Since I started blogging about how to make money online I have researched and studied the heck out about making money with blogging. I have enrolled in paid courses, read e-books, attended webinars, tested strategies, and through trial and error, I now finally have developed a winning strategy, that works very well for me, when I am working with the niche “make money online”.
The good news for you is, that I have done all the groundwork so that you don’t have to do this work, that often can take a lot of your time.
Based on my research and training, I have learned tons of useful information about making money online with blogging and tweaked my money blogging strategy accordingly.
When you want to make money online, you need first to set-up a blog, and next do the right steps with your blog towards success.
Here is what you need with your money blog to get success:
- Choose the right niche for you.
- Creating and monetize your website.
- Content Creation.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your blog.
- Email Marketing
Choose the right niche for you
Before you set up your blog, it’s important to stop and think about WHAT you’re going to blog about.
Many internet marketers refer to this process as choosing your niche which is achieved by researching the market and the competition, exploring keywords and then picking a topic that can be profitable.
But I personally don’t like that. It sounds very cold and calculated to me.
In my opinion, choosing a niche based on profitability alone is a sure-fire way to build an impersonal and unappealing blog both for your readers and yourself.
I think that blogging needs to be fun and enjoyable.
If you pick a topic just for the sake of making money, it will be hard for you to keep writing and keep motivated consistently for the years to come.
On the contrary, if you choose a topic you’re passionate about, you will enjoy writing your posts and joining discussions about it.
At the same time though, this article is about the aims at setting the foundations of a profitable blog.
And unfortunately, for a blog to make money, you can’t just write about anything or everything.
It’s not like you can write down your random thoughts about something, hit “publish” and call it a day.
The days when people would read personal journal kind of blogs are well gone.
So, I strongly recommend that you pick a specific topic that you can grow and evolve all while sticking to it long term.
And I’m talking from experience here.
It can be a challenge if your blog is not having a specific niche.
Even if you try to keep different topics separate on your blog so that users can navigate the site by category and read only the posts they’re interested in.
If you don’t have a specific niche it can also be hard to work on your SEO (that stands for search engine optimization and basically means making sure people can find your blog and posts on Google, Bing, and other search engines – I will show how to do that in the later section) when you have several unrelated topics on your website.
Plus, if you don’t have a specific niche it’s not always easy to keep my followers engaged with your content on social media.
For example, you will not be sure that when you post blogging tips on your Facebook page you may alienate the followers interested in lifestyle hacks or humorous memes and vice versa.
You can, of course, create different social media accounts for each topic to target followers depending on their interests but you will soon realize this approach wouldn’t work as most blogging platforms by default only allow to connect one account and you will have to find workarounds all the time to cover your different topics and niches.
So, do yourself a favor and define your niche already from the start.
Since you want to create a profitable blog, in choosing a topic you will also have to keep in mind though how easy or hard it would be to drive traffic to your blog and monetize it.
Good news is, there are many niches that are profitable.
Here are a few examples:
– Beauty and fashion.
– Dating and relationships.
– Health and fitness.
– Nutrition and weight loss.
– Women’s lifestyle.
– Working from home.
– Making money online.
– Personal finances.
There are so many and they’re so broad that I’m sure you will be able to come up with an interesting topic for you to write in and your prospective readers to enjoy reading.
So, once you pick a broad niche, you will have to narrow it down based on what you like and what you feel you want to write about.
So, for example, if you picked weight loss as your niche, then you could narrow it down to:
– Weight loss after pregnancy, or
– Weight loss for health concerns, or
– Weigh loss tips for teenagers, and so on.
Don’t be afraid to narrow it down. The more specific your topic is, the more targeted and engaged will be your audience.
At the same time though, you don’t want to narrow it down too much or else you won’t be able to target enough readers or you won’t have much room to go if you want to expand your content to other related topics.
If you don’t want to limit yourself to just one topic but you would like to write about several things, you could start what’s called a lifestyle blog.
You can still be successful and earn good money from a lifestyle blog as long as though you do it well and the different topics are somewhat related to one another.
