Why Amazon Is A Great Affiliate For New Bloggers

Why Amazon Is A Great Affiliate For New Bloggers

(This post may contain affiliate links.  You can find my disclosure page here.)

My blog sells something every single day on Amazon.

Just this morning I rolled out of bed to find that I had already made $42 while I was sleeping.  The best part is that it is completely passive income for me. (I am still smiling about it as I write this).

I am only making between about $3 to $45 from Amazon on my (relatively) new blog each day.  Its not much…  yet.  But still, it is passive income and it’s consistent.  Which means that I am making money no matter what I am doing that day.

(Note:  I dabble in several different affiliate marketing programs, but for the purpose of this post I want to focus on how Amazon is a great affiliate for brand new bloggers to start making passive income on their blogs.  Amazon affiliates is how I started with affiliate marketing and I encourage other new bloggers to use it at well because I think its the easiest ones for new bloggers.  Once you get started with Amazon and start making consistent money there are a TON of other great affiliate programs out there as well.)

What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular ways people can make money online.   It is a strategy that bloggers can use to earn a commission by promoting other people’s products.  For example, if I find a product or service I like, I can promote it to my readers and earn a small commission for the referral.

Of course, bloggers still need to create killer content and only recommend products or services that they actually like and use themselves.  In order to be successful it’s best to keep it “non-salesy,” genuine and relevant to the purpose of your post.  Otherwise it can be a real turn-off.

Affiliate marketing can be a triple win for the blogger, reader and company selling a product (in this case, Amazon).  Each party benefits from the blogger making a useful suggestion about a product or service because a need is being filled for all three:

  • The seller sells a product, earning a profit
  • A reader gets value by purchasing something they need
  • The blogger earns a small commission for their helpful referral.

From this viewpoint, bloggers have a great opportunity not only to provide great content but to also add additional value to both readers and the companies they work as affiliates for.

Laptop computer with office supplies

Why Amazon is a great affiliate for new bloggers:

Amazon affiliates is one of the largest and easiest affiliate programs to use.

If it exists, you can find it on Amazon.

Just as an example, lets say you have a passion for writing about Madagascar hissing cockroaches and you would like to recommend some to your readers.  Well guess what?  You are in luck because you can buy them on Amazon!  So you insert your Amazon affiliate link and viola!  You just helped your reader find exactly what they were looking for!

You can pretty much find anything and everything on Amazon.  So it makes it really easy for new affiliate marketers to find products easily that fit nicely within their niche.  This is a great reason why Amazon is a great affiliate for new bloggers who are trying to monetize their websites for the first time.

(On another note, the key phrase ‘Madagascar hissing cockroaches for sale’ actually gets 480 searches on Amazon every single month.  So, there actually is a need for this particular niche and a potential to make affiliate money from it.  Just saying).

Amazon affiliate cookies have site-wide coverage, and is not just limited to the product you are promoting.

When you make a referral to Amazon, you only have a 24 hour window to actually make a sale.  But the good news is that you will get the commission from ALL the products the customer purchased from the store.

So say, for example, your reader decided not to purchase your recommended product after all…  But, they did decide to purchase a $2700 Microsoft laptop computer instead.   You get a commission from the sale of the $2700 computer!  (I know someone who had a similar thing happen to them as an Amazon Affiliate, so it does happen!)

Shipping is free for Amazon Prime members

Everyone I know is a member of Amazon Prime and gets to take advantage of the free shipping.  In fact, almost everything I order is from Amazon because I don’t pay an additional fee to have it sent to me.  People are more likely to buy something if they don’t have to pay an additional fee for shipping.

The Amazon return policy is so simple

I feel good about recommending products from Amazon because whenever I need to return something, its so super easy.  That way if one of my readers ends up not liking a product that they ordered I know they can send it back no problem.  I would never want someone to keep a product that I recommended if they didn’t end up liking it, or just regretting the purchase.

