Introduction To Starting and Growing a Fabulously Successful Blog | Jenaae Jackson | Skillshare

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Introduction To Starting and Growing a Fabulously Successful Blog

teacher avatar Jenaae Jackson

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

7 Lessons (37m)
    • 1. Introduction To This Course

      1:07
    • 2. Why Start A Blog

      3:30
    • 3. Choosing Blog Niche

      5:32
    • 4. What Type of Content To Create // Creating Content: Part 1

      3:22
    • 5. How To Create Engaging Content // Creating Content: Part 2

      6:17
    • 6. Making Your Blog A Business

      7:26
    • 7. BONUS: 9 Popular Lifestyle Blog Niche Ideas

      9:25
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About This Class

Ever thought about starting a blog? Perhaps a travel blog, a creative DIY blog, a mom blog, or a savvy fashion blog. Blogging is a marvelous opportunity to express your creativity and a magnificent way to share your ideas. 

✨ Over 150 million people in the US alone read blogs regularly.

✨ Blogs are the 5th most trusted source of accurate information online!

✨ Blogging and Influencer Marketing is the fastest-growing online customer-acquisition method for major brands. 

You have impassioned interests. You have something to say. Start a blog and share your ideas with the world! In this course, I will share with you how to start and grow a new blog successfully. We will be covering the following:

1. Why Start A Blog

Uncovering your why and having a laser-sharp objective for your blog will help you create content that inspires and grow an audience who can't wait to hear what you have to say. 

2. Choosing A Blog Niche 

Choosing a blog niche that you not only enjoy but also one that can quickly gain traction and attract an audience.

3. What Type of Content To Create

Discover the best types of blog content to write as a new blogger that your audience will love. 

4. How To Create Engaging Content 

Writing and creating blog content is easy — when you have a blueprint of how to do it step by step. Discover the formula I've used to create hundreds of popular blog posts easily and quickly. 

5. Making Your Blog A Business 

If you're so inclined, blogging is a great way to not only grow an existing creative business that you may have by using content marketing principals, blogging can also be a business all on its own. In this lesson, I cover some basic fundamentals in the business of blogging.

