So, you're a blogger (or you want to be!)
Not sure where to start? Or perhaps you've been blogging for a while, but you're worried you're missing some of the essential ingredients to make your blog successful?! I've compiled the following guide to help you check off everything you should be doing to grow and profit from your blog from end to end.
I hope you enjoy reading!
*Please note, this page contains affiliate links to products and services I recommend. These are denoted by an asterisk* after the link.
Step 1 - Topic and niche
First things first, what are you going to blog about? Are you a nutritionist, health coach, recipe developer, naturopath, personal trainer, healer, life coach or something else entirely? Start by choosing your topic - the overarching thing you write about. If you're not sure yet, what's something you enjoy that you feel passionate enough to write about? That's a good place to start.
Once you've chosen a topic, it's a good idea to hone in on a niche. A niche is what makes you different to others who do the same job as you. Choosing a niche to specialise in is a great way to become the 'go-to' person for that area. People will more easily refer to you because it's clear what you do, and potential clients are more likely to put their trust in you, as you've helped others just like them. Is there a group of people in the market who's specific needs aren't being met? Why not help them?
Want ideas to help you find a niche? Check out my two-step approach to your perfect health blog niche.
Step 2 - Make a plan
They say failing to plan is planning to fail. So let's plan to succeed instead, yeah? Most bloggers get stuck soon after starting; After they launch, they don't know what to do next. But 'cause you're even smarter than the person who invented nut butter, you know you need a plan, and my friend, you're in the perfect place to get the best planner for health bloggers there is (ahem, here).
What do I need to include in my plan?
- How often will I blog and what will I blog about?
- Do I plan to make money from my blog?
- What products / services will I sell if so?
- What social media channels will I use?
- How will I get visitors (traffic) to my blog/website?
- What will I do to grow my email list?
Good news: I've done all the heavy lifting for you! Download the ultimate health blog planner here.
Step 3 - website setup
Now for the fun part - setting up your website. First, choose a name for your blog, then visit GoDaddy domains to check if it's available and register your domain name. Then, you need to set up your website and hosting. There are two platforms I recommend: Wordpress.org or Squarespace. I've used both extensively. Wordpress is great because it's so comprehensive and there's an endless supply of effective plugins that can improve your blog's results. Squarespace has beautiful layouts and a lot of built-in functionality. I use Squarespace for this website and love it for the design aspect, though it's slightly more limited in terms of what it can do. If you plan to incorporate recipes on your blog at all, I recommend Wordpress for the ability to create printable recipes.
Step 4 - Create a Mailing list
Start a mailing list from the beginning, and love up your tribe. You will both build meaningful connections with people who are like-minded and may become friends (both online and IRL!). Some will even become clients and customers.
Sign up to a provider
After years with Mailchimp, I now use and recommend Convertkit*, hands down. While Mailchimp might save you a few pennies at the start, Convertkit is way more advanced and will help you grow your email list quicker. Check out Convertkit here.
Start growing your email list
Create a very simple, totally awesome freebie - a video lesson, checklist, resource, recipe, 101 doc - that your specific audience would pay to get their hands on, and give it to them for free. Read my tips on how to grow your email list here.
Step 5 - write helpful articles
Help your audience out and show them what you know by sharing useful blog and social media posts that solve their problems. Using a niche example from above, if you're a health coach for Autoimmune Protocol patients, one problem your audience is highly likely facing is the drastic restrictions to their diet, and the time and effort it takes to prepare all the nutrient-rich food they require. You could share tips on how to batch cook and prepare their meals, inventive ideas to make basic meals more interesting so they don't feel like they're missing out, and your favourite AIP compliant recipes.
For more blog post ideas, check out this list of 92 personal blog post ideas for health bloggers.
Step 6 - make connections
Connections are everything in the blogging world. Whether it be the friend you met through your shared love of organic chocolate, a business connection who refers work to you, or someone you help who later becomes a customer, blogging makes it easy. Rather than participating on the sidelines, start getting involved and talking to people - you've got nothing to lose and everything to gain!
the best places to make connections for your blog:
- Blog comments
- Personal emails
- Facebook pages
- Facebook groups
- Pinterest - groups and comments
Step 7 - grow your traffic
As a blogger or health professional using the internet to grow your business, increasing the number of interested unique visitors (known as traffic) to your website is so important. This is how you'll ultimately grow your email list, and your potential clients for your business. There are many different ways to increase traffic to your blog, incorporating social media, paid ads and SEO. My current top tips for traffic are in this post.
Use these guides and tools to grow your traffic through social media organically:
- Want to increase your photo engagement by 70-100% AND grow your account? Check out the 30 best hashtags PDF guide (free)
- Want a way to get your pins shared and seen without having to be on Pinterest all day, every day? Sign up to BoardBooster* for Pinterest and start looping your own pins, and scheduling yours and others' to group boards. You can also take a course like this one to learn how to get more traffic to your blog on autopilot with Pinterest.
Step 8 - make money
It's never too early to start making money from your blog. However, once you've followed the previous 7 steps successfully and the people in your email community are engaged and your blog traffic is substantial, you'll be in a great position to start making money consistently from your blog.
You can make money through:
- Courses. Read: How to monetize a blog with courses
- Consulting and/or coaching. Read: 5 ways to sign clients with feel-good discovery calls
- Affiliate programs. Read: How to Make Money with Amazon Affiliates*
- Membership programs
The 'Start a blog plan'
Discover the 5 key areas to start and grow your health blog. Grab the workbook here!