Ready, Set, BLOG!
There are 7.5 million new blog posts reaching the internet globally every day. Some question if blogging is going out of style, or if social media has taken over the way of the blog. The answer on all accounts is no.
Blogging is just as strong as ever, yet it has certainly evolved. It is not only about sharing stories and information anymore. It is sharing content, products, and linking readers to other resources. Thanks to social media, we can now do all these things and more on several different platforms.
DISCLOSURE. The following post contains affiliate links. Should you access a product through my links, I may make a commission to no added cost to you. I only promote products or services I personally use and endorse.
I started blogging on January 1st, 2020. I wanted to be a travel blogger. I had traveled both nationally and internationally and wanted to share my experiences, offer tips, and develop travel itineraries for others.
But we all know what happened in 2020, that dumpster fire of a shit-show year. My dream of encouraging others to travel came to a screeching halt. I shifted to writing about virtual travel locations, which was kind of fun.
Then shifted to writing about cats. We all know the internet was invented just to watch cat videos, right? Then I decided, I have other interests too. The next thing I knew, I decided on being a Lifestyle blogger. That gave me a little more flexibility with my writing topics.
What about you?
Here we are now. I am still gaining traction with my blog, have made lots of fantastic connections with other bloggers, and joined Facebook groups for support.
I have taken blogging courses, read more ebooks than I can remember, and still have resources to read and courses waiting for me to “resume”. It is time to implement some of these teachings!
You are here because you are a relatively new blogger. This post is not about how to get started blogging, but I do have a post called “Blogging 101 – Tips for starting a Blog” if you need that type of information.
This article includes the extra things we need to do before you actually hit that “post” button after you have written a fantastic article. Depending on your ultimate blogging goal, of course.
If you plan on marketing your blog on any social media or have the intent to generate any kind of income, you need to include these next 10 steps!
The crucial 10 steps – 1
The first step is of course to do your research so you can write a quality blog post. It is very easy to feel overwhelmed at this stage. If too much time is spent on research, you can easily fall into that rabbit hole of the internet and suddenly find 50 articles that all say exactly what you wanted to say!
Remember, there are 7.5 million articles a DAY being posted. But you know what? Not ONE of them can say it as YOU do! Your voice is what makes you unique!
We do our research to find the question so we know what answers to provide our readers.
Step 2 – SEO
Search Engine Optimization – get to know this term well. All your written posts must be SEO friendly if you want to have any chance of earning Google ratings and being found on internet searches.
There is a TON of information about SEO, and I personally use the plugin from YOAST. The great thing about YOAST is it tells me what I need to do to improve my SEO, so I don’t need to figure it out on my own.
Step 3 – Links
This one is crucial. Not only is including outbound and internal links part of following good SEO practices, but it can also generate income!
Hear me out! In all my articles, I have outbound links to other sites. Most of them are just other places that will offer more information regarding the topic of my article.
But, many of them are links to resources or products of which I am an affiliate. This means, should someone visit a site that I have provided, and they choose to purchase something (that I don’t personally sell), I will make a small percentage of income.
When you have enough of these affiliates and links within your posts, one can end up generating a nice income flow. Yet, don’t be sleazy or greedy. You want to be trusted. I am a huge consumer of resources and products.
I only recommend services or items that I have used personally, otherwise, I don’t promote. If you chose to blog to earn a side income (for some a full-time income), then including LINKS is one of the most crucial steps you cannot afford to miss!
For example, I recently discovered Content at Scale. It is the newest, classiest AI tool for generating content that is SEO optimized. It is the most amazing AI tool on the market so far. Way better than Chatgpt.
I love it so much, that I am an affiliate for them. When you click on my link, it tracks this. Should you purchase the tool, I receive an awesome commission. The best part is, you don’t pay extra for the product.
Content at Scale is getting free advertising from me, so they reward me with a check. You don’t want to ever miss out on affiliate opportunities!
Step 4 – High Quality Photos
There is nothing wrong with taking some of your own photos. Depending on your niche, it might be essential that you photograph before and after shots, take videos of baking pies, or step by step of making jewelry.
When I travel, thank goodness for the COVID vaccine so I can safely hit the road again, I take a zillion pictures of the beauty around me. Only a mere fraction of my own photographs though, end up on my site.
There is a multitude of online stock photos you can explore. Some are free, but most are not. You need to make sure there are no copyrights as well, so you can use the pictures legally.
My ultimate favorite site for high-quality stock photos is Depositphotos. I have been so impressed with their inventory! They have many FREE photos as well, but for unique visuals, I prefer the photos that cost.
Now, I will not steer you wrong here. I do not pay full price for these photos, and I don’t encourage you to either. I found this site through Appsumo. Twice a year, through Appsumo, Depositphotos offers an outstanding deal on photo packages. These sales tend to occur in November and May. I wait until those months and purchase packages at near 80% off the retail price.
