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How To Make 2013 Your Best Blogging Year

written by John Chow on January 7, 2013

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You can look at 2013 as the same old same old, or you can look at it as an opportunity for a fresh. I do not believe in making new year’s resolutions. What I do like is making clearly defined goals and then creating a plan to get them. If one of your goals is to make 2013 your best blogging year, then taking the following actionable steps will help get you there.

Get Your Own Domain Name and Web Hosting

If you haven’t already done so, it’s time to give your blog its own domain name and get out of Blogspot or WordPress.com and into a professional web host. I am continually amazed at the number of emails I get from bloggers wanting to make the big bucks but aren’t even willing to pay for a domain name. I’m sorry, but it really does take money to make money. Fortunately, the costs of these items are so low that it shouldn’t even enter the equation.

From my personal experience, I can tell you that you should choose your domain name registar and web host very carefully. I do not have an official endorsement on where to purchase a domain name but I’ve heard good things about Name Cheap. Whatever service you use, you should stay away from GoDaddy at all cost.

John Chow dot Com is hosted by HostGator and content delivery is provided by MaxCDN. The two combinations create a blog that can handle virtually any amounts of traffic. Their services are top notch, and I highly recommend them. You can get 20% off your content delivery bill at MaxCDN when you use coupon code JohnChow. HostGator offers John Chow readers 25% off any hosting plan when you use coupon code JohnChow25. You can also get WordPress installed for free.

Your Blog Starts with The First Post

Do not be like 90% of the people who order a free WordPress installation from me. I did a random check on some of the blogs I’ve set up for others over the past 12 months and more than half of them still have the “Hello, World” as their only post.

Your blog starts when you make your first blog post, not when it’s first set up. If you think all you need to do is have me set up a blog for you and then the money will roll in, you are sadly mistaken. Yet, more than half the people who ordered a new blog won’t make a single blog post on it, and 90% will stop blogging after a month or two. This brings me to the next point.

Post On A Consistent Basis

Many new readers (and there are a 1000′s of them) come to my blog thinking it had always made a lot of money. The truth is, I started just like everyone else. For the first eight months of my blog’s life, it made zero income and barely cracked 1,000 page views per day.

If I were to nail down a key ingredient to blogging success, it would have to be a consistent posting habit. Most bloggers fail because they want instant gratification. They think, mistakenly, that blogging is a quick and easy way to get rich. When they first start, they’ll post like crazy for a few weeks, maybe even a few months. When nothing comes from it, they quit and become a statistic.

On again, off again blogging doesn’t work. The key is consistency. I averaged two posts per day for the first five years of the blog’s life, and there has never been a single day in the blog’s history when there wasn’t a new post to read. Even when I was in the hospital, the posting did not stop. It is this kind of consistency and commitment that will lead your blog to success in 2013. I highly recommend you choose a posting frequency and make a commitment to stick to it for the entire year. If you do that, amazing things will happen.

Have a Marketing Plan In Place

Way too many bloggers think making money from blogging is like the movie Field of Dreams, where Kevin Costner’s character was told, “If you build it, they will come.” You can build it, but if nobody knows about it, then they’re not coming!

It takes a lot more than good content to build a big blog. There are tons of smaller blogs that have better content than my blog. The reason they don’t get bigger is because they do little or no marketing. Marketing is what separates the big blogs from the small ones. If your blog is not where you want it to be, ask yourself what you’ve been doing to market it? Great content is only half the formula. You have to get your blog name out there. That means you have to create a marketing plan.

How do you plan to market your blog? If you don’t have the answer to that, then you need to sit down and work out a plan. The marketing plan should begin with the next item.

Start That Mailing List TODAY

You’ve heard me say many times that the money is in the list. Well, it really is! I cannot stress enough how important it is for a money-making blog to have a mailing list. The list is the foundation of my marketing plan and the number one reason my blog makes the income that it does. If your blog doesn’t have a list, then the first thing you need to do in 2013 is to start one.

My recommended mailing list solution is Aweber. They are the best in the business and have features that put them light-years ahead of the competition. Aweber offers a $1 trial account for all new customers. The account is just like a normal Aweber account and includes unlimited email campaigns, newsletter, broadcasts and follow ups. If for some amazing reason, you can’t make the $1 back, then making money online is clearly not for you. Send Aweber an email and they’ll refund your dollar.

$1 Aweber Offer

Tell Your Story

Blogging is all about forming relationships. There’s the relationship between you and the readers, and relationship between you and other blogs in your niche. Make a commitment to get to know them in 2013.

In addition to getting to know your readers, you should have your readers get to know you. If you haven’t done so yet, then make 2013 the year to create your about page and tell YOUR story. Where did you come from? What are your goals and dreams? Introduce some of your family members. This is the reason why you’ll see posts about me going to Disneyland with Sally or celebrating New Year’s Eve with the family. The more the readers know about you, the more they’ll connect with you and trust you.