Just remember to keep it genuine as an affiliate marketer:

Only promote products related to topics that you already write about in your niche.  And you must actually use and like the product/service yourself.  Otherwise it comes off as inauthentic and disingenuous.

Here is a helpful tip for new bloggers who want to start monetizing their blogs:  If you started using Amazon Affiliates after you started your blog, then go back to your top 20-30 posts and add affiliate links where they fit in.

For more resources visit my Start A Blog resource page!

Additional Recommended Reading: 

How To Find Time To Blog As A Busy Nurse & Mom

How To Find Time To Blog As A Busy Nurse & Mom

(This post may contain affiliate links.  You can read my disclosure page here.)

How to find time to blog as a busy nurse and mom:

My biggest challenge as a busy nurse & mom blogger is simply finding the time to work on my blog.  This post discusses ways that I manage to grow my blog despite having a very busy work and home schedule.

#1.  Schedule time to blog

Treat your blog as a side job.  How much time do you have to invest in it at the moment?  Is it only 5 or 10 hours a week like me?  That is better than nothing!  Its going to take you longer to build a blog and following but it can be done.  Building a blog is a marathon, not a sprint.

A lot of people ask me when I have time to work on blogging.  The truth is, not much.  The only time I have to blog is for up to an hour while my kids are napping and after I put them to sleep at 8pm.  On the days I work 12 hour shifts as a nurse I am only able to blog after I get home and shower, and by then it’s usually 9pm.  And I need to try and get some sleep since I’m either up for work or being woken up by one of my children by 5:30 or 6 in the morning!

The most important thing that busy bloggers must do is to be with the little bit of time that they do have.  You can actually get a lot done in 5 -10 hours a week if you use your time wisely.

#2.   Batch write

Instead of writing 1-2 posts a week, try writing 10 over a period of a several days and then schedule them out far in advance.  This process can help you free up a lot of time!   My process goes something like this:

  • Keyword Research and pick titles for 10 blog posts
  • Write outlines for ten blog posts
  • Do all content creation
  • Optimize all SEO
  • Go back and insert affiliate links and internal/external links for each post
  • Make all graphic designs for each post
  • Schedule posts on WordPress scheduler

This process has saved me so much time and just makes blogging more simple.

#3.  Outline your blog posts first

Is your writing method just to start writing and see where it takes you?  Unfortunately, that may not be the most efficient way to get things done.

When you are trying to inform and create a structured piece, more planning is generally better.  After you do your keyword research and pick your title, try writing down each of the points you want to make.  Then you can use those points as headers for the post to break it up into smaller, more digestible pieces to read.

Think of your outline as the foundation that you can build amazing content around.  Outlining will make your posts easily for you to write, and that will save you time.

#4.  Always have a plan for what you are going to do as soon as you have a free moment for blogging.

If you are going to be a blogger you need excellent time management skills.  The second I put my kids down for a nap I know exactly what I am going to spend that hour doing (usually content creation).

I do chores around the house and all of the cooking while my kids are awake.  That way I can free up some time to work on the blog when my kids are asleep.

blogger typing on a laptop

#5.  Quit doing time wasting activities

Stop using social media.   I know  people who spend hours on Instagram every single day, yet they swear they are so busy that they never have time to get anything done!  I bet if you quit using social media for 1 week you would find that you are suddenly so much more productive.  And probably happier and more in the present to boot!

If you are going to be a blogger you have to get really good at using your time wisely.  Be overprotective about your time.  My time is the most important asset I have and it is important to me.  As a result, I rarely use Instagram or Facebook anymore.  Hopefully one day I will be able to source out a lot of my work (except content creation, of course), but until then I’ve got a lot of work to do.  There is no time to waste.

#6.  Use an editorial calendar

I am almost completely paperless, except for my editorial calendar (which I use as a hard copy for pretty much everything that goes into my blog).  You can find editorial calendars online, but I have found that by using my hard copy of EPIC blog and my scheduler on WordPress that I stay super organized.  I always manage to stay on top of deadlines.

