There are many bloggers in the blogosphere, and few make it to the top of the blog-chain.
Most back out before they even get started because the thought of building a website is too overwhelming, and even more will assume that constant maintenance with the common busy schedule is impossible.
Those of you who decide to take it to the next level, here is a check list of 10 easy steps to help you start your journey to a location-independent lifestyle.
1. Narrow your niche and find your purpose.
This is the most important step. This is why you are here. This is what you are going to blog about. This is what you will think about all the time for the foreseeable future. This is everything.
- Be original. There are a lot of blogs, so be sure to narrow your niche as much as possible to get the most out of your audience. The more narrow the niche, the faster you'll gain followers and not get lost in the crowd.
- Figure out what it is you are going to offer. Few blogs are successful without offering their readers something in return for their faithful follow. Create, produce or publish. Whatever it is, find out what's in it for the reader and tell them.
2. Create your Amazing Blog name.
This is the fun part! - er, one of them anyway! Now that you know your niche you can decide what you'd like to call your website.
- Steer clear from blog names with your name in the title. Although some have been very successful like Nomadic Matt or Alex in Wanderland, the reasoning is behind the catchy, familiar nature in them. If you can create a catchy blog title with your name in it, go for it! Otherwise stick with something less relative to your personally and more about your niche.
- Create a title that is original and doesn't copy another bloggers name. Too many Wanderlust websites and yours can get lost in the shuffle. Make sure the name grabs your readers attention and is something easy to remember!
3. Find a Domain Host.
GoDaddy is awesome. They host my domain, email and all other sites I run. They're cheap, easy to use and always have a representative available to chat, and as a new blogger you know how important that can be.
- Find a host that will transfer your domain between sites at no charge.
- The chat line is a great feature, make sure your host has this feature available.
- Ensure the domain host sets your domain information to private so hackers cannot easily access your information online.
4. Find a Site Host & Get Creative with it.
Now that you have found a domain host, you can find a company to host your website itself. You have many options available such as Word Press or Squarespace, costs will vary and features differ between each website host.
This is where you get to design your site! Have fun, youtube tutorials, learn how to add newsletters and social icons, and get crazy with designing something you love!
- I use Squarespace because I didn't want to deal with coding but still want an awesome website. Squarespace does allow coding added to blogs and seems to be evolving their features regularly. They also have a 24 hour chat that I'm obsessed with.
- Most bloggers recommend WordPress, but again I'm not a fan of coding. I feel its a waist of time and prefer to cut the corners on this time consumer.
5. Point Domain to Site - Site Mapping.
The first time I did this i was hosting my site through Sitebuilder (I do not recommend them) and hosting my domain through GoDaddy. After hours of working with GoDaddy to map my domain to my new site at Sitebuilder, we finally decided it couldn't be done. I didn't want to give up my domain so I hired a tech who referred me to Squarespace.
I redesigned my entire blog, and reposted every blog post, but at least I didn't lose my domain. Once you find your awesome blog name, you definitely wont want to let it go either.
- If you chose Godaddy to host your domain, you chose correctly. They can walk you through this step.
- If you chose another host, check with their chat department to see if they can help walk you through the process.
6. Design Logo.
This is easier said than done. But simple is better and just about everyone these days knows how to design a logo. Make sure your logo compliments your blog name, niche and purpose. Ensure the design is simple, saved in multiple formats and is something you're happy with - Like your blog name, you should never change it once you've chosen it.
- If you post publicly on facebook that you are looking for a logo designer, one will come out of the woodwork in your network or through facebook recommendations to help you out.
- Freelance websites like Fiver and Upwork can help you find freelancers that can design logos for a negotiated fee.
7. Get Business Email.
Have I mentioned GoDaddy yet? They really. do. everything. You can have an email with firstname.lastname@example.org in minutes and for around $5 a month. This way your readers can reach you and you appear to have a very professional blog.
- Simple is best for emails as well. If your name is complex consider shortening it or using contact instead.
- If you don't want to use GoDaddy, Outlook provides a great service as well and you can use the @yourblogname.com.
8. Attach Social Media Accounts.
You've got your blog! You are now ready to attach your outside social media accounts to help with post distribution and online discovery from your readers. Start accounts under social media apps like Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Twitter and so on.
- Get on Google+. Though it doesn't have the following that the other social media masters have, it's still Google. And Google likes it when you use Google. It will help with SEO and bringing you to the top of this if your posts have been shared on their social site.
- Get your Social Media names asap. With new users coming to social media every day you don't want to lose your new amazing blog name before you even got it. You will want to stay consistent throughout as many media accounts as possible.
9. Content is Key.
Quality over quantity, etc, etc. You probably already know this, but this is truly what will drive the traffic to your blog. You are establishing yourself as a source, make sure you are a credible one.
- Post regularly so your readers know when to expect something from you. Get in the habit of posting a few times a week, or at least attempting to sit down and write so you keep the creative flow going.
- Don't post just to be posting. Make sure your content is quality to keep your readers coming back anticipating good information.
This is probably what you've been waiting for! Hopefully not the only reason you started your blog, it's still the icing on the cake. With all the hard work you've put in it's now time to get a return.
As so many great and established bloggers have already written about this topic with specific how to's, I've chosen to link you to them rather than rewrite whats already been written.
Here is a few of the top bloggers who know how to bring in the big bucks:
- 11 Secrets to becoming a professional Travel Blogger by Expert Vagabond
- How to make money from Travel Blogging by Hippie in Heels
- The Business of Travel Blogging Course by Nomadic Matt
Check out my Travel & Volunteer Videos!
Watch this video & get inspired to become a volunteer in the Elephant Nature Park Program in Chiang Mai, Thailand.