How to Start A Blog That Makes Money
You may have heard that blogs can be a great way to make extra money on the side, but you don’t know where to start. This is common when beginning anything new and what you need is the right guidance to show you how to start making money off your blog. Fortunately, DRC Web Design can help you!
There are nine simple steps that you must follow in order to achieve success with a blog that you write on the side. We will guide you through the process of creating your blog, developing your content strategy and how to promote your posts for maximum effect.
1. Find Your Niche
The niche of your blog is what defines the direction of its content and what you’ll be writing about. It will be the thing that guides you and tells you what topics you can talk about on your blog, including what is important to your target audience. Your blog’s niche is what gives it an identity and focus so that you can market specifically to the kind of people you are trying to attract.
It doesn’t have to be your passion, but it must be something that interests you, as you will be writing about it for a long time and you don’t want to get bored of it. If you can’t think of the perfect niche for you, there are five questions that you can ask yourself to figure it out.
– What’s an interest of dream from your childhood that you find exciting?
– Do you have any hobbies or hobbies that you want to learn?
– What is a deeply held value of yours?
– What are five things you find easy to do?
– What’s one achievement that you’re incredibly proud of?
2. Choose A Blogging Platform (CMS)
Your Content Management Systems (CMS) is where you will do everything for your blog, including writing content, designing your posts and publishing them for the world to see. A good CMS should be easy to use and let you organise all of your content, upload any images or videos on your website and allow you to control how your blog looks through themes and custom design elements to make your blog unique.
We recommend WordPress, as it is a free blogging platform but it isn’t limited like some platforms. It is always worth owning your platform and going self-hosted and WordPress allows you to do that. This also allows you to not be tied to one company if anything goes wrong and your hosting provider will be able to help you with any technical issues you come across with your website.
3. Pick Your Blog’s Name and Domain
Your blogs domain name is what people will type into the address bar in their browser or click on in Google when searching for your website. All free blogging services will let you pick a part of your domain name but their name will also appear in the address, e.g. myblog.wordpress.com. This is why you should invest in a domain name from another company. The most affordable companies to buy a domain from are GoDaddy, NameCheap and BlueHost, where you will pay a yearly fee of around $10-$20.
To pick the right name for your blog, you will need to dig deep into the niche you are writing about and pay attention to how other bloggers name and brand their websites. From there, you can make a list of common words or tropes that your favourite companies within the niche use. You should also put yourself in your readers shoes and think about what words you would be looking for if you were looking for a blog in your niche.
4. Find a Hosting Provider
Hosting services are essentially where websites live and where all of your content will be saved when you upload it to your website. Your hosting provider will often be the same as where your domain is registered and keeps your files safe and secure and makes sure people can always access your website.
For your website to be online and accessible to the public, the files need to be uploaded to a server by a host. It will usually cost around $10 to $50 per month for your website to be hosted. It is important to keep in mind that a free blogging platform could cost you more in the long run if they delete your blog with no notice.
5. Choose a Theme and Design
Your theme is what will lead what your website looks and how it will be used by your visitors. It’s not just about how it looks but how it works and feels for the people that will be reading your blog. ThemeForest is one of the most trusted marketplaces for themes and has hundreds of options for each niche. You can also edit your them to your liking, so you can stand out from the crowd. There are seven things you should look out for when choosing a theme:
– SEO Friendliness
– Supported Plugins
– Ratings and Reviews
6. Create Your Essential Pages
The essential pages of your blog are what showcase the fundamental information about who you are and what your blog is about. It tells your readers your story, why they should listen to what you have to say and how they can get in contact with you. The typical choices would be: Home, About, Blog, Contact and FAQs. These five pages will give you everything you need to set up your blog.
7. Develop Your Content Strategy
Your content strategy is the actionable plan that you will use to decide how you’ll publish your content and attract readers to your website. It helps you to manage all of your ideas and more effectively develop and create content for your readers. There are five things you should consider when putting together a blog content strategy:
– Define your goal
– Get to know your readers
– Decide on your content pillars
– Brainstorm blog post ideas and use keyword research
– Map out content you’re going to create before launching your blog
8. Commit To A Regular Publishing Schedule
One of the most important aspects to consider when starting a successful blog is consistency and we all perform much better when we have deadlines in our lives. It’s a good idea to set expectations for your readers so they know when to come back, for example, “New post every Thursday”. This will also allow you to create expectations for yourself to follow and ensure you post consistently.
9. Publish and Promote Your Posts (and Start Earning)
If you want to build a successful blog, you need to be able to promote your content heavily to the right audience and focus on the areas where they spend the most time. For example, social media, forums and message boards, guest posts and blogging sites and an email newsletter.
There are a few ways to grow your traffic including, interviewing people in your niche, talking to people about what you’re doing, networking with other bloggers and forging partnerships and observing what works for other bloggers so you know where to experiment.