At some point I would love to create my own editorial calendar for bloggers.  Until then, my EPIC blog editorial calendar is super helpful!

 

#7.  Listen to blogging podcasts

When you are starting a project and don’t totally have a grasp one what you are doing, there is only one really good thing to do:  find people who are doing it well and learn from them!

Anytime I take my children for a walk in the stroller or I am on my commute to and from work I listen to blogging podcasts.  Podcasts keep me motivated during the times I am physically unable to blog.  Plus I am able to learn from other bloggers who have had some of the same blogging struggles I do.

#8.  Make time for rest and rejuvenation

You can only burn that candle from both ends for so long.  If you work too hard with no rest then you end up burned out, sick and wondering why you even wanted to be a blogger in the first place.  Giving yourself time to rest can also be great for creativity as well.

Additional Recommended Reading:

How To Start A WordPress Blog On Bluehost

How To Start A WordPress Blog On Bluehost

This post discusses how to start a WordPress blog on Bluehost and contains affiliate links.  You can find my disclosure page here.

So you have something to say, do you?  Why not start a blog?

Starting a blog has been one of the most exciting and challenging things I have ever done in my adult life.  Its how I share my ideas and try to provide value to other nurse moms.

The idea to start a blog popped into my head when my daughter was about 6 months old.  I was at the hospital, working another long, arduous 12 hour shift and I thought — there have got to be other ways that I can provide value as a nurse that don’t make me feel so horrible by the end of the day. (Mind you, I had just had a new baby who hadn’t quite mastered sleeping through the night, so I was probably a bit dramatic).

Problem was, I had no experience with blogging and didn’t consider myself particularity “tecky” at the time.  But, I made it through college twice (first, for a BA in Journalism and then again for a BS in Nursing) and I thought that with enough effort, I might be able to figure it out.

I set out on a mission to create a blog where I could use my nursing degree to share self care ideas with other nurses who are also moms.  And I’ve been enjoying this ride ever since.

I want to make it super easy for others like me to start a blog.  So if you are an aspiring blogger like I once was, continue reading to see how easy it is to set up a blog of your own.

How to start a WordPress Blog on Bluehost

Give yourself about 60 minutes to set up your blog.

Put the kids to bed, kiss your spouse goodnight, and find a spot to get to work.

  • Have a credit card ready (you need to pay for hosting)
  • Have a website name already chosen

Your are going to need to consider your niche and come up with a name.  Think about the message you want to share and how you think you can provide value to readers.

For example, my niche is Nurse Moms and my blog name is Mother Nurse Love.  My name is pretty straightforward, although you can choose any name you want (it doesn’t have to have anything to do with your niche if you want).

What is hosting and why is it important?

The first thing you are going to do is set up hosting for your blog.  A blog host is the company that provides the space on its servers and equipment to store your blog.  There are free options out there but I would not use them for the following reasons:

  • Free blogs appear less professional
  • You would have to have the “blogger” or “wordpress” in your domain name.
  • Your have less control over your blog when you use free hosting.  CSS functions and theme selections are limited, and you have little control over expanding your websites capabilities.
  • Free platforms often limit advertising options, which makes it harder to make money if the future if you plan to monetize your blog.

If you just want to explore the blogging world for fun and have no interest in making any profit or ever ranking in google, then by all means, get a free blog.  But if that is not your cup of tea, I would strongly consider using Bluehost.

I use Bluehost for several reasons:

  • Customer service is excellent
  • Good pricing-  you can start your blog for as low as $3.95 a month (its a great deal!)
  • Free domain
  • 24/7 support
  • 30 day money back guarantee

Step-By-Step Instructions To Set Up Your Blog 

I divided the following sections into two parts: Bluehost and WordPress.  This guide instructs you on the exact way to set up your blog with screenshots to make it easy.  Once you complete part 1 (Bluehost) the site will lead you  directly into part 2 (WordPress).  Its super easy!

