How To Start a Blog with Kajabi: Your Guide To Start Blogging Today
Blogging equals freedom. This belief is what drove me to start my experiment (details coming soon). If you’re looking at how to start your own blog, then chances are you believe this too.
Whether you want to build a source of passive income, land a book deal, or establish your authority – starting a blog is your next step. In this guide, you will learn everything you need to know to start a blog that fits your budget, makes you money, and supports your goals.
Kajabi for Blogging
Throughout this guide, I will be referring to the platform I personally use and highly recommend: Kajabi. The reason I recommend Kajabi is because it’s an all-in-one platform.
This means for just one steady price you get: a website, an email provider, a funnel builder, an online course builder, a CRM (customer relationship manager), sales pages, landing pages, AND (most importantly!) a blog.
Here’s a breakdown of how Kajabi saves me $226 per month.
The last thing you want when you’re building something new online is for technology to slow you down. By using an all-in-one platform, you’ll cut your learning curve in half.
Use this link to start your free trial. By using this link, you’ll also get an invitation to join my private community of Kajabi Heroes (people, just like you, who are using Kajabi to get more freedom).
What Blogging Means: Authority vs. Niche
A common mistake I see new content creators make is they fall into the niche-trap.
The niche-trap is when you think that unless you pick the perfect niche topic, you’ll fail and all of your hard work will have been for nothing.
Here are two reasons why that’s not true.
Reason #1: People, bloggers, and creators evolve beyond their niches all the time. It’s part of the process. It’s much better to think of a niche as a topic you are interested in and have something to say about right now versus one you believe you will be writing about 10 years from now.
Reason #2: Even hot niches aren’t guaranteed paydays. Personal finance blogs make a ton of money. But I also know of half a dozen knitting (yes, knitting) blogs that make $20,000+ per month. If you only chase what you think will work, you’ll burn out. I know this from experience. Choose something to blog about that gives you energy, instead of one that drains it away.
That being said, you should know there are two overarching frameworks that all blogs fall into: authority sites and niche sites.
A niche site is an extremely targeted blog that focuses on one topic, creates evergreen content around that topic, and monetizes its audience primarily through ad revenue and affiliate marketing.
The people who make a living with niche sites:
- Build dozens of these sites every year.
- Become top-level experts at SEO.
- Constantly chase trends in order to capitalize on traffic.
An authority site is a personality-based blog that covers a variety of topics, creates multiple types of content, and monetizes through premium products, affiliate recommendations, and sponsored partnerships.
The people who make a living with authority sites:
- Focus on improving one single website.
- Can allow their interests (not just expertise) to guide their content.
- Establish deep trust with their audiences by being transparent.
"Every successful blogger I know of who started out focused on one niche eventually broadened away from it, and ended up branding under their own name. A narrow niche might help you get started, but you'll outgrow it and want to build authority under your own name eventually, so why not start there."
- Nat Eliason, Founder of Growth Machine
This guide focuses on helping you build an authority site because these provide better long-term results, give their creators more freedom, and attract a higher-level audience (one that wants to establish a relationship and can afford premium products).
The Truth About Blog Hosting
Before we jump into the step by step guide for setting up your blog on Kajabi, I need to address a common misconception.
All of those big-name bloggers recommending Bluehost don’t actually use it to host their own blogs.
Just search “Bluehost hacked” and you’ll find thousands of stories of people losing all of their content, discovering they’ve been locked out of their own website, or that a hacker has gone in and hidden links throughout their content to adult and spam websites.
So then, why is it still recommended so often?
Because it’s very cheap for users and extremely profitable for affiliates. It’s hard to get anyone to stop doing something that’s making them a lot of money.
Full disclosure, Kajabi also has a great affiliate program. You can read all of the details about it here. The difference is I feel good recommending Kajabi because I actually use it, they have one of the most secure records of any website builder, and help from a real human being is only ever a call away.
