Today I’m going to show you how you can start a blog then grow it to your first 20,000 visitors and beyond.
Have you ever wanted to get into blogging? if so then this is going to help you get it done.
I’ll take you through the steps I’ve used to grow multiple blogs. This also includes small thin content affiliate blogs that some of you may have come across online.
I’m part of quite a few blogging Facebook groups and recently helped a Mommy Blogger triple her traffic. She wrote some articles for me so I helped her in return.
I want to show you exactly how to start a blog that will bring you lot’s of traffic.
Let’s look at some stats
The blog in the picture below (blog I run), I started last year, I did nothing after that since I got caught up in other projects. I did a few things but nothing major. That all changed in February.
I started my usual traffic methods and now the traffic has easily doubled.
As for my current blog, it’s now getting thousands of visitors.
The trick is to get quality engaging traffic. You could have all the traffic in the world but if they don’t do anything like share your articles then it’s going to make things harder.
All you’ll have is numbers and that’s it.
I use 4 simple steps when creating a blog….
This is very straight forward and I work off these steps when starting out. Don’t use free hosting, always get your own domain and hosting.
- Find hosting & a good domain name
- Create the blog and customize it
- Fill it with good content that’s keyword optimized
Starting A Blog With Blue Host
In this particular example, I’ll use Blue Host for the hosting and show you how to set it up. It’s cheap and works well.
Good for people on a tight budget.
Choosing The Right Plan And Domain
I would suggest going with the $3.95 plan, you can also upgrade later if you need to.
Blue Host can do free migrations if you aren’t happy with your current host or looking for a change. The other plans do come with marketing extras. However, I don’t use them so I just go with the basic plan.
Blue Host is what I recommend: Perfect for new bloggers looking for cheap good hosting. Take advantage of the discounted $3.95 a month hosting.
Choosing the domain name can be a challenge and I’ve written an article to help you with that. I use Flame Domain to find mine.
Think about the domain name for a while because you can’t change it once you’re on the other side.
If you’re doing a pure affiliate blog for ranking in Google then make sure the main keywords in it.
On the other hand, if you’re doing a blog that’s going to be very active and you want to build awesome amounts of traffic to it then make it brandable. Something weird or something people will remember.
All you really need to do is head over to flame Domain and start clicking. You will know when you’ve found the right domain, it will stand out to you.
Blue Host will take you to the domain section after you have chosen a plan. If you already have a domain name then you can transfer it quick and easy.
Once you have done all that you will be asked to put in your details and payment details.
Once you’ve done that the next page will give you some options, The only one I go with is domain privacy.
It’s not needed though I just like to use it.
So that’s quite simple, right? Just follow the instructions and you’re on your way to starting a great blog.
I don’t want to complicate things because it’s very easy to do this. I could go on about options and pricing but there is no reason for that. Blue Host is good cheap hosting and that’s all you need if you’re on a budget.
Installing WordPress And A Few Basic Settings
This step is also easy with a few clicks of a button to get started.
Once you’re done with getting everything up and running for the hosting you should get a welcome email with some logins.
These are your cPanel login details along with a link to your cPanel.
Once logged in go ahead and navigate to “Install WordPress”.
On the next screen, you will be asked to choose the domain you would like to install WordPress on. Choose the one you purchased the hosting for.
The final step is super easy but make sure you have “show advanced option” enabled. This will let you choose your login username as password.
All the login details will get sent to you so it’s not an issue if you don’t change the password but I would rather have my own in there.
Now all you need to do is click “install now” and once this is done you will get instructions sent to your provided email showing you how to login to your website.
There will also be instructions on the next page after you install WordPress.
Follow those instructions and away you go!
You have now created your own blog.
Setting Up The Blog
I’m not going to take us through every step since everyone has different ideas for their blogs.
I will however, show you a few basic things you should do before starting to add content.
The first thing you should do is change your permalinks. You can do this by clicking on “Settings”
Once in the Permalinks section click “post name”, this is the common one most people use.
While in the settings section check out the “reading” tab. This gives you the option to choose what you display on the home page.
I would suggest clicking “your latest post” to start out with, this means all your blog post will be on the home page for people to see.
A static page is when you create a page then use that for the home page. This could be pages like a landing page to collect emails or a page about your website.
Lastly, choose a nice clean theme in the appearance section. I get my themes from My Theme Shop and the one I use on this blog is called True Pixel.
If you end up downloading a theme from somewhere else you can upload it to WordPress in the themes section.
Once you have all the basic stuff sorted out its time to populate the blog with content.
There is no specific amount of articles you need before you can promote the blog. In the traffic step’s that I show you below, I only promote one blog post at a time anyway.
You could even have one post if you like but it’s a good idea to have 2 or 3 before getting into promotions.
Getting Traffic Flowing To Your Blog
Now the fun begins!
I’m going to show you all the steps I take to bring in large amounts of good engaging traffic to my blog.
All of these methods are free and won’t cost you a cent.
If you’re just learning how to start a blog then you will find out that traffic is very important. Without it the website is dead.
Ranking For Small Volume Keywords
I’m going to cover this first since it should be done when creating the articles.
This is a huge traffic source for me and it’s often overlooked. When writing articles most people want to target a specific keyword and they usually stick with one keyword.
