Do bloggers make money? Yes, but it is not always easy. Making money blogging requires research, planning, and quality content. If you plan on handling everything yourself, expect to invest a significant amount of time.
Luckily, blogging is something that almost anyone can do. The following guide walks you through the steps needed to set up a blog, monetize it, and start generating income. Let’s get started.
Before going any further, it is important to understand that blogging is not a get-rich-quick solution. Over 75% of bloggers earn $999 or less per month. If you want to surpass $1000 per month, you need to run your blog with the same techniques used by businesses. You need to market your blog to attract visitors. You also need to research the market and use the latest SEO strategies.
So, how do you make money blogging? Follow these nine steps:
1. Choose the right niche
2. Get a domain name
3. Develop your website
4. Learn the basics of SEO
5. Start writing quality content
6. Select a monetization strategy
7. Build a social media presence
8. Grow your email list
9. Market your blog to drive traffic
Do not rush these steps. Start at the top and work your way through each step to avoid making mistakes that are hard to correct, such as selecting the wrong niche or choosing a bad domain name.
1. Choose The Right Niche
There are over 31 million active bloggers in the United States and over 600 million blogs in the world. To stand out and make money, you need to select the right niche market. Use Google’s keyword planner tool in Google AdWords to find the search volume and competition for specific keywords related to potential niches.
The goal is to choose a market with a large audience and room for new competition. If you narrow your focus to a tiny niche with a small but dedicated audience, you may never make money. However, if the category is too broad, your blog may get lost among the thousands of other blogs covering the same topic.
Along with finding the right balance between competition and search volume, you should select a profitable niche. For example, reviewing the latest movies will not make you rich. People can now stream endless movies for free. A profitable niche includes products or services with high price tags or mass appeal.
Some of the most profitable niche markets for bloggers include:
● Personal Finance
While you might be passionate about a specific hobby, others may not share your interest. The bottom line is that you need to choose a profitable topic to make money blogging.
2. Get A Domain Name
It’s possible to build a free blog using WordPress.com or Wix. You can create a free account and set up a site using a drag-and-drop website builder. However, these options don’t include a custom domain name.
A domain name gives your blog a more professional image. It allows you to choose a memorable name that people can easily search for. A custom domain name also boosts your potential search engine rankings and allows you to implement a wider range of monetization strategies.
Many affordable shared website hosting plans also include free domain name registration for one year. Renewals typically cost just $10 to $20 per year, making it a cheap investment for those who are serious about making money blogging.
Choose a domain name that fits your niche. It should be short, easy to remember, and catchy.
3. Develop Your Website
You can still use a free Wix or WordPress.com account to host your website with a custom domain name. However, the free hosting options come with limited bandwidth and storage. Successful blogs should receive thousands of visitors per month, which requires a self-hosted option. Shared website hosting is the most affordable choice and suitable for most blogs. You may even find introductory offers for shared hosting starting at just $1 per month for the first few months. The average cost for ongoing shared hosting is still cheap at $3 to $10 per month.
After choosing a hosting option, start building your website. As mentioned, Wix includes a free drag-and-drop builder. The WordPress interface is also user friendly even for beginners with no previous web design experience.
You don’t need anything fancy. A typical blog site has a streamlined layout without a lot of plugins or extra features. You just need a clean-looking website where you can post your blogs.
4. Learn The Basics Of SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) helps your blogs rank higher in Google search results. Maintaining high search positions for keywords related to your niche generates more traffic, which is essential for making money from blogging.
SEO includes on-page and off-page strategies. As part of the on-page strategies, ensure that your website loads quickly and works on mobile devices. Mobile friendliness and compatibility directly influences search rankings.
Keyword usage is another factor for search rankings. Avoid using specific keywords too frequently. Insert relevant phrases naturally in your content, especially in the title and headers.
Off-page SEO strategies include link building. Getting quality backlinks boosts your rankings. You can get more backlinks by listing your blog in directory sites. However, the best way of obtaining quality links is to create quality content.
5. Start Writing Quality Content
Making money from a blog requires quality content. Producing informative, helpful blogs gives people a reason to continue coming back. It also gives other bloggers a reason to link to your site.
There are two ways to generate content. You can write the blogs yourself or pay others to write them. Writing your own blogs gives you more control over the content and helps you build a distinct voice. You don’t need previous writing experience but you should try to improve your writing skills.