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Transcripts

1. Introduction To This Course: Hi, I'm Johnny Jackson, the lifestyle blogger and founder of hello bombshell.com and bombshell entrepreneur.com. I've been blogging for over three years now, and I've created several books and courses to help ambitious creatives start and grow successful blogs of their own. In this course, we're going to be diving into some of the most important fundamentals of blogging and growing a fabulous blog from scratch. By the end of this course, you'll understand how to choose a successful nice for your blogs, how to write and create excellent content easily and quickly. And you'll gain an understanding of how to make your blog into a business. Use your blogs, express yourself creatively, build a thriving community of like-minded individuals who share your interests. And if you're so inclined, use a blog to grow a business that you already have or to create a business all on its own. Blogging is an opportunity that has absolutely changed my life and I want to invite you on this journey of starting and growing your very own blog from scratch. 2. Why Start A Blog: I'd like to begin this first lesson with a little humility. Because when I first started my blog as a hobby, I had no clue what I was doing. And surely after publishing my very first blog post in 2013, I completely abandoned my blog for several years following looking back. It was because when I first started my blog, not only did I have no clue what I was doing, I also had absolutely no game plan. In fact, I wasn't even clear on why I was starting a blog to begin with. And if one thing is certain with any new pursuit is that if you fail to plan, plan to fail. And so at the onset of your own blogging journey, it's super important that you're very clear on why you want to start a blog to begin with, to help you along, here are some reasons why you might consider starting a blog and why it's a good idea to start a blog right now. Number one, to pursue and share your passion. If you're familiar with by lifestyle blog, then you know, I'm fiercely passionate about all things, lifestyle and personal development for women. I enjoy reading various lifestyle blogs, personal development books, and continuously learning new things. It also gives me great pleasure to share the insights that I've learned along the way with the ladies and gentlemen two that come to my blog on a daily basis. Blogging gives you a platform to share with the world something you too are very passionate about. Another reason why you may consider starting a blog is to build a business. Blogging is an excellent way to grow a business that you already have or to create a business all on its own. Blogging gives existing businesses a place to create and share material online, such as insights, tips, and news related to that business. And although it doesn't thirdly promote the business or brand, it is intended to simulate interests in the businesses, products, or services. This is known as content marketing. Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about three times as many leads. Blogging itself can also be a viable business model to make an income online. The best part about growing a blogging business is that it can create an incredible passive income stream for which there are no limits. Let me tell you, blogging has been the best thing to ever happen to me. The fact that I can make a living writing and sharing content about things that I'm passionate about is really very remarkable. And we'll get into how you can make this possible in a later lesson. Of course, there are many other reasons why you may start a blog. Perhaps to build a personal brand, to have a platform, to network with influential people, to build a thriving community, to have fun. And Calamus other reasons. But the first two that I mentioned are the most significant to me. What about you? What are the most significant reasons why you'd want to start a blog? 3. Choosing Blog Niche: Choosing your blog niche is crucial to the success of your blogging journey. And it's something that you should really consider very carefully. For those not done with the lingo yet, a niche relates to products, services, or interests that appeal to a small specialized section of the population. In other words, a niche basically means a subject or topic. This is the area of interest that your website is going to focus on. And it's what you'll be writing about on a daily basis for your blog posts. Now, you may be wondering, Do you actually need a niche? Can't you just write about a wide variety of topics on your blog? Well, sure you can. You especially don't need a rigid niche if you're creating a personal blog that you don't necessarily intend on monetizing later on. If you want to grow a considerable audience for your blog however, or perhaps turn your blog into a business at some point, it's really very difficult to be influential when you appear to be a jack of all trades and a master of none. That's why finding a niche is so crucial to your online success. A niche makes it crystal clear to your audience exactly what you do and for whom. With that said, when I started my blog, I must have spent months trying to decide on the perfect niche before it publish anything. In retrospect, this was such a mistake. If you're wondering what in the world you should blog about or what your knees should be, or even what the name of your blog should be. Although these things are super important, what's more important is that you start because you can and probably will end up pivoting or changing things anyway. Major key alert, ladies and gentlemen, progress, not perfection. With that said, let's take a look at some of the considerations that you need to bear in mind when picking your niche. Number one, choose a topic you enjoy creating and growing. A successful blog is not