We have been learning how to blog (with the purpose of generating an income with the blog) for the past 2 years. We have followed good trainings and learned from amazing bloggers and online entrepreneurs. Here we will share with you our experience and we will give you some bits of advice for you to start with your online project for not to quit while trying. Are you ready to kick off?
These are few bits of advice for starting an online project like a blog
When you decide to open a blog or a website, usually the following occurs:
- You open the blog or site with a content manager, usually free, because you don’t understand why would you should pay for something free. Duh!
- You jump into the adventure of building your site and installing your template in WordPress because everyone says it’s super easy and it does not require any knowledge, but later you find yourself with a very poor design, not even close to the free template example.
- You don’t understand why you write, write and write “awesome articles” with pretty photos but not even your parents read them.
- Feeling that something is wrong, you decide to talk with Saint Google but all the answers create an ocean of information where you end up lost and “infoxificated” without knowing how to take action.
Having gone through each of these points, long hours of frustration and after several months in our project, we realized the mistakes we made. We are doing this post because we don´t want you to do the same, trust us… is not nice.
It´s also important to say that the advice we give you here is for projects who want to generate money. If your desire is to simply open a virtual space where you write about whatever you want, just for fun no matter the money, you can skip this and go the easy way.
We would have been very grateful getting this information when we were starting, but as the wise say:The teacher appears when the student is ready Click To Tweet
Not before. So, we had our path and although it was sometimes very overwhelming, here we are, ready to keep doing it.
So without further to say, these are the things you should know before starting your online project and not quit while trying:
Define your idea
Deciding is most important. Set a date and organize yourself to move forward with a different task each day. The most common mistake is to start by buying the domain and hosting. In fact, the first step is to define your idea and is not just that, an idea. You should know what you’re going to promote (services, products, both), how to talk about it, which is your targeted audience, who will read you (who is your ideal reader) to go to the next step.
Do a market study and validate your idea
Even if you think your idea is wonderful and you´ll get a great result, you must understand that your project will generate income if other people read you. There are several tools (google adwords, longtailpro, SEMRush, are just a few) that will help in this task. It takes time and sometimes is boring but this will put your feet on the ground to move forward. We didn´t do it that way; we started very naively and only after a while we realized that not even our parents read us, just then we validate our idea.
Monetization: You have to know how you will get money from the project.
About the different ways to make money on the internet I must write another article that I promise will be ready soon. For now, I can tell you that in addition to advertising (with photos of articles and services that appear in your search bars – Google adsense) there are other ways to get the internet juice so that you earn income, such as collaborations, affiliate links, the sale of own products or services. As I say, I promise you a detailed article very soon on this subject. After studying your market and your target audience, let´s get to work!
Key Recommendation: Invest in your project
This is an Internet business and although you might choose to start your project for free, average costs of a blog or a basic web are small (domain + hosting are around $60 per year), that’s nothing in terms of investment and preparing for success. It’s always better to start on the right foot. Domain, Hosting, server, content management… We know they are a lot of new concepts, but it’s simpler than it seems. We’ll explain what they are and what they do.
- The Domain is like your home address, is important because it’s the name of your digital business, should be catchy but also easy to remember. We bought ours in www.namecheap.com because they have the best market prices a great service and they won’t sell your information to others (like godaddy, that is why I stopped using it). Get your domain with name cheap in this link.
- The hosting and the server. The hosting is where you’ll build your project, the virtual space where your website will be. The server is the physical place where everything is stored. But don’t worry, you only need to purchase a hosting service, the server is included in most of the services you’ll find online. Start with something basic, there are annual packages from $50 just perfect for beginners. We use www.bluehost.com because it’s a large and reliable company, with great customer support in Spanish and English and excellent service. Get your hosting service right here.
- Content manager. WordPress, Wix, Blogspot? Of payment or free? The answer here is basic: if you want to own your project and have control over your blog or your site, the best option is to buy a domain and a hosting to install a content manager that will allow you to be freelance and manage your website at will, like www.wordpress.org (read here what is the difference with wordpress.com)
In WordPress.com, as in Wix or in something basic as Blogspot, where they offer free templates and apparently make rookies life a lot simpler because you don’t have to worry about anything (domain, hosting, etc.), what happens is that those companies master your project. There are a number of disadvantages to consider. If you want more information about this, check this article. As you can see, there are several things that we could not even think about when starting a project. Save yourself some headaches, money and time, doing it right from zero.
When starting, find guidance!
Yes, having the courage to start is not enough. If you feel lucky and you want to try to do it without help, you’re free to discover. But if you’re serious, our advice is to look for mentors, tutors, and people with the projects you dream and the result you want. Definitely, a good mentor will avoid our rookie mistakes that can cost a lot: time, wasted readers, naive writing and a path for understanding how the world of digital venture works. This investment will save you many headaches; they will guide you so you know which way to go, when and what tools to use to make everything easier. Some of our closest mentors are Spanish-speakers but you´ll find great information with Pat Flynn or Anik Singal for the anglophone market.
- As you can see, there are several things that we could not even think about when starting a project. Save yourself some headaches, money and time, doing it right from zero.
Learn from others
Read other bloggers who inspire you, compare styles, get ideas for your project, write to them if you have questions (some do not answer, but many others do). Read bloggers in your niche as from other niche markets, that investigation will help you a lot, you will have strong benchmarks and great work basis.
Prepare to work overtime
Probably you have a full-time job when you decide to start your project or, perhaps you are a full-time mother or father and time is the last thing you have. Well, if you want to move forward with your project, you must be willing to give that extra effort, to take away laziness when you need to write, edit an article, a picture or both.
The most important thing is to start
If you wait until having everything complete with the perfect idea, your writing style refined, the dreamed image bank and all the rest, we can only promise one thing: you´ll NEVER begin. We make the road by walking, start now and get better with every new step learning from the experience.
These are and will be an extremely powerful tool to bring traffic to your site, but they are not the most important. If you have many followers on social networks but a few or none of them visit your site, you´ll be doing nothing.You must focus on gaining subscribers by promoting your site in social networks, pulling people into your content, spreading the valuable information you want to share with the world.
Content and lead magnet for subscriptions
What brings you to a website? When you go to a website is because you are looking for accurate information about something, maybe a product or a service. And what happens when you don’t get what you want? You push the “go back” button to find a better result on Google. That happens because you didn’t find content answering your questions. So, if you don’t want to lose site visitors, you should know that you will need to answer questions fast, easy, friendly, focusing on your reader needs, your site is about and for them. And the lead magnet? This is the gift you’ll give to your readers. It has to be something they love or need, it has to add value to them. The law of giving and receiving. We have a checklist for travelers for example in this post. You can create as many as you want.
And last but not least, enjoy every moment. Enjoy the path.
Thanks for reading, we hope all this information is useful to you. We wish we could have received it before making so many mistakes and waste so much time while learning. Please, kindly help us to share this post!
If you have doubts or questions, feel free to ask in the comments! We are here to help you and if you want to keep updated about the last posts, SUBSCRIBE HERE to our Newsletter