How to Start a Blog and Make Money in 10 Easy Steps in 2023
Are you interested in starting and making money from your own blog? You may have some questions such as, what are the first steps you should take? What type of content should you create and post? How long will it take to start making money?
This article will offer a guide for beginners on how to make money through blogging. It provides 10 simple steps consisting of five tips for getting started and five monetization tips. Whether you’re looking for ways to make money on the side or want to become a full-time blogger, these ideas will help you get started and work towards your goals.
How To Start a Blog
How To Start a Blog
To earn money through blogging, it is necessary to have high-quality content on your blog. Moreover, offering valuable content to your audience can aid in building a devoted following and increasing daily page views, which are crucial for success. Your blogging journey is just beginning; follow this step-by-step guide to set up your new blog, grow your audience, and start making money.
1. Find a Profitable Niche
The first step is to determine the subject you want to write about. When starting a blog, it is important to choose a specific topic and niche to focus on rather than trying to cover too many topics all at once.
A blog niche refers to a broad idea or subject matter on which you would base your content around, such as travel, fashion, cooking, or technology. If you create a blog without a specific topic and write about random subjects that interest you, your audience may become confused and disengaged. Your objective is to create a community of dedicated followers who share a common interest in the niche of your blog. For that reason, focus your blog on one general topic.
Defining your niche goes beyond your broad subject. It involves identifying your specific audience, determining your writing style, and developing your overall approach to blogging. It is recommended to choose a niche that you are passionate about. The most fulfilling niches are those that genuinely captivate your interest and inspire you to generate fresh content.
When there are numerous topics to write about, how do you select a niche? Consider asking yourself these commonly used questions if you’re uncertain:
- What hobbies do you enjoy the most?
- What specifically interests you?
- What are you passionate about?
- Since childhood, what dream or ambition have you always had?
- Which values do you think are important to spread worldwide?
- Do you have any hobbies or crafts that you would like to learn?
- Have you accomplished anything in your life that makes you feel proud?
From answering the above questions, you may have some potential niche ideas. However, it’s important to ensure that the niche you choose has the potential to be profitable.
First, check if there are sufficient subtopics within your niche that can serve as a constant source for writing articles. If your blog is about travel, there are numerous topics you can write about, such as various destinations, different travel products, and tips for better traveling. Being too specific with your niche could lead to limitations and difficulties.
Also, generate a list of possible blog post topics to assess the potential for building a substantial blog in your niche. Do some keyword research to identify current trends related to your topic. If you struggle to generate numerous blog post ideas, consider changing or adjusting your niche.
Additionally, it’s important to research your audience and make sure that your niche is interesting to others besides yourself. Remember that blogging is not done in isolation. You can utilize free tools like Google Trends for keyword research to confirm if there is actual interest in your topic among people. If you notice a decrease in interest, it may be beneficial to change your niche.
2. Pick a Name and Get Going Online
The next step is to choose your blog’s name and get your blog online. The name of your blog is either based on your name, your business, the main topics you cover in your blog, or a mixture of all three. Consider adding your niche to your blog title to make it clear to readers what your blog is focused on. Consider defining the type of personality you intend your blog to reflect.
To publish your blog, the next step is to select a blogging platform or Content Management System (CMS) and a web hosting service.
A blogging platform is a tool that enables bloggers to write and share their blog posts on the internet. It is like a website builder. You can explore popular blogging platforms like WordPress, Weebly, Wix, and Squarespace among others to find the one that suits your requirements the most.
A web hosting provider stores and safeguards your blog, making it accessible to users when they click on or use your URL.
We highly recommend these three web hosting providers, especially if you’re going to use WordPress for your content management system (CMS).
Finally, you need to select a domain name that represents your blog’s content and purpose, enabling visitors to identify what your blog is all about right away. For Example, if you are a food blogger in Arizona, having a domain name like eatingarizona.com will help people understand the focus of your blog right away.
