You’ve probably read reports of regular people starting blogs making millions of dollars a year. While traveling the world or lounging around at home. Conversely, you’ve probably read reports of aspiring bloggers that have seen no success. Despite piling tens of hours a week into project after project.
Not everybody will make a 7-figure annual salary from blogging, but with planning and careful execution of that plan, you could easily supplement an existing salary or become financially independent by writing about a profitable topic.
The key to starting a successful blog is to treat it like a business, and not a side hustle. Plan carefully, research thoroughly, involve others to fill any gaps in expertise. Be prepared to put in a full working day. You should also throw away notions of overnight success. Starting a blog that makes $10,000 a month is possible, but it does take time to build up to this level.
Want to know how to start a successful blog? Keep reading! Also download my 7-Step Guide To Starting A Blog Like A Business.
Please note: This post contains affiliate links to products I use, trust, and recommend. If you choose to purchase a helpful product using these links, I may receive a small commission for the referral, at no extra cost to you. These funds help me keep this blog up and running.
STEP 1: Start Your Blog With A Profitable Niche
If you’re blogging for fun or as a side hustle, you should blog about something you love. If you’re serious about making money though, you should concentrate on proven money making topics. You will quickly tire of writing post after post for very few readers. If you’re not making any money from a specific topic, you will quickly lose interest and likely quit. There are millions of blogs out there that started strong. Only to lose motivation after a few months with no returns. If you can’t turn a profit, you will lose interest and give up. So it is vital to make sure your blog topic is a profitable one.
If you’re serious about optimizing your time and making as much money as possible, you need a niche. And that niche doesn’t have to align with your personal passions.
If your intentions when starting your blog is to earn an income… then make profitable blogging your passion. Learn to love keyword research, find a niche that you know has money in it. Then find ways to provide the best quality information that will reap cash rewards. If you’re making $100 for every post you publish, you will quickly warmup to the topic you’re writing about.
Brainstorm A List Of Ideas
Start your blog by brainstorming ideas.
Look around the house. Write a list of any ideas that spark an interest and that you think others will have some interest in. If you spend dozens of hours researching whether a bean-to-cup coffee machine is better than a pod coffee machine. You can be certain that others will be looking for the same information.
Consider what you do for work. Whether you’re a gardener or painter, there are plenty of examples of profitable blogs that provide tips on these topics. Even if your job is more specialized. For example, if you create cast iron gates or you help homeowners deal with roach infestations. There will be elements of this that you can turn into a profitable blog idea.
Start with topics from blogs that you subscribe to, magazines that you read. Look at news websites and ecommerce sites like Amazon that list their most popular items.
There are also some topics that are pretty much guaranteed to offer profit potential.
Narrow It Down
Once you have a general list of ideas to start your blog with, it’s time to narrow this down.
Does It Have Demand?
Some ideas will be too niche, meaning that you won’t be able to attract enough readers to make a profit.
You can test interest by using free tools like Google Trends. Although this tool is free it only gives relative numbers so you have no idea whether it attracts 1 search a day, or 1000. A paid tool like Mangools’ KWFinder, which gives detailed keyword search volume, gives more precise figures. It is a good idea to use a tool like KWFinder. You will need their keyword and competition data in the future. SEMRush is another beneficial paid keyword research tool.
Using KWFinder To Determine If You’re Starting With A Viable Blog Topic
Although there are a number of keyword research tools on the market, KWFinder is one of my favorites. It is intuitive and although subscription levels can work out expensive, it will be worth it in the long run. KWFinder shows keyword competition and search volume. The software also provides you with a general overview of the amount you can expect to receive per click for this keyword. If you are using a program like Google Adsense.
Once you’ve signed up, open the software and enter your chosen keyword. In this example, I’ve used “bean to cup coffee machine” and received the following results:
KWFinder shows us that “bean to cup coffee machine” receives approximately 26,800 global searches per month, but only 1000 of these come from the US. The US keyword has a difficulty of just 22. Which is low, but to be expected for a local search volume of 1,000.
Also on this screen, KWFinder aggregates data from advertisers and has determined that they pay around $1.48 for every click through the Google Adsense program. If you monetize your site using Google’s PPC program and publish a post on this keyword. You can expect to receive up to $1.48 for every click.
Is It Too Competitive?
Some will be too competitive: if you’re up against the likes of TechCrunch, Gizmodo, Engadget, and CNet. You will struggle to take traffic from these sites. Although if you can concentrate on a very specific niche, you might be able to crack them. A Google search will determine the quality and number of sites competing in a niche.
