How To Start a Blog & Make Money in 6 Steps
By Rita Cunha
Did you know you can start monetizing your passion to make some extra income? If you’re a word wizard, you should seriously think of starting a new blog. It is one of the most fun ways to make money online, and it can be pretty lucrative! A successful blog could rack up a full-time income in just a year. Does it sound complicated? It really doesn’t have to be.
Here, you will find all sorts of tips and tricks on how to start a blog and make money. This article is written for all bloggers, but especially for those at the beginning of their blogging journey. Keep reading to start making money from your home doing something you love.
How to Start a Blog Today: A Step-By-Step Guide
If you are thinking of creating a new blog, you have come to the right place. This step-by-step guide will help launch you on your blogging journey.
1) Set Out Your Blog Idea
What you need is a concrete idea of what you want to achieve with your blog. What will you be writing about? Who will your target audience be? What’s your niche? (More on that later.) You will have a very hard time making money without first answering those questions.
Once you have a faint idea of where you’re going, it’s time to choose a blog name and domain name. Pick something memorable people can associate with your content. Puns and simple names work great.
Pick the Best Niche for Your Blog
Your niche needs to be something you’re interested in. If you don’t have a passion for what you’re writing about, why should anyone read what you publish?
What are your hobbies? What topics are always on your mind? Once you’ve figured that out, try coming up with blog post ideas for those niches. If you can think of a lot of things to write about (and the content seems attention-grabbing to potential readers), you might have found the perfect niche for you!
Is My Niche Lucrative?
If you want to blog to make money, you have to pick a profitable niche. Otherwise, going from rags to riches will be difficult.
The best niches for monetization are those the target audience is keen to spend a lot of money on. Think insurance and personal finance.
2) Start Hosting
Then, move on to choosing a blogging platform. This is how your writing will be uploaded to the internet. There are dozens of platforms for you to choose from, with all sorts of pricing options.
What Web Hosting Platform to Use?
Get started by looking more into these hosting companies:
Many of these hosting spaces work quite seamlessly with WordPress.com or WordPress.org.
Can I Start a Blog for Free?
Budget-conscious first-time bloggers rejoice: you can start hosting your blog for free.
WordPress.com is the free version of its cousin WordPress.org. It lets you pick whatever domain name you want and even incorporate some plugins and widgets into your WordPress blog. Follow a free online tutorial to master them.
If you want an upgrade and still stick to your budget, Bluehost might be a good choice. It has affordable plans.
3) Customize Your Blog (and Brand!)
Besides having a domain name you will need a blog design that speaks to your content. Luckily, you don’t have to be a web designer to get a beautiful blog. You could choose a free template from your blogging platform. WordPress themes are notorious for being easy to tailer and completely free.
4) Get Writing!
Now we get to the fun part. To make money blogging you need to put out great content. But what exactly does that mean? How should you engineer your blog content?
What Type of Content Should I Write?
The best content answers pain points readers have. In other words, it will add new information to a topic. With millions of blogs out there, you need to stand out if you want to make the most of monetization.
Invest in Finding Buzz-Worthy Keywords
You need to write about things readers want to know. What is something in your niche (for example, photography) that is popular right now? If you type your niche into Google search or other search engines, what comes up? Jot down those topics and you have an idea for a blog post!
This is deeply tied to search engine optimization (or SEO), which will come up later. There are even tools—such as Yoast, Google Analytics, and Answer the Public—that can help you with this.
5) Spread the Word
When your latest post is up on your own blog, it’s time to bring in new readers.
Start with Social Media
You can easily start promoting your content on social media. Even a blogging newbie can do this. Share it on relevant Facebook groups, create a design to go with it on Pinterest, link to it on Quora, or even share it on LinkedIn.
Just remember that the word “relevant” is key here. The best content marketing strategy is promoting your posts to your target audience.
Boost Your Blog with SEO
Search engine optimization can be incredibly lucrative. Ideally, you want your blog posts to rank highly on search engines. That way, you get more readers.
SEO may seem complicated at first to a newbie, but you can conquer it! WordPress is well-known for making your job with SEO easier. You can install WordPress plugins (e.g. Yoast) to help you out.
Upgrade to Paid Ads
If this is your first blog, you may not know everything there is to know about paid ads. While it’s not the first tactic you should follow, having an ad on results pages of search engines or social media can bring in readers.
Curate a Newsletter
Having an email marketing strategy is key to making money through blogging. Let readers become loyal subscribers by adding their address to your email list. This way, they will get notifications every time you publish a new post. Use pop-ups and sidebar plugins to your advantage.
Sign up for an email list of other bloggers in the same niche as you. Then reach out to them (be friendly, not spammy). A lot of monetization opportunities can come from networking.
6) Get Organized with Your Finances and Plans
The last step is staying organized with your new blog. It’s important to write down your plans and goals for full-time blogging.
Set Goals for Your Business
For instance, write down what you want to achieve during your first year of blogging. It could be “become an Amazon affiliate” or “reach 10,000 blog subscribers.” Then when inspiration leaves you or you feel stuck, look at this list of plans and goals to get motivated. If you want to start blogging as a career, this is a step you shouldn’t skip.
Reach Out to Brands
One way of making money with your own blog is with sponsored posts (more on that in a bit). You can start working on this goal as soon as you get a good-sized readership. Look for template emails you can customize and send to your favorite brands to inquire about working together.
Keep Track of Your Stats
Google Analytics will be your best friend when blogging for money. It will tell you how many visitors you get every day, what content they’re loving, and where they’re coming from. All this information will help you better your blog.
How to Make Money Blogging: The 4 Easiest Ways
New bloggers can often be confused about how to make money blogging. These are the four simplest things you can do in your first year.
A successful blogger making a lot of money will likely have all four going at the same time.
1) Ad Revenue
Monetizing your blog is easy with Google AdSense. Brands will display ads on your sidebar, homepage, or as pop-ups. Then, you will get a small amount of money every time someone visits your page. It’s a type of passive income, really.
2) Sponsored Content
Sponsored posts are the bread and butter of bloggers. Brands pay online creators for blog content all about their products. For example, it could be a review of a new lipstick coming to the market. The bigger (and more engaged) your readership, the more money you could make from sponsored posts.
3) Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is all about making money from the products you mention on your blog. Whenever someone buys something using your affiliate link, you get a commission.
There are dozens of affiliate programs suited to all kinds of niches. Amazon Associates is an incredibly popular one. Swagbucks also has an affiliate program perfect for bloggers and readers who want to make money online.
Affiliate marketing is all about making a commission from a product you mention in your blog. Whenever your readers follow your affiliate link and make a purchase you’ll get paid.
4) Sell Your Own Products
If affiliate marketing isn’t your thing, what about selling your own products?
Digital Products (eBooks, Courses…)
You could sell the digital products you created yourself. Think of ebooks, online courses, paid tutorial guides, a podcast, and so on. They can be great add-ons to your published content and can make a good passive income stream.
Alternatively, you could make physical products to sell. There are more and more platforms out there helping you ship the things you sell on your blog. Many of them are affordable WordPress plugins that are easy to use!
How Much Money Can You Make Blogging?
New bloggers understandably want to know how much money they can make blogging. If you put in enough time and hard work, you could be looking at a six-figure income, if everything goes right. You will only know how much you stand to make once you get started and invest yourself in blogging!
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