Creating a blog on the cheap can be done but takes a lot of leg work. Now I am not talking about making money, which I have only started this week. I was approved for WordAds the other day but I have had my blog for 3 year, which I haven’t been totally active on. I am starting a reopening on of my blog this month and focus on it and my primary home business – Analina Rag Dolls. So I have been researching and read a lot of tips and tricks to grow my blog and of course make money. I have a Pinterest Board for Blogging tips if you want to follow it.
These Tips are from my experience so far and what I learned from read a ton of blogs about blogging (LOL). To date I have only put $18 (that is a yearly fee) into my blog and that was to buy my dotcom, so I could apply for Wordads. I was able to add Wordads without upgrading my wordpress too, there are a few FREE templates that enable the ads. I will probably upgrade to a better template someday but for now I am happy.
These are the tips that I have found to be important:
- A great name and Logo, catchy names and professional looking, yes you can make a great logo your self. I use PicMoney to create or edit my photos and it’s Free for the most part (there is paid upgrades that I don’t use). As you get better you can update your logo or header photo. As for the name, find something that means something to you and is a little descriptive. For example, Analina Rag Doll is both, Analina is a family name and I make rag dolls. It took make days to think about it too, so don’t feel bad if you struggle with it. Feel free to ask friends and family for help, even your children maybe helpful. Also having a short tagline is also a bonus, this is the words that are under the title.It is a short description of your blog.
- Picking a web-host for your blog, I have both WordPress and Blogger, so it was depend on what you want. Both those are FREE host and WordPress can be upgraded to professional at anytime. As for Blogger I have no clue but I haven’t seen upgrade options yet. Personally I like WordPress better but I have noticed that Blogger get traffic even without me trying. It also depends on which ads you want to run, Wordads is for WordPress and Adsense is for Blogger. I do know that new blogs on Adsense are not able to use Adsense until they are 6 months old. Wordads also has a view (hits) requirement to be approved, which from what I read it is in the thousands a month. I average a minimum of 6,000+ views on my blog.
- Pick a simple but relevant to your blog layout/template. Also make sure to customize it to fit your needs. Keep in mind that free templates may not have as many features but with adjustments it can be done. This can take a while, it took me 3 days to get mine the way I wanted it. Make sure to add widgets to the sides such as top posts, follow me buttons, search box, and other social media. Here is a pin for a breakdown of how a blog should look.
- Write a good “about you” page, I myself have written mine a few times. The thing is, it’s not permanent so you can edit it and add new content as you grow. In my “about you” page (which I just update) has a few short paragraphs about me and my business/blog. I also have some photos on there because to me it’s a selling point or advertising for my dolls. I also like to share a bit about me personally so people can get to know me, the person behind the name. Just make sure your happy with the look so you will want to work/write.
- Now I am guessing you know what you want to write about but if not make sure it is something you are passionate about. I found a pin on pinterest about all kinds of topic to pick from. Having a good title to important to get your viewers/readers to your blog, I also found a pin with great fill in the blank titles. Experts also say to write small paragraphs and use subtitles, my guess is that makes it easier to read. Also I read that you should write like to talk, from the heart it will make your reads feel more connected to your blog. I think to be a great blogger you should be connected and enjoying what you write and it should become more profitable in the end.
- Make sure to use tags (keywords) about your blog topics, I use as many as I can but that’s me. The tags help lead people to your blog post. WordPress also has categories that you can use with the tags. Also add links to you post to send your readers to other information such as where you got your info or to another piece of your work.
- If you are not going to blog daily you can blog in groups and schedule your post evenly throughout the week or month. Now if you miss a day or 2 or months do not sweat your blog will still be there. I only blogged a few time last year but know I am back and my blog didn’t seem to die. But with that said I read a lot of tips that said blogging daily gets you more traffic but of course right? I think to start blogging twice a week would be good and as you go you will find it gets easier. I have another blog that is a diary that once I started I couldn’t stop writing. Analina Rag Dolls blog is a bit different, is more for promoting my business by driving traffic to my dolls. At the very least, do what you feel comfortable with.
- When you go to share your blog use hashtag on all social media, especially twitter. Pinterest is a great place to share your blog, I have a board with just my blog post. One good post can go crazy, I have one pin that has over 6000 pins and it is about 250,000 views, that’s right all from one pin. That pin average 250 views a day, which is why I was so into get money from all the traffic. Facebook can also be a good to fair place to share, over the last year Facebook has been selective on who can see what. For example, I have a Facebook with over 8,000 likes but the views suck maybe a 1,000 a week and that’s with a lot of posting. Now I get that many and more interactions on twitter will less effort, I do have my Pinterest set to share all my pins. I do only have 230 follows (I get about 1 new follower a week, without trying), the hashtag do work people look and follow. Instagram hashtags really work great, so share a photo and share you link to your blog, I am not sure well it will work but you will get more followers in the end. Youtube can also be a great social media if you are making video, you can also make money from the viewer on youtube (double cash flow with your blog). I do have a channel but it is only videos of my son so I don’t share it on my blog but I am hoping to make some how-tos soon.
- Once you have posted and shared your blog you need to interact with your readers, which means answer all questions and thank everyone. Once you get big enough you can pick and choice which comments to respond to. Experts also say to read and comment on other blogs to drive traffic to your blog, I don’t do that so I am not sure how that works. I once read that sharing useful links on blog comments can get you more traffic but to me that seems spammy. I do share my blog posts on Facebook in groups when someone asks for help.
- Join groups that focus on your topic/interest, I am in several sewing groups on Facebook and share my work with my logo on it. There are also blogging groups all over the place with help and sharing. I also share in free ad groups on Facebook, it can be time consuming so I don’t do it a lot. Use Twitter groups too, I have been added to a few but haven’t use them yet. Interacting with people will similar interest can drive a lot of traffic to your because people curious and will look.
- Finally be patient you will not be an over night success, it does take a lot of time to get going. While you are waiting to be successful do your research and learn from those who are successful. Most of the time they are willing to share their advice, just search blogging on Pinterest and you will get some much. Also remember blogging is not an one size fits all, I have been studying marketing online for a couple years now so have tried many things that haven’t work. Now my thing is, if it’s FREE and it doesn’t work that’s fine, I am only out the time. But over all every little bit helps such as social media, blogging more than not blogging, having a range of posts, and loving what you do. I have always loved business management, I have a degree in Business and 2 degrees in Psychology, so think I know what I am doing but I am not an Expert.
I will update this once I have more information to share and have had Wordads for a few months to see my income reports.