Good bye 2020! That crazy year is over and done with! We can now look at 2021 as an opportunity for a fresh start. I personally do not believe in making new year’s resolutions. What I do like is making clearly defined goals and then creating a plan to get them. If one of your goals is to make 2021 your best online business year, then taking the following actionable steps will help get you there.
Get Your Own Domain Name and Web Hosting
If you haven’t already done so, it’s time to give your business its own domain name and a professional web host plan. I am continually amazed at the number of emails I get from people wanting to start an online business but aren’t even willing to pay for a domain name. I’m sorry, but it really does take money to make money. Fortunately, the costs of these items are so low that it shouldn’t even enter the equation.
John Chow dot Com is hosted by HostGator. They’ve been hosting my blog for over a decade now and I highly recommend them. HostGator offers John Chow readers up to 61% off any hosting plan when you use this affiliate link. You can also get WordPress installed for free.
Your Blog Starts with The First Post
Do not be like 90% of the people who order a free WordPress installation from me. I did a random check on some of the blogs I’ve set up for others over the past 12 months and more than half of them still have the “Hello, World” as their only post.
Your blog starts when you make your first blog post, not when it’s first set up. If you think all you need to do is have me set up a blog for you and then the money will roll in, you are sadly mistaken. Yet, more than half the people who ordered a new blog won’t make a single blog post on it, and 90% will stop blogging after a month or two. This brings me to the next point.
Post On A Consistent Basis
Many new readers come to my blog thinking it had always made a lot of money. The truth is, I started just like everyone else. For the first eight months of my blog’s life, it made zero income and barely cracked 1,000 page views per day.
If I were to nail down a key ingredient to blogging success, it would have to be a consistent posting habit. Most bloggers fail because they want instant gratification. They think, mistakenly, that blogging is a quick and easy way to get rich. When they first start, they’ll post like crazy for a few weeks, maybe even a few months. When nothing comes from it, they quit and become a statistic.
On again, off again blogging doesn’t work. The key is consistency. I averaged two posts per day for the first five years of the blog’s life, and there has never been a single day in the blog’s history when there wasn’t a new post to read. Even when I was in the hospital, the posting did not stop. It is this kind of consistency and commitment that will lead your blog to success. I highly recommend you choose a posting frequency and make a commitment to stick to it for the entire year. If you do that, amazing things will happen.
Have a Marketing Plan In Place
Way too many bloggers think making money from blogging is like the movie Field of Dreams, where Kevin Costner’s character was told, “If you build it, they will come.” You can build it, but if nobody knows about it, then they’re not coming!
It takes a lot more than good content to build a big blog. There are tons of smaller blogs that have better content than my blog. The reason they don’t get bigger is because they do little or no marketing. Marketing is what separates the big blogs from the small ones. If your blog is not where you want it to be, ask yourself what you’ve been doing to market it? Great content is only half the formula. You have to get your blog name out there. That means you have to create a marketing plan.
How do you plan to market your blog? If you don’t have the answer to that, then you need to sit down and work out a plan. The marketing plan should begin with the next item.
Start That Mailing List TODAY
You’ve heard me say many times that the money is in the list. Well, it really is! I cannot stress enough how important it is for a money-making blog to have a mailing list. The list is the foundation of my marketing plan and the number one reason my blog makes the income that it does. If your blog doesn’t have a list, then the first thing you need to do is to start one.
My email service provider, Aweber, offers a free account for all new customers. The free account lets you build a list of up to 500 subscribers and offers most of the features found in the Pro Account. It’s a great way to test drive Aweber to see how email marketing can help your business.
Blogging is all about forming relationships. There’s the relationship between you and the readers, and relationship between you and other blogs in your niche. Make a commitment to get to know them.
In addition to getting to know your readers, you should have your readers get to know you. If you haven’t done so yet, then make 2020 the year to create your about page and tell YOUR story. Where did you come from? What are your goals and dreams? Introduce some of your family members. This is the reason why you’ll see posts about me going to Disneyland with Sally or celebrating New Year’s Eve with the family. The more the readers know about you, the more they’ll connect with you and trust you.
Be A Highly Effective Blogger
If you ever read the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, then you’ll know about the time quadrant. Basically, Every activity we do during the day can be put in one of four quadrants:
Answer this question: What one thing could you do in your personal and professional life that, if you did on a regular basis, would make a tremendous positive difference in your life? Chances are, whatever you name, it’s a Quadrant Two activity.
Quadrant Two is the heart of effective personal management. It deals with things that are important but not urgent, like building your blog, forming relationships, long-term financial planning, exercising â€“ all those things we know we need to do, but seldom get around to doing because they are not urgent and can be put off until some other day. Well, we all know that someday never comes.
Don’t put off what you know you need to do just because it’s not urgent, and you can always get to it someday. For most, someday will turn into years or never. I know people who told me they were going to get into blogging seven years ago. I’m still waiting to see their blogs. The difference between a highly effective blogger and an ineffective one is the effective blogger knows blogging may not be urgent, but it’s important enough to get started and keep going.
Take Your Blog Seriously
Because a blog cost only a few dollars to start, most bloggers don’t take it as seriously as they should. If you want your blog to advance beyond the hobby stage, you need to take it seriously and treat it like a real business. Don’t let 2020 be the year you’ll give blogging a try or make a half-hearted effort to start blogging again. Instead, make this year the year you take your blog to the next level because your blog is just as serious as any real business.
I know many businesses that cost over $100K to start that makes nowhere close to what my blog makes. Yet, my blog was started for the cost of a $9.98 domain name. Very few normal businesses can be started for $9.98 and grow into a full blow international business. But that is the power of blogging if you take it seriously and continue to work at it on a consistent basis. Treat your blog like you would treat a $100k business, and your entire blogging outlook will change.
The Biggest Obstacle Standing In Your Way
I get asked what’s the biggest obstacle standing in the way of blogging success a lot. The answer is not something most will want to hear.
When it all comes down to it, you are the only thing that is stopping you from achieving whatever it is your heart desires. Success is an attitude. It is not money, wealth or power. Take away the money of a successful person and he’ll have it all back and more in a few years. Give an unsuccessful person a million bucks and chances are he’ll lose it all in a few years. The difference is their attitude.
The unsuccessful person blames his misfortunes on outside factors. It’s the tax man’s fault, the economy sucks, Trump didn’t make America great again, prices are too high, my wife won’t let me, etc. He’ll blame everything else except the one thing that is truly keeping him down. The successful person doesn’t blame outside factors for failing. He accepts failure as a requirement for success and learns from it.
They say successful people think differently than unsuccessful people. That’s not entirely true. They don’t think differently, they think opposite. An unsuccessful person hates failure. A successful person welcomes failure. An unsuccessful person works hard for money. A successful person has money work hard for him. An unsuccessful person takes. A successful person gives. An unsuccessful person will let someone else write his paycheck and determine his net worth. A successful person writes his own paycheck and determines his own net worth. The list goes on, but the point is a successful person has an opposite attitude from an unsuccessful person.
If you want to be successful, the first thing you need to change is your attitude. If you have the attitude of an unsuccessful person, then no amount of reading, couching or training is going to make you successful. Once you change your attitude, things will open up for you.
At the end of the day, it’s not going to me or any other make money online blog that’s going to make you successful. You are the only one standing between where you are now and where you want to be. Stop blaming outside factors and start to take responsibility and change your attitude to that of a successful person. You are the problem, but you are also the solution. Success begins, and ends, with you. Happy New Year and have a great 2021!