I choose multiple small volume keywords that will get me to the front page without any backlinks.
I choose keywords that have small search volume, something like 300 a month.
Well, I choose a bunch of them then sprinkle them throughout the article. If I get to the front page for 5 of those keywords and they have 300 searches a month each then that adds upto 1500 a month.
So my article is now in front of 1500 potential readers a month and that’s just one article.
If you have multiple articles doing this can you see the potential?
Once your domain gets stronger they will rank better and faster.
This is what I mean.
The site has nearly 4000 keywords showing up in Google and a large number of them are on the front page.
Even though the volume is small per keyword it all adds up.
Let’s say for example I’m on the front page for 100 keywords that have a search volume of 300 a month each. That comes to 30,000 searches a month and I’m somewhere on the front page for them.
I also show up for some large search terms but the point is you don’t need to target them, you can target smaller easier ones.
This is how you do it.
When you write an article head over to the Google Keyword Planner. You can find this by searching for it on Google.
There will be a section where you can put in a keyword. I put a keyword in about trout, the planner started spitting out trout keywords for me.
So now what I would do is mention those keywords in my trout article where they fit in the best. I would do each keyword 2 or 3 times depending on how long the article was.
Over time, Google will recognize your article and keep bumping you up. If you wrote a good article you will get to the front page for most of the small volume keywords you have chosen.
There is no time frame when this will happen but the stronger your website gets and the more articles you put out the faster it will happen in the long run.
Organic targeted traffic is the best traffic, it always has been.
Niche Related Blog Comments
Find related blogs to comment on, it’s slow traffic but it all adds up.
You will get a nice consistent flow of traffic with the more you do.
Head over to Google and find some blogs. I just do a basic search string.
Here’s a trick to increase traffic. Find blog post that are new, so a week old and comment on those or even 24 hours old.
If the post gets very popular your comment will be at the top, you will get really good traffic if the post gets popular or they rank for some good keywords.
When you leave the blog comment there should be a section where you can put your website address. When people click on your name it will take them to your website or page you put in the website section.
Keep things natural don’t just go around spamming.
Become Active On Niche Related Forums
Find forums about your blog topic then become active on them. Write engaging tutorials and reply to people on the forum.
It’s never a good idea to go around spamming your website on the forums so just enter it into the signature section.
The more active you are the more traffic you get. Try and use a username that’s related to your blog or even the blog name itself because people will search it in Google.
Answering Niche Related Questions
This is a great way to get traffic when starting a blog, I do this for my blog and YouTube Channel.
Head over to Quora and type in your keyword, find questions to answer.
In the picture below I found someone looking for free traffic methods so I would go in there and link them to this article.
I would explain to them why these methods would work then drop a link.
This is a very effective way of getting traffic to your blog when starting out. It will become a consistent flow of traffic forever since there is a good chance of the topics ranking in Google.
Niche Related Guest Post
This is where you get really good amounts of traffic and Google will start to love you.
Writing on other people’s blogs will do just that.
Guest posting is when you write an article on another website then link back to yours. This will get you backlinks and traffic.
I did a guest post on Matthew Woodwards Blog and it became popular with over 250 comments.
It gave me a large traffic boost.
To find guest post opportunities you can do that with Google by entering the search string from this image.
Most blogs will have a section where you can submit a guest post or contact them to get more information.
This is still one of the strongest ways to grow a blog and will be for a long time.
Have you noticed a trend yet?
This is all niche related stuff, that’s the key here. Niche related traffic will be more engaged in your content.
Use The RIGHT Social Media Platforms
Everyone will tell you to use social media but what platform is best for you?
Find 1 or 2 platforms that fit your niche then work on those hard.
I use Twitter, when I first started my blog I worked on that hard and it brought in so much traffic.
Twitter fitted my niche the best since it was about making money and online marketing.
Here’s another great example…
Pinch of Yum is a food blog that was started by a teacher, she found that Pinterest is where her audience hands out. Pinterest now brings in a HUGE amount of traffic for her.
That’s nearly 55,000 pins, can you imagine how much traffic that brings to her blog? Ridiculous amounts.
She was smart and went with the right social media platform to promote her content then concentrated on that.
Posting In Facebook And Google+ Groups
I’ve kept this separate from the social media method above because that was more about building up your social media accounts.
This method is about becoming active in Groups.
On Facebook, there are groups for almost any topic and niche.
By using the search bar you can find groups to join, once you’re in the group become active by adding value. You will soon become a valued member then you can drop links to your articles.
Google+ works the same but it has communities you can join.
Click the home button to get started. This will bring up a page where you can search for communities to post in.
To post in the community just do a normal post then select the community from the drop down menu at the bottom of the post.
Gowing An Email List
This is a must!
When you grow an email list you can then send out your new blog content, your returning visitors will share it. This will put the new content in front of new readers for you.
I use Get Response for my email list management. This method isn’t free I’ve added it as a bit of a bonus but Get Response is free for 30 days.
These are all potential return readers as it’s a must to build something like this when you create a blog so you can send out newsletters and let them know what’s going on.
To collect the emails you should create some sort of optin form or popup on your blog. I use a plugin called Thrive Leads to do this. It’s a common plugin and you would have seen it around before on other blogs.