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BLOGGING JOURNEY: HOW TO START A PROFITABLE BLOG

January 3, 2018

BLOGGING

One of the first things that you need to know when starting a blog is that it is completely normal to feel overwhelmed in the beginning! Trust me, there are so many things to learn, especially when learning how to create a profitable blog. Staying consistent with your posts, you should be eager to learn and believe that finding success with blogging is not something that happens overnight, you must love what you do.

HOW DO I START A PROFITABLE BLOG?

If you’d like to monetize your blog, then you need to self-host your website. (Self-hosting means that you own your domain, and you pay a hosting site such as Siteground to host your site so that it can be viewable and ‘live’ on the Internet).

SELF-HOSTING VS. FREE HOSTING

Free hosting sites such as Tumblr do not allow you to run ads that make you money. When you pay for hosting and for your domain, you are able to run ads, provide affiliate links, run ad campaigns to make you money! Owning your own domain is crucial if you’d like to monetize your blog since most big brands will not work with you if you are using a free hosting site since it can be shut down at any time.

SELF-HOSTING HOW TO’s

Go to Siteground and choose your WordPress hosting package. I highly recommend the GrowBig package for just $2 more than the StartUp package, you get double the web space and visitor capacity. The StartUp package is good, but it is limited to only 10GB webspace and 10,000 monthly visits.

GrowBig gives you the ability to host multiple websites which will be a big time and money saver if you want to run multiple money-making niche sites.

Here are the plans that Siteground offers:

Select the package that is right for you and then choose ‘Get a new hosting account.’ Then select either  ‘Register a new domain’ or ‘I already have a domain’ if you want to transfer an existing domain.

If you are starting a new blog with a new domain, enter the domain name you want for your blog instead – and make sure you spell it correctly, it can’t be changed later!

Next step, you can enter your account and payment information, along with selecting additional products. I highly recommend that you purchase private domain hosting because this will protect your personal information.

Once you have paid, you will get a notification that your account has been successfully created! Now you can proceed to the Customer Area where you will be able to choose a username and password for accessing your Siteground dashboard and CPanel.

Congratulations, your account has been created!

INSTALLING WORDPRESS

1. If you already have a website with another host, and you just need to move it to Siteground, the following steps will help you:

Once you are logged in to your new Siteground dashboard choose ‘support’ and then open a ticket to request to have your website transferred to the new host. A Siteground support rep will transfer your website free of charge.

Keep in mind that this can take up to 24 hours. You can skip the ‘option 2’ steps below, but scroll down to where I have listed the ‘tasks’ that you will need to do once your website transfer is complete.

2. If you are starting a completely new website with a new domain, the following steps will be useful:

When you are logged into the Siteground Customer Area,  you will see a popup asking you if you want to have WordPress preinstalled on your account. Yes, you do! Select that option and click on the Proceed’ button.

The next page consists of two parts. In the first one, enter the login information for your new WordPress application: ‘Application’ is your blog.

Next, you can scroll down and pick one of the free WordPress themes available in the Wizard and click on the submit’ button once again. You can always change your theme at a later time.

Congratulations! You now have a self-hosted WordPress website that is ready to be monetized!

You can access your WordPress dashboard and work on your blog anytime by going to http://yourdomain.com/wp-admin

A FEW THINGS TO COMPLETE BEFORE MONETIZING YOUR BLOG

#1 Change the permalink structure in WordPress to ‘post name’.

#2 Set up Google Analytics

#3 Install useful plugins for free such as Yoast, JetPack, W3 Total Cache, Pinterest Pin It Button

CREATE AS MUCH CONTENT AS YOU CAN!

My advice is to start creating content and to stay consistent! Publish at least 3-5 posts a week if this is something you take seriously and would like to see results.

In addition to creating content, provide readers a photo of yourself and an ‘about me’ and a ‘contact’ section on your site so that they get an idea of who you are!

MONETIZE YOUR BLOG!

Sign up for Share a Sale so that you can team up with brands and become an affiliate member.

Start applying for high paying affiliate programs that can be found online if you search for them!

Congratulations on starting your blogging journey!

Wishing you all the best, Yvonne K.

