Are you wanting to start blogging for income but feel intimidated and uncertain about where to start, what to do…maybe even frozen in fear because you know you’re not a “techie?”
When you’re a blogging newbie, there’s so much to worry over about starting your own business. Although the blogging community is huge and supportive, it’s still a solo business where you succeed or fail on your own.
When newbies were asked about their biggest fears about launching a start-up business online, there were some common themes that seemed to be looked upon as obstacles for those who don’t have much experience with this business yet.
*This post contains affiliate links.
Knowing Where to Start
You get online and hear about blogging and internet marketing and when you start Googling the words, you get a huge array of opportunities. There’s not just one business model to work with – there are dozens.
You can create products, promote as an affiliate, engage in mobile marketing, provide services – the list goes on and on. It starts to get a little overwhelming because you don’t know the best way to just get started.
You want to ask yourself what your primary need is right now. Are you desperate for money or are you hoping to build a business for your personal satisfaction?
It’s okay to have both, but if your electricity is about to be turned off, then you might want to pursue services and work for those who are already successful before you try to carve out a place for yourself as a leader in a niche.
Some business models will take more time to see a return than others.
For example, if you chose to offer freelance writing services, you could get paid today with a PayPal payment.
But if you decided to start off as an Amazon Associate, using affiliate marketing as your business model, you would have to wait at least two months to get a payment from that – not including the time it takes for you to create content that converts into sales.
Learn about the various business models available to you and make a list of those that peak your interest. You don’t need to know all of the details about it yet, but if you hear that people make money ghostwriting and you love to write, jot that down as a possibility for you.
Then make a list of the skills and talents you have that you’d like to put to good use, like graphics, research, writing, technical tasks, etc.
Go out searching for courses and information that can help you get started. And have realistic expectations. There’s a reason you shouldn’t start with online marketing if you’re desperate for money – it’s not an overnight cash cow, no matter how many people share income reports stating how they made $1,000+ in their first, second, or third month of blogging. *Don’t GET me STARTED.*
When you buy a course, implement every word of it before you consider it a flop. And even then, go to the product creator and show them your efforts and see if they can help you get on the right track.
Expect a few failures along the way – not one person has avoided them. The ones who succeed are the ones who expect to fail, interpret failure as being one step closer to success, and then learn what to do – or NOT do – next time.
Don’t buy every course, tool, and special offer presented to you. You can easily get started with free and low cost options before you re-invest in your business for a few upgrades.
There is no exact starting line you have to find. You gather information and jump in. You can look for information online or buy a course that helps you get going.
If you can’t invest right now, don’t. But expect to invest a lot of time in finding out how to get started and what to do to make a full-time income from your blog. It can be done. Investing in courses and tools simply gives you an edge and helps things move along a little faster.
Deciding What Courses to Invest In
Once you have a business model in mind that you think you may want to try, start looking for a course to teach you what you need to know. Start with one and then after completing it, move on to another. I can’t stress how important it is to implement and complete the courses you invest in.
And know that there is no one soup to nuts course for you. Every seller will have a slightly different strategy and concept – and it’s likely that you’ll pick up a few golden nuggets from each one, rather than follow one course verbatim for your entire career.
I know I personally still invest in training and education. Sure, some of it is redundant and I roll my eyes because I’ve already been there, done that. But sometimes, in the midst of a course I’m thinking was a total waste, I learn ONE THING that gives me that “a-ha” moment and I can implement it, leveling up in my own business.
Start looking for courses by checking out blogs, forums, or asking a reputable blogger what her recommendation is for learning a specific business model.
You can also Google things like “best Amazon affiliate course” to see what comes up. (I recommend THIS course as a great way to learn all about Amazon affiliate marketing!)
Look for discussions, in-depth reviews, and recommendations from people who have implemented a training or product and stay away from blatant promotions written by someone who is just out to make a quick buck.
Evaluate the reputation of the sellers. Look for real information – does he or she respond to emails? Are refunds difficult to get if there’s a problem? Are they known for quality or have they just started their business, providing little content in a niche they really don’t seem to know much about?
Look for honest reviews, not promotions. You want thorough reviews by someone who actually purchased or owns a copy of the product and is explaining to you what makes it good (as well as what’s lacking in it). Like I do in this post. 🙂
Actually read the entire sales copy – even between the lines. So many people buy on a whim – skimming through and reading headlines and testimonials only. You need to read every word. And if you don’t understand something, email the product creator and ask before you buy.
Don’t buy and then say to yourself, “Well if it’s not what I wanted, I’ll just refund.” Doing this will get you blacklisted – not to mention it damages the seller’s ranking for sales.
Don’t order something until you have time to implement it. If you’re swamped without a second to spare, then now is not the time to be trying to launch an online business.
