Blogging has become one of the more popular ways to make a living online. The idea of being able to write about virtually anything you want and make money from it sounds fantastic, but the reality is a little different. Starting up a blog can be difficult, and finding ways to monetize it can be tricky. You also need to find ways to get your blog out there so that people take notice of it. Finally, maintaining your blog is also a challenge since it’s common to run out of ideas.
With so many roadblocks to overcome, it’s understandable that you might give up before writing your very first post. So in this post, we’re going to explain how you can start and monetize your blog from scratch. We’ll be talking about the very first steps to take as a blogger, how to find your audience, and also how you can monetize your blog. Lastly, we’ll discuss a few tips that can help you maintain your blog for years to come.
Part 1: Setting up Your Blog and Writing Your First Post
The beginning is usually the hardest part of blogging. Getting started and putting your words onto a blog post is challenging, especially if you’re not confident in your writing ability. So let’s cover a few ways to get started.
Pick a Subject or Theme
The first thing you should do is decide on a subject or theme. Every blog has some kind of overarching theme and you need to find something that you’re interested in and passionate about. This could be something simple like video games, or it could be more niche such as political commentary. Whatever you write about, you have to be really invested in it so that you can create content that people love. Don’t just write about something because you know it’s trending. That’s usually a bad idea because you’re going to run out of content eventually and it’ll be hard to come up with interesting stuff to write about.
Deciding on a theme will either be really hard or really easy for people. You might already have ideas that you want to write and talk about, or you might be struggling to find something that really resonates with you. Whatever the case is, take your time with this. Don’t rush it because it’s something that you’ll be writing about for a long time.
Look at Your Competitors
Most people don’t like seeing other bloggers as competitors, but the reality is that you’re going to be competing with other people to gather an audience. Look at what other blogs there are that cover the same kind of subject matter or theme. This is your research phase and you should take notes when you look around. Keep an eye on other bloggers and what they’re up to, look at which blogs are the most popular, and try to see where your content can fit in.
The more research you do, the more prepared you’ll be for when you start your own blog.
Practice Your Writing
Don’t forget to practice your writing as well. If you’re not really confident in your blogging style or grammar, then make use of tools such as Grammarly to check your content for mistakes. Think your style is too boring? Consider sharing some of your early work with others to see what they think, or even consider writing blog posts from scratch for practice. Just make sure you’re writing every day and trying new things to stop your content from getting stale.
In short, make sure you practice writing! You don’t need to have excellent grammar and spelling skills, and you don’t need to have a massive vocabulary. As long as your content is easy to read and inviting, you’ll do great.
Choose a Blogging Platform
It really doesn’t matter which blogging platform you choose as there are likely lots of successful and profitable blogs on each one. With that said, you can definitely look at the features that each one offers to figure out which one suits you best.
The best blogging platforms to use as a beginner are often the ones that have beginner-friendly features to help you get started fast. For instance, Wix has over 800 free templates available so that you can quickly get started with a beautiful website design. On the other hand, Squarespace is a fantastic long-term platform that offers built-in marketing tools and is used by many professionals, but there’s no free plan available.
Now that we’ve gotten started, let’s take a look at how we can get more people to see your blog.
Part 2: How To Get People To Read Your Blog Posts
You could be diligent and write new and exciting blog posts every day, but without a bit of marketing know-how, nobody is going to see them. So in order to get your blog noticed by people, you’ll have to follow some simple digital marketing strategies.
Optimize Your Content For Search Engines
Search engine optimization is one of the most important factors to consider when it comes to getting exposure for your blog. You should be conducting keyword research to see what people are searching for in relation to your subject matter, and then you should try to incorporate those keywords into your content without making it overly spammy.
Promote On Social Media
You also have to think about promoting your blog on social media so that you can engage with new readers. Get on platforms like Twitter and Facebook, engage with people, and cultivate a following. Create profiles on those social media platforms, share your posts, and respond to other people to get more followers. It’s all about expanding your reach and growing your digital presence.
Collaborate With Other Bloggers
While you should see other bloggers as competitors, you should still try to collaborate with them if there’s a mutually beneficial relationship. For instance, you could write a post for a blog that covers similar topics as you, and you’ll receive a post of similar quality back. Co-authoring is also another idea that can help you expand your audience. This not only helps you expand your horizons, but it also helps to build credibility.
