How to build a successful blog and YouTube channel (in less time than you think)

Laptop writing WordPress blog [Source: pxhere]

So you want to create a wildly successful blog and YouTube channel within the next week?

And you want a ton of followers.  Followers who rabidly love and share all of your content, right?

You, and a horde of other dreamers.

The fact is that it rarely happens.

Over the past five+ years, I’ve built a successful blog and two popular YouTube channels.  And it didn’t happen overnight.  But here’s what it took: 

  • Setting a goal
  • Commitment to achieving a plan
  • Leveraging my skills and continually learning new ones to make it happen.

Sure, I struggled at times.  But, as my good friend reminded me, “The juice is worth the squeeze.”

So are you committed and ready to create a website and YouTube channel that rakes in lots of traffic?

If so, today I’m giving you a step-by-step process to do it yourself.  

Pick a potentially profitable niche

Before you do anything, I want you to focus on the following.  Why?  Because it could save you a ton of time and frustration – and starting bringing you income sooner.

Ask yourself the following before creating a website/blog or starting a YouTube channel: 

  • What topic or niche are you interested in?  
  • What do you want to learn more about and why?
  • What are your goals? Examples: number of visitors/views, subscribers, email sign-ups, engagement, etc.

It’s also essential to pick a niche with enough demand to help fuel your future growth.  

You also must develop an intense curiosity and purpose.  This will carry you through the inevitable ups and downs.  

And don’t worry about “being original.”  Steal like an artist.  As they say, “The best way to learn is to teach.”

Of course, you’ll inevitably have competition.  That’s a good thing.  It means your audience is passionate and willing to pay for solutions.  

Here’s a good rule of thumb: see what your competition is doing and just try to make it better/more useful.  Ask yourself:  

  • What are they missing?  
  • Can you more clearly explain a topic they’ve covered?  
  • Can you go deeper or make it more entertaining?

The skills you have and the skills you need

Next, assess your current skill sets.  Do you already have video editing experience?  Have you written before?  Neither?  If you’ve written before, or have no experience, start a blog first.  

If you have video editing experience, starting a YouTube channel might work best. 

The good news is, whatever you choose first, building a successful blog and YouTube channel requires many of the same skills.  Skills like…

  • Scripting/writing to capture attention and deliver great content.
  • Structuring and organizing content.
  • Keyword research, SEO optimization, and analytics

But remember, you want to grow one at a time, not both at once.  Because your focus is everything when achieving blog/YouTube lift off! 

Which blogging platform is right for you?

You have so many options when creating a website/blog.  There are website builders like Wix, Squarespace, and many others, which make it easy.  The problem is, they cost more.  And the fewer overhead costs you when beginning, the better.

I recommend going with WordPress because it’s free.  I use it, too.  And don’t worry if you don’t know how to create a WordPress website.  There are plenty of helpful tutorials out there to help you. 

With WordPress, you also get access to a ton of free plug-ins like Yoast SEO to help you hit the ground running.  Plus, your site is fully customizable (website builders restrict you).

Next, find a cheap web host to keep costs down.  Pick a simple,  easy-to-remember name.  Remember, clarity in every aspect of your business radically increases your chances of success.

Going with WordPress plus a cheap host is the way to go.  Choosing this option puts you in the driver’s seat for growing your blog, and monetizing it later.

Creating and delivering valuable content to your audience

Camera recording youtube channel
[Source: pxhere]

You want a become an authority in your niche, right?  Writing well and delivering helpful, practical content to your audience gives you an edge.  That’s the only way to climb the success mountain.

Then make sure your post/video is hitting the SEO checkboxes (more on that later). But before that, here are some actionable tips to make your content stand out:  

  • Know your audience and their problems.  Investigate competitors and take note of topics, structure, and jargon.  Also, check out forums (ex. Reddit) where they hang out.  Notice their vocabulary and phrasing and use it in your content.  
  • Respect your audience’s time.  Be laser-focused in getting to the point and providing practical value.  No tangents.  Remember, there is an infinite sea of content they could be consuming.  
  • Develop a “hook” to capture attention and get people consuming.  Invoke curiosity.
  • Use humor, stories, quotes, questions to engage your audience.
  • Always have one (just one!) call-to-action (CTA) somewhere in your content.  Do you want them to share, subscribe, email sign-up, buy through an affiliate link, etc?  
  • Focus first on getting better, not the competition.
  • Don’t ever plagiarize, and always attribute sources. 
  • Build an audience first, then monetize.

