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What would you do with an extra $120,000 per month?
It sounds like an off the wall question, but Pat Flynn earns more than that every month with his blog, Smart Passive Income. How does he do it?
He certainly doesn’t use trade secrets or magic bullets. And he’s not just lucky, either.
Running a blog that makes six figures every month takes time. And whether you want a small side hustle or a blog that replaces your 9-5, that time’s going to pass anyway.
So, you might as well start now. Right?
We’ve launched hundreds of blogs over the years as a team, and we’ve nailed the process down to a science. So, if you don’t know how to start a blog, you’re in luck. And you’re in the right place.
Pat Flynn’s success story started at the beginning, and yours does too.
Before you can start blogging, you need a website hosting company. There are several web hosting services to choose from. But we highly recommend Bluehost for most users.
It offers a unique ratio of affordability to comprehensive services. Plus, with Bluehost, you get access to features like:
- Free domain name
- 24/7 customer service (great for beginners)
- Unlimited storage space
- Automatic site backups
- Extremely competitive prices
The last feature is perhaps the most important one. If you want to start with one website, you can go with the Basic plan, which starts at $2.95 per month for your initial contract period.
Bluehost is also known for its seamless integration with WordPress, the most popular blogging platform. It’s free, open-source, and incredibly flexible once you know how to use it.
Now, let’s talk about how to buy hosting services.
Step 1: Go the the Bluehost website
Go to Bluehost.com and click the green “get started” button.
Step 2: Choose your plan
Bluehost offers four hosting plans, including:
- Basic — $2.95 per month (perfect for most users)
- Plus — $5.45 per month
- Choice Plus — $5.45 per month
- Pro — $13.95 per month
These introductory prices change from time to time, so keep that in mind.
For most users, the Basic plan is more than enough. And you can upgrade to a better plan later on down the road.
Step 3: Choose a domain name
Now you’ll need to connect your domain name. This is where your blog lives on the internet. Our domain name is crazyegg.com.
If you already have a website, you can enter it here.
If you don’t have a domain name, you can register a new one with Bluehost for free for the first year. Simply enter the domain name you want to use to start the registration process.
You can also skip this step and come back to it later, which is nice if you’re not sure what name to go with just yet.
Step 4: Create your account
Next, Bluehost needs to know your personal information. This is just to let them know who’s creating the account and how to get in touch with you if they need to.
After that, you’ll fill out your payment details.
Step 5: Choose hosting add-ons
Bluehost offers additional add-ons for your new website. These are optional features like Sitelock security and domain privacy.
Some of these features are nice to have but aren’t necessary if you need to keep the cost down.
Step 6: Click “submit” and you’re done
After you fill everything out, click the “submit” button to complete the signup process. You should now have an email from Bluehost confirming your new account
If you don’t have a domain name, buying one is the next step. However, if you do have one and you configured it in step three, you can jump straight to installing WordPress on your domain.
2. Buy a Domain on Bluehost
Once you have a Bluehost account, you can easily buy a domain name. This is where your blog lives on the internet.
Step 1: Login through the Bluehost control panel
Go to the control panel. Since you already have an account, enter your login details here.
Step 2: Click “domains” on the left side of the control panel
You’ll find “domains” on the left side of your screen.
Step 3: Search your desired domain to make sure it’s available
Run a search to make sure the domain you want isn’t already taken.
Step 4: Add your domain to your cart
For demonstration purposes, we searched “awesomeblogtomakemoney.” Bluehost returned results letting us know all the options available, along with some alternative domain names to consider.
If the domain you want is available, add it to your cart by clicking the green shopping cart icon to the right of the domain name.
Once the domain you want is added to your cart, a window displaying your cart will open on the right side of your screen. Click “next.”
Step 5: Review the registration details and click “add to cart”
In this step, Bluehost asks you a few questions, including whether you want to add domain privacy and if you’d like your domain to renew automatically. When you’re done, click “add to cart.”
Step 6: Enter payment info and complete your purchase
You’re almost there!
If you already have your payment information in your account, all you need to do is confirm it. If you want to add a new credit card or another payment method, you can add that as well.
