Hey and welcome to another episode of the Free and Fearless podcast. It’s great to have you here and today I’m gonna answer more of your most burning questions about blogging.
If you didn’t listen to the first part, you might want to check out episode 4 first, and then come to this one.
If you did listen to it, great because today the questions I’ll share are related to other topics such as blog traffic, monetization and selling.
Here’s the whole episode:
- [1:20] What to do when your #1 struggle as a blogger is consistently putting out content and seeing traffic grow
- [5:56] You’ve been blogging for 7 months but don’t see progress? Here’s what to do
- [7:53] Can you grow your blog (and get to 6 figures) without doing videos or podcasts?
- [12:36] How to come up with new ideas for blog posts according to keyword research?
- [13:55] Is it too early to create a course?
- Affiliate marketing
- Blog to Biz System (my blogging course)
- WPX Hosting
- Pingdom (a free tool to check your site speed)
- Creating online courses
- Email marketing
- Earning from your blog with ads
- Google Keyword Planner
- Yoast SEO
“My #1 struggle with my blog is consistently putting out content and seeing traffic grow.”
Many people are quite productive with getting new content out there but then wonder why traffic isn’t coming. It’s important to spend as much time promoting the content as you do creating new one.
Pinterest, for example, is a great source of traffic for bloggers and even with a few short posts (but on good topics) you can get traffic. If you’re utilizing Pinterest, there’s a lot to learn about it. But optimizing your profile and boards as well as creating beautiful Pins (5-6 for each blog post) is a must.
How many posts do you currently have?
Because many people have plenty of content and wait till they have more to monetize. But you can monetize from day 1, especially with affiliate marketing. Because once that traffic comes, you’d want to make sure there are already affiliate links to the article you brought people to.
Struggling with self-esteem
Another reader told me: “I worry and feel that I can’t be like others. If I want to make money online or start any business, I feel like many people have also done this and are already earning a lot. But for me it’s just the beginning, so how can I keep going? Also, I start alone and that’s another problem for me.”
And if you’re dealing with something similar, listen up:
This is how everyone starts.
That’s how I did it – no one in my surroundings was doing something similar, English isn’t even my native language, and I had no experience with blogging or any idea how it leads to making money.
It’s all a learning process but with all the tutorials and tools available online (most of which free), we all have the chance to do it.
Don’t compare yourself to others either. It’s unrealistic to look at where you are now (not earning online) and where other bloggers are (earning a lot online), because it took them years to get there. But you have the same potential and qualities to learn, test, start a website and grow the traffic and income of an online business.
As for starting yourself, that’s all you need. I don’t have any help from anyone, there’s no designer, or writer or marketer doing things for me. I educated myself on these topics and learned from other bloggers, and so can you.
One of my course students struggled with discipline.
She also had 85 articles published already and had been blogging for 11 months. So she also asked about my content creation process and how I managed to publish so many blog posts in the first years of my business.
Here’s what I told here:
The more time you invest in your blog and the more you see results, the more disciplined you’ll become as the blog will be your priority.
As for the articles, many of them are guest posts so over the years I was writing less and less of my own content.
Before that though, I was getting up earlier (or creativity just hit in the evening and I was writing a lot then).
It helps to create a lot of content all the time as it helps you form the habit of writing blog posts. This will be practical once you have your own publishing schedule and don’t need to invest hours in each article but know you can get it out there in 40 minutes, and edit and prepare it for publishing for 20 more.
It will also come in handy when you accept sponsored posts and have to write content for brands.
In addition, writer’s block will never be an issue again. It’s what happened to be. The fact that I was reading a lot also helped. Thanks to that (reading content in my niches, of course) I generated many new topics for blog content every week.
“I’m confused about my blogging carrier.”
Another reader said: “I’m confused about my blogging carrier. I’ve been blogging for 7 months now but am not seeing progress. I’m really frustrated. My website speed is not good. My blog contains 21 blog posts and none of them are ranking on the 1st page of Google. What do I do?”