But again, while when blogs first appeared in the 90s they were a way to chronicle personal journeys, nowadays people read blogs to learn new skills, solve a problem, get better at something or get some specific information.
So, when choosing the topic of your blog, keep in mind the readers you will be writing for and what can be in for them.
Try to figure out what they might be struggling with and try to come up with a solution or show a way to solve a problem.
You will still be able to be personable and let your personality shine through your blog posts, but the main focus needs to be your audience, their needs and how you can help them overcome a problem or what value you can offer them.
Define your niche
Think of what you like, what your interests are, what you’re good at, what you’re passionate about and what your skills/knowledge relate to. You don’t need to be an expert. You just need to be a few steps ahead of your prospective audience.
Think of the type of readers you would be writing for, their gender, their age, their education, etc. Do they have a specific interest within your niche ? When you know who your reader is, you can plan the creation of a blog that will fully appeal to any readers you attract. If you’ve planned on whom you’re targeting, you’ll find it far easier to write content that will continue to satisfy your readers, whilst giving you room to evolve and plan more content as you grow.
Consider your target audience and what they are most interested in, worried about, or passionate about. Content that is designed to fulfill a need, answer a question, solve a problem or entertain a specific audience is always successful.
Think of a problem they may be struggling with. Blogging is all about your readers. People have to have a reason to keep coming back to your blog. If you can get what they need help with, your blog will attract readers, and if you’ve got the absolute best information in your niche, you can be sure that you’ll attract the right kinds of readers, and that they’ll attract MORE readers by sharing your content with others.
Think of a solution you could provide for them. The best blogs are a mix of tips and advice, hobby or interest discussion, techniques and connections. When blogging, if you can make a connection with your readers, then you’ve won most of the battle. ‘Connecting’ with your readers is as simple as being personable and approachable.
Give people a chance to empathize with you and always offer them some value. When you focus on creating valuable and informative content, your readers will respond to your content and return to your website because it speaks directly to them, is engaging and on target. They can see what’s in for them so they will return to your website and share your content with others.
Assess whether it’s worth pursuing. Is it viable ? Will I be able to monetize it ? Will people be actually interested in ? Go to Google and Pinterest and search for keywords related to your topic. If there are lots of results of great and shareable content, that’s a good indicator that the topic is viable. Don’t be afraid of the competition. You will add your unique voice to the discussion. You’ll also want to make sure that your topic is evergreen.
What I mean by this is that your content will continue to be relevant for months, or years to come, rather than just useful or informative for a short span of time. While it’s smart to use current, buzzworthy news (that may be based on time-sensitive events) for some of your blog posts when defining the general topic of your blog make sure is evergreen.
Once you have defined your niche, you can move on to pick a name for your blog.
Pick a name for your blog
Now, the fun begins! Now, it’s the time you can let your creativity go wild!
Brainstorm ideas for the name of your blog.
Come up with a few alternatives because the name you pick will also become your domain, and unfortunately, sometimes the domain you’re after might not be available.
What I mean is the name of my blog is – Making Money Online 4 You – and therefore my domain name is www.makingmoneyonline4you.com
So, come up with a name and then go on Namecheap – https://www.namecheap.com – and check whether the domain is available – I recommend only to check for .com domains, because with a .com domain it will be must more easy to rank in the Search Engines.
You don’t have to purchase the domain as yet. We’re just brainstorming ideas for now.
So, if it’s available, add it to a shortlist.
If not, keep thinking of alternatives and use a Thesaurus – https://www.thesaurus.com/ – to get inspired by synonyms.
But before you commit to a name, it’s a good idea to also check the availability of usernames and handles on the major social media platforms. So, once you shortlist a name, go on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest and see if that name is taken. Keep track of the results to make an informed decision on the final name of your blog.
In picking a name/domain, keep in mind:
- It would be great if your niche was referenced somehow in your name/domain.
- The name must be simple, easy to spell and remembered by anyone, and bonus points if it’s witty.
- No numbers, no symbols, no acronyms, no made-up words, no hard to pronounce words.
- As mentioned, if at all possible, get a domain with the .com suffix.
