Hi, my name is Zac Johnson and blogging has completely changed my life, brand, and business for the better. So much so, that I created this site at Blogging.org to help share my story, inspire others, and also walk you through the quick and easy process of how to start a blog of your own.
Already have a blog of your own? Excellent!
No matter where you currently are in your journey for personal or business success, you will also find a world of blogging resources, tips, and courses on this site as well.
If you've already been blogging for a while now and aren't seeing the results you initially expected, I highly recommend you take a look at joining Blogging.org University, so we can connect and start building something amazing!
In the meantime, here's my short list of ways blogging has completely changed my life for the better, and how it can do the same for you as well!
If you are already familiar with myself and my work, you may already know that I have been actively making money online for over 20 years now. During that time, I've gone through a lot of personal and business changes. For example, when I first started out, I focused on affiliate marketing and building out websites.
It wasn't until 2007, that I decided to launch my first blog at ZacJohnson.com, and then focus my efforts on building a personal and business brand of my own. In short, this was definitely one of my best business decisions ever. After launching the blog and establishing myself as an authority in the world of blogging and affiliate marketing, opportunities, like traveling the world and speaking at different events, started to pop up everywhere! You can see some of my worldly travels and speaking sessions in the photos above.
As a result of this, I'm now completely in control of my business, how I get to spend my time, and also have fun with growing my business and brand in the process. All of these perks are great, but the world of blogging and entrepreneurship has so much to offer -- many of which I cover in detail throughout this blog.
Everyone wants to be famous -- or at least that's what the world wants us to think. Thanks to the power of the internet and anyone now having the ability to start a blog or social profile, there is really no excuse for anyone to not be able to turn their passion into an online business, while also potentially turning themselves into an "internet celebrity" in the process.
As mentioned earlier, once you put yourself out there and provide great content and value for others -- other people will start to notice and spread the word. After going live with my blog, I continually get approached for online interviews, writing for various magazines, going on television for live interview appearances, and much more. Heck, I was even featured in a documentary that premiered in Hollywood, CA, called "The Living Dot Com".
All of this and more wouldn't have been possible if I didn't take the leap to start a blog of my own.
When you look at the world today, gone are the days when you needed to hire a PR team or even get famous through television or movies. In fact, the internet has not only made more social media and YouTube celebrities than ever, it's also made the process of creating your own brand and following quite possible as well.
To go along with all of these benefits, blogging can also help you meet some of the biggest celebrities, entrepreneurs, and speakers in the world today. Over the years I've been able to connect with thousands of my blog readers and also got to meet up with some great celebrities, athletes and big-name entrepreneurs like Hulk Hogan and Jalen Rose, Mark Cuban (of Shark Tank), Stan Lee (of Marvel Comics), Matt Cutts (of Google), Marie Forleo, John Chow and Joel Comm (Entrepreneurs), Tiffani Amber Thiessen (of Saved by the Bell), and many more!
Why are we blogging and trying to create something on the internet first place -- most likely, to make money!
Two things to mention here. There first is that there is nothing wrong with making money online, especially if you are creating something that takes your time and also provides value in the process. Second, this blog and the financial statements above are for inspiration and motivation -- there is no bragging on my side. I have many friends online that are doing five-to-six figures per month, and some even push the occasional seven-figure month!
With more than 20 years of experience in the world of online marketing and blogging, I've had the opportunity to personally generate millions of dollars online -- mainly through affiliate marketing and by offering consulting and marketing services. Again, these results aren't typical, but if you put in the work and effort, there is no reason that you can't find success as a blogger or affiliate marketer.
No matter what market you might want to jump into, or the specialized skill or expertise you have to offer, at the end of the day there is a whole world of financial opportunities out there for you to take advantage of.
To learn more about my story, discover how to start a blog of your own, or to even get instant access to Blogging.org University, be sure to click any of the links below.
Did you know that there are currently more than a BILLION active websites and blogs on the internet today? It's true, and thousands of new sites are going live daily. With all of these new sites and bloggers going live with new content, it's getting harder and harder to create a successful blog and rank above the competition in the search engines.
So what's a site owner, blogger, or brand to do?
Simple... make sure you have a great foundation and concept in place from day one!
This is exactly what I cover and walk students through in my "The Complete Guide to Affiliate Marketing and Blogging" course. Along with this, we also cover some of the most common mistakes made by bloggers when first starting out.