Now, to someone like that I’d immediately suggesting investing in a course cause obviously they are not in the right mindset, and haven’t covered the basics of generating blog traffic and monetizing strategically and growing your audience and creating content.
The advice I gave in this case was this:
How many hours per week are you investing in your blog?
There is a lot to learn. Also, you’ve published only 21 posts in 7 months. You need a lot of content to make Google take you seriously and these posts need to be interlinked well.
You can’t simply have a blog, work on it in the beginning, publish some content and wait for it to rank.
While you’re working on SEO you should also be utilizing Pinterest. It’s a great chance to get quick traffic with a new blog and when you don’t have much content.
I checked your site. It’s nice that the posts are long but you also need to constantly create new content (meaning, a few posts a week) and promote it heavily.
Your site might be slow for many reasons.
I was once using a bad hosting provider and my site wasn’t fast. I then switched to WPX Hosting and everything changed! Yes, it costs more, but there’s a reason why. I’m not going for cheap web hosts since then and will never do it again.
Also, you only need to use the right plugins. Some of the ones you have might be slowing down your site.
There are plenty of free tools online to check your site speed and see the exact problems, then go fix them. Start with Pingdom.
“It is possible to start a successful blog without video or podcasts?”
The next topic I get asked about a lot is video and audio content and monetization of the different types of content.
So a reader asked me this:
‘Hi Lidiya, I just saw one of your posts where you share that you stay away from video. Do you believe it’s possible to start a successful personal development blog without being in front of video or doing podcasts?
My goal was to start blogging, maybe putting up a picture of myself and explaining about my background and then really hard on my material and what I can offer people. I really don’t feel comfortable being in front of video at all, and would rather avoid having any videos of me online if that’s possible.
But I see a lot of people saying you really need video as a means of making your blog take off, connecting with people and getting views. So what do you think?’
No, you don’t need video. Maybe you’ve seen an old post of mine as I don’t even think about such aspects anymore.
Back when I was feeling disappointed in my inability to create video content and was trying to push myself in that direction, I also did other things wrong.
I tried Facebook and other social media channels as ways to grow an audience and promote my content. I was also publishing many eBooks but I didn’t see results. By the way, I also had another podcast before and had published over 100 episodes, but then deleted them all.
Then it hit me – I should focus on the things that work for me and master them.
So, now, my blogging business looks like this: I write a lot of content, update old posts, and rank them higher in Google. I also learned a ton about Pinterest and it really works wonders for bloggers.
I only create online courses now (paid and free ones) and no eBooks. Instagram is the only social media channel I use for updates and networking.
“Is it possible to earn six figures per year through blogging without any videos or podcasts?”
Yes! I never believed I’d earn 5 figures per year either. And the bloggers I follow who earn 6 figures are also doing it in simpler ways than producing video content.
But there are 2 critical things you can’t go without: email marketing and selling your own digital products (which means a great sales page, using a software like Teachable to sell and offer the content, creating a quality product, forming connections, having affiliates, building a whole sales funnel. etc.)
These are the things I’m learning more about now and they are ‘the real deal’.
What I see from experience and what I hear all other bloggers confirm is this: earn 5 figures with ads, sponsored content (and a bit of affiliate marketing maybe), but get to 6 figures with affiliate marketing and selling your products.
No one says video or audio content has anything to do with that.
But an online course is more useful with videos in it. That’s why in my blogging courses I have some for the technical aspects of blogging, but my face isn’t in the video, it’s just the screen and my voice giving instruction.
The rest of the lectures are presentations and I’m talking and explaining concepts so there’s still video and audio but it’s something anyone can do.
“What should I put on my homepage?”
I myself am regularly changing the structure of my homepage as there’s no right or wrong.
What works best is to check out blogs in your niche and simply do what they do (if they are good blogs, it means they’ve tested it and it works).
And if there’s one rule to follow for homepage design, it’s to place the things you want people to do on the site first.
That might be the main categories (but in a well-designed way), a quick intro about yourself with a picture (WordPress now has the perfect Media+text block for this so you don’t need a page builder).
