Starting a Blog that You Want to Monetize One Day

One of my best friends is starting his online empire. He’s asking me questions about how to start and I think the answers would be great to share here. My thoughts on this stuff are always changing, but to me; this is great advice for anyone seeking to start building an online empire….
The H2 tags are his questions and my responses follow.

What are some useful/awesome plug ins for word press you like to use?

Here are the basic plugins I recommend for starters:
All in One SEO Pack – Constantly updating and constantly improving. The best for starting out.
Akismet – Spam Filter Rocks.
W3 Total Cache – Speeds up your site. I don’t know why or how… but it works
Sharebar – Automates the social media sharing. Quick and easy.
That’s it. Don’t even worry about installing others because the real valuable thing you can do now is to start writing. When I was starting out, I spent way too much time focusing on this sort of plugin BS and it got me no where.

Would like to post/blog a lot of basic and free info about the test and the industry in general but am considering a Work Book of sorts to be purchased.  

Sweet. Do both. Post everything for free and see if anyone even comes to see it. Once your site gets traffic, collate all the information you posted to get that traffic and sell it as a product on the first page. The product will have everything on your site that is available for free, but it will be in a more concise format that will be worth the $20-$50 or whatever. Keep it focused though “Pass the Cicero Test” is better than “Be a Beer Expert.

This would require some sort of Shopping Cart.  Is that a plugin you can use or is that something entirely different that I must purchase?

Once you get traffic to your site, you’ll know whether or not building a product is a good idea. Once you know that, you can think about building the product. Once you have built the product you can worry about shopping cart solutions.
When you do get there, use e-junkie.com. They handle the whole shopping cart thing and it costs $5 a month.

Blah what else? ummm what are your thoughts on backlinking.

Backlinking is really important, but it’s an endless hole of shifting SEO industry non-sense. If you focus on building a website with great information and is user friendly, you’ll have a better chance of industry people linking to your website. This will be the most powerful form of backlinking. When you’re starting out, don’t even think about backlinking. Just think about writing awesome shit. 

Do u write a lot of blogs for the sole purpose of driving traffic to you content?

Yeah writing blogs is how I get traffic to my websites. But the sole purpose should always be making something awesome that people will share and comment on. One good blog post is worth way more than a month of backlinking work.
I’ll Tell You My BS backlinking Story:
I did a month of backlinking work on one online property back in 2012. I did the gambit of spinning articles, posting them to web 2.0 sites, using UAW to massive link to that outer web which I then linked to my site using my target keyword as the anchor text. If this doesn’t make sense, don’t worry about it because the moral of the story is, “Don’t do it.”
This should have worked well and I had initial jumps in search engine results.  Then there was a google update and everything I had done turned into a liability. Those anchor texts I used throughout the whole internet made google index me as a spam site (hell it was a bunch of spam.)
Essentially, I spent a month building a liability. To this day, that site ranks well in Bing and Yahoo and the business is profitable from that traffic… but it ranks awful in Google and I’m confident that the reason it does aweful in Google is because of the junk I made during that month. Undoing those junk back-links I built is on my to-do list today, but I haven’t got around to it because it’s a serious task to undo. Lesson: Don’t worry about backlinking. If you want to learn about how the link economy works, read Trust Me I’m Lying by Ryan Holiday. This is a much better us of your time.
People share good information. You’re a funny [email protected])er, you’ve got a niche topic of value and your passionate about (product) so you’ll be able to make stuff that people read and share. Focus on that and if you need some SEO work done in the future, outsource it so someone who loves that s&$t.
I get 1,000 visitors a month to one blog due to one post. If I spent that first month building good stuff rather than trying to game the system, I bet I’d have an extra blob of passive income coming in my Adsense account today. Hell, I might have a lot more.

I am far from this stage at this point but I just read about it so I thought I would ask yas.

Lastly, just start right now (Yeah you. If you got this far, stop reading this and take the next critical step towards making something useful.) It’s more than OK to write a few pieces of s%$t before you really start making stuff that is awesome. No one will go backwards on your site to find the bad stuff you wrote while starting out. People come to the site to get information the need. Write a bunch of posts that are valuable to them and then you’ll have a launch pad for making something that those people will pay for in the future.

 

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