When you’re all set, confirm your purchase and click “process order” to buy your domain.
3. Install WordPress
Now that you have a domain and web hosting, you’re ready to set up your blog. There are several platforms you can use, but WordPress is the most popular and user-friendly.
It also features excellent support, so you can get answers from experts when you need to troubleshoot.
Fortunately, the WordPress installation process through Bluehost is very easy. Here’s what you need to know.
Step 1: Log in to your Bluehost account
By now you should be pretty familiar with your Bluehost dashboard. So, log into your account and find “My Sites” on the left side of your screen.
Step 2: Click “create site”
This will take you to a new page with the option to create a site. Click “create site.”
Step 3: Fill in your website information
Now, you need to enter some basic information about your website. Fill out the “site name” and “site tagline” and then click “next.” Don’t worry about this too much. You can always change it later on.
Step 4: Select your domain name
At this point, you should already have a domain name. So all you need to do is open the domain drop-down menu and choose the correct domain.
Step 5: Click “next” to install WordPress
Once you click “next” the Bluehost auto-installer automatically installs WordPress on the domain you chose.
Next, there’s a confirmation page letting you know that WordPress installed successfully. Click “login to WordPress” to prepare for the next step in setting up your blog.
Once you’ve installed WordPress, you can log in to your blog through your domain. To do this, you’ll need to go to your login URL, which will look like this:
From here, enter your username and password. When you’re ready to move to the next step, make sure you log in to your WordPress account.
4. Get a Free or Low-Cost Theme
Now you’re ready to install a theme. This is what gives your blog personality and a specific look.
Think of WordPress as a blank slate — with four white walls and no carpeting — and your theme as the wallpaper, paint, carpet, furniture, and decorations.
Without a theme, your WordPress blog looks pretty bare. Fortunately, there are hundreds of free themes. You can also purchase a premade or semi-custom theme without breaking the bank.
Alternatively, you can browse the Marketplace inside Bluehost to find a selection of themes. Go to your main account page and click “Marketplace” on the menu on the left side of the screen. Then click “WordPress Themes.”
This will take you to a list of themes with a variety of price points. You can click “live preview” to see how each theme looks in a live environment.
However, you don’t have to limit yourself to Bluehost’s offerings. There are numerous places to find free and low-cost WordPress themes. In fact, part of the fun of launching a WordPress blog is finding the perfect theme.
If your budget is tight, it’s perfectly okay to start out with a free theme. To find lists of free themes to browse, just google “best free WordPress themes.”
This turns up dozens of lists with links to themes you can install without paying a penny.
If you want something more customized, you can also check out some affordable themes offered by talented WordPress developers. For example, Theme Forest offers thousands of WordPress themes for as little as $2.
You can filter results to find a theme that fits the mood and content featured on your blog.
5. Configure Your Site
After you install your theme, it’s a good idea to configure it to suit your needs. This means customizing your settings and installing plugins to add features that make your site more attractive to your readers.
You can compare WordPress plugins to apps on a smartphone. Not everyone needs or wants the same apps. But, you can install the apps that improve your user experience and make your phone more useful.
With 50,000+ free and paid plugins available, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by WordPress plugins, so don’t feel bad about going slowly with them.
Think about plugins that give your blog the features you need without getting too fancy. Maybe you want to add a contact form so readers can get in touch with you. Or you might want to link your Instagram photo gallery to your blog so visitors get a glimpse into your everyday life.
Here are my top WordPress plugin recommendations for new blogs:
- WPForms – This is a basic contact form that lets readers reach out to you. There’s a free version and a paid pro version.
- MonsterInsights – This plugin connects your blog to Google Analytics so you can track how many people visit your site, how long they stay on specific pages, and where your traffic comes from.
- Yoast SEO – Yoast SEO is a plugin that helps you optimize your blog for search engines so people can find your site.
- Akismet Anti-Spam – If you plan on blogging, an anti-spam plugin is a must. As soon as you hit “publish” on a blog post, you can expect spam to follow in short order. Akismet Anti-Spam offers both a free and paid version to help keep your blog spam-free, so your blog posts don’t get clogged up with spammy comments and bogus links.
