Many aspiring bloggers rush into creating their blogs with high hopes, only to realize that success is elusive. In fact, statistics suggest that over 80% of all blogs end up failing. So, how can you ensure your blog is part of the thriving minority?
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll outline the essential steps to help you start a successful blog that not only attracts readers but also generates income.
1. Select a Profitable Niche
The first and most critical step is to choose a profitable niche for your blog. Not all niches are equally rewarding; therefore, research is essential. To identify a lucrative niche, use Google’s Keyword Planner tool to assess the commercial value of potential topics. Look for keywords that advertisers are willing to pay for.
Choose the Right Niche with Google Keyword Planner
Using Google Keyword Planner is crucial not only for selecting the right niche but also for understanding what your target audience is searching for. The key is to produce content that resonates with their interests and needs.
However, remember that the real selling doesn’t happen on your blog; it occurs through email marketing. Collect email addresses from your visitors right from the start. An engaged email list is your direct line to your audience, allowing you to bring them back to your website and engage with advertisements, where the magic of monetization happens.
What About Content Volume?
If you’re concerned about producing extensive content, two approaches can help:
- Outsourcing: Consider outsourcing to native English speakers or affordable freelance writers. Websites like PeopleperHour, Freelancer, and Bulxter offer cost-effective options.
- Dictation Writing (Dictablogging): Use this technique to speak your content. Research your topics, create an outline, and record yourself speaking about them. Later, transcribe the audio recordings. This method can significantly boost your content creation capacity.
2. Choose your preferred blogging platform
Choosing where you want to build a blog is pretty much an essential part of the process to start a successful blog and make money. I recommend WordPress. According to Forbes, WordPress gives users full access to its codes, meaning users can customize any premade theme or design to their heart’s content. That, plus the availability of more than 59,000 free WordPress plugins that add features and functionality to websites, means the options for building a website are virtually limitless. There are more than 82 million active users of WordPress, which is a lot, basically. WordPress is a bigger and probably better option. Here are reasons why you should still go with WordPress:
- Super easy set up and is free to use
- There are tons of free themes and layouts (I’m not kidding, there are gazillions).
- There’s a massive support forum in case you get stuck (you won’t, but it’s nice to have it there if you need it).
- Your blog will be insanely fast and look functional and form-perfect! People can interact with you quickly. Your content can be shared, commented on, and so on.
3. Launch Your Blog on a Custom Domain
Now, assuming you’ve decided to go with WordPress (and we highly recommend it), the next vital step is to start your blog on your own domain. Here’s a straightforward guide to get you started:
Choose a Domain
Your domain is essentially the web address of your blog, such as “Google.com” for Google. Selecting the right domain is crucial because it’s the digital gateway to your blog. Remember, simplicity is key when choosing a domain name.
Your hosting service provider plays a vital role in making your blog accessible online. It’s where all your website’s data, including text, images, and videos, is stored.
Assuming you’ve set up WordPress on your website, accessing your WP-Admin page is all you need to begin your blogging journey.
4. Personalize Your WordPress Blog
This is where the creative fun begins.
Let’s transform your blog into precisely what you envision. Although I personally designed my blog, you have two fantastic options for customization:
Choose a New Theme (Free or Premium):
- Head to Appearance > Themes in your WordPress dashboard.
- Install a free theme from the vast selection available.
- If you desire a more sophisticated and unique design, explore premium themes on dedicated websites where you can purchase a theme for approximately $40–$100.
With a well-designed theme, you can give your blog a professional and visually appealing appearance, making it more engaging for your audience and easier to navigate.
Optimizing your blog’s design, layout, and functionality is a crucial aspect of creating an attractive and user-friendly website, which can contribute to higher traffic and improved SEO performance.
By thoughtfully considering your domain and taking control of your website’s appearance, you’re on the right track to crafting a successful and appealing blog. In the following steps, we’ll delve further into content creation and promotion strategies to help your blog thrive.
5. Create Content Consistently
Contrary to the advice of some, blogging success isn’t about having a few sporadic posts on your site. It’s about building a substantial library of valuable content. The more content you have, the more “hooks” you have in the water, attracting more readers.
To do this effectively, use Google’s auto-suggested question feature. Search for your main keyword, and you’ll find a list of related questions. Check if these questions are being adequately answered on the web. If not, create in-depth, 1,000+-word articles to address these questions comprehensively.
It’s true that these long-tail articles might not bring in massive monthly traffic individually. However, collectively, they create a consistent stream of traffic, like a mighty river, and that’s where the real monetization opportunity lies.
