Starting A Blog For Income
For this post I am going to assume that you want to start a blog, but have no knowledge on how to do so. If you feel that this is a bit daunting, don’t worry, it is actually a lot easier than it used to be. In just a few minutes you can have a fully working blog on a hosted domain. The hard work comes later, when you are posting content, but starting a blog for income is a great way of making money from home.
Is Starting A Blog Complicated?
If you have never had any experience in starting a blog for income, you may feel bit nervous, about not having any tech ical knowledge. There are some things that you will need to learn but, you don’t need to have to be some kind of super brained hacker that needs to know how to write code. There are times when a bit of code knowledge would be useful, but it isn’t totally necessary. To be honest, I don’t have much knowledge of html and I don’t have much interest in spending months learning how to do it. It is useful to know a little bit about it, as there maybe some times when you need to copy and paste code in to the right places on your website.
However, if you choose a simple website builder, or WordPress plugin, the times you have to do this are very minimal, especially if you are planning on only having a simple blog website.
When it comes to running and maintaining your blog, it is fairly simple. Just make sure that your that you post regularly, to keep your audience engaged and make sure all your plugins are up to date.
Can You Start A Blog For Free?
There are many different platforms that allow you to start a blog for free. Some good examples are blogger.com, wordpress.com and tumblr.com. However, these free blogs are designed for the hobby blogger. These are mainly used as a form of social media. If you want to take it more seriously, you should look in to what a paid blog can offer you. Paid blogs give you better services, such as faster speed, good reliability and support. I recommend Bluehost as a great web host that is reasonably priced.
However, if you want to know how to start a blog for income, and have access to all the tools, I recommend this fantastic platform.
Steps for Starting A Blog For Income
I will now go through the steps you need to take in order to start your blog. I will start at the very beginning and give you some tips on how to make it successful.
Step 1 - Choose Your Niche
You need to base your blog around a niche, this is so you appeal to a particular audience. A niche is a group of people with a similar interest. This could be a sport, hobby, lifestyle or an aspect of life.
By basing your blog around a niche you can target your content to people that are actually going to read it. This is why the most successful niche choices are narrowly focussed. A focussed niche targets less people, but it you are more likely to get traffic, as a broad niche is too varied and not specialised enough to hold the attention of an audience. Also, if you choose a niche that is too broad, you will have too much competition to rank highly in search engines.
Not all niches are profitable, check out my post on how to choose a nice for all the details, but in summary, your niche should:
- Be focussed
- Have a big enough following
- Not have too much competition
- Not go out of fashion
- Should not be too seasonal
- Have a good selection of products and services to promote
- Allow you to expand on later
Step 2 - Choose Your Domain Name
Your domain name is really important. You may have an idea of the domain name you want for your blog, but it actually takes some careful consideration to find a good domain name that isn’t in use already. Your domain name gives your website visitors their first impression, it contributes to your website’s SEO and it is a major part of your brand. Before you buy your domain name, have a look at my guide on how to choose a domain name, but in summary your domain name:
- Needs to not already in use
- Be easy to type
- Be easy to say
- Be brandable
- Not too long
- Not restrict you in the future
Once you have chosen your domain name, you need to get it registered. You can simply Google website registrars to do this. But your web host, should be able to allow you to do this too.
Step 3 - Build Your Blog
So you have your niche and domain name chosen, now it is time to build your website. Most blogs are built using WordPress. This is because it makes it super easy to build and manage a blog without having any coding skills. The appearance is taken care of with customisable themes, while the features and functions are done with plugins.
I mentioned Bluehost earlier as a recommended website host. They also act as a domain name registrar. In addition to this, they make it pretty easy to install WordPress.
But if you want more features and convenience I recommend Wealthy Affiliate. I will go in this in more detail later, but it offers website hosting, domain registration, a website builder, business tools and a fantastic amount of training on starting a blog for income.
Step 4 - Plan Your Content
Some bloggers will just use their website as a personal diary. To make any money out of this you really need to become some kind of social media influencer. Therefore, it is best to plan what blogs you are going to write. In essence, blogging for income, is content marketing. People will be searching for answers to problems or for things that they are interested in (this is why choosing a niche is so important). So you need to write about stuff that people are searching for. The best way to know what people are searching for, is to do some keyword research. My post how to do keyword research for content marketing takes you through all the techniques.
Without doing keyword research, you are just hoping that people will be interested in what you have to say and that there isn’t too much completion. Keyword research gives you all the information to know where to focus your efforts when it comes to content creation.
Step 5 - Start Blogging
Now you have everything in place for getting your content out in the world. But, you need to make sure that your content is written in a certain way.
The first thing you need to focus on, is helping people. By being helpful your readers will be able to get the information they are searching for. This will keep them engaged and they will return as you become an authority in your niche. Being helpful will also be recognised by search engines and they will reward you by placing your content high in people’s searches.
The better your search engine rankings are, the more traffic you will get, which means you will earn more money from your content. Therefore, you need to incorporate some SEO techniques in to your content. SEO stands for search engine optimisation and helps search engines rank see how relevant content is with regards to their user’s searches. These SEO techniques are not particularly complex, as you can see from my SEO checklist, but you just have to remember to use them.
Examples of blogs that you are likely to write include:
- Personal experiences
- Buyer’s guides
- Gift guides
Step 6 - Monetise Your Blog
Once you have started writing some blogs using the techniques I have outlined, you will start to get some traffic. This is the time to start monetising your blog. There are a few different ways to do this 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.
Where To Learn About All This
I have given you a lot of information here on starting a blog for income. But I urge you to get educated about it, to give yourself the best chance of success.
You can scour the internet for all the information. By doing this, you will find lots of different people’s perspectives on the best ways to do it. The problem with doing this, is that it is very time consuming, it is easy to miss out essential steps and there is a lot of conflicting information. This can make it difficult to decide on the best path to take.
While searching for all this information, you will come across lots of gurus. Some of these guys will promise you the secret to making money overnight with your blog. These are the scam artists, as there is no quick way of making money with a blog. It takes time and effort, so anyone that says otherwise is not telling the truth.
The best way in my experience, is with a platform called Wealthy Affiliate. This platform has everything you need to make a business out of a blog website. It concentrates on monetisation with affiliate marketing, while giving you all the tools and training necessary to make a blog a sustainable source of income.
I am a member of Wealthy Affiliate and it is where I learned (I am still learning from it) about affiliate marketing. I started with the Free Membership, as it gave me the insight I wanted to decide if it was for me without spending a penny. Check out my rundown of the Wealthy Affiliate Free Membership to see what you get. Alternatively, you can click on the image below to check it out for yourself.