You can also use KWFinder’s Analyze SERP tools.
In my coffee machine example, you can see from KWFinder that you will need a link from at least 1 website. To rank in the top 10 for the keyword “bean to cup coffee machine”. This is achievable, but you will need a few more links to reach the top spot.
Is There Enough Content To Write About?
You also need to find something that you can write about on a regular basis. Incorporating shoulder topics (those that are closely related but not exactly the same) and news items.
Start by looking at competitor blogs and websites. Pay attention to the frequency of their posts and the amount of content they have on their site.
Search on Google News too. If others are posting regular content, you will be able to do the same.
Is There Profit To Be Made?
Finally, you need to ensure that you can make money from the niche. There are some topics that attract a lot of interest, but monetizing traffic can be very difficult. This is a problem for a lot of news related blogs.
If you intend to monetize through affiliate sales. Have a look at Amazon to see the range of products they sell. Look at other major manufacturers and suppliers to see if they have affiliate programs for products that you can promote.
If you will be using a PPC program like Adsense. Sign up and use the Google Keywords Explorer tool to find the click value of your chosen keywords. Remember that only a small portion of your visitors will click a link. If you’re only getting 5cents per click and you get 100,000 visitors a month with a 5% Click Thru Rate (CTR) that still only equates to $250 a month.
KWFinder also provides similar information, enabling you to use a single tool for your research.
Get The Perfect Domains Name
Once you’ve chosen a niche, or topic, you need to secure a domain name. It can be difficult to change your domain later, so you need to get it right. A domain needs to be short, memorable, and relevant to your niche. Something that visitors will be able to recite when they next want to visit or they want to revisit something that you posted previously.
You should try to stick with a .com domain. If your niche targets a specific country then you can consider using a geographic top level domain like .co.uk. Understand that most people instinctively think of a domain as ending in .com.
Try to use a keyword in your domain. This not only helps visitors but can have an impact on your search engine rankings for targeted keywords. It can be difficult to find a keyword based domain. So you might have to be creative and combine a keyword with a new brand name.
Your domain should be as short as possible. Most experts agree that the length of a domain name should be below 15 characters, and you should not use hyphens or other special characters. Longer domains are more difficult to remember without making mistakes.
Make it catchy. Catchy domains are easier to remember. If they rhyme, like TodayWithJay.com, this will stick in the mind, although this isn’t a strict rule to adhere to.
If you’re really struggling use a domain name generator to come up with new ideas. These are usually free and give a list of available domains that use one or more of your chosen keywords.
Once you’ve settled on the ideal domain name, act quick to secure it and prevent anybody else from registering it. I suggest using Namecheap because they offer a fast and reliable service that is inexpensive.
How To Register Your Domain Using Namecheap
To register your domain with Namecheap.
1. Visit the Namecheap.com website and select DOMAINS.
2. Enter your new blog domain name in the form field and click SEARCH.
3. If the domain you selected is available then ADD TO CART.
4. Go to and select CHECKOUT.
5. CONFIRM ORDER.
5. Enter your payment method – Select CONTINUE and PLACE ORDER.
STEP 2: Selecting The Best Hosting Company To Start Your Blog
If you’re starting your new blog as a proper business, you should self-host. WordPress and other hosted platforms do offer subdomains. But yourblog.wordpress.com isn’t as memorably and doesn’t look as reliable or authoritative as yourblog.com. Hosting your own blog also offers the freedom to add plugins and software to enhance the look and performance of your blog.
There are thousands of hosting services to choose from. Many of them have a selection of plans and packages available. Some packages offer limited bandwidth and storage, while others have uncapped limits. You can even pay for a dedicated server. Although it’s unlikely you will need anything this comprehensive when you first start blogging.
What you do need however, is hosting that includes easy WordPress installation. With access to a Content Delivery Network and that includes a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate.
Kinsta’s hosting packages offer free and simple WordPress installation. You also receive a free SSL and free use of the Kinsta Content Delivery Network (CDN). A CDN reduces load on the server and increases blog response time. Fast loading pages are important because they offer a rich user experience. Search engines do judge load times as part of their ranking algorithms. Faster loading pages will result in better SERP positions. I recommend you check out Kinsta for their simple and reliable hosting packages.