Recent posts can be added (with a plugin maybe) later on in the homepage.
And you can have some text about what you’re trying to accomplish on the blog and how you’re helping people + a link to your About page if they want to learn more.
“How can I come up with new ideas for blog post according to keyword research?”
If you’re passionate about your niche, it means that you can sit down right now and list 50 topics related to it.
Then, each of these should be covered on your blog in the next year.
In addition, each of these topics can be broken down into subtopics which can also become great guest posts.
As for keyword research, when you have a blog post idea in mind, simply use a tool like the free Google Keyword Planner to find out the exact keyword phrase. Then, optimize the blog post for that phrase (with the help of the Yoast SEO WordPress plugin)
I’ve covered absolutely everything, including these processes of coming up with ideas for blog posts as well as doing keyword research the right way, in my signature blogging course, Blog to Biz System.
And the reason why I created it is for people who need guidance and will have many questions along their journey. It’s not currently open for enrolment but you can be the first to know when that happens and get a big discount by joining waitlist. Simply go here and sign up.
“Is it too early to create a course?”
Speaking of courses, one reader was wondering if it’s too early to start a course.
Here’s the exact question: “I have the idea of the course. What I’m struggling with is finding a free platform, organizing the modules, filming the videos, and conducting research in order for me to create a great product with relevant information.”
The first I did is to remind that person that all these things actually require weeks (sometimes even months) of consistent work. That’s why people first focus on blogging for a year or two before creating their digital product.
Blogging teaches you how to build an audience, how to find the best niches that work for you, your writing voice. And only once you have this knowledge (and have made some money blogging) it’s a good idea to create a course.
A course is a big digital product and you must test the idea. You definitely wouldn’t want to go through the hassle of creating ALL that content simply to understand it’s on a topic no one is willing to invest money in.
As for what platform to use and how to organize modules – all the things happen inside the platform if you choose one like Teachable. It’s what I’m using for my programs.
But it’s paid and it’s not cheap, and I’m not aware of any other similar software that costs less or is free. That’s because to create courses directly using a tool, design its sales pages, handle payments and make sure everything is absolutely safe and will work forever, you need a trusted provider. I only invested in Teachable, though, once I’ve been blogging for many years.
As you can see, it’s all connected. I’m not sure at what stage of your blogging journey you are, but affiliate marketing sounds like a good use of your time and skills right now.
It means promoting the courses of other people and earning a commission for that, and this is the best thing you can do when you can’t create your own product yet.
You still give people a great resource to use, but it’s created by an expert in the industry and you earn a commission.
Scared of selling
Many people are also scared of selling. A reader reached out to me saying this:
“My problem is I am scared to start because I’m afraid of failure. I am also afraid of selling online because I hear a lot of people will say that they didn’t receive their product just to get something free or their money back. I’m currently working on finding the courage to try and see if I can make extra money on the side.”
I totally understand. But that’s one of the reasons why I prefer digital products (I was never into eCommerce and physical products and dropshipping and shipping costs and issues, etc). It’s just too overwhelming and risky and a different business model.
But what I do is run a blog, which I’ve grown over the years, and one of the ways in which I monetize it is by selling digital products. These are being sold through reputable platforms that handle payments and delivery of the product so there’s absolutely nothing to worry about.
As for fear of failure, that’s a common struggle. But it’s also what people use as an excuse not to give things a try because they might not succeed.
So by not trying, you’re avoiding failure but also avoiding success.
The truth is, you don’t need experience, knowledge, initial capital or anything else in order to start a blog or another kind of online business.
There’s so much free info available out there that you just need to invest the time to learn it. Most of it is in steps, so simply sharing step-by-step processes will help you start things online.
And we’re done. I covered a lot in this and the previous episodes and hope it gave you direction and you got some of your own blogging answered.
Let me know know what you think or if you have another question or if you want me to check out blog, and the best way to do that is by sending a DM on Instagram @letsreachsuccess
Thanks for tuning in today and see you next week.