a small job by any stretch of the imagination. That's why it's so very important that you choose a niche that you enjoy reading and writing and creating content about. You'll be spending a lot of time working on your blog to make it successful. And so you have to ask yourself, is this something that you'll be happy to write about on a regular basis? Writing and creating content will also become a lot easier if you're well-versed in the subject, you will need to do less research and at the same time you'll find it much easier to come up with new and interesting topics that people who like your topic will actually be interested in. Your passion will also come across in the content and people will be much more inclined to read the content that you've put together as a result, number to choose a blog niche that's popular, at least somewhat. When picking your niche, you want to choose a niche that's going to be able to attract a considerable amount of people in the same breath. However, you'll also want to think about the potential competition and consider how easy or how difficult it's going to be to stand out in that market. A good strategy is to choose a topic that has broad appeal, but then narrow it down to something more specific. For instance, if you like fitness, how about picking a certain area of fitness to focus on, such as yoga, running or CrossFit. You can niche down your topic even further by targeting a particular group of people. For instance, not just Yoga, but postpartum yoga for stay at home moms. A good example of a great niche website or a great niche blog is nerd fitness.com. Nerd fitness is a fitness website for self-professed nerds and average Joes. This website is very successful because they cater to men and women who feel out of place or left out in the mainstream fitness arena, this makes for a wonderfully polarizing niche. To conclude this lesson, here are some good rules of thumb to follow when choosing your nice for your blog. If there are niche books or niche magazines on a topic, you can likely grow a big enough audience for you to be able to make your blog successful. Another good rule of thumb when choosing your blog niche is choosing a niche that you can create content that is not you focused, but instead where you can create content to help your audience. Lastly, if you'd like to turn your blog eventually into a business, you also wanna make sure you choose a niche that you can easily monetized. Consider a niche that you can either create products or promote the products of others as a way to generate income. Again, choosing the right niche is crucial to the success of your blogging journey. So you wanna make sure you invest a good amount of time and choosing the perfect niche that's right for you. 4. What Type of Content To Create // Creating Content: Part 1: When I first started blogging, it never occurred to me just how challenging writing would be. I mean, writing seemed easy enough, right? Until I had to actually do it. Unless you enjoy writing or you happen to have a natural knack for this skill. Writing or creating content for your blog can sometimes be very time-consuming and seem very difficult. But the truth is, with a little bit of structure, creating excellent content on a consistent basis doesn't have to be difficult at all. Firstly, let's clarify. What is a blog post and what is the purpose of a blog post. A blog post allows you or your business, for example, to publish insights, thoughts, and stories on your website for your audience to see. If you want to create high-quality content for your blog, you really need to understand exactly what encompasses high-quality content. Before I elaborate on what makes for high quality blog post, I want to remind you that blog writing is very different from any other type of writing. It's much more casual. With that said, you don't need to be a scholar or a professional author to produce solid and well-written blog post. A great blog post does the following. It keeps the reader reading. It has a clear focus. It helps the reader solve a problem or entertains. And it makes the reader want to keep reading more or to subscribe to your blog. Furthermore, every blog post doesn't need to be a masterpiece. Remember, progress, not perfection. Now, there are two main types of blog posts that people generally enjoy reading. Number one, blog post that helps the reader solve a problem that they're facing. Posts like these offer a solution to a need in the reader's life. An example of a poster like this would be how to help your baby sleep through the night if you are a mom blogger, for example. Another type of blog posts that people really enjoy reading. Our posts that make them feel good or encouragement, inspiration or funny, post, post like bees offer the reader a break in their day. Having them walk away with a smile or feeling like someone else can relate to something that they're going through. An example of a post like this would be, for example, 17 things I learned moving to New York City. Always keep in mind that your posts should be about the reader. If you're writing about yourself or your life, it should be with a purpose. Don't just write about your daily life and expect for readers to care. Some of the bigger bloggers can really get away with this, but generally they already have a ton of raving fans. It's much easier to gain traction, especially as a new Blogger, with helpful, encouraging or funny posts that really focus on the reader. 