Firstly, congratulations to everyone on the Quick Start Challenge who has made it this far. From the 1000 who registered, only 356 got this far in the last 7 days. There may be a few late arrivals, but I doubt it.
So where are you now? Well, you now have a domain name of your choice, web hosting for WordPress, and content including some core pages and a welcome post.
That’s the hardest technical part done. There is much more to do, but it is less time critical than getting your blog set up and started.
This Weeks Quick Start Challenge Focus
This weeks focus is on Traffic; Getting people to visit your site. There are hundreds of ways to get traffic, but the two easiest when starting out, and free methods are:
Whatever niche you are in with your blog, there are always forums of like minded people, asking questions and wanting answers. Join the forums relevant to you, and set up an account with them. The account will have a signature footer where you can put in 1 web address link to a genuine blog. Now simply read through some of the questions on the forums that you can genuinely answer, and write a decent, quality reply. By submitting your reply, the forum will show your signature, including the link. Curious members can follow the link to your site; hey, free traffic!
Blog Hop Traffic
Write a comment on another persons blog, and include your name, email and web address in the boxes displayed. Only your web address is disclosed, but this is visible to the world to click though and visit your site, as well as for search engines to see as a backlink. Make sure the comment is sensible, quality, relevant and not spammy.
Whenever you are writing comments or forum replies, always ask yourself “does this comment look like I have read the article and that I am responding sincerely”. (You always want the answer Yes, just in case there is any doubt.)
Track Your Traffic
You need to know where your traffic comes from, so that you can both improve your traffic generating efforts as well as improve the content for the traffic you get. There really is only one tool to do this and that is Google Analytics. It is the industry standard, and although very powerful, it is also very straightforward to use.
I have written a setup guide on how to add it to your site available here.
You can also us a Google Analytics Plugin to display core stats from within your blog dashboard, but this is not actually necessary unless you really want to keep everything in one place. If you want to make real money online, then you need to learn how Google Analytics reports and to look at it every day.
Hard Slog or Rinse and Repeat?
This week is also when the real, regular, disciplined work needs to start happening. First impressions count hugely to visitors, and you need to get your site into shape. Think of how you feel when you visit websites, including any of those doing this challenge (their addresses are on the website in comments or Facebook posts) Does it make you want to stay and engage, or will you click back instantly and never return? How do you think people will react when they see your site?
So firstly, you need content. Quality content of 600-1000 words. And you need it daily. This may sound like a difficult ask, especially when a decent article may take you an hour to write, but it needs to be done. Get into the habit of writing a post a day, or more if you can (and schedule them for days when you want time off!) In this 4 week challenge, assuming you started on day 1, you would still only have 28 posts by the time you want to make your first money online. It’s what your visitors would expect to see.
Once you have 10 posts, only then I would suggest choosing a theme that displays your blog in the style you would like it to. You really need those 10 posts in order to fill up the blog homepage with enough content that you can see what a theme will look like. There are plenty of free themes that can be tried within the WordPress site, or you can buy some of the higher performance themes if you really want to.
Personally, I see little point in driving traffic to your site if you are not capturing it (or at least giving it the option to subscribe to you – that’s coming soon) but the practice of actually doing the work to get traffic is hugely important. You need to make it part of your daily routine:
- Wake Up
- Write a Post
- Comment on others sites
- Answer some forum questions
- Continue life as normal until the money comes in
Build up the quality and content of your blog, drive traffic to it. Repeat this every day, and you know you will be moving forward towards the money.