Now, it’s important that you give some thoughts to the niche you want to start a blog in and the name you will give your blog, but don’t let this paralyze you or delay your blog.
If you’re thinking of starting a blog, deep inside you know already what you would like to blog about.
It’s just a matter of digging a bit.
And as to the name, just pick one already and get done with it. As long as it complies with the above, it’s not a big deal really.
When you are going to host your blog I recommend Wealthy Affiliate Hosting – https://www.wealthyaffiliate.com/hosting/ and I will explain the reason later in this article.
Creating and monetize your website.
Get a logo
Think of a logo for your website.
It can be text and image, or just text, and it needs to reflect your branding and the vibe you would like your blog to send to your visitors.
You can make your logo yourself on Canva – https://www.canva.com/ – or, if you’re not that creative or wouldn’t even know where to start, you can get a professional graphic designer make it for you on Fiverr – https://www.fiverr.com
The fees for this kind of service on Fiverr are pretty affordable.
Prices range between $5 and $25.
If you do it yourself, make sure the logo has a good resolution and a transparent background.
Customize your website
I recommend that you use WordPress as your blog platform.
Spend some time familiarizing yourself with your WordPress dashboard.
I know it looks obscure now but you will figure it out pretty quickly.
Next, in your dashboard go to appearance and start customizing your WordPress theme.
You can install both free and paid WordPress themes.
Some free themes are really nice, but you should be aware of these things with the free WordPress themes:
- They’re not fully customizable.
- All WordPress users have access to the same themes so your website can end up looking exactly the same as thousands of others.
- They are limited in the features they offer.
- Many are poorly coded and have not been updated in ages.
- Some of them are not mobile responsive.
- For most, you won’t have access to any kind of support.
- Of course, you can start with a free theme and then upgrade later.
Just bear in mind though that the customization won’t fully transfer from a theme to another, and often you will have to do it again.
Once you picked your theme, start customizing your blog.
Pick 2-4 colors and 2-3 fonts, and use only those across your blog.
Write the code of the colors and the name of the fonts down.
You will use them again later on your social media and graphics to keep the branding consistent across all platforms and every aspect of your blog.
Stick to these same colors and fonts on all pages of your website and all your social media platforms (unless you decide to re-brand).
Spend some time customizing your theme. Have fun, let your creativity go wild but don’t go overboard, keep it sleek and professional.
Please also remember you can always make changes to your theme later on, so it doesn’t need to be perfect the first time around.
Don’t delay the launch of your blog 🙂
Create an About page and a Contact page
In your about page, write a bit about yourself, tell your story.
Be personable and let your personality shine.
Explain what the vision/mission of your blog is and how you can help your readers do/achieve something or solve a problem.
Often it can be a good thing to add a picture (or many) of yourself.
In your contact page, let your readers know what the best way to get in contact with you is or add a contact form for that purpose.
Create the following social media accounts
(all with the name of your blog and the same branding)
– Facebook page (don’t use your personal profile for your blog, it’s against Facebook policies and you may risk Facebook blocking you).
– Twitter (good for building authority).
– Instagram (good for working with brands).
– Google+ (good for SEO purposes. If you publish your content on Google+ is more likely to show up in Google searches). Be aware that Google+ – close down in April 2019.
– Pinterest business account (if you already have a Pinterest personal account with lots of followers, you can upgrade your personal profile to business and make your personal boards secret).
Don’t worry, you won’t have to use all these platforms at once but it is a good idea that you have them all set up from the beginning.
Then you will start with one or two. Once you have grown one and you master the platform, you will move on to the next one and so on.
You may also want to create your profile on other social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Tumblr, StumbleUpon or even YouTube, but as a minimum, you will have to create the 5 above.
Further action steps with your blog
Sign up and install Google Analytics (it will track the visitors to your website)
Create one or more custom email addresses for your blog. Custom emails are included in the hosting fees with Wealthy Affiliate so you can create as many as you like for free.
Once you have one or more email addresses, you may consider adding one to your contact page.
Install the Simple Social Icon plugin and connect your social media accounts to it. The plugin/widget will display the icons of your social media on your blog and when someone clicks on the icon they will be taken to the relevant social account. It’s a great way to connect with your reader and gain followers.