3. Design & Optimize Your Blog
Create a Consistent Design
A well-designed and uniform blog creates trust among your readers. It shows them that you value your blog and have taken the time to make it visually appealing and polished. Although designing your blog with elaborate graphics and formatting can be appealing, it’s not necessarily the best approach to take. Starting with a format that is crisp, clear, and easy to read is a good way to begin.
Many individuals are visual learners, so they will quickly form an opinion about your blog’s usability as soon as they visit your webpage. If your blog is visually confusing and hard to navigate, people will associate it with the messy layout rather than the quality of the content you create, even if your content is good. In short, design is important.
Here are some tips to follow for designing:
- When creating posts, ensure that they are easy to read by selecting an appropriate font type and size. You can use a clear and sharp font for the best results.
- Use subheadings to improve the structure of your blog article, making it more readable.
- Use text stylings to point out certain parts of your text — think of underlining,*bolding*, and *italicizing* just to name a few.
- Consider adding a photo at the beginning of your post that correlates with its main topic. It will catch people’s attention and give them an idea of what to expect. Whenever possible, try to include photos throughout the article.
Create Your Blog’s Main Pages
To start your blog, it’s important to create two essential pages: About and Contact. After that, you can focus on adding content.
The purpose of your About page is to display facts about yourself. This space is intended for introducing yourself and providing information on your background, occupation, and reasons why people should pay attention to your message.
Below is a list of items to consider including on your About page:
- Basic information: An introduction to who you are, personally and professionally, and what your blog is about
- Your story: What experiences have inspired you to start this blog, and what was the process that led you to begin
- Value proposition: What is the value that your blog provides for readers and why should they read it
- What are some recent accomplishments that lend credibility to you and your blog
- Share some interesting facts about yourself so your audience can get to know you as a person, rather than just as a blog or brand
- If your blog has a specific flow, add calls to action directing first-time viewers where to start and what post to go next.
The Contact page offers guidance to people on how to reach you. This page serves two purposes: First, it allows your audience to interact with you directly. Second, it provides a way for individuals or businesses to hire you.
If you plan on charging for certain services (more on this later), ensure that interested companies or buyers can easily contact you. Consider adding a contact form to simplify the process. You may want to create separate pages for contact information and job inquiries.
Optimize for SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) refers to the practice of optimizing your website to improve its visibility and understanding by search engines. Specifically for blogging, optimizing your blogging content for SEO makes it easier for search engines to discover your blog, resulting in more organic traffic to your site.
To start, it’s crucial to get indexed by search engines. You must inform Google about the existence of your blog. To do this, you need to submit your sitemap to Google Search Console. In a later section, we will cover the metrics you can track on your blog after it has been indexed by Google.
Now, to improve the visibility of your posts, search for popular keywords with high search volume using free tools like Google Trends and Google’s Keyword Planner and then optimize your posts accordingly. Make sure to include those keywords in the headers. To grab attention, use informative header titles that describe the topic of your blog post. Divide your blog using subheadings to improve readability and section clarity.
Finally, ensure that you create blog URLs for each post that are SEO-friendly. These URLs should Include the main keyword or phrase related to your blog’s topic to improve your search engine ranking.
To create SEO-friendly URLs, follow these best practices:
- Keep your URL short – and use your targeted keyword for your permalink
- Avoid using numbers — if your article is a list of the 10 best dog breeds, you shouldn’t include the 10 in your URL
- To improve clarity, consider using hyphens to separate words in your blog post’s URL. This will make it easier for your audience to understand what your post is about.
Using the above example of a blog post titled “The 10 Best Dog Breeds,” some bad URLs would look like this:
A good URL should look like this:
4. Get on a Routine
One critical part is regularly publishing new blog posts; it is crucial for achieving success with your blog. The more content you produce, the greater the traffic you are likely to attract as long as it’s useful content. In addition, search engines consider the frequency of content creation and updates on a website. It’s not possible to over-blog, but what is the recommended amount of blog content to produce?
