Starting A Blog For Profit
Having your own blog as a way of making money is one of the enjoyable businesses you can start. Starting a blog for profit allows you to make money from your interests or things that are a big part of your lifestyle. In this post, you will learn about starting a blog for profit, what it is like and how it is done.
Benefits Of Starting A Blog For Profit
I have many passions in life and if I worked for someone else, I would not be able to do them all enough. Therefore, the best part for me, is the flexibility of using my blog websites as my business. During the winter, I spend as much time as possible snowboarding, during the summer, I mountain bike a lot amongst other things. For example, last night, I went wakeboarding with my friends.
As you can see from the photos above, life is good. As long as I am productive enough, I can pick and choose my working hours when the conditions are perfect. There are times when I have to say no to the good times to make sure I have done enough work. Also, I am often thankful for the rest when I am sitting in front of my computer.
The other element of flexibility is that I can work from anywhere. I have no plans to move from my home in the French Alps, but the world is an unpredictable place, so if I did have to move elsewhere, my business would be able to carry on uninterrupted. But, if I fancy a change of scenery, I can work from a local café or tether my phone to my laptop and find a scenic spot.
You don’t have to be an outdoor enthusiast to enjoy this flexibility. If you are a parent, living in a camper van or have other commitments, you will benefit from starting a blog for profit.
Your Work Is Enjoyable
Your blog should be based within a niche, I will go into this later, but your niche should be something you are interested in. One of my interests is promoting this online business lifestyle, and I enjoy telling people how they can do it too.
The fact that you are blogging about things you are passionate about makes it fun. You will also learn more about your interest, as you will be doing lots of research on it or experiencing it more. Eventually, you will become an authority in your niche, and people will look towards for information and content.
There are many ways you can monetise your blog, again, this is something I will go into later. But, with a blog, you open yourself up to an international audience that can spend money through your blog at any time.
If starting a blog for profit is your main goal, you will soon realise that it is much cheaper to start than with a traditional busines
You may be thinking about starting a blog as a second income, but if you do it right, it could be your primary source of income. The thing with online businesses is that you can divert your attention to where it is needed most.
Once your blog is established, you may want to start other websites or find additional ways of making money alongside it. This means you have multiple sources of income, rather than just one with a traditional job.
How To Start A Blog For Profit
If all this sounds like the lifestyle you want, continue reading. I will now go through the steps you need to take to start a blog for profit.
Step 1 - Choose A Niche
You need to appeal to an audience therefore you need to choose a niche. I go into all the details in my post what is a niche for affiliate marketing? (I will talk about affiliate marketing later too). But in summary, your niche is your target audience. Therefore, you are doing your best to appeal to a group of people with a similar interest.
Examples of niches for blogs include:
- A sport
- A hobby
- Food and drink
But it is important to choose a narrow niche to focus your blogs on to specific sub-groups within these niches. For instance, if you wanted to be a travel blogger, you need to consider that there are different types of travel. If you build a blog that covers all aspects of travelling, you will struggle to get your content in front of people. Blogs in broad niches have too much competition. Therefore, your broad travel niche will be competing against every travel blog and website on the internet. You need to narrow your focus down to a particular type of travel. Examples of narrowing your focused travel niche could be:
- Environmentally-friendly travel
- Travelling between all the best surf spots in Europe
- Cruising the canals of France
- Crossing the USA by motorbike
- Luxury accommodation in trendy cities
- Following the best snow conditions for skiing and snowboarding across Europe
As you can see, these examples focus on particular types of traveller. You need to research your niche, as not all niches are profitable in my experience, as there are a few things that it needs to:
- Have a big enough following to attract enough traffic
- Have low competition
- Be relevant and not go out of fashion
- Be a big enough subject to write lots of content on
Step 2 - Choose A Domain Name
Your blog needs a good domain name, which is the URL of your website (the domain name for this website is www.adventurousaffiliate.com).
Your domain name gives your audience their first impression of you. Therefore, it needs to meet certain criteria, such as:
- It should be easy to say and type
- Not be too long
- Not contain numbers
- Not be in use
- It should be a .com
- Relevant to your brand
- It should not restrict you in the future
Once you have chosen a good domain name, you need to get it registered. There are lots of domain name registrars, but you may want to register it with your website host. You can learn more about domain names, in my post, how to choose a domain name for your business.
Step 3 - Choose A Quality Website Host
To get your blog online, you need to find a good host. A website host is a server somewhere in the world that your blog will sit on, allowing it to be online. There are many different website hosts, but some are better than others.
Using a cheap website hosts isn’t always the best idea, as they can be slow and unreliable. I recommend that you check out my guide on how to choose the best host for a blog.
Step 4 - Build Your Blog
A good website host will make it super easy to build your blog from scratch.Choose one that allows you to build your blog with just one click, as it makes life so much easier. Some hosts give you a website with WordPress already installed.
You can learn all about WordPress in my post, what is the best platform for a blog?, but essentially, WordPress is the back end of your blog from where you manage it.
At this stage, you can customise how your blog looks, by choosing a WordPress theme. There are endless themes to choose from, and many of them are free. Some will have paid premium versions, but don’t worry about that just yet. Themes are customisable in terms of creating the layout and aesthetics of your blog.
It is very easy to spend too much time choosing and customising your theme, but you will probably need to adjust it later on as you start filling it with blogs, so I recommend keeping it simple.
