I know quite a few people trying to carve out an income online who are missing one key ingredient…
A home base.
They go about promoting affiliate products and services, they use social media, even buy advertising, all the while lacking a home base.
What is a home base you ask? Well, it’s a place of your own where you share helpful information with your target audience. It helps you establish credibility and authority.
Somewhere you can talk to your audience about their needs and desires, and recommend related products (as an affiliate) to help them solve problems.
A home base is also a great place for you to launch your own info products from.
So what makes a great home base?
A blog like this one you’re at now!
A blog is the perfect place to showcase your insight, and do all those things I mentioned above.
It’s also a place where you can capture names and email addresses to build a list of loyal followers, and monetize your daily efforts.
But can’t you do all that on Facebook? Instagram? Youtube?
Well, sure. But when you have a home base YOU stay in control of your destiny online.
It’s important to own your own virtual real estate as opposed to using social media platforms alone, because then you’re not in control of your business. Whenever you use free platforms, it gives someone else the power – on a whim – to eliminate your entire business without any input from you.
You might build an account of 1,000 popular niche YouTube videos and wake up one morning to a deleted account. Or house a business account on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and find they don’t exist because someone decided you’d done something to warrant a closure.
There’s little, if any recourse for you when these things happen. They’re often decided with a permanent ban and no amount of begging and pleading will reverse their decision.
What happens then?
If you didn’t own your own domain, your virtual home on the ‘net, then you have to start from scratch! You have to hope your audience finds you elsewhere. You have to redo all of the previous posts and media and you lose all of the interaction and engagement you had over the previous months and years.
When you own your own domain and house a blog on it, you never have to worry about your account disappearing. Your content will be safe on the web day after day. And all of the comments and shares you got from it will stay intact because nobody else is capable of shutting it down.
Now it’s perfectly fine to supplement your virtual real estate with those social media accounts, because they’re great for branding and free traffic – but they shouldn’t be your sole business presence online.
Start by getting your own domain name.
You’ll want to buy a domain name and host a WordPress blog on it so that your followers will have a reliable, stable home they can turn to with you and always feel confident it will be there.
Choosing a domain name is something some people struggle with because nothing ever feels good enough – and others do on a whim without giving enough thought to. You need to be somewhere in the middle.
There are a couple of different ways you can approach choosing a domain name. Most people agree that you should get a dot com extension because it’s what most average consumers type in – not .net, .info, or the other ones.
It’s also universal that you should pick the shortest name possible that makes sense. Whenever you make a name longer than it needs to be, it’s not only harder for them to remember, but it gives them more chances to have a typo when entering your URL into their browser.
One way you can tackle your domain is to decide whether you want to brand your name as a major leader in the niche. So this would be similar to how Tony Robbins did it with self help and the other niches he’s involved in.
He owns his name as his primary domain – TonyRobbins.com. This is fine if you plan on branding yourself as a major player within a niche topic. Many people do this in various niches, like DeniseAustin.com, who is known for weight loss and fitness through her popular walking program.
But if you don’t want to take that approach, you can also use keywords to develop a profit-pulling domain name you can build your home on the ‘net with. Start by brainstorming some commons words and phrases in your niche such as:
* Weight loss
* Burn fat
* Lose weight
* Shed fat
* Get fit…and so on.
Work with a keyword based domain tool such as leandomainsearch.com to find different variations, keeping in mind any drilled down angles you may want to target.
If we take a niche example like fasting for losing weight, you can always play around with the wording and find something that fits.
This domain was available: FastingDietTips.com – and the word tips is always helpful to put at the end of a domain URL because it tells the person they’ll gain valuable insight.
Depending on your business branch, you might even be able to use a different combination of words. For example, if you were only going to promote tangible products like protein items as an affiliate, you could find a specific buyer-driven domain such as:
This domain – BuyProteinOnline.com – is available and it instantly tells the person that this is where they’ll find a lot of information about a variety of protein products.
Try to steer clear from vague or cutesy domains like ProductsToHelp.com (help what?) or BeAPowerhouse.com (powerhouse what – speaker? Bodybuilder?).
Next, Install a WordPress Blog on Your Domain.
Installing WordPress is pretty simple. Most web hosts include WordPress in their plans and you can install it on your domain through cPanel. The process takes about 15 minutes and you can find lots of how-to videos on Youtube.
Once you install WordPress, you’ll want to choose a theme design that works well for your plans. If you want text-based information to be at the forefront of your blog, then choose a theme that’s good for that purpose.