Here are a few simple tips for producing better content:
● Always research existing content on the topic
● Create an outline of the key points
● Use a mixture of short and long sentences
● Keep paragraphs to two or three sentences
● Proofread your draft before posting
Start by using Google to research the topic. Read the articles that appear at the top of the search results. Try to find something new that you can add to the topic.
As you research the topic, create a list of the top points or questions that you want to address. Use the list as your sub-headers to divide the blog into short, readable sections. Using short paragraphs also makes the content more scannable. Combining short and long sentences help create a comfortable flow to the content, keeping readers from getting bored too quickly.
After you finish writing the first draft, use spell check. The built-in spell checker in Microsoft Word and other word processor programs can detect some mistakes. However, reading your blog aloud is the best way to find grammatical errors.
Try to create at least one new blog post each week. Maintaining a schedule is necessary for building a loyal following and helps you work on your writing skills.
6. Select A Monetization Strategy
Can you make money blogging? Not without monetizing your website. You need a way to generate income from your blog posts.
The most common monetization strategies include:
● Affiliate marketing
● Selling advertisements
● Selling online courses
● Selling digital products
● Becoming a freelance blogger
Advertising is the traditional method for monetizing blogs and one of the hardest. To make money from the ads on your site, you need lots of traffic. It may take tens of thousands of monthly visitors to earn a few hundred dollars from commissions.
While you may not make much at first, affiliate marketing and display advertising are easy to implement. You can join an affiliate program, such as Amazon Affiliates, and start inserting links in relevant blog posts.
Google AdSense remains one of the most used display advertising options. No matter which affiliate program or display advertising solution you choose, avoid adding too many ads. A blog plastered with ads drives people away. Each webpage should only contain two or three advertisements or affiliate links.
Other monetization strategies include selling products or services, such as online courses or digital products that you create. If you have valuable insight into your niche category, you can create helpful eBooks or online courses that you market and sell on your blog.
You can also get paid to blog. However, this typically requires you to build a reputation in your niche. If you become a moderate influencer in your market, others may pay you to write guest posts for their blogs.
Guest posts provide a great opportunity for generating more backlinks and increasing your reach. You gain exposure to a larger audience while getting paid.
7. Build A Social Media Presence
When your website is complete and contains informative content, it’s time to start attracting visitors. Having a strong social media presence helps send more people to your blog.
Create profiles on Twitter and Facebook using the name of your blog, keeping them separate from your personal social media profiles.
To start building an audience, join relevant Facebook communities. Become active in conversations related to your niche. If possible, try to help other users when they post questions to the community.
Establishing yourself as an expert encourages people to visit your blog for additional advice. As you start creating blog posts, you’ll likely want to promote them on social media. Only share promotional posts 10% of the time. 60% of your posts should include helpful information geared toward your audience while 30% of your posts should come from curated sources related to your niche.
8. Grow Your Email List
Along with social media marketing, use email marketing to generate more traffic and build a loyal following.
MailChimp and other email marketing platforms provide free accounts for managing small email lists. Use a sign-up form on your site and send your subscribers updates whenever you post new content.
9. Advertise Your Blog To Drive Traffic
Social media marketing and email marketing are cost-effective solutions for growing your audience. However, they take time. If you want faster results, advertise your blog. A pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaign allows you to send traffic to your blog instantly. Keep in mind that a lot of the traffic that you pay for will bounce from your website within seconds.
With the previous recommendations, you should start to grow your audience without the need for PPC ads. PPC ads are mostly useful for generating traffic to jumpstart your blogging career.
Out of every hundred or so visitors who click on one of your ads, you may get one or two people who become frequent visitors.
How Much Money Can You Make Blogging?
The potential earnings from blogging vary widely. Corporate bloggers have an average salary of about $33,000 per year. People who manage their own blogs can make significantly less or more.
Over 50% of independent bloggers earn $99 or less per month. 17% earn $100 to $499 per month while just 7% bring home $500 to $999. 9% earn up to $10000 and only 4% earn more than $10000 per month.
Many factors influence your earnings. However, producing quality content in a profitable niche is essential.
If you want to make money blogging, make sure that you choose a niche that provides a good balance of limited competition and high volume.
Learning how to make money blogging for beginners is relatively easy. The hard part is generating consistent income.
After setting up your website and posting several blogs, do not expect money to start pouring in. You need to continue to cultivate an audience and attract more visitors.
Pay attention to the feedback that you receive from visitors. User comments may help guide the direction of your blog or provide insight for improving the quality of your content.
If you stick with it, you should start to develop a larger audience, resulting in more revenue
from your blogs.