How To Start A Blog For Profit
There are people all over the world making money from their blogs. They could have travel blogs, food blogs, sports blogs or they could simply just document their lives using a blog to build their personal brand. In this post, I am going to tell you how to start a blog for profit.
Why Start A Blog
Before I go in to how to start a blog, I am going to go through a few reasons why people like you do it.
1. Make Money
You have probably seen lots of success stories of people making lots of money with their blog. There are lots of ways to monetise blogs, but you need to build up a following to take advantage of this. You won’t make any money in the early days, but when you start attracting more people, your monetisation methods (I will go in to these later) will start to work. It is totally feasible to make a good living from a good quality blog that attracts thousands of people per day.
2. Blogging Isn't Difficult
OK the actual blogging is easy and so is building the website. If you have any kind of communication skills, you can write a blog. The difficult part, is keeping consistent and ensuring that you are posting regularly. There are some techniques that you will need to learn to ensure that your audience can find you (this is something else I am going to tell you how to do).
3. Search Engines Love Blogs
When people use search engines such as Google, to find information about topics and products, the algorithms give them the most relevant information for their search term. In many cases, this relevant information is in form of blogs. The best content in the eyes of Google will be placed at the top of the search results. These are the websites that get the most traffic, and in turn will earn more money. Blogs attract traffic for free, without having to rely on paid adverts.
4. Great For Personal Development
By writing blogs, your writing skills improve hugely. Looking back at my earlier content makes me cringe a bit. But, I have come a long way since then. This is because I think about what I am doing more and I have learned about different techniques to please my readers and Google.
Many of the posts on this website are products of my own research in trying to decide what I am going to do with my life. There is a lot more to come too!
5. Helping Others
I know you came to this page to learn how to earn money from blogging. But you won’t be able to earn money without helping others.
Writing blogs that help people achieve their goals or solve a problem is the way to get traffic to your blog. Additionally, you get a warm and fuzzy feeling when you get emails and comments from your readers thanking you for your helpful information.
6. Self Promotion
Many people are using blogs as part of creating their personal brand. Even if you are not using your blog to make money from, you can use a blog to get your next job.
Building your own personal brand is super important for career progression these days. Competition is fierce, so if you can tell your story prospective employers or clients and do it properly, you stand a better chance of getting it.
7. Blogging As A Hobby
By treating it as a hobby, you can build up your blog in your spare time. You will be writing about something that you are interested in or have a passion about.
The fact that your blogs will be about things that you like, means that it will be genuine and of high quality. This will eventually turn your blog in to an authority website on a particular subject, attracting lots of people to it. Why not earn some money from your hobby?
Steps To Starting A Blog For Profit
Step 1 - Choose a Niche
Choosing a niche for your blog is very important if you want to earn any money from it. The reason for this, is that you need to target an audience. A niche is a group of people with a shared interest and they will be searching the internet for information on certain topics related to their niche.
By basing your blog around a focussed niche, you will appeal to a small but potentially loyal audience. You would be forgiven for thinking that a broad niche would reach more people, but this isn’t the case. Broad niches are too varied and not specialised enough to hold the attention of an audience. There is also far too much competition to battle with on search engines.
For example, if you were to build a travel blog, you would need to make it more focussed to appeal to a select few to make it a success, such as:
- Eco travel
- Backpacking across America
- Ski resorts in France
- Cooking in a camper van
- Travelling by rail across China
Step 2 - Choose A Domain Name
Once you have chosen your niche, you need to think of a good domain name. Of course, if you are building up your personal brand, this will more than likely be your name. But, if not you need to put some thought in to it. You may have some good ideas already, but there are a few things to consider that I wish I knew when I first started out. In summary your domain name should be:
- a .com
- easy to type
- easy to remember
- easy to say
- allow you to expand or even sell later on
Step 3 - Build A Blog Website
Building a blog website is not as difficult as you may think. There are a couple of ways you can do this. The first option, is to code your website yourself from scratch. However, you really don’t need to do this. Doing it this way takes far too long to do and it will be pretty terrible. Most bloggers build their websites using WordPress. This is because it really easy to use and its plugins allow you to give your blog certain features and functionality with very little effort. Here are the steps open what you need to do to build a WordPress website:
- Choose a website host – It is common for people to choose the cheapest host they can find. This is not always recommended, as they are usually slow and unreliable. A good option is Blue Host, as it is inexpensive and reliable.
- Set up your blog – If you sign up to Blue Host, you can easily install WordPress with one click. If you choose another host, they should have something similar. If not, the chances are they are a poor website host.
- Choose a theme and personalise it – WordPress themes are what gives your blog its look. There are lots to choose from and many of them are very customisable. When you choose a theme, I suggest you do a bit of research in to it. The most important thing these days is to make sure that it is responsive. This means that it will be fast and works well with mobile devices. Also look at the amount of downloads and the star ratings of the theme that you like the look of.
- Choose plugins – As I said before, plugins give your blog certain features and functions. Plugins give you the ability to speed up your website, add tables, buttons, video, add eCommerce functions, block spam add security and much more. Many plugins are free, but some have “pro” versions that unlock extra features for a small payment.
Step 4 - Plan Your Content
You may just be using your blog as an online diary, which is fine. However, you need to be either really patient or already very influential if you want to make money from it.
This is where you need to come up with a list of blogs you want to write. But if you base your content around what people are looking for on the internet, you are going to attract organic traffic.
By researching keywords you can build up a list of content to write that will attract people to your website. Keywords are what people are typing in to search engines looking for answers. Remember when I said that helping people will build traffic? Well by writing blogs that answer people’s questions, you will get visitors.