When starting, try to create 1-2 blog posts every week. As you become more comfortable with blogging and gain a better understanding of your niche and target audience, increase your goal to 3-4 blog posts per week. To achieve your target, try to publish a minimum of 12 blog posts each month. Although it might appear challenging, being organized is crucial.
To ensure that you keep up with your work, take responsibility for it, and ensure that you publish content regularly, establish an editorial calendar. At the start of every month, come up with ideas for blog posts and arrange them in the calendar schedule. To avoid setting yourself up for disappointment, aim for feasible goals. Utilize a spreadsheet or online calendar to stay orderly. Remember to record the publishing date, title, status, and keywords.
5. Tracking Your Metrics
To develop and steer your blog effectively, it’s important to keep track of your metrics. This lets you identify which blog posts are bringing in the most traffic and the kind of content that appeals the most to your audience. During the third step, we talked about the importance of registering your blog with Google Search Console (GSC) to improve its visibility. It is time to start using this tool to monitor your metrics and analyze the data more closely.
GSC shows you lots of information, but first, focus on the Performance tab on the left-hand side.
Here, you can look at:
- Total clicks: this metric indicates the number of times a user clicked on your website.
- Total impressions: this metric indicates the number of times that your website link appeared on the search results page for users
- Average position: refers to where your website typically appears in search results
- The average click-through rate (CTR): is the ratio of impressions that resulted in a click
- Top pages: which of your blog posts are the most successful in terms of performance
- Top queries: refers to the search terms that your audience uses to find your site
- Devices: desktop, mobile, or tablet
- And much more.
GSC provides essential information that helps you understand your audience better, allowing you to create more focused content and optimize your blog.
For example, here is the GSC view for one of our recent blog posts, alexsguide.com/siteground-web-hosting-review/. With this, we can observe the performance of this blog post, identify the search queries that lead people to it, and much more.
Analyzing these insights enables us to optimize our blog for our audience by understanding what they search for and what they click on. This way, we can better optimize our blog for our viewers.
Additionally, you may find it helpful to explore Google Analytics, a free tool that gathers data about your website and generates reports offering valuable insights about your business.
To demonstrate your worth as an influencer and attract advertising and brand partnerships, it is crucial to monitor your metrics (as we will further discuss in the next section).
How To Make Money Blogging?
Once you feel confident that your blog is consistently producing great content, it’s time to learn how to monetize it and turn it into a profitable online business. But monetization can be tricky. Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered! Begin with these five simple tips, which will assist you in shaping your monetization strategy.
6. Start Promoting Your Blog
Nowadays, to make a living through blogging, it is important to master the skill of digital marketing in today’s world.
Digital marketing goes beyond just getting page views through SEO and Google advertising. It provides the opportunity for your audience to interact with the genuine you, allowing you to build stronger relationships. Having strong relationships leads to increased loyalty, giving you the ability to affect the buying habits of your followers. This can result in lucrative opportunities for influencers.
To have a profitable blog, you need to build a substantial audience which can be achieved by promoting your blog. Here are four tips to build your blogger brand on social media.
Choose the right marketing channels
As a blogger, you already dedicate a significant amount of time to developing your editorial plan and creating each post. To make the most of your social media time, select the social media platforms where your audience is present.
For example, if your blog is about marketing tips or freelancing, it would be wise to choose a business-oriented platform such as LinkedIn. If you’re starting a travel or food blog, consider using Pinterest to attract readers to your blog, as it can be a powerful platform for this purpose. If your target audience is Gen Z, consider utilizing TikTok.
Some social media channels and forums to consider include:
Determine which social media platforms your target audience is primarily using and identify those that are relevant to your niche. Then, promote your brand on those channels. You can also promote your blog by joining relevant online communities, such as LinkedIn or Facebook groups.
Moreover, you can consider the option of guest blogging. Freelancing provides an opportunity for your name to appear on other websites, which can boost your visibility and potentially drive traffic to your blog.
