the minds of your readers. It also helps you create a relationship with the interviewee. You often even end up borrow the interviewee’s audience if he or she links to your interview, or if you are good at SEO, when they search for the interviewee on Google.
When you get close to a project for a long time it becomes hard to see things as other people see them. You are too close to things, and often your ego prevents you from seeing things properly. To become a successful blogger, you’ll need plenty of help from friends and colleagues along the way to help you see things through fresh eyes.
Try asking a friend, colleague or mentor for a quick critique on a blog post, your about page, your design, your branding or anything else you suspect might need to be refreshed or revised. The ultimate goal is to make a habit of doing this whenever you feel stuck, stale, or want some new ideas to increase traffic or to capture leads.
As an extra bonus, this gives you an excuse to reach out to a fellow blogger and form a stronger bond. Offer to help by returning the critique service whenever your colleague needs it.
Step #13: Ask Your Readers
Building your “tribe” around your blog is an essential way to make your readers feel appreciated and committed to your success.
Your posts don’t have to be the only things that deliver value at your site. The comments can also be a great place for extending the value of your content and encouraging your visitors to interact. Those interactions can lead to other opportunities for your readers outside of your site. Make sure you like and reply to all comments… that way the readers feel appreciated and there is interaction.
If you want more comments for your site, you need to do a few things. First, write about topics that have multiple possible right answers. Second, write in a way that leaves the door open to discussion (don’t force your readers to agree or disagree with you, it stifles comments). Third, and most importantly, you need to ask for your readers’ opinions.
Step #14: Become Accountable
A big part of building a successful blog is staying motivated and staying committed to your blog long enough to see success.
One of the best ways to ensure you stay motivated is to become accountable to others. When you know other people are expecting certain things from you.
How to get some accountability for your blog:
- Decide where you’d like to be held accountable. There are three possibilities I recommend: a formal mastermind group, a blogging forum, or your own blog.
- To join a formal mastermind group, you’ll need to find two or three other people to participate, or find an existing group that needs a new member.
- To use a blogging forum for accountability, you’ll need to find a suitable forum. Within our flagship learning platform, Fizzle.co, we have forums where people are holding themselves accountable.
- To use your own blog for accountability, you’ll just need to announce your goals on a regular basis in a special blog post series. Or in our case we send the blog posts daily to our email list… that means we need to make sure there is fresh content for the list to read.
Whatever you decide, the principles are the same: regularly announce your goals for a set timeframe (weekly, bi-weekly or monthly is best). With each announcement you should also review your performance during the prior period. For example, we do everything we can to blog daily with few exceptions. Our goal is to complete a minimum of 320 blog posts a year (you have to allow for life to get in the way… don’t set yourself up for failure).
You can of course try to hold yourself accountable privately, but public accountability is much more effective at driving action. It’s easier to opt out when you don’t have people waiting to hear your results.
To Wrap Up Our Steps for Starting a Website with a Blog
The key to making many of the actions above work for you is consistency. Many of them need to become habit before you’ll experience maximum benefits, but taking the recommended actions above will get you started.
You don’t have to do everything on this list, just pick the ones that you think will work best for you.
Here’s to your future success!
PS – If you like this post, feel free comment down below and/or share on Facebook.
1. How to SEO Your Website
2. Growing Your Business with SEO and Affiliate Marketing
3. How to Build a Network of Blogs
If you want to check out what is making us money right now, then check out IPAS2.
Article: 14 Quick Actions You Can Do When Starting a Website with a Blog for Massive Success