Part 1:  Bluehost

  1.   Go to Bluehost and hit the “Get Started Now” button
  2.   Click the package you want
  3.   Sign up for a domain name-  Your domain name is your address on the internet, otherwise know as your URL.  (For example, my  domain name is www.mothernurselove.com)
  4.   Enter your account information
  5.   Enter your package information
  6.   Give your payment information
  7.   Choose a password
  8.   Congratulations! You finished part 1!  You will will taken to a screen to set up your WordPress blog.  (See those steps below)

Ok, ready to get started?…   Let’s go!  Click on this link here.

#1.  Click get started now

Bluehost 1

#2.  Click the package you want

Bluehost 2

#3.  Sign up for a domain name

Bluehost 3

#4.  Enter your account information

Bluehost 4 Account information

 

#5.  Choose package information

Bluehost 5

#6.  Payment information

bluehost 6 payment information

#7.  Choose a password

 

Bluehost 7

 

 

Bluehost 8

#8.  Congratulations!  You are almost there!  Now you need to ‘log in’ so you can set up your WordPress blog.

Bluehost9

 

Part 2:  WordPress

Now its time to set up your WordPress Blog.  This part is actually much easier than it sounds.  Bluehost pretty much does all the work for you.  Just continue on the same screen you are on now and follow these steps.

  1.  Bluehost will ask you you pick a theme.  You can change it later if you want (I changed mine later and it was not a big deal).
  2.  Click ‘Start Building.’
  3.  Choose ‘Business’ or ‘Personal’
  4.  Launch your site
  5.  Log into WordPress and start blogging away, new blogger!

1.  Pick a theme that inspires you

Bluehost WordPress theme

2.  Click ‘Start Building’ to begin setting up your WordPress blog

Bluehost 11

3.  Choose business or personal account

Bluehost12

 

4.  Launch your site

 

 

Bluehost 14

 

5.  Log into WordPress and start blogging away, new blogger!

Bluehost

 

Additional Resources:

Recommended Blogging Resources For New Bloggers

Recommended Blogging Resources For New Bloggers

This post contains affiliate links.  You can find my disclosure page here.

Blogging can be overwhelming and confusing for a novice blogger.  After all, with hundreds of thousands of blogs already swirling among the internet, how is a new blogger supposed to stand out?

When I was just starting out as a new blogger I had absolutely no idea what I was doing.  I searched the internet for information for months.  Then, I became overwhelmed because there is almost too much information.  Who is a new blogger supposed to trust?

Now that I have an established blog up and running I am often asked for recommendations on different tools, training,  and other resources  available for new bloggers. And I am always asked what tools I use to run my blogs.

These conversations encouraged me to put together a list of recommended blogging resources that have been instrumental in my success as a new blogger (I will add to this list as I continue to try new things!)

WordPress

Admittedly, I did not use WordPress when I was first starting my own blog.

Instead, I started with Squarespace (which is both easy to use and pretty, but not as good with SEO and has no plugin options).  After I realized how many limitations I had I finally switched over to WordPress.  It was a huge pain in the rear, it caused me a lot of unnecessary stress and I lost time I will never get back.

Here are a few reasons why WordPress is the way to go:

  • Its beginner friendly:  you do NOT need coding knowledge to create perfectly functioning website
  • WordPress themes and plugins give you almost unlimited flexibility:  Once you are more advanced with WordPress you are able to customize every aspect of your site as you see fit (or you can be like me and pay someone else to do it, the point being that you CAN customize your site more in the future).
  • WordPress helps you rank higher in search engines:  If your goal is high traffic to your site, then WordPress is the gold standard platform you need to be using.  Not only is WordPress already well-optimized for search engines, but there is an amazing plugin called Yoast SEO that helps me make sure my SEO is on point.
  • Support is available whenever you need it:  There is a WordPress support forum and a ton of online tutorials and courses

(Read more about how to set up a WordPress website on Bluehost here)

Bluehost

A blog host is the company that provides the space on its servers and equipment to store your blog.  There are free options out there but I would not use them for the following reasons:

  • Free blogs appear less professional
  • You would have to have the “blogger” or “wordpress” in your domain name.
  • Your have less control over your blog when you use free hosting.  CSS functions and theme selections are limited, and you have little control over expanding your websites capabilities.
  • Free platforms often limit advertising options, which makes it harder to make money if the future if you plan to monetize your blog.

