Another good aspect about blogging is that the starting cost is relatively low. You don’t need advanced equipment to start blogging. Any type of laptop and a phone camera will do just fine.
Though it sounds simple, you still need to know where to start in order to make this journey smooth and successful. This article will explain how to start a blog that earns money, backed up with examples to help you understand better.
1. Pick Your Niche
The first thing you need to consider is the topic of your blog. A niche that will be the focus of your blog and help attract your target audience.
Typically, people choose a topic that they’re good at or passionate about when starting a blog. However, if you aim to make money through blogging, it’s important to choose a topic that also matches a bigger audience’s interest rather than a purely personal one.
Use Google Trends to find topics that are currently popular. Explore different keywords and choose a sustainable topic that is likely to stay relevant for a while.
In addition, try to be specific with your niche. It’s possible to have several different topics on your blog, but it might be hard to maintain them all at the same time. Also, having various topics makes it hard for your blog to find authenticity or a selling point.
For example, Adventurous Kate focuses on female solo traveling. It’s a blog with a relatively narrow niche.
Then, there is the Expert Vagabond blog, which focuses on travel in general.
Both blogs are very successful, even if one is more specific than the other.
Remember that you don’t have to be an expert to cover a particular topic when blogging. You can write at any level of knowledge before gradually developing your expertise in the field.
2. Choose a Domain Name
Your audience will access your blog using a domain name, which is why it’s best to keep your domain name short and memorable. However, if your desired name is already taken, try using connections of words that portray your blog best.
For example, thisblogexample.com is a better domain name than tblgxmpl.com, even though the latter is a shorter option. A thesaurus or a domain name generator is helpful to help you come up with ideas.
3. Choose a Hosting Plan
Blogging platforms like Blogger, WordPress.org, Medium, or Tumblr are free to use and don’t require a web host. However, your server storage, data backup plan, domain name, and monetization options will be limited.
As a solution, self-host your blog by signing up for a hosting plan. That way, you will be in complete control of your blog, making your self-hosted site look more professional. This is especially important if you plan to use your blog as a business.
If you use WordPress as your content management system, there are many WordPress hosting packages available that will make the technical process of running a blog easier.
Spend time researching which hosting plan suits your blog the best. Choose your hosting company carefully by considering the fundamental aspects.
4. Build Your Website
Regarding your blog’s design, try free or paid themes that come with the CMS platform. That way, you won’t have to design anything from scratch.
Choose a simple and responsive theme that will help your audience read your blog comfortably, no matter whether on a desktop or a mobile device.
Make sure to install a WordPress theme from a credible source, as using unreliable third-party websites can put your site at risk.
Configure a color palette, fonts, and add images that suit your blog. Use neutral or pastel colors to avoid distracting people when reading.
Another essential element is your blog’s logo and favicon. They can help your audience recognize your blog easily and increase user interaction with your website.
A logo is also a great branding tool and increases the visual recognition of your website. It doesn’t have to be grand, as a simple icon with your blog’s color representation will work just fine. Use free designing tools like Canva or a logo generator.
Make sure you have a homepage, an about page, and a contact page on your website to help your visitors get to know your branding better. Other than that, add relevant web pages depending on how you want to divide your content.
5. Research Keywords
Researching keywords is a crucial step before you start writing your content. It can help to discover the audience’s intent when they search for similar topics on the search engines.
Keywords can also increase your blog’s SERP ranking and eventually increase online traffic, as long as they are used correctly and follow the set rules of SEO.
Aim for long-tail keywords, list them before arranging them into your writing’s outlines. Use the keywords frequently in your blog posts, URLs, and meta descriptions to rank higher on Google. Put relevant backlinks on the keywords to other blog posts to help Google crawl and index your blog.
6. Write Your Blog Content
After researching keywords and creating outlines, write content that provides value to your readers. Having many blog posts is great, but focusing on your blog’s quality to gain the audience’s trust is a lot more effective.
Not having many people reading your first piece is normal. However, keep posting quality content and increase your blog’s ranking on search engines.
Don’t write random content just to boost the number of your posts. Make a posting schedule to let your readers know when to expect updates from your blog. Scheduling your post also can be a way to organize your content ideas, so you don’t use them all at once.
Experiment with different posting schedules and analyze which one gives you the most decent traffic. Also, take notes on what kind of content brings in the most visitors so that you can make similar types of posts later.
Applying SEO principles is highly recommended to maximize the tools as they help your blog stand out. Using SEO plugins and including the researched keywords will help your article rank higher on Google and draw in organic traffic.
7. Build an Audience
The next step is to find the readers. All your efforts to create quality content would be insignificant if you can’t reach your target audience.
Implementing on-page SEO helps to increase organic traffic from keyword searches. On the other hand, promoting your blog is also an implementation of off-page SEO that can help generate decent traffic and increase your blog’s visibility.
Start by creating social media accounts to post new updates and network with other bloggers. As for the social media content, repurpose your blog content and create engaging content by using each social media’s particular features. Consistently fill your social media channels with quality content even if you don’t gain followers easily.
When you have some good pieces to display, start spreading awareness by commenting on popular posts relevant to your blog’s niche. Don’t spam nor post random comments. Instead, try to create genuine engagement with other bloggers or content creators.
8. Find Your Monetization Method
When you successfully build your audience, it’s a good time to start considering making money. Here’s a list of monetization options:
- Advertising network. This is the simplest way to earn money through blogging. However, you need to work consistently to increase your traffic. Google Adsense is the most popular ad network among bloggers, but there are many other platforms to consider.
- Sponsored posts. This method refers to a brand that pays you to write advertisement content. Hence, you need to have decent website traffic. Try joining a blogger agency or a blogging community to help you connect with potential brands.
- Partnership. This refers to a promotional activity where you receive exposure as compensation. When in a sponsorship, you get paid by promoting a brand. In a partnership, you are cooperating with the brand to mutually promote each other.
- Affiliate marketing. When you write an affiliate marketing post, you’ll get paid based on how many people purchase products through the link you included in your blog post.
- Paid content for subscribers. Collect subscriber’s data by creating an event, giveaway, or from an email list that you collect from your site. Then, offer them exclusive paid quality content.
- Create products. When your blog grows into a bigger community, selling digital or physical products like a blog’s official merchandise is also a great way to earn extra cash.
- Blog competition. Participating in a blog competition can help you win some money and give your blog some exposure.
Keep in mind that whatever methods you choose, the most important aspect is building your audience and increasing your traffic by continuously producing quality content.
9. Create Your Email List
Provide an email collecting form on your blog to create your email list. If your audience finds your content valuable, they might be willing to receive the newest updates from your blog.
You can build your email list by slowly collecting your audience’s email addresses, but renting an email list from another blogger is also possible.
When you rent an email list, you can send your promotional newsletter through the help of the email list owner, but you won’t see the list of registered email addresses.
Creating an email list can be beneficial if you want to make special premium content only for your subscribers someday. It can also be a great way to build and grow your audience.
10. Evaluate Your Blog’s Performance
Regularly check how your blog is performing. It is related to how Google will rank your site and be a good evaluation tool in achieving your blog’s goal.
Use Google Analytics on your blog. It’s free and the features can help you create customized reports. Also, create a regular timeline to check your domain authority & spam score.
It’s possible to create a blog that earns money with a minimum amount of equipment. All you need is a lot of willpower and spare time to maintain your blog content.
The first time starting a blog might seem like an idle journey, but don’t give up too quickly. You need consistency to produce good quality content if you want to get extra income from blogging.
Hopefully, this article has encouraged you to start blogging. Good luck!