Start a author website/blog if you want to be taken seriously. It is your online business card. That’s what they say but what they don’t tell you is how much time it will take and what resources you need to be successful.
Here is what I have learned in the first six months of blog.
- You need a theme. Colors, graphics, and ideas that all lead back to who you are trying portray. (Notice: I have a preference to windmills. It signifies water in a barren western landscape.) Granted, it does not have to be matchy-matchy but it needs to look professional, not a rainbow mess, with every color under the sun. Pick readable fonts on contrasting backgrounds. Canva.com is a great graphics resource. Pixabay.com has free stock photos to use if you are not taking your own.
- Join social media. This may seem like a no-brainer and technically it is, but instead of doing each post yourself, let widgets do it for you. Add an Instagram widget to your side bar. Publish your posts on Twitter or Facebook automatically using the Publicize option in the WordPress Post sidebar. Saves several steps and your time.
- Post NEW material every week. If you are writing a content blog, you have to build your content. If you write once a week, you will increase your visibility to search engines and people will have more to enjoy when they click. After a while you can drop down to one post per month, but don’t fall off the face of the earth or people will stop clicking.
- Tags. You must tag your posts. By that, search engines find your post based on key words and phrases. This is the being of SEO, which I will worry about later. As I need more content before I want a lot of traffic.
- EIN -Employer Identification Number. If you choose to monetize your blog, I would recommend creating an EIN with the IRS if you reside in the United States. It saves you from sending your personal social security number onto the internet. Affiliates require a social security number or an EIN. (We will discuss Affiliates in a moment.) Also, it allows you to create a business. One that can easily step from sole proprietor (which is what you are currently) to LLC or whatever size your business becomes. It allows you to keep taxes and revenue somewhat separated from your personal. I am not an accountant so if you start making more than a $1,000 per year find an accountant or bookkeeper.
- Affiliates. Word of mouth of the internet. Companies will pay bloggers and websites to post their ads. Most Affiliate companies pay for clicks or a commission of the purchases made through links from your website. Most people recommend only having a three to five affiliates. Why? Because you only want to back the companies you like, so your readers trust you. Don’t encourage them to buy from a whole list of companies. Pick your favorite. This tells your followers, I stand behind this brand because they are good company, great quality, excellent customer service, etc. etc. If you send someone to a company and they have a bad experience. They will not trust you and you lost a follower. (For more info on this, check out Smart Passive Income) My affiliates are Stitch Fix and Fabric.com…Sew Something! I used them and I was impressed and I believe others will be too. (Disclosure: Stitch Fix and Fabric. com are affiliate links to which I may receive compensation.)
- AFFILIATE LINKS NEED DISCLOSURE – It is the LAW!