Here are a few of the most common ones and how to fix them:
One of the biggest reasons why bloggers fail to find success is that they are focusing all of their effort on just creating content. Discover why it's important to not just create content but to also focus on 'evergreen' content that grows and generates revenue for your blog while you sleep. At the same time, you already need to know how to effectively rank your content in search, and go viral on social media.
Have you ever been so excited about something that you just jumped in without any preparation? Along with millions of other people, I'm guilty of this myself. However, when starting a blog (and especially if you want to make money), this can be a huge disaster. Before starting your blog, you need to find the right niche market, know who your audience, how to provide value and also monetize the process.
Let's face it... starting a blog is nothing special. All it takes is a domain name, a web hosting plan, and installing a free copy of WordPress. The magic actually starts after all of this, and when the blood, sweat, and tears have gone into the creation of your site. With that being said, if you want to have an online business, you need to treat it like a business! Just because it's easy to start a blog or website, it doesn't mean it will be easy to compete against a billion sites.
These are just a few of the main problems and pressure points that bloggers and online entrepreneurs deal with daily. To help combat against these issues, and give everyone the opportunity to create a life-changing blog, I compiled everything I learned over the past 20 years and created "The Complete Guide to Affiliate Marketing and Blogging" course.
Hundreds of people have already taken advantage of what this easy to follow and video-based course has to offer.
Here's what some of our top students have to say.
Q. Why should I start a blog for my business?
A. Business owners can benefit from creating a blog because it lets them create content that directly communicates with their potential customers and helps them appear less formal than their business website allows them to do.
Q. Why kind of content is used on a blog?
A. This depends on the type of website you have. If you are a musician, you might talk about how to choose a great guitar or sound system. If you are a video producer, you may put video samples of your content on your blog. Business owners may put examples including screenshots of their work so that visitors can see what type of work they can do for their customers.
Q. I have no technical skills. Can I still start a blog?
A. Yes! Blogging only requires that you have something interesting to say to your audience. You can find several platforms that make the process as simple as pie such as Blogger.com and WordPress.org to start.
Q. How long will it take to start making money with a blog?
A. It varies. If you understand affiliate marketing and need to get started blogging to start an income, you may not have to wait very long. Affiliate marketing is one great way to make money with a blog. Other methods involve selling your products through information blog posts and promoting Google Ads on your site.
Q. Do I need to have any design or coding skills to get started?
A. No. As mentioned before, there are plenty of platforms that allow you to write posts, use drag-and-drop options, and easily insert content such as pictures, videos, and other assets with no coding required. Most websites also have this capability as well so you can create a website, a blog, and a YouTube channel that are all interconnected. This means that you have the total creative freedom to create whatever you want to promote your brand through this excellent platform.
Q. Should I have an onsite blog or an offsite blog?
A. This is a hard question because there are advantages to both. If you have an onsite blog, this means that your blog is located on the same site as your webpage. Your visitors can click on your blog from another link or tab within your main page. If your blog is related to your content on your site and it can help you make more sales or capture leads, this is a great idea. If you want to use your blog to generate more traffic, you should consider also having a blog offsite such as with Blogger.com or WordPress.org. Each platform has its traffic, and this can generate more leads for your business.
Q. What is the best way to make money with a blog?
A. There are many different ways to make money with your blogs such as affiliate marketing, Google Adsense ads, and native ads. But most professional bloggers agree that the best way to make money with your blog is to sell your own products. When you are doing affiliate marketing or Google ads, you are depending upon the sales of other people’s products rather than your own. You get a percentage of the sale or in the case of Google ads, you get paid a certain amount for every click. But, if your goal is to build a business of your own, you need to be spending the most time on your own products. A simple link out to your product or sign-up page can suffice if you do a good job of presenting your product in a way that shows your product is the best solution for a problem your customers have. But you should also remember that people don’t go to blogs for sales pitches. They want information. So it is to your advantage to focus on divulging important information to your visitors that they find valuable in order to influence them to purchase. Then include a great “call-to-action” at the end of your posts to get them to check out your product.
Q. How do I go about setting up a blog?
A. You can use WordPress, which is the blog platform of choice of many bloggers or sign up for a Bluehost.com web account. With Bluehost, the WordPress blog is easy to set up and maintain. It is a one-click solution and the WordPress option is available with your Bluehost.com site.
Q. How do I get a domain name and how much does it cost?
A. Domain names cost around $29.95 per year with most servers. The good news is that domain names are free with your Bluehost.com account. You can save a lot of money by signing up with the Bluehost server, and it’s a great platform to start with if you are on a tight budget.