Attend At Least One Industry Trade Show

If you have never attended a show like New Media Expo or Affiliate Summit, then make 2013 the year you attend at least one industry show. Not only will you learn a lot, but you’ll also meet many interesting people and form many new friendships that will help you down the road.

The sold out Affiliate Summit West starts this Sunday. I look forward to it every year. For many people attending, it will be a turning point in their online ventures. The fact that it happens at the start of the year is a major bonus as it can be the push they need to take their Internet business to the next level.

Be A Highly Effective Blogger

If you ever read the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, then you’ll know about the time quadrant. Basically, Every activity we do during the day can be put in one of four quadrants:

Answer this question: What one thing could you do in your personal and professional life that, if you did on a regular basis, would make a tremendous positive difference in your life? Chances are, whatever you name, it’s a Quadrant Two activity.

Quadrant Two is the heart of effective personal management. It deals with things that are important but not urgent, like building your blog, forming relationships, long-term financial planning, exercising – all those things we know we need to do, but seldom get around to doing because they are not urgent and can be put off until some other day. Well, we all know that someday never comes.

Don’t put off what you know you need to do just because it’s not urgent, and you can always get to it someday. For most, someday will turn into years or never. I know people who told me they were going to get into blogging seven years ago. I’m still waiting to see their blogs. The difference between a highly effective blogger and an ineffective one is the effective blogger knows blogging may not be urgent, but it’s important enough to get started and keep going.

Take Your Blog Seriously

Because a blog cost next to nothing to start, most bloggers don’t take it as seriously as they should. If you want your blog to advance beyond the hobby stage, you need to take it seriously and treat it like a real business. Don’t let 2013 be the year you’ll give blogging a “try” or make a half-hearted effort to start blogging again. Instead, make this year the year you take your blog to the next level because your blog is just as serious as a $100,000 “real” business.

I know many businesses that cost over $100K to start that makes nowhere close to what my blog makes. Yet, my blog was started for the cost of a $9.98 domain name. Very few normal businesses can be started for $9.98 and grow into a $500,000 operation in four years. But that is the power of blogging if you take it seriously and continue to work at it on a consistent basis. Treat your blog like you would treat a $100,000 business, and your entire blogging outlook will change.

The Biggest Obstacle Standing In Your Way

I get asked what’s the biggest obstacle standing in the way of blogging success a lot. The answer is not something most will want to hear.

It’s You.

When it all comes down to it, you are the only thing that is stopping you from achieving whatever it is your heart desires. Success is an attitude. It is not money, wealth or power. Take away the money of a successful person and he’ll have it all back and more in a few years. Give an unsuccessful person a million bucks and chances are he’ll lose it all in a few years. The difference is their attitude.

The unsuccessful person blames his misfortunes on outside factors – it’s the tax man’s fault, the economy sucks, Obama didn’t change a thing, prices are too high, my wife won’t let me, etc. He’ll blame everything else except the one thing that is truly keeping him down. The successful person doesn’t blame outside factors for failing. He accepts failure as a requirement for success and learns from it.

They say successful people think differently than unsuccessful people. That’s not entirely true. They don’t think differently, they think opposite. An unsuccessful person hates failure. A successful person welcomes failure. An unsuccessful person works hard for money. A successful person has money work hard for him. An unsuccessful person takes. A successful person gives. An unsuccessful person will let someone else write his paycheck and determine his net worth. A successful person writes his own paycheck and determines his own net worth. The list goes on, but the point is a successful person has an opposite attitude from an unsuccessful person.

If you want to be successful, the first thing you need to change is your attitude. If you have the attitude of an unsuccessful person, then no amount of reading, couching or training is going to make you successful. Once you change your attitude, things will open up for you.

At the end of the day, it’s not going to me or any other make money online blog that’s going to make you successful. You are the only one standing between where you are now and where you want to be. Stop blaming outside factors and start to take responsibility and change your attitude to that of a successful person. You are the problem, but you are also the solution. Success begins, and ends, with you. I look forward to reading your success story.

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{ 38 comments }

Tiffany Dow January 7, 2013 at 10:23 am

SUCH such such a great blog post today John! Weird, right before I came here, I hit publish on a post to help people with personalization.

My readers say they’re nervous or they feel like nobody would care about personal stuff. But take you for instance. If you did not have the video of you taking Sally to the park, I would see you as just another marketing guy.

Now? You’re a working dad who obviously cares about his family enormously. You’re less likely to risk your reputation and business to me than someone who isn’t putting himself out there.

Excellent – Tweeting this one right now.

Chimezirim Odimba January 7, 2013 at 10:50 am

I love the point you made that the only thing holding me or anyone else back is: You (Myself). NO one else can be held responsible for my failures. It’s the truth. People choose to watch TV all day long and then blame politicians for their woes.

