If you’ve read my post Step-by-Step Guide to Starting Your Own Money Making Blog and have officially started your blog, then congratulations!! There is A LOT of work that goes into setting up a blog, and you deserve a great job!
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Last I mentioned to go start writing some amazing content to fill up your blog. While friends and family might not mind seeing only a couple of posts, it makes the blog appear brand new. You want people to think your blog is established and professional. In order to do this you need a lot of quality content!
Now before you go publishing these posts, I am going to explain some very important steps to take before you market your blog to the world and help you take those Next steps to making money with your blog!
Have a Pinterest-worthy Photo at the Beginning of Your Post
Having a fabulous photo at the beginning of your blog serves multiple purposes. The first, is it gives your post a professional feel and sets the tone for the blog post. The second, is it provides readers a picture to re-pin on to their Pinterest boards. Finally, it makes the post more engaging to have an image (or more) in the post. Now this isn’t just any old photo. Once I discovered what it should be, I actually went back and redid most of my posts. Make sure the photo is vertical and roughly 735 x 1102 pixels. If you are using Canva to design your photos, then they already have a handy Pinterest graphic to choose from.
Design a photo that has a beautiful, professional photo with it, your blog title, and your website or website name. Take time to explore Canva, or whichever program you are using, for what looks best. Overlays work really well, as do mixing different fonts together. Some people prefer to do purely text graphics with the background transparent. Here are a couple of examples:
Be sure to also include amazing, quality photos throughout the rest of your post. If you haven’t got any great photos to use, be sure to check out some of the free stock photos out there from the following places:
1. Haute Chocolate – This is my favorite site. The pictures are stunning and can be used in many niches! You can either choose the membership which costs a small amount of money or you can sign up for free photos every month!
2. Pixabay – This site has a lot of free stock images, but it is one of the most popular. Therefore, these photos are seen in many, many blog sites out there. Consider doing something creative with these photos!
3. Canva – Canva is not a stock photo site per say. They are a design site which will come in VERY handy for blogging. However, they have many stock photos for free or to purchase that you can save and insert into your blog.
4. Mara Burkes – Marka Burkes gives you an amazing 90 Free Stock photos when you sign up!
5. Turquoise and Palm – This site has some awesome, unique photos and will send you free photos every month!
6. New Old Stock – This site has amazing vintage photos taken from public records. It is SO cool!
7. Pexels – This is another awesome site for free photos and they upload new photos all the time!
8. Wonderlass – This site will give you 15 free photos for subscribing!
9. Foodiesfeed – This site is amazing for food photos! Great for those of you blogging about food or recipes!
Have Share Buttons Set-Up
A very important way to bring traffic to your blog is by others sharing your content. This can be through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and more. I prefer having a hovering Pinterest button on each photo, and social sharing buttons on the bottom of my post. A great plugin to add these features include Shareaholic and Pinterest Pin-It Button. This will help increase further traffic to your posts!
I have them at the bottom of all my posts and the side of my site, plus the hovering pin-it button on photos.
Install Yoast SEO
This is a plugin for optimizing your content being found on search engines. This is one of the most important steps you can take to bring organic traffic to your site. The plugin adds a section to the end of each post where you can customize your snippet (the blurb people see when searching for sites), and where you can add keywords. Keywords are important in order for others to find you. Make sure you add your keywords to the Yoast section of your post, but also attach them to all your photos. The keywords can be used as a phrase and belong in the section ‘alt text” of the photo edit form that pops up when you click any photos in your post. Your SEO will also improve if you have your keywords in your opening paragraph, a heading, and in the title of your post.
Tailwind is a program that schedules pins for Pinterest and Instagram and has all sorts of features. To be honest I am no where even close to figuring it out yet and maximizing its full potential. It does cost money but give their 1-month trial a try and I guarantee you, you will get hooked. To sign up for Tailwind click here.
Once you join Tailwind, begin joining Tribes. This is an amazing feature where there are thousands of people all following a single tribe. You pin your content, and they see it! Simple! Each group has its own rules but you are usually required to pin something from someone else for every pin you pin of your own content. It is a great way to get exposure! You can also schedule your own content and other people’s content to pin to your Pinterest boards at a later time, saving you time, and avoiding a wack load of pins all at the same, which can look quite spammy.
Join Pinterest Group Boards
Group Pinterest Boards are another great way to get exposure to your Pinterest pins that contain your post photos and links. Finding them can be a bit tricky so I recommend checking out PinGroupie where there are hundreds of group boards listed. Once you find a group you want to join, follow the directions listed under their group name. If no directions are listed you need to follow the board, and then follow the owner of the board. The owner is the person who’s photo is listed to the furthest left of the group board. Once you follow them, message the board owner and request to be added to the group! Be sure to tell them what you write about, your Pinterest profile link, and that you are happy to share content too! These groups have similar rules to Tailwind, such as only 5 pins per day, for every share you must share something else, etc. Many of these boards have thousands of people following them, giving your pins even more exposure. Pinterest can bring in 70%-80% of your traffic, so it is an avenue worth focusing on!
Join Facebook Groups
Facebook groups are a great way to accomplish many goals. First, you can get connected to the blogging world. There are many posts where you comment on someone else’s post, and they comment on yours. It builds relationships and gets your name out there. You never know if another blogger might want to follow you! It also gets your content shared, gets your pageviews up, and provides valuable insight and support from the blogging world. If you search Blog, Blogging, Blog Round Up, Blog Help, etc. many many groups will pop up to join.
It is also smart to join facebook groups related to your niche. If you blog about parenting, join some parenting facebook groups. If you blog about food, join some food groups. This will give you the opportunity to share your content with people who are interested in what you have to say!
Start Social Media Pages Under Your Blog Name
Having social media accounts that are directly related to your blog is a great way to build followers, advertise your content, and keep in touch with those who follow you. I would also recommend changing your Pinterest account to a business account. This gives you the ability to see analytics of how your pins are doing, and allows you to create Rich Pins, which are more detailed pins and are more searchable.
Sign up for Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is a way to actually bring in revenue from your blog. It can include ads, links to other companies, sponsored posts and more. Basically, you get special links generated from the company, and when a reader clicks the link, you make a percentage of any purchases they make. The great part of affiliate links, is that you make money from them purchasing items that you didn’t even advertise for (maybe you were talking about a particular toy and they when and purchased some books instead), and you can weave them into your blog post rather inconspicuously. Affiliate marketing is definitely an entire blog post of information all on it’s own, so I won’t go into great detail here, but be sure to include a disclosure at the beginning of every post stating that you have affiliate links, weave them in to your post seamlessly.
There are many different affiliate groups out there you can join, you just have to search. Some of them require a certain amount of pageviews or followers, and some require you make a certain amount of sales within a set time frame. Two of my favorite affiliate groups are Shareasale.com and FlexOffers. They each have HUNDREDS of stores within each of them, making it an easy one-stop-shop. They allow you to add links, banners and more! Once you start to generate income and gain more viewers, than you can start looking at adding other affiliates too. Ultimately, you want to work towards selling your own products, such as an e-book, guide, or product that allows you to make 100% of the profit, but until you have reached that step, and even afterwards, these are simple ways to bring in revenue!
These are just a few things you should do to get your blog underway. Once you complete some of these tasks, such as the photo improvements, sharing buttons, and social media sites, then you should start advertising your blog! Be sure to set up the rest of these steps as soon as possible to ensure a strong start and maximum exposure! Good Luck!
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