If you haven’t learned those things yet, then you may want to go take a quick look at that lesson, because you NEED a solid foundation to build upon.
But, once that’s taken care of, the next step is to get started by building some basic parts of your business.
A.K.A. The fun part! Well, kind of… The REAL “fun part” is making money, but who doesn’t like starting new projects?
This lesson will cover the fundamentals of becoming a successful content marketer by teaching you things like:
These are all VERY important, but most people just kind of skip over parts of the process, only to have to go back and worry about them later.
That’s exactly what I did when I first started, and you don’t want to make the same mistakes I made.
Choosing a niche can be one of the more important aspects of your content marketing journey.
While you theoretically CAN become successful with a broad niche, it helps a lot to have things really streamlined and consistent.
I’ve literally had people refuse to cooperate with me because my first blog was “too all over the place”.
Plus, one of the biggest advantages of sticking to a specific topic, is that all of your time researching is directly relevant to everything you’re doing.
Here’s a video from Neil Patel that gives some tips about choosing a niche:
I can promise you right now, it’s extremely difficult to create engaging content around a niche that you don’t personally enjoy.
Honestly, it’s extremely difficult even if you’re really passionate about a niche, BUT your passion will help you get through a lot of the barriers you’ll face.
I have an almost obsessive desire to help people have better lives, so it makes sense for me to try to teach people how to be their own bosses and how to make money.
I’ve tried other things, like making content around Nerf Blasters, but at the end of the day, I kept trying to find ways to tell people how to make money with it, instead of focusing on the Nerf Blasters…
So I don’t focus on that anymore, I focus on this. It’s quite simple.
If you don’t know what you’re passionate about, try these things:
I didn’t know that I wanted to be a blogger.
I didn’t know I wanted to help people for a living.
But when I started trying new things I realized all I wanted to do was learn cool things, and try to use that knowledge to help people.
Whether I was playing video games and donating a bunch of items to people, or learning about business and rambling on and on to my friends, I was always trying to help them learn.
Find what makes you happy and DO IT.
About a year ago, my brother posted a picture of a cereal box that had something funny written on it.
I don’t remember what it said, but what stuck out to me was something that taught me about the importance of a solid brand.
Without EVER eating that type of cereal, without being able to see the cereal, OR read the name of the company or type of cereal, I knew exactly what it was.
It was an orange box, with yellow writing that was outlined in black.
Just from that alone, I knew it was Reese’s Puffs cereal…
THAT’s the power of having a strong brand, and you want to aim for that.
You aren’t going to get it right immediately… It’ll take you a while to get to the point where your branding is on that kind of level, BUT you have to start somewhere.
There are some things you can do to improve your brand, like make a nice logo, have consistent design elements across your channels, and all kinds of other things, but there’s a bit more than that to a brand.
This video explains it the best way I’ve ever seen:
I can’t possibly tell you everything you need to know about branding in one lesson of a course that’s designed to get you started, so it’s going to have to be something you work on over time, BUT every company has to do it.
Apple didn’t just design a logo and release a product and that’s it… they have had to consistently work on their brand and adjust it until it was as perfect as possible, and this has been going on for decades.
Starting Your First Website
Luckily, technology these days is REALLY amazing and starting a website is something anyone can do now.
You don’t have to know how to code, although it can help, but most of us don’t know anything about coding, and that’s okay.
Don’t worry if you feel a little overwhelmed by the idea of starting a website, I got you covered.
I’ll break it down into a few easy steps that anyone can do.
These steps are:
Once again, DON’T WORRY if you feel overwhelmed. This is normal.
You aren’t going to magically know how to design your site without ever seeing it done, but it’s VERY easy, and I’ll guide you through it.
Purchasing Web Hosting
Don’t get fooled by the online “web builders” that claim to give you a “Free” site.
Very little is free in this world, and those companies just want to give you a free site that won’t fit your needs, that way they can charge you for services that you need.
It’s pretty much better in every way to just get your own webhosting (I use Siteground hosting, personally) and use the .org (NOT .com) version of the WordPress CMS (Content Management System).
There are countless resources on the internet backing me up on this, so feel free to double check, and here’s a GREAT Youtube video about it from a guy named Shaun Marrs, who is a really fantastic and honest Youtuber in the “blogging” niche:
Making A WordPress Site On Siteground
This is going to guide you through setting up web hosting and getting your wordpress site set up on Siteground hosting.
It’s the only host I use now, so I can’t show you how to set up other hosting, so if you want another host you’ll have to figure that out yourself.
Just try to avoid Bluehost or hosts ran by EIG. The only people recommending those are people who are trying to get big commissions from you… So beware if that.
Anyway, here’s how to set up Siteground hosting so you can get your website up and running.
Step 1: Signing up for Siteground hosting
First, click here to go to the Siteground website.
Once there, select “Managed WordPress Hosting”. This costs the same amount as regular hosting, but it’s specifically setup for WordPress users.
If you plan on creating an e-commerce store on your site, you can choose “Woocommerce Hosting” instead and still follow along with this guide, but we won’t be showing you how to setup the Woocommerce feature.
Luckily, that is all done once your site is actually made and there are plenty of guides for setting it up.
The next screen is where you choose your hosting plan. If you’re serious about making money you should pick the “GrowBig” plan because it allows you to host multiple sites, and it allows you to have more traffic, but if you aren’t sure you want to commit just choose the “StartUp” plan.
Don’t bother with the “GoGeek” plan. You can upgrade to it later on once your traffic is high enough, but for now it’s not worth the money.
