Dec 05, 2016, updated
Sep 17, 2018
Blogging + Goals
Forgive me, Blog Mother. For I have sinned.
It’s been 4 months and 20 days since my last post.
I know. I should be purged. Please let me explain..
What Had Happened Was…
I was all over the place. No process. No schedule. And, like everything else in life, I was winging it.
It went something like this.. Hmm.. I should write something. Writes a little something. Procrastinates. Some more writing. Researches topic. 20 tabs and 6 hours later. Dang, I forgot about you. Saves draft in Google Docs. Goes back to procrastinating. The end.
Or worse. I would live post on TMI posts (over 1000 words). So, burnout was an understatement.
I was also super annoyed with all the noise: You should post about this. At this time. Every other day and on every social media outlet. Now create content for your email list and then you’ll gain 30,000 signups in 3 days.
And all of that noise led me to “I got better things to do.” (I really didn’t and I’m all caught up with Stranger Things to prove it.) So here I am, months later, wondering why my site isn’t popping. Silly rabbit. Traffic is for the consistent folk.
There are 6 million ways to blog, but I’m going to K.I.S.S. (keep it simple, shorty) and just do my own thing. Want to know what that thing is?? Course you do, that’s why you’re here.
Created a checklist and template
I was trying to remember all the basic to-dos when creating a post. Now I have a checklist and template to follow so I can give my brain a break.
Created monthly themes
I have 12 themes laid out for 2017. I have plenty of ideas to last me a while, but creating themes will help me when I don’t know what to write. (e.g., Jan. – Planning/Learning, Feb. – Self-care). My goal is to have 2 posts every month: one for the blog and a mini-post for my email list.
Batch processing + scheduling
I’m going to avoid burnout thanks to Mattieologie’s #BatchPlease webinar she had a few weeks ago. And I’m also using this worksheet from Paper and Oats to create batch days for content creation (and other blog + biz things).
I’ll choose one weekend and split the following tasks:
Plan – Mind map and outline on paper. Research links, stock photos, any missing info (with a time limit).
Create – Type post in Google Docs and add graphics using my templates in Canva. Transfer the post to WordPress with Wordable
Edit – Use Grammarly to clean up, and check for broken links.
Extras – Create freebie in Google Docs or Canva. Add it to resources library using Easy Content Upgrades (affiliate). Add opt-in form in post.
Schedule – Add categories on WordPress, repurpose content and use Buffer to share on Twitter, Linkedin, and Facebook, set reminders to share in Facebook groups. Use Board Booster for Pinterest to add it to my secret board and which automatically moves the pin to my main boards.
Get in and focus on where I fit in
Instead of wasting time on Google+ or Periscope, I’m going to focus on Twitter and Linkedin. And for Pinterest, I can just pin (and re-pin) my posts when I’m on it. (Which is all the damn time. #KanyeShrug)
Trello + Evernote
I get easily distracted so I put all devices on airplane mode and write any + all random thoughts down (or add it to Evernote) and get back to creating. Later on, I organize and add it to Trello. I made a board for all things blogging.
I have links to tools like Headline Analyzer, and resources (blog post ideas, secret inspiration board on Pinterest) all in one spot. Plus, a calendar to keep track of deadlines.
In the last post, you researched and developed your business plan, figured out how to price your products and services, and found out how to find and attract your ideal clients. It’s about that time to tell other folks on the world wide web who you are and how you’re going to help them by creating and launching your website.
We’re going to create + launch your business website and turn it into a reader and client-attracting, problem-solving and money-making machine.
This post contains affiliate links. That means I receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase or sign up using one of my links. Thanks so much for your support!
Since we’re setting up new + important profiles, the first thing we need to do is sign up for a password manager account. We want to keep our info secure and passwords hard to crack. So those same usernames and passwords you use all over the webs won’t cut it, dollface.
Using password managers, like LastPass, you can save all of your accounts and passwords in one spot (which makes it easy to fill out web forms). Lastpass is also a password generator, so it can create a strong password with numbers or characters (!@#%). All you’ll need is your email and one master password to get access and that’s it.
This is sorta like your home address. When someone types your link in the browser’s address bar, they’ll be sent to your website.
For your business website, instead of using www.nameofsite.wordpress.com, we’re going to change it to www.nameofsite.com. It’ll be easier to remember and look professional on your marketing material (biz cards, flyers, etc).
To buy a domain name, you can get one from a web hosting company or from Namecheap which is $13.57 per year ($10.69 + $2.88 for WhoisGuard to protect your personal info).
You can also try Google Domains which is only $12 per year and WhoisGuard is included. And if you decide to go with Google Domains, use Google Apps for Work account for your business emails ($5 a month). Instead of using email@example.com, you can switch over to firstname.lastname@example.org. This will also make you look professional and manage your emails easily since you’re still using Gmail’s interface.
Tips: Remember to use NameChk to see if your domain and usernames on social media are available.
And keep your domain name and web host companies separate. If your website is ever down, you’ll still have access to your emails to keep in touch with prospects and clients.
The most popular platforms are Squarespace and WordPress. There are a few pros and cons to using either one, but it all depends on you and your business needs. Ana of The City Sidewalks talks about those pros and cons of using Squarespace or WordPress.
If you’re #TeamWordPress, watch this video to know the difference between a hosted WordPress.com + self-hosted WordPress.org. (TL;DW version: Free but with limited control on WP.com. You need a web host and domain to use WP.org but you have more control, like adding plugins.)
