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How to Start a Blog and Make Money (The Right Way)

How to Start a Blog and Make Money (The Right Way)
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One of the best ways to make money online is by blogging. For starters, there are almost no barriers to entry, and so anyone can do it. Additionally, the potential to make money blogging is almost unlimited. Many people find blogging fun, informative, and fulfilling, but they don’t know they can make some extra bucks while at it. So, why isn’t everyone blogging to make money?

Simply starting a blog is not enough to start making money. The blogging business involves many moving parts, and you need an efficient blogging strategy to make money as a blogger. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to start a blog and make money.

What Does Blogging Entail?

You may think of a blog as a lighter version of a website. Every blog should be unique (or different, at the very least), but they all share certain characteristics:

  • The content is updated regularly (usually daily or weekly)
  • The content is written in a conversational and mostly informal tone
  • The content usually focuses on one niche or several related niches
  • The main goal is to charm the readers (profits come later)

Blogging mainly entails writing and posting interesting content to inform, engage, and persuade your target audience. However, it also has a technical side involving things like web design, SEO, marketing, analytics, and more, as discussed below.

6 Tips to Monetize Your Blog

About 70% of blogs don’t make noteworthy money – many don’t make any money at all. Most people eventually conclude that blogging is too complex and not worth the effort as a result.

However, all blogs have the potential to make money. Unfortunately, most bloggers don’t know the most important technical and fundamental aspects of running a money-making blog. Here is an overview of six tips to help you monetize your blog and guide you through the blogging journey:

1. Select a Niche

Many so-called experts will tell you to start a blog in a niche that you like. Unfortunately, while it is true that blogging about a niche you like will make the experience easier and more enjoyable, it doesn’t always guarantee profitability.

For example, consider a new blogger with a passion for knitting. The blogger would have a lot of fun writing about their passion. However, knitting has few fans compared to many other niches (discussed below), and it would take a lot of time and hard work (and some luck) to make worthwhile money from the blog.

There are hundreds of blogging niches. Some niches attract larger audiences than others – those are usually the most profitable niches. Besides attracting a large audience, the ideal blogging niches also address common problems and other issues affecting the majority of the population’s day-to-day lives. Ideally, these are the niches that new bloggers seeking to turn a profit should consider.

Some of the most profitable blogging niches include:

  • Health and fitness
  • Parenting
  • Beauty and fashion
  • Traveling
  • Lifestyle
  • Making a living online

You don’t have to be an expert in the chosen niche to make your blog successful. However, it is prudent to ensure that you have at least a genuine interest in the chosen blogging niche. It is also essential to conduct thorough research on each topic to develop informative and engaging content. Fortunately, the internet has tons of information about anything. Additionally, there are other ways around this, such as hiring an expert freelancer in that niche.

2. Set Up Your Blog

Setting up a blog is easier than ever. Due to the automation of most of the process, it does not require extensive programming skills. You can set up your blog in minutes with just a few clicks – however, it helps to be a bit tech-savvy.

Here is a brief guide on how to set up and start a blog:

Pick a Relevant & Catchy Domain Name

Your blog’s domain name (what people will call it) will be one of its most notable aspects – you may think of it as the proverbial book cover. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that the chosen name fits everything about the blog to sound natural. Ideally, your chosen domain name should meet four important requirements: short, easy, catchy, and memorable.

Creativity is necessary for developing a suitable domain name. Experts recommend creating a list of words and terms that people would use to describe your blog and use them for direction.

It is also advisable to use a custom domain name for originality. However, you will have limited options with a free domain name, and it will likely be long and sound generic.

Choose a Suitable Blogging Platform

You will need a platform on which to run your blog. Blogging platforms aim to provide access to all the digital resources needed to run a blog, including writing and uploading posts. Most of the available blogging platforms are highly automated and easy to use.

While there are dozens of blogging platforms to choose from, WordPress stands out as the best. It is the most popular blogging site, with more than 36% of the world’s blogs running on the platform. In addition, it offers a comprehensive range of high-quality blogging resources, all of which are accessible in one place on the WordPress Dashboard.