- Smush – Content may be king, but images are also an important part of blogging. Unfortunately, optimizing images can be a tedious process, especially if you’re not design-savvy. The Smush plugin optimizes and compresses images for you, so they look their best on your blog.
6. Start Writing
Your blog is set up, WordPress is installed, and you have a killer theme and some must-have plugins that pull everything together. Now you’re ready to start blogging.
This is perhaps the most important step.
Why? The reality is that most blogs fail. The top reason? Most bloggers write once or twice, fail to see traffic, and then give up.
The truth is, like any side hustle, blogging is hard work. Success takes effort as well as regular commitment — especially if your goal is to make money from your blog.
On the other hand, you don’t have to be the best writer in the world to be successful. Instead, you need to focus on two things: (1) providing value, and (2) solving problems.
This is exactly what Marcus Sheridan did with his swimming pool installation and maintenance blog — the most visited blog of its kind in the world.
Admittedly, swimming pool installation isn’t the sexiest topic on the planet, and if you’re wondering how on earth a blog like that becomes successful, you’re not alone.
Sheridan has been the subject of numerous content marketing case studies, and his story is a fascinating one.
Facing the collapse of his business, Sheridan knew he had to do something to generate new business.
Without a big marketing budget, the easiest and fastest way to get eyeballs on his website was to start answering some of the most commonly asked questions he’d received from customers over the years.
In short, he started blogging. Sheridan isn’t a professional writer, but he is an expert on swimming pools. By blogging about a subject he knew inside and out, he was able to offer his site visitors value.
He gave his knowledge away for free.
But he was also solving problems. When a homeowner has a problem with their pool, they’re likely to try fixing it on their own before calling a costly repair service. So when Sheridan started blogging answers to FAQs, he drove traffic to his site.
In fact, according to Sheridan, just one blog post — an article about how much it costs to install a fiberglass pool — generated $2.5 million in income for his business.
More than 10 years after he started blogging, Sheridan says he no longer considers his business a pool business. Rather, his main business is content marketing. He generates sales by continuing to blog on a regular basis, about two to three times a week.
Sheridan’s story demonstrates the importance of regular blogging. In addition to consistency, it’s also critical to offer readers value. What are you knowledgeable about? What kind of expertise can you share with the world?
This is what your blog should focus on.
7. Make Money
Once you start adding content, you can monetize your blog. There are several ways to do this, including freelancing, Google Ads, and affiliate marketing.
If you’re just starting out, you probably want to start making money right away. Depending on your area of expertise, you can offer freelance services that generate extra income.
This strategy works well for certain professions, such as writing, web design, and graphic design.
For example, a web designer can add a portfolio page to their site and then create blog content around design. Some potential blog topics might include:
- 10 Design Elements Your Website Needs
- How to Make Your Website Stand Out
- Colors that Make People Visit Your Website
- How to Create a Website for $100 or Less
- 5 Reasons Your Business Needs a Website
By creating valuable and problem-solving content, a web designer, writer, or graphic designer can draw visitors to their site and offer a pitch at the same time.
If you go this route, include links to your services page in the body of your blog posts, and then add a call to action at the end so readers know how to purchase your services.
You can also generate income by adding advertisements to your blog. One of the easiest ways to do this is by adding Google AdSense to your blog.
This allows you to sell space on your blog to advertisers. And when visitors click on those ads, you make money.
To get started, sign up for an AdSense account. To make it easier, you can use your existing Gmail account to sign up. From there, you have to wait for AdSense to approve you.
Note that your website should be at least six months old before you apply to AdSense. Otherwise, Google will probably reject your application.
When you get approved, your next step is to log in to AdSense and retrieve your ad code. Then, install it on your website.
AdSense gives you the option to place ads on your site manually or you can opt-in to auto ads. If you choose the automated option, Google places ads for you.
The first method gives you more control over ad size and placement, but the auto option is good for beginners who aren’t comfortable dealing with code.
Affiliate marketing is similar to running AdSense on your blog, except you earn a commission on sales generated by visitors clicking on a product link on your site.