I honestly believe starting a blog is one of the best decisions you can make, regardless of the tool you choose to build it with. Just make sure – before you take a recommendation – the person recommending the thing uses it themselves.
How To Setup Your Blog on Kajabi
In the next few minutes, I will show you exactly how to set up a brand new blog on the Kajabi platform. You will also find links to relevant resources to help you design, market, and grow your blog once it’s built and ready to show off!
Step 1: Sign Up for Your Kajabi Account.
Start by clicking on this link: Start a blog with Kajabi. Next, click on the Start free trial button that appears on the screen. It should look something like this.
You’ll be asked to fill in a few quick details such as your name, email address, and how you heard about Kajabi.
On the next page, you’ll be asked to fill in a few more details such as a password for your new account, a phone number (for support calls), and your payment information.
On this page, you also have the option to choose between a monthly or annual payment plan. Here’s what the page looks like.
Once your account is created, you’ll be taken to your Kajabi Dashboard which should look a little something like this.
Congratulations! You have officially taken the first step towards making your blog dream a reality.
Step 2: Setup Your Kajabi Blog Details.
Once you have your Kajabi site up and running, there are a few directions you can take. My recommendation is to keep it simple and start by getting your blog 100% up and running.
The first thing I would do is click the Settings icon which is located in the bottom left-hand corner of the Dashboard.
That will take you to a page that looks like this.
The only two items you need to focus on at this point are the Site Details and Blog Settings.
Within Site Details you will be able to:
- Name your site.
- Provide a subdomain (do this before you link a custom URL like MyBlogIsAmazing.com).
- Choose your homepage (which we’ll discuss shortly).
- Upload branding elements such as a Logo and Favicon.
- Select your website color palette.
- Update your Instructor info (this is your “author” profile which lets readers see a picture of you, your name, and a short title).
- And finally, add some basic SEO information about your website.
Remember, you don’t have to do all of this at once! Maybe you don’t know exactly what you want your site to be named, or what colors you want to use. That’s 100% okay.
I used the default settings on my site for 8 months before I customized any elements. I knew that, for me, it was more important that I started writing and focused on creating content.
Follow what excites you. If you want to spend a few hours (or days!) getting every detail and setting perfect, go right ahead. And if you’d rather deal with that stuff later, that’s okay too.
This is YOUR blog. You get to make the rules.
The Blog Settings are simpler than the Site Details. It includes just 3 items: your blog (page) title, a short description of what your blog is about, and a page image that will show up whenever your blog is shared on social media or through email.
For example, here’s what mine looks like.
Step 3: Design Your Kajabi Blog Appearance.
Kajabi uses an easy-to-use drag and drop setup for customizing the look of your blog. They actually use the drag-and-drop feature for customizing everything on their platform (emails, landing pages, online courses, etc.). So, if you can design an email, you can create a blog (or a membership site, online course, and pretty much anything else!).
FYI, I provide updated tutorials on my YouTube channel where I show exactly how to customize different elements within Kajabi. If you’re brand new to using a drag-and-drop website builder, I recommend you check out this video.
To start customizing your blog appearance, the first thing you’ll want to do is select a Website Theme.
From your Dashboard, click on Website in the upper left-hand side of the screen.
On the new page, click on Manage Themes option which will appear near the top.
From there, you’ll be able to pick from a selection of premade Kajabi themes, such as:
- And Magnolia.
While each theme comes with a distinct style, you will still get full access to every element in Kajabi regardless of which theme you choose.
I currently use the Encore theme. I tend to go for more minimal design elements, and their streamlined builder helps me accomplish this with ease.
Once your theme is selected, it’s time to customize the individual pages of your blog. If you navigate back to your Dashboard and click on Website once again, you’ll see these options.
There are 3 pages directly related to your blog’s appearance:
- Blog Post
- And Blog Search.
The Blog option allows you to customize what visitors see when they click on your standard blog page. Do you want a sidebar? Do you want snippets of your posts to be visible? How do you want posts to be arranged?
