This post details my important blog diary entries. I hope to post the steps that I took while in the process of improving and growing the content of my book blog. As I am learning on my own, I hope to share some tips with new bloggers out there the things that can also be relevant to them in creating their own blogs and making them a success.
The Initial Struggle
So, I started to accept online jobs at the beginning of 2017. It was really overwhelming for a non-techie person like me. First, I was accepted as a ghostwriter for Amazon review blogs and real estate landing pages. I must say I did a lot of work and was only paid at a very low rate that you wouldn’t want to know. It was really exhausting and draining but I still did it so at least I had a place to start.
I had been going from one underpaying job to another but I still persevere because I had no choice at that time but to work from home. I read some articles about how to make money online and every opportunity that pays decently seems to be requiring some investment which I could not make that time. I must say I took action very slowly and I was afraid to take a risk. I did come to a point when I thought that online jobs/opportunities are all scams.
Starting an Online Job
However, in 2018 I decided to make a bigger step and apply for full-time online work. I was lucky to be hired by a reputable company that sells on Amazon to where I still work up to this day. On the same day or a day after I was accepted into one full-time job, I was also hired as a ghostwriter by a blogger who pays me more than I was paid before.
I have been with my employers for years now and I feel that I still have the time and energy to work on my own passion, which is creating my own blog and writing about the books that I read. So, I finally took action and created something of my own, Book Estuary, my book blog.
Why create a Blog Diary?
I created this post to track the actions that I took in creating this blog. So, I can replicate it later when I can find another niche that I will be wanting to write about. This will also serve as a guide for new bloggers out there. Thirty (30) days have passed since I started this blog and I must say, I have not reached any milestone yet but I’m always hopeful.
In many ways, I’m happy to be doing something that I really love. I will be updating this post as I go along with building my blog and adding more content to it.
I’m happy to share this with anyone who will stumble upon my blog and I’m happy to find you reading my post here and for that, I’m also thankful. I hope that my experience can give you some tips in creating your own blog or simply just doing anything you love online.
I may add some tips from the things I read online even if I have not done it yet in my blog here if I think they classify to be under the best practices for bloggers to take.
I may post some affiliate links from where I can earn some amount if you make qualified purchases through them. Rest assured that I will be giving my honest advice to the best of my ability so you can decide on your own which path to take in creating your own website or making one for a client. My advice to new bloggers is just start blogging about the things you love now.
My Blog Diary Day 1-30
1. I took an Online Course to Get Started
I took a course on WordPress and Marketing. I must say it was just a basic course but it taught me everything I need to know to start my website and have it up and running. In a way, this helps me save much time to be able to learn how to actually create my own blog.
2. How did I choose my Domain Name?
I created my domain and I think I tried about 17 domain names before I was able to have one registered at a good price. You may check out the story of my domain name here and some tips on creating a winning domain name on this link.
3. I chose a web host.
Since I’m only starting, I chose a web host that has the best value. In my case, I chose Hostmantis. So far, I’m more than satisfied with its service and I decided to also join its affiliate program. You can check out my link here if you want to know about the services they offer. Web hosting, reseller hosting, enterprise hosting, VPS hosting, and domain name are some of the services that they offer.
4. I started designing and writing the contents of my Blog and immediately publishing them one by one.
By this time my blog is finally live. I am using the wordpress.org platform and Elementor website builder to design my Blog. For a beginner like I am, Elementor allows me to design and edit the contents of my blog with ease.
If you want to check it out. You can use my referral link here.
5. Choosing plugins that apply to your website to make your website building easier and faster.
Currently, I am using the following plugins for my website:
Contact Form 7
I use this for my Contact Page.
As mentioned above I use this plugin to edit and design all my pages and blog post.
Email Subscribers & Newsletters
I use this to add an email subscription to my blog.
6. Creating content for my blog.
Since I’m only starting, I don’t schedule my blog post yet. I’m trying to create as much content as I can. This is on top of my other jobs. Since my blog is mainly about romance books, I write book reviews, love and relationship advice and review of items from Amazon that also appeal to book lovers. In creating content, my goal is to provide content that can answer most book lovers’ queries and share insights with those who have questions on love and relationship.
There are websites that can provide you the most asked questions from people about your particular niche. I get ideas from these websites on what content to make. I also use google related searches when needed. There are keyword tools and plugins available out there to help you choose the best keywords for your website. Mostly, they are paid subscriptions so I did not use them just yet. I’m trying to find ways around the use of keywords on my own to optimize the visibility of my content. But, if you have the money go for a paid subscription as they offer more features to help you optimize the contents of your website.
7. How do I know what book to read and eventually review?
In this particular part, as much as I want to create content that my audience will like or need, in choosing a book, I prefer to choose my own favorites. For every book review that I post here, I always make sure that I really finished reading the book and give it my full attention during the review. So, as much as possible I choose books with stories that I can relate to, and at the same time, I would really enjoy reading.
I’ve been reading books ever since I started reading with understanding as a kid and this book blog has been in the making for so long at least in my mind so before I started this blog I think I have already read hundreds of books. So for those stories that I can still remember, I’m trying to review them to add to my content. For new releases, I sign up for advance reader copies (ARCs) if I have the time to read and meet the review deadline of authors. I connect to authors and related groups in Social Media and interact with them to know if there are ARC sign-ups that are available. If I like the books and I can afford them, I purchase my own copy as well.
8. Promoting my blog.
What can your blog do if it can’t reach your target audience right? So, I believe promoting my blog is necessary. Currently, I’m using Facebook and Pinterest in promoting my blog content. I post links to my blog content on these social media sites. I also engage with the online communities that share the same interest in the niche of my blog. I join Facebook groups and interact with people with similar interests.
Promoting your blog to get more traffic is really exhausting but I just do things to the best of my ability and hope that something good will happen eventually.
9. Graphics and Design
In designing images and graphics for my blog, I use Canva. It offers a wide selection of templates, photos, formats and elements. You can design almost anything on this platform making it very handy for beginners and professionals alike.
My Blog Diary Day 31-60
They say improving SEO can drive organic traffic to your blog. I’m still in the process of figuring out the best practices to improve SEO of my blog. I guess I will be updating this part in the future as soon as I get the hang of it. Now, I’m using the Yoast SEO plugin. In a way, it helps me identify whether or not my SEO is on point for each post that I create. Once I get an improvement in my organic traffic sources by optimizing SEO of my blog, rest assured that I will share more tips here when it happened. Using the Google Site Kit particularly Google Analytics and Search Console can help you track the profiles of your audience. They can also tell you which of your pages are performing well and the likes.
10. Monetizing my Blog
I am not really there yet in actually monetizing my blog but I’ve enrolled in some affiliate programs to help me monetize my blog. I am also enrolled to Google Adsense.
In addition to Google Adsense, I am an active affiliate of the following programs as you can see on the ads posted on my blog.
This program allows me to promote all kinds of products but I’m currently promoting the products that are related to my blog. What is great about Amazon Associates program is that it is easy to join and it gives you enough time to qualify to be a fully-verified associate while already earning.
As already stated above, Hostmantis offers web hosting, reseller hosting, enterprise hosting, VPS hosting, and domain name services. It is by far a decent web host with an affordable rate.
Elementor is a great plugin to use in building your website in WordPress for beginners. I’m not having any issues designing and putting content on my blog as what you see on my blog now.
11. Adding content regularly
I think my blog has relatively little content yet so at this point when the time allows I am targeting daily content updates. That is one new post in a day. But, it never really happens because I have other work to do but I’m trying my best to have at least one new post weekly.
Stay tuned to my blog diary entry until my next update for more book blogging or applicable blogging tips.