There are several methods for making affiliate marketing work, but Amazon Associates is one of the most popular. It’s easy to use, and Amazon sells just about anything you can think of.
However, you don’t necessarily want to sprinkle a bunch of random product affiliate links on your blog.
Why? If they lack a connection to the subjects you typically post about, you’ll probably just end up confusing (and maybe even annoying) your readers.
To avoid this, feature affiliate links that make sense based on the things you blog about.
When you get more familiar with affiliate marketing, you can branch out to other affiliate marketing opportunities, including links for services. These are things like email hosting, webinars, and content marketing.
For example, if you’re a freelance writer, you might want to write blog posts about how to optimize sales writing for search engine optimization (SEO). This is a perfect opportunity to monetize your posts by becoming a BeRush affiliate.
BeRush is the affiliate marketing program for SEMRush, a leading internet marketing and visibility management platform. By signing up with BeRush as an affiliate marketer, you could earn a 40 percent commission on any sales your site generates.
The Key to Successful Blogging
Congrats! If you’ve followed the steps above, that means you successfully started your blog.
The key to generating success (and income) however lies in two important things:
- Community. As you write and publish, you need to keep in mind who you’re writing and publishing for. It’s not enough to send your words out there. You also need to make sure that you have a dedicated audience of readers who are hungry for what you write.
After all, a blog without readers (and income) is just a hobby. If you want to generate income, you need traffic. So always ask yourself: Am I doing everything I can for my community? Am I engaging them enough with my content?
- Writing, writing, and more writing. You need to write consistently and often if you want to succeed in blogging. Your writing should also be high-quality too. That means making sure that your facts are correct and the grammar is mostly legible.
The best part about blogging is that if your writing is good then people will come to you. From a handful of loyal readers, you can start scaling and finding more and more who will be willing to buy your products, or click on your affiliate links. It all begins with writing though.
Start Making Money from Your Blog Today
Blogging is a low-cost way to start earning extra cash right away. If you’re willing to come up with a regular posting schedule, you can set up a blog in minutes and start earning immediately.
They want to cancel their subscription? OK I don’t need them!
You are building a product and you put your hurt and soul into it. You’re rewriting the details, crafting perfect pixel design, generating leads, ads campaigns, cold outreach, and publishing on all channels.
You present a perfect demo, onboard a new subscriber, and then he churns.
At that point you get mad and start making excuses:
- “they don’t understand the product”
- “they were using it wrong anyway”
- “their business sucks”
- “I don’t need them”
But honestly, YOU DO.
I went through the same process but eventually realized that:
A subscriber that wants to cancel the service actually tells me a lot about how the product can grow.
Once you reveal churn hidden opportunities, you can take action to prevent churn and make your way to the holy grail of negative churn.
It makes sense – positive growth depends on having CAC/LTV metric, it’s as simple as that. You are already spending a lot of greens on CAC but how much are you spending to increase LTV?
Let’s say you have 1,000 subscribers paying $10 monthly subscription = $10,000 monthly revenue.
Assume your monthly churn rate is 6% so the next month you will have 940 paid subscribers and $9,400 in revenue, and the month after that – 883 paid subscribers and $8,830 in revenue.
If you run the calculation until the end of the year, you will see that on month 12 your monthly revenue is $4,760. Let’s see what happens to your LTV if you lower your churn rate from 6% to 1%: In the first month you will have the same $10,000, but at the end of the year your revenue will be $8,860.
Your LTV went from $4.76 to $8.86 -> that’s a 86% increase!
The article is written with love by me, the founder of Churndler.
Your analytics should tell you everything.
Tools like Google Analytics are incredibly valuable for businesses. Once you’re setup, you’ll have everything you need to analyze your performance data properly. Instead, many companies have realized that their analytics tools have introduced a lot of unexpected problems.
They’re not getting the kind of value they need.
That’s the good news. Most companies think their data is clean; that they’re making good decisions with the data they have. Most of these companies are wrong; they just don’t know it yet. This is why companies need analytics consulting. They don’t know what they don’t know.
Today, I’ll show you how to find the right analytics consultant for your business.
