Frankly Blogging 101: Your Guide to Starting Your First Successful Blog for 2016

Creating a bustling enterprise from scratch is one of the most common dreams alive. You, me and every person within whom the entreprenurial spirit’s flame burns inside wants to create this something from nothing.

Blogging is hands down the best way to do that.

The problem is that starting your own blog from scratch is more than just a simple challenge. It’s a momentous task, – I would know from personal experience.

That’s why I’ve decided to start a brand new section to my blog with a comprehensive guide to blogging. I’ll try to maintain some sense of order and cohesion by grouping every tip, trick and strategy I know about blogging into this series of post.

This post is Frankly Blogging 101: A Guide to Blogging in 2015. You’re going to learn about setting up your first blog, explore your options for setting it up, and discover how to erect the foundation of building a strong blog that people actually want to read.

 

1. What Kind of Blog do You Want?

There’s two major types of blogs: the kind you host and the kind that someone else hosts for you. The choice between the two is something that you’ll want to make before you even start dreaming about what kind of blog you want to run.

Self-Hosted Blogs

Self-hosted blogs utilize things like WordPress, b2evolution and Ghost. You’re given complete freedom in the type of plugins and themes you install on these platforms and how you use them, but you’re responsible for hosting, backing up your content and ensuring that your blogs stay updated.

If you plan to run a blog in conjunction with a business website or as your primary means of income (at a later date), then you should likely choose this option.

If you don’t yet have hosting, then I highly recommend that you go with HostGator. They regularly have deals, such as $1 for the first month’s hosting, that are extremely advantageous to the thrifty business or individual. They also have an amazing support system that has yet to fail me, even when I’ve had to contact them for technical questions.

Hosted Blogs

WordPress.com and Blogger are two examples of hosted blogging platforms. What you can use on these platforms and even what you say must fall within the policies dictated by the hosts, but this is the option you will want to go with if you don’t have the time or expertise to run your own blog.

Do keep in mind that you will pay down the road if your blog ever becomes a successful hit. Domains, extreme storage and custom themes tend to cost a pretty penny, which means that it’s definitely worth learning how to manage your own blog now rather than having someone else do it for you later.

A Quick Cost Comparison: Self-Hosted Versus Hosted

Self-hosted blogs are incredibly cheap to run int he beginning. You can pay around $5 to $10 for a top-level domain and $5 to $10 per month for the actual hosting. You don’t (and probably shouldn’t) pay any more than that until your blog becomes a bustling hit.

Hosted blogs require quite a bit more. While are free to begin with, they’re also minimal versions of what you could have. Domains can cost $20 to $30 per year in addition to the actual cost of a domain, extra storage can cost $10 to $50 and “premium” themes can cost $50 to $200 or more.

My recommendation is to go with a self-hosted blog. Again, HostGator is my recommendation for hosting.

2. What Do You Want to Blog About?

Once you have the logistics out of the way, the next step is to decide what you want to write about. This is the one step that can change over time, but you should generally try to stick with the topics you choose.

Here’s what you don’t want to do when you’re choosing a blog topic:

  • Don’t pick a subject because it seems profitable or just because other people are writing about it.
  • Avoid topics that you intensely care about, but few other people are interested in reading about. The rights of marsupials in kitchens, for example, is something that you should probably avoid.
  • Don’t choose something that seems boring to you. You’ll burn yourself out quickly and your blog readers will see right through your posts.
  • Refrain from jumping around multiple topics. Related ideas are fine on occasion, but big shifts are generally bad ideas.

Pick Your Topic

For your first blog, you want to choose something that you enjoy writing about. You want to choose something that you can create a unique viewpoint on. You want to pick a topic that other people will love to read about.

Take my blog as an example. I love entrepreneurship. I enjoy business. Internet marketing is my thing. I find social media and such fascinating. I love helping others.

So, I made Frankly Making Money. I wanted to offer a unique and trustworthy viewpoint that few other Internet marketers wanted to reveal.

It’s as simple as choosing something you love to write about. You’ll never go wrong when you do that.

What Happens If You Can’t Come Up With a Topic?

There’s going to be times when you can’t come up with an idea that generates traffic. You may flounder about while trying to reach the perfect theme for your blog.

That’s okay.

If you’re in that stage, then you might just keep trying things until they work. Some of the best blogs on the Internet were originally personal blogs filled with poetry and feelings about politics that slowly grew into realizations about life and business.

When you pick an idea, just make sure to stick with it. Give it three months before you jump to a new idea.

If you find yourself lacking enthusiasm or visitors at the end of those three months, then try something new. You’ll eventually hit your mark.

