As a successful blogger, I know how you can start a blog to make money in an online business or to promote your brick and mortar company. Here I share the important steps you need to take to launch your blog and make money on the internet.
Come along and let’s get your blog started….
Step by Step – How to Start a Blog on WordPress
- Step by Step – How to Start a Blog on WordPress
- Decide your niche
- Pick a niche you enjoy
- Research Niche viability
- Select a smaller niche
- Confirm Profitability
- Name Your blog and Buy your domain name
- Set up your hosting account
- Design your Blog – Beautiful Themes (many are free!)
- Write Your About Page
- Write Your First Blog Posts
- Submit your blog to Google
- Register social media accounts
- SEO – Search Engine Optimize Your blog
- Make money on your blog
- FAQ Starting a Blog
- Decide your niche
Decide your niche
Your first step is to decide the niche to focus on. Niche blogs are highly focused on a specific topic or subtopic. Here are my top tips, as a professional blogger, on how your best and most profitable blogging niche.
Pick a niche you enjoy
Since you will be writing blog posts regularly, connecting with other niche bloggers and researching these niche topics, having enthusiasm for the niche is essential.
However, you do not have to be an expert in the topic, in fact sometimes a beginner who is learning about the topic along with their readers can be more engaging.
But you do need to have a high of interest to maintain your enthusiasm and consistently produce interesting content for your blog readers.
Research Niche viability
It is good that you enjoy the niche topic, but you need to do research to be sure that there are enough other interested readers who are a big-enough audience to support your blog.
I suggest you start your market research you could start by using Google Trends Go ahead and type in some niche topic keyword to gauge the interest level of Google searchers. Carefully study the graph results to see if their interest in your niche is increasing or decreasing over time.
Select a smaller niche
As a new blogger you will have lots of competition from existing blogs, some large and some small.
As such I highly recommend that you niche down your topic reduce your competition. An example would be the niche “baking cakes”. Currently, there are major sites such Food Network in the top search page positions. As such, it will be virtually impossible for new bloggers such as yourself to break into the page 1 rankings.
My tip is to pick a subtopic of the larger topic for your blog content which will be much easier to rank on Google and get organic traffic. To do this, enter the main topic into Google – “baking cakes” – then scroll down to the very bottom of the page. Here you will see a list of smaller topics (listed below and see screenshot). Any of these topics could be your perfect blog niche.
- cake baking tips for beginners
- how to bake chocolate cakes
- how to bake cakes from scratch
To start a blog that makes money you need to confirm that your niche is profitable. To do so, type in some key niche search words and count how many ads are appearing on the top of Google. This is a quick and easy way to see if there is a commercial appeal to the readers of this of your niche
Another good way to test profitability is to go into Amazon and type in a few niche phrases and see how many products there are and count the sponsored listings.
Name Your blog and Buy your domain name
Now that you’ve selected your niche, done some research and confirmed that there are plenty of readers and commercial opportunities you now need to name your blog and buy your domain name.
Start by brainstorming name ideas by combining key words from your niche. If you are launching a baking blog here are some name ideas from my list of bakery names.
Strive to make your blog name as short and memorable as possible. This makes it easy for your readers to remember, spell and type into internet browsers.
When you’ve decided on your name start researching domain name availability. I advise you to use .COM domain if possible. You may find that many of your choices do not have the .com available. That’s okay. Then purchase the .NET or .CO.
Please avoid the .ORG, unless you are opening a non-profit organization. Also stay away from the cute new domain extensions that could confuse your readers.
Search for your domain name here:
Set up your hosting account
Congratulations you’ve gotten this far! You have chosen your niche, named your blog and bought your domain name – Now you are ready to set up your new website blog.
You will need a professional host to “house” your website files. For all beginner bloggers I recommend the easy and inexpensive hosting at Bluehost. You can get started for less than a coffee Latte! $3.95 per month!
Design your Blog – Beautiful Themes (many are free!)
One of the reasons I recommend Bluehost is that they have a huge gallery of good-looking design templates (many of which are free) that make it super easy to start your blog! Simply browse through the choices and click on one to get started.
To further customize your blog design get an inexpensive (yet designer look) logo created at 99designs. I launched a design contest for this site’s logo – read about my 99design logo contest experience here.
Check out these beautiful – free and inexpensive – blog design templates at Bluehost
Restaurant blog design theme
Write Your About Page
The very first page you write on your site should be your ABOUT page. This is where you describe to your readers a little bit about yourself, your knowledge in the niche or your interest in the niche (if you are not an expert currently) the types of posts you plan to write and how you can help them solve their problems and get creative ideas.
Be sure to include your email address so that readers can contact you with special requests. Also publishing your email address makes it possible for interested brand sponsors and advertisers to contact you to buy display ads and sponsored posts.
Write Your First Blog Posts
Now you will begin to fill your blog with informational posts and videos to attract and engage readers.
Begin by researching your niche to discover the topics of most interest to your prospective readers. Don’t attempt to rewrite the large site’s most popular blog posts – because you will not be able to compete.
Instead, take a different angle on the same subject. Here is an example of using our cake baking niche we discussed above.
Remember I advised you to niche down into a smaller subtopic to reduce competition and increase your traffic.
We researched the topic – cake baking – and found the subtopic ” how to bake a cake from scratch”. To find blog post topics for this smaller niche go to Google and begin typing in your niche subtopic “how to bake a cake from scratch”. Then note the auto-suggest topics that appear in the drop-down from the search box. See the screenshot below.
