I’m really, really excited to begin writing more about how I use the law of attraction and my mindset to create a successful blogging business. I get lots of emails from readers asking me about blogging as well, so I hope that those of you who have a blog or who want to start one enjoy my posts on this topic.
I’ve been blogging for 6 years now. My first blog was my home for the first 5 years of blogging and taught me SO much. Several of my articles I wrote on that blog were published on The Huffington Post, BlogHer, Redbook Magazine, and Scary Mommy.
I began using the law of attraction with that blog and that’s when I started to have my work republished and even go viral on these larger sites. The way these things would happen were super magical just in themselves; Arianna Huffington reshared one of my articles on her Facebook page and Scary Mommy wrote ME and asked to republish one of my articles.
My articles have garnered hundreds of thousands of likes and reshares. I tell you this not to brag, but to show you that I experienced these amazing shifts when I changed my mindset and expectations for my blog. I would love to help you succeed, so I’m going to share the basics of starting a blog and tell you what I have discovered about using your mind to manifest a successful blog.
This blog is less than a year old but is already making me a full time income. I know it’s because I started this blog with the knowledge of everything I’ve learned from my first blog. So go grab your favorite drink and settle in, because this is gonna be a long one!
Starting a Blog: The Basics
There are several platforms for blogging, but the best one in my opinion is self-hosted WordPress. This means that you pay a monthly fee to a company that will host your blog. Free options are WordPress.com and Blogger.com. (I was originally on Blogger but transferred over to self-hosted WordPress a couple years ago. I paid someone to transfer everything; I went the cheap route and regretted it. Usually nothing is lost during a transfer, but it can happen. Go with someone highly recommended and not dirt cheap if you have a blog with a lot of content.)
So here’s the first tier of what you’ll need to start a blog:
- Hosting company
This is the second tier of things you’ll want to do once your blog is setup:
- Photo of yourself + about me page
- Social media accounts for your blog; most important ones being Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram.
- A general idea of what you want to blog about
Basics Part I: Domain + Hosting
Your domain is going to be the name of your site, like jessicadimas.com, and your host is the company that’s going to host your blog and likely your domain as well.
First, you need to pick a host. This can be difficult because everyone has had different experiences with hosting companies, and there are new ones popping up all the time. I have had multiple hosts over the last couple of years and they all seem to have their pros and cons. Here are the hosting sites I would recommend:
For a smaller blog, check out:
Siteground – I was recommended Siteground by my “techy guy” as I call him, and they were great. I think they are awesome for a smaller blog with less than 100k in page views a month.
Bluehost – this has been a hosting company that’s been around since I started blogging. I think they are great for a new blogger who has less than 100k page views a month.
For a larger-sized blog:
InMotion Hosting – My techy guy suggested I go with InMotion Hosting once I started having some down time because my blog was needing more bandwidth (I honestly don’t know techy jargon, so don’t think you have to understand it either in order to blog; this is what hosting companies are for and you can always reach out to someone more techy than you to help if you ever need it). I think InMotion is a great company and their customer service has been good as well. I also rarely have down time.
TechSurgeons – I’ve never used them but I hear they’re good.
I’ve left out all of the hosts I’ve used that were NOT awesome. So for 2017, I would say check out the above companies and see which one has a plan that fits most with your blog and budget. You can always switch hosts if you need to and it’s honestly not that big of a hassle. Just a phone call with your credit card and the companies do all of the exchanging.
So here are the basic steps for setting up your blog with the hosting company you’ve picked out:
- Choose your hosting company and the plan
- Decide on a domain name
- Add on privacy protection during checkout
- Purchase the plan
- Sign into your cpanel, find the wordpress.org icon and download it (or ask your hosting company to do this, most will do it for free or for a cheap fee)
- Sign into your new blog!
Basics Part II: Design + Necessary Blog Components
Once you’re signed into your new blog, the first thing I like to do is figure out the design of my blog. On both of my blogs, I’ve chosen to use the Genesis Framework because so many designs are built on it. Basically the framework will help your blog run smoothly and look really nice. There are lots more techy reasons than that, but those are the main reasons I choose this framework. It’s also one of the most popular frameworks that bloggers use.
