When a man approached me in 2011, suggesting that I blog to document my dog’s adventures, I thought, “What is a blog?” So, I bought a book to teach me. The book, Gary Vaynerchuk’s Crush It!, became the treasure that inspired me to write about my passion; and I’m here today helping a friend’s university class to do the same.

“I have several students thinking about blogging for their final project. Are you willing to give any tips for a successful blog (both in terms of readership and profit)?”

Yes! And this skeleton outline is a great starting point!

1. Pick your passion. Just one subject matter. Create a list of 50 topics for blog articles. If you can do this, then it’s a good blog subject. It can be the weirdest subject in the world. I recall Gary stating that if you’re interested in the nutrition of ferrets, then others will be interested, too. A beginner blog is NOT a dear diary because nobody really cares about last night’s dinner or tomorrow’s exam except for maybe your friends. Your friends will be great readers, but friends do not a business make. The blog is your business.

2. Pick a catchy domain name. Buy it from GoDaddy.

3. Self-host. Buy server space from GoDaddy. This is important because you’ll want to own your content. And you’ll want to advertise immediately with Google AdSense. Hosting at free spaces like WordPress.com or Blogspot.com will create future need for transferring files and comments to self-hosted sites when you strike it big or want control. Hosting at free spaces disallows advertising. Hosting at free spaces limits your design capabilities. Advertise from the get go. Own it from the get go. Self-host.

4. Use a WordPress package as your blog’s platform. WordPress packages are the best. GoDaddy will help you to install a WordPress package onto your self-hosted site. Do not confuse the WordPress package with a free WordPress.com account. It does get VERY confusing, trust me. So just remember: You own your content. You do not blog at WordPress.com. Rather, you use a WordPress package at your self-hosted site. GoDaddy techs are so amazing, and they truly helped me to be successful in my blogging ventures.

5. Pick a WordPress theme within your self-hosted WordPress Dashboard. The theme is your blog’s face. It’s what your readers see. Many free themes exist, and I suggest using these in the beginning. Your vision might change as your blog develops, so that is why I recommend NOT investing in premium themes until you’re certain on look preference. But to have total design control, as I prefer, I suggest buying a theme from Themify. These professional themes can be customised by you. I’ve learnt so much about CSS and computer mumbo jumbo from working with their awesome tech support. They are amazing, and I use Themify at two of my blogs. I love having control over everything.

6. Install GoogleAdSense. Make some mula!

7. Start blogging! Publish every single day. Quantity over Quality at first. Nobody wants to read novels. Be brief. Specific. And compelling. As your blog grows, quantity and quality will shift places, and perhaps they’ll compete with one another.

8. GROW YOUR TRAFFIC. This will position you to sell advertising directly. Advertisers want to spend money with blogs that are widely read. To grow your traffic, read other blogs related to your subject matter. And comment. Comment Comment Comment! Drive traffic to your website by referencing your relevant blog articles. Be certain that your avatar links back to your blog. Comment Comment Comment!!! Be the first to comment. Others will see this. They’ll zoom directly to your blog. Comment Comment Comment!!!

9. Respond to every single comment offered at your blog. In real time. Install the WordPress app on your mobile so that you can reply from bed in the middle of the night when the comment notifications awaken you. Live and breathe your blog. Your blog is your business.

10. Buy and read Gary Vaynerchuk’s CrushIt.

11. Always be genuine. Blog with your heart and brain. Do some Yoga, and please subscribe to FindingMyYoga.com! :)

Good luck on your project, dear students! Your professor is awesome. Please offer feedback in the discussion section of this post. And for experienced bloggers, what do you suggest for the students?