3. How Do You Set Up Your First Successful Blog?

When you start your first blog, here are the five things you need to address before you begin writing your first post:

  1. Your Blog’s Name – This may be linked to your blog’s address, so you should definitely come up with something.
  2. Keywords – These can change over time, but you should have some keywords to describe your blog. You’ll want these when you craft your first few posts and decide upon things like your blog’s motto.
  3. An About Page – Every blog needs an “About” page. You can write about your blog, your company or yourself. This allows readers to connect with you.
  4. Privacy Policies – While creating this is beyond the scope of this post, you will need a privacy policy. You can use Google to find some templates that will suffice.
  5. Affiliate Disclosures – The FTC now requires websites to have affiliate disclosures where appropriate. If you don’t plan to monetize your blog, then you won’t need to worry about this.

4. Your First Post

Now that you have everything else in order, it’s time to finally craft your first post. It doesn’t have to be anything groundbreaking, and I honestly don’t think it should be. It should be something to let people know what to expect from your blog.

“Hello, World!” posts are ideal for this. You can brainstorm topics while working on your blogging persona.

If you have keywords, make sure to use one or two of them here. Don’t focus on keyword stuffing, but do use them where they’re appropriate.

What Comes Next

In Blogging 102, we’ll cover how to begin working on your first few posts. We’ll also briefly touch upon a few tools that you might want to use while trying to build your blog from the ground up in the year 2015 and onward.

Interested in learning more about blogging? Take a look at my Learn About Blogging page!

3 Common Facebook Marketing Mistakes You Can (and Need to) Avoid

Can-You-Really-Make-Money-using-Facebook&alt;em>Lots of marketers turn Facebook marketing into places where crude, jumbled billboards litter the social networking site. They put too much information, give their readers too many choices, and act as if everything is okay, even when the sky is really falling.

You want to avoid all these things, because they all work against your main goal: attracting new users and keeping the ones you have.

Let’s go over 3 of the most common Facebook page mistakes, and how you can quickly remedy them.

 

1. Making Long Posts

Let’s face it, people prefer messages that are short, simple and to the point. Nobody’s going to sit there and read something that looks like this:

Long, wordy Facebook posts tend to be received poorly by your Fans.

Long, wordy Facebook posts tend to be received poorly by your Fans.

The problem with these posts is that they’re an overload of information. You want to keep your message shorts, concise and to the point.

Here’s how to fix this: Follow Twitter’s 140-character limit when you make your posts, but allow yourself to go a few characters over.

If you still have a block of text after trimming down your words, then make use of white space. Facebook is wonderful because it allows you to utilize new lines.

 

2. Including More Than One Link Per Post

In your Facebook post, your link is your call-to-action. It’s what drives your connections to visit your website and allows you to monetize your Facebook marketing.

Here's an example of how you should avoid using links in Facebook posts.

Here’s an example of how you should avoid using links in Facebook posts.

Multiple calls to action, such as the one above, will only work to confuse your followers. They’ll get lost in your post almost immediately and disregard at least half of it.

Here’s how to fix this: Only include one link per post. If you have multiple links, then make multiple posts.

 

3. Promoting Products on Your Own Page

One of the absolute biggest mistakes the businesses and marketers make on Facebook is that they promote their own products directly to their audiences.

Nobody, I repeat, nobody wants to see your productspromoted by you in their Facebook Timeline feed.

You’re pushing advertising in someone’s face that likely isn’t wanted. You will end up hurting yourself if you do this.

Here’s how to fix this: It’s okay to promote your own product when you have some value added to your post.

Lowe's Home Improvement shows Facebook marketers how self-promotion should be done on Facebook.

Lowe’s Home Improvement shows Facebook marketers how self-promotion should be done on Facebook.

This example from Lowe’s Home Improvement showcases such a situation. They’re promoting their sprinklers, but they’re offering something with entertainment value to it by helping their fans think about a time they had fun in their lives.

 

Wrapping It All Up

These 3 common mistakes are among the most detrimental to your Facebook marketing efforts. They’ll prevent you from attracting new followers, and achieving brand loyalty. You may even repel your fans and turn them into people whom are disgusted with your brand’s very mention.

Have you made one of these mistakes? To that point, what mistakes do you think Facebook marketers make? Leave a comment and let’s discuss them!

3 Signs that Buying that Next E-Book or Internet Marketing Course is a Bad Decision

There’s an old adage that says the following:

All that glitters is not gold.

When it comes to Internet marketing, I feel as if a lot of what glitters is no more than fool’s gold being pushed upon poor, desperate people by people whom are just as desperate to make a quick buck. It’s a sad cycle that persistently self-perpetuates, but it’s just one of those things you have to live with.

What I want to cover with you today are three signs that the next big e-book or Internet marketing course isn’t worth investing in. These are big, vibrant red flags that should remain at least partially apparent even amongst the fog of potential success.

Deciding the Worth of Internet Marketing Products

1. The Promises are Unreal

While I firmly believe that everyone who tries Internet marketing could quit their day job and make a full-time living from it, I don’t believe that any one product or course will teach you a sustainable method of doing so. I think that kind of strategy is one you learn on your own.