WordPress is the largest content management system or blogging platform in the world. Millions of websites are built on this platform. It not only offers simple blogging tools but it also provides thousands of custom plugins and other features. It is intuitive and constantly upgraded.
What’s more, it is free in most cases. Although you can pay extra for a premium theme or for specialist plugins. This isn’t usually necessary though.
If you ever run into any trouble, it is usually quite easy to find a WordPress professional that can fix your problems. There’s also forums and blogs dedicated to offering fixes for common issues.
If you intend to start your blog using WordPress, and I do recommend this. Look for a hosting package that includes one-click WordPress installation. Most hosting packages offer this, but do make sure this is the case before you sign up.
An SSL certificate shows users that your website or blog is secure. Once upon a time it was reserved for the use of ecommerce stores and websites that took payments or other secure data. Today however, it is an important element of any website.
Most browsers highlight websites that do not have SSL and a lot of people will be put off visiting those sites without it. There is also evidence to suggest that search engines favor those websites that have secure certification. Some hosting packages offer a free SSL certificate, but if it isn’t included in your package. Services like Cloudflare and Kinsta offer the same features even after your site has been published.
If you have to pay a little extra for a trusted SSL certificate, it is worth the investment.
Bandwidth And Storage
Hosting packages start from as little as a dollar a month. While you don’t have to invest a lot of money in this element of your business. Don’t fall into the trap of paying as little as possible and finding that you don’t have the features or caps that you require.
Check the bandwidth and storage allowances for a hosting package before you buy.
Storage is the amount of disk space that you can use. This includes everything from your WordPress installation to the content on your pages. The rich media that you add to posts, and even the little icon that appears in browser tabs. Initially, a new blog will not require more than a few GB of storage space, but over time your demands will increase. Eventually, you will hit even the 10GB limit. If you want to truly future-proof your blog installation. Ensure that you have at least 10GB and that you can easily upgrade your hosting to a bigger package, if required.
Bandwidth is the amount of data that is transferred every month. Whenever a visitor opens a page on your blog. Data is transferred and you use a small amount of your bandwidth. With 100 visitors a month, you shouldn’t have any problems with bandwidth restriction. But once you reach 10,000 visitors a month, you may start to hit your limits, or at least get close to them.
Check for fair usage caps on unlimited storage and bandwidth. These do tend to be generous, but any limit could lead to additional costs if you suddenly find you have a spike in visitors to your blog.
Other Hosting Features
Some hosting packages offer additional features in a bid to attract new customers. Only consider those that you actually need. Do you really want 50 free email addresses? You might be paying extra for a package that includes this feature, even though you don’t need it.
STEP 3: Designing A New Blog From Start To Finish
Once you have a topic, bought a domain and hosting. It’s time to create the framework that will carry your blog content. Blog design is a subjective topic. Plenty of bloggers get carried away spending hundreds of hours creating the best-looking design they can. Or spending thousands to create something unique to them.
When it comes to blog design, simple is best. You don’t have to spend a small fortune having a unique blog designed for you. In fact, there are some great looking free WordPress themes that can be customized to your branding requirements.
If you want to splurge a little, there are theme services that offer templates for $100 or less. These tend to offer more features and offer a richer experience.
Search on MyThemeShop.com by your chosen niche or a specific type of layout (e.g. a magazine layout). They have thousands of WordPress and Joomla templates. One of the benefits of using a premium theme is the support that you receive. When you install a free theme, you are left to your own devices. So if a page or page element doesn’t display properly, you have to find the solution yourself. With themes from MyThemeShop.com, you can get support from the theme designers who will help iron out any problems.
The most important thing when creating a blog design is to ensure that the content itself is what stands out.
You should use sliders to promote your best content. Galleries are effective to showcase your images and some of the content of your site. Sidebars are a useful home for display ads like banners.
Logos And Headers
You can pay to have a logo created. But some of the most successful blogs on the Internet use fairly simple headers. Consider the Google logo – it is the biggest website in the world. And only utilizes a very simple logo made up of the company name in a range of colors.
If you started looking at competitor blogs. You will notice that the vast majority use a site with a white or near white background and accent colors. This gives an uncluttered look and it is easier for your visitors to read than yellow writing on a black background. Also, the fewer elements in your design, the better your site will appear on mobile devices and on smaller screens.
Font And Typography
Use a standard font for your blog, and ensure you use a decent font size. A 10pt font will enable you to fit more content above the fold. But even those with perfect vision will prefer a larger type. This is especially true in the modern age of mobile devices and smaller screens. Ensure that your readers don’t have to zoom in to be able to read what’s on the page. I recommend a minimum 14pt font.