A WordPress blog feels professional and will make a good impression on your audience. It is advisable to familiarize yourself with everything WordPress has to offer on its dashboard. It is also important to install WordPress plugins to make your blog run flawlessly.

Choose a Reliable Web Hosting Company

Blogging platforms only offer a platform on which your blog can run – you will also need a server to host this data and make it available to your audience. Here’s where a web hosting service provider comes in – they ensure that your blog’s servers are online at all times.

Like blogging platforms, there are hundreds of hosting platforms. Some are free, while others charge a premium. A free blog may sound enticing, but it will be impossible to monetize, and your control over it will be limited. Consequently, it is recommendable to go with a reliable hosting company, such as Bluehost, a self-hosted WordPress blog.

Bluehost is one of the most popular hosting companies because of its reliability – server downtime can set your blog monetization efforts back significantly and cost you thousands. Bluehost also charges an affordable web hosting cost, and you can choose a flexible hosting plan that suits your unique needs and preferences. Anyone can use the platform, and signing up for a Bluehost account is a breeze.

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Choose an Appealing Theme

Your blog’s theme determines how it looks and feels – consequently, it also determines users’ experience. It determines essential parameters and visual and functional aspects such as:

  • Colors
  • Page layout
  • Navigation menus
  • Fonts
  • Widget locations

Simplicity is the way to go when it comes to choosing the ideal blog theme. Your readers don’t want to struggle navigating a complicated page layout or reading a fancy font just because you want to stand out.

Fortunately, hundreds of simple, appealing, and efficient WordPress themes are available for free or at a premium. Some free themes are impressive, and there is nothing wrong with installing a free WordPress theme as you budget for a premium one.

3. Develop Engaging Content

“Content is king” is a famous phrase in the digital marketing industry for a good reason: it is the main conduit through which you interact with your audience. Your visitors will come to your blog posts with questions regarding your niche, and they expect to find all the answers therein. Consequently, informative (and engaging) content is one of the secrets behind a successful blog.

It is important to understand the essence of a good blog post before you start writing. Here are some pointers to guide you whenever writing any type of blog content:

  • Use the first blog post to introduce the blog and create rapport with your audience – it is also advisable to include video tutorials showing how your blog works.
  • Write about trending blog post ideas relevant to your blog niche (monitor your niche and other bloggers to stay updated on the latest developments).
  • Write captivating, engaging, and descriptive blog topics and introductions to entice your audience.
  • Use a neat outline containing bullet points and short sentences with simple words to make the content easy to read and scannable.
  • Supplement written content using videos and images for better visual engagement (people prefer images and videos to long blocks of text).
  • Write in a conversational tone and in a style that appeals to your target audience’s traits.
  • Write and upload new blog posts regularly to keep the content fresh and relevant.
  • Install a content management system to help you keep your content organized.

Keyword research is one of the main components of writing engaging blog posts. Keywords are words or phrases that your potential audience would use when looking for content. Google and other search engines scan for these keywords to match users’ queries with the most relevant content. As such, it is advisable to use relevant keywords strategically in each blog post.

Audience research is also an integral component of writing engaging posts. It entails familiarizing yourself with the type of people who are most likely to read your blog. Knowing your audience gives you a better idea of their needs and preferences, thereby providing informed tips on how to write content that appeals to their profiles.

4. Implement Money-Making Solutions

You have dozens of avenues through which to make money when you start a blog. Most successful bloggers use multiple avenues, depending on their relevance to the blog’s niche and overall design. Here is an overview of some of the most profitable ways to make money blogging:

Advertising

Advertising is the most popular way to make money via blogging. Companies worldwide are looking for good avenues to publish their ads, and a respectable blog with a decent level of blog traffic is lucrative real estate. These companies will pay you to place their ads on your blog as long as there are people to view them.

Affiliate Marketing

Are you willing to endorse products related to your niche? For example, you may recommend beauty products if you run a lifestyle blog. Affiliate marketing is all about selling other people’s products on your blog for a commission.

Affiliate marketing is a lucrative money-making avenue because of the growing shift to online shopping. To this end, some of the most profitable blogs engage in affiliate marketing with popular e-commerce platforms such as Amazon.

