It’s a bold statement… but it’s true! A blog really can change your life for the better. It doesn’t matter if you are working a regular 9-5 job, currently in school or even an entrepreneur or have your own multi-million dollar business — blogs are amazing and they can do wonders for yourself and your brand.
Before I tell you how you can use a blog to “change your life”, it would only make sense for me to first tell you about how a blog did this for myself. After all, what good is advice from someone if they don’t have the means or history to give it!
I’ve been an online marketer since roughly 1995, but it wasn’t til 2007 that I decided to launch my own blog at ZacJohnson.com. Through this blog I would focus on building my personal brand and help other learn how to do the same with online marketing. Jump forward almost eight years and the blog has completely changed my life and and business for the better — both personally, professionally and monetarily.
Now let’s dive into the importance of why you need to create a blog, how simple it is and how it can actually change your life for the better in the process.
Step 1: Getting Started
When it comes to getting started with your own web site or blog, it’s actually quite simple. All you need to do is secure a domain name, web hosting and install WordPress. It sounds like a lot, but it’s actually pretty simple. This can all be done through HostGator (who I use for many of my sites), or through any other top web hosting companies.
The most important part of this process is picking a domain name (www.sitename.com) that you are going to use for your site. I always recommend everyone try to secure their real name as a .com if it’s currently available. The more generic your name, the more likely it will be that it’s already registered. If so, you might just need to get a bit creative. I also recommend you stick with a .com, .net or .org TLD.
Lastly, you will also need to setup your web site hosting and install WordPress. All three of these components (domain, hosting and WordPress) can be done within HostGator in just a few minutes time. HostGator also offers one-click WordPress installation, so you don’t need to mess with files or uploading software.
Step 2: Building a Blog with Your Passion in Mind
With all that being said, you can appreciate how easy it is to setup a blog of your own and have it live within just a few minutes. It’s also important to note that anyone can setup a blog, and that there are over 200 million blogs on the internet today — which means your blog is going to need to be pretty special to stand out from the crowd.
When it comes time to pick a quality domain name and launch your blog, you will want to create a blog around your personal name, a passion of yours or your existing business or brand.
Before figuring a topic for your blog, here are just a few reasons why people start a blog in the first place:
- Passion / Hobby – Your own little space on the internet to write about whatever you like.
- Personal Brand – A place for you to build an online profile, resume and make it easy for others to find you online.
- Business – Share information on your company while creating quality content around products and services.
Most blogs start out as a passion or a fun side project and turn into something much bigger down the road. Obviously, the more passionate you are about something, the more likely you are to put more interest and focus in it. This is where many bloggers fail, as blogging is a longterm project and when bloggers aren’t seeing the results they are looking for (traffic, readers and revenue), many will lose interest and just stop.
At the end of the day, your blog is only as good as the content you create.
Step 3: Creating Killer Content and a Meaningful Blog
The success of your blog lies within the content that you create. With hundreds of millions of other blogs out there fighting for attention, you are going to need to creation something pretty amazing to stand out from the crowd. Just on WordPress alone, over 40 million posts are going live every month! (source: Statista)
To find success in blogging, you also need to be very “niche specific“. By this we mean very focused.
For example, if you want to write about sports, it would be in your best interest to niche down from “sports” to a specific player or team. Here’s how a niching down a topic of focus might work.
SPORTS >> BASKETBALL >> NBA >> CLEVELAND CAVALIERS >> LEBRON JAMES
The reason you want to niche down is so you can eventually become the authority in your space and reach people that are looking for exactly what you are writing about. The same process we took above can be applied to nearly any niche, service, product or topic. You also don’t want to be too generic, as no one will be able to find exactly what they are looking for when on your site, and it will be way too hard for you to rank in the search results for ‘generic keywords’ at the same time.
Once you’ve niche’d down and found a winning topic, it’s time for you to start creating content… but remember, you need to create really awesome content to compete in the world of blogging. Take a look at what the top ranking blogs (based on your topic) are writing about, and see how you can do it better. If they are writing text articles, you need to be doing text and images. If you wanted to take it a level deeper, you could even start doing your own video.
The best way to create killer content for your site is to think of yourself as a visitor and if you would actually find value in what you are about to publish.
Step 4: How to Get People to Find Your Blog
You have your blog topic, you’ve created content and now you are waiting on an audience…
This is where patience comes into play. You need to remember that blogging is a long term project and take time and effort to mature (especially if you aren’t backing it with any paid advertising).
However, this doesn’t mean that you need to keep writing content and just “hope” people start coming to your site. Not at all… here’s are some of the best ways to get people to start finding your blog much faster and easier than if you were to “just write content”.
- Guest blog on other relevant sites in your industry (KissMetric’s guide to guest blogging)
- Setup social media accounts for both your personal name and your blog / sites
- Contact other relevant sites in your niche and see if they find value in your content and would like to share it with their audience
- Leave comments on other popular blogs within your niche (which also leaves incoming links back to your site)
- Create “out-of-the-box” material for your blog, such as comprehensive guides and infographics that others will want to share
Each of the methods above are all perfect for growing awareness, traffic and links back to your site… which will also help with your search rankings. Best of all, nearly all of these methods are free and will just take some time for you to setup.
Step 5: Becoming the Authority Within Your Niche
After all is said and done… you might just become an authority in your space as a result of your blog!
To become the authority in your space, you must be very knowledgeable on what you are writing about and also provide value with purpose.
For example, if you were just starting a blog and wanted to be well known in the sports world, one of the best ways to do this would be to interview as many professional or well-known athletes as you could. The more interviews you have, the more people will see your name alongside the professional athletes, which brings more attention and authority to your name as well.
This same tactic is often used in the world of blogging and online marketing as well.
In the previous section I mentioned several ways to get your name out there and how to increase traffic to your blog — all of which also help with establishing yourself as an expert within your industry as well.
Once you do become an expert within your industry, that is when the magic happens and opportunities come knocking on your door everyday.
When I started my blog, I didn’t have any readers and I was writing content just for myself. Now I have thousands of readers to the site daily and as a result of my blog, I’ve been able to speak at different events around the world, star in a documentary in Hollywood, CA, write a book, meet celebrities and professional athletes and also create a new business and source of income in the process.
Yes! You truly can change your life with a blog… and it all starts with taking action today!
With 8 million websites under our belt and 24/7/365 support, HostGator has the experience to help you get your blog up and running. Click below to get started today.
Zac Johnson is the CEO of MoneyReign, Inc.
Image source: http://blog.bradleygauthier.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/change-1.jpg