Step 2: Choosing a domain name
Once you have picked your hosting plan, it’s time to pick your website’s domain name. This is the URL people type in to visit your website and the URL they see when they find you in a search engine.
As I said earlier, make sure you spend some time trying to pick a good domain name. Here’s a video from Wes Mcdowell that should help you with some tips on choosing a domain name:
If you haven’t registered a domain name before, select “Register a new domain”.
Step 3: Finish account creation
Once you have chosen the domain you want to use, review your order and finish creating your account. This is where you’ll enter billing information and pay Siteground.
Step 4: Installing WordPress
Now that you have your hosting plan setup, it’s time to start setting up your website with WordPress.
Siteground makes it really easy and all you have to do is click on the “Set up site” button, then select “Start New Website”, then choose WordPress from the list of applications and enter the email address you want to use as your website administrator along with a password.
This login info will allow you to access the admin panel for your website itself, which is different than accessing your Siteground hosting account.
Siteground may ask you if you want to install some other optional features like themes and a few other services. If you see anything you like, select it and their installer will automatically prepare everything for you.
Step 5: Activating HTTPS to secure your site
When you are done, click on “Manage Site”. This will bring you to the Siteground Dashboard, and this is where you’ll enable SSL encryption to secure your site.
Click on the “Security” tab on the left hand side of the Siteground dashboard, then click “SSL Manager”. Select the SSL certificate you want to use and click “Get”.
Once your SSL certificate has been set up, click the “HTTPS Enforce” button on the left hand side of your screen and activate the HTTPS Enforce option.
Step 6: Setting up free custom email addresses
One amazing thing about Siteground hosting is the ability to set up free custom email addresses.
Some providers will charge you extra, but you can create them whenever you want with just a few clicks if you choose Siteground hosting.
All you have to do is click “Email” then “Accounts” and enter the custom email address you want and a password.
Once you click on the “Create” button, you’re done. It’s THAT easy.
Step 7: Accessing your site's admin dashboard
Now that your HTTPS and custom email addresses have been setup and activated, it’s time to head over to your new website’s admin panel. To do this, click on the “Dashboard” button on the left side of your screen, then select “App Manager”
Inside the Siteground App Manager you will see your website’s name, and in the bottom right hand corner will be a button that will bring you to your website’s admin panel.
Step 8: Picking a wordpress theme
Now that you’re in your admin panel, it’s time to pick a theme so you can get your website finished and start posting actual content.
Themes are an easy way to make a fancy looking website without having any coding experience. Coders have already made a TON of themes for you to choose from, and there are a bunch of wonderful themes you can use for free.
The theme you use affects the loading speed of your website, so it’s a good idea to do a little research about the different themes, but here’s a small list of ones we suggest using:
- Neve – Fast and simple. This is the theme this site was made with. It’s not the fanciest theme in the world, but I really like it.
- OceanWp – This theme is really amazing for making great looking websites, but some of thee extra features can slow your site down a little. Overall it’s a great theme.
- GeneratePress – Very basic theme but it’s fast and is easy to understand.
To select a theme, click on the “Appearance” button on the left side of your website’s admin panel. Then click “Add New” to see the list of themes available.
There ARE some really amazing premium themes you can use, but they cost money and I haven’t messed with any of them, so I can’t really give you any advice on that.
The way I see it, for simple blogs you don’t really need to pay for anything fancy, but if you’re trying to make a really fancy tech blog, gaming blog, or anything REALLY visual, you may want to purchase something that’s a bit more interactive than the free themes, but it’s up to you.
Step 9: Choosing plugins
Once you have a theme selected, you can start installing plugins, which are basically programs that add different features to your site or help you manage your site. Be careful though because adding a bunch of plugins can slow your site down and make it more vulnerable to hackers, so don’t just download every single plugin.
Here’s a list of plugins that I think are amazing:
- Elementor Page Builder – This plugin allows you to easily edit your posts to look more visually appealing. I like it so much I even use the paid version, which adds in a bunch of useful widgets. (I don’t use the paid version on this site, I use it on a different site, they charge more for using it on multiple sites.)
- Easy Table of Contents – This plugin allows you to add a nice table of contents with just a couple clicks. This is great if you have long articles.
- Autoptimize – This plugin helps you compress images and speeds up your site.
- Redirection – If you have to manage any redirects, this plugin makes it really easy. Siteground also has a really easy way to set up redirects from their page, but I like having access to redirects from my website admin panel, so I love Redirection.
Step 10: Customizing your website look
Congrats! You’ve just set up the shell of your first website, and you’re almost ready to start making content!
All you have left is to customize things like the typography, menus, site logo, favicon, and other things that make your site “unique”.
The process to do all of that is going to be a little different, depending on your theme, so you’ll have to play with it a little bit, but to get to get started with that stuff just go to “Appearance” and select “Customize”.
That will bring you to the menu where you can change how your website is displayed, and after you have it looking how you want you can get started making content.
Creating Content For Your New Website
This part of of the process is going to be covered in the next lesson, simply because it requires a LOT of explaining.
In fact, a person could easily make a whole course specifically about content creation, but I’ll break it down for you so you can get started.
The next lesson will include topics like:
Thank you so much, and I’ll see you in the next lesson!
Lesson 3 - Content Marketing 101: Content Creation Guide
This lesson teaches you about the different types of content, creating high-quality content, and getting organic traffic to your content through Search Engine Optimization.