Google suggested the following topics during our search – all that would make an interesting and helpful blog post for your readers:
- how to bake a cake from scratch without eggs
- how to bake a cake from scratch without baking soda
- how to bake a cake from scratch without milk
Continue researching various topics within your niche, using the technique described above, to create a list of 30+ blog post topics.
Submit your blog to Google
The next step is to let Google know that your blog post is launched and ready for visitors. You will send Google a list of your pages and posts so they can index them and begin showing them to interested readers in their search results.
The fastest and easiest way to notify Google of your new site is to set up Google Search Console and add your website property. Here is the step by step instructions on how to do this from the Google support team.
Now that you’ve got your blog live you’re going to want to set up social media accounts under your blog name. The quickest and easiest way to search all of the social media properties at once is to use the inexpensive service called KNOWEM – Check if your Brand or Product name is available on over 500 popular Social Networks
Go and input your blog brand name and it will show you social media account availability. Plus if your exact brand name is not available, it will show good alternatives.
For personal brand bloggers, I suggest the $84.95 Essential program
Complete Signup of all profile info: photos, bio, URL and description on the top 25 most essential and popular social media websites for personal branding.
For companies, I recommend the $249 Business Starter packages.
They secure your Business, Brand or Reputation by claiming profiles for you on 100 of the most popular Social Networks. Your logo, description, website URL, etc – Very effective for SEO and brand awareness.
SEO – Search Engine Optimize Your blog
Search engine optimization SEO is an important skill for all bloggers to learn. Beginner bloggers please don’t be intimidated. There is a very easy way you can get started with fairly good SEO for free.
Install the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress and follow these instructions (written for beginners)
Then watch this informative video to guide you through each step. If you follow all Yoast suggestions you will end up getting a green light on all of your blog posts. This means that they are well-optimized and should rank on Google pages for high organic traffic.
Make money on your blog
As you continue to write more blog posts and post new content, more readers and traffic will come to your site so you can begin to make money in one or all of these ways below:
Once you sign up with a reputable ad network – I use and recommend Ezoic – ads will automatically appear on your blog.
Internet technology will custom-tailor the ads shown to your particular reader’s interest. Advertisers will pay you for displaying ads on your site and when people click on the ads and purchase products or services.
You can earn money for products that your customers purchase based on your recommendations when they use the affiliate links on your site. Check out my list of the best affiliate marketing niches here
One of the largest affiliate sites is Amazon. They sell almost everything under the sun so you can recommend products for your readers perfect for your niche.
Here is an example, continuing our cake baking niche, add Amazon links to products such as baking equipment, cake ingredients, cake pans and mixing bowls. You could even launch an e-commerce store on your blog to sell a full range of baking related products.
Sell the opportunity to have brand and advertisers promote their products and services by publishing featured articles on your site called sponsored posts. You will get paid on a per post basis. This can be a lucrative source of blog income.
Profitable digital products include eBooks, courses, printable, paid webinars, and email courses specifically designed to appeal to your niche audience.
While creating your own digital products is time-consuming it is the most profitable way to make money with your blog.
FAQ Starting a Blog
Yes, you can start a blog for free. There are various sites such as Medium, blogger, Tumblr, Yola Etc. However, I don’t recommend these because for the few pennies that you save you are now tied to a platform that you do not control. As such you are not branding your business with your custom domain name.
It’s very inexpensive to start a blog you can start for under $5 a month so I don’t recommend any of the free services.
These days it’s very cheap to start your own blog. You can do it for under $5 per month at Bluehost. In addition to your hosting costs, you may have additional costs for purchasing a domain name, stock photography, and plug-in software for features such as membership sites, quizzes and photo galleries.
Absolutely blogs are still popular. Perhaps the term blog is not used as often as it has in the past however website content is the fastest growing media source on the internet. Even though many people scan content on the internet and want to read short bite-size quotes the internet search statistics show otherwise.
Blogging and website content is still a strong viable and effective way to build an online business or promote your brick-and-mortar company.
Bloggers get paid in multiple ways and have multiple streams of income, some passive and some active.
Amongst the most profitable ways to make money with your blog are display ads, promoting products and receiving a commission via affiliate making, creating brand partnerships with sponsored posts, creating your own digital info products, selling e-commerce related products and offering consulting services in your niche.
There are many reasons that blogs and other websites fail. The most common is a lack of consistency of a blogging schedule. It’s easy to get excited on a new blog and write some quality articles but it is more challenging to continue to publish on a regular basis.
Another reason for failure is inadequate topic research prior to launching your blog to be sure of a reader audience that is interested in your niche. While you may be interested in your topics you need to be sure that there’s a large enough audience to support your readership and have decent traffic to your site.
Ignorance of SEO and search engine marketing is another major downfall. Yes good content will attract traffic but good content with proper SEO techniques will attract tons of traffic. And this will make the difference between a money-making blog or one that is merely a hobby business.
Bloggers can expect to make 1% of their average page views. If a blogger gets 50,000 views a month, they’ll make around $500 – $1000 per month.
However, there are many other factors that go into the income money-making power of a blog beyond pageviews. The quality of the traffic and its conversion rate differs greatly from niche to niche.
If you have highly-engaged traffic in the finance niche and are selling high-priced business-to-business products then you can make a lot of money with a small number of views.
But, if you blog about general lifestyle topics and are depending solely on advertisements for income you will require a lot more traffic for the same amount of income.
Yes, bloggers who are dedicated and professional earn an average annual salary above $24,086 and business corporate bloggers $33,577. Check out the infographic below with more information about how much bloggers earn.