Maintain brand consistency
When people check out your social media profile it should feel like a continuation of your blog. Your blogger brand needs to provide a consistent experience across all platforms, so the connections you establish on social media can lead to positive outcomes on your website.
To maintain consistency, ensure that your captions have the same voice and tone and that your blog name, domain name, and social media usernames are identical. In addition, the visual branding of your website should be consistent with the aesthetic of your blog. For a consistent profile, use the same logo or headshot as your profile picture. Also, make sure to choose photography styles and color palettes that complement each other.
Focus on advertising yourself, not solely your blog posts
It is important not only to share your blog posts on social media but also to provide your followers with a glimpse into the person behind the writing. Whether responding to comments or sharing an update about your personal life, make sure to showcase your unique personality, interests, values, and hobbies.
Sharing Instagram Stories and Facebook Stories is a highly engaging approach to revealing more about yourself and connecting with other users. It is important to be authentic. Share some information about yourself with your audience.
Build an Email List
To better engage your current readers, you can build an email list and create a newsletter. You can add registration forms on your blog, such as at the end of your blog posts, homepage, and other relevant pages, to allow visitors to sign up and start building your list. You might want to try out Mailchimp, an email-marketing service that can help you automate the process.
7. Start Running Ad Campaigns
As a new blogger, making money online can be difficult, but on-site advertising is the most traditional method of generating blogging income, and it’s probably the easiest option in the beginning. Ensure that your website has space available for advertisements, such as placing them on the sidebar or utilizing pop-ups. Google AdSense and Media.net are ad networks that connect you to advertisers who pay for ad space on your site. These ads will appear in specific areas on your site and generate revenue based on the number of clicks and views they receive.
For your blog to be eligible for AdSense, it must be:
- Unique and interesting content
- A well-organized navigation bar
AdSense-approved sites generally have several high-quality posts and consistent page views, although there are no official traffic guidelines. So, before applying, make sure to spend at least six months building your audience and metrics.
It is important to note that the earnings from ad networks may not be very high during the first year. Once you reach around 50k monthly blog views and have a significant amount of website traffic, it becomes feasible to start earning thousands of dollars annually. By utilizing this Google AdSense revenue calculator you can obtain an estimate of your earnings based on your location, blog category, and monthly views.
8. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is a popular way for professional bloggers to generate income. This earning opportunity involves promoting third-party products through a unique link or promo code on your blog. In return, you earn a commission on each affiliate product that is sold.
Providing companies with content marketing services on your blog is a great way to earn passive income. By writing a single blog post optimized with relevant keywords for Google search, you can earn commissions on sales generated by visitors over time.
To join an affiliate program, you may need to meet both a minimum monthly blog visit and sales-volume requirement. In certain cases, you may also need to have a certain level of social media following:
Some popular affiliate programs you can join include:
- Amazon Associates: You can earn a commission ranging from 1% to 20%, depending on the type of product.
- Commission Junction: the commission rate typically varies between 5-10% based on the advertiser
- eBay Partner Network: you can earn a commission ranging from 50% to 70% based on the type of product
- ClickBank: on average, you can earn between 50-70%
- ShareASale: commission fee is 20% of the affiliate payout
There are several other affiliate programs that you can explore in addition to the list above. It is possible to make $1,000 with fewer sales if you choose higher-paying programs or sell more expensive products.
9. Sell Digital or Physical Products or Services
Consider creating an e-commerce platform within your blog once you have a strong and loyal audience. Consider creating and selling products that are relevant to your blog or that your readers may need. For instance, if you run a fashion blog, you could think about producing your own collection of comfortable clothing that your followers can buy. Consider a potential issue your target audience might be facing and provide a solution by promoting and offering your own products.
Furthermore, you may want to consider establishing a paid membership program or venture. If you possess knowledge or abilities that can help others, create workshops or manuals containing your top recommendations and offer them for purchase to your followers. Organize your strategies, tactics, and tutorials into a digital product or an online course. Consider organizing an online workshop where you can interact directly with your audience and provide guidance on a particular aspect of their personal or professional lives.