Blogging

The Journey to Becoming a Beauty Blogger: A Guide to SEO

February 28, 2017

When I first started blogging, I had no idea what SEO meant and it was something that intimidated me at first. Before I begin this post, I want you all to know that SEO doesn’t have to be scary. Below I have put together a few simple steps to understanding what SEO is. As a blogger, you should be familiarizing yourself with SEO and that’s why I am here to help!

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What is SEO?

In a world full of beauty bloggers, you want to make sure that you have a strong SEO position. You can expect significantly more clicks, the higher you are ranked on the first page of a search engine. If your website and business are strong, you can expect more business from the traffic.

SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization. When someone types into the search field for specific information (ie: keywords or phrases) on search engines such as Google, those with higher ‘SEO’ will be listed by ranking. The higher the post on the first page, the better it is for your site. Google selects which sites are the most worthy, based on the keywords  that you typed in. Let’s admit it, whenever we search for something on Google or any search engine, we tend to focus primarily on the first page of results.

Improve Your URL

Creating a good URL is absolutely vital for both search visibility and social sharability.
You don’t want your URL to read ‘/series-the-journey-to-becoming-a-beauty-blogger-a-guide-to-seo-beauty-blog/’ – That is way too long and not necessary.  It’s not helping you at all.

To fix this: go into your settings tab >> permalinks and click on ‘post name.’

Seo permalinks

This will help your posts generate better URLs going forward.

 Make Your Blog Mobile Friendly

A big influential factor when it comes to ranking in Google is having a mobile friendly website. This is very important since most people use their mobile devices for everything they do on the web.

If your blog’s theme is not google friendly then you need to change it as soon as you can.  Many themes offer a responsive layout which is oftentimes recognized by Google as mobile friendly.  Themes on the Genesis Framework are usually a safe bet. If you’re unsure about whether or not your site is google friendly, you can simply search for google friendly blog layouts for WordPress.

Get the Plugin Yoast for WordPress

This plugin has made my life so much easier and it’s free!

One of the most popular SEO plugins out there. Yoast makes it easy to optimize your posts for search engines and installs a form at the bottom of your post page. is form allows you to easily SEO your blog post to gain organic exposure.

To download this plugin, simply go to ‘Plugins’, ‘Add new’ and in the keyword search box type ‘Yoast’.

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Keyword Search

When creating a title for your blog post, you want to make sure it is SEO friendly. You can easily search keywords for each blog post on google if you want ideas.

For instance, if I want to write a blog post about a ‘chicken fajita wrap recipe,’ I would search in Google for some popular and well used keywords that I could utilize.

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You want to make sure you title your blog post with something that will attract visitors and with something that is keyword friendly.  You will want to use keywords and phrases that users are searching for commonly on the web relevant to your blog post.

 The results above are what is ranking in Google on the first page for ‘chicken fajita wrap recipe.’ These all have strong meta descriptions and keyword friendly URL’s.

 Another place to look for other keywords is at the bottom of your first page of Google results.  This is where you can find searches related to the phrase you searched. These are phrases that have been used in relation to the phrase you are currently searching.  Here are the results for,‘chicken fajita wrap recipe.’

Internal Linking

Focus on building quality links with key influencers in your field and you’ll notice referral traffic as an added bonus when trying to boost your SEO.

Adding links within the text of your blog will benefit the reader throughout the post as well as benefit your blog’s search rankings.  If you’re frequently linking to other posts on your site – ones that genuinely benefit your reader – you’ll build up the trust of your reader and Google’s trust as well.

For example: If you’re writing a post about ‘chicken wraps’, you can add a link to a post you recently published titled ‘kitchen appliances that make my life easier’.

Image ALT Tags

When you upload an image to your blog post, make sure that you name your image before you upload it to WordPress.

Please do not upload an image titled IMG_1111. It’s not going to help your SEO.

When you’re uploading your image to WordPress, you want to make sure you give your image a title and alt text.

The reason you do this is because search engines don’t know what your image is.

Here’s what I do to my images:

Having the proper keywords included on your photos will help you especially in Google image searches. Get in the habit of adding Image Descriptions or Alt Tags (also known as Alternative Text) as well as Image Title Attributes to your photos on the site.

