One of my first entrepreneurial steps was starting my first blog. My creative urges had seen me dabble with websites before in basic html so I was amazed to find out just how easy it is with all the content management systems flying around these days.
I wanted to share with you my reasons for starting my first blog and a few of the lessons I learned along the way in the hope that you’ll learn from them too should you go down that route.
How it all began
I’m at an age where I’ve seen the internet grow up. From dial up connections and pictures loading row by row to 18 pop ups after every click on over optimised, keyword stuffed drivel designed solely to get you to click on an advert. Luckily for us though, the internet evolved and search engines are becoming more advanced and more conscientious and quality, valuable content is finally starting to shine through. (Not always, but it’s getting better).
I’ve always been in awe of the internet. It’s such a wonderful thing. It’s made the world a much smaller place where normal people like you and I can have truly global reach and endless opportunity. Back in 2010, laced with this awe and constant desire to create I set my sights on learning how to build a website.
But what subject should I choose and should I worry about it making any money? Where better to find out how than on the internet.
The problem though was 90% of the internet was (and still is) made up of sites trying to make a fast buck and search engines weren’t particularly concerned with trying to differentiate between the good and the chuff. The only websites that seemed to be making any money online were websites teaching people how to make money online.
Two Guys That Inspired Me
During my search, I did however stumble upon a couple of people that I could relate to. These people were easy going, they had a really positive outlook on life and they lived their lives by their rules in a way that they made seem achievable to everyone.
Obviously, that’s not the case, it takes a lot of time and dedication to build up the kind of online success that they were seeing. Dedication that most people just don’t have. These guys motivated me though (which was exactly what I needed) and I still follow them today.
The first is Yaro Starak. Yaro developed his online portfolio from his Mac Air laptop, working from home and traveling the world. His Entrepreneurs Journey blog ranges from great internet marketing advice to advice on developing yourself as a person to get the best out of life all drawn from his personal experiences. His online success comes from by having a real eye for what makes people tick and each blog post tells a remarkable story. On top of that he’s a really genuine, likeable guy.
The second is Michael Dunlop. Michael’s only 24 years old and has already achieved more online success than most people will in a lifetime. His runs a portfolio of websites including Income Diary and Retire At 21 and created the e-mail subscriber capture software Popup Domination which has become the industry standard amongst blogging professionals.
Michael’s posts are crammed full of great advice about how to make money online but what set him apart for me was that his posts where direct and to the point. There’s no fluff to pad out his work. All you get is information. (If you’ll like lists you’ll like Income Diary).
Yaro and Michael have very different blogging styles but the one thing that they have in common is that they don’t settle for second best. I follow them not only for the great advice they offer but to learn from the way they market and run their blogs and if you’re thinking of starting a blog yourself then I’d definitely recommend checking them out.
The biggest inspiration I’ve learned from these guys is that if something’s worth writing, it’s worth writing properly!
Why I Chose My Blog Subject
All the advice I’d read leading up to this point suggested choosing your blog topic based on something you enjoy, a hobby for instance. (Turns out that this isn’t strictly the best advice but more about that later…)
The main reason’s for this were:
- You will know your subject well so you’ll be able to create quality content
- You’ll enjoy writing about your subject
- You won’t get bored or disheartened
- You’ll be able to relate to your audience (because they’ll have similar interests)
I’m a football fanatic and I love playing the FIFA video game. It turns out I’m quite good at it too so it seemed like the ideal subject for me to get started. I had a quick search of the internet and although there were a couple of great, established sites out there (most notably FIFASoccerblog and Sweetpatch.tv) there was plenty of room for a site that focused more on FIFA tutorials so I decided to make UltimateFIFA.com, a blog that I still run today.
I decided to use WordPress to build my site and and set out getting getting the layout how I wanted it and and thinking of content that people might help people. I won’t go into detail about the process I went through to set up the blog here or the first things I did to attract visitors (I’ll save those for other posts). Rather I’ll share some of the important lessons I learned looking back.
After writing 3 important lessons I learned from starting my own blog I realised that this would be long old read so I’ve put them in their own post that you can read here.