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And then something amazing happened. My poor little neglected covert action bar 2.0 review, the one I had all but abandoned as I pursued the bottom line, began to grow. Traffic grew slowly at first, and then faster and faster, until in less than six months’ time it was more than ten times what it had been. Those posts written with passion resonated with people. Yes, some people hated what I had to say, but many others didn’t.

With an increase in traffic came an increase in income, and incredibly just eight months after I sold my two “money-making” blogs and almost gave up the dream ofbeing a fulltime professional blogger, my husband was finally able to walk away from the job he despised to be a stay-at-home-dad. I could never have predicted where my blogging journey would take me, and had I been able to choose, I probably would’ve wanted the path to look very different.

But hindsight is 20/20, and looking back I don’t think there is much I would have changed. You see, everything I know now about blogging, all the rest ofthe advice that I am going to share in this book, I know because ofwhere I’ve been. My lessons were hard-fought but they taught me a lot. We all have to start somewhere.

Your journey will probably not look like mine, and it probably won’t look exactly like anyone else’s, either. If you are constantly comparing yourself to people who are farther down their path, you will defeat yourself before you even begin. Accept where YOU are in this moment, then own your journey and open yourselfup to the possibility oflearning everything you can along the way.

First Things First Your temptation with this covert action bar 2.0 review will be to skip to the “good” stuff—the part all about how to make money. Try not to do that, or at the very least, skim it over and then come back to the beginning. The foundation is important. You will just have to trust me on that. But for now, let’s get down to business. It’s time to start.

I’ll spare you the obligatory “what is a blog?” section that seems to be present in every other blogging book I’ve read, and assume that you already know what a blog is In fact, I’ll assume that many of you reading this book probably already have a blog, or have at least tried blogging at one point. If not, do a quick Google search on “what is a blog” and then get back to me. I’ll wait right here. Now let’s back to where to start.

Ifyour only goal in starting a blog is to make money, you will fail. I know what you’re thinking. But the title of this book is How to Blog for Profit! Why else would I have bought it ifmy goal wasn’t to make money?! So let me rephrase: Ifyour ONLY goal in starting a blog is to make money, you will fail. Let me be clear from the beginning that there are far easier and much surer ways to make money than by blogging.

Get a part-time job, start a small business, become a direct sales consultant for a company you love. If I had spent the same amount of time and energy doing one of those things instead of blogging, I would probably have a lot more money sitting in the bank right now. This is not meant to dissuade you from blogging. I love blogging. Remember my two revelations? The first was that I was born to do this.

No other job could allow me to pursue all the things I am passionate about and still give me the flexibility to stay home with my kids or take a month-long road trip or start working at five in the morning so that I can be done by noon or allow me to travel and cook and craft and write and still call it work. It is also not meant to dissuade you from trying to make money with your blog.

I think anyone who can build an amazing blog can and should be able to profit from that effort. But the effort—lots of it—comes first, long before you ever make a penny, and if you are not also passionate about your blogging subject, if you don’t love and care about what you do, the money will never be great enough to justify all the sacrifices, all the time spent, all the heartache.

The place to start, if you want to [eventually] blog for profit, is with great, amazing compelling, bring-me-back-for-more content. In other words, your blog has to be awesome. You have to be awesome. That sounds harder than it is because chances are you are already awesome in some way. Find your awesome and write a blog about that.

What do you love more than anything? What are you most passionate about? What makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning, or gets you fired up to a point that you just can’t stop talking about it? What is it that you are really good at? What do others ask you about? What topics are you naturally drawn to? What covert action bar 2.0 review do you love to read about? If you already have a blog and you’ve been writing about something else, something other than what you are truly passionate about, it is time to make a few changes. Never be afraid to steer your blog in a new direction, if that is where your heart is telling you to go.

