If you are interested in starting a blog or if you’re just starting out, there are a few must have essentials that you will need if you want to see any significant success. Read through this checklist to be sure that not one of these items are missing from your blogging arsenal.
The Blogging Essentials Checklist
• A Web Host – a web host is a server that stores all of your website data, and gives you your own space on the web. There are quite a few free web hosts, but these can be unreliable. Your better off paying for a plan through a reliable web host with a good reputation, it’s inexpensive and well worth it.
One web hosting company that I would recommend is Blue Host.
• A Content Management System – your content management system is like the admin control panel for your blog. This is where you control every aspect of your blog such as the content that gets published, how your blog looks, and your site layout.
I personally use WordPress and can honestly say that I’m very happy with it. WordPress makes it easy for anyone to design a website even if they don’t know how to code, and it actually powers the majority of the internet.
• An Image Source – as you develope your blog, you will need to implement images. Images keep your visitors engaged. A blog without images is going to cause most visitors to get bored easily and leave your website quicker than they would otherwise.
There is a number of websites where you can find free stock images that are in the public domain, which means that anyone is free to use them for almost any purpose but, to get top notch images that can’t be found anywhere else on the web, you’ll have to invest a little bit.
One stock photography company with a great reputation and inexpensive prices is Dreamstime which has both free and premium images.
• An email list – a popular mantra among internet marketers & business owners is, The money is in the list!” Your email list is a valuable asset, because it is a list of people who have given you permission to send them information on a regular basis. This means that you have the power to make money with the push of a button!
• An enticing lead magnet – a lead magnet is something of value that you give away to people for free in exchange for their email address, or some other type of contact information. Your lead magnet is your tool for growing your email list. A good lead magnet can be an ebook, a special discount, a free tool, access to a members only section of your website or anything else that your website visitors might find useful. The Entrepreneur’s Resource Vault which was mentioned earlier in this post is an example of a lead magnet.
• A lead capture tool – along with your lead magnet, you will need a way for people to opt into your mailing list, and a way to collect leads. This can come in the form of a pop up, a signup box, or a number of others ways.
• An autoresponder – once people begin opting into your mailing list, you need a way to automate the delivery of your lead magnet to them so that they recieve it immediately after opting into your list. This builds credibility, and shows people that you are a professional.
The autoresponder that I use & recommend is Benchmark Email. This service also provides lead capture tools, newsletter design tools, and email campaign management.
• A newsletter – Having a newsletter enables you to stay in front of your subscribers and remind them that you’re there, and since it is people who had opted to receive information from you regularly, your subscribers will normally have a high conversion rate.
• A content strategy – the content strategy is what makes your blog. This includes your content topics, types of content, and your publishing schedule.
• A monetization strategy – there are quite a few ways for you to monetize your blog. This includes affiliate marketing, selling ad space on your website, selling your own products, asking for donations, and dozens of other ways.
• A Promotion Strategy – you can have the greatest website in world, but that won’t do you any good if no one knows that it exists. So you have to have a plan for promoting your website and driving traffic to it.
• Google Search Console – it is imperative that people can find your website when searching for the type of content that you publish. Google provides publishers with a free suite of highly useful tools to make it easy for Google to index your site and provide you feedback to help with SEO in their search engine.
• Bing Webmaster Tools – this is Bing’s version of Google Search Console, and since Bing is the second most widely used search engine, it is important to take Bing SEO into account.
• Google Analytics – once your website is up & running, you need a way to measure & analyze it’s traffic and performance and that is exactly what Google Analytics does for free!
That completes The Blogging Essentials Checklist. Very soon I will be publishing The Ultimate Blogging Toolbox which will contain tons of awesome tools and resources for serious bloggers, so be on the lookout for that, and tell me in the comments if there is anything that you feel I missed.
Thanks for reading!
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