The Journey Begins

This blog started as a way to teach people how to raise their voice above the general noise of the crowd. And to do it in a way that generated revenue, so it was self sustaining. See, about a year ago, I was actively following a particular topic online. Over time, it seemed like the general direction of the discussion was starting to lead people down the wrong path - there was more and more misinformation popping up and nobody was raising their hand to say, "yo, that's crazy, you're getting...

Some Things I Know

Let’s take stock of what I knew going into my first blog project. That is, if I’m going to start a blog from scratch, what does “scratch” even mean?  At the very beginning of my blogging project, I'd say that my knowledge of blog technology was solidly in the “beginner” range. I mean, I do live with the internet every day and am forced to interact with different parts of it on a nearly continuous basis. So that’s got to be worth something, right?  This basic familiarity means that the...
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Some Things I Don’t Know

I’ve written a piece that summarizes what I knew going into my first blog building project, and now it’s time for the evil twin, which I’m creatively calling “What I Don’t Know.”  Catchy, right? This is actually a more difficult article to write than you might imagine, and I’m sure there are topics not included here that should be. The fact that they aren’t included is because it's hard to separate big chunks of "what I didn't know" into smaller pieces, except when the smaller pieces turned out to be vitally...

Creating WordPress Categories: Building Some Scaffolding

I’ve spent the last few days putting together a road map of content I want to write.  I have a good idea where to start with the actual pieces of content, but I want to make sure that I’m building things - from the beginning - into some kind of larger structure that will help keep things organized over time. This has taken some brainstorming. Because, while I have solid initial ideas for specific pieces of content, I don’t want things to end up as a mish-mash of unrelated, stand alone...

Writing Great Content

We need to talk about content.  How to create blog content and how to write blog content. Those may sound like they're the same thing, but they're not. Creating blog content means brainstorming and taking notes - coming up with ideas and fitting those ideas into the larger structure and theme of your blog. Writing blog content means getting ideas out of your head and written down. It means editing your text, formatting it, and getting it ready to be posted. Ideas vs...

Figuring Out What to Write About

Having an Idea vs Having a Voice When it comes to content creation - not content writing, which is different - I’m a little lucky. I started a blog because I have some things I want to say. The idea came before the implementation. That might seem like some kind of huge initial advantage, or maybe even “what it takes” to get a blog going, but it’s really not. It’s not an overwhelming advantage and it’s definitely not “what it takes.” It's just how it went...

User Engagement & The Importance of Telling Great Stories

Running a blog is kind of a ballet. It integrates a lot of different tasks into the creation of one final product. There's some technical knowledge to get the blog hosted and keep it running, a little bit of procedural skill in editing and formatting, and even a dash of design know-how in putting elements together into an attractive package. But, unless you're running your blog for purely recreational reasons, and it truly doesn't matter to you if anyone ever reads it - sort of like your own self-published Scandinavian Ocean...

How to Start a Blog: Step 1 – Choose A Great Topic

If you're starting a blog, your first job is to choose a great topic. Maybe you've already picked a topic. Cool. In that case, maybe you're ready to move to Step 2 (where we make some solid plans) or to learn about what kinds of content to write and how to write that content effectively. If that's the case, never fear, we've got you covered. Read More: The Only Types of Posts New Bloggers NeedRead More: Build Your User Engagement by Telling Great Stories But, maybe you have...

How to Start a Blog: Step 2 – Budgeting. How Much Does it Cost...

In Step 1 of "How to Start a Blog", we learned that it's in our best interest to approach starting a blog like we're starting a business. Like all business startups, we're going to need some startup money. How much does it cost to start a blog? As with many things in life, it depends. The short answer is probably somewhere in the range of a few hundred dollars, but we'll look at some budgeting models to firm this up a bit. I'm sure you'll have...

How to Start A Blog: Step 3 – Writing Your First Blog Posts

Ladies and gentlemen, pull out your laptops, pencils, fountain pens, or quills and let's get our write on. (if you actually pulled out a quill, send me a picture and I'll post it in this article.) If you've been following along, our first step in starting a blog was to choose a super amazing topic that will generate tons of search interest and has good revenue potential built in. In Step 2 we sat down, got honest, and figured out how much all the things we need to get our blog running are going...

How to Start a Blog: Step 4 – Setting up Your Blog’s Back End

Now that we've come up with our topic, figured out how much everything is going to cost, and actually rolled up our sleeves to prep some great content, it's time to set up the nuts and bolts of our shiny new site. Here in Step 4, we get to play with some of the fun technology that quietly runs blogs. We'll register a domain, set up our hosting, and get our email system up and running. We might even get rolling with a mailing service. This step is kind...
Starting A Blog Step 5

How to Start a Blog: Step 5 – Your WordPress Theme & Plugins

Once we have our blog's back end set up with some rockstar hosting, we can do the last technical step before taking our blog live - setting up a great theme and a handful of essential plugins. Read More: Setting Up Your Blog's Back End (Step 4)Read More: The Best Hosting for Wordpress The first three steps were fun, step four was kind of boring, and this step will be sort of in-between. It's fun to pick out a theme and start to get the first hints of how your blog...