5. How To Create Engaging Content // Creating Content: Part 2: Now that you know what makes a good quality blog posts and two main types of blog posts that you can start creating. Let's get into how to actually create these blog post. Let's take a look at how you can create fabulously engaging blog posts in five simple steps. Step number one, define a clear topic, objective, and headline. You want to spend some time poking around the subject, jotting down notes and brainstorming different ways that you can approach a topic, summarize your topic and objective into one sentence. This is your big idea, hypothesis statement or promise. Clarify if this blog post is meant to be an MVP or massive evalue post? Or is it just meant to be a milepost? Mvps offer massive value and typically take the form of a very long content. Philip post, on the other hand, give lots of value. However, they support the MVPs and are generally shorter and more actionable. You'll also want to define one person to whom you're speaking. This will make your content very readable and very personable as if you're having a conversation with the reader. In addition, what tense, attitude, and tone will you've writes? What pronouns will you use? Will this blog posts have a more personal tone or a more formal tone? Lastly, you also want to develop a good working headline. This may seem backwards, but writing content becomes a lot easier when you develop your headline first. Starting with your headline first helps you to stay on topic and not get off track when you're creating content. Step number two, research and get familiar with the topic. Be it books, other blogs, videos, et cetera. Spend some time consuming yourself in the topic that you're writing about. Give yourself time to think, digest, analyze, and draw your own conclusions from your research before you start writing. Step three, create a strong outline, plan the main points, and then organize them into a logical and chronological structure. Think linear, or in other words, how are you getting the reader from point a to point B in your blog posts, step-by-step, use headings, sub-headings, bullets, and questions. This will help the content be more readable and it will also help you to write much easier when you get to that point. Each headline should address a single problem or points. Lastly, you want to ask of yourself very deliberate questions to get even more clear with your outline. Now here are some great questions for you to ponder. Why am I creating this? What is my objective? What's my point of view? Why should it matter to the reader? What other information might the reader be looking for? Is my chosen tone appropriate? What are some relevant supporting arguments and references? Is this meant to inform, persuade, or entertain? Now that you've got a solid foundation, let's get some words out. In step number four, you're going to be free riding and getting your thoughts out onto the screen or paper. Write freely and as rapidly as possible and throw the whole thing on the paper or on the screen. You can kinda get caught or stuck when you are too critical of yourself in the moment. You really just want to write. Once you have an outline, just start writing. Go offline and set a timer, right? Like you're having a conversation. Take advantage of speech to text. This particular tip has been absolutely fabulous for me. If you have a hard time writing content, activate the speech to text on your phone or on your computer, and just have a conversation with yourself and watch how the words just appear on the screen. This is a great writing hack to get you started and start to get some words on the page. Remember to K ISS. Keep it simple, stupid. Don't be overly concerned with word choice or necessary information because you'll be buffing up your content later. Simply add a little notation, for example, a hashtag. And then you can go back and find all the places with the hashtag. And you know, that's an area that you wanted to add more information so that that particular sentence or paragraph doesn't keep you stuck, linked to citations as you go. And then step number five, this is where you're going to beef up the content that you have. You're going to be adding resources, stories, quotes, pictures, and more. So ask yourself in your blog posts, what kind of supporting evidence did you reference? Use statistics, stories and quotes to illustrate your points at a good mix of original thought and reference content. If a blog post is all curated work of others, why does the reader need you? And if a piece is all your own, why should the reader trust you? Your blog posts should be a combination of your own thoughts and researched information. At this stage, you should have a solid blog posts starting to materialize that you can edit, spruce up with some finishing details such as resources and pictures, and begin to promote. Following this guideline has made writing such an enjoyable process for me because it's like a map. And when you have some direction, you can walk more confidently. As it turns out, riding aid so hard after all. 6. Making Your Blog A Business: Starting and growing a blog gives you a platform to share your ideas with the world. Additionally, blogging is a fabulous way to express yourself creatively. Amongst some of the other reasons you may consider starting a blog, include building a thriving community, practicing and improving your writing skills. You may even consider starting a blog to build your personal or professional brand. Another reason you may consider starting and growing a blog is one that warrants its very own lesson. And that reason is blogging as a business. For those who wish to take advantage of the influence a blogging platform enables. Blogging can be a very lucrative business opportunity. This is certainly something I wish I had known before I started my blog. Because when I first started my blog, I didn't even know that it was something that you can make money from. Much less that I'd be able to after just a few months, completely replaced my full-time income with my blog earnings. If done strategically, blogging is a great opportunity to turn a creative pursuit into a way of making passive income online. If you're new to blogging, you might be wondering, how do blogs make money? Or