All of these options can be modified using the tools in the left sidebar (as shown in the drop-and-drop tutorial).
The Blog Post option focuses on the individual posts themselves. Here, you can create a different sidebar than the one displaying on the Blog or Blog Search pages. You can also add blocks above or below the content of your blog article.
I recommend not adding too many elements to this page, because you want the focus to be on the blog content itself. The one block I think is a necessity is an Opt-In Form so that your readers can subscribe and follow your work.
Quick Exercise: Take a second to look at the sidebar, as well as the very bottom of this blog post. What “blocks” do you see? What would you change and why?
The Blog Search page is what users will see whenever they use the search function on your site (although, you can choose to remove this element if you wish). Again, I recommend keeping this page minimal since you want visitors to easily find what they are looking for – and to not be distracted by too many competing items.
There are literally dozens of blocks you can choose from to customize your blog.
Here’s a quick rundown of the options available to you:
- Text (with or without columns)
- Call to Action buttons
- Opt-in Forms
- Link Lists
- Countdown Timers
- Embedded Videos
- Feature Cards
- Offers and Pricing Cards
- Social links
- And Custom Coded blocks.
It’s worth restating that all of these come standard with whichever Kajabi plan you choose. Every single element listed is already built and fully integrated within your website.
No complicated integrations.
No downloads from sketchy third-party websites.
No headaches trying to get everything to work together.
If you want something, you just click on it. Designing your Kajabi blog is that simple.
What Should You Blog About – Where to Start
There are an infinite number of subjects you could write about on your blog. My advice to you is less about the subject you choose, and more about the way you present your content.
Let me explain.
Most bloggers think about their content one post at a time. They write an article, edit it, grab some relevant images, post it, and then move on to the next one.
All of the articles are loosely linked because of the topics they relate to and the unique voice of the writer.
But humans don’t engage with disorganized content. This is why curators play such an important role online; they help us solve the problem of overwhelm. However, your blog doesn’t need to become purely a curation hub in order to benefit from this trend.
The answer is to adopt an organized system of creating posts for your blog. Enter the cluster and pillar model.
I first learned about the cluster and pillar model while I was pursuing a certification in content marketing. I discovered that all of these top tier websites utilize a fundamentally different approach to their content than regular solo-bloggers do.
They don’t simply organize their content around themes and dates. Instead, they use clusters and pillars.
A Cluster, which is short for topic cluster, is a series of single articles that cover the same large topic from a variety of different angles.
Let’s say you want to write a blog about journaling techniques. An example of a cluster would be separate articles about:
- Your favorite types of physical journals.
- The best writing instruments for journals.
- The most popular journal layouts.
- Useful schedules for journaling progress.
- Journaling tips for beginners.
The topic cluster could include 10, 20, or even dozens of these types of posts. Furthermore, when it's relevant, the posts would also link to one another, such as your “beginner tips” article linking to the “best writing instruments” one.
Then, as you close the number of clusters articles you plan to write, you would then create a single Pillar article.
The pillar page can come in one of three types:
- 10x content pillar – a very long article (usually 10,000+ words) that provides tons of useful information.
- Resource pillar – a hub of links to all of the most useful resources on a subject, ideal for readers to bookmark.
- Service or product pillar – a page dedicated to an offer you provide and gives potential customers all of the information they could ever want about it.
For our purposes with a blog, the two types we would use most often are the 10x content and resources types.
I have found that the resource pillar pages work best for the way I write.
I enjoy answering a question or addressing a topic fully. I don’t enjoy repeating the same information throughout multiple posts, or in multiple different ways throughout a 10x pillar.
I prefer to make excellent cluster pages and then 1 extremely bookmarkable resource page. This strategy also allows me to create content quickly and move on to different topics as soon as I’m creatively ready.