There are a few techniques that you can use to build up your keyword list and I have outlined all of them in my guide to finding the best keywords.
Step 5 - Start Blogging
Now you have a blog and a list of content to write, you need to get writing! Your blogs need to be written in a certain way. You need to write them so search engines will be able to see that they providing quality information to their users. You do this by writing SEO worthy content. SEO stands for search engine optimisation and is crucial for getting your blog in front of your targeted audience.
I mentioned keyword research earlier, and this is your first step when it comes to writing SEO friendly blogs. But there are a few other things you need to do.
You can’t just start writing without thinking about it. This is because your content needs to engage with your audience.
By being clear about what your message to your audience is, you will be able to structure your blog properly. For example, if you are answering a common question that is asked, you need to make sure you stick to it and make sure you answer the question in full. If you want somebody to take action, make sure you clearly state what it is and why.
The main thing to remember, is that you need to ensure that the question related to the keyword is answered fully. If you don’t answer the question properly, people will stop reading your blog and leave the page. This will have a negative effect on how search engines see your blog and it will damage your rankings.
By writing valuable content, you build trust with both your audience and search engines. This is because both will see your blog as a worthwhile source of information.
Make It Easy To Read
Everyone has their own writing style and have different techniques for structuring their blogs. However, everyone has to follow the structure of:
The body of your blogs can be structured in your own way. But by breaking it down in to sub headings (like I have done on this post) it makes it easier to read. Also search engines like to the different subheadings, as it indicated that you are providing information on a variety of topics and you are keeping it organised and clean.
Having lots of words is also beneficial for SEO purposes. It shows that you are giving your audience lots of information. When you use lots of words, you will naturally add LSI keywords. LSI stands for Latent Semantic Indexing. These are keywords that are related to your topic and primary keyword. Search engines use LSI keywords to determine how relevant your content is to the search term.
You should really be aiming for a word count of over 1000 words to ensure you ave enough information for both your audience and for Google.
Add Internal and External Links
Internal links are links to other posts on your website. They need to be relevant to what your are writing about. This shows search engines the most important posts and it provides more information for the reader. You should have at least two internal links per post.
External links are those that are to other websites. Links to relevant pages on Wikipedia or other authority websites are great for SEO. You can even drop relevant YouTube videos in to your blogs as external links. External links show search engines that you are a good source of information, but don’t overboard with them. You only need one external link for every three blogs you write.
Each blog post should have some images. This is because images look great, but they are also one of the things search engines look at when they determine how high posts should be ranked.
Images break up the content and add colour to your blogs. This makes for a much nicer user experience and will keep them on your page much longer. Make sure your images are copywriter free by choosing relevant ones from websites such as Pixabay or unsplash.
If you choose a good SEO WordPress plugin such as All In One SEO or Yoast, you will have some sections to fill in ion the background of your post. Search engines crawl through these sections to help them decide where to rank your post. By dropping keywords in to these sections and creating enticing descriptions, your rankings will improve and will attract more visitors.
I know I have mentioned keywords a couple of times, but this is super important. Without basing your content around quality keywords you are just feeling around in the dark for traffic. I use a keyword research tool called Jaaxy to help be decide if a keyword is good enough to bas my content around. I can see how many searches it has per month, how much traffic it will give me if I can get on the first page of Google and how much competition it has.
Monetise Your Blog
Once you have started creating some great content and you are getting some traffic, it is time to start monetising your blog. There are a few methods to make money from your blog, some are easier than others and some are more lucrative than others. I have written a guide on all the methods of how you can make money from a blog, but in short you can:
- Set up Google AdSense – Place adverts that are automatically targeted to your audiences search history within your content
- Sell advertising space – Get paid for putting banner adverts on your website
- Sell memberships – Create exclusive content for people who subscribe to a member’s section to your website
- Sell your services – Advertise your skills and services such as writing, graphic design, fitness training or photography
- Sell physical products – sell things that you have made or buy products and sell them at a higher price
- Sell digital products – Sell training courses, photos, music, videos or eBooks from your blog
- Sponsored content – By writing an article about a product or business, you can get paid for it by an advertiser. This will also help to boost your online presence.
- Donations – You can literally ask people for money! If you build up a small but loyal fan base, they will be willing to help you out while you are getting established
- Affiliate marketing – Affiliate marketing is by far the best way to monetise your blog. By promoting products and services, you get paid a commission every time somebody buys through affiliate links on your blog. You can write reviews, buyer’s guides, recommendations and stories about your experiences with the product or service. People will start to trust your recommendations and buy through your website.
It is entirely possible to turn your blog in to a source of income that will bring in four digits to your bank account every month. To really make sure to make your blog in to a profitable business, I recommend that you get some training. By signing up to a proper training course, you will be able to build a blog from scratch in the right way to make money from it.
I recommend that you check out Wealthy Affiliate. Wealthy Affiliate provide all the information and tools you need to set up a profitable blog from scratch.
There is even a free membership that gives you plenty of training, access to the Jaaxy keyword research tool and you even get two free hosted websites.
The free training takes you through building your blog, how to create great content and how to monetise it. My rundown of the Wealthy Affiliate Free Membership tells you all about it and gives you all the tips on how to make the most of it.
That Is How To Start A Blog For Profit
Now you know the reasons why people write blogs and how to make money from it. I strongly recommend the Wealthy Affiliate Free Membership to get you started. All you need is an email address to sign up. This is how I started my online business and haven’t looked back since.
Please let me know your thoughts and questions in the comments section below.