4 Ways an Analytics Consultant Can Help Grow Your Business
Many companies make the wrong assumptions. Using a tool like Google Analytics, clients think all they have to do is drop the tracking code into their web pages, log into their account, and begin analyzing their data. It sounds easy, but it often isn’t.
There’s more to it than that.
This is why you need an analytics consultant. With the right consultant, you’ll have the education you need to grow your business. You’ll be able to pull insights out of your data using a variety of methods. Each of these strategies is important because they have a cumulative effect on your business.
Here are four ways analytics consulting can help you grow your business.
1. Exclude spam traffic via bots, scrapers, and spiders
How much of your traffic comes from real visitors? How much of it comes from bots, scrapers, and spiders? According to Imperva, almost half of all internet traffic is non-human. In 2014, Google introduced an obscure setting that enables you to filter out bots and spiders listed in IAB’s Interactional Spiders and Bots list. This low-key setting is buried in Google Analytics, but it’s incredibly important; many small businesses still aren’t aware of this setting.
You’ll also need help to filter out referral spam.
Referral spam is basically fake website hits; these bots, scrapers, and spiders land in your site. Site owners send their spam to your site. They hope you’ll see these referrals in your Google Analytics account, clickthrough, and visit their site.
This junk traffic poisons your data.
It gives you false readings based on inaccurate data. Your site may be more or less profitable, depending on your visits-to-spam ratio on your site. This isn’t something many businesses watch for in their analytics reports.
A good analytics consultant will consistently filter the variations of spam traffic (e.g., direct spam traffic, referral spam traffic, etc.) out of your reports, so you get a clear picture of your marketing performance.
2. Help you analyze your data properly
A lot of companies don’t know how to analyze their data properly. According to Forrester, between 60 and 73 percent of a company’s analytics data goes unused. Companies collect lots of data on customer activity, but they aren’t using it, why?
There are lots of reasons.
- Companies don’t know what they have
- Companies aren’t aware of the value of their data
- They don’t know how to evaluate or analyze their data
- Their data isn’t available to those who can use it
- There’s too much data to go through and not enough time to use it
Think about it.
Right now, your company has valuable data about your customers. This is data you can use to attract more customers, lower expenses, grow faster, jump ahead of competitors, etc.
If you’re unaware of the data, you can’t use it.
A good analytics consultant will help you analyze your data properly, showing you what you have and how you can use it to grow your business.
3. Identify the list of problems you’re trying to fix
Your data isn’t as valuable without context.
If you know the problem you’re trying to solve, you have a pretty good idea of the answers you’re looking for in your data.
That’s the problem though.
A lot of companies treat their analytics tools as a technology issue. They focus their attention on the obvious issues like hardware or software. They rarely treat their analytics as a question and answer tool. That’s exactly what it is, though.
Target had the right idea when they started their analysis with a problem/question.
Remember the story?
“If we wanted to figure out if a customer is pregnant, even if she didn’t want us to know, can you do that?” It’s a creepy story that shows the power of questions and problems. A great analytics consultant will help you discover the issues you’re trying to solve and the questions that need answers.
4. Focus your attention on the metrics that explain why
Analytics tells you what happened — what visitors did when they arrived on your site, the ads they responded to, what they read most often, etc. It doesn’t tell you why visitors do the things they do. Understanding what is important, but it’s more important to understand why something happens.
Focusing on the right metrics is the answer.
The right analytics consultant will help you answer the “what” — basically looking in the rearview mirror. But they’ll also help you look ahead; They’ll dig deeper, showing you the why behind visitor and customer behaviors.
Your analytics consultant should provide you with the education and support you need to squeeze more value out of your data.
How to Get Started With an Analytics Consultant
Avinash Kaushik has a three-step framework he uses to help analytics consultants support their clients. He calls it Data Capture. Data Reporting. Data Analysis. The nice part about this framework is the fact that it’s easy for both clients and consultants.
Consultants can use each of these buckets to analyze your goals, objectives, and the results they want to accomplish with each.
You’re basically goal setting with this framework.
Here’s a closer look at each of these three buckets and the goals for each of these.