I recommend Bluehost for several reasons:

  • Customer service is excellent.
  • Good pricing-  you can start your blog for as low as $3.95 a month.   Bluehost is the is one of the top web hosting companies available and for $3.95 a month, its a good deal.
  • Free domain
  • 24/7 support
  • 30 day money back guarantee

(Read more about how to set up a WordPress website on Bluehost here)

Yoast SEO WordPress plugin

Search Engine Optimization is a very important tool that helps bloggers rank higher on google and other search engines and helps readers find you on the internet.

Yoast SEO WordPress Plugin helps bloggers optimize for keywords, keyphrases and synonyms, and related keywords.  When optimized correctly, it makes your website more visible to people looking for your specific content.  You goal, if you want to be a successful blogger, is to rank #1 in search engine results.  Yoast SEO Plugin can help you get that spot.

How it works:    You can enter the keyword or keyphrase you’d like your post or page to rank for in the search results. Yoast SEO Plugin then runs a check on your content to check whether you’re using the keywords often enough – but not too often – and in the right spots.

(I love this plugin so much that I pay annually for the premium version)

Recommended blogging resources for new bloggers

Editorial Calendar (EPIC Blog)

I am almost completely paperless, except for my editorial calendar (which I use as a hard copy for pretty much everything that goes into my blog).  You can find editorial calendars online, but I have found that by using my hard copy of EPIC blog and my scheduler on WordPress that I stay super organized.  I always manage to stay on top of deadlines.

At some point I would love to create my own editorial calendar for bloggers.  Until then, my EPIC blog editorial calendar is super helpful!

Keyword Planner

If you ever want to rank in a google search you must research your keywords.  Otherwise, how do you know if anyone is actually searching for the keywords you are trying to rank for?

Keyword Planner is actually a FREE Google Ads tool for advertisers.  However, it also makes a great tool for bloggers to find the keywords that people type into Google.

Pinterest

Did you know that Pinterest is a search engine, NOT a social media platform? (Its actually more like Google then it is Instagram, Facebook or Twitter!).

Pinterest has been so helpful for my blog growth.  In fact, many bloggers I know are making a lot (if not most) of their income from pinning on Pinterest.

Pinterest group boards are great for generating more traction to your blog (a group board is a community board where other pinners can pin and, if popular, can give your pins more exposure).

Keep in mind that SEO is the ultimate goal for blog growth, but Pinterest can help you gain website traffic in the short-term.

Check out my Pinterest board at www.pinterest.com/mothernurselove and if you are a nurse blogger please join my Nurse Bloggers Group Board!

Pinterest Ninja

Pinterest has changed tremendously over the last year and seems have algorithm updates almost weekly.   Mastering Pinterest takes a lot of work and if you want more traffic sooner then you want to invest in a course.

If you want to understand how Pinterest can grow blog traffic you need the Pinterest Ninja Course.

A blogger colleague of mine, Megan Johnson, created Pinterest Ninja to help people increase their blog pages views by the thousands.  I did the course when I was on maternity leave and I was able to increase my blog traffic from 0-1000/day in just over one month.    Seriously, read some of her reviews.  Her course is invaluable.

(You need to know by now – if your goal IS to monetize your blog you must invest in a few courses to help move you forward.  Otherwise, blogging is a lonely, frustrating island.)

Tailwind

If you are a blogger chances are you are super busy and don’t have time for pinning on Pinterest.  With Tailwind, you won’t have to find time daily to post Pins.   Sit down once a week (or month) and let Tailwind post for you – at the best times every day.

