Do you want to learn how to start a blog and make money blogging? Some make six-figure income with blogs, some make a living while spending as much time as they need with their families and some just start a blog and close it at the end of the first year because they don’t even make enough to pay for the next year’s hosting. If you don’t want to be one of the last type of bloggers, you need to be very strategic about blogging and making money with your website. I’m here to share my experience building a blog from zero to profit in monthly income.
I started blogging many years ago. This is the ultimate guide for how to make money blogging in 2020! Just seven steps that will make all the difference between a success and a failure. I’ll do my best to keep this post short and nice even though it includes all of what I learned about making money with blogs in my years of experience.
So, the first step is decide about your niche for the blog. Since we’re now talking only about profitable blogs and not blogs that are just a hobby, we need to look for blog niches which can actually bring you money. Based on human nature, people are always ready to pay for information about health, personal finance and making money online. And you probably know that Pinterest is a great source of traffic. And I can tell you also which niches work the best for driving traffic from Pinterest – these are home decor and DIY, recipes, parenting, specific diets like paleo, keto, vegan and others. Lifestyle, beauty and fashion, relationship advice. And something I want you to keep in mind is that it’s very likely that your topic might be changing over time. When you start a blog and when you think about a name for your blog, which ideally should have something to do with your niche of course, just don’t overthink it. And don’t choose a name that is too narrow. I’ll explain what I mean. For example, if we take diets. A few years ago, everyone was crazy about the Weight Watchers diet, then about paleo diet then about the keto diet. And if you pick a name that defines one specific diet, it will make it harder for you to change the direction and start working on content related to other niches.
The second step: pick your blog name. Your blog name and domain name essentially is the same thing and several rules apply to the process of picking a domain name. First, it should be short and easy to remember. You have to avoid using numbers and hyphens in domain name. I also want to tell you don’t use weirdly spelled or misspelled words just because the keyword you wanted to to target is not available as a domain name. Because wrong spelling will always confuse people. And domain names can be descriptive and they can define the niche or the main topic of your blog. They can also be completely unrelated to the niche. They can be just something original that stands out in your niche and your domain name can be just using your your own name as a brand. And the last option is quite convenient by the way when you’re not sure what your blog is going to be about. You can put any niche or topic under your personal name, right? This option doesn’t work well if you have a very popular name. In that case, you will hardly find this domain available. But for my blog, it worked fine 🙂
How To Start A Blog WordPress
We’re moving to the step 3. Now you have to technically start a blog. Obviously, the first thing you need to do is actually start this blog and it’s a pretty quick process. You can set up a domain and hosting for
your new site in about 10 minutes. I have a full little step-by-step guide
for this process here. And here are a few things you need to know and to have when you’re starting your website. First, it’s a content management system. The most popular platform for bloggers is WordPress and Idon’t recommend you start using platforms like Wix or Squarespace because they are suitable more for static sites which have just a few pages. As a blogger, you will need a more flexible platform, that’s why WordPress is the best option. Second thing you need is a hosting provider. I always recommend LocalExpertWebDesign company for beginners because it’s the most affordable it has 24 hours support and it has seamless integration with WordPress. And there are other similar options out there. If you want to learn how to start a blog the right way I have left a link to help you with the technical part of starting a blog. But also I will give you all the details you need to know about blog monetization.
We’re moving to the step 4. You need to select now a WordPress theme
that helps you actually make money blogging. Now I’m sorry if it’s getting
more and more confusing because I just told you about hosting services, about the WordPress blogging system, and now there’s another term. So, what are WordPress themes? These are some templates that define how your blog will look. If WordPress platform is the engine of your website, a blog theme is how it actually looks from the outside. Some of the free themes are pretty good and you can start with a free theme so you don’t have to invest in a paid one from the beginning. You can go to the WordPress directory and find a free theme you like the most or just pick one of the highly ranked themes. I can recommend you these themes: Astra, Flash Blog, Ocean VP and Hestia. When you’re choosing a blog theme,
always check that it’s a responsive theme which means that the theme is
optimized for mobile devices because it’s very likely that about 60-70% of all users to a site will be coming from mobile phones or tablets. And if you want to start a blog with a premium paid WordPress theme right away, I always recommend Divi theme for beginners because it’s easy to customize and to understand how to use it and a very user-friendly option for sure. Then I also recommend Genesis Frame framework if you’re a more advanced blogger or maybe you have had experience building websites on WordPress.
Step 5: create content that converts. What is so different about the strategy of a blogger who makes five dollars a month from a blogger who makes a thousand dollars or even ten thousand dollars a month? So, what sets them apart is the way they approach content creation and how they select topics for their content. A blogger who is struggling is just posting random stuff that happens in their life or something that no one would actually search for. Let me tell you the hard truth; nobody cares about you on the
internet unless you are maybe a celebrity like Ronaldo or Kim Kardashian.
People are online to find solutions for their problems and answers to their questions. So you have to do keyword research to find one of those questions and what are those problems you could solve for them. Some of the tools you could use for free to do keyword research and to validate your content ideas before you start writing is the keywords everywhere Chrome browser extension. This shows you the search volume for your keywords in Google as well as lots of related keywords and search volumes for them too. Pinterest search suggestions is also a great way to come up with ideas for content. Pinterest shows these suggestions in the descending order from left to right, which means that the suggestions on the left are the most popular. Another free keyword research tool is Niel Patel’s uber suggest. This tool is a little more advanced since it shows you how competitive the keyword is and it shows you which ofyour competitors rank high for the same keyword.
