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Have you ever wondered how to start a blog?
My first blog, My novice mountain biking adventures, started on Mother’s Day, 2010, when my husband gifted me a bike. Even though I had no experience, it was my dream to ride. Later, I would realize my underlying dream – to be a writer, author, and full time blogger.
While I have yet to achieve a full time blogger income, I’m proud of my accomplishments. In the past three years, I’ve written While blog success is measured in many different ways, I can firmly avow that compared to my meager novice mountain biking venture over on Blogger.com, I’ve come a loonnnngggg way, baby!
Knowing this, here are 20 practical steps for newbie blogger success.
How to start a blog; 20 practical steps
1.) Just start
I started where most folks do – over on blogger (because FREE), and worked my way through 3 other blogs (My first triathlon, Ruthie’s Kozi Kitchen, and Live, Laugh, Love) before discovering Elite Blog Academy. My blog mentor, Arabah Joy, challenged me to move Live, Laugh, Love@Ruthie’s Kozi Kitchen, to self-hosting, and then she shared about EBA.
2.) Invest in quality training
After agonizing over the $300.00 price tag (can you imagine), I took the plunge. Three years later, I’ve renamed my blog, grown my email list to nearly 5,000, and anchored my spot in the parenting niche!
3.) Get training
Elite Blog Academy contains four fantastic, specific modules, each one separate – yet connected to the others. It’s kind of like stair steps to start a blog. Those stair steps seemed mighty steep that first year, taking me nine months to work through the material. But as a result, I found my focus and grew my readership!
4.) Find your focus
Elite Blog Academy opens only once per year, and with each new launch of EBA, Ruth Soukup and the crew up the ante on how to start a blog and make it successful! By far, last year’s training was the best, and I gained inspiration to really narrow my blog focus and hone in on my reader’s needs.
5.) Craft an elevator pitch
As I worked again through module one, I finally nailed down my elevator pitch. An elevator pitch is how you would describe your blog to someone on a quick elevator ride. This helps determine the core focus of your blog! “At Ruthie Gray.Mom, I mentor moms to capture joy through humor, parenting advice, and practical application of Scripture to everyday life.”
Elite Blog Academy opens just once a year, but grab this download from EBA for 120 Awesome blog post ideas!
6.) Brainstorm names wisely
Back in February, 2017, my blog’s name was Rear Release Regroup. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized it was hard for people to say, spell, and remember. (Trust me, I guested on a podcast once and it was a stumbling block.) I also realized if I wanted to be taken seriously as an author, I should probably name the blog after myself. After a few months of hard work, I changed my blog name to Ruthie Gray.Mom and it fits perfectly for my audience and message!
7.) Solve a problem for your audience
Another thing I LOVE about module one is learning to write specifically to solve a problem. Before EBA, my posts were 2500 words long and all over the map. After? Focused and on point! In fact, I’ve been a regular contributor on several bigger sites, including Arabah Joy.com and Crosswalk,and Your Blogging Mentor. What an honor!
9.) Grow your audience
Module two is about growing your audience. And while I worked hard to create useful subscriber opt-ins, I got side tracked with blogging technicalities instead of focusing on my email list. You may not realize this, but email is important because it’s the one platform we own. Yes, we need social media – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest. But with email, no algorithms shut us down. With email, I can be the real me, chatting one-on-one with my reader. With email, I share special freebies and advice you won’t find on my blog. And with email, you grow invested fans! Last year alone, I grew my email list by 3,500! I love email!
10.) Create a product your audience needs
Probably my favorite module, is module three – Monetize your blog! This gets my Donut Shop caffeinated heart pumping! In this module, Ruth talks about creating your own product using a “baby seed launch”. (Doesn’t that paint the cutest picture in your head??!)
Well. I LOVED this idea, because it’s how I developed my first ecourse, called Pray Your List. (It’s being refined and replatformed now, but you can check out the landing page here.) But even before I created my ecourse, I wrote my first ebook!
11.) Listen to your audience
My ebook continues to sell because I learned who my target audience was. Ruth mentions throwing spaghetti at the wall until something sticks when you start a blog, and that’s what I did. But my first spaghetti throw was two years ago when I started a Facebook support group for moms called, Mom Time Out. You see, I’d always felt bad about my inner “momster”, and I knew there were other moms out there dealing with this too.
12.) Repurpose your content for a product
From this flourishing group and the teachings I designed from Scripture, my book was born! Since then, I’ve authored a second ebook and created several other products!
13. Believe in your message
I now have a mom posse because they know I’ve “been there”. My message is that God knows too and that we expect way more of ourselves than He does. That He loves lavishly and forgives abundantly, and Scripture says we have everything we need to live victoriously in Christ. This means even the mom with the worst temper can overcome in Christ!
14.) Be alert to opportunities
This message has spread far and wide, and last year I was even asked to participate in an online summit to share my story and book. (Which, incidentally, generated even more revenue and followers!) Speaking engagements and other opportunities created even more opportunity to share my message of hope with moms drowning in mama guilt.
15.) Treat your blog as a business
But before I start preaching, I need to tell you about the last module – build your business. I LOVE Ruth’s organizational tips! These ideas have helped me not feel like I’m running around like a chicken with my head cut off. It takes discipline to focus and follow her advice but trust me – once you do, you KNOW she’s right!
16.) Maintain focus
Ruth says, “In blogging—as in business—it is easy to be distracted by a hundred different opportunities, but the greatest bloggers understand what they can do better than anyone else and just do that.” She lays out practical advice for building your blog into a business, crafting a mission statement, and structuring your business! While I’m still a team of one at Ruthie Gray.mom, I’m filing her advice for when the day comes for me to expand my business.
17.) Know your weaknesses
I’ve also learned about my strengths and weaknesses and why I work the way I do through her personality test suggestions. It’s helped me to realize that I don’t have to be like everyone else, and some tasks should either be hired out, traded for tasks, or put on hold.
18. Consider Elite Blog Academy
So there you have it – my own unique blogging journey. From novice mountain biking to cooking to family and now mom mentoring, I’ve made leaps in progress over the past several years. But the most successful years? Have been the last three with Elite Blog Academy.
19.) Seek seasoned counsel
Maybe you want to start a blog, but don’t know what to blog about. Perhaps you don’t know if you want to make money or just be creative. Possibly you already have a blog (on blogger lol), but want to earn a side or full time income.
20.) Pray and discuss with hubby
My advice? Pray, seek God’s direction, and discuss your dream with your husband. Had I not brought up the subject with mine, I’d be kicking myself right now (and probably still spinning my wheels on blogger)! You can discover your writing passion, audience, and niche. You’ll craft your elevator pitch present it with confidence. You’ll refine your writing, converting readers into raving fans (seriously – they will seek you out, replying to your emails with comments like, “Thank you so much, I feel like I know you”)! And, you’ll discover their needs so you can create your own products!
Elite Blog Academy membership opens just once per year (usually Feb-March), but check out these success stories from EBA and start thinking about maybe joining next year! They’re AMAZING!!!