When you have at least an hour each day or a few times a week to implement a new course, then buy it and begin implementing it right that minute.
You can even start a blog and conduct a thorough review of your implementation process, helping you make some affiliate sales along the way. That’s how this blog was born – I wanted to show what works for me, what I do, how I do it, and the tools and techniques I use to make money by blogging.
Coming Up with an Idea Where Competition Isn’t an Issue
It’s not just newbies who get stage fright over competition. It’s really not necessary, but it strikes fear in the hearts of newbies and seasoned marketers alike.
Competition is a good thing. It means there are people scrambling to get a piece of a profit pie. If there’s zero competition, then that’s a sign that there’s no pie at all – in other words, no profits.
Instead of being so worried about competition, learn to become one of the competitors that others should be fearful of. This doesn’t happen in an instant – it grows over time, and there’s plenty of room for you, regardless of what niche you want to be in.
Think about what niche you want to be in. Does it seem like everyone and their grandmother is in that niche? That’s okay! Even if it’s recipes, dieting, or making money online, there’s a place for you.
You don’t have to pursue underwater basket weaving as your niche just because no one else is doing it. They’re not there because it’s a dead niche for making money.
What do you want to be known for? Let’s say it’s pets. Would you like to be known for helping people train their dogs? Or maybe helping them learn all about what their pet needs to be happy and healthy?
You need a slant. You’re the one who is going to be creating a buzz about yourself in this niche, so you have to know what you want the conversation to be about.
Who is your competition? Don’t be scared of them – dissect their offers and topple them that way. When two groups go to war, they learn as much as they can about the other group – what weapons they’re fond of, what mode of transportation they prefer, etc. This is how they ultimately defeat the other group.
How are your competitors operating in the niche? What products do they have? What services? How often are they networking on social sites? Look at every detail of how they conduct business.
Now how could you do it better or different? If there are virtually no videos by these people, then you can dominate on YouTube. Or if they haven’t bothered to release a trendy product lately, you could get into the niche by scooping something in the news.
Another way to stand out in your niche is by being a counter-culture leader – someone who monitors what everyone else is doing and then focuses on creating content about the topics they’re ignoring. This technique all but ensures that you’re creating fresh content that others are NOT writing about.
Picking a Website Name
It’s hard to tell you not to worry so much about picking your site name because it is important. But you don’t want to let it paralyze you – and you don’t want to become a domain hoarder who keeps buying URLs because you keep thinking you made a mistake with the last one.
First things first – try to get a dot com extension. Yes, you can make do with a dot net, dot org, dot info or many other extensions but consumers typically assume everything is a dot com, so it’s best to go with that.
You need to know what the purpose of your site is before you go shopping for a domain. Is it going to be a review site? Then you could try to work that word in, like this:
If this is a domain for a niche blog, then you don’t need to put the word blog in your domain URL. You just want to grab a domain that preferably uses keywords and explains what the site is about.
These domains are all pretty self-explanatory. What you don’t want to do is be vague about it. The last thing you want is a potential reader skipping over your blog because they saw your domain name and just don’t get what your site’s about.
Vague domains like “FlyHigher.com” might be about self esteem – but it could also be about hang gliding. Or getting your pilot’s license. No one knows at first glance.
If you are going to brand your domain – which is my favorite way to choose a blog name – try to make sure it makes sense.
Try doing a little keyword research and choose your blog name that way. Or use keywords to give you more ideas. I like this tool for researching keywords and your first few searches (30) are free.
Handling the Intimidating Technical Tasks
Some people have a mountain of motivation, a ton of determination, but absolutely zero technical prowess. If this describes you, don’t consider it an obstacle you can’t overcome.
There are several ways to get around the fact that technical issues are your Achilles Heel.
If money is an issue, then you can look online for step-by-step videos or text instructions that teach you how to do something. Be very specific when you search, by using phrases like, “How to install a WordPress blog.”
If money’s not an issue, or if you feel like the frustration level and time consumption will be too much for you to take the DIY route, then you have a couple of options.
You can invest in training that will show YOU how to do the techie, website stuff or you can save up to outsource any tech tasks you don’t want to handle.
You can find someone to do everything – install blogs, upload content, set up your email autoresponder – you name it. Sometimes the people who sell certain tools will conduct the service you need for a small fee.
Being a newbie should be an exhilarating time for you, not one where you feel paralyzed and intimidated by everyone else’s success stories.
Sure, there’s a learning curve. Sure, you’re not going to have a big-time moneymaking blog overnight. But you WILL get there.
Keep in mind that everyone’s made mistakes, we’ve all failed, but the ones who succeed are those who insist on getting back up and trying again.
If you want help getting started or growing your blog, I hope you’ll sign up for my newsletter. I share great tips and techniques for starting, growing, monetizing, and marketing your online business (and you get some cool free stuff, too.)