In conclusion, starting a successful blog involves selecting the right niche, consistently producing valuable content, and mastering email marketing. Use the tools and techniques mentioned in this guide to create a blog that stands out in a competitive online landscape and sets you on the path to blogging success.
How to Make Money from your blog
6. Promote Your Blog: The Art of Digital Marketing
In the quest to learn how to monetize your blog, digital marketing plays a pivotal role in connecting you with a wider audience and lucrative opportunities. While tactics like Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Google advertising are vital for increasing page views, digital marketing goes beyond numbers. It’s about building relationships and fostering audience engagement, which ultimately translates into income.
To embark on the journey of promoting your blog effectively, consider the following four tips to establish your blogger brand on social media:
Choose the Right Channels:
Blogging already demands substantial time for content creation. To maximize your social media efforts, select the platforms that align with your target audience and blog niche. For instance, if your blog focuses on marketing or freelancing, platforms like LinkedIn can be a strategic choice. Travel or food bloggers might find Pinterest a potent source of blog traffic, while TikTok caters to a younger demographic. Tailor your social media strategy accordingly.
Social Media Channels to Consider:
Understanding where your audience congregates allows you to engage effectively. Join relevant online communities, such as LinkedIn or Facebook groups, and utilize them as platforms to promote your blog.
Keep Your Branding Consistent:
When visitors land on your social media profiles, they should experience an extension of your blog. Consistency in voice, tone, domain name, and usernames across platforms is crucial. Your visual branding should align with your blog’s aesthetic, maintaining uniformity in profile pictures, photography styles, and color palettes.
Promote Yourself, Not Just Your Blog Posts:
While promoting your blog content is essential, personal engagement is equally vital. Showcase the personality behind the keyboard, interact with followers, share personal updates, and create an authentic connection. Platforms like Instagram Stories and Facebook Stories offer excellent opportunities to provide insights into your life and interests, fostering a more intimate bond with your audience.
Build an Email List:
Constructing an email list and launching a newsletter is an effective method to retain and engage existing readers. Include sign-up opportunities on your blog, both within and after blog posts. To streamline the process, consider using email marketing services such as Mailchimp, which can automate list management.
7. Run Ads
Earning revenue as a new blogger can be challenging, but on-site advertising is an excellent initial income source. Ensure that your website can accommodate ad space, which can include sidebar ads or pop-ups. Platforms like Google AdSense and Media.net connect bloggers with paying advertisers, earning revenue based on views and clicks.
To qualify for AdSense, your blog typically requires:
- Unique and compelling content
- A well-organized navigation bar
Though there are no strict traffic guidelines, blogs approved for AdSense usually have several quality posts and consistent page views. It’s advisable to build your audience and metrics for at least six months before applying; in some good cases, even 15 days might be approved.
Earnings from ad networks may be modest in the early stages, but as your blog grows and accumulates 50,000 monthly views or more, you can expect substantial income. Use a Google AdSense revenue calculator to estimate earnings based on your location, blog category, and monthly views.
8. Explore Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is a primary revenue source for professional bloggers. It involves promoting third-party products or services through unique links or promo codes on your blog, earning a commission for each sale generated. You can ensure consistent passive income over time by crafting SEO-optimized blog posts with relevant keywords.
Many affiliate programs require a minimum number of monthly visits and sales volume, and some may demand a social media following. Popular affiliate programs include:
- Amazon Associates (1-20% commission)
- eBay Partner Network (50-70% commission)
- Commission Junction (5-10% commission)
- ClickBank (50-70% commission)
You don’t need a vast following to start earning through affiliate marketing; even a few sales can generate income. Explore various affiliate programs to discover the best fit for your blog’s niche.
9. Sell Products or Services
Once you’ve established a robust following, consider setting up an eCommerce platform on your blog. You can sell products or services related to your niche or your audience’s needs. Whether it’s fashion, lifestyle, or expertise-based, crafting physical products or digital offerings can diversify your income streams.
Additionally, think about creating a paid membership community or offering workshops, guides, or online courses to share your expertise. These avenues enable you to monetize your knowledge, providing value to your audience and generating revenue.
10. Partner with Brands
Brands frequently seek partnerships with influential bloggers. To facilitate these collaborations, create a media kit that highlights your blog’s reach, audience demographics, and engagement metrics. This kit serves as a persuasive tool when pitching to businesses and potential sponsors.
As you implement these monetization strategies, remember that success as a blogger often takes time. Building a dedicated audience, mastering SEO, and developing your blogger brand are ongoing processes. Over time, your blog can become a thriving source of income and a platform for sharing your passion and expertise.