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If you’ve been wanting to turn your ideas into reality, blogging might be able to give you clarity specially in these times of uncertainty. It doesn’t matter if you’re tech savvy or not, blogging is ultimately about the content that you create. With the growing number of people who are searching for available online opportunities, I figured that I can help out by teaching others on how to start and launch a blog

I’ve always been fond of the verbal and written forms of communication. I’ve created poems early in life, prepared handwritten letters to long-distance friends during my younger years and  wrote an article for a school publication.  It’s no surprise that I find joy in blogging and I’m guessing that you do too. Otherwise, you won’t be here.

What is stopping you from starting and launching a blog

You might have considered blogging before but haven’t been able to pursue it with reasons that are what many of us usually go through such as the following ones:

Reason #1 No niche

You might not have a clear idea of what you’re going to blog about so you prolong the time to start your blog. On the other hand, you might have several topics in mind which makes it harder for you to decide. Either way, you’re never going to be able to launch a blog if you don’t start somewhere. 

Reason #2 Procrastination

If you’ve been wanting to start your own blog for the longest time but life gets in the way, you’re not alone. A common excuse is that you have a job to attend to during the day and other obligations at home at night. That will go on for months and months until you realize that you’ve barely made a dent on your to-do list to finally be able to launch your blog. 

Reason #3 Lack of focus

It’s also so easy to get offtrack. You’d subscribe to several bloggers and avail of their free ebooks or short courses. Shortly after, you’d avail of their paid products and go through it while taking notes. Unfortunately, those notes would often just stay in the notebook and will never see the light of day. Oftentimes, you’d get distracted and buy another related course then go through the same process as the previous one. Before you know it, you’ve bought a couple of books and courses but you still haven’t built and launched your blog. Trust me, I know the feeling. 

Common blogging misconceptions

Another reason that beginners get stuck is when they believe blogging misconceptions that they’ve read somewhere or that they’ve somehow assumed. I’ve listed a few of these faulty impressions and have provided my insights on why you shouldn’t accept them as truths: 

Money comes easy after blogging for a short while.

Blogging is not a get-rich-quick scheme. Many of us, that are caught with the blogging bug, assume that we can earn hefty money overnight just by slapping our site with ads and affiliate links. On the contrary, ROI may take a while so persistence is key. Established bloggers will tell you that it took a lot of time, effort and money before they were able to reap the monetary benefits of their blogging venture.  

You have to be an expert of your niche to succeed in blogging.

At the start, you don’t have to be an “authority” in your chosen niche though it pays to have more experience than your target readers. Just like any other major endeavor, blogging is a journey with its own ups and downs, twists and turns. You’ll have to continuously aim to learn everything there is to learn about your niche so you can add them to your stock of knowledge. After a considerable amount of time, you’ll be able to earn your place in your niche as an “expert”.  

No one is interested in what you have to say or write.

Remember that every well-known personality, whether online or not, started from 0 subscribers/followers. It is only with persistence and consistency that they’ve gained their huge followings. No one is famous from the start. For as long as you’re able to hone in on your niche, you’ll be able to grow your group of supporters and your blog as a whole eventually. 

Other reasons why you’re unable to start/launch a blog

If you can relate to one or more of the following reasons, it’s no wonder that you still feel like you’re  not ready to launch your blog:  

You follow too many bloggers

You grab too many learning materials, whether paid or not, so you get too much information than you can handle. You end up not being able to go through all of the tips and tricks in those resources.

I was guilty of the same thing not too long ago. I’d subscribe to the newsletter or buy the ebooks/courses of one blogger after another. In the end, I would get frustrated because I was nowhere near where I want to be in my blogging journey.  

You do everything at the same time

As a consequence of following too many bloggers, you get confused with their respective approaches and you get overwhelmed on where to start or what aspect of your blog to prioritize.

As for me, I would hop from one ebook or course to the next so it took me a while before I was able to finish a book or do all the exercises of a particular course. In the end, I wasn’t able to accomplish as much as I wanted to.  

You spend too much time on the aesthetics

You’re obsessed with beautifying your blog’s interface so you tweak it every now and then. As a result, you run out of time and energy in creating the actual meat of your blog which are your blog posts.

