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How To Start A Blog And Make Money (2020)
And as always, for any one-on-one consulting and assistance, you may contact me at email@example.com
Want to start a blog?
Have you ever wondered how to start a blog and make money out of it?
Can blogging make you money?
Can blogging be a full-time job?
This article on ‘How To Start A Blog And Make Money’ covers all the basics of blogging, how to start a blog, the various options available to make money blogging, and more so, options that are relevant currently in 2020 and beyond.
Want to live a Nomad’s life? And at the same time, earn money?
By definition, being a nomad involves letting go of the things that really don’t matter and focusing on the ones that truly drive your passion and make living an adventure.
Blogging definitely is one option to help you live that dream.
Travel the world, (of course, once all these lockdowns & restrictions get lifted owing to Covid-19), see new places, meet new people, and yet, have the money coming into your account.
So, let me start off by saying. Blogging is not tough. At the same time, it isn’t easy either.
While living the nomad life is great & exotic, building a blog and generating income out of it, needs planning, strategies, and execution, just like any other business.
There’s a lot of hard work required. But once you start achieving website traffic and build an email list, you will be making money with your blog. And this does not happen overnight.
And I am hoping, this article on how to start a blog and make money helps you out.
Also, if you are looking for a detailed step-by-step course on ‘Blogging: How To Start A Blog And Make Money’, do register for the free course.
What is a Blog?
A blog is the shortened name for “weblog”.
A blog is an online journal or an informational website. A blog displays information in the reverse chronological order, i.e., with the latest posts appearing first.
And ‘Blogging’, well, is the process of writing a Blog.
The concept of blogging started off in the late 1990s. More so with the advent of platforms that supported such online journaling.
An example of such platforms is CMS (Content Management Tools) tools like WordPress, Bloggers, etc.
What is the purpose of a blog?
A blog started off as a personal journal. Today a number of businesses use blogs to get their business, products, and services out there. It is a great way to engage with your audience. Having said that, the key is to ensure you keep blogging on a regular basis.
Many new websites create a blog or two and that’s it. The underlying factor is to be consistently blogging. Coming out with a number of blogs related to your niche, also indicates to the audience that you are an expert in your niche.
You become that go to person for your niche. You become an authority.
In addition to promoting your business, products, and services, which also eventually builds credibility, one big advantage of blogging is to improve your search engine ranking. Yes, it does not help if you create small 100 to 200 worded articles. You need to create well-documented articles with a minimum of 1500 words. And these need to be optimized for search engines as well.
Do appreciate the fact, the inquiries and traffic you get from search engines are way better than those from social media. And the reason is simple.
Social media is meant for, yes, socializing. You go to your favorite social media platform with the intent of connecting with friends, checking what they are, or have been up to, etc. You do not go on to search engines with the sole purpose of buying or looking out for information.
So, if you do find an ad or information you like or is of interest to you, you click on it out of curiosity or on impulse. Thereby, the seriousness is not exactly there. Compare this to the traffic from search engines. Someone searching on Google is very clear about what they want. They have a clear intent.
And hence, if they find your well-optimized blog article, you get a click-through. Thus, in addition to just churning out blog articles, it is important that you optimize your blog articles too.
Can blogging make you money?
Simple answer – Yes.
That being said, if you are going to expect a million dollars in your account, within the first month of creating your blog, well, please do not start.
One must be ready to set small and realistic expectations initially. Once you do achieve the first target (milestone), you can scale up the process. And once the income starts coming in, you could invest in paid advertisements too, if required.
- WordPress powers over 34% of the internet but houses “only” about 60 million blogs.
- However, the platform sees over 70 million posts and more than 50 million comments every month.
(Source: Hosting Tribunal)
Which goes to say, there are over 2 million blog posts every single day on WordPress. And guess what, we are competing in that same very space. Gulp!
So the point I am driving here is that your blog articles will take time to reflect on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). A well-optimized article could take up to 4 to 6 months’ time.
You will see a slow and steady increase in your traffic and post 6 months, you could look at a big jump in the traffic coming into your website. While there are a number of other factors too that one must consider, e.g., the website being responsive, site performance and speed, etc., there will be a considerable increase in your website traffic. [Related article: SEO Checklist To Increase Traffic For New Websites]
The Secret Sauce
I will be covering the steps on how to start a blog and make money below in this article.
But, the key to making money by blogging is to work on your SEO and building an email list. Both of which take time.
As mentioned early on in this article, blogging is definitely not tough. But it takes time.