You’ll want to go to ‘Image Details’ for each photo you include. Press the little pencil icon on your photo to get to this section.

Below you can see an example of a recent post that I published “Review: e.l.f. High Definition Powder”.

I added in the keywords into my Alternative Text as well as the Image Title Attribute.

seo

Hope this information has been helpful to you! If you are new to blogging and need some more tips and advice, check out my series, The Journey to Becoming a Beauty Blogger.

xo, Yvonne

Blogging

The Journey to Becoming a Beauty Blogger: Growing Your Blog

February 23, 2017

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When I started blogging, I had no sense of direction in terms of where I wanted to go with my blog. I had no idea how much work I’d have to put in! I love reviewing products but my true passion is helping others achieve their goals and that is why I have started this blogging series.

I’m sure that if you’re a blogger, you already know that being consistent with your posts and writing about trending topics is the way to go. Well, that’s what I thought when I first started blogging too but there are many more steps to growing your blog.

Create a Schedule

I used to struggle with trying to come up with fresh content that would keep readers coming back to my site. I decided to start a schedule for myself so I went and purchased a day planner and now use it to keep track of my blog ideas, which days and what time I should be posting, etc. I have always loved keeping track of my ideas and goals in a day planner because it keeps me focused and well organized. If you sit down each week and plan your posts in advance this will prevent you from losing focus. It will help you with knowing exactly what needs to be done.

Share Your Posts More Than Once

I hated sharing my posts more than once when I first started blogging, however, this will drive so much more traffic to your blog! I used to think that I would annoy some people with my shared posts but sharing content is a necessity when it comes to being a successful blogger. Working on a blog is time consuming so why not share it more than once? For example, you publish a post that gets 300 views which means 300 people found your post interesting. If you share it again, you are bound to get more interested readers which means more views and traffic for your site.

Social Media Marketing

This is the most important step to growing your blog. Each time you publish a post, you should be sharing it on all of your social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, etc. An easy way to do this is by utilizing Hootsuite which is a social media dashboard that allows its users to post on numerous platforms at the same time.

Take Advantage of Popular Posts

Chances are, your oldest posts are still receiving loads of views so why not take advantage of these posts? Go back and update those posts with links to some of your new content. give you an idea of what kind of content your audience enjoys the most. You can also use some of those posts to create a resource page, or a mini blog-series.

Connect With Other Bloggers and Most Importantly, Your Readers

I like replying to all of my comments on my blog because it will likely keep readers hooked on your content. When you reply to your readers’ comments, you are also creating a relationship with them. Connecting with other bloggers in your niche can also help you grow your blog. Sharing helpful content from other bloggers, answering questions, and keeping up-to-date with their social media accounts can help generate more awareness for your own blog.

Consistency is Key

Make sure that your profile or profile image is the same for all of your social media accounts. This creates brand consistency and can help build your presence. The same thing goes for the type of content you post. Make sure that it’s all consistent with your brand.

Becoming a successful blogger doesn’t happen overnight, but these are a few simple things you can start doing today. If you do all of these consistently, you will certainly see results. Pay attention to analytics and your blog statistics to see what works for you and what doesn’t. Even if it doesn’t work out, chances are you’ll learn so much along the way.

Series: The Journey to Becoming a Beauty Blogger

xo, Yvonne K.

Blogging

Series: The Journey to Becoming a Beauty Blogger

February 16, 2017

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I’ll never forget the day I decided to start my own blog, it was something I had always wanted to do but didn’t know where to start. I was reading and following other blogs and I just knew it was something I could see myself doing for a very long time.

I’ve been blogging since 2011 but wasn’t consistent enough with my weekly posts. I used to use Blogger and all of my posts were beauty related. However, my blog took a huge turn after switching my site to WordPress and my content has drastically changed. Nowadays, I enjoy sharing inspirational posts and lifestyle tips with my readers. Your blog will always grow and continue to change for the better if you are willing to work HARD.