I know the feeling. I chose a wonderful theme that would have made it easier for me to format my blog’s pages and posts, thanks to its templates. Regrettably, my tendency to obsess on the smallest details made me spend more time on the design layouts and elements rather focus on creating content.  

You want your blog posts to be perfect

You don’t like the idea of someone criticizing your work. You’re afraid that they’ll see grammatical errors or that they won’t be able to understand the purpose of your post.  You go through ten drafts before you finally feel somewhat comfortable to publish your blog post.

Just like in writing this post, I would often write and rewrite a post for several times so it takes a while for me to finish the initial draft.  I would often read and reread after each draft, afraid that I missed a preposition, a verb or an adjective here and there.  

You want to immediately monetize your blog

Only a couple of weeks or months after launching your blog but you’re already relentlessly  checking your PayPal account for those much-coveted affiliate commissions. If you’re able to do that then congratulations for being able to easily recover your efforts and investments. If not, don’t fret.

Just like in other aspects of your life, success in blogging can be achieved when you work at it despite a highly competitive industry. Persist no matter what and desist getting discouraged.  

Best blogging course for beginners

It has been a couple of years ago since I discovered startamomblog.com by Suzi Whitford and I’m so glad I did. Suzi has a way of simplifying blogging tasks that would seem hard if you’re not properly guided. I’m so satisfied with her teaching style that I’ve bought almost every one of her online courses with the hopes of getting this blogging pursuit right.

Blog by Number or BBN is the signature online course of Start a Mom Blog which is designed to help out aspiring bloggers. If you want to learn the technical and even the nontechnical aspects of starting, growing and monetizing your blog, look no further because this is it.

The current version of this course is divided into 12 main modules and was patterned after a student’s grade progression in school. That is, from preschool to grade 12. There’s an abundance of video tutorials throughout the course.  And if that wasn’t enough, the following resources are included as well:

  • 110+ page Blog by Number ebook
  •  Course workbook
  •  Course checklist
  •  Free stock images
  • Blog post templates

Preschool: How to discover your blog niche and name

The first module is all about the prework before you start a blog. Suzi starts the course with an explanation on the levels of motivation that you need to reflect on to help you achieve your blogging goals. She shares how your growth as a blogger will stem from your personal aspirations of self-fulfillment to helping out others with the use of your talents.

In the 2nd lesson under this module, several factors in choosing your niche are listed to help you assess if the topic that you’re thinking of is a plausible idea. Profitable niche categories and a few examples for each of them are cited to further help you in your decision.

The 3rd lesson is all about finding that perfect name for your blog. A series of steps is suggested to help you come up with a domain name that will fit your chosen niche or topic.

To end this module, examples of blog names and more than 150 words are shared to guide you in coming up with that perfect blog name.  

Grade 1: How to start a blog and create your 1st few blog posts

This module starts with the demonstration of the actual steps in creating a blog. Among those steps are:

  • Choosing your blogging platform
  • Buying a domain name and hosting plan
  • Choosing a blog theme whether you prefer to invest in a paid one at this point or not

The next 3 lessons are all about writing your 1st 3 blog posts. A blog post template or an outline is provided for each post so you’ll be guided on what you need to include. After writing those posts, a template for your About Me page is also provided. Lastly, the steps to launching your blog is shown.

Grade 2: How to generate blog post ideas and create better blog posts

The 2nd module is all about getting you into the groove of writing more blog posts. The module is started with a demo on how to come up with hundreds of blog post ideas.

The remaining lessons provide you with templates for the next 3 types of blog posts that you’re going to create. Outlines for a pillar post, a listicle and an affiliate marketing post are provided for you as guides.

Grade 3 How to set up your blog’s legal pages

As with any other undertaking that can potentially allow you to make a living from, it is important to abide with government regulations and, at the same time, to protect yourself from complications that may arise from such endeavors. In the 3rd module, Suzi recommends sites where free legal pages can be generated for your blog especially if you’re just starting out and is not yet monetizing your blog.

She also shared the links to sites from where you can avail of paid templates once you’re already earning from your blog and you’d like to have more formal legal pages such as the disclaimer, terms and conditions as well as data privacy pages.

