So, you want to make money blogging?
Fair warning — blogging isn’t a “get-rich-quick” kind of deal.
Blogging involves hours upon hours of research, writing, website development, and marketing. Most importantly, it’s a never-ending learning experience that requires patience and the right resources.
Having the willpower to push through when the going gets tough is completely on you.
When it comes to the right resources, I’ve got your back.
Here, you’ll find all the steps you need to turn your blogging aspirations into reality.
Let’s get a move on.
What is Blogging?
Before we get to the nitty-gritty of blogging, let us first clarify what blogging really is.
It’s more than just writing articles and publishing them on your own website or a blogging platform.
KWFinder reveals that hundreds of thousands of people are currently considering this endeavor.
See what we did there? We just did research.
As I’ve mentioned before, blogging also has research, marketing, and website development components. There’s also the community-building aspect, which is the key to developing a trustworthy brand that fosters a loyal reader base.
Keep in mind, where there are people, there’s money to be made.
A steady stream of visitors or traffic opens up monetization opportunities that can make blogging feasible. In certain situations, blogs can also be leveraged to further an individual’s personal credibility and authority in a specific field.
For example, Aileen Adalid is a travel blogger that clearly has a handle on how to monetize a blog. Aside from her blog’s shop section, here are some of the ways she made blogging rewarding — spiritually and financially:
KevinMD.com by Kevin Pho, MD, is an example of a blog that prioritizes brand building.
It still has monetization channels like display ads and links to Kevin Pho’s own books. But given its design and layout, one can make the assumption that site monetization is only an afterthought.
Aside from the potential to generate income and boost your authority in your niche, blogging also has other benefits, like:
- Gaining a foothold in the digital marketing industry
- Refining your writing skills to pursue book authorship opportunities
- Springboard your career as a consultant or freelancer in your chosen niche
- Build connections with popular influencers in your industry
- Have complete control over where and when you work
- Developing your marketing and negotiation skills
Whatever your motivation is for blogging, you still have much work to do before you get to that point.
And without further ado, let’s talk about the steps you need to take to be a full-on blogger.
Step #1: Start Your Blog
First things first, you need to know how to build and run a blog.
The good news is, you hardly need any web development experience to accomplish this goal. In fact, I’m pretty confident that you can get a professional-looking blog up and running in less than an hour.
You see, the art of blog creation can be broken down into five simple steps:
- Picking a profitable niche
- Choosing the perfect name for your blog
- Finding a capable web hosting service provider
- Configure your content management system — preferably WordPress
- Optimizing your blog’s theme
Step #2: Monetize Your Blog
Now — for the million-dollar question:
How do you make money with a blog?
Plenty of ways, actually. But for most bloggers, there are three surefire strategies that you ought to consider:
- Display advertising through programs like Google AdSense
- Promote affiliate products for passive income
- Create and sell online courses
Step #3: Optimize Your Blog for Organic Search
Reaping the rewards of your blog monetization efforts may take some time.
Just don’t get too excited once you get the fruits of your labor.
During the first few months, your earnings should be reinvested in strategies that scale your blog. This includes SEO or Search Engine Optimization, which aims to improve the organic visibility of your blog.
SEO is divided into two halves: off-page SEO and on-page SEO.
Off-page SEO involves strategies that you do outside your site, such as guest posting and social bookmarking. However, these techniques take time — not to mention a steady supply of funds — to be effective.
In the meantime, you should turn your attention to on-page SEO tactics, which you can do on your site. Some examples are on-page keyword optimization, image compression, and internal linking.
Don’t know what these are? You should check out this in-depth on-page SEO guide for a closer look.
Step #4: Keep Brilliant Blog Post Ideas Coming
Speaking of SEO, there’s one strategy you shouldn’t ever miss: quality content development.
In order to get on the radar of search engines, your blog needs to signal relevancy. And the only reliable way to do this is to consistently publish informative content.
Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to come up with content topics that readers and search engines deem relevant.
There will be slow days when you simply can’t think of anything to write about.
That’s why I put together this list of 25 ideas to generate blog posts. With this in your hand, you’ll have enough content ideas to keep your blog fresh for months.
Step #5: Develop Top-Notch Content
It’s one thing to be able to come up with attention-grabbing content ideas, it’s another to actually write them.
The thing is, there are thousands — if not millions — of blogs out there who may offer similar content as you. If you want your blog to stand out, you need to improve every single facet of your blog writing game.