If you consistently do this, you’re one step closer to fulfilling your potential as a successful blogger/YouTuber.

Lead magnets – providing helpful free content to further your relationship

Lead magnets are a popular tactic websites/blogs use to give visitors free value (an ebook, pdf, product trial) in exchange for their email address.

Got some insights your not seeing anywhere?  Or, can you take information already out there and filter it through your experience?  Create a free lead magnet that entices visitors to sign up for your list.  Present it as a pop up once they’re on your site.  Give them a taste of the solutions you offer.  Just make sure it’s worth the read!

This will help build your email list and increase your likeability, familiarity, and trustworthiness.  Why is this important?  People buy more from people and brands they know, like, and trust.  Don’t you?  

Getting SEO right makes it easier

Earlier, we touched on the importance of SEO when creating a website/blog and.  Here are some simple, actionable tips to put you ahead of the 94% of blogs that don’t get shared:

  • Use a free keyword research tool like Keywords Everywhere.  Zero in on keywords that have a high search volume with little competition. 
  • Use specific targeted niche keywords in your blog/video titles.  Use keywords appropriately throughout the post.   
  • Incentivize (what will they get?) your audience to totally consume your content item.  This boosts your rankings. 
  • Create an ideal user experience in all that you do.  Is your page easy to view and navigate?
  • Link to your previous relevant posts and other highly-ranked external links.
  • Analyze your data and tweak content if needed.  WordPress and Youtube make it easy. 

Of course, there’s more to the SEO game.  But this is enough to help get you started, and then the next level of visitors, views, and fans.

Getting your content production organized and systematized 

Produce a month’s worth of content (4-5 pieces) before you launch the site or YouTube channel.  

This will give you room to be creative and come up with more ideas.  Your future self will thank you when your content becomes more clear, concise, and helpful.  

It will also help you avoid burnout, which kills your chances of ever succeeding.    

You’ll also want to create and maintain a content calendar.  Aiming for one blog/video a week is a good start.  Just be careful when setting frequency/quantity expectations for your audience.  

At the same time, frequency/consistency plus engagement is key to ranking higher in search results on Google/YouTube.

Specific YouTube channel building tips

Sure, building a thriving blog and YouTube channel use similar skills.  But shooting and editing videos is another beast.  

The good news: there’s plenty of free, easy-to-use video editing software on the market.

And the not-so-fun news: like other skills, there’s a learning curve to video editing – especially if you’re trying to create high quality, super-polished videos.  Also, it’s time-consuming. 

You may experience frustration that makes you question the idea in the first place.  But recalling your purpose can help you transcend the valleys and keep marching uphill.

That said, here are my top tips for building a

  • Reread the content and SEO tips above.
  • Know that your first videos will look and sound terrible.  You might be camera-shy.  Even if that’s the case, push through.
  • Again, focus on getting better with each video.  Worry about the competition later. 
  • Get cheap equipment (microphones) and shoot on your phone if you have to.  You can always find a used HD-cam online.  But remember to keep overhead low.  Get better equipment later. 
  • Shoot in natural light when possible.
  • Use bright, eye-catching colors in every video’s thumbnail and the video itself.
  • Be yourself and be on camera.  There’s a reason some of the biggest YouTube channels are personality-driven. 
  • Once you gain a following, branch out and try more unique ideas.
  • Cross-promote other videos, “By the way, if you like (x), then check out (y)!”
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help and be transparent.  Say something like, “The more you like and subscribe, the more free content I can create for you!”
  • The first 24 hours of commenting and liking are crucial to your rankings.

You can expect to see rewarding results if you take action on these tips.  But don’t forget to continue learning and experimenting!

Analyze Your Data

Computer analyzing blog traffic [Source: pxhere]

Analyzing your data is a surefire way to get to know your audience. 

Questions to consider: 

  • How many views are you getting?  
  • How long is your average view?  
  • What are your viewer demographics?  

Luckily, YouTube Analytics has all that information and more built into the platform.  Use it to figure out what works and what doesn’t.  

Now you have what you need to get started

Everything I laid out today can help you build both an income-generating blog and YouTube channel in due time.  

Again, remember, this will take time, effort, and dedication.  This is not a get-rich-quick scheme.  It’s a roadmap to creating the life you want – by learning and teaching something you are passionate about.

I wish you well on your path to success!

Dale McManus

Hey, I'm Dale! I've helped tens of thousands of people just like you from around the world create beautiful blog, portfolio, and business websites with our easy to follow guides and tutorials over at CreateAProWebsite.com.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.