Grade 4 How to create a professional email account and your 1st freebie

In the 4th module, you’ll be taught on how to personalize or to make the email account associated with your blog to look more professional. As an example, I’ve set up a hello@bloggingpursuit.com email address for my blog instead of the generic email with @gmail.com as suffix.

Suzi and John each teaches, in separate video tutorials, on how to integrate this personalized email account to the mail program of your Windows or Apple-based OS devices. This will enable you to view and create emails for this account without the need to log in to your Gmail or other email provider’s account.

In addition, you’ll be taught to create your 1st freebie or lead magnet within your blog. which your subscribers will be able to access when they provide their email address through your landing page. The actual landing page will be created in an email service provider application which you can then integrate with a link in your blog’s pages and/or posts.

Grade 5 How to design a professional home page

In the 5th module, you’ll be taught to set up the home and blog pages using the default WordPress editor, i.e., Gutenberg, which you can use to create the other blog pages and posts without manually programming the code. The basic elements of a web page and how each one of them can be modified to your liking are also shown.  

Grade 6 All about analytics

In order to grow your blog, you should be able to keep track of your blog’s statistics which is what will be discussed in this module. You’ll be taught to set up Google Analytics so you’ll know the actions that you need to take to improve your blog’s overall performance.

Grade 7 All about plugins

The 7th module is all about plugins which are simply add-on software that provide specific functionalities to your blog. Plugins ranging from those that can be used to avoid spam messages, to enhance your content creation process and even those that can improve your social presence are recommended.  

Grade 8 Extra credit lessons

In this short module, an additional tool on creating blog posts faster is recommended and demonstrated by Suzi. A tool on conducting keyword research is shown as well.  

Grade 9 Pinterest for traffic

The 9th module delves on all things Pinterest from creating your business account to setting up your niche boards and joining group boards. The essential elements of pin images and how they can be easily created as well as a basic Pinterest strategy are also shared.  

Grade 10 SEO for traffic

The basic and top strategies for SEO or Search Engine Optimization are shared in this module. SEO is a blogging approach to drive unpaid traffic to your blog by optimizing the quality and quantity of your content.  

Grade 11 Facebook for traffic

On this module, Suzi recommends Facebook as a means to engage with your audience. In addition, you will also be taught to set up a Facebook page and find Facebook Groups that can help grow your blog.  

Grade 12 How to make money through blogging

At last, this is where you can finally get your feet wet on blog monetization. This module guides you on the different approaches to make a living through blogging. Suzi shares a list of ways to monetize your blog through ad placements, affiliate products, sponsored posts, online products and services such as freelance work or virtual assistance.  

More Resources

This module contains additional resources on blog post ideas, scheduling and strategy to help you in your blog post creation process and blog growth.

Featured Experts

Webinars on tools that will help you in your blogging journey has been added as the last module in this version of Blog By Number.

Other Start A Mom Blog Courses

To progress further in your blogging pursuit, Start a Mom Blog has an assortment of related online courses that you can also get your hands on:  

Is Blog By Number the right course for you

Even though Suzi’s target audience is mainly moms, Blog by Number can be used by men and women who want to seriously consider blogging as a side hustle or as a full-time work or business. Whether you love writing, designing graphics and other visual content or creating products, there’s something you’ll love in Blog By Number.  

Blog by Number costs $97 or about P4,850 in Philippine Pesos (it was set to increase to $147 or about P7,460 on October 2021). Although it’s a couple of thousand (in Philippine Pesos) of your hard-earned money, I still believe that it’s worth to invest in given all the lessons that you’ll learn. I haven’t seen another blogging course in this price point with this much information.

What are Blog By Number’s Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Suzi’s teaching style is effective for new bloggers since she demonstrates them through videos and not just through a sea of text.
  • I love the valuable resources that Suzi generously shares throughout this course.
  • I appreciate that she teaches using free tools for designing pages/posts and creating graphics which is ideal for new bloggers and for those with limited budget at the moment.

Cons

Although no course is perfect including this one, the only con that I can think of right now is that I can’t create my blog posts fast enough to practice the advanced strategies that was shared in this course.