how can you turn a blog into a business? That's what we'll be covering in this lesson. In this lesson we're going to be covering a few of the best and most reliable ways to monetize your blog and how to turn your influence, no matter how small it may be into real life dollars and cents. Before we dive into this lesson, I want to make sure however, that we're on the same page. And so I think a little clarification is in order. Monetization is the action or process of earning revenue from an asset or business. In other words, it's just a fancy word for making money. Now, without further ado, let's get into it. Here are three ways to monetize your blog and make passive income online. Number one, display advertising. Display advertising is perhaps the most straightforward way to monetize a blog. It's also one of the most passive when you consider making money from a website in any capacity. If you visit an average blog or website, you'll notice that a lot of these websites have advertisements displayed on many of the pages. You probably don't even give it much thought. But the owners of these blogs and websites are paid to display these advertisements. Many bloggers make a substantial amount of their income from displaying advertisements on their websites. Display advertising is super easy when you work with an ad network, which helped to provide the ads directly to you. Among the most popular of the advertising networks that helps to connect bloggers and advertisers include money metric, media, vine, and add derive. The benefit of working with an ad network is that they mostly do everything for you as far as setting up the ads on your website and negotiating directly with the advertisers on your behalf. These ad networks, however, typically require a minimum threshold of website visitors per month in order to work with you. Number two, affiliate marketing. The basic idea behind affiliate marketing is that you promote other people's products and services. And in exchange, you receive commissions whenever your recommendations lead to sales. With affiliate marketing, traditional display ads are not involved. Instead, you're given a personal link that you use to promote products on your website. If your site visitors click on one of these links and make a purchase, you get a commission. You are responsible for placing those links somewhere on your website. You can place the links within a blog post along the sidebar or wherever you prefer, even on social media. By far, my favorite way to find companies with great affiliate programs is by signing up with an affiliate network. Popular affiliate networks like CGI.com or Commission Junction and share a sale work very much like the advertising networks that I mentioned earlier. Affiliate networks have hundreds of companies and businesses under their umbrella that are looking for bloggers to help them promote their businesses, new customers. Now, alas, we finally reached the third way of monetizing your blog business. And that's selling products. Perhaps the most obvious way to monetize a blog or a website is selling a product that your customer can buy directly from you. If developing a product is too much work, you can always simply just private label a product and sell it as your own through your blog. Private labeling companies like Thomas net, and Alibaba self thousands of wholesale on branded products that you can simply brand and sell as your own. Some of these products include hair extensions, eyelashes, clothing, even cosmetics. Another type of product that you can promote and sell on your blog or digital products. A digital product is something you can sell and people can download after purchase. So unlike selling a physical product, there are no production costs, no overhead costs, no shipping hassle. And with just a click of a button, the sale is complete. You're probably already familiar with some digital products that may include online courses like this one, e-books or downloadable workbooks. The best part is that once you create a digital asset, you can sell that acid and make revenue from selling copies of that asset over and over again for years to come. A few of my other recommended ways of monetizing or making money with a blog include the following sponsored posts. This monetization method is about finding people who are willing to pay you for publishing content on their behalf. This can include paid reviews, editorial pieces, branded publicity articles, and so on. Additionally, you can host events or Summits. You can create a membership program for your blog or your website. You can also do speaking engagements. The fabulous thing about having a blog is at the ways that you're able to monetize that blog is only limited by our creativity. When it comes to monetizing your blog. The sky is truly the limit. 7. BONUS: 9 Popular Lifestyle Blog Niche Ideas: Choosing a niche for your blog, if you don't already have one in mind, can be kind of overwhelming. So to get us started, I want to share with you nine lifestyle blog Aneesh ideas that you can start today. The benefit of choosing a popular blog niche is that you're starting knowing that you already have an audience that's interested in the type of content that you'll post. So let's get started. The first very popular blog, Aneesh is travel. Now, within the travel industry, there are different niches in and of itself. There, for example, is a luxury travel niche which caters to a more posh demographic. And there tends to be a little less competition because these are the people that are more interested in luxury travel are definitely going to be more discerning and have very expensive taste. Another niche within the travel industry is going to be adventure and outdoor excursions. Now, for everyone at venture is a little bit different. But as an influencer and as a blogger, you can definitely do the kind of excursions