Q. Why is a domain name valuable?
A. If you just use the preordained URL of your server name, it will not be as memorable as a unique domain name, and you may not have as many visitors. People do tend to relate to your brand based, in part, on your domain name. So make it a good one.
Q. Which is the best blogging platform?
A. There are several different blogging platforms of which blogger.com and WordPress.org are two of them. These are the most popular, and it is estimated that over 33.3% or 1/3 of all websites in the world are hosted on the WordPress platform. This says a lot about the stability of the WordPress site. It is a popular platform for both websites and blogs. One great idea is to get a bluehost.com domain for your website and include WordPress.org for your blog platform. Bluehost has an easily integrated platform that allows you to include WordPress on your sites.
Q. What should I talk about in my blog?
A. The topics you discuss in your blog are totally up to you. The key is to have theme-based topics that are relevant and meaningful for your target audience and related to your brand. Google wants to see relevance too, and they will penalize sites that don’t live up to this, so it is to your advantage to keep it closely related to your products and services. Just don’t make the copy sales-oriented on your blog. Keep that on your sales page. But you can include a link at the bottom of each post to take people to your sales or landing page.
Q. Should I make regular posts?
A. Absolutely! The idea of SEO is to build up your traffic over time by putting more and more content on your blogs and other online assets that will produce customized traffic for your site. A good rule of thumb is to post at least three times per week. It’s also a good idea to tie some of your posts together as long as the content is relevant.
Q. Can I start a blog if I’m not a good writer?
A. Yes! Your writing skills will often improve over time. So just get started. But if you don’t want to spend time honing your skills, that’s ok! Entrepreneurs can outsource anything, according to Timothy Ferris in his book, “The Four-Hour Work Week,” who explains how you can outsource any task that you don’t feel skilled enough to do or do not have the time to do. You can find good writers to get to know your brand and represent you on your blog at content sites such as Textbroker.com and Freelancer to name a few.
Q. I created a blog already. But I don’t have any traffic. What should I do?
A. You can get targeted traffic in some various ways. SEO (search engine optimization) is one way. This is an organic technique that is meant to pay off over the long-term by adding consistent, high-quality content that appeals to your target audience. The skilled use of keywords and other SEO techniques can help you generate more natural traffic. SEO tends to last longer than paid traffic, but you may want to mix it with some paid traffic, as well in order to get some immediate traffic.
Q. How long should the average blog post be?
A. This reminds us of the ancient question that is asked by thousands of high school students every day. Still, it is a good question. How long is too long? How long is not long enough? The average short blog post is between 300-500 words. Long posts are considered somewhere between 2,000-3,000 words. A happy medium is best for SEO (around 1500 words) but this will vary depending on the depth of the article and the topic. It’s a good idea to play around with articles of different lengths until you find what works best for you and which one brings you the best quality leads and traffic.
Q. What should my keyword density be?
A. Google used to recommend between 2-3.5% keyword density. There are tools that measure this online. But now they are straying from this specific view and just stating in their latest algorithm updates that you should avoid anything over 3% as this can be keyword stuffing. However, they do make exceptions when it is a topic that needs the extra keywords to match the search words in the search engine. As long as you don’t sacrifice quality or use “Black Hat” techniques to get leads or visitors, you will be fine going a bit above this standard in most cases. High-quality articles written for humans more than bots is the rule of thumb for quality. Remember, the keywords get them there. But it’s up to you to keep them there.
Q. How do I measure the success of my blog?
A. There are some tools that you can use to help measure your success with your blog. Kissmetrics, Google Analytics, and Blogger.com have a convenient analytics tool that can help you measure your traffic and break it down into specific categories and even perform “experiments” to increase your quality leads. It is essential to gauge how you are doing as you go so you will know how to correct it to improve your results.
Q. How can I best use my blog to increase traffic to my website and brand?
A. That is a good question. The most important thing is to get targeted traffic to your site. That means getting the people in front of your products and services which are more likely to purchase and want to do business with you.
Q. How do I integrate my blog within my social media accounts?
A. It is easy to integrate your blog with your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms. All you have to do is to share your blog posts or your blog itself with your followers on social media or embed your post in your Facebook or other platforms. Either way, your followers can click on your blog posts and read the latest content every time you post.
