Blogging: My First 90 Days

Have you ever thought about starting a blog? Or have you ever wanted to write about something that you are passionate about? This is the situation I found myself in last year – wanting to write and share with others ideas on how to live inspiring lives. Today you are looking at what resulted from that want, and today I will share with you what I have learned from my first 90 days of blogging. I hope to hear from you (via comments) any questions you may have on blogging so that you, too, can start writing your own wonderful blog.

Getting started

They say the best way to learn is by doing, so last November I launched my site www.livetoinspire.ca. Getting started was relatively easy. The first thing I did was grab a domain name from GoDaddy,  which was really simple. You can search for the domain name you want right from their landing page, and if you find one you like all you have to do is follow the steps to purchase it. GoDaddy even offers hosting plans. At first I set myself up with one of their free hosting options, but after a little digging I found the Wordpress hosting option would suit my needs much better. To take a step back, Wordpress runs two websites – Wordpress.org and Wordpress.com. The latter is an option if you just want to start blogging and don’t really care about having your own domain name (think Blogger). The former is for those who have their own domain name and want to use the easy Wordpress web application for maintaining their blog. This is what I use and it’s been easy to get up and running. That’s really it! (1) Purchase a domain name from GoDaddy (2) Sign up for an account at www.wordpress.org (3) Purchase a Wordpress Hosting plan from GoDaddy. Easy as 1-2-3.

If you want to monetize your site right away, that’s easy, too. The fastest way to get this going is to sign up for a free Google Adsense account. Once signed up, you can add google ads to your site quite easily. There are resources available on the internet to learn more about this and how to use Google Adsense to your utmost advantage. Another way I have monetized my site is by signing up for the Amazon Affiliates program. This allows me to add links to books I recommend on my site, and from sales I earn a commission. Again, I have found this to be very easy to use.

Resources

There are a lot of resources out on the internet for learning more about blogging. For me, it’s a never-ending process of reading and learning and trying to improve my site. If you are interested in starting your own blog, here are a few sites I recommend checking out:

John Chow dot com
ProBlogger
Wordpress
Daily Blog Tips

Highlights from my First 90 Days

Subscribers – Thanks to Facebook and BlogCarnival, my subscriber count is slowly climbing. For my next quarterly update I would like to report at least 50 subscribers, so spread the word!

Revenue – Earning revenue is tough work, but I can say that I’ve earned a little bit of revenue so far through this blog. I am still learning a lot about how commissions and affiliate programs work, but the key to success here is first creating a good quality website that generates a good amount of traffic, then place ads that are both relevant to your content and that don’t detract from the quality of the site. It’s a bit of a juggling act.

Facebook Fan Page – This has been a great interest generator. Just by getting recommendations (a big thanks to ScrapMuch?) I now have more than 40 fans. Thanks to all my fans for joining and please recommend me to your friends.

Consistent Posts – “They” say consistent posting is a key ingredient to blogging success. My goal when I began was for two posts per week, which I have been able to keep on track (23 posts in total). I won’t be changing this frequency in the next quarter, unless you guys want to see more posts. Send me your feedback if you do.

Challenges

Allocating Time to Writing – I think my biggest challenge has been finding the time to write good quality posts. I work full time, so it’s usually in the evenings and on the weekends that I prepare my posts. I would love to spend more time on the writing side of things so that I can produce the best quality of work possible for my readers.

Site Appearance – It seems something can always be tweaked here and there to optimize my site’s appearance, but finding the tweaks that my readers will enjoy is the tough part. Feedback is always welcomed in this department.

Generating Comments – This in itself is an art form, and at this time seems difficult to do. Generating interest and encouraging people to comment is definitely something I want to learn more about. I would love for this site to become a place where people can interact and share their ideas on living inspiring lives.

Captivating Titles –  There is so much to learn about creating great titles for a blog post, and I hope that over these next 90 days I can really improve on this. From what I’ve read so far, the key is to offer benefits to the readers. What can people learn from reading the post? How can it help them be better?

I would like to say thank you so much for all your visits to my site and all the comments you have left. I can’t wait to interact more with my readers, as well as getting readers to interact with each other so that we can all be better people for this world. All the knowledge I’ve gained so far has been amazing. As I said at the start of this post, the best way to learn is by doing, and I have learned so much from these first 90 days. I hope by sharing my experience I have inspired you to start your own blog journey. :)

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