Finally, add a search bar in your navigation menu or sidebar or both.
All right, that’s a lot of work for now.
I will leave you to it.
Don’t skip any step! They’re all very important for your blog’s overall success.
Once finished, take a rest and get a good night sleep.
Next, we are going to look at how to write your first blog posts!
This is important for your blog:
- You cannot make money when your blog doesn’t have any dedicated readership.
- You need a loyal audience that would keep returning to your blog and would keep checking out your new content.
- To be able to make significant money blogging, the audience cannot be limited to a few dozen people and it cannot be sporadic.
- Your blog must be popular and obviously, it would have its target audience.
- You don’t need all those readers to become subscribers or commentators.
- As long as they follow your blog and repeatedly visit it, the blog can be monetized.
- An unpopular blog or one that doesn’t have a substantial readership can have ads or affiliate links but the monetization will not generate any revenue.
- In order to attract enough traffic to see any real results, you have to come up with a long-term plan that will not only bring in traffic but also ensure that it’s a consistent and continuous flow of targeted visitors.
The trick to gain and maintain high traffic is to offer value and great content in the first place.
Nothing is more important than compelling content.
Remember the reason why you are blogging and why someone should read your blog. This alone should lead you to the type of content you should be working on.
Do not just replicate what is already out there.
Look for what’s trending and popular and then focus on originality and make your post on the subject better than all the other ones in your niche.
Use your own voice
Your personality is your best weapon to make any content unique.
But remember that as mentioned earlier, people read blogs to learn new skills, solving problems, get better at something or get some specific information.
So, when writing a post, keep in mind the readers you’re writing for and what can be in for them.
Figure out what they might be struggling with and try to come up with a solution or show a way to solve a problem.
Try to be personable and relatable, but keep the main focus on your audience, their needs and how you can help them overcome a problem or offer them any value.
Write posts that resonate with them, solve their problems, offer value and they will come back for more.
Now that we have established that when it comes to having a successful and profitable blog, high quality and relevant content is everything, let’s start writing some killer blog posts!
Brainstorm ideas for your first blog posts
If you want your blog to be popular and profitable you have to plan ahead and a great place to start is by setting up a blog calendar or schedule for writing and posting to your blog.
This will help keep you on track as you write and help eliminate distractions.
As you create your schedule, make sure that it is conducive to your personal routines and preferences. Otherwise, it will be too hard to follow.
For instance, if you prefer writing early in the morning make sure your schedule reflects that. The idea is to choose a time when you are most likely to be creative.
Internet marketers reckon that for a website to be considered complete it needs to have around 20 blog posts.
So, many recommend publishing at least 15 posts before launching your blog.
I don’t entirely agree with this strategy.
Part of what makes blogging fun and enjoyable is seeing people reading your posts, commenting on them and sharing your content with others.
If you have to write 15 posts before having any interactions with your readers or other bloggers, it may become a lonely experience and you may lose interest before even starting.
I don’t think there is anything wrong with launching your blog with just 1 post.
You can do that as long as you keep in mind that for obvious reason it won’t receive much traffic at the beginning.
But as long as you keep that in mind and commit to publishing more content as soon as you can and then keep posting on a regular basis after inception, you will be fine.
But it is important that when you make posts to your blog don’t sacrifice quality over quantity.
Remember that the aim is to publish fresh, high quality, and relevant content.
The trick is to make it captivating enough so that your visitors want to keep reading and coming back for more.
When you are creating content, it’s important to focus on writing headlines that grab the attention of your visitors so they want to know more and then follow it up with quality content that delivers exactly what the headline promised.
Also, make sure that the content is easy to read and up to date.
This will help keep your visitors engaged and also have SEO (search engine optimization) benefits.
As you are creating your content it is a good idea to think about the keywords and phrases you want to target and weave them into your headlines and content where appropriate.
We will see all these technicalities more in detail later in this article.
For now, let’s focus on brainstorming ideas and outlining some first blog posts.
We will then look into optimizing them for search engines later.