Images And Media
A picture really is worth a thousand words, if the picture is relevant and conveys a genuine message. Avoid the temptation to throw in irrelevant or placeholder images just because you’ve read that they help break up content.
Use services like Canva to turn data into charts and quotes into hero images. It is easier for people to digest large chunks of data in chart and similar forms. If you don’t have the graphic design skills yourself, and you don’t have the time or inclination to learn. Consider paying a professional designer or design service to do the work for you.
Key takeaways when learning how to start a successful blog is to invest in talent that you don’t have yourself.
Whether you are selling your own products and services or using affiliate links. You will have ads on your blog somewhere. These need to be prominent without putting readers off.
You will have to experiment, because no single layout will work for every site. Most blogs utilize sidebar ads, place some ads in the middle of the content, and may even use popups. Take care not to overdo the number or prominence of ads though. This will have a detrimental effect on your blog performance.
The layout of your blog will vary according to your chosen style and preference. But there are some pages that should be included in every blog and every business website:
- About – this page gives your readers insight into you and your business. It enables you to build trust in the eyes of the reader and you can use the page to reach out to potential blogging partners too.
- Contact – a contact page is important. It allows visitors to get in touch with any questions and provides potential business partners to get in touch. Many SEOs will tell you that search engines need to see a contact page that includes a phone number and address details, because this is a sign that you are trustworthy and reliable enterprise.
- Privacy – there are numerous laws and local guidelines to follow when it comes to ensuring a visitor’s privacy, and every visitor wants to know that any details they provide are secure. Following the introduction and tightening of GDPR regulations, even cookie information needs to be covered by your privacy page. Let readers know what data you collect and how you use it. I can’t tell you exactly what to write on this page. But you can check the privacy pages of your major competitors to get a better idea of what to include and what not to include.
STEP 4: Optimizing Your Blog For Performance And Success
Once WordPress is installed on your domain, there are some settings in the admin area that you need to optimize. These settings will make SEO and marketing easier. Enable you to publish better quality posts, and they will benefit your end user too.
In the main WordPress installation, change the following settings:
- Under the Settings menu, click General and mark the boxes to add your site title, tagline, and URL. These form a major part of your blog’s brand and theme designers implement them in the header and banners of your blog. With some themes, if you fail to enable your own site data. You will have placeholders and theme names on your blog.
- Click Reading from under the Settings menu and choose whether you want a standard blog display. Which just lists your most recent posts with a brief excerpt and featured image of each, or a static page. Most themes use a static page display because this allows features like sticky posts and the display of certain categories or featured topics. Also ensure that the Search Engine Visibility checkbox is left unchecked. You want the search engines to be able to access your blog and its content in order to include your pages in their results.
- Under Settings, go to Permalinks. Use the Custom Structure “https://www.blog.com/%postname%” because this will use your post title as the slug for each post. When writing content, you should use keyword optimized titles. By using this permalink structure, you will gain the search benefits of having your chosen keywords added to your page URLs.
Using Google Analytics
Every business requires that you monitor customers. Determine how they found your business and identify pain and selling points. Website analytics enable you to do exactly this but for the pages of your site. Google Analytics is the most widely used analytics package. It’s free to install, and has a mass of reports and details that you can use to monitor your blog traffic.
Sign up for a Google Analytics account. You can use an existing Google or Gmail account, or sign up for a fresh account. When prompted, ensure that you identify you have a website and not a mobile app and add your website name, URL, and other details. Once you have submitted your information, you will be given Google Analytics tracking code. This tracking code enables Google to identify your visitors and provide you with the data you need to make improvements to your blog.
Although there are a number of ways you can add the tracking code to your blog. I recommend using the MonsterInsights plugin listed below. It’s quick, it’s very easy to install. If you do expand to include ecommerce features on your site. You can upgrade to the premium plugin which offers even more detailed insight into your customer habits.
Google Search Console
Google also offers a tool called Google Search Console. This rank tracking tool used to be known as Google Webmaster Tools. It’s not only invaluable to your search optimization improvement efforts. But will highlight and flag any potential problems with your site that might prevent Google’s bots from crawling your site and indexing your pages.
You can verify your Search Console manually or you can use the MonsterInsights plugin to verify your URL. I prefer this option because it is quicker and easier. It also enables you to view your Search Console data in the MonsterInsights dashboard along with your Analytics data.