Your digital office space. Your 24/7 business card. Your one-stop shop and #1 marketing tool. And you have hundreds of companies to choose from, but think about the following questions before you make a purchase:
Is there 24/7 customer support? How fast do they respond? Will my site be up and running 99% of the time? Can they handle a blog with heavy traffic? Is it extra for e-commerce shop? It was $50 when I first signed up, but how much will after a year?
If you decide to go with WordPress, make sure your host is compatible with it. The following hosts are perfect for beginners and non-tech savvy folks. After you set up everything, all you’ll have to do is log-in from your WordPress dashboard since they both have the one-click WordPress install feature:
I’m using Siteground’s Startup plan for hosting and Google Domains for my domain name since privacy is included. (I mean.. why pay extra just to keep your name and address private when Google Domains handles that for you for free?)
Tip: If you’re not ready to purchase hosting, register your domain name with Namecheap or Google Domains and forward it to the site you’re currently using. (e.g., forward your .com or .net to yoursite.wordpress.com or any other site until you’re ready to purchase hosting.)
Your brand is your voice, logo, site, slogan, and how others see you when you’re not in the room. It comes with expectations + emotions. So be authentic and accessible. And keep your visual brand consistent.
Think about your target audience and how you want your site/brand to look and feel. Use the following resources to help you choose.
More resources: Take a look at the Extensive Guide To Website Design from the Blogger Network. Download their free eBook on learning how to use Canva. Use Frontify to create your style guide with your fonts and new color scheme.
Instead of going through hundreds of sites to search for the perfect pic, download this app called Zoommy App for $4.99. It’s a round up all the free stock photo sites all in one spot.
Search by color, landscape or portrait, and people or things. You can download any photo to your desktop and use it for your blog, Pinterest, or Instagram posts.
More resources: Use The Stocks – “the best royalty free stock photos are delivered now along with videos, audios, icons, fonts and colors.” Follow my Pinterest board for more tips on Visual Marketing.
When choosing a WordPress theme, make sure to check the ratings, comments, and the date it was last updated. And since most of your viewers will be checking out your site from their mobile device, make sure your theme is user and mobile friendly. When you find the perfect one, try the demo version before you install or buy it.
More resources: Creative Market has a wide selection of fonts, logos, themes, photos, graphics, and templates you can choose from. You can get all the goods you need to build a brand and a website.
The following sections are some essential pages you’ll need for your site. Your main goal on any page or blog post is to create a call to action – that one thing you want your visitors to do after they’ve read your content.
Do you want them to sign up to your newsletter? Get in touch to work with you? Ask questions or share their thoughts on your last post? Whatever the goal is, you’ll learn what to say on these pages to attract the right crowd.
Coming Soon Page
The first thing to do before you start working on your site is to set up a coming soon page. When people visit your site, the Coming Soon page will be the first thing they’ll see.
First, choose a launch date and give yourself a little wiggle room just in case there are some last-minute changes before launch. Next, give a little info about yourself and what your blog and business.
This will also be the perfect time to collect emails so you can keep subscribers in the loop. Here’s a Mailchimp tutorial from Melyssa Griffin when you’re ready.
Mailerlite is another option to use for your email list. Why use Mailerlite? Automation is included and you can send unlimited emails for up to 1000 subscribers for free99. So, if you plan on giving a 3-day email course for your launch, for example, that’s all free, buddy.
If you’re Squarespace user, go through this list to find the perfect Coverpage.
That disclosure notice I used up top is required when you’re using affiliate links. Whether you’re getting paid or receiving something free, display your notice in the beginning of your page or post. Check out Blog Disclosures – What You Need to Know from Jade Oak:
Besides it being the law, making disclosures shows your readers you aren’t being shady and trying to hide anything. Being transparent and upfront will build trust with your readers since you aren’t hiding your relationships or vested interest when you recommend something. – Jackie
An unforgettable About page has to be more than a biography or a bulging list of qualifications and your biggest achievements. It has to give your reader an insight into who you are, what you blog about and – importantly – why they should stick around for more. – Rachel
More resources: Courtney Johnston from The Rule Breaker’s Club has 11 short (less than 6 minutes) videos you can watch that’s all about creating your Sales Page. Check out her YouTube channel for more info.
Having a clear purpose for your blog will give you FOCUS. Your content will be stronger, your goals will become more defined, people will know what you’re all about and you can develop a tribe of readers. – Allison
Try one of these 101+ Blog Post Title Templates or use CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer so you can increase traffic and improve SEO. And while you’re over there, subscribe to their blog. So many great posts and freebies to help you and your blog/social media grow.
Use Grammarly to check for grammar and spelling errors.
Content calendars help plan, organize and schedule every single piece of content you publish online. It’s the place where all of your social media posts, your blogs, your newsletters, your videos, podcasts and your graphics strategically come together to grow your business. – Kimberly Ann Jimenez
Any thoughts, comments, or feedback? I’d love to hear it in the comments. And if you find this post helpful, make sure you save it on Pinterest or click to tweet below. Thanks so much for reading, folks!
This post is Part 3 of 5 for Create Your Dope Biz series. Next post will be on finding your tribe, your clique, your crew – no need to do this on your own, darling. And adding other dope doers to your team. Read more here: 8 Things You Can Do to Grow Your Blog and Biz.