and adventure travel that you like and build an audience around that. So for example, if you like to travel across country or climb mountains, you can definitely build audience around that kind of travel. Another very popular blog niche is parenting. Now the early two thousands really brought about the trend of mommy blogging. And mommy blogging really gave a platform and kind of a community to parents who needed advice and much needed support from other new parents. And that trend has really grown into a much bigger industry. And with good reason because US moms control anywhere from between 6485% of all household purchases. Another huge industry for blogging is fitness. As you may know yourself, everyone is always trying to get healthy, get fit, lose weight. And so if you can help someone to do that in your own way, perhaps by sharing tips, tricks, and different workouts. This is a great, nice to start a blog around. In fact, fitness is a $4.2 trillion industry and it's not going anywhere anytime soon. Some niches within the fitness industry include weight loss for women, muscle building for men, yoga, lifestyle, pregnancy, fitness, cross fitness. And we can go on and on and on. The next very popular blog niche that is really doing very well right now is frugal living. Now, many personal finance blogs and websites teach you how to make money by investing inside jobs. But a very trendy thing happening right now is a lot of these bloggers are showing people how to, Instead of making money, necessarily also saving money by living a frugal lifestyle. Now, what does that mean in terms of content? These frugal lifestyle bloggers are teaching their readers how to reduce the waste or reduced the things out there buying that are wasteful. Curbing habits, costly habits, suppressing instant gratification and practicing self restraints. Avoiding money traps, defining expensive social norms, detecting and avoiding manipulative advertising, that's a really good one. And using barter, that's something that Millennials definitely can use a lesson in, because bartering is a skill that we don't really use as young people, especially as young people in the Western society. And so that is frugal living and frugal lifestyle. If that is something that interests you, it's a very, very popular blog needs to consider. Next, we have a home decor. Now. In home decor, things like furniture, textiles, and floor coverings are used to enhance the living space of peoples homes. And the Global home decor market is valued at $616 billion. Like that's crazy. And it's expected to reach $838 billion by 2027. So this is definitely a very popular Nice that's not going anywhere anytime soon. And likewise, that brings me to my next one, which is cooking. Cooking is something that we all do every single day. And it's definitely if you have an interesting perspective on cooking perhaps a particular diet, or on making food especially taste the, Perhaps a baking bread or things that people really don't make anymore. It's up to you on how you can put a niche like cooking. How you can spin a niche like cooking very uniquely and put your own twist on it and grow it to be very popular. Another very interesting niche is sewing. Now, don't discount selling us something for her grandma's, because 13.36% of Americans aged 18 to 29 stated that they practiced sewing or crafting in the last 12 months. It may not seem like a lot, but of all of the American population, 13% is a good chunk of people, which makes this a very, very good, popular and perhaps even profitable niche for a new blog. Alright, and sewing it just flows right into our next very popular, yet unlikely, Nice, which is DIY and crafting. Just as I mentioned with sewing, People are always looking for ways to keep themselves busy and entertained and DIY, whether it's projects around the home or projects with children or even DIY beauty products, you know, making your own face mass. There's so many different spins out you can put on do it yourself and crafting up things at home. In fact, crafting is a $36 billion industry. Again, another industry that's not going anywhere anytime soon. People are creative, they're looking for ways to express themselves. And starting a DIY and Craft blog is a great way to inspire people while also expressing yourself creatively. Which brings me to my very last idea for a blog niche, which is fashion and beauty. Now once upon a time, celebrities, you know, newspapers, fashion magazines were the ones at the poles of what was hip and what was good and fashion, and what people were willing to spend money on what was in style. But those days are long gone. Today, bloggers are the ones that are really, really influencing the fashion market. What people are buying, what is in style, and the fashion and beauty industry overall. So if fashion and beauty is something that interests you, if you love to put together outfits and do make up and do different hairstyles and look at alphabets of others. You can definitely start a fashion and beauty blog. And if you come at it with a very unique perspective, you can stand out amongst the thousands, maybe even hundreds of thousands of fashion and beauty bloggers that are currently in the market. It's a very, very popular niche. There's a lot of people already doing it because people are interested in this kind of content. So don't let that scare you away. Again. You have to just figure out a way to put your own unique twist on it and nice down even further. So which blog niche is right for you? And that's something you'll need to think about on your own. I hope that these ideas really helped to inspire you. I want to encourage you to check out the accompanying activity for this video in the project work book for this course. There you're gonna find some more blog niche ideas and some tips and tricks to finding the perfect blog niche. That's right for you.