WordPress is a powerful content management system, right out of the box. Once you have made the changes above, you are nearly setup and ready to go. However, one of the major benefits of WordPress being open source. Is that there are literally thousands upon thousands of plugins available. Plugins are small pieces of software that enhance, improve, or change the way your WordPress installation works. They are easy to install, many of them are free. Some of them should be considered critical to your blogging success.
I recommend adding the following plugins for your blog:
I’ve already mentioned MonsterInsights a couple of times. It makes the installation of Google Analytics and Search Console much simpler. It also enables you to view a lot of the reports that these two tools offer directly in the MonsterInsights dashboard, but it does much more than this.
You can track affiliate link clicks to determine your most profitable content pages, view e-commerce conversion rates on your product pages, and even track your most popular content type and authors.
Building your own email list is a highly profitable venture. You can sell different products to the same readers and you can make multiple sales to each member while also sending out regular communications to keep in touch with anybody that signs up. However, you need to manage your list carefully. New members should be added to the database, after manually opting in, and members that wish to unsubscribe should be removed quickly.
The OptinMonster plugin offers multiple opt-in form designs. You can add these designs to your pages or implement them as a popup. One great feature of this plugin is that it now includes Exit Intent, which means that the opt in form only popups up when a visitor is about to leave your site. If you’re serious about finding out how to start a blog and make money, you need to get serious about list building, and OptinMonster offers a simple and effective way of doing that.
Autoptimize is a WordPress optimization tool that eliminates unnecessary characters in code and takes a variety of other steps to reduce page load times and minimize the size of your WordPress installation. This is important because it improves user experience and can have an impact on indexing and search rankings.
Long form content consisting of thousands of words is some of the most powerful content there is. It incorporates masses of long-tail and short-tail keywords and it keeps visitors on your page for longer, reducing bounce rate and increasing dwell time. For it to be at its most effective though, it needs to be easy to scan and simple to navigate.
The Easy Table of Contents plugin allows you to quickly add a navigation table at the top of any post or page. Your readers will appreciate this addition.
Even with a premium theme, there will be times when you wish you could make some changes to your blog design and layout. Sometimes, these changes can be easily achieved through the existing WordPress editor, but this certainly isn’t always the case. WordPress was built to be easy to use, which is great for beginners, but what if you want to move a couple of the elements on a page around?
The Elementor plugin is a drag-and-drop editor for WordPress that lets you do exactly that. It works on the front end of your blog so you can see the changes as you make them, and it works with all WordPress themes.
With any luck, you will be publishing blog posts that visitors not only love to read but love to share with others. Word of mouth marketing like this used to be difficult, but with the prevalence of social media websites that encourage sharing between users, it is easier than ever before.
MashShare is one of a host of social media sharing plugins. Specifically, this plugin offers you Mashable style share buttons. It also enables you to display the number of times an article has been shared using the buttons, and the premium version of the plugin not only provides access to more social networks but it can be combined with Google Analytics Event Tracking for easy monitoring.
Images and other media help set your posts apart from the rest. They can make information easier to digest and create a compelling form of visual content. However, unless you’re careful, the publishing of a dozen pictures on every post can take up diskspace and even slow the page loading times of your site down.
ShortPixel Image Optimizer eliminates unnecessary data from your image files which greatly reduces their file size. It does all of this in the cloud, which is important because most hosting won’t allow you to perform this kind of task on their server. It also makes it much simpler.
404 error pages put visitors off and can seriously damage your blog’s performance. Implementing redirects using htaccess is time consuming and, quite frankly, a bit of a nightmare to get right.
The Redirection plugin enables you to implement redirects whenever you change URLs, update categories or tags to improve site structure, or even if you find that another website is linking to an incorrect URL.
Yoast SEO is one of the best known and most widely used WordPress plugins. It simplifies a lot of the processes and settings that you need for optimal search engine results performance. Chief among these, it allows you to add a focus keyword when publishing a new page and ranks your content according to how well optimized it is. Yoast also ranks your written content according to factors such as the use of passive voice, sentence length, and more.
While you don’t necessarily have to hit green on every single topic, aiming for a green SEO ranking and page analysis will encourage better page content practices.
You should know the benefits of having a secure SSL certification for your site but, in short, it means that visitors will be more inclined to trust you because it keeps their data and their information private and secure.