In order to outline your first blog posts, get rid of any possible distractions so log out Twitter and Facebook, put your phone on silent, shut down your email, close Skype and any other interruptive applications before you start.
Only open the tabs you will be using for your research and close all the others.
You need to be focused when writing to avoid wasting your time and to allow your creative juices to flow.
Before starting writing, take some time and gather all the information and essentials you’ll need. Whether it’s a glass of water, a cup of coffee or your favorite snack get it before you sit down.
It’s also a good idea to conduct any research necessary to get the job done that way you can write without stopping to look something up or to check on certain facts.
At the same time, don’t forget to take regular breaks, go for a walk or do some exercise. It is important that you find a writing routine that suits you.
Start with an outline
Just like an article, a good blog post should have an introduction, body, and conclusion.
If you take the time to write down the main points of your post, before you begin writing, you will be able to complete the task much faster by simply filling in the details.
You should also break your post up into readable chunks by incorporating an attractive heading and subheadings.
Once you are done writing your blog post, turn on the spell checker and go through your work correcting all the grammar and spelling mistakes.
I recommend using the free tool Grammarly – https://app.grammarly.com/ – for checking your grammar and spelling.
Read the post and edit it as necessary to ensure that the ideas flow and that the blog post is flawless.
If you’re not a native speaker or grammar is not your strong suit, you may want to consider having a professional proofreader go over your posts.
This is a good idea at least for the first ones until you get the hang of it.
You can find professional proofreading services on Fiverr for as low as $5.
By using these simple tricks not only will you be able to write faster it will help ensure you are able to stick to your schedule.
Remember that it’s important to write consistently. For a new blog, a good schedule is one new post per week.
Actionable tips for the perfect blog post
– Create a catchy headline.
There are specific formulas to create the perfect headline to make your content more appealing and entice people to click and read.
E.g. 10 growth hacks to triple your traffic in 30 days works better than traffic tips for your blog.
Further tips about headlines:
- Use subheadings (and make them catchy too).
- Add 1 featured image (horizontal or squared) and 1 pinnable image (vertical, ideal size 735×1102) to all your posts.
- Add other images, videos or info-graphics throughout your posts whenever possible.
- You can download high-quality royalty-free stock images from websites like Pixabay, Pexels, and Unsplash. You can then edit, crop, and resize them, and add text to them on Canva.
- Compress your images before uploading them to avoid affecting the speed of your website.
- No one wants to stare at a blank page while your website is loading so if your website is not fast enough, you will lose visitors.
- Loading time is one of the factors for Google ranking so it’s important that you keep your website as fast as it can be. Keep your images as small as possible and try to avoid uploading anything bigger than 500KB. You can compress your images on TinyJPG for free.
Add share buttons to all your posts
Place them at the top and at the bottom of your blog posts or use a sticky floating bar (the buttons will remain on screen while scrolling the post).
This is really important because people don’t like scrolling up and down to locate the share buttons and you want to make it easy for them to share your content.
Remember the more your content is shared, the more traffic will be driven to your blog, the higher your income will be.
– Include at least the following share buttons Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+
Make sure your share buttons are big and visible. Don’t rely on the share buttons that come with your theme. If they’re too small, add a sharing plugin.
– Add a call to action to all your posts – In the last paragraph, tell your readers what you would like them to do, e.g. leave a comment or share or ping your post.
– Add a sign-up form for your readers to subscribe or join your newsletter – or (even better) a content upgrade in the form of a related freebie/opt-in/lead magnet at the bottom of all your posts and/or within your posts.
– Add links to other content of your website within your post and use a plugin to add related blog posts at the end of your posts.
Once a visitor lands on your website, you want to keep them there for as long as possible.
So, providing them with the option to click on further content from your website is a good idea.
Bounce rate tracks whether visitors bounce back after landing on your website or remain and click through other pages.
Google ranking takes into account your bounce rate so it’s important that you try to keep it low by providing related or popular content to your visitors.
You can check your bounce rate in Google Analytics. Don’t get scared if it seems high. It’s quite common for blogs to have a high bounce rate. A normal bounce rate for blogs ranges between 70% and 90%.