Q. What makes a blog successful?
A. There are some components of a successful blog. Increased traffic to your website is one indicator. Increased sales and improved ROI is another. You define your success based on your expectations, but if you can use your blog to increase your targeted traffic and improve your branding, then it will have been a benefit to you.
Q. How do I find new topics for my blog?
A. There are a lot of different ways you can find the new copy for your blog. You could look at the customer service emails you receive on your website, check the comments on your social media, and do surveys to capture what is essential to your customers. A blog can help you have a platform to answer customer concerns over specific products and services and may even cut down the amount of customer service complaints that you get.
Q. What are the main advantages of a blog?
A. A blog can help you create a more personal approach to your business and let you talk to your customers casually and informally. They get to know what you are about, why you love what you do, and how you can help them. In short, it separates the business from the entrepreneur behind it and enables you to connect with your target audience. Additionally, a blog gives you another digital “asset” that can get you new leads and customers. Every “site” that you build whether a YouTube channel, podcast, social media presence, or blog page will increase your presence on the web and the search engines will pick up on the SEO to expand your search results. Additionally, blogs help improve your credibility online by allowing you to be an influencer in your chosen niche area.
Q. How do I successfully market my blog once I have it up and working?
A. Use everything you can to promote your blog including social media, YouTube, podcasts and more. For example, you can place a video from YouTube on your blog page or put a podcast in your posts to link out to your content. These types of techniques will add to the excitement of your blog. People react to videos and audio as well as other media much more than text alone. Mix and match your content to include all of these to improve your chances of success.
Q. How can I use my blog in email marketing campaigns?
A. Using your email marketing campaigns is an excellent way of promoting your blog. Simply insert your blog link in your email marketing messages and find a witty title to capture their attention. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. Just place your link to your blog in the body of the email and say, “Click here to read our new blog post” to get people to act on it.
So if you are convinced that starting a blog is for you, it’s easy to get started. All you need is a blogging platform, some content to share, media (preferred), and a topic of choice to write about. Below are the ten steps to starting a blog in 10 minutes.
1. Hop onto a professional blogging platform
There are two ways to start a blog. The first is to go with a free solution such as blogger.com or WordPress.org to set up your blogging space. It’s a simple one-click process to set up your WordPress account unless you use the one at WordPress.com. Then you will just need to install the software.
The second method, (which we highly recommend), is going live with a web hosting account and using a professional domain name of your own. To get started, there are NO technical design skills, and costs are as low as $2.95 per month. To learn more about how to get started with this method, click here.
2. Decide what type of content and topics you want to address.
You only have to decide on one item at a time, but they should all be related to your web content on your other sites. True branding occurs when you are consistent between your website, YouTube channel, podcast, and social media so that there is a high degree of consistency with your branding. It might be a good idea to keep a list of possible topics so that you will always have content ideas to choose from.
3. Set up any Google Adsense ads that you wish to feature on your blog.
If you are using Blogger.com, this will already be set up for you in advance. Google owns Blogger.com’s platform so you will automatically have Google Adsense inserted into your blog when you choose to do so by checking the “display ads” button in the “Settings” section. Once you sign up for a Blogger account, you will see that this is an easy process.
4. Set up your affiliate marketing if you plan to use this on your blog.
If you plan to use affiliate marketing on your page, you will need to set this up through an affiliate marketing network such as clickbank.com or cj.com. Simply create an account first, then locate vendors that you want to advertise for and apply to their program. You’ll be notified in a few days as to whether you were accepted, then you can start advertising their products on your site.
5. Start marketing your blog.
Let people know through email newsletters, social media platforms, and other locations that your blog is open for business. You should start getting clicks and views soon, and you’ll be able to start tracking your results on Blogger.com, Google Analytics, or other tools. Remember that, to be able to track your progress; you’ll need to get a code from Google Analytics for each page you wish to analyze, then place the code within the ‘head’ section of your web pages that you plan to track. Instructions on how to do this can be found on the Google Analytics site.
6. Invite visitors to join your blog.
To get more subscribers, why not put an attractive button on your blog posts inviting them to join your newsletter or subscription. Check out the any of the free images platforms site to download cool button graphics, then add a “subscribe” button to your blog.
You can also try Depositphotos or BigStockPhoto to download royalty free images for your website, blog, and site content. These are two of the sources we use for nearly all of our images.
7. Make it fun!
One of the things we are trying to get across in point #6 is that you need to find a way to make your blog fun for your visitors. Whether you do this via attractive graphics, videos, podcasts, or other media, you can spice up your websites and blogs by adding multimedia, bonus content, and more to achieve this.