If you signed up for Kinsta hosting, you will have received a free SSL certificate, and the Really Simple SSL plugin will work with this or any other free SSL certificate. Sign up for your certificate, install the plugin, and it only takes one click to enable the certificate on your new blog.
The above is a selection of some of the best WordPress plugins available. There are thousands more to choose from. However, while many do offer benefit, be sure to only install those you use. Plugin bloat is a common problem, and some plugins access and change the same pieces of code in WordPress software, which means that, on occasion, you will get two plugins that interact and negatively impact the performance of one another.
STEP 5: Hire A Content Writer
By far the most time-consuming task you’ll encounter when starting a blog is writing and compiling the content. A single post can take several hours to write, and if you incorporate custom images and other custom content, this can become days. Even if you intend to do most of the writing yourself, you will need help along the way. You may need to hire a writer to cover a topic that you aren’t an authority in. Or maybe help creating those Canva charts or taking photographs. You might simply want an additional view on the topic that you cover.
Hiring Content Creators
There are some really good blog writers out there, including those that specialize in specific topics and those that can research and write on anything. Use websites like ProBlogger to establish an ongoing relationship with a new writer. Textun or Upwork if you want a one-off project completed.
When hiring a writer, ensure you know what you want first. Bloggers work better with some kind of outline. Determine word length, because most writers charge per word rather than per post or per hour. Highlight the topic you want to cover and, if relevant, let them know the keywords you are targeting with the piece.
STEP 6: Launch Content
When you launch your blog, you need existing content on the site. It’s a good idea to get some pillar posts and cluster pages published. A blog is thought to be established once it has 100,000 words of content, but for launch you should be looking at a minimum of between 5 and 10 posts, totaling 10,000 words. This not only gives first time visitors plenty to get their teeth into, but it enables the likes of Google to recognize the topic and keywords you intend to cover.
Most blogs have a daily posting schedule, although there are plenty of high-quality blogs that post weekly as well as those with multiple writers that publish dozens of pieces every day.
If you can start by publishing a blog post every day and still cover relevant topics and provide high quality information to your readers, this is a good schedule to stick to. It ensures that your readers come back often to see your latest updates and they won’t forget about you, without a demanding content schedule that requires thousands of words every single day.
Post length is a contentious topic. Some new blogs publish posts that are just a few hundred words in length.
Those with guides and “best of” style affiliate content include posts that are 5,000 words or more. A writer will tell you that a post needs to be just long enough to get the information across. Without being too long that it waffles on.
The average word count for blog post that rank in the top 10 on Google is 2,200 words. Generally, you should aim for posts of at least 1,500 to 2,000 words and incorporate even longer form posts as your pillar content pages.
One of the key points to consider when looking how to create a successful blog is that you need to create long-form posts.
You’re told that every submission needs to be a minimum of 600 words and ideally more than 1,500 words. In a lot of respects this is true. Search engines prefer long-form content so you have a greater chance of ranking your content and driving visitors from the likes of Google.
However, most blog topics could realistically be covered in a couple of hundred words. Moreover, most of your visitors will scan the content. So including a summary at the top of the content and a conclusion at the end will especially appeal to these readers.
If you’ve got the budget, you can pay an editor to edit all the pieces before they go live. This ensures the content is error free.
While most people will forgive the occasional grammar and spelling mistake. If the content is littered with mistakes, you will deter a lot of your site visitors. If you don’t have the budget. Have somebody read posts back to you, or even use text to speech apps or software to do this for you.
Once the post is complete, don’t sit on it and don’t make the mistake of over-editing. Publish the piece, move on and start writing the next blog post.
STEP 7: Start SEO Guest Blogging Strategy
So, you know how to start a successful blog, find a profitable niche, and how to optimize your WordPress installation. So that it opens quickly, runs smoothly, and can even be used to capture leads. Once you’ve populated your site with some high-quality content, you need to start promoting your blog. Although there are many ways to promote a site, including through social media and via email marketing. Search Engine Optimization is one of the most effective long-term traffic building strategies.
As well as ensuring that you continue to post high quality content on your blog. One of the most important elements of SEO is link building. Google and other search engines treat a link to your blog as essentially being a vote for your content. The more links a post gets, the more likely it is to rank higher in search results for the keywords on that page.
If your content is really high quality. Better than anything else out there. Or it has a unique take on an existing topic. It will naturally generate links over time.