An essential part of choosing a theme, is to make sure that you need choose a theme that is “responsive”. Responsive themes make your blog posts load quickly and work well on mobile devices. It is very important to do this, as mobile users will lose patience and not bother with your blog.
The next thing you need to do is look at some plugins. These are what give your blog the functions and features you want it to have. Like themes, many of these are free, with paid options.
Don’t go silly with loads of plugins though, as too many will slow your website down and negatively affect its search engine rankings.
Step 5 -Brand Your Blog
As part of customising the the look of your blog, you need to think about its branding. This is when you choose the colour scheme and create a logo.
When it comes to logos, if you are not particularly arty, you can pay someone to design one for you. I recommend checking out freelance graphic designers on Fiverr for great value for money.
However, it is possible to create a logo yourself with ease and for free using Canva. I find Canva invaluable, as it makes creating graphics extremely easy, and it is something I use every day for all of my online business efforts.
I am not very good at matching colours, therefore I use the Adobe colour wheel. This is another free online resource that helps you find colours that match, contrast or complement the colours you may want for your brand.
Step 6 - Create Content
Your blog site doesn’t have to exclusively be a way to update people on what you have been up to. You really need to mix it up a bit by posting different types of content. Typical blogs consist of the following things:
- Personal experiences
- Reviews of products and services
- Comparisons of products and services
However, if you just start writing blogs, without a good social media presence, you are just hoping that people will want to read your blogs. Therefore, you need to create content that people are already searching for online.
Content is king when it comes to blogging, but good content starts with keyword research. Keywords are what people search for when they want some information. So, basing your blogs around keywords, will bring people to your blog organically.
Keyword research may sound a bit boring. But honestly, it isn’t that bad and spending an hour doing it, can give you a list of content to write that will last you months. Check out my guide to keyword research to see all the methods and best practices for building a great keyword list.
The more helpful you are, the more people you will attract to your blog. This is because you are answering people’s questions. You will eventually become an authority in your niche, which builds up trust with your audience. The more people that read your blogs, the more money you will make.
Step 7 - Get On Social Media
To increase your reach, it is a good idea to set up some social media accounts. There are people out there that say you should be on every social media channel, but I think it is up to you what you do. This is because you may not feel comfortable, or it may not be appropriate for your brand if you are dancing on TikTok.
You may want experiment with social media channels you are not familiar with, and if you can make them work, you stand a good chance of reaching more people that you can direct them to your blog.
Step 8 - Monetise Your Blog
When you start to get some traffic to your blog and are in the early stages of building a following, you can monetise your blog. There are several ways you can make money from your blog, such as:
- Selling advertising space
- Google Adsense
- Selling physical products
- Selling digital products (ebooks, music, photos, guides, etc.)
- Sponsored blogs
However, the most effective way of monetising a blog is with affiliate marketing. This is when you promote other people’s products and services on your blog. You do this by joining affiliate programs and dropping affiliate links into your blogs. These links seamlessly take your readers to where they can buy products and services online. But, they also track sales and reward you with a percentage of the sales price.
As an example, let’s look at the travel niche again, as there are loads of ways to use affiliate marketing to earn money in this niche.
- Have you stayed in a great Airbnb? – Join the affiliate program and write about your experience
- Do you take great photos that people love? – Write about your camera equipment and place affiliate links into your blog to direct them to where they can buy the same stuff
- Are you backpacking across Europe? – Write about the experiences and where you have stayed, and drop affiliate links to TripAdvisor to each of them
- Are you living in a camper van while driving across Canada? – Create content on van life and recommend products that make your life easier
Anyway, you get the idea. If you can think of something you can buy online, there is a good chance that there is an affiliate program for it.
I go into more detail about all this in my post, how can I make money from affiliate marketing? where you can learn about the whole process and how it all works.
Step 9 - Build A Mailing List
A mailing list allows you to update your readers with links to your blogs. The people that sign up to your mailing lists like what you are doing and trust what you have to say.
Therefore, sending your blogs that recommend products and services to people that trust you will put you in good stead for earning money from them.
The way to get people to sign up to your mailing list is to offer them something for free. This can be in the form of an ebook or a guide that they will find useful. It is quite easy to do this using a service such as Mailchimp.
You need to send the people on your list regular updates, but don’t bombard them with daily emails. If you do this, there will soon unsubscribe, as they will feel like you are spamming them.
What It Is Like Starting A Blog For Profit
The thing about starting a blog for profit is that profit doesn’t come easy or quickly. It takes lots of time and consistent work to make it a success.
It is very frustrating to start with, as you will be working form months without making a penny. However, when the pennies start to come in, the snowball into regular and significant income. But, you have to do it in the right way.
The best way to shorten the path to success is to get educated in the proper methods. You can trawl the internet looking for the answers, but it can be tricky. This is because you don’t have a defined path to follow and you will come across many gurus trying to sell you their eBooks.
Therefore, I recommend that you check out the course that I started with and still use today at Wealthy Affiliate.
Wealthy Affiliate is a platform that has everything you need for starting a blog for profit, including:
- Website hosting
- Keyword research tool
There is also a free membership, so you can give it a try without any risk. I go into all the details of what I like and don’t like about it in my post, Does Wealthy Affiliate Really Work?
If you have any questions or thoughts about starting a blog for profit, please leave them in the comments section below.