The goal of making money with a blog is something that many bloggers throughout the world struggle with. The good news is that we are going to help you better understand the why some blogs make money, while others best. After reading through our detailed guide and infographic below, you will be on your way to generating revenue through your blog, while also building a powerful brand and business at the same time.
How to Make Money Blogging – From Zero to ProfitTo make it in the world of blogging, you need to create value and have a loyal following in the following in the process. This is why it’s so important to build out your blog business concept before getting started. It’s not just about building another blog, it’s about building a blog that can be a business.
If you follow the directions below, there is no reason why you can’t be up and running with a profitable blog, brand and business in no time.
Researching a TopicEveryone has an idea for a web site, blog, business or even how to make millions of dollars online. The difference between those who succeed and those who fail… is simply those who TAKE ACTION!
Before starting with a blog, you first need to know what you are going to be blogging about. Many blogging will create a blog around something they are passionate about… but passion will only get you so far — you also need a way to make money and create a business around it in the process.
When deciding on what you are going to create your blog on, think about the different ways you might be able to monetize your site and traffic down the road. Below you will find a few questions to ask yourself when choosing a niche.
- Is this a topic I can write about for 6-12 months without running out of content?
- Do I enjoy writing this type of content or will it need to be outsourced?
- How can I monetize this topic down the road? (product creation, affiliate marketing, adsense)
- Are there currently advertisers in Google search for related keywords to this topic?
- What can I learn from other competing blogs and sites in this niche right now?
Niching DownNow that you’ve found a good topic for your site, it’s time to niche down.
The reason why niching down is important, is that you want your brand or blog to eventually become the authority in that space. If you pick a topic that is way too generic (like weight loss or basketball), you aren’t going to have a good idea of what your audience is looking for or how you can cater all of your content to them.
By choosing a niche that is too wide range, it also gives you a much bigger chance to get lost in the mix and not have much of a chance to compete against the much larger and established players within your niches.
Let’s say for example you wanted to create a blog on basketball and your end goal was to try and sell basketball merchandise and game tickets. While this might seem like a good idea because a lot of people are interested in basketball — it’s actually not. Think about it… no one goes to ESPN or other major sports sites to buy anything — they only want news, scores and highlights. The only reason why a site like ESPN can make money is because they are serving billions of visitors every month, which means they can sell a ton of advertising.
Instead you should take a different approach like this. You can still focus on “basketball”, but you need to niche down and pick a focus. Let’s go with “basketball skills training”. This is niche, but still not niche enough. You can go one level deeper and pick “basketball jump training”. This is very specific and it will allow you to figure out exactly what your audience wants, and you can give it to them and monetize it every time.
Creating an Editorial CalendarYou found your topic and broke it down into a niche that’s not only very specific, but it’s also profitable. Everything you write on your blog around this topic is going to provide real value to your audience and might even make you money in the process.
Before going live with your blog, the last thing you should do is make an editorial calendar to figure out if you have enough high quality content to write about. There are many different ways to find what people are searching for in Google, which you can then turn into articles of your own.
An easy way to do this is to simply search for your main keyword topic and see what other keywords Google suggests. Below is an example of what Google shows for “basketball jump training”.
- Best resistance bands for jump training
- How to increase your vertical jump in 4 weeks
- 12 must see exercises to excel you basketball jump training
Choosing a Domain Name & Web HostWith all of the prep work now behind us, it’s now time to setup your domain name and web hosting.
Picking the Best Domain Name
When choosing your domain name, still with a .com, .net or .org TLD. Also don’t use hyphens, numbers or try to get too creative.
Once choosing a domain name, it’s time to setup your web hosting.
Ordering and setting up your first hosting account might seem like a big deal, but it’s actually pretty easy. Once you are setup, you will rarely ever need to login to your account again.
We highly recommend that you go with SiteGround for the hosting of your site, as it’s extremely easy to setup and we have a very nice 60% off promotion with them and you will also receive a free domain name for life! We also use SiteGround to power many of our own sites, as they are reliable and provide hosting for millions of other sites. You can get started for as low as $3.95 per month.
