If you would like to leave your job creating a successful blog and/or becoming an influencer is a good alternative. You can be your own boss and travel the world or simply working comfortably from home.
How to become an influencer? You should have a successful blog and/or many followers on your social media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and SnapChat the main ones).
The advantage of having a large audience is a great marketing tool. This will allow you to start your own business since you can receive income from advertising, affiliate marketing, product reviews or your own online store. Furthermore, you can make partnerships with hotels, airlines and restaurants among many other businesses.
Almost all influencers usually have a blog where they write articles and then attract traffic by sharing photos or information on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or SnapChat.
There are also influencers who only manage SM but these are advantages of having a blog:
- Brands prefer bloggers: You can talk more about the product/service in an article
- You can earn money without effort: just use advertising and affiliate marketing
- You can gain more followers on your Social Media accounts: Visitors will come to your blog and then they can also have a look on your SM
The bigger your audience, the more profit you can generate, so let´s have a look on how you an create a successful blog, promote it on SM and monetize it.
- Step 1: You need niche
- Step 2: You need a good name
- Step 3: Domain and hosting
- Step 4: WordPress
- Step 5: Topic /Subtopic
- Step 6: Plugins
- Step 7: Sidebar
- Step 8: Pages and blog posts
- Step 9: Search engines and SM
- Step 10: Monetizing your blog
Step 1: You need niche
If you want to attract the right audience and have loyal followers, you need to choose a topic and then a subtopic and entirely focus on this.
Example: if you choose “Travel” as your main topic, you can use a subtopic such as “Luxury Traveling” or “Backpacker Traveling” and specialize in it. Otherwise, if you start writing about low-budget trips and after a few months switch to luxury trips, it might not work and your audiance could get confused.
So depending on your passion choose a main topic and a subtopic and focus on learning as much as you can and become an expert in this field.
The Lifestyle Hunter Topic: Travel, Subtopic: career
The focus of this blog is to help you to develop your professional career with international experiences (volunteering, studying, and working) so you can have a better lifestyle.
Step 2: Find a unique name for your blog and social networks
You need to have a presence on social networks. This is crucial so you can easily share your content and also advertise brands directly (for example, a photo on Instagram).
You need a unique name, short and available on all or most social networks.
Namecheckr: You can check available domains here (like .com, .net, or .org) and the most important Social Networks (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, Pinterest, etc.).
Here are some tips:
- Buy a .com domain
- Try not to put special characters like accents (ó) or letters (ñ)
Step 3: Domain and hosting
The domain is the name of the site, for example, travelblog.com and hosting is the space where all the articles, photos, videos, etc. are stored. These are the options:
a. Free sites
b. Hosting service
I think the best thing you can do is to buy your domain and hosting service together. It is very cheap and will let you use the best platform to create websites that is WordPress.org (note: it is wordpress.org not .com).
There are many companies that offer this service, however, I recommend you GoDaddy. It’s very easy to use, it’s not expensive and it has customer service 24 hours a day.
I recommend you to buy the domain and hosting together because they give you the domain for free in the purchase of hosting for 1 year.
Hosting (web storage)
I would start with the cheapest hosting and once your website grows and you have more traffic, you can buy more capacity.
Step 4: WordPress
WordPress.org is the best platform for a beginners, however it is also used by world recognized websites like BBC, CNN, and the New York Times.
You can install Plugins that are applications made by programmers that let you, for example, add a search bar, create a Facebook comment section or create a virtual store.
a. Follow GoDaddy’s steps
After purchasing your domain and hosting with GoDaddy, you will be able to select WordPress when you are installing the platform with which you will create your website, simply select it and follow the steps.
b. Enter your Dashboard
At the end of the installation, you will be able to access and modify your site by entering the WordPress Dashboard (for example at http://travelblog.com/wp-admin/) and entering your username and password.
Step 5: Choose a Theme
The theme is the main design that your site will have (colors, font, and order & appearance of your site). You can change your theme later on.
There are many free themes, however if you want something specific you can buy original themes that can be adapted according to your preferences. These are some examples:
Step 6: Plugins
Why I need Plugins? Plugins are applications that will help your blog look better. Tthese are free Plugins that you can add, just go to your Dashboard: click on ‘Plugins > Add New’. In the search box, type the following names and click ‘Install’.
- Akismet: will protect you against spam comments.
- Jetpack: has many tools, such as ‘Site Statistics’.
- Yoast WordPress SEO: helps to optimize your site for Google.
- Google Analytics: you need to configurate Google Analytics that will help you to measure your traffic.
Step 7: Sidebar
Usually the sidebar appears next to your blog posts. To control the content that will be displayed there, access your widget section at Appearance > Widgets.
You can include the following sections: About, Newsletter, etc.
Step 8: Pages and blog posts
a. Create pages
b. Create blog posts
Some advice I can give you is:
- Focus on your niche: think about what you want to write, follow bloggers similar to you
- Create original and engaging content: Take great pics!People love great pics and you can use them on your SM too!
- Quality is always better than quantity: Nothing to add to this point.
- Try to publish regularly: It will improve your Google rankings. You should publish at least once per week.
Step 9: Search engines and social networks
Once you have enough posts add your blog to search engines like Google and Yahoo and promote your articles on your SM.
a. Search Engines
You will also be able to see your site’s statistics, keywords, clicks, etc.
Yahoo: Register your site in Yahoo Search and Bing.
b. Social Networks: As said before, to promote your posts you can use SM
Step 10: Monetizing your blog
a. Advertising: Once you have enough traffic you can start earning money with advertising. Here are some companies that you can work with:
Google AdSense: Pay per click, you earn a commission every time someone clicks on one of the ads.
Mad Ads Media: For pay-per-view, you earna commission depending on the number of people viewing the ads.
Mediavine: For pay-per-view, you earna commission depending on the number of people viewing the ads.
b. Affiliate Marketing: You can earn a commission if your readers decide to buy products or services through your links. You can work with:
Amazon: For any kind of items from books to cell phones, and computers.
Lonely Planet: For travel guides and eBooks.
Agoda : To make hotel reservations.
c. Product and Service Reviews: Once you have enough traffic and followers you can charge a fee or receive the free.
Contact the brands directly: You can create an email template and send it to hotels or companies you want to work with. Use apps or websites to connect with brands: For example, there are the following:
d. Online Shop: You can also create your own products/services.
Written by: Pilar, a Mexican expat living in South Africa, who has been able to travel to different countries in Africa, Asia, America and Europe studying, working and volunteering. Originally published in The Lifestyle Hunter.