In addition, Pinterest analytics can tell you which content is resonating with pinners. So you can make more of the kind people are interacting with, and make improvements to the ones that aren’t.

Tailwind does all this:

  • Schedules your posts
  • Posts at the best times for engagement
  • Discovers related content you can share
  • Connects you with pinners to share content in Tribes (I love Tailwind Tribes- it is a premium feature that gives you additional reach with Tribes boards)
  • Amplifies your reach
  • And you can measure your results in analytics!

Tailwind saves me valuable time so I can spend more time on other important tasks, like content creation.

PicMonkey

PicMonkey allows me to make amazing graphic designs for my blog and Pinterest account.  I also use it for making blog post headers, watermarks, Instagram photos, my logo, and so many other things I need a graphic design for.

With PicMonkey I can make my graphic designs easily:

  • I pick a pre-sized canvas or customizable template
  • I can add fonts, graphics, logos, and textures.
  • My designs are auto-saved to the PicMonkey hub for later.

Check out my Pinterest board at www.pinterest.com/mothernurselove to see how much I have been able to design with PicMonkey.

Click this link to sign-up for a free PicMonkey trial today!

Mailchimp

Mailchimp is a marketing automation platform that helps me share email and ad campaigns with my email list.   It took me a while to start my email list and I regret not starting my email list sooner!

Mailchimp is ideal for beginners who want to grow their lists and create campaigns because it is FREE until you have up to 2,000 total subscribers (at that point you have to pick a paid plan).

Amazon affiliates

Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular ways people can make money online.   It is a strategy that bloggers can use to earn a commission by promoting other people’s products.  For example, if I find a product or service I like, I can promote it to my readers and earn a small commission for the referral.

I really think that Amazon affiliates is the easiest platform for new bloggers to start using affiliate marketing.  Its the biggest affiliate program out there and you can find almost anything on Amazon.   (Read more about why Amazon is a great affiliate for new bloggers).

Trello

Trello is a collaboration tool that organizes your projects into boards. In one glance, you can look at everything you are working on and where you are in the process.

I am almost entirely paper-free (except for my EPIC blog editorial calendar).  Trello makes it very easy for me to keep ALL my to do lists organized, right from my phone or computer.  Best of all, if you start working with a Virtual Assistant or another blogger on a progect you can easily add contributors to your Trello account.

Unsplash

Need free stock photos?   Unsplash is a website dedicated to sharing royalty-free stock photography from over 100,000 contributing photographers.  I use Unsplash photos frequently for my Pinterest graphics and blog header photos.

As a brand new blogger you don’t need to be spending any money on stock photography.  However, as your blog grows you are going to want to look into paying a few dollars for your images (eventually you start to recognize the free photos from the stock photos because everyone else is using them too).

Upwork & Firver

Upwork and Frver are global freelancing platforms where you can hire people online who can help you grow your blog.   You can find a freelancer to do pretty much anything you want them to for your blog for a fee.

I just hired my first freelancer through Upwork recently and I was very happy with the affordable assistance I received with a few technical issues I was having on my blog.  It saved me hours!

Courses

As with any new business, you will need to invest a little money so you can learn the ropes from people who actually know what they are talking about.

Here are two blogging experts that I can, in good faith, recommend. (If you don’t believe me, look at their recommendations.  They are amazing!).

  • Building A Framework:  By Abby Lawson-  This was the first blogging course I ever took and it pretty much covers everything you need to know about setting up a blog from scratch.   It is easy to follow and highly actionable.
  • Nurse Blogging 101: Healthcare Media Academy –  If you are a nurse or other healthcare blogger, I highly recommend starting with this one.  Creators Brittany Wilson and Kati Kleber are both published, award-winning authors who are also considered the Godmothers in nurse blogging.  They are especially great because they go into more detail about patient privacy concerns and other considerations that healthcare bloggers need to be aware of.

I will keep adding to this list as I find additional recommended resources for new bloggers.  Good luck blogging and let me know if you have any questions!