More than anything else, your readers crave authenticity; if you are holding back, they will sense it. Give them everything you’ve got. Make it awesome. That said, everything you write and share, even the most personal details, must be done with intention. There should be meaning behind everything you publish. It doesn’t always have to be deep, but it does have to be purposeful. There is a whole lot of room for awesome in the blogosphere.

Don’t think that because other people are already awesome, you can’t be awesome too. Blogging is not a zero sum game. We live in a world of abundance, not scarcity, and there will never be enough awesome, because there is already so much out there that ISN’T. People crave awesome. You have to start there.

Get Your (Awesome) Ducks in a Row What will you write about? If you can’t answer that question clearly and concisely, you’re probably not quite ready to be awesome. Ask yourselfthe following questions again: • What do you love more than anything? • What are you most passionate about? • What makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning, or gets you fired up to a point that you just can’t stop talking about it? • What is it that you are really good at? • What do others ask you about? • What topics are you naturally drawn to? • What subject do you love to read about? Awesome comes from passion.

Ifyou don’t care about what you have to say, why would anyone else? Develop a clear plan for what you want to write about which includes a main overarching theme topic, 5–8 subtopics, and 4–5 categories underneath each subtopic. On my site, for instance, my main theme is the adventure offinding the Good Life on a budget. My subtopics include Coupons 101, Easy Recipes, Thoughts on Life, Household Tips, Special Days, Easy DIY, Saving Money, and Beginner’s Guides.

Each subtopic includes several categories. If you look at my site, my navigation bar clearly reflects the intentional plan of my blog. If you follow my posts, you will find that 99 percent ofthe time, the things I write about fall within one ofthose subtopic categories. My main theme is pretty broad and includes a lot of things, but it doesn’t include everything.

Thus, my readers know what to expect and they come back because they enjoy reading about the adventure of finding the good life on a budget. They would be awfully confused if one day I decided to start doing movie reviews, or if another day I randomly wrote an angry rant about the annoying waitress at a local restaurant. Even more importantly, with a clear structure in place, I have n easier time writing.

When I brainstorm ideas I can look at all my various subtopics and categories to help me narrow down my thoughts and ideas within each group. If you are starting a new blog, think long and hard about what you want to write about. What do you know? What do you love? What are you most passionate about? Don’t include recipes ifyou hate to cook.

Don’t include organization tips if your house is a disaster (unless the theme of your blog has something to do with making order out of chaos!). Pay attention to the blogs you love, but don’t try to BE the blogs you love. Focus on your own strengths and abilities and make the blog your own. If you already have your blog, it is never too late to change its direction. My own blog started in a much different place than it is now.

Don’t let yourself get trapped by thinking that just because you’ve always done something one way, you have to continue doing it that way. Map out a plan for your ideal site, figure out what changes you will need to make to get there, and then develop a timeframe for making it happen. One thing that is absolutely essential is a great blog and domain name that captures the essence of what you and your blog are about.

Whenever possible, it should be a .com that matches your site name. It should also be easy to spell and easy to remember. If you are not self-hosted, do that immediately! Don’t waste time with a or web address. You will want to change it eventually, and sooner is better than later. I personally recommend being self-hosted on the platform rather than Blogger or any other platform. WordPress.org1 has more or less become the industry standard and has the most options for design and other features.

You will need to pay a few dollars a month for hosting, but otherwise the expenses are nominal. Once you are set up on WordPress, you need to start creating content. We will talk about this a whole lot more in the next chapter, but before you try to build traffic or monetize or hire a designer, you should start writing. The only way to know whether you will actually be able to create compelling content will be to write compelling content. A pretty design will not bring people back.

Killer content will. The last essential aspect of an awesome blog is a great design and layout. Unless you are actually a graphic or web designer, you should almost always hire someone to do this for you, although I do recommend waiting until you have been blogging for at least a few months to make sure you are able to stick with it.

An experienced designer will help make your blog a visual representation of what you are about. The pretty package sells the awesome content, and the difference between a professional design and an amateur one is very obvious. Are you ready? Let’s do this! 


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