I have set targets for myself. I know they won’t be easy. But it doesn’t matter after all, it all (success or failure) depends on me. Thanks for the inspirational words, John.

Eric January 7, 2013 at 11:04 am

This is spot on John!!! So many people out there making new year resolutions, wanting to change, get all excited and when push comes to shove all the have it a automitic “Hello, World” post!

I fully agree with us being our own biggest obstacles as well. I really apprecaite hearing some dead honest information here!

Soumen Siddhanta January 7, 2013 at 11:17 am

Excellent advice. Thanks a lot Mr. John!

Tony Nguyen January 7, 2013 at 11:30 am

Hey John, I am a writer and I am actually planning to start a blog about tips on some technology and gadgets stuffs. Basically, my blog will be about how to save money by doing some alternatives. I found this blog post, which can be a stepping stone to my goal. Maybe I won’t buy a domain, I’ll just use the free blogging sites out there. Thanks!

John Chow January 7, 2013 at 2:43 pm

I don’t get it. In my blog post, I said to get your own domain and hosting, and you said it great advice. But in your comment you say you won’t buy a domain or hosting?

faisal January 8, 2013 at 6:27 am

A domain is just $10, where can you register your business for that much?

Bris Truong January 11, 2013 at 6:09 am

Domain is one of many things as u must action before get first dollar. i think so marketing techniques is most imfortant.

faisal January 18, 2013 at 8:01 am

Yes but domain does not cost much and should be taken, rather than using free domain.

Michael Gorman January 14, 2013 at 6:19 am

I had the same reaction John, i had to reply to him to point this out…!
Cheers

Michael Gorman January 14, 2013 at 6:12 am

Hey Tony,
I copuld’t help but notice your reply; I would advise you to get a domain name and set up your blog rather than use the freebies-for the simple fact that people take domain based blogs more seriously, rightly or wrongly, also you have the sense of ownership using a domain name you have thought up and registered, I have been online since 1996 and this is my opinion-best of luck with it!

Adam January 7, 2013 at 11:31 am

Great post John, yet again. I am going to try and implement some of those things today.

crunchall January 7, 2013 at 11:41 am

Interesting and informativ post. I will listened your advice, and I will take my blog on next level!

Lyrics January 7, 2013 at 12:39 pm

Nice website !

Brian January 7, 2013 at 1:22 pm

Thanks John for the awesome post. I do agree with you on the fact that people, (I involved) need to take blogging as a serious business and not just a hobby. For what’s it’s worth, you set up my blog for me some time last year in mid March and since then I’ve to date published 199 posts and counting.
I’ve really learnt a lot about blogging and how to make money online over the past 10 months or so and I’m looking forward to a great and fulfilling year.

“For changes to be of any true value, they’ve got to be lasting and consistent”- Tony Robbins Quotes

Ugo Okonkwo January 7, 2013 at 2:22 pm

There was a story once about a man who gave free seminars on how to be successful. No one attended.

He started charging $2000 per ticket and guess what? His seminars sold out.

Blogging is cheap, easy and free to start so its taken for granted and not taken seriously.

John, why do you spend your time building websites for others when 50% of the time it will be a wasted effort. I don’t think I understand this.

John Chow January 7, 2013 at 2:41 pm

The free WordPress installation is one of the services I offer. Yes, half won’t do anything, but half does, so I can’t stop offering it and deny the half that will do it. It’s like Advertising. I know that half of my ad money is wasted. I just don’t know which half. :P

omar bilal January 7, 2013 at 2:53 pm

I love “Blogging with John Chow”, it is the best Training Course on the Internet Market by far!

Curt January 7, 2013 at 4:49 pm

This was an excellent post as it hits home for, as I am a beginner blogger, and I often ask myself the same question should I keep posting ??

Well at present my readership is small, and I trying to find that light at the end of the tunnel, and you hit it, consistency is the key. Many people tend to do the blogging not for the love of writing but for a quick check.

But I have found that the most successful bloggers not only identify there niche but they also have a passion to produce good quality content. The best bloggers also put themselves into there writing as well.

But also John when people start to blog they should also focus on content marketing which alot of newbies tend not to pay attention too.

adam January 7, 2013 at 5:32 pm

John, can you maybe offer me some advice on getting some traffic to my blog? I think i have great content but I’ll let you guys be the judge of that. So I just need exposure and traffic right now thanks:)

Freedom Jackson January 7, 2013 at 5:58 pm

Thanks for sharing John, This is a good guide to start the new year with.

January is a good time to review what you did last year.

The goal is to keep what worked and scrap what didn’t.

Hard to do that if you didn’t get started isn’t it?
…Hey I made a rhyme. :-]

George January 7, 2013 at 10:04 pm

Thank you john. Do one favor just one blog like this for the rest of the year please.