In short, it’s all about cultivating an audience and engaging with them regularly. You should also practice various digital marketing techniques to help you get noticed on search engines such as Google.
Part 3: How to Monetize Your Blog
So now that you’ve got some blog ideas and have the knowledge to grow your audience, how do you plan to monetize it? There are a number of ways to make money from your blog, so it depends on how you wish to approach it.
Perhaps the easiest way to monetize your blog is to start using adverts. This usually means setting up a service like Google AdSense and then adding small banners and advertisements on your website. You’ll get a bit of revenue whenever someone sees the advert, and you’ll get a bigger boost if someone buys a product through those links.
This can be a good option to get started with and it’ll get increasingly more lucrative as you grow your audience. However, adding too many advertisements to your website can ruin the reader’s experience, so try to balance this out.
One of the most popular ways to monetize your blog is to use affiliate marketing. This means you’ll talk about and link to various products on websites such as Amazon, and you’ll get a small commission fee whenever someone makes a purchase through your affiliate link. For example, let’s say you write a blog post about your favorite cooking tools. You need to add links to those posts which link to product pages on websites like Amazon, then you get a commission whenever someone buys it through that link.
Affiliate marketing can be seen as spammy at times because there are websites and blogs that will recommend 10 different products that the blogger clearly hasn’t tried. This is still a valid approach to monetize your blog, but it’s often best to only write about and recommend products that you’ve personally used so that it doesn’t hurt your credibility.
Sponsored content essentially means working with other brands. You’ll typically do something that the sponsor asks for, such as writing about their products or receiving a review copy of something and then being asked to write about it. These partnerships and deals are usually hard to get because you need to have a good relationship with those brands. It’s not impossible to achieve this as a blogger, but it’s certainly difficult if you don’t have connections.
However, these can be really lucrative and the money you get will continue to grow as your audience does. Brands love to work with big influencers, so you’re guaranteed to get a huge payout if you build up your audience.
Offering Digital Products and Services
Another great way to monetize your blog is to offer different kinds of digital products and services. For instance, you could have your own merchandise store for things like shirts. Alternatively, it could be directly tied to your blog, and this can be utilized in many different ways. For example, you could have a blog that talks about woodworking and how to make really cool things. But then you could also sell the finished product that you made or plans on how people can make it themselves.
In terms of services, you could offer blogging advice to others, or you could offer personal training as part of your fitness blog. There are many different ways to provide extra value to your readers, so you can get a little creative here.
As you can see, there are many different ways to monetize a blog. You can get really creative with how you make money using your blog, and there are many different sources of revenue that can help you create a consistent level of income.
Part 4: Maintaining Your Blog
Maintaining your blog is the next challenge you’ll face. People are often really excited to start blogging about something but they eventually start to run out of ideas. So here are a couple of tips to help you maintain that momentum.
Optimize Your Blogging Process
Optimization will help you spend less time writing a blog post so that you can spend less time writing. This is important as you grow your blog because your time will need to be spent on things like speaking to advertisers, getting sponsorships, or even managing the financial side of your blog. So here are some tips on how to optimize things:
- Plan your ideas ahead of time so you always have a pool of ideas to write about things.
- Work on finishing one blog at a time so you don’t feel overwhelmed.
- Don’t hesitate to hire someone for assistance, such as having a graphics designer work on screenshots and artwork.
- Outline your articles and create rough drafts so you can spread out and organize your ideas before you start writing.
- Make use of grammar and spell checking tools to speed things up.
- Schedule your content releases so that you don’t forget to post.
These tips should help you optimize your blogging process so that you can write things quickly while maintaining a consistent level of quality.
Motivation is perhaps the most difficult part of blogging. You need to stay motivated when you blog so that you constantly have fresh and unique ideas. But how do you achieve this?
We suggest always exploring different topics within your chosen subject matter. Get out of your comfort zone and try to do things a little differently. Look at what your audience is saying about your blogs and don’t be afraid to engage them and ask what they’d like to see on your blog. Your audience can certainly motivate you if they’re positive and supportive of your content.
We hope that this four-part guide has been useful to you. It’s difficult to start, monetize, and maintain a blog, but with the right motivation and guidance, anyone can create a successful blog.