Secondly, after I’ve installed the Genesis Framework onto my blog, I go do the fun shopping, which is picking out a beautiful, custom-looking design. If you have thousands to spend for a custom design, that’s awesome! If you don’t, here are my top favorite sites with beautiful designs:
Hello You Designs – This blog is using the Hello Darling theme. Another beautiful and affordable site to shop for themes, and Jennifer is SO nice and will email you back promptly if you have a question. I was so impressed with the customer service over there!
Elegant Themes – I’ve never used Elegant Themes, but I’ve eyed the Divi Theme for a long time and almost purchased it a few times. It’s a great theme for making sales pages, although I don’t find it particularly pretty. It’s a very popular theme, though, and you wouldn’t need the Genesis Framework with it so the cost would equal out.
So here is the quick and easy breakdown for this second half of what you want to do once you get your blog set up:
- Purchase a framework for your blog and install it
- Purchase a child theme design (optional but so worth it) and install it. Play around with your blog for a few days or weeks, getting it just the way you want it
- Create social media accounts for your blog (Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter)
- Sign up with an email service (like MailChimp [this is who I use], Convert Kit, Aweber) so you can begin collecting emails from readers (super important, don’t wait on this!)
- Start blogging!
The Importance of a Newsletter
I mentioned in #4 above to not wait on starting a newsletter, and this is really important. If I hold a sale, I can send a couple emails to my newsletter and make over $1,000 in 2-3 days. I don’t have a huge list, nor am I high-rolling blogger (yet, haha!) but an email list is how many bloggers make good money.
You may be thinking you don’t even have anything to send your list yet. That’s okay! You just want to get their email, and the best way to do that (especially at first) is to offer them some sort of incentive, like a free but useful checklist or worksheet. Once you have their email, it’s so much easier to reach them over hoping they see one of your Facebook or Instagram posts.
I still consider myself a newbie with email marketing, but simply sending them your most recent blog post and an encouraging little message is how you will build a relationship with your readers. I didn’t have anything to sell my readers at first either, so don’t think you need a product or anything to start collecting emails.
For more technical how-to on blogging, two of my favorite resources are Blog By Number and Building a Framework. Both of these lady bloggers are killing it and they’ve really gone into detail explaining how to do everything you can think of when it comes to blogging.
Part II – Using your Mind to Create a Successful Blog
The first rule of creating a successful blog is to ignore all the rules! Even mine if they don’t feel good to you.
If you’re a reader of mine, you know I write mostly about the power of our mindsets. Do you want to know my secret for a successful blog? I envision it!
Before you run away and think I’m a woo woo lunatic, hear me out. I did it the hard way (the way everyone thinks you should do it) for nearly 5 years. I didn’t make much more than a dime and I was totally burnt out. I didn’t have the right mindset then; I thought I should have to “pay my dues” in the blogging world before I could deserve to earn money for my writing. I didn’t even envision making money!
So while half of a blog is the technical aspect which I shared above…that’s building your awesome rocket….your mindset is what’s going to send your rocket off into the stars and I.am.not.kidding!
Visualize what you want
The daily success routine that I do now for my blog is to intentionally FEEL successful and visualize sales and awesome emails coming in. On the days that I do that, I end up feeling successful throughout the day and I experience sales and awesome emails coming in. In my Blogger’s Toolkit, I have a sheet called the Daily Task Sheet that has you write down your top 3 ways you want to feel, a box to write down what you’re grateful for, and a guided short visualization to do before your day starts.
It’s SO important! If you want a successful blog, you really do have to see it first in your mind. Even if you don’t know HOW it’s going to be successful, you just have to keep seeing it doing well in your mind and you WILL make it, guaranteed!