However, you can’t rely on these natural links. You need to find ways to encourage other blog owners to give a link to your content. One of the most effective ways of generating links is through guest posting.
Guest posting means providing content that is published on another person’s blog that includes a link back to your content. The other site owner benefits because they get high quality content from an industry authority (you). And you benefit because you get a link to your site from a topically relevant and authoritative blog.
Finding Guest Blogs
The first step in guest posting is to find authoritative blog in your niche that might be willing to publish your content. You should already have a good idea of your main competitors. You can also use tools like KWFinder to find other competitors. Or use Google to help compile a long list of sites.
Initially, you can start your search by looking for those sites that actively encourage guest bloggers. Use search terms like:
- Keyword + “write for us”
- Keyword + “contribute to”
- Keyword + “become a contributor”
You can also search for sites that have accepted guest posts in the past but do not necessarily have an open application page using search operators like these:
- Keyword + “guest post by”
- Keyword + “guest author”
Try not to be too specific with your keywords. Searching for a “bean to cup coffee machine” blog is unlikely to yield too many results. Whereas there will be a lot more blogs and websites covering the keyword “coffee”.
We also suggest changing your search results settings to display 100 results and install the Moz toolbar.
Evaluating Potential Guest Blogs
Once you have a list of potential blogs, you will need to determine which are suitable. Although you could send out an email to every single site on that list. This could result in dozens of responses. Many from sites with little authority or that simply aren’t relevant to your blog.
Moz Domain Authority, often referred to as DA. Is a simple way to quickly judge the quality and authority of a website. The higher the DA, the more authoritative a site is considered. Start out by approaching those sites with a DA of 30 or higher. These will be industry leading websites that have a lot of pull in search results as well as with their readers. They will have genuine traffic too. So as well as enjoying a boost in your search rankings. There is a good chance that any post on these sites will also attract visitors directly to your pages.
You should also visit the website itself and check the guest author guidelines page. Some sites have specific demands of their potential contributors. If you fail to meet them, you may have blown your chance before you even begin.
Contacting Guest Blogs
Once you have found some sites to contact, it is time to get in touch. Initially, you want to gauge their interest to determine whether there is potential. I do a lot of guest posting and have put together an email template that you can use when contacting blog owners. Download it here and change it with details of the site.
You won’t hear back from all the blogs you contact. In fact, it is likely that some of them will be inundated with emails from other potential writers. Others may only accept posts when they initiate contact. Also be prepared to hear back from a lot of sites demanding payment to publish your post. These are considered sponsored posts and while sponsored content can prove an effective method of promoting a blog. It is not the same as guest posting and has its own advantages and drawbacks.
With that said, as long as you have evaluated the sites. Ensured that you have high quality content on your site and have done your research. You should enjoy some positive responses from site owners that are willing to publish your content.
Writing The Post
Check out their site to determine what content they publish. Use Mangools’ SiteProfiler, or do a manual search, and find a topic that matches their content and your own. Try to match content length to their existing published posts and then send them a topic and article idea.
Also determine whether they need images to go with their posts. Some sites will want to supply their own images. If they require them from you, either include this when contacting your blog writer or source your own stock images from sites like pexels.com. The more benefit you provide to the site owner, and the easier you make their job, the more likely they will be to publish and promote your article.
Once you have the outline nailed down, contact your blog writer and have them write the post for you. Ensure that they know the topic, word count, link and anchor text that you want incorporated into the article.
Some blogs will publish your content almost immediately while others will have some lead time. Some of the biggest sites can take months before they get round to publishing your piece. So keep a record of the posts you have sent and to whom. Don’t be afraid to get in touch after a couple of weeks. Blog owners are human and they do forget. Always be polite, ask if there is anything you can do to help with publication, and be prepared to follow up.
Once the piece is published, you can share it with your own social media followers. You can also check back occasionally to answer any comments or questions that might have been left. This will help with future guest post requests because blog owners love to see guest authors that get involved with readers once a piece is live.
Blogging is all about analysis, improvement, optimization, and repetition.
Monitor your content to determine what performs well and keep posting new, high quality content. Determine which guest post queries get the best response rates and repeat this to keep generating new links for your site.
Above all, remember that you are in this to make money but it can take time to build a profitable blogging business. So don’t give up if you haven’t made your first few dollars after the first couple of months. In fact, you probably won’t make any money for the first six months or year. During this time you will be building your base of content and developing new guest blogging opportunities. So when you do start to see results, your rankings will improve and your earnings increase.