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How To Build A Successful Blog From Scratch: Getting Started With A New Site

If you read my last update, you’ll know I’ve started a new authority site case study with both a site that I am building and one that my student is building.

In this update, I am going to go over what things we concentrated on first to get our sites off the ground. I’m also going to update you with how both sites were going one month into the case study (and a sneak peak of how my site is progressing nearly 7 months in).

Ready?

If you haven’t read my first update, make sure you read it now here before reading the rest of this.

Want to start your own  site? Click here to download my New Blog Checklist. It tells you what to concentrate on in the beginning to set you up for SEO success so you don’t need to spend all your time online.

But first, I want to address something that has come up multiple times with members of my Facebook group.

That is around how I have built links to this site.

When I mention how many links I have to the site already, I have people deciding that I got them magically because I was me and I just asked tons of people who just did it for some magical reason.

This is not true and kind of weird if you think about it for a minute. I don’t have any magical powers.

Start paying attention in my group and you’ll notice that I often respond when people have a collaborative post or link swap request.

I am not doing anything you couldn’t do.

You can learn how to do this yourself in the 7 Day Link Building Challenge.

I promise that if you spend the time link building that you spend making excuses or worrying that only I can achieve these results then you’ll have far more success 🙂

Let’s start!

Site 1: One month in

In my last update, I talked about the strategy behind my new lifestyle blog.

I think it’s important that you are already clear on your strategy for both monetisation and getting traffic before you evern start.

This saves you from having the problem that many bloggers have – they have a site with traffic and some traction but no idea how to make any money.

Start the way you want to continue – with a clear monetisation strategy from day 0.

My next steps were deciding on my domain name and actually setting up the site.

You can watch my process for doing this in the following video which I made in September 2017, about a week in to this case study after deciding on my niche and my angle.

At this point I have:

  1. Bought my domain and related domains
  2. Set up my hosting
  3. Published my first post

My plan for what comes next is to:

  1. Reserve social media accounts in the same name (but not to do anything with them)
  2. Get some more “starter” content up on the site. I basically aimed to have a post for each category so it’s not empty
  3. Get the site looking slightly better
  4. Find some good buying keywords for affiliate focused articles I can add to the site and write some content on each of these

Everything I am doing at the beginning is aimed towards two things:

  1. Getting the site looking ok enough that people will link to my site
  2. Getting the site and some affiliate focused articles ageing

Note that I am not concerned about having any articles written to keywords at this point. If I had plenty of time, I would have done this as soon as possible, but the more important part is to start link building so I prioritised everything around getting the site looking good enough for this.

Want to see all these steps so you can follow them yourself?

Click here to download my FREE New Blog Checklist.

It tells you what to do in the beginning to set you up for SEO success do you don’t need to spend all your time online to gain lots of traffic.

The next video was created about two weeks later and you will see how I have accomplished this:

At this stage, I have my “starter” content up and have started link building by contributing to collaborative posts.

I want to add here that I spent barely any time on the design of the site. I used a good paid theme and basically left it how it was apart from making a two second logo on canva.

There is no point getting caught up on things like getting the theme exactly right at the beginning. Actually work on getting people to your site before you worry about perfecting what they see.

I also had some product guide starter content up.

By this, I mean articles that are a guide to the “Best ProductName”. They were just 300 word articles written on the topic as quickly as I could. This is just for ageing and not meant to be the full guide yet. I used the plugin WP Hide Post so no one would see them.

I did enough keyword research to find those topics but nothing more than this from a keyword perspective at this stage.

Month 1 Traffic And Earnings

Traffic: 53 users

Earnings : $0

Costs: $40

(3 domain names, I already had hosting, the theme and KeySearch. You may need to budget for these.)

This is exactly what I would expect since I had done zero monetisation and marketing. A small amount of traffic came from the links built in the first month. I also had 11 hits from Google

Site 2: One month in

Site 2 is being built by DNW community member, Leanna.

She has two big goals for her site:

  1. To become THE authority site on her region of the US
  2. To make a full time income from her blog starting with affiliate marketing

Leanna has been working on the following:

  • Getting “starter” content on her site
  • Link building
  • Finding good keywords – both on the general topic of her blog and for affiliate focused articles
  • Starting to write these articles
  • Reserving social media accounts

The biggest reminder I have had to give Leanna is not to get caught up on other elements of blogging.

To just concentrate on keywords, article writing and link building for now and not to get swept up with what other bloggers are doing.

This really is the most important thing.

You only need to do one area of blogging well to have blogging success. It’s much better to focus on this at the beginning than five different areas and never really perfect any.

She is doing a great job and already has about 15 links published and 6 keyword rich posts. I look forward to seeing the results of her work.

Month 1 Traffic And Earnings

Traffic: ?

We found out Google Analytics was not installed. Traffic would be low. Currently 11 keywords being seen in Google search.

Earnings : $0

Costs: $33

(2 domain names and KeySearch monthly subscription. Leanna already has hosting and used a free theme. You may need to budget for these.)

Sneak peak of the seventh month of my blog

In the following video, you can see how my blog is going now, nearly seven months in.

I show you what I have recently completed as well as Google Analytics and earnings reports in eBay and AdSense, the two main ways the blog is currently monetised.

I hope this update has inspired you and shown you what is possible.

I also hope it helps you understand what solid steps you can take with a new blog to start growing it in the minimal time possible.

You can have blogging success.

I’ll show you 🙂

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I’d love to know your thoughts on this case study in the comments below or let me know in the DNW Facebook group!

About the Author

Sharon Gourlay is passionate about working online and helping others to follow in her footsteps. She left Australia with her young family at the end of 2014 determined to grow an online business. She succeeded and now supports her family of 5 to live their dream lifestyle.

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