Or, pick one that showcases images prominently if you want the focus to be on pictures, such as someone who is in the cooking or food niche, where images may play a bigger role.
Go through and change your settings to the best options that work for you, in terms of things like what URL is displayed, whether or not people have to wait for you to approve their comment, and so on.
Set up some common pages for your terms and policies, contact form, and your about page that gives them some insight into who is running the blog. Once you’ve done that, install any plugins that you want to use to help you operate your blog, such as spam filters, and so on.
Strategizing the SEO Plan for Your Blog
WordPress is great for SEO. By simply adding fresh content regularly, you’ll start getting organic traffic from search engines. It takes a little time and consistent content, but if you stay at it you’ll get the traffic.
Many bloggers fret a lot about search engine optimization (SEO). They worry about doing things wrong and spend countless hours trying to set things up to dominate the search engines or even game the system.
Be sensible about your optimization and do it for humans, not a robot that crawls your site. It’s easy to balance the two. One thing you want to do is make sure your blog settings allow search engines to index the site and don’t discourage it.
After that, you want to make sure you do a few things that help your site get indexed (found) by search engines and prospective visitors. To do this, you’ll want to start with consistency.
Again, web crawlers from the major search engine like it when you blog regularly. Whenever you blog infrequently, like once every 3 months when you happen to find time, it causes search engines to not bother sending their crawlers to your site very often because they also won’t see you as a serious niche contender.
I’m guilty of that myself and need to get better at it. Hey, life gets busy and it’s hard to sit down and write. If you find yourself getting too busy to blog regularly, get some good PLR content and use that for posts fora while. It usually gets the creative juices flowing and you’ll start dedicating more time to writing.
Try to make sure your blog posts include sensible keywords and phrases for your audience, but don’t go overboard and try to stuff too many in there just to appease the search engines.
It may backfire with both the crawlers and humans who find your writing difficult to understand. Instead, write organically as you would when discussing the topic with a friend, and include specifics so it’s clear what you’re talking about.
For example, if you’re writing about a fasting diet, don’t call it skipping meals or anything silly you make up like hangry rage day – just call it a fasting diet plan and make it easy on both human readers and crawlers to know what you mean.
Remember, your content needs to be topic specific, such as, 3 Ways You Can Start a Fasting Diet Plan. That is very specific for everyone, and then you can use the same phrases and keywords within the body of the content.
When you pair keyword choices with consistency, you’ll have most of the equation solved for good SEO. But there are couple more elements that can contribute to your success with being found on search engines.
Make sure the content you’re writing is long enough in terms of value. Some people can write many words that others don’t find value in. So it’s not just length, but value as well. Don’t publish daily short paragraphs and assume that’s enough to get noticed, either.
The last organic strategy you want to implement for good SEO is to make your posts shareable. Having social sharing buttons helps your posts get links back to your site where other interested parties can find them.
Set a Reliable Publishing Schedule for Your Readers
When you take on the role of a niche leader, it’s your job to disseminate information to your followers. They’ll be waiting for each drop of data that you release to them, so it needs to be consistent and reliable – as well as fresh.
You want to choose a schedule that’s doable for you. Some bloggers can only manage 1 post per week, if they’re working another job for instance, while others post several times per day.
Ideally, your blog will publish 2-3 times per week if possible. This keeps people tuned in regularly and makes it appear as if you’re a fulltime leader, not a part time hobbyist.
You can determine your topics months out if you want to, or fly by the seat of your pants and pick a topic in the spur of the moment. Make sure you cover everything under the main umbrella of your niche topic.
For instance, if your site is broad and called TheTopDietPlans.com, then you’ll want to make sure you equally cover a variety of plans, such as low calorie, low carb, keto, vegetarian, and so on.
If your site is AllAboutFitnessPlans.com then cover a wide variety of fitness, such as CrossFit, Bodyweight Training, Aerobics, etc. Don’t do 15 blog posts in a row on CrossFit training because it’s your favorite and maybe address the others once in comparison.
If you see yourself doing that, it might be best to narrow your domain down and focus on the one topic you enjoy covering more prominently so that others don’t feel like your site is light on information.
Creating a home on the web for your niche is something that you work on more initially, and once everything’s set up, you manage the day to day operations of publishing and build a loyal fan base who will support your business.
You’ll have peace of mind knowing that you control your own destiny, and you’re not at the mercy of a social media platform.
If you would like a jump start so you can get right to the blogging, we can build your blog for you. Come see a few blogs we’ve built for clients and details on our DFY Blog Building Service.
What better way to start the new year than with your own web property!