- Data Capture: Work in this bucket is focused on audits or updating data capture methods (e.g., updating, editing, or customizing tags). This step is especially important because it determines the quality of what comes afterward. If you’ve done a good job with your data capture methods, you’ll have accurate data and reporting you can use for your analysis.
- Data Reporting: Your consultant sets up the reports you need on the intervals required. Your consultants help you identify the reports you’ll need, and they provide you with the reports you need regularly.
- Data Analysis: This is what Avinash calls an open-ended assignment, but it’s one you’ve provided to your consultant. You’re asking them to answer specific questions for you — your consultant should be able to show you what to measure, what your data is saying, what to do based on your data, and why you should do it.
Here’s what this means for you.
You’ll want to find an analytics consultant or agency that can handle all three steps in this framework. This also means you’ll need a clear idea of problems you’re dealing with ahead of time.
Measuring the ROI of Analytics Consulting Services
Many companies don’t understand analytics.
If you don’t understand analytics, that’s okay; you just need to know whether you’re generating a return on your analytics investment. According to Nucleus Research, analytics returns $13.01 for every $1 invested.
This obviously much easier if your consultant is focused on the data analysis bucket. Suppose they’ve made several data-driven improvements to your site over three to six months. Their recommendations have lead to an increase in revenue, profit, or a return on investment for you. They should be able to verify your return on investment using the worksheet I’ve linked above.
The good news is the fact that analytics, as a discipline, is data-driven.
Checklist For Finding the Right Analytics Consultant
Choosing the right analytics consultant requires a very different set of skills. If you’re working with an independent analytics consultant, you’ll need to approach this in one of two ways.
- Choose a consultant with all of the skills needed to perform across all three buckets (data capture, reporting, analysis).
- Choose an agency with analysts and implementation specialists needed to generate the results you need.
Here’s a list of the skills needed for each of the three roles in your buckets. Avinash breaks these skills down in detail in his web analytics consulting framework post.
Here’s a quick summary.
- For the data capture bucket, your consultant should have the skills of an implementation specialist. They’re experienced with tag managers; they understand data dimensioning and working knowledge of tracking variables.
- With the data reporting bucket, your consultant should be familiar with report creation in your analytics platform; they should also have a master list of the custom reports you’ll need for various options. It’s also ideal if your consultant has a working knowledge of his own set of customizations.
- For the data analysis bucket, your consultant should be a web analyst. Your consultant should be comfortable with advanced statistics and analytical techniques. They should be experienced in descriptive, diagnostic, predictive, and prescriptive analytics.
If you’re working with an independent consultant, they should be an industry veteran with the skills I’ve listed above. If you’re working with an agency, they should have employees with the skills for each bucket. If you have implementation specialists, you can handle data capture and possibly reporting.
Just make sure they’re a fit for that role.
Many companies aren’t familiar with analytics consulting. They’re not entirely sure how analytics impacts their organization. That’s okay, as long as the ROI is there.
Using a tool like Google Analytics, many companies assume that all they need to do is customize the tracking code, drop it onto their web pages, log into their account, and begin analyzing their data. It should be that easy, but it isn’t.
There’s more to it than that.
With most companies, their analytics data goes unused, they collect lots of data on customer activity, but they don’t know how to squeeze value out of their data. Analytics consulting can help you evaluate your performance data properly. Choose the right team, and your data will tell you what you need to know.
10 Tips For Writing a Winning LinkedIn Headline
LinkedIn’s 690 million members include 180 million senior-level influencers, 63 million decision-makers and 10 million C-level executives.
Hence, there are a lot of influential people on LinkedIn that have hiring power and purchase power. Whatever you hope to achieve from using the network, you’ll want to make a good impression.
Your headline is the first thing that people see aside from your profile picture. It’s how decision-makers will find you. It’s how you get people to notice you and what will make them want to visit your profile to learn more. Thus, it’s safe to say your headline is pretty important.
So, I thought I’d share my top tips for creating an effective headline with you. But, first, let’s look at the basics:
What is Your LinkedIn Headline?