If we are not near those months as you read this post, you may want to head over and purchase as you need them, just to get you started. I do not recommend you search the web and just copy and paste random photos.
Step 5 of 10 steps – Pins!
If you have been blogging for a hot minute, then you have heard all about Pinterest and the benefit of FREE advertising on it! This post is not about how to make pins, but, that is coming soon!
There is no magic number of pins to have on each post, but, roughly 3-5 per post I have found to be most common. Anything more may create barriers to your article workflow. Also, if you are using ads on your site, it increases the visual clutter.
Just so you understand how important this step is for a successful post, you need to understand the time involved with making quality pins. My workflow includes selecting a quality photo, downloading, then uploading it into Canva. I then spend roughly 13-15 min per pin creating something of quality, following Pinterest policies.
Thankfully, I had been using Tailwind for some time now, and they recently came out with Tailwind Create. I cut my pin making time down from 13+ minutes to up to 2 min per pin.
Don’t believe me? Check out my article “How my Pinterest engagements increased 63% in one month”. Since that article, my Pinterest engagements continue to increase! It has been amazing how wonderful this resource is. I highly encourage you to check it out! Read on to hear all the 10 steps!
Step 6 – Check your Links!
This step does not take long, but it is very important, especially if you are using affiliate links. Once your post is completed and saved, hit the “preview” tab.
Look at your post. Is it visually inviting? Does it look clean? Are your photos spaced out enough? Do your links work? There have been several times my links take me to a page that reads “404 error”.
You certainly do not want this to happen to you! Take that opportunity to fix those links before going live.
Step 7 – Call to Action
One main reason for blogging is to help answer the questions of your readers. The other goal of blogging is to create trust with your readers so they return to your site.
At some point, you need to engage your readers to take the next step. Blatantly ask them to sign up for your newsletter or to subscribe to the blog so they are alerted to the next article you post.
A lot of times, that is also the best time to offer something free! I love checklists and travel itineraries.
I try to engage readers to subscribe and will receive a free printable. It is also a great way to track what type of audience is the most engaged.
Do my cat articles bring in more interest than my travel posts? We tend to blog because we enjoy it, but we also want others to enjoy our words as well. Ask them to join your cause!
Step 8 – Email Service
There are multiple email service providers you can use for your blogging business. When I first started I was using Mailchimp. I actually do not remember why I left them, but I decided to switch to Convertkit.
What I like about it, is I can set up tags based on which form they subscribe under. For example, if someone signs up for a travel pet checklist, that tells me they are probably more interested in pet articles than to learn about blogging.
This is an assumption, but, as an example, Convertkit will identify who orders what product, so I can be smart about who I email what services or products.
Regardless of what service you use, do your homework and research the pros and cons of each kind of provider. There are many articles that can help you make this decision. Keep on reading, these 10 steps are uber important!
Step 9 – Products
It is common for many bloggers to offer their own products. I am not talking about setting up a garage full of personalized cups, pens, and t-shirts. Unless that is your bag, then feel free.
Many of my posts include free PDFs that can be downloaded and/or printed. Simple things like checklists and travel itineraries. Others have recipes, sewing instructions, how to build things, etc.
Making your own products to offer for free can eventually lead you to develop products you can sell! Many bloggers offer so many freebies, they have enough content to bundle neatly into a paid product.
You can find multiple ebooks and courses on product development. As you continue to follow other bloggers and make connections, you will find the courses to assist in this area.
The bloggers that tend to offer more of their own content, the greater income they tend to generate. Read on for the last of the 10 steps you need to follow!
10 Steps – Sendowl
The final step follows product creation for a reason. If you have digital or tangible products for sale, you need a medium in which to distribute these items.
I personally use Sendowl as all my products are thus far digital. It has been such an easy system to use. Sendowl talks to Convertkit, so anytime someone signs up for a free printable or paid product, Sendowl takes care of collecting the contact information, payment and handles the distribution.
I do not need to do anything at all during this process. Total automation. All the while, Convertkit collects the email and places the customer in a group that I had “tagged”, so future email campaigns will find the appropriate people. Once you figure out the systems that work for you, you are golden!
10 steps all wrapped up
I hope you have learned something new! When I started blogging I did not know half of the above! It took me almost a year to finally get a solid foundation of the blogging basics.
I had no idea there was so much to blogging when I first started this journey. I learned early on the importance of connecting with other successful bloggers to lead me the way.
I am still learning from them and finding my way. Before you go, remember to subscribe so you never miss what comes next! Good luck with your adventures!
Looking for extra funds to spend on travel fun? Check out my post on Making Money with a Side Hustle – the Top 15. OR learn how to write a blog! Read Blogging 101 – tips for starting a blog! to get you started.