How To Start A Blog Using Pinterest, Facebook & Instagram
Step 6: promote your content and get traffic to your website. When it comes
to getting visitors to your website and getting more eyeballs on your content you can work with so many platforms like Pinterest Google for both organic, paid traffic with Facebook , and with YouTube you can work with forums and with Q&A sites with guest posting. Most people when they’re starting a blog they only think about the bigger platforms like Facebook and Instagram that have lots of users but there is something they don’t understand is that it’s a lot of competition and they start working on vanity metrics like impressions and likes on their posts inside Instagram or Facebook. The problem is that most of these metrics are not correlating with the traffic to the website. As traffic generators on Instagram you
cannot add links inside your posts so the only way to link to your blog is in
your profile bio. Even your followers will barely check the profile by link
and if they do it’s probably just the first time when they’re deciding about
following you. You can also have links in stories on Instagram which can be
available for 24 hours and it’s only available for people who have more than 10,000 followers so it’s not an option for beginners. Instagram is good for building your personal brand or for influencers that are fashion bloggers but keep in mind that Instagram is designed to keep users on their platform, not to send traffic to external websites. Facebook used to be a
very good traffic source for a couple of years but this has changed. Facebook decided that pages have had enough free traffic and should pay for views in the feed of users. You can still see your organic viral posts on Facebook but they’re usually engineered as viral posts. Facebook unfortunately cannot be organic and sustainable source of traffic so many bloggers only look at Facebook and Instagram because those are the two most popular social networking sites on the Internet. Everyone’s grandma and their dog is on Facebook or on Instagram but as I already mentioned in my experience while they have very big user base it doesn’t mean that they’re going to provide you with the best source of traffic for your blog.
Now let’s talk about Google and search engine optimization (SEO) for Google. Compared to traffic from social media, search traffic is more stable because it doesn’t have this viral nature which is a good point but there is a downside to it as well. You have to work really hard to make google SEO work and it takes a lot of time. I would say a brand new site would need to wait at least six months before they’re seeing significant traffic and high positions in Google. If you don’t know, Google even has a term sandbox for new sites. This means that a new site has low chances to compete in search results. They usually keep this newer site far away from top ten for many months, but the positive side of Google traffic is that once you get a certain level of it it, becomes more or less passive because your post is ranked there and you don’t need to upload new posts every day like on Instagram or Facebook to keep gettingmore eyeballs on your content.
We’ve discussed search engines and you might be surprised that I switch now to Pinterest because it’s often considered a social media site like Instagram or Facebook and this is not entirely true for Pinterest because it’s a mix between a social media platform and a visual search engine. This makes Pinterest unique as it combines the viral effect which you can have on social media with more passive and stable traffic than you have on search engines. The majority of traffic to my blogs comes from Pinterest and it comes from two types of pins. The first is viral pins which can drive up to 13,000 visitors in one single day from one single pin and the second type are pins which are not currently viral but they rank high in Pinterest search results and sometimes in Google search results for specific keywords in Google Image Search results. Usually these are old viral pins which are not bringing thousands of visitors a day anymore, but they still hang out in Pinterest search very high and bring hundreds of visitors daily. The beauty of Pinterest traffic is that you can start seeing consistent traffic much faster than from Google and you don’t need an highauthority to rank on Pinterest for competitive keywords. Any new blog can succeed on Pinterest and it doesn’t take years to see significant traffic from Pinterest. It works great for almost any niche!
Another traffic source that definitely is worth mentioning here is YouTube! I find YouTube similar to Pinterest in so many ways. It would be crazy to ignore YouTube. Why is it so similar to Pinterest? Because it is also a visual search engine with strong social factors. There is a term called “early engagement”, which shows how your followers interact with your content in the first 24 to 48 hours after you published your content on the platform. If Pinterest or YouTube tracks high early engagement scores, they will show your pin or your video to wider audiences. Eventually, you can start ranking with your content for a desired keyword and it’s also great that you can also rank with your YouTube videos in Google search results. Often it’s much easier to get to the top three Google results with a YouTube video than with the same blog post on your site. Of course the big difference between YouTube and Pinterest is the type of visual content. Because video hasa high entry level – you need to be on camera, you need to have some equipment to shoot a video of a decent quality, and then you also need to edit video which often requires learning additional software. It takes a lot more time than creating a blog post or a pin for Pinterest. A full production cycle for a 30-minute video for YouTube can easily take a couple of full working days.
How To Monetize Your Blog
Selling your own product is kind of next-level blogging when it officially becomes a business. You can sell digital products and physical products using the right strategy with content marketing. There’s a lot of steps that come into the process like manufacturing, branding, delivery, dealing with returned products, customs, various real world regulations in different countries, and so on. At least half of these steps are not necessary if you sell digital products online. Plus, your initial investment, in this case, is usually much lower. Most of the times what is needed for a digital product is just your time, knowledge and skills. Selling your own products works great through a blog because your content helps you build trust with your audience. Once you have proven yourself as an expert, it’s much easier to sell your products and services. Digital products changed the way many of us would answer the question how to make money blogging? About five or ten years ago, bloggers were relying mainly on ads in terms of blog monetization but today we see many professionals from various fields start their blogs as a way to present and advertise their products such as themes and plugins for web developers, graphic design elements, photo and video or audio products, ebooks, webinars and online courses. We can also mention paid subscription or membership models. In some niches, for example in coaching, in money making, professional topics, bloggers can earn very well by offering paid VIP access to information or for more individual communication with a blog owner. And the best advice to you about growing your blog income above anything you could ever make with your day job, is to focus first on something that will give you the fastest results in terms of income. In my case, it was advertising. When you have some income from your blog month after month, and you feel it’s more or less stable but at the same time it’s hard to scale, then it’s time for diversification.