Your headline is the tagline that appears under your name on LinkedIn and at the top of your profile page. The headline used to be limited to 120 characters. But, here’s some good news, LinkedIn extended the headline to 220 characters in 2020. So, you have a little more space to sell yourself, share your vision or whatever it is you’d like to express via your headline.
What Makes a Winning LinkedIn Headline
There are some important criteria for creating an impactful headline. The best LinkedIn headlines do the following:
Make Use of Keywords
Keywords aren’t the only thing your headline should include. But they are key to helping the right people find your profile. Keywords can include your job title, skills and areas you specialize in. Place keywords towards the beginning of your headline and then expand with further information.
Express Your Value
Expressing you or your company’s value means sharing more than the tasks you carry out. Your headline should be driven by the benefits of the services you provide and the kind of results you achieve. For example, rather than saying you do tax planning, you’d say you help businesses to save money.
A winning LinkedIn headline is one that stands out from the crowd. Think about how many people do the exact same job as you or offer similar services. You can give yourself a competitive edge and encourage more people to visit your profile by making your headline different.
Help You Meet Your Goals
You need to think carefully about why you’re on LinkedIn and what you hope to achieve. This should inform what you include in your headline (and the rest of your profile). If you’re not sure about what you can accomplish on LinkedIn or how to go about it, you may wish to speak with a social media consultant.
Now let’s look in more detail at exactly how you can create a winning headline:
1. Get Inspiration
By default, LinkedIn uses your job title and employer as your headline. What a snooze fest. If you want to do better, the first step is to get inspired.
Search for people in your field or who have similar roles to you. Take a look at how they’ve formulated their headlines. See what appeals to you and what doesn’t. Of course, you shouldn’t just nab somebody else’s headline. But, doing this will help you come up with ideas for how you want your headline to appear.
Also, pay attention to those who appear at the top of the search results for your industry. What keywords do they use? Note these keywords as they likely contribute to why these pros are doing so well in the search results.
2. Ask Yourself These Questions
When you decide to upgrade your LinkedIn headline to maximize its impact, it’s a good idea to have a little brainstorming sesh. Here are some questions that will guide you when you’re coming up with ideas:
- How would you describe yourself to a new colleague if you only had five seconds?
- What makes you different from others with the same job title?
- Why should users click on your profile?
- What are your most in-demand skills?
- What are your biggest accomplishments?
- What makes you unique?
3. Choose the Right Keywords
Include relevant keywords in your headline so that you appear in more search results.
To do this, you’ll first need to think about who you want to find your profile on LinkedIn. A recruiter? A potential lead? Influencers you hope to connect with? And so on…
This will guide you in figuring out the right keywords to use. For example, you may include your specific skills or specialisms to get found by recruiters with the most relevant job opportunities.
In this example, we don’t just have a “developer”, nor do we just have a “chatbot developer”, the user goes even more specific with the terms “Facebook Messenger Marketing” and “Automation Practitioner”:
Whereas, if you’re using LinkedIn to network and boost your authority, you may want to use broader terms. Your job role might be “Artworker” but in order to be found by more people, it’d be a very good idea to include the term “Graphic Design”.
4. Include Your Unique Selling Proposition
Keywords alone aren’t enticing enough to get users to visit your profile. State the value that you provide by doing what you do, in particular something that makes you stand out from the crowd.
There’s a simple formula you can use to express this: I help X do Y by doing Z. Here’s an example from an accounting consultant:
When she says “I help women build profitable businesses”, she outlines the beneficial results of her work, not just the tasks that she performs. You should do something similar.
You can also use data to drive your point home. Here an email marketer shares the average results he achieves:
There are tons of relevant data points you could include to prove your value, such as the number of customers you’ve helped achieve a particular outcome or the results of an impressive case study.
5. Share Your Achievements/Credentials
When you make self-aggrandizing claims on LinkedIn, people will either think you’re arrogant or full of it. Instead, you should go by the old adage, “Show don’t tell”. Show that you’re great at what you do via your achievements or credentials.
What’s your most impressive achievement? Have you won an award perhaps? Been featured on top media outlets? Sold a bunch of books? Grew a well-known company? Those are the kind of things you’ll want to share.