Recommended Reading

9 Helpful Blogging Tips For New Bloggers

9 Helpful Blogging Tips For New Bloggers

This post contains affiliate links.  You can find my disclosure page here.

9 Helpful Blogging Tips For New Bloggers

Tip #1.  Use WordPress

Admittedly, I did not use WordPress when I was first starting my own blog.

Instead, I started with Squarespace (which is both easy to use and pretty, but not as good with SEO and has no plugin options).  Once I realized how limited I was with Squarespace I moved over to WordPress.  And I have been so much happier since.  It was a huge pain in the rear, it caused me a lot of unnecessary stress and I lost time I will never get back.

Here are a few reasons why WordPress is the way to go:

  • WordPress is beginner friendly:  you do NOT need coding knowledge to create a perfectly functioning website
  • WordPress themes and plugins give you almost unlimited flexibility:  Once you are more advanced with WordPress you are able to customize every aspect of your site as you see fit (or you can be like me and pay someone else to do it, the point being that you CAN customize your site more in the future).
  • WordPress helps you rank higher in search engines:  If your goal is high traffic to your site, then WordPress is the gold standard platform you need to be using.  Not only is WordPress already well-optimized for search engines, but there is an amazing plugin called Yoast SEO that helps me make sure my SEO is on point.
  • Support is available whenever you need it:  There is a WordPress support forum and a ton of online tutorials and courses

If you have not started your blog and want a step-by-step guide to setting up a WordPress blog on Bluehost check this out!  (I go into more detail about why you need a WordPress blog and why web-hosting with Bluehost is the best thing you can do as a new blogger.

Tip #2.  Find your niche.

In my very early beginner blogging days I had no focus and wrote about everything:  my favorite roasted pumpkin seed recipe, how limiting social media helps brain function, all aspects of motherhood, how to travel with toddlers, my nursing career, yoga, toddler foods….  you get the point.  I was pretty much all over the place.

Then a blogger friend said to me:  “You must find your niche.  Then, take your niche and niche it down even more.”  In essence, she was telling me to get really super specific about who my audience was going to be.

For example, if I just called myself a “nurse blogger” that doesn’t say very much about who I am or what my niche is about (except, of course, that I am one of 2.2 million other nurses in the US).  Its just too vague.

So, I refer to myself as a “nurse mom lifestyle blogger who helps other nurses take better care of themselves with an emphasis on self-care.”  I like to think of myself as a nurse mom advocate.  That sounds a little better, doesn’t it?

Having a specific niche increases your engagement with a very specific group and gives you the opportunity to be an expert in a small area.  You just cant be everything to everyone, and you cant be an expert at everything.

Tip #3.  Just keep writing

What do you do when you have been blogging for months and you’ve just run into your 20th roadblock?

What ever you do, don’t quit!

Here are a few reasons why you need to just keep writing (even when you feel like giving up):

  • Building something unique takes time.  Rome wasn’t built in a day and NO blog is an overnight success.
  • You are learning new (and valuable) skills.  There is a huge learning curve to blogging. As time goes by, you will learn lots more. Your writing will improve and you will start to build relationships with other bloggers.
  • You are closer to making money than you think (it sure is fun for me to see that I am making a little money every single day from something I created all on my own!)

Every single dollar you make through your blog was won entirely by your own efforts. You didn’t have to wait around for someone to employ you: instead, you created something valuable all on your own.

Even if you’re only making a couple of dollars a month, it’s something. And if you’re making nothing at all, it’s just a matter of time.

Tip #4.  Write about what you already know.

Don’t try and write about topics that you know nothing about.  This is one of the best tips for new bloggers who are trying to find their “voice.”

For example, if you are not already an expert in the kitchen, then you probably don’t want to compete with other food bloggers (that is a highly saturated niche already!).

You also don’t want to write a post called “My Top 10 Favorite Dinner Recipes That All Children Will Love!”  It would take you ten times longer to write recipe posts then it would for someone who is awesome at cooking and passionate about sharing recipes.  You will burnout as a blogger.  Fast.