When something promises you to earn unreal figures and even shows you “proof” that you can earn thousands of dollars a day, it’s too good to be true. The more the product shoves this in your face, then the more likely that it’s a lot of fluff that will evaporate into the air just a few minutes after you purchase it.

 

2. It Doesn’t Add Up Over Time

Gurus and other individuals trying to pull a fast one over you don’t want you to rationally think about their products. They want you to pay attention to the big, flashing neon sign with the letters “BUY NOW!” written in red. They’ll throw numbers and countless figures right into your lap just to get you to focus on that sign, because it makes you all the more likely to impulsively buy.

Stop yourself if you ever find yourself in this situation.

When looking at the viability of an Internet marketing course, think logically about how long it will make you money. It’s a safe bet that you can earn 1% of whatever figure that product promises, regardless of how unskilled you are in using that method to make money. How long will it take to earn back what you paid for this product?

If it’s too long, then forget it. This product isn’t going to earn you the kind of money you want in the time you want. You’ll get frustrated, give up and go somewhere else.

The only reason you should invest in a product is if it has some tangible, long-term value to you. If it can, for example, teach you have to teach you how to make money using Facebook in a way that provides you more than just one simple method, then it will likely give you a long-lasting value that will contribute to your overall Internet marketing education.

 

3. The Method is Filled with Smoke and Mirrors

Any Internet marketing product worth even a grain of salt will give you a workable example of whatever methods it teaches. It will show you to some degree how it works, why it works and for how long it will continue to work.

If you feel like there’s more hot air and smoke than actual fire, then steer clear of the product in question. It’s likely inflated content that won’t get you anywhere.

Your goal when purchasing educational material is to nab something that will contribute something to your part-time or full-time career as an Internet marketer. Methods are fleeting, which is why forums that sell them for just a few bucks tend to have a bunch of unhappy people whom complain about products, remain skeptical of them, or try to sell their own half-baked ideas.

 

Buying with a Grain of Salt

Success-in-Business-and-Internet-Marketing-EducationRealize that any product you could buy that would produce $x each day wouldn’t be worth selling if it was sustainable and could be scaled up. You’d find the person who authored that item hard at work doing whatever he was trying to sell if this was the case.

A little bit of diligence, a grain of salt for even the most heavenly of advice and a good head on your shoulders will go far in aiding you towards becoming a successful Internet marketer. Take your time, hold onto your money tightly, and aim to only let those worthwhile have your money. This is how you really start your Internet business.

5 Non-Blackhat Ways to Make a Quick Buck Online

Successfu Businessman Tips-for-marketers

Don’t let yourself be bogged down. Internet marketing is tough, but you can be successful.

You could be one of those successful business people making thousands of dollars a year purely by online means. Maybe you’ve gone through years of work and you’ve got your own empire built beneath your feet.

Odds are, however, that you’re not one of those people. You’re struggling just like everyone else.

The Typical Struggling Internet Marketer named ‘You’

For every person on the Internet, there’s a hundred that aren’t making money. That’s fine, and that’st o be expected. Nothing new here.

The problem is that you don’t want to be one of those people. You want to sit there with a six-, seven-, or eight-figure income that keeps earning itself.

I’ll be frank, especially because it’s what this blog is about, I’m not earning that. Not off of this blog. I’ve got a job, and I do it every day.

I’m still successful in my Internet endeavors. (In case you missed it, check out my post about how to gauge your Internet marketing success.)

As you are, you probably won’t get far. You won’t make money buying loads of e-books that you read and never put into action. The one thing you can do today to start earning money today and every day after that is to start putting yourself into action.

That’s why I’ve provided 5 safe methods for anyone to use that will allow you to make a quick buck online. You can do these anywhere, from home, from school, from work, just somewhere that has Internet access. You also don’t have to worry about the dangers that are associated with Blackhat money-making methods.

1. Start Writing

It doesn’t matter what you write, be it Twitter tweets, Facebook posts, articles or blog posts, just start writing. The Internet is filled with content, and there’s people always looking for more of it.

To make an immediate buck: start writing freelance or for content mills.

To make more: improve your writing quality and make some repeat clients.

2. Start Small, Use Fiverr

There’s always somethign that you can uniquely do that people need done. You mgiht be able to write. Maybe you can do voiceover. Maybe you can provide short video clips or logos for people to use within their business.

the point is that you have something that you can do that you can use to start earning income right now. The only problem is finding people to buy your products or services from.

To make an immediate buck: Create an account in Fiverr, then learn how to make the most from Fiverr. You’ll see cash flowing in on a daily basis when done right.

To make more: learn how to market yourself online, then build yourself up as an authority figure.