Write what you’re passionate about
I was very flip-floppy on my first blog. I started out doing some recipes, some general life updates, then went into motherhood and some blogging tips. But my REAL passion, the one I basically hid in the closet, was my fascination with the law of attraction because of the way it was changing my life, but I didn’t write about it because I cared what people were going to think.
I did experience a bit of audience confusion when I started writing about it on that blog, so when I created my this blog which was going to be all about mindset and self-care, I noticed how much quicker the blog took off because the readers loved every post, not just certain ones here and there.
By writing what I was most passionate about, I narrowed down my niche and ended up attracting “my people”.
It may take awhile to find your authentic voice in writing, but keep authenticity as your intention and write from the heart. When you write often, you will find your authentic voice begin to emerge and you will write less and less like you’re writing to please others and more and more like your authentic self.
Give lots of value
I’ve read advice articles that say not to go past 1000 word count in your blog posts, but I ignore them. I personally love a well-crafted article that I can tell the writer put thought and time into. So pour your heart out, create beautiful graphics, look for inspiring quotes that fit within the post, or create an awesome little freebie for your readers!
You won’t find me posting multiple times a week, but you can guarantee that when you do see one of my posts you can expect it to be valuable. On my first blog, I would try to churn out 3 posts a week and write until I had reached a word limit of at least 800, so there were times I was trying to think of extra stuff to write to make it to my word count goal.
On this blog, I post only a few times a month but take much more time on each post and they get thousands of repins. I also receive as much traffic on my blog as some people who are posting multiple times a week. This refers back to visualizing a successful blog, writing authentically, and giving lots of value.
Create your own products
E-books, e-courses, printables, worksheets…there are so many possibilities for things you can make on your computer and sell on your blog! Don’t wait until you think you’re an expert at something, just jump in and go for it. If you’re passionate about something, you likely know a thing or two about it. I remember reading someone say “you don’t have to be an expert, you just have to be one step ahead of someone else.”
If you’re a mom of a 6 month old, you’re one step ahead of a mom with a newborn. You don’t have to be a sage with 10 grown children to write about parenting. I am not a law of attraction expert manifesting millions a year, but I’m making a few thousand dollars a month practically in my sleep so I’m one step ahead of where I used to be.
We’re all one step ahead from where we used to be, which is where a lot of people are and those people could benefit from your knowledge. Creating my own products to sell on my blog changed the game BIG TIME for me.
Make your own rules
If anything I’ve said here doesn’t jive with you, toss it. It’s what I do with any blogging advice that just doesn’t sit well with me. If it feels like too much work, I definitely toss it. For example, people ask me how I do so well on Pinterest: what programs are you using? Do you have someone pinning for you?
None and no. Here’s my secret: I thought about how I wanted things to ideally be for me, and pinning once a day from my blog’s Pinterest board and getting lots of traffic sounded amazing. So that’s what I did, and I would visualize tons of traffic. I pin once a day (I don’t use Tailwind or BoardBooster or anyone pinning for me) and I get thousands of repins and amazing traffic. I make all of my graphics on PicMonkey, if you’re wondering, and I buy my fonts and other cute designs from Creative Market.
Do what feels good to you! Make up your own rules and don’t let everyone else in the blogging world make you feel like they have a secret and you don’t. Your mindset is the secret, no matter what method you use.
See it, believe it, receive it.
I am still using my mindset to take me higher. Sometimes you’ll be challenged within and you’ll discover self-limiting beliefs you’re holding that you’ll need to release before your blog and success can go to the next level. Some of my self-limiting beliefs and thoughts have been: I’m a fraud; who am I to write this stuff; my products aren’t worth that much money; I shouldn’t be making money in my sleep (it should be harder, right?!)
It can and should be easy. And it should always be fun. If it’s feeling not fun or too overwhelming, you’re trying to swim upstream. Relax, take a breather, come up with some of your own new rules, and start again. Have a mindset that anything is possible.
If you’re thinking of starting a blog, my opinion is YES, you should! Right away! Blogs are amazing and I can’t believe that I make money from something I love doing. So have I convinced you to start a blog this year? I hope so!