Now that we have the framework in place for your blog, how do you choose which items are worth writing about for your clusters and pillars?
How to Choose Blogging Topics – Keyword Research
The goal of this article is to get you to take action and start your blog. Because the more action you take, the sooner you’ll see real results.
That being said, keyword research is a topic you see come up a lot in the blogging world. Don’t get me wrong, it’s important. But I’ve found that it more often paralyzes people in their tracks, rather than encouraging them to take action.
Here’s a truth about keyword research: most of it is guesswork.
The people creating thousand-dollar tools and programs would like you to believe that it’s an exact science, but that’s simply not the case.
The numbers behind keywords are estimates (literally a guess) about the likely traffic searching for those terms. But there are hundreds of variables at play and millions of websites fighting over the same handfuls of keywords.
So, what do we do?
We use keywords as a partner in the content we want to create, not as a master dictating what we write.
I personally recommend the tool Answer The Public. It’s a different kind of keyword research tool that allows you to see what the most-asked questions are surrounding any topic.
Source: Answer The Public
They usually allow a few free searches per month. Start there, get a feel for how it works, and once you’re ready to plan out a few months of content – only then would I recommend upgrading to the Pro plan.
Let’s bring it all together. What should you start blogging about?
- Choose a topic that interests you (not necessarily one that you are an expert in).
- Use a tool like Answer The Public to discover what the most-asked questions are about that topic.
- Answer each question in a separate article (making them at least 1000 words long is usually a good rule of thumb).
- After you have a good number of them posted, create a pillar article that links to all of them (and make sure they all link back to the pillar as well).
How Blogging Makes Money
At this point, you understand what a blog is, how to build one with Kajabi, and what type of content you should start creating once your blog is live.
All of that provided the foundation for, what I’m guessing is, the main reason you want to start and grow a blog: to make money.
That was my motivation, directly and indirectly, for starting my first blog more than a decade ago. I wanted to become a better writer so that, eventually, I could leverage my skill and audience into a book deal.
I ended up spending nearly 6 years self-publishing. It was an incredible journey; one I am immensely grateful for – and the main reason I was able to become a full-time writer in the first place. But now, I’m coming back to my roots in a way.
I believe blogging is the best way for people to create content they believe in and make a profit in the process.
Let’s take a look at the different avenues there are for making money with a blog. Along the way, I’ll highlight ⭐ a few of my favorite methods.
8 Ways to Make Money with Your Blog
⭐ Leverage Your Content into paid opportunities. For example, if you write about power washing equipment, you can use that content to either get hired to power wash reader’s homes or write for a company that creates the equipment. Everything you create online is a seed for something greater.
Create an Online Course. If your content is focused around solving a problem or reaching a goal, create a course that helps people (A) solve/reach it faster or (B) cheaper or (C) in a deeper, more long-lasting way.
Create a Private, Paid Community. I’m not talking about a free Facebook Group. I mean an exclusive paid community that thrives on member interaction and provides you with the resources to bring in amazing guests, run challenges, and become the go-to place for your topic-specific community. Here’s a guide to building one on Kajabi.
Create a Membership Site. This option brings together the best elements of the previous two: deep, actionable content + engaged, lively community. Memberships are easily one of the most profitable means of monetizing a blog. For more details, I recommend this article.
Place Ads on your site. Near the top of this guide, I wrote briefly about the difference between authority and niche sites. Personally, I hate trying to read a blog that bombards me with ads. So, I choose not to use them on my own site (and, therefore, give my readers the experience I want to have). If you really want to look into ads, I recommend checking out this resource.
⭐ Affiliate Marketing. I love affiliate marketing when it is done well because it’s essentially getting paid to give people recommendations they’ll trust and benefit from. This is the #1 monetizing strategy I recommend to new bloggers. I’ve found that most newcomers don’t have a clear long-term product or content strategy when they start (which is okay, because I sure didn’t!). Affiliate marketing makes it easy to make your first few dollars online so that you can stay in the game long enough to create the products and partnerships that really move the financial needle. This video will help you get started.