8. Create value with each post.
The key to success with anything you do online is to create genuine value with every post. The best thing you can do to do this is to always focus on high-quality content, think about how to increase your SEO with the techniques we discussed earlier in this post, and brainstorm ways to make your blog better.
9. Be mobile-friendly.
Google requires that all of your content meets up to the standards of mobile devices. This means you need to test your navigation capabilities, payment processing applications, and other aspects so that everything looks professional. Your level of UX/UI (user experience and user interface) is important also. Many web servers and blogger platforms allow you to create “mobile versions” of your site. This is a good idea, but you should also test the mobile-friendliness of your blog once you are finished creating it. Visit the mobile-friendly site at Google to perform this test.
10. Offer free gifts with purchase.
Offering visitors something free, even something small, can be the factor that helps motivate your users to make a purchase. Many website owners and bloggers offer a free eBook just for visiting the site or in exchange for signing up for your newsletter or email marketing program. By offering something free in exchange for an email address, you can increase your sign up rate immensely.
To make our list more comprehensive and to help you know what to do and not to do with your blog, we have created a list of Dos and Don’ts to help you get started right away in creating and maintaining your blog. Take a look at these tips then see if you can think of some of your own as you go along your journey.
The following is a list of Do’s and Don’ts regarding blogging that you can use to follow when building and maintaining your blog. Feel free to do whatever you think will work best for your blog and experiment with different methods to improve your results.
DO focus on your content.
Don’t get hung up on the little things like trying to have perfect grammar or mechanics. You are not writing a senior English paper. It is a blog, and it is meant to be written in a casual style. This doesn’t mean you should not pay attention to technical writing techniques and form, but the content is what your visitors come to read. So focus on that.
DO engage your visitors.
You should make your focus getting your visitors interested in your content by asking them to get engaged with your content. By allowing comments on your blog, you increase the level of engagement with your audience, and this may also increase your conversions and ROI (return on investment).
DO post often.
You need to post as often as possible to keep the attention of your target audience. You should also use social media, YouTube, and other platforms to announce the timing of your posts so that your audience can make plans to visit your site to get your future posts, as well.
DON’T build it and forget it.
Anything that is worth doing is worth promoting. Like a book, video, or any other type of media, you should promote your blog and your blog posts as often as you can. If you follow the “Field of Dreams” model, you may get a few visitors at the onset, but you cannot maintain it without some serious promoting.
DON’T use keyword stuffing.
If you use keyword stuffing on your blog or website, Google will drop you in the results, and it’s hard to reverse this once it is done. Keyword stuffing is considered a “black hat” technique where keywords are used too often or in places that are not appropriate or are used only for the purpose of getting clicks and views. Since Google runs Adsense, they may also penalize you or remove your account if they think you are using subversive techniques to get visitors.
DON’T include spammy links.
Even when you are trying to promote other people’s products, you should only use links that are relevant to the vendor’s product and avoid putting multiple links in your blog posts. Google’s “bots” check all of your pages daily and they will drop sites and blog pages that have irrelevant links. It is an important part of your SEO to build good backlinks. So make sure the links you are creating represent valuable content.
We’ve listed many questions and answers about blogging, presented some solid tips on how to build and maintain your blog, and given you ideas on what to do and not to do when it comes to your blog.
Now it’s your turn.
Head over to our step-by-step blogging startup guide, and you will soon be live with a blog of your own within the next ten minutes.
You will then sign up for a good web server such as bluehost.com to set up your website and blog. If you do not have a website and you plan to sell your products or services, you will want to have both a website and a blog.
It is possible to just operate with a blog only if you do not want to create a website to complement your blog. But it is best to have both a working website and a blog when your goal is to set up a system that will promote your brand that includes a landing or sales page as well as a blog where you can talk to your visitors.
Use the tools you have at your disposal beginning with the building of a professional website on bluehost.com. Once you sign up for their web server, you can include a blog from WordPress.org automatically with no need for coding or expert technical skills.
The following are some of the most impressive features of the Bluehost.com website. Check out these features to get started.
If you still have questions about what Bluehost can do for your blog or websites, you can email our technical staff on the Bluehost contact page.
Have no fear. Bluehost is here!
If creating a blog is your goal, there’s nothing keeping you from it. Just get an account and let the ideas flow! You’ll be surprised how much fun you’ll have.