I have already discussed above, why the traffic coming from your search engines are so important. I also have an article on ‘SEO Checklist To Increase Traffic For New Websites’ in which I discuss the basics of SEO – Search Engine Optimization.
In addition to SEO, building an email list is equally important. If you have a loyal audience and a tribe that you have built, nurtured, and provided value for a long time, you would have built a relationship with them. And every time you post a new blog article, create systems to ensure your new blog post reaches your list automatically.
Even consider building a community. All your subscribers can be a part of this community and interact with one another. A community which you continue to engage and build, by providing value, by providing content that helps and is of utmost value.
Again, I have an article on ‘A Beginner’s Guide to Email Marketing (2020)’ to help you understand email marketing and how to build an email list.
5 Steps on How To Start A Blog
Step 1: Set up your Blog
Yes, you do need a website. Where else do you start blogging? And if you have to work on your content, optimize it for search engines, build an email list, etc., you will need a website.
You could use some free platforms, such as Wix to create a free website. But, if you are serious and looking at building a long term business out of Blogging, then I highly recommend you build your own website.
I have a full-fledged course on ‘Build A Brand, Learn WordPress and Email Marketing’. You could consider it if you want to learn how to build a WordPress site and a blog.
Step 2: Identify your Niche
A very important next step is to identify your niche.
What are you passionate about?
What can you write content day in and day out without batting an eyelid?
This is so important to identify before you kickstart on your blogging journey. As I said, you have to churn out content on a regular basis. And if it is on a topic you are not passionate about, your blog writing turns out to be a 9 to 5 job, which you may not be very keen on.
There is a lot of work to be done on your blog. If you really are looking at starting a blog and making money, blog writing is imperative. And thus, identifying your niche early on is very important.
Few questions that one must ask themselves are,
- Are you passionate about this niche? (Most important)
- Does your niche market have huge potential?
- Will you be able to get consistent traffic for your niche?
- Are there Affiliate Marketing opportunities for this niche?
- Does the audience interested in this niche, have the purchasing power?
Here is a list of 12 profitable blog niches that you can consider.
12 Most Profitable Blog Niches: Blogs That Make Money
- Digital Marketing (if you haven’t guessed by now, this is my niche)
- Health & Wellness
- Fashion & Beauty
- Finance & Investment
- Love & Relationship
- Pet Care
- Movie & Music
- Life Coaching
- Self Improvement
Step 3: Basic SEO
SEO is a huge topic by itself. But a basic understanding of SEO really helps you optimize your content, for it to show up on the SERP.
The key while starting off with blogging, is to look out for what is called ‘Long Tail Keywords’.
While I will be covering this in-depth in my course on Blogging, ‘Long Tail Keywords’ are typically four to five keyword phrases that are very specific to whatever you are buying or selling.
Most newbie website owners or bloggers don’t really pay attention to these ‘Long Tail Keywords’.
For example, let’s say I am creating a course on Digital Marketing. We will take three instances here. For the first instance, my keyword phrase will be Digital Marketing (Short Tail Keyword – 2 keywords).
Have a look at the search volume for this keyword I received on SEMRush (SEO Tool).
While the monthly search volume is well above 200K, do you really feel this entire 200K is looking out for a course on Digital Marketing?
For all you know, they may be looking out for Digital Marketers to help them in their business or want to gain some information and knowledge regarding Digital Marketing.
So, this is not our ideal target audience.
Let’s look at instance #2.
This time around, I will modify my keyword phrase to Digital Marketing Courses (Medium Tail Keyword – 3 to 4 words).
Have a look at the monthly search volume for the mentioned keyword phrase.
You will notice, the monthly search volume has decreased from 200K to around 60K. We are removing unwanted traffic. End of the day, we are looking out for a specific target audience – those who are looking out for courses on Digital Marketing.
Do you feel all these 60K odd searches are looking for Digital Marketing Courses? Yes, indeed. Also, if you do notice, the keyword difficulty has reduced marginally.
Now, let’s go a step further, into instance #3.
This time around, let’s target the keyword Digital Marketing Course for Beginners (Long Tail Keyword – 4 to 6 words).
And look at the monthly search volume.
The search volume has come down drastically.
Thus, as you narrow down your search and use the Long Tail Keywords, the search volume definitely decreases. But, it is always a good practice, especially when you are starting off, to target these Long Tail Keywords.
As you start building traffic for various blog articles, start working on the medium tail and the short-tail keywords.