Installing WordPressOnce your domain name and web hosting is all setup, now it’s time for you to install WordPress. WordPress is that software that powers the majority of blogs on the internet and it’s completely free to download and use.
After installing WordPress on your site, you can start adding plugins and choosing a premium WordPress theme for your site.
Creating Quality ContentOne of the most important aspects of any successful blog, is the content that is posted to the site.
When it comes to creating content for your audience, you should be thinking about how you can provide value to them, why they are at your site in the first place and how to make your content better than what your competition has to offer.
Going back to the previous example of “basketball jump training” — if you were going to create a blog for this audience, you should be focusing your content on “How to” posts and resources for people to learn from. The reason behind this is simple… anyone searching for “jump training” related terms, most likely wants to know how to jump higher.
Another important focus when creating your content, is to make sure they are in-depth, provide value and give the user what they want. All of your blog content should include the following:
- Minimum of 800-1200 words per article
- Quality images that relate with the article content
- Headers, paragraphs and subtitles to break apart the content
- An end “call to action” — where you can tell the visitor what to do next
Once you’ve built up a decent amount of high quality content on your site, now it’s time for you to start doing some content promotion, such as guest blogging. By guest blogging on other established sites in your niche, not only will you gain powerful backlinks to your site, you’ll also increase your exposure and brand reach in the process.
Social Network CoverageWith over 1.3 billion users on Facebook and another few hundred million on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest — you simply can’t ignore what social media has to offer and how you can funnel it’s traffic back to your site 24/7.
The biggest blogs in the world today are all using social media to bring new traffic to their site, establish a brand and have their audience share their content in the process.
The easiest way to set this up is by adding social sharing buttons to your site. One of the best free plugins out there for setting this up, is the floating social bar plugin. Once setup you will see Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other buttons that will appear at the top or bottom of each blog post. Visitors to your site can easily click any of these social buttons to then share your content with their audience.
It’s also important to note that you should create individual social profiles and Fan Pages for each of your sites. This way you can build a unique following around each of your sites that can grow over time, while also keeping your followers updated on new content being posted to your site.
Setting Up a Mailing ListThe content of your site is extremely important, but the real money behind any successful web site or blog is in the mailing list.
The sad truth is that 70% of the people that come to your site will never come back. It doesn’t have so much to do with your site or content, but just that there is already so much out there already and people get distracted and easily forget about sites they’ve been to before.
However, with a mailing list you can get people to keep coming back to your site time and time again.
Just like web hosting, setting up a mailing list is also quick and easy.
We currently use Aweber for all of our mailing list management, and have been for over 10 years now! Aweber is also currently running a promotion where you can get started with an account for just $1 for your first month. Accounts are then billed on a monthly basis, based on how many subscribers are on their list.
Product & Service CreationLast but not least, we have product and service creation.
The monetization methods of your site are going to play a huge part in how you make money from your audience. We’ve listed a few methods for you below.
- Google Adsense – On site advertising is one of the most common methods for monetizing a site. The easiest way to do this is by joining the Google Adsense program. All you need to do is place a line of code on your site and Google serves the banner ads. Your site then earns money everyone a visitor clicks on one of Google’s ads.
- Direct Ad Placements – If you have a popular site with a target audience, you can start selling your own advertising at a high premium rate. Advertising is usually sold on a monthly or CPM (cost per thousand) basis to advertisers directly.
- Affiliate Marketing – Informational and review sites do extremely well with affiliate marketing, which is the concept of getting paid a commission for referring a lead or sale to another site. With affiliate marketing you don’t need to create any products, hold inventory, process sales or even talk directly with customers.
- Product Creation – Many blogs start out as sources for information, but as they grow a following and brand loyalty, they also tend to create their own ebooks, courses and products to generate business.
- Services – If you are an expert in your niche and offer consulting and online teaches, services would be a great monetization method for your site.
Find your niche market, cater to your audience, grow your traffic and monetize in the process.