Instead, think of what you are already an expert at and go from there.  What are you passionate about?

9 helpful tips for new bloggers

Tip #5.  Provide value

Quality content is king.  It is the ONE thing that keeps visitors coming back to your blog.

Strive to over-deliver on the value you provide with your blog.  Otherwise, why would anyone want (or need) to continue reading about what you say.

Quality writing is good, but are you giving your readers something that can be used to help them somehow in their daily lives?  Are you helping to answer a question about something they need to know about.  Its all about value.

Think about what phrases your readers would type into Google and then go from there.  Not only will it help you with SEO but it also helps you fill a void for a topic that a reader on the internet need answers to.

Here are a few good delivery methods to easily provide value to readers about a topic you already know a lot about:

  • Make a checklist for your readers
  • Create a resource guide
  • Use bullet points in you posts to easily separate points
  • Write an ebook

Tip #6.  Practice makes perfect

I have a secret that no one told me in my beginning months of blogging…

Your first 5 -10 posts might actually suck.  Really, bad actually.

In fact, I cringe when I look at my first blog posts.   Not only were they full of improperly constructed sentences, they had sneaky grammatical errors that my brain wasn’t used to sniffing out.  And they kept popping out even after 2 or 3 post revisions!

But, alas!  There is great news!  The more you blog, the better you get.  I promise!  Over time not only will your writing improve, but you also won’t spend a week writing and editing a single post.  You’ll get better, faster, more creative, more clever  and more confident each time you push “publish” on a new post.

Sometimes I go back and think what the heck was I thinking when I wrote that?  On a positive note it is great to see how far I have come in the blogging world.  Everybody has to start somewhere.

Tip #7.  Invest in courses

As with any new business, you will need to invest a little money so you can learn the ropes from people who actually know what they are talking about.  When deciding where to invest money, I highly recommend focusing on three things:

  • Invest in courses that will help you understand how to set up a functioning blog
  • Invest in learning that will (eventually) help you make money from your blog
  • Invest in courses that will help you simplify your life and blogging business

I am a blogger who has made friends with many other bloggers who happen to create GREAT courses.  Here are two blogging experts that I can, in good faith, recommend. (If you don’t believe me, look at their recommendations.  They are amazing!).

  • Building A Framework:  Abby Lawson  This was the first blogging course I ever took and it pretty much covers everything you need to know about setting up a blog from scratch.   It is easy to follow and highly actionable.
  • Nurse Blogging 101: Healthcare Media Academy –  If you are a nurse or other healthcare blogger, I highly recommend starting with this one.  Creators Brittany Wilson and Kati Kleber are both published, award-winning authors who are also considered the Godmothers in nurse blogging.  They are especially great because they go into more detail about patient privacy concerns and other considerations that healthcare bloggers need to be aware of.

Tip #8.  Quit doing other time wasting activities

Life is busy, but there are also a lot of distractions out there.  The number 1 biggest time waster of them all = social media!  I know  people who spend hours on Instagram every single day, yet they swear they are so busy that they never have time to get anything done!  I bet if you quit using social media for 1 week you would find that you are suddenly so much more productive.  And probably happier and living more in the present to boot!

If you are going to be a blogger you have to get really good at using your time wisely.  Be overprotective about your time.  My time is the most important asset I have and it is important to me.  As a result, I rarely use Instagram anymore.  Hopefully one day I will be able to source out a lot of my work (except content creation, of course), but until then I have a lot of work to do.  There is no time to waste.

This is an excellent tip for new bloggers, as well as anyone trying to find more time for more productive activities.

Tip #9.  Have fun.

Blogging is not always all work and no play.  Reach out and make other blogging friends.  Don’t take your writing too seriously.  Remember, blogging is a marathon, not a sprint.  You need to be in it for the long game in order to be successful.

Good luck and let me know if you have any questions!

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