Sponsored & Members-Only Content

Sponsored content is somewhat similar to ads, as it involves publishing content intended to market a particular brand’s products/services. Companies pay a handsome price for sponsored content. However, it is advisable to only sponsor content from respectable brands and notify readers about sponsored posts.

Additionally, you can charge your audience a subscription fee to access your blog’s content. However, this only works for popular blogs, and it takes a lot of time and work to build a large and loyal following.

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Sell Your Skills

Is your blog related to your profession? Your readers come with questions or problems regarding your niche, as mentioned earlier. These problems often go beyond questions, and a few of your visitors may need your products/services. For example, some of the people visiting a food blog may need catering services.

Hence, depending on the personality of your blog and the nature of each mention, you should either overtly or covertly market your skills. People will start calling if your content inspires confidence.

5. Optimize for Search Engines

There are thousands (or possibly millions) of blogs just like yours, and you are all competing for the same traffic. However, only the best blogs can rank at the top of a search engine such as Google. Notably, more than 95% of people only visit the first few websites and blogs on a search engine results page (SERP).

Google considers a range of factors when ranking blogs and websites on its SERPs. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) entails tweaking these factors to make your blog more appealing to Google and other search engines.

Try the following easy and efficient SEO tips to make your blog rank better on Google:

  • Post informative, easy-to-read content that answers your readers’ questions.
  • Diversify your content to include images, videos, graphics, and audio recordings.
  • Use keywords strategically in your content to match for users’ searches.
  • Implement good web design for a new interface that’s easy to navigate and quick to load.
  • Implement good cybersecurity and privacy solutions.
  • Include links to other pages on your blog and other respectable online platforms with a good ranking.

SEO is undoubtedly the most reliable way to improve your blog’s ranking on SERPs. However, it is a long-term strategy that requires you to keep working on the factors that affect your blog’s ranking. It is also important to stay up-to-date on new updates on SEO best practices.

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6. Promote Strategically

Starting a blog and posting good content is not sufficient to make it profitable. You need to stand out from the competition to attract more visitors. Marketing and promotion are necessary to get your blog in front of your audience.

Most of the work you have done so far (such as SEO) aims to popularize your blog. However, there are faster and more efficient ways to promote it.

Social media is one of the best online platforms for promoting your blog. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have billions of active users worldwide. These are real people with real needs, and a fraction of them fit into your target audience’s ideal personas.

As such, it is advisable to create social media pages for your blog and use them to share content and links leading back to your blog. More importantly, ensure that you maintain an open line of communication with your social media followers to improve engagement. It is also advisable to include links to your social media pages at the bottom of every page.

Other effective ways to promote your blog include:

  • Online paid advertising via Google Adsense to rank your blog at the top of Google SERPs.
  • Posting as a guest on other blogs.
  • Backlinking to other popular blogs and websites.
  • Contributing to discussions in forums relevant to your niche.

There are dozens of ways to popularize your blog, including word of mouth. As such, bring out your creativity and brainstorm promotion ideas suitable to your target audience’s preferences, including the online channels that they frequent most.

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How to Start a Blog and Make Money FAQs

How Long Does It Take To Build a Profitable Blog?

Thanks to automated platforms such as WordPress, you can have your own blog up and running in a few minutes or hours. However, it takes much longer to make your blog profitable, depending on your efficiency of marketing and promotion strategies. Most bloggers wait two or three months before their blogs can start making money.

How Much Money Can I Make Blogging?

There is no limit to how much you can make as a blogger. Some of the world’s most profitable blogs make upwards of six figures, while others make less than $100. But, of course, it all depends on your blogs’ conversion rates and overall monetization strategy.

Do I Need a Google Account to Become a Blogger?

Yes, it is advisable to register for Google’s blogging services and tools to make the most of your blog. Thanks to its numerous resources, most other bloggers rely on Google for a competitive edge when starting a blog.

Final Thoughts

The blogging life is enviable, but it is not all roses. You must be prepared to work hard when you start a blog online if you hope to make decent money.

This guide will help point you in the right direction when you finally decide to start blogging, regardless of your chosen niche. Additionally, don’t hesitate to use any of the numerous automated blogging tools available online. Anyone can be a successful blogger, and all you need is an efficient strategy to monetize your blog today.