Tuesday, August 17, 2021

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Create a successful blog by creating a business

I created this blog to prove to myself that anyone can make money online.

My story is pretty universal: I worked for many years, got disillusioned with the daily grind and became obsessed with freeing up my time so that I could do the things that matter.

It took me a long time to start a blog and that’s because I always thought I didn’t have enough technical knowledge or know-how to start. All whilst watching the blogging landscape evolve into the sophisticated publishing landscape it is today.

I’m going to let you into a secret: I started this blog myself without technical know-how or writing a single line of code. 

Also, I had zero know-how about blogging and stumbled many times but I did have one weapon in my armoury: a willingness to learn.

But if it’s so easy to set up a website why do more than 95% of blogs fail in their first year? There are 3 simple reasons:

Failure reason 1: Your not monetising your blog

Money matters. It’s that simple.

  Let’s get over any taboos and just be honest. It’s the most truthful way to value the integrity of your blog; after all if someone is willing to make a purchase or buy a product recommended by you than it shows your CAT levels (Content, Authority and Trust) are extremely good.

 If you’re not making money with your blog you need to revise your approach. And the best way to do this? Become a company or brand affiliate and start marketing products relating to your niche. 

 Affiliate marketing is hands-down the best way to make money online because you can select almost any products that complements the content you are creating.

  Check out my Beginners Guide to Affiliate Marketing below. It’s free and will teach you everything you need to know.

Failure reason 2: You’re following your passion

This is out-dated advice. Don’t listen to it.

  I know exactly what you’re thinking because I fell into this trap when I started this blog. At first I wanted to write about meditation and yoga because they can change you’re life in a positive way and can be a great way to stay physically and mentally fit, so I came up with the name liveinthebeat.com meaning to experience the present moment more mindfully.  

 But I’m neither an expert yogi or a meditation master, so realistically speaking who wants to read about my passions and interests when I don’t have that particular expertise. 

 The world is full of passionate people but no one searches for passionate people on Google: they want useful information relating to their search intent that helps them to achieve a very specific goal and solve a problem. 

 I decided to pivot my blog to making money outside of the traditional 9 to 5 and starting an online blog because these are things I already do. Both have freed up my time and allowed me to live more presently, or in-the-beat, so it works as far as my blog identity goes.

 I’m not saying you shouldn’t blog about yoga or meditation; but don’t be afraid to pivot to something new if you realise it’s a better fit for your experience and there’s more chance of you meeting that user intent.

 And don’t forget to make sure that you’ve got a clear monetisation strategy in place and your focus is on providing your expertise as a solution and creating a profitable business rather than simply focussing on your passion.

Failure reason 3: Your not creating a business

When you start your blog you must focus on creating a business from day one.  Think about every single company you’ve ever worked in.

 I’ve worked in some of the biggest media and cultural agencies in the world, including the BBC and the British Council, and they know a thing or two about building audiences.

My experiences taught me that all successful businesses are focussed on one thing above all others: creating a highly engaged audience.

 They all have a laser-like focus on knowing their audiences inside out and creating the perfect product or service that meets the needs of those audiences. They pay consultants millions of dollars to help develop their visions, services and products – all to better serve, entertain or inform the people who make up their own unique audience.

 Companies are obsessed with this goal. And that’s what your blog should aim to do. 

To create a successful blog in 2021 you need to focus on building your audience

On this page you will find EVERYTHING you need to create a successful blog in four clear stages that will help breakdown the journey you’re about to start.

I will teach you a practical approach to blogging that will help you to treat your blog like a business, build your personal online education, increase your affiliate knowledge and passive income and burn rubber on the road to more… well… traffic! 

Click on the links below to jump to a specific section or work your way through the entire page. Everything below follows the step by step process which covers all essential principles you need to master in order to create a successful blog.

The Four Key Stages Of Successful Blogging
+ the ultimate blogging toolkit


  • Stage 1: learn how to start a blog
  • Stage 2: choose the right hosting
  • Stage 3: buy the best courses and always keep learning
  • Stage 4: build your audience and monetise

1. Get Started

The Ultimate how-to-start-a-blog guide ▶︎

Starting your bog is probably the easiest part of your journey and you don’t need to know how to code.

  My FREE Guide will walk you through every part of the process step by step:

2. Take out the right hosting 

GreenGeeks is my go-to web host for new bloggers but there’s hundreds of different hosts out there.  

Don’t get too hung up on choosing the right host; they essentially provide the same product. If you sign up with GreenGeeks you’ll get a free domain, free nightly backups and a 30 day money back guarantee.

I use GreenGeeks because of their amazingly responsive customer service; their willingness to help with my ignorance in IT and their commitment to reducing carbon in the atmosphere (they actively suck carbon from the environment!).

