The very first thing I wanted to do on this cliché website of mine was write a blueprint for success, based on my own story, that you could follow along with.
You’d be able to repeat the exact tactics I used to build a successful blog, knowing all of my thought processes along the way…
…but I realised very quickly that what I was creating (it’s lesson #0, linked below) wouldn’t be the most useful thing for people as a step-by-step guide.
It focused too much on unique insights, stories of where I went wrong and jokes (they’re definitely jokes I swear) about my virginity.
I still think that post is pretty fucking great, and I’m usually the best at being modest, it’s just not what I originally intended it to be.
With that in mind:
I’ve written a series of more focused (but still extremely detailed) guides, listed below, that should be perfect for helping you set up, grow and improve a successful site.
It could be a blog, an online store, or whatever else you have in mind.
I recommend you have a budget of at least $100 to start this — preferably a little more ($200-$300) — if you’re looking to make something successful.
If you have absolutely no money to put in then I’m sorry. Putting it bluntly, I probably can’t help you.
Most of what I talk about is extremely cheap to set up and cost-efficient to run (and obviously my lessons are all free) but you will have to buy certain things at certain stages.
Lesson zero is my story — the original intended blueprint — of how I started a small affiliate blog and it turned it into something relatively successful. I talk about the things I did well and, perhaps more importantly, my biggest mistakes, regrets and things that went wrong.
Lesson #1: How to Make a Website (for Dummies)
We gotta start with the basics. If you don’t know how to make a website, don’t fret. Setting up a WordPress site is the best and most efficient way you can do things in my opinion, and I’ll walk you through that simple process in this beginner-friendly guide.
Lesson #2: Choosing a Niche You Can Call Home
You can’t actually make your website without knowing what your niche is going to be, or what your brand is going to be called, or whether you even have an opportunity there…So what’s with this f’d up ordering, Luke? I just thought knowing how to create a site (& seeing how easy it is) was really important. You can return to the first lesson once you’ve gotten lessons 2-4 outta the way, OK?
I’ve said some pretty controversial things about branding and design before, notably in that huge 9,500-plus-word lesson zero. But for a variety of reasons, getting a name & feel that both you and your audience likes is important. Here’s how you can get it (mostly) right.
Lesson #4: How to Write Content that Engages & Converts
Did you know? Outside of online tutorials, I don’t write. I don’t read books. You don’t have to be a literary genius to put some words together that other people find helpful or interesting. In lesson four, we look at my top tips for killer content.
Lesson #5: SEO-ing Your Site to the Max
Yes, that title does effectively say ‘Search Engine Optimising-ing‘. So what? Lesson five looks at how you can set your site up — and do things off-site too — to bring in traffic without any effort. Did someone say earning money whilst you sleep? No? Oh. Well, they should have.
I didn’t think ‘Email Opt-In Tips’ was a very appealing lesson for you to want to read about, so I changed up the title a little and now you have no idea what you’re walking into.
Lesson #7: How to Tell the World About Your Website
Whilst SEO might be my bread-and-butter, and most of my other meals too, there are still plenty of other ways that you can (and should) spread the word about your site. Lesson seven looks at a range of popular and effective tactics.
Lesson #8: Analysing & Improving [Coming Soon]
Sometimes it’s not all about creating new things and marketing (although it mostly is at the start). There are probably a variety of opportunities you have for improving aspects of your site and I’ve tried to cover almost all of them in this final blueprint lesson.