Things to Consider Before You Start Your Blogging Journey

When I first started blogging, I knew exactly what I wanted to blog about. Just because you want to start a beauty blog, it doesn’t mean you have to write about the same things other beauty bloggers write about. You need to be creative and find your niche when it comes to blogging. There are thousands upon thousands of beauty bloggers out there so why not stand out from the rest? You can start a how to or a do it yourself beauty blog (which is quite popular at the moment). The important thing is: be creative + consistent! You have to produce enough content in order for people to take an interest in what you have to share. Try making yourself a set schedule and post on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday so that your readers know when you will be posting fresh content.

To start, you don’t have to have the best quality photos and you don’t need to share anything too personal about yourself if you don’t want to.

If you’re nervous or hesitant about starting your own blog, just relax, blogging is fun and make sure you write about something you are passionate about, or else you will quickly find yourself getting bored with it.

I Chose WordPress

As I mentioned above, I used to use Blogger before switching my blog over to WordPress. I find that WordPress is easy to use and offers great templates for beauty bloggers. This is a self-hosted WordPress platform which means you will have to own your domain and sign up for hosting. WordPress offers a lot of neat features and freedom with customizing your blog or website, whereas other platforms might have strict limitations. If your dream is to sell products on your blog and eventually start a business from blogging, then I highly recommend using WordPress.If you just want to blog for fun, then I would definitely recommend trying Blogger.

Register Your Domain and Sign Up For Hosting

Before you can start blogging, you need to register your domain name. I use Register.com for my domain. When choosing a domain name, you obviously need to choose one that no one else is using. If you’re registering a new domain you have to check if it’s available:

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As you can see, “yvonnebeauty.com” is available! When choosing a domain name, I would recommend sticking to “.com” as it’s universally used.

Once you’ve selected the domain name you want, and in this case it’s “yvonnebeauty.com”, you will then need to select the package type. After you select a package type, you may have the option of setting up annual payments or monthly payment plans. I have an annual payment plan because it is cheaper to do it that way on register.com. Proceed to checkout and now you have successfully purchased your very own domain name!

WordPress.org is a Wonderful World for Bloggers

After you register your domain and sign up for your hosting account (I use GoDaddy for my hosting but you can host your site and register your domain name on one platform, I found that registering my name on register.com but hosting my site on Godaddy.com proved to be a cheaper option for me but this is entirely up to you).

Now that you’ve registered your name, started hosting your site, it’s time to pick a theme for your blog on WordPress (after you’ve created an account). To access your blog, go to (yvonnebeauty.com/wp-admin), the extension should be  (“.com/wp-admin). You will be prompted to enter your login information and this is where you will log in to blog; write your posts, change your themes, upload your images, etc.

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This is what your WordPress dashboard looks like after you have logged into your account.

WordPress is pretty simple to navigate and you can easily change your theme by going under Appearance > Themes. There will be a few default themes that come pre-installed in WordPress, but you can search through many free themes or you can purchase pre-made themes from places like Etsy.

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 You can add/change a theme under Appearance—-Themes

To create a new post, go to Posts—-Add New. Always make sure that your title isn’t too long.

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Select a category to keep your articles organized, (you will have to create categories on your own). An example of a few categories are beauty, style, fashion, etc.

The easiest way to learn how to navigate through WordPress is to practice and if you ever get stuck, just google it! There are so many people out there who may have experienced the same issue as yourself so searching it on google is always a great idea.

Always, always add tags to your posts! A tag is simply a label or keyword you assign to your post.

When you add tags to a post (you do that in the “edit” mode in the right-hand column of your WP dashboard), you are basically telling your blog to automatically create new pages based on those tags.

Take a look at the image below; these are some of the tags I am thinking of assigning to this post:

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When you use tags, you instantly create new pages for your blog that are fully indexable, searchable, and easy to rank. In other words, you create additional content that can bring search engine visitors.

You’ve Published a Few Posts, Now What?

After you publish a couple of posts, I would highly recommend you start sharing your posts on social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr and Facebook. Join blogging forums on Facebook and start connecting with other bloggers in your niche. Visit other blogs, leave comments and don’t be afraid to spread the word about your blog, even if you’re just starting out. My best advice is to be consistent with your posts! Blogging is a journey and sometimes you may fail or lose focus but you will learn what works for you and what doesn’t work for you along the way.

“If you have a passion for something, go for it, or else you will never know what you’re capable of accomplishing”.

Yvonne K.