Other Start A Mom Blog Products

To progress further in your blogging pursuit, Start a Mom Blog has an assortment of related online courses that you can also get your hands on:  

Some FAQs on Starting a Blog

Should you start a blog

A resounding yes! Although there will be a lot of highs and lows that you’ll go through as you venture into the unknown world of blogging, you’ll be able to weather through all of them with focus and persistence. I know it’s easier said than done but I’ve enumerated a number of reasons if you’re still not convinced.  

What you should do/not do when starting a blog

If your goal is to promote your business or make your blog your actual business, then I recommend creating one through wordpress.org. You’ll have to make a minimal investment on your domain name and hosting but you’ll have the ability to freely customize and eventually monetize your blog. If you just want an online journal and not a marketing tool, then you can create your free blog in wordpress.com. You’ll be assigned a domain name with .wordpress.com suffix unless you want a custom name which you can get for a fee.  

  • Choose a very specific audience and focus on how you can help them solve their problems through your blog. Don’t try to solve everyone’s needs because you’ll end up not helping out anyone in the end.
  • Limit your blog to 2-3 categories that are closely related to your niche. Don’t write about  everything you can think of, at least not when you’re still new. Focus on a very specific topic first then branch out when you have enough readers who will follow you no matter what you write about.
  • Don’t collect books and courses but never or barely read and implement them. Instead, go through free or paid content that aligns with your niche from 1-2 online personalities. Implement the lessons they share as best as you can until you’ve gone through all of them.
  • Don’t fuss too much about the design of your blog. Create the basic pages then focus on creating posts and not on tweaking your home page every 2 days. You need to write regularly to develop your rhythm and build your audience. You can always change the layouts of your blog’s pages and posts later on when you’ve built enough content.
  • Don’t pick a niche just because others succeeded in it. If you’re not genuinely interested in a topic, you won’t be able to endure creating content in your blog for months and years to come. Choose something that you’re keen on learning and grow from there. If you still prefer popular niches, then find your own twist to the story and not just copy the others.
  • Don’t copy someone’s work and claim it as your own. It will not look good for you in the end. It’s not to say though that you cannot refer to their content for inspiration. Learn from others but inject your unique style on your chosen topics.
  • Don’t be hard on yourself when you don’t immediately see results. Give yourself grace. There’s no such thing as overnight success. Those who succeeded have learned to endure the challenges that came their way and did not give up.

Is blogging still relevant in 2021?

It definitely still is. You may argue that posting in social media or even vlogging has already replaced traditional blogging in platforms such as WordPress but I beg to differ. Unlike social media and image/video sharing platforms which may change their algorithms anytime they want, you always have control of your blog’s strategies for growth and monetization.  

How do I blog if you can’t write?

Forming a blog post is easier when it’s just in your head. The actual challenge happens when you’re about to put it in writing. To make the process more bearable if you’re really serious about blogging, I recommend the following ways:  

  • Make an outline of your post’s main points first and use them as your subheadings. Next, create one or more paragraphs of relevant content for each subheading while keeping in mind your end goal. After you finish an initial draft of your post, forget about it for a couple of hours or for the rest of the day and only come back to it when it’s time to review and revise it.
  • Get inspiration from social media or other blogs and study the composition of their posts only for inspiration. Then break them down into sections to create your own outline and go from there using my recommendation.
  • Write in a manner that you would talk to a friend to put you at ease. Jot down whatever you would tell someone close to you. Don’t worry about the grammar during this initial draft. You can always make the corrections on your next pass.
  • If all else fails, write your blog post as if you’re writing on your journal where you pour your heart out. Whatever you would normally feel about a topic or situation, write it all down. Afterwards, go through it again and refine while remembering that you should always strive for a respectful communication and that you will be solely responsible for what you’ll put in your blog.

Is it too late to make money through blogging?

I wholeheartedly don’t think is too late or impossible to monetize your blog. It might not come easy but it is definitely possible. You can start with ads or affiliate programs and eventually build your own products or offer your own services. Start it slow and expand from there.

Takeaway

Just start. Don’t focus on making everything perfect and on being able to monetize your blog in the beginning. Aim to create enough content for your readers first before you move on to the growth and monetization strategies. You can get my free starting a blog checklist so you can start your blogging journey now.

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