Step 4: Publish Epic Content
There no two ways about this. You have to create great, epic content.
Content that offers value.
Content that solves the audience’s problems.
The more you churn out content this is of value, Google identifies your content as that of immense value to your audience. And thus, elevates you in the search rankings.
Creating an epic article does take time. Early on, you could have gotten away by creating an article of let’s say about 500 words. Today, with the amount of content that’s being created, I really recommend you create the content of at least about 1500 words.
Create content that is,
- Of immense value
- Solves a problem
- Actionable steps (step-by-step instructions)
- Unique (No content Plagiarism). You copy content from elsewhere, you can kiss your search engine rankings a Goodbye! 😉
- Well researched
- Includes facts, images, infographics, etc
Above all, be consistent at creating content. Now, when I say content, it can be blog articles, videos, images, infographics, podcasts, etc.
I have an article on How To Create A Content Calendar, to help you plan out your content strategy. Also included is a free download of the content calendar I follow. I hope it helps out.
Step 5: Build Traffic, Email Marketing
Yes, you must work on optimizing your content for the search engines. That, as indicated earlier, is one of the best sources of traffic. It is organic traffic and free. [Related article: SEO Checklist To Increase Traffic For New Websites]
In addition to this, you must work on all your platforms – all the components of Digital Marketing.
You must consider your website as the central hub. And your various platforms, be it your social media, email marketing, landing pages, lead magnets, etc., must all divert traffic to your website.
And on your website, use lead magnets and sales funnels to collect customer details. Once you have collected the details, nurture clients, and build long term relationships. My article on ‘A Beginner’s Guide to Email Marketing (2020)’ covers an in-depth into lead magnets and landing pages using ConvertKit.
How To Make Money With Your Blog?
There are a number of options to make money online. Some options I have not mentioned below are Domain Flipping, Selling Websites, Amazon FBA, Hosting Resellers, etc. A whole lot more.
And the reason being, I would like you to add only the following to your existing website & blog. If you can master the below mentioned, trust you me, you will not need to look out for a full-time job opportunity. Your website & your blog will be all you need to make money. And this is the primary reason to come out with this article on How to start a blog and make money. To help you become independent and live the nomad life! 😉
The options mentioned below help you build an MSI – Multiple Sources of Income.
And all from your one main platform – your website and blog.
# 1. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate Marketing will always feature as the number one option to make money online. It is one of the easiest ways to start making money online.
Affiliate Marketing is you selling someone else’s product and earning a commission for it. You do not have to spend time creating a product. All you have to do is sign up as an affiliate into one of the merchant accounts. Once you are approved, you get to promote your affiliate links.
My course ‘Affiliate Marketing for Beginners‘ is also featured on Udemy, with well over 16,000 students who’ve enrolled for it.
# 2. Start selling online (eCommerce)
You could either create a full-fledged eCommerce portal on your existing website or sell few select products.
While I will always endorse selling a digital product (no shipping & logistics involved), you could consider selling physical products too.
You can consider selling t-shirts, hand made artifacts, paintings, clothes, etc. The list really is endless. You could even consider selling products pertaining to your niche. Or even customized with your brand logo.
# 3. Create an eBook
An ebook is great as a lead magnet.
You could also create short crisp ‘How To’ ebooks which could be sold on your website. Again, the ebook must be in line with your niche and website.
These are all passive income streams. You take the time to create and as long as it offers value and is relevant, you can sell these on your website.
# 4. Online Course
Create an online course on a topic you are good at. Mind you, I did not mention a topic you excel in. The reason being, a number of people say, they are not a Subject Matter Expert (SME) in a particular topic.
Well, the good news is, you needn’t be.
Remember, there is always someone who has a little less knowledge than what you have. And if you can help that person reach your level of expertise, your course has served its purpose.
It’s like on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the expert level.
If you are on the number 5, and your audience is on the number 1, can you not teach someone to reach number 5. And in the process of teaching someone, you research and get better at that particular topic. And slowly, you too will climb up the ladder and proceed towards a number 10.
Learning is a continuous process.
I have created two courses and selling them both on my website ‘Bloggers Bloom’ and also on Udemy.
Online courses are yet another passive income stream. You have to ensure you create a GREAT course, filled with value for your end-user. And once ready, it keeps earning for you, again, as long as it is relevant.
I hope you found value in this article.
Please do share your views and feedback in the comments section below. It will only help me improve and in turn, help me in bringing out quality content for you.