This professional shares the fact that he’s been a LinkedIn Top Voice honoree four times and sprinkles in some serious social proof by mentioning his work with Mark Cuban:
Furthermore, certain credentials that are recognized by people in your industry will give you clout. For example, in the marketing world it’s good to be Google-certified, like this pro:
Share credentials relevant to your position to show that you’re not just messing around, you really know what you’re doing.
6. Use Natural Language
Keep your headline free of jargon, particularly if you’re using LinkedIn for sales or lead generation. If a prospect doesn’t understand what you’re selling, you won’t have much luck.
Similarly, make your job title clear and simple unless you’re seeking a specific job role. Again, users you want to connect with may not understand what you do. Even if you think the term “Business Development Manager” is clear, trust me, simplifying it to “Sales Manager” is much more transparent.
Also, avoid buzzwords. After a time, every Tom, Dick and Harry will be using the same trendy terminology to describe their services. Thus, your words become meaningless.
And saying that you’re a “Guru”, “Ninja” or “Wizard” is a bit cheesy and old-fashioned. It won’t help you in the search results either. When was the last time you searched for a ninja on LinkedIn or anywhere for that matter?
Try to use simple, everyday language to explain your role or value proposition. Here’s an excellent example from a marketing professional:
Her target audience, small businesses, may not be familiar with or fully understand industry terms so she offers a straightforward, benefit-driven value proposition.
7. Don’t Put “Unemployed”
Even if you’re currently looking for a job, you shouldn’t put “Unemployed”, “Seeking New Opportunities” or similar in your headline.
The thing is, recruiters or companies aren’t searching for the term “Unemployed” on LinkedIn. You only get a couple hundred characters for your headline, so it would be better to utilize that space for keywords that they are likely to search for, and your experience, specialisms, credentials etc.
You can show that you’re looking for work on your profile instead. At the top of your profile, you’ll see a section that says, “Show recruiters you’re open to work”.
Simply, fill in details about the type of role you’re looking for and the location. You can even change the settings so that your current employers won’t see that you’re seeking work.
8. Share Your Mission
Maybe you’re not looking to promote yourself. Perhaps, you’re in the process of growing a startup or maybe you or your company are trying to achieve a wider goal that you want people to know about.
If this sounds like you, then you should definitely share your vision in your headline. In this example, the professional shares what he does “mass transit” but also why he does it “to reduce our carbon footprint and create a more connected community”:
You could use a similar formula. Start with the what and then go into the why. If you’re unsure about how to phrase your goals, you can always take inspiration from your company’s mission statement.
9. Show Your Personality
Like with any other social media platform, users skim through their LinkedIn feed, groups and even search results at speed. So, you need a headline that’s going to make somebody stop and take notice.
Get creative and use your headline to express your personality. Not only will it make you stand out but it’ll also make your profile memorable.
Here’s an example from an SEO manager with a quirky sense of humor:
Don’t worry, though. You don’t have to be the Kevin Hart of LinkedIn. There are other ways to express your personality via your headline. Perhaps, you want to project positive vibes or enthusiasm.
You could even share a little personal tidbit about yourself. Maybe you do PR during the day and rule at Settlers of Catan by night… This kind of thing will also help start conversations between you and new connections.
10. Keep Your Headline Updated
It’s easy to set and forget your headline. But to get the most from it you need to keep it up to date.
Firstly, be sure to add new skills, achievements, career developments and so on when they arise. Your skillset will develop over time and your headline should reflect this.
Moreover, you may wish to test the impact of your headline and update it accordingly. When you make an alteration, keep an eye on the number of people who have viewed your profile.
With LinkedIn Premium, you can also see who has viewed your profile. Therefore, you can discover if your headline is attracting who you want to attract or your target audience.
You can use your LinkedIn headline to get noticed by influential professionals and encourage more people to visit your profile. A winning headline combines relevant keywords and your unique value proposition.
Don’t forget to think carefully about who you hope to attract with your headline. And don’t be afraid to sell yourself as long as it doesn’t come across as too boastful.
Take the first step towards creating a great LinkedIn headline. Do some research to see what works well in your industry and brainstorm ideas for your own headline.
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