One of the advantages of this avenue is that you can start without requiring many followers – you can either create physical products or digital products/services right from the beginning and watch your channel grow.
10. Brand Partnership
Successful bloggers often approach brands directly in addition to joining affiliate programs. Before targeting brand partnerships, it is essential to create a media kit to present to the individuals and companies with whom you wish to collaborate.
You Should Create a detailed media kit
A media kit is a document that provides a summary of your identity and the reasons why another party should collaborate with you. A typical message usually consists of an introduction about yourself, your mission, and your values. Additionally, it should include details about your audience, and if possible, some key statistics.
Possibly, including information about your blog traffic, social media following, email list size, and any other relevant details that reflect your success would be particularly important. These metrics will be more convincing for business owners to partner with you than just an introduction alone.
By using Adobe Express, you can quickly make a media kit that looks great. This will help you look like a professional blogger when you go to your next pitch.
Direct brand partnership
Now that you have a professional media kit, it is time to use it effectively. You can begin reaching out to brands to generate income through sponsored posts, product reviews, and potentially long-term blog partnerships.
Create a list of brands that align with your niche to maintain brand consistency and increase the likelihood of converting readers. During this process, it is important to be realistic about your prospects. We suggest reaching out to small businesses first instead of immediately approaching a Fortune 500 brand.
Next, create a proposal for your sponsorship that clearly states what you are offering and the reasons why partnering with you would be beneficial. Don’t forget to do a follow-up. We suggest that you hold off on discussing costs until you initiate a conversation with the brand. However, be sure to have your basic rates calculated and readily available when you continue the discussion.
When you start winning bids from brands, adding up the income with your ad revenue and affiliate marketing commission, your freelance writing venture has the potential to generate a considerable amount of money. As your audience grows, brands may offer you sponsorships directly through your blog. If you put in the effort and apply our blogging tips, you may eventually be able to turn it into your primary career and earn a living from it instead of your current job.
As you work towards earning a steady part-time or full-time income, make sure to keep building and maintaining relationships with your audience, as well as current and potential partners.
FAQs About How To Start A Blog
What is a blog?
A blog is a type of website that is regularly updated and can be used for personal or business purposes. Blogs are usually written in a casual tone and are usually maintained by an individual or a small team. Their purpose is to focus on a specific topic and attract a dedicated audience.
What does “blog” stand for?
The word “blog” is derived from “weblog,” a term created by Jorn Barger in 1997 to describe the act of “logging the web.” The term was later shortened to “blog.” The term “weblog” originally referred to a personal online journal, but its meaning has expanded considerably since then.
Can I create a blog without spending any money?
To begin, you must select a blogging platform that offers free user options. WordPress, for instance, allows you to create a basic blog with its free plan. To save money while starting a blog, you can write all the content on your own and make use of free content planning and keyword research tools available. In many cases, the template or editor of your blogging platform contains stock images that you can use for free.
How long should my blog post be?
There is no one answer to this; to best optimize for SEO and rank well organically, each blog post should be more comprehensive than the top three competitors for that keyword to have a chance to rank.
How do bloggers make money?
There are five main ways for bloggers to earn money:
- Advertisements: the company is offering advertising space on its website or web page for other companies to purchase
- Products: creating physical products to sell to their audience (e.g., merchandise)
- Affiliate marketing: earning a commission by promoting products of a third party.
- Direct Brand partnership: sponsored posts, product reviews, or a long-term partnership
- Services: creating physical or digital services to sell to their audience (e.g., a guide or workshop)
How much do bloggers make?
There is a wide range of salaries for bloggers. While some bloggers do not earn any money, others make enough to turn their blog into a career. On average, a blogger who is successful and established can earn around $45,000 per year. You can expect to earn an average of $500 to $2,000 per month during your first year of blogging. As you continue to blog and gain a better understanding of your niche and audience, your blog’s performance will improve, and more money-making opportunities will arise.