Peter Buzzard January 7, 2013 at 10:14 pm

Simply Excellent advice John – I fully agree with ALL of it. The ONLY thing I wonder about, Is HOW to find a subject that one can RELY on for total consistency of Posting ? One could, – for instance, use one of the many courses I have downoladed over time, to drip feed to your audience, but what to do after you have used up the prescribed 10 lessons, ( suitably edited to some degree by oneself) .It is NOT always easy to find ANOTHER similar product to “Follow On ” with – that is NOT repetitious. It is obviously MOST unwise to go off at a tangent and promote something distinctly different. How would YOU suggest one initially select an evergreen subject that COULD quite easily be maintained on a ongoing and practical basis ?

My lifelong career as an Engineer, to which I was absolutely dedicated, has NOT prepared me very well for the more mundane matters of life, that NORMAL people like to discuss. Is it – in fact, too late to teach an Old Dog – New tricks ?

Vikas January 7, 2013 at 10:28 pm

Now that’s going to be the year of bloggers.

Peter Buzzard January 7, 2013 at 11:00 pm

Hi again John

Right after I hit the “SUBMIT ” button on the above post, it has occurred to me to ask. How Important is it, in YOUR view, that one establish oneself as an expert in some form of goods or services that you wish to promote ? I DO realise that one can always grab a couple of books and read up on the subject that you are blogging about — but you wouldn’t become an expert overnight , – Not Really ! NOT quite ethical – is it ?

How well MIGHT one do – If they strictly maintained a high Post frequency, but kept it lighthearted and friendly – relating for instance, ones most interesting LIFE experiences in some of the dangerous HOTSPOTS of the world, where my Engineering assignments took me( I DO have a wealth of THOSE — and SOME — very funny ones too) Like when myself and a bunch of guys were working on a project in Borneo and we had a friendly Chimp for a house pet . All went fine – unti we Allowed him to drink and smoke and it sort of went downhill from THERE, as he used to regularly set the house on fire – when he got drunk – and got a bit NASTY if his vices were curtailed (so to speak) I will leave out the rest for now. One could then just quietly promote various products that one actually HAD evaluated and thought that they MIGHT be helpfull to your audience. The Soft Sell – how MIGHT THAT go – in your opinion ?

sapna January 8, 2013 at 12:44 am

HI John

Today I’m late on your post, and I really liked your idea of making 2013 the year for blogging. My only concern is why you want to throw Godaddy out of the window, I’m asking you because my blog is on Godaddy and after reading your post I dont know what to do next?

If you can please clarify, I will be oblidged.

SAPNA

Peter January 8, 2013 at 12:51 am

John, I’m inspired and excited. I’m one of those guys that spent the entire 2012 poking around on this idea of making money online, but never really got started. My biggest obstacle and still is today is that… I have no idea what to blog about. I work at the church full time as an associate pastor, and only thing I could think of that could be on my blog is my sermon notes and bible study curriculums that I make on weekly basis. With the income I make from church, I definitely need another stream of income and blogging seems very idea. Any tips or advises would be greatly appreciated. Thanks and God bless.

zool January 8, 2013 at 1:13 am

Great info john.. some of newbie think they could earn money without hard work.. It is wrong.

Lewis Saka January 8, 2013 at 1:51 am

“The Biggest Obstacle Standing In Your Way – You”. This hit home big time!

rohan sharma January 8, 2013 at 6:01 am

thx for info…

Marbella apartments January 8, 2013 at 7:27 am

You should always strive to have your own domain so no one else can steal it or copy it and then kill your blog.

Big Apple Dreaming January 8, 2013 at 12:43 pm

I just started my blog and I’m trying to do my best. I hope this year will be really good for me as a blogger…

Bris Truong January 9, 2013 at 4:33 am

i think so making money with blogging is not easy working as you talk,

Jon Mcdonald January 9, 2013 at 4:05 pm

Great post John, I find the best thing you can do is to be patient, things don’t happen over night. It takes time to get noticed and most people starting out give up to easy.

John Paul Cayao January 9, 2013 at 7:55 pm

I like this post you enlighten me Mr. John Chow :) i will take my blog seriously from now on. God bless us all.

Glenn January 10, 2013 at 4:35 pm

A brilliant post with some great advice there John! I certainly intend to make 2013 MY blogging year! Thanks :-)

arindam January 15, 2013 at 11:53 am

I started my new blog. And now started following your method after reading all inspiring articles from Tiff.

Arindam
My blog : arindamchattopadhyay.com

Work From The Internet January 24, 2013 at 10:55 am

I really like this post John thanks for the great information. You pointed out the essentials necessary to success blogging. I am looking forward to good things in 2013 and wish the same to you as well!