When you sign up using my affiliate link you’ll get hosting from $2.49 per month down from $10.95 – a huge discount of 77%.

3. Buy the best courses and always keep learning

Setting up your blog is very cheap to do, after all hosting costs are not going to break the bank, but when it comes to your personal knowledge it’s essential you make the right investments.

Your focus needs to stay on building a business and, just like any other business, you need to invest in yourself to make it succeed.

These are the courses that helped me get started. All of the information in these course is available online for free, what you are paying for is the time that these course tutors have spent collating that info and presenting it in a way that makes sense. If you try and figure everything out for yourself it will take forever and probably cost you more in the long run.

Do not be afraid to invest in yourself – when it comes to blogging, you are your greatest asset.

I believe these four courses are the best in class for covering setting up your blog framework, a complete guide to SEO, mastering Pinterest and implementing affiliate marketing which I see as the four stages in setting up a successful blog. 

The individuals who created these courses are experts in their fields, so you are learning from the best. Don’t try to do all these courses at once because you’ll get overwhelmed. Complete them in the numbered course order because as that’s aligned with the four stages you’ll go through in creating a successful, money-making blog.

COURSE 1: The Blog Simple Framework is the most comprehensive course library about blogging online. With 13 courses it covers a lot of strategies for blog success. It’s not cheap but it goes beyond just the tools; it’s also about the mindset and the psychology of a successful blog. 

Need more info? Read my Complete Review or click on the button below to get started.

COURSE 2: I really enjoyed Mike’s course: Stupid Simple SEO because it gave me the insight to analyse my niche, see what’s already working and apply those strategies to my blog. Mike explains things in such a simple way that really embodies the course name!

Check out my Complete Review or click on the button below to sign up and get started.

COURSE 3: Carly’s no-nonsense Pinteresting Strategies course will bring you up to speed on Pinterest, including all the latest algorithm changes in 2021 plus the best pinning strategies so that you take advantage of this ultimate source of FREE TRAFFIC and explode your blog audience.

Check out my Complete Review of Carly’s course or click on the button below to get started.

COURSE 4: What I love about Michelle’s course is that she is direct! No messing about. This is the complete guide to Affiliate Marketing and Michelle speaks my language. 

I already knew a bit about Affiliate Marketing but this course gave me more ‘know-how’ to develop a proper strategy. Here’s my In-Depth Review – check it out or click below to get started. 

4. Build your audience and monetise 

When it comes to blogging this is the stage that you should focus most of your energy and effort on.  There are so many voices online competing for your time, attention and money and most of it is based on outdated advice such as ‘follow your passion’ instead of building a business by meeting the Google Algorithm head on and creating content that matches user intent. I will break it down and strip it back to the core foundations that will help push your blog to the next level.

▶︎ My Best Blogging Guides ▶︎

Blogging can seem a little daunting at first. If you work through my Free Guide on How To Start A Blog and use the guides below as references you’ll break it down into manageable steps and cover all bases from building your audience, keyword research, content writing, affiliate marketing and monetisation. 


Truthfully you can set up your blog very cheaply using incredible value hosting from GreenGeeks and following all the free guidance right here. But if you want to set yourself apart then it pays to take advantage of some of the tools below. 

Using free stock images means thousands of other bloggers will be doing the same. License images for your site, or better yet use your own images.

For better photos and thousands of cost effective, high quality blog-ready images Deposit Photos is simply the best value archive online.

Newspaper is an incredibly lightweight theme designed with speed in mind (unlike many other drag and drop themes).

Please don’t spend a fortune on your theme. Use this lightweight flexible theme for a phenomenal one-off price of $59 – it can’t be beaten for quality and value. Get the world’s best theme and design any style of blog you want with Newspaper.

Canva is amazing. Period. It’s like photoshop, but easy. Don’t get me wrong I love photoshop, but I always have to watch a YouTube tutorial every-time I use it just to figure it out.

With Canva logos and graphics are easy, and it’s FREE!

If you want the advanced options, its $99 a year. I started with the free version but soon upgraded to the pro version. Totally worth it.

Grammarly is a world leader in grammar correction.

And if you’re anything like me (i.e. a terrible proof-reader!) it’s the perfect solution to my lazy grammar.

They have a free option, but if you need help with fluency or, in my case, waffling, the premium version is a great tool.

 At $11 per month it’s great value. Sign up below. 


Depending on the type of blog you create your going to need all the right tech. You might be working on a food or photography blog, in which case a decent SLR camera is worth investing in.

If you’re creating a travel blog you should have the latest smartphone so that you get the most powerful smartphone camera going for all your travel pics and you can simultaneously blog-on-the-go and keep all your socials up to date.

Check the specs before you buy and make sure you only get the tech that’s right for you. 

eco phone case

iphone 12

macbook pro

Nikon dslr