Blog Sponsorships. There are two terms you should know: Nano Influencers and Micro Influencers. Nanos are online creators who have a following between 1,000 – 10,000. Micros are the next step up and usually have 10,000 – 25,000 followers. Over the last few years, companies have moved their attention from the biggest names to the smallest, because they’ve found that creators with smaller followings charge less and provide better returns. Sponsorships are available for any niche. This is one area I plan to write more about in the future because the opportunities in this space are massive.
⭐ Create a Product. Whether you want to create a digital product (like a course) or a physical product (like a journal), this option is usually the gold standard for blog monetization. Here’s why: you have complete control over the cost, price, and profit. I’ve seen multiple bloggers create six-figure incomes with $7 ebooks and seven-figure businesses with $20 t-shirts. Once you align your audience with a product, the sky’s the limit.
How to Get Traffic to Your Blog
This should be common sense, but I find that a lot of starters forget this truth: if you don’t know how your blog is going to make you money, then it won’t.
Regardless of which monetization method you choose (online course, products, affiliate marketing, etc.), making money with your blog can only happen if there are real people reading your content.
That means we need to think about promotion and not just creation.
There are 4 primary ways new blogs gain traffic. They are:
- SEO – Google recommending your content to its users.
- Social media – Sharing the content you create and encouraging others to share it as well.
- Email list – Building a loyal fanbase and sending them exciting content so they’ll click and read your blog.
- Guest posting – Writing content for other blogs so that their readers will love what you made and come to your website to read more.
It’s easy to think that the more traffic sources you work on, the more traffic you’ll get. But if you spread yourself too thin, you won’t see a tenth of the results possible.
My recommendation is to focus on 3 traffic streams:
- 1st - SEO because this is the lifeblood of a long-term strategy.
- 2nd - EMAIL list because these people will become the foundation of whatever monetization strategies you choose down the road.
- 3rd – YOUR CHOICE. If you choose to go the social media route, focus on one single platform. Master it. Fall in love with the community surrounding it. And then strategically entice people back to your website.
A word of encouragement: you need less traffic than you think in order to hit your goals.
Let’s say you want to replace your $50,000 annual income with blogging. You create a site and have an idea for an online course. You price the course at $500. Therefore, you need 100 sales in order to replace your salary ($500 x 100 = $50,000).
Even with a below-average conversion rate of just 2%, you would only need 5,000 readers (5,000 x .02 = 100 [# of sales needed]). That’s it.
I always find real numbers encouraging because they remind me of what’s possible. You don’t have to be the next [insert mega-successful person] in order to create a life you want on your terms.
All you need is a little patience, a little risk, and a blog.
Your Next Step
Congratulations on making it to the end of this guide! You’ve learned a lot, but now it’s time to take action.
Sign up for your free trial of Kajabi because your future self will thank you!
By using that link, you’ll also get an invite to join my private community of Kajabi Heroes. I look forward to meeting you inside.
Kajabi Blogging FAQs
Do I need a tool like Yoast SEO for Kajabi?
Nope! Kajabi comes with a host of built-in SEO features to help your site rank well quickly.
Are Kajabi websites fast?
Yes! They even have a feature called Lightning Loader that can boost your sites speed by up to 300%!
How much does Kajabi cost?
They have 3 pricing plans. The Basic one starts at $119 a month. Because Kajabi replaces so many other tools, it saves me $200+ per month.
Is Kajabi mobile-friendly / mobile-responsive?
Yes! In fact, you can customize the mobile look of your site and make it distinct from the desktop version if you like. They also have a dedicated mobile app so that your customers can access your products and community right from their devices.
How can I ask you more questions?
The best way is to start your free trial of Kajabi. You'll get an email invite to my private community of Kajabi Heroes shortly thereafter. I make sure to check-in with the group regularly!