Do you have a remarkable website? Think you need one for your business?
Consider this—by the beginning of 2020 there will be close to 2 billion websites on the Internet. What makes your website stand out? Is it your web design, your social media strategy, your focus on Google search, or that everything you write is great content that people love to share. Hint: the last one is the most important.
The purpose of this course is to provide you with a robust guide on how to set up a successful blog. Mind you, it’s not as easy as installing WordPress and a WordPress theme, turning your thoughts into posts, and then suddenly having search engines love you. It takes planning and effort.
How to Build Your Remarkable Blog
New bloggers, established bloggers, and those seeking to make money from their blog will benefit from the know-how shared by Dr. Sarah Ballantyne and David Schmeltzle in this course on How to Build a Remarkable Blog.
We’ve helped hundreds of bloggers through this process…we know you got this and can do it too.
We want you to be informed about the best way to start blogging. We know your first blog can be a success. If you have been working on your blog full-time, we know the hard work that goes into that.
We want you to grow your audience to leverage marketing funnels.
We want you to segment your customers to better align your content with the products and services they seek.
This course is more than blogging for money. It’s about how to start blogging successfully, how to build a community—a brand that resonates with people, how to sustain your passion as you grow, and how to gain financial freedom and independence.
Summary of Course Lessons
Lesson 1 – Building the Best Website
In designing and building a new website, website creators tend to mistakenly think that the aesthetics of the site are what’s going to be their silver bullet. A pleasant color palette, slick menu options, ecommerce features, chatbots for customer support, and responsive design are all lovely, but none are nearly as effective in creating a popular website and winning the hearts and minds of your target audience as high-quality, brand-building content. In addition to high-quality content, page speed and schema markup are also key. These three elements make up what we define as the three pillars of a remarkable website.
Lesson 2 – Start with Building a Brand
Regardless of your motivation for launching a blog, it’s important to understand from the get-go that you aren’t just creating a website…you’re building a brand! In this lesson, we’ll discuss how to get started building your brand: insights from Dr. Sarah Ballantyne’s personal experience, the differences between a personal and company brand, and how to define your brand: goals, message, product, boundaries (aka your “lane”), audience, voice, naming, look and feel, and more. You should have your brand really well figured out by the time you are finished the thought exercises in this lesson.
Lesson 3 – Stake Your Internet Claim
Launching a website is a very exciting project. While it can be a bit complicated, it’s not as daunting of a task as you may think, it just requires some careful thought. When considering names, the most important things are consistency, simplicity, and memorability. In this lesson, we discuss the key topics involved in staking your internet claim: securing a domain name, choosing a platform to build your website, and choosing your social media platforms and handles.
Lesson 4 – Create Remarkable Content
High-quality content that speaks from a place of authenticity and taps into the wants, needs, problems, and questions of your audience is the most important part of a successful blog. And in order to communicate your brand’s message and engage your growing audience, you need to regularly create, post, and share this high-quality content on your blog, on your associated social media channels, and to your email list. This lesson breaks down creating content for your blog and social media, as well as how to take a strategic approach to content.
Lesson 5 – Website Layout and Design
Deciding on your website layout and design elements is an essential task you’ll want to dedicate a serious chunk of time and effort to in order to produce a remarkable website. Design is not all about looks. It also impacts page speed and user experience—two of your primary concerns for anyone visiting your blog. In this lesson, we’ll look at specifics like the importance of navigation and menus, how to best utilize sidebars (or if you should use them at all), when and how to use CTAs and callouts, and best practices for using stock photos and image sizes.
Lesson 6 – Website Data and Tracking
The importance of tracking key website metrics cannot be overstated. How else can you know what’s working (and what isn’t)? In this lesson, we focus in particular on traffic, why it’s important, and what can affect it. Some of supporting the key concepts that we’ll dig into are Google algorithm updates, bounce rate—what can cause it to be high and how to remedy it—why you should refresh (and then track) your content, and tools for tracking and fixing errors on your site (Google Analytics and Google Search Console).
Lesson 7 – Website Best Practices
If you are serious about growing your blog and using it to make money, it’s important to understand the best practices for maintaining it. This includes everything from proper heading usage, keeping a consistent voice through your content, including and checking all links, knowing how to handle thin and duplicate content, showing EAT (expertise, authority, and trust), and having a secure site. We discuss the core guidelines you’ll want to follow to create and maintain SEO-friendly, engaging, high-quality content.
Lesson 8 – Social Media Audience Building
The truth is that awesome content is not enough to magnetically attract hoards of people to your website, nor to encourage those people to buy your products and those you recommend. You need a community of dedicated followers who are loyal to your brand, identify with your message, value your content, and engage in grass-roots marketing by sharing your content across all platforms. So, how do you build this engaged audience? That’s the question we’ll answer in this lesson.
Lesson 9 – Building an Email List
An email list is one of your most valuable assets as a blogger, so the sooner you begin to build an email following, the better. Aside from your blog, email is the primary way you are going to communicate with your audience, and you can get really granular with what messages you are sending to specific groups of people within your list with tagging, segmentation, and drip campaigns. This lesson covers list management, how to get people to sign up, and how to create content for your list.
Lesson 10 – Audience Expansion Techniques
Once your audience reaches a certain size, continued growth can be challenging without tapping into some advanced audience expansion techniques. The early you familiarize yourself with these techniques, the better. These can include guest posting on other well-known, related influencers blogs, doing podcast interviews, speaking at live events, establishing (and showing) yourself as an authority, and running ads. Some of these might fit your brand and your areas of strength better than others, and by defining all these avenues, you’ll have a blueprint of where to start.
Lesson 11 – Monetization
Financial freedom is the ultimate goal when you decide to make your blog your main source of income. This can look different for everyone. Whether your financial goal is to simply recoup your blogging expenses or to create a thriving multi-million-dollar business out of your blog, or anything in between, this is where you finally get to capitalize on all of your efforts. This lesson details a wide variety of monetization strategies, including selling other people’s products, display advertisements, creating something to sell, advanced monetization techniques, customer service, as well as tracking everything with quarterly audits.
Lesson 12 – Funnels
A funnel is a marketing concept that illustrates the customer journey from one point to another. Funnels can be delivered by email, pop-up, landing page, Facebook post, or ad. Really smart funnels use audience segmentation and reinforce on all your marketing platforms. This lesson delves into how funnels work, when you’d use one, the various stages of a funnel, and funnel design for different platforms.
Lesson 13 – Turn Your Blog into a Business
Once your blog begins making money, you make the transition from burgeoning brand to business! This means it’s time to start getting your legal ducks in a row, build a team, and take that step from blogger to entrepreneur! This lesson walks you through the basic steps, and we’ll share some useful resources and personal insights, the importance of a good lawyer and CPA, things to consider before you hire, and how to build a great team.