Your blog’s appearance? That’s only secondary.
What really matters is the value that you can provide your readers through your content. This step-by-step guide to blog content writing will show you the way forward.
Step #6: Learn How To Do Keyword Research
Whether you’re preparing for SEO or looking for content ideas, keyword research is a crucial step in the right direction.
If you’re not familiar with the concept, keywords pertain to the terms that users type into search engines. It directly relates to the information they want to retrieve — thus, affects the pages that appear in search results.
Keyword research normally involves expanding a keyword into longer, less-competitive variations. This way, you won’t have to compete against big brands that dominate high-volume keywords.
Of course, I don’t expect new bloggers to fully grasp the idea behind keyword research just like that. Instead, I recommend you read my guide on how to do keyword research for beginners.
Step #7: Promote Your Blog Content for Free
You may now have the ability to write winning content. The question is, what comes next after publishing them?
I’ll tell you: relentless blog promotion.
The phrase “build and they will come” doesn’t apply in the world of blogging. If you want your content to garner a massive, profitable audience, you need to learn how to promote your stuff.
You might be thinking: “I don’t have the budget yet to run ad campaigns.”
Luckily for you, you don’t need to spend a dime to get the word out on your blog.
Step #8: Explore More Ways to Get Traffic
An important aspect of keyword research is to make sure your target phrases actually generate search traffic.
What’s the point of targeting a keyword if nobody even searches for them on Google?
In any case, we’ve barely scratched the surface with the free blog promotion strategies discussed in the article linked above.
This list of blog traffic generation strategies is slightly more ambitious. It includes advanced strategies like:
- Promoting video content on YouTube
- Crafting infographics to maximize content shareability
- Undertaking a blogger outreach campaign
Let’s face it, even with the information above, you’ll still run across a couple of roadblocks in your blogging journey.
I can’t promise that I can help you solve every problem you encounter along the way. However, I do have the answers to some of the frequently asked questions in the blogging industry.
1. Do I need to be an expert to be a proficient blogger?
While you need accurate and updated knowledge, you don’t need to be a long-time expert to write compelling blog posts.
Blogging is a never-ending learning experience. It doesn’t matter how many years you have under your belt — there will always be new things to learn.
You do, however, need to do tremendous amounts of research whenever you write articles.
Since your brand is on the line whenever you publish content, you can’t afford to make factual mistakes.
2. How much does it cost to start a blog?
To be honest, not a lot.
If you’re happy with a subdomain from a blog publishing service, you can actually get started for free. Even if you decide to purchase your own domain, you might still be spending less than $10 a month.
Should you choose a self-hosted WordPress.org website, domain registration and hosting are your primary expenses. The other assets you need, like themes and plugins, are provided for free — unless you purchase from third-party providers.
Combined, domain registration and hosting shouldn’t exceed over $20 during the first month.
3. Should I quit my full-time job and focus on blogging?
Don’t expect your blog to start making thousands right away. Truth be told, your blogging expenses will most likely exceed your profits during the first year.
Until your blog becomes self-sustaining, you should hold on to any steady source of income.
4. What’s the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?
Everybody knows that WordPress is the most popular blogging software in the world.
In simple terms, WordPress.org is a free content management system that’s compatible with almost every web host.
WordPress.com, on the other hand, is a premium service that consolidates everything you need in one platform. That includes domain registration, web hosting, WordPress themes, and so on.
WordPress.com has a more streamlined user interface and slightly better usability. On the flip side, WordPress.org is significantly more flexible — not to mention the vast library of plugins that expand functionality.
5. How long should my blog posts be?
Okay — this can be tricky.
Studies suggest that articles between 2,250 and 2,500 words rank well on search engines. However, blog content can become boring if it drags on for too long.
The solution? Just write content as comprehensively as you can.
If there’s a piece of information that can help readers solve their problem, feel free to include it. Just try to avoid fluff as much as possible and don’t worry too much about word counts.
6. How often should I post?
Similar to the previous question, there’s no correct number of times to publish content on your blog.
While it’s definitely important to keep your blog updated with fresh posts regularly, don’t pressure yourself to needlessly publish content. Take your time, focus on promoting your previous posts, and never rush a blog post.
That would be it — the essential steps to building a profitable blog in any niche.
Remember, information without action is meaningless. What you need to do now is to read through the guides linked in this post and act upon them.
Have other questions you’d like to ask before you start your blog? How about suggestions regarding the post above?
Use the comments section below and let your voice be heard.