I had already read some basics, decided my strongest "talent" (such as it is) lay in writing, and on a $0 dollar budget opted to start a blog in an evergreen niche that I'm both knowledgeable and interested in. Its a competitive niche, but even jumping into one that's competitive I figure the learning experience will be well worth the time spent in it, and can later channel this experience (and the knowledge gained) into potentially more profitable niches. In other words, I took the leap and am learning on the way. That was 7 days ago.
What I've done since:
- created unique content on my blog. I'm averaging one good article per day so far, which isn't much, but I'm tackling the steep IM learning curve while writing the content (and no, my niche is not IM related in anyway as I'm hardly qualified to go there).
- tweaked the layout here and there to make it more easy on the eyes and professional looking. And, in a similar vein, added things like a copyright notice and privacy page.
- added an affiliate. I chose Amazon as my first (and so far only) as I wasn't thrilled with what Clickbank offered for my niche, and its not Adsense ready yet.
- created an Answers account on Yahoo which I brought to level 2 so I could promote my page with a clickable link (I put this only in the "sources" field so as to avoid any appearance of spamming). This also keeps me in touch with my market, provides me some ideas for future articles, and creates a kind of "database" of my own content written there as articles, which I can later tap into and spin as content on my own site. I'll add that I put some thought and effort into my answers - I don't necessarily write multiple paragraphs, however I do write the answer with the goal of it being chosen "best answer."
- created an account on a well-trafficked forum that is related to my niche, allows blog/site linking, and also has a submission page for member blogs (a separate PR2 page), as a way to further promote my site.
- began hand-building back links from other blogs, with Do Follow enabled, using the free version of G-Lock Blog Finder. As these are hand built, I'm focusing on higher PR blogs that are related to my niche (ideally both, otherwise in that order of preference for now).
That's the brunt of my effort to date. Things to do still: add a list building widget, improve my on site SEO (my biggest knowledge gap/weakness), and spin my content to submit to article directories. Probably many other things as well, but those are the ones I've identified as priorities (while continuing to develop unique content).
I've seen a lot of references here to the easy derailment by the "bright shiny things" phenomena, so I intend to focus first on building this one site and learning as much as I can as I go, before I later consider other niches and sites.
BTW, I know I've used "blog" and "site" interchangeably - this is due to the fact that although it IS a blog (easiest to launch for one such as I whose biggest weakness is the technical stuff), I've managed to make it resemble more of a static type website, and look less "bloggish."
Comments/feedback/critique welcome. As an admitted newbie I hope you'll go easy on me though.