Another important factor that will affect your likelihood to rank higher on Google is optimizing your blog posts for search engines by using keywords and other on-page and off-page SEO techniques.
As mentioned earlier, we will go through this issue later in this article.
Finally, the ideal length of a blog post for a social media audience is 700-1200, to rank high in Google 2000+, for cornerstone content/first page of Google 4000+. But please keep in mind that these figures serve as indicative guidelines only.
Install a plugin for your share buttons so that they’re big and visible.
Popular free plugins are Share This, Shareaholic, and SumoMe.
I have used SumoMe in the past and don’t recommend it. It slows your website down. You can customize your buttons but you can’t get rid of the SumoMe branding (their logo, a big crown, will show in your share bar).
I have also used Shareaholic in the past. It does slow your website down but you can fully customize your buttons without their branding showing.
Once you have installed the plugin, add the share bar at the top and bottom of your posts and/or add a sticky floating bar. Customize the buttons in line with your branding.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your website/blog
Have you been brainstorming ideas for your first posts ?
How are they coming along ?
In this section, I will talk about the best strategies to drive traffic to your blog.
What I think is a winning strategy in the long term is to assess all platforms and tools available, pick a few that you think would be the most strategic and effective for your blog, and focus on building and growing those first. Once you master those, move on to the next one, and so on and so forth.
I recommend that you start learning about SEO and Pinterest.
The reason I recommend starting with these two channels over other platforms is threefold:
Firstly, SEO and Pinterest both take quite a long time to show results. So, you want to start as soon as possible without wasting any precious time.
Secondly, they both have the potential to drive huge and long-lasting amount of traffic to your blog. Way more than social media like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Every post on social media is short-lived while SEO and Pinterest will bring you traffic for months and years to come.
Finally, and most importantly, they allow targeting an organic audience that is truly interested in your content.
I’m a firm believer in the value of organic traffic. I think that the quality of the traffic you drive to your blog is way more important than the quantity, so you should aim to target an audience that is engaged and truly interested in your content.
Search Engine Optimization – SEO
As to SEO, I will suggest that you read these 2 articles:
As to Pinterest, there is this misconception that Pinterest is a platform for crafting, recipes and DIY only but that’s not true at all!
Pinterest has been consistently one of my main sources of traffic. This is also thanks to using a scheduler (Tailwind), joining Pinterest Group Board and Tailwind Tribes.
I truly believe that any blogger who is not using Pinterest to grow their traffic is missing out big time!
To really master Pinterest, it takes time to study and research Pinterest, and it would be impossible to show you everything but I recommend you to read these 2 Pinterest articles:
Read the articles and start working on your Pinterest account today, you won’t regret it!
Other strategies to implement
Share and promote your posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media of your choice.
Explore other platforms that could bring massive traffic to your blog depending on your niche (e.g. Bloglovin’, LinkedIn, Quora, Reddit, StumbleUpon, Warrior forum)
Join Facebook Groups for bloggers. Establish connections and participate in promo threads. The joint promotional efforts will give a boost to your traffic.
Guest blog for other sites. You can also allow guest posts on your own blog or do roundups. It helps both with SEO (back-links) and to get your blog out there (a new source of traffic, joint efforts in promotion).
As I mentioned earlier content is king but the success of your blog also depends in large part on how much time you invest in promoting it. When you guest post or have a guest post, both you and your host/guest will be promoting it which is great to expand your audience and increase your traffic.
Install the Yoast SEO plugin on your WordPress site. It will help you optimize your posts for search engines tremendously.
Next step is Email Marketing, that is also very important to your SEO and connection with your audience and you can read more about working with email marketing for your business Here.
Getting a step by step guide for setting up your Money Blog
If you are new to blogging and want to work with blogging to make money online, then I have mentioned a lot of different topics in this article and if you are new to this blogging and making money online world it can maybe seem a little overwhelming with information.
Therefore, to get everything structured THE RIGHT WAY, I recommend you to join a training platform, where you can have a step by step guide about to set up your money blog THE RIGHT WAY.