3. Start Reviewing

I mentioned it earlier, but you may have bought some of those products that promised you to make you money. Why did you do this? Odds are that someone told you that they themselves made money from a product and you clicked on their affiliate marketing link.

To make an immediate buck: use a web 2.0 website or another networking website to make money.

To make more: post more reviews and get to know what information your readers are interested in.

4. Use Social Networking

Social networks have millions of people on them. In fact, Facebook recently reached the billion-user mark in October 2012. That means there’s (minus you if you have an account), one billion people that you could market to.

To make an immediate buck: learn how to market on social entworks, then put it into action.

To make more: use the strategies and tips outlined in publications like the Facebook Wealth Formula and FB Influence 2.0 books. Check out a list of reliable publications that I’ve personally reviewed.

5. Give Your Opinion

Like text, everyone wants your opinion depending on who you are. To make a long story short, companies want your opinions because there are people like you. The better they understand how you think, then the better they can market to other people and the more revenue that they can earn.

To make an immediate buck: join a survey site.

To make more: take advantage of referral programs and complete more surveys with quality answers.

 

 

Your turn: What do you think? Are there some methods that you’ve tried, had some immediate success with but couldn’t figure out how to make them viable in the long-term? Add a comment and we can discuss them. Like with every comment I receive, I may even write a featured post to give you an in-depth answer.

4 Strange Tips That Will Guarantee Internet Marketing Success.

Almost everyone who has ever ventured into the field of Internet Marketing has had one thought in common when they first began. Want to know what it was? “Why am I not making any money yet?” Usually this happens are one or two days, if not one or two weeks of just being introduced to the field.

So if you’re not making money yet, you’re not alone. That’s why I’ve decided to do a quick write-up on four tips that every beginning internet marketer should be aware of because they’re what separates the people who tried and gave up from the people who are making thousands of dollars a day. The four things you need to remember are: To experiment with methods, to create realistic and achievable goals, to work towards those goals, and, above all else, to be relentless.

First, the most basic principle any internet marketer should take to heart: Develop your own ways to earn money. Almost everyone has heard the old adage “Give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day; but teach a man to fish and he’ll never go hungry.” Imagine you’re  the person trying to learn how to catch that elusive green fish. You might think “Oh, but the sea is too crowded by other people trying to fish.” or “None of these methods of fishing work anymore.” You might be right, because methods get saturated relatively quickly once they’re posted. In order to become an active fisherman, you need to develop your own ways of catching fish. How can you do this? The simplest way is to read, take in what you’ve just read, put it into practice, and then repeat depending on your results.

You can read all day that you want, but it will never make you a single cent. You can sit and think about what you’ve read all day, it will never make you a single penny. You can put what you’ve read and thought about into practice and you may or you may not reel in some cash. But if you do all of these things over and over, thinking about your successes and even your failures (which are better to be thought about as succeeding in finding “ways that do not work”, you are guaranteed to make a profit eventually.

The second big thing every beginner needs to know is to set achievable goals. There’s two types of goals: Big, long-term goals like making $4,000 per day and the small stepping stones that say how to get to that big goal. Most people can focus on making that large goal but few ever achieve it because they become burnt out and tired. The reason this happens is because they do not focus on the small goals. You cannot climb a flight of stairs without making small goals to make your way up each step. You cannot make $4,000 per day without setting the goal of making $1 per day, and then $10 per day. It’s as simple as that.

The third basic tip is that in order to achieve a goal that you have set, you must work towards that goal. It sounds absolutely absurd, but it’s as simple as that. Most internet marketers fail because they simply give up. They say, “Oh.. I’ll do it tomorrow.” or “There’s no way that works because I read it doesn’t.” Never dismiss a goal. If you need to, keep a list of ideas somewhere for a rainy day as they come to you in your mind, but always make sure to focus on one goal. If it’s a long term strategy, such as building a network of microniche blogs to profit from Adsense, work on it a bit each day and then work on something else. The overall point is to keep working because it’s the only way you will ever achieve a goal, internet marketing-related or not.

Finally, the most important tip to adhere to is as simple as three words: Never give up. If adding your own spin to a method is queen and adapting is king, then perseverance is the lifeblood that keeps a kingdom alive. It’s as simple as that. I cannot stress enough that the only way to fail at internet marketing is to give up. It’s as simple as that. Take it a step each day and you are guaranteed to find a method that works and turns a profit.

I want to share one of the single most important things I’ve ever listened to that I saw on Paulie Ciara’s blog some time ago when I was struggling to make money. It’s one of the most inspiring things I’ve ever listened to with regards to the simple goal of achieving success.

It’s a small little thing by Earl Nightingale called “The Strangest Secret in the World.” I’m not a sucker for self-improvement spiels, but this is one of the most truthful things I’ve ever heard in my life. Take it to heart, go out and work towards your goals. It’s that simple.