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It’s As Easy As 1-2-3…4-5!
In my post 6 Reasons I Host My Side Hustle On Siteground (And You Should Too), I talked about the circuitous route I took to start my blog, TheFakeRedhead.com. It’s my first attempt at a moneymaking side hustle, and the home for my nearly-endless collection of dialogue prompts, along with a giant library of writing tips. That experience was like…”Start Your Blog In 100 Not-Easy, Kind of Want To Tear Your Hair Out, Exhausting Steps”.
This post details the MUCH simpler way to go about starting your blog. In fact, you can get up and running (read: ready to launch) in as few as five steps.
And I’m not just talking out my backside for funsies, or to sound like some expert talking down to the masses. I’m really not, I promise. There’s SO much about blogging that I still don’t know about, am still learning. But at the same time, Questfor47.com is my brand new moneymaking side hustle, and I had it up and running in less than 15 minutes. Now that’s fast, and you can do it too.
Step One: Determine Your Niche & Domain
One of the very first things a blogger needs to do is figure out what your domain name is going to be. What’s a domain name? That’s what you type into the search browser to go to whatever website you’re looking for. My domain for this moneymaking side hustle, clearly, is QuestFor47. It matches the title of my moneymaking side hustle, Quest for $47.
I got lucky, because I knew what my niche was going to be right from the start, and that’s important too. You need to know what you’re going to blog about, but if you don’t, don’t rush. Figure out what your niche is going to be, and then use that to determine your domain. If you’re dead set on getting your moneymaking side hustle up and running right freaking now, first of all, there’s no reason to rush. But also, remember that you can always use your own name, or a variation, for your domain.
When thinking about a domain, make sure it fits the dream you have for your moneymaking side hustle. Also make sure it’s short, easy to spell, and available. You can determine if your dream domain name is available by checking HERE or HERE. If it is, be sure to snap it up quick. If it’s not available, you can try purchasing it from the owner of the domain, but I don’t recommend diving too far down that rabbit hole. There’s not much point in shelling out major dough for a domain name when you can come up with something similar.
The other thing I would caution you is to avoid alternates to .com. There are tons out there these days, like .xyz, .net., .org, .info., .biz., .site.. Right now, these options are too new, and to be quite honest, sound a little too sketchy. Having a .com domain, right now, is really your best bet when it comes to starting off on the right foot with reputability. Though, I will say that the newest non-.com domain that’s getting a lot of valuable traction is the .co domain. If all else fails and you can’t get what you want with a .com domain, that’s your best second choice.
Step Two: Purchase Your Domain & Get Hosting
This is big step the first, and it can be a little overwhelming, but don’t let it stop you. I know most journeys toward a domain name won’t be as easy as mine—Questfor47 came to me pretty much immediately (and you can read why in my Introduction post)—but don’t stress out.
Once you settle on a domain and it’s available, go ahead and snap it up. They’re not expensive, usually just the cost of a couple of your weekly coffees at Starbucks. If you’re a first-time blogger and you’re looking to set up a brand new site, I recommend purchasing both your hosting and domain through Siteground, because you’ll get that domain free.
Hosting through Siteground costs as low as $3.95/month. Siteground is easy to use—its how I set up QuestFor47.com in just 15 minutes (or less)—and its fast and secure. Like I said, you can read my post 6 Reasons I Host My Side Hustle On Siteground (And You Should Too) to learn more and get started by clicking my affiliate link.
Step Three: Pick Your Theme
As the old saying goes, “don’t judge a book by it’s cover”. But one of the most important aspects of having a successful moneymaking side hustle is what is looks like. When it comes to your website, you want to ensure that you have something clean, professional, and most importantly—easy to navigate. People will never know how much quality content you have to offer if you website is a black background with yellow text.
When evaluating a theme, you want to make sure it’s not too busy, it’s easy for your readers to navigate from page to page, and that it can do what YOU need it to do. There’s no reason to waste money on a theme that won’t work for you, so make sure you read reviews and check out the forums to see what buyers have to say.
And sure, there are a lot of theme options out there that are free, but you’re really better off shelling out a few dollars for a premium theme. The theme I use for my moneymaking side hustle is Divi from Elegant Themes. It’s uber customizable, easy to use once you get a handle on the learning curve (there are some fantastic tutorial videos on the Elegant Themes website to walk you through every aspect of it), and the subscription to Elegant Themes comes with not just access to Divi, but access to a giant library of prepared themes for any and every type of website you can think of. Interested in purchasing Divi? Click my referral link and get started!
Step Four: Set Up Your Priority Pages
And remember, just because you’re a brand new blogger doesn’t mean you shouldn’t establish yourself like the blogs you’ve been admiring. On Aug. 1, 2018, I started working my way through an online course to establish this moneymaking side hustle (more on that when I’ve completed it). One of the first assignments was to set up a Partner With Me page. Originally, I decided to pass on it, because I couldn’t think of any organization that would be interested in teaming with a passive income/blogging lifestyle blogger. But then I realized…what if I miss an opportunity because I DON’T show that I’m ready and willing to partner with other websites?
The people running my online course made a great point: it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been blogging, because these organizations look for what kind of content you’re putting out and its quality. So, I have my Partner With Me page ready to go.
Now, you have all those pages.
Step 5: Prepare 15-20 Posts
(And it’s REALLY good if you can link them together)
For any website where you want to generate income, you want to have content to point your readers to. No one is going to want to stick around on a website that just has an About Page and a Contact Form. You need content, and you need GOOD content. The rule of thumb is to have about 15-20 posts ready to go before you launch. Sound like a lot? Yes. Is it worth it? Also yes.
What’s good content?
Well, that depends on what your niche is, what you’re blogging about. But there are some rules of thumb to keep in mind:
Long-form content is key. At minimum, your post should be 300 words long, but really, they should all clock in at about 1,000 words. Now, don’t use 12 words when two will do, but longer is better.
Pick the right keywords for good SEO.
And link your posts together.
What do I mean by that ‘linking your posts together’?
Say you have your Introductory post, and you cap your introduction by saying, “Ready to take your own journey of generating passive income of your own? Read my five-step guide to start an income-generating blog of your own here.”
Well, once you do that, the next thing you need to do is write that blog post about starting your blog in five easy steps, and…put the link in that introductory post.
This process is interlinking, because you link between pages and posts. It makes it easy for your readers to navigate. Instead of telling them “Go to the fourth post down on the Resource tab”, they can just click. And it also boosts the almighty SEO of your overall site and keeps readers on your website longer. The longer you keep a reader on your website, the more likely that you convert them into a life-long fan that is interested in spending money on whatever product you have to share.
Not sure where to start with SEO? Once you put your website together, download the YOAST SEO plugin. It’s a great jumping off point to ensure that you’re taking a good first step with SEO.
Ready To Start?
If you’re ready to set up your own moneymaking side hustle, don’t forget to download my FREE Blog Startup Checklist. Not only does it include the steps above, but this freebie printable has 50 different to inspire you to write those first 20 posts. And don’t forget to get hosting (plus a free domain) for as little as $3.95/month through Siteground.
Ready to write an awesome blog post that your audience will devour?
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