you want to start your own blog and make money online. Where do you begin? What type of content should you be putting out there? When does the money start flowing in? If you want to turn your writing from a hobby into a career, you need to build your blog, draw in your audience, and secure your first income streams.
Every successful blog is filled with high-quality content. However, in order to make money blogging, it’s essential to provide value to your audience – this will help you build a loyal following and get the daily page views you need. Your blogging journey is just beginning. Use this step-by-step guide to get yourself situated and begin your new blog to build a robust audience and start earning money.
The first step to creating a successful blog is figuring out what you want to blog about. There are countless topics out there, but a crucial step is narrowing down what your blog is going to be about and finding a niche.
A blog niche is a general idea or topic you would focus your content on, such as travel, fashion, cooking, or technology. Creating a blog with no niche and blogging about any topic that interests you can confuse and alienate your audience. Your goal is to build a loyal fanbase that relates to or is interested in your blog niche. Therefore, focus your blog on one general topic.
Your niche is more than just your general topic — it includes your target audience, the style in which you are writing, and the approach you are taking to your blog overall. Ideally, your niche should be something you are passionate about — the most rewarding niches are topics that genuinely interest you and drive you to continue writing new content.
So how do you choose a niche when there are so many things to write about? If you are unsure, ask yourself some of these common questions: What are your favorite hobbies? What are you most interested in? What are you passionate about? What is a dream or ambition you’ve held since childhood? What are some values that you would want to share with the world? Is there a hobby or craft you want to learn? Are there any achievements in your life that you are proud of?
The next step in creating a successful blog is to choose your blog’s name and get your blog online. Your blog name represent you, your business, your core blog topics, or some combination of the three. If possible, incorporate your niche into your blog title to help people immediately understand what your blog is about. Think about what sort of personality you want your blog to have.
The next step is to get your blog online. To do this, you will need to choose a blogging platform — also known as a Content Management System (CMS) — and a web hosting platform.
A web hosting platform “hosts” your blog and keeps it secure, allowing people to access it when they click on or use your URL. Some popular web hosting companies include Bluehost, Dreamhost, HostGator, and GoDaddy, but search around and see which one works best for you.
Finally, choose a domain name. You want to choose something that reflects your blog and lets people know instantly what your blog is about. For example, if you are a regional food blogger based out of Chicago, a domain name such as eatingchicago.com lets people instantly know what your blog is about.
Having a good and consistent design for your blog builds trust; it communicates to your audience that you care about your blog enough to put in a genuine effort to make it appear engaging or professional. However, that does not mean that you should crowd your blog with wild graphics and formatting. Instead, sticking with a crisp, clear, and easy-to-read format is a solid starting point. Many people are visual learners, meaning that whether they intend to or not, they will judge your blog and its perceived functionality immediately upon seeing your webpage. Even if you are producing good content, if your blog is difficult to navigate and visually confusing, people will associate your blog with the messy visual aspects rather than the actual content.
Blog posts should be as long as necessary to address a topic comprehensively. However, the most successful blog posts are more than 1000 words. “What is” blog posts should be at least 1300. “How to” articles should be at least 1700.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is the practice of optimizing your website so that search engines can more easily find you and better understand your content. Specifically for blogging, optimizing for SEO helps search engines identify your blogging content, which helps more people organically find your blog
First, it’s important to get indexed by search engines. You need to let Google know that your blog exists in the first place. To do this, you need to submit your sitemap to Google Search Console . Once your blog is indexed by Google, this also opens up the ability for you to track your blog’s metrics (which we will talk about in a later section).
Next, you want to optimize your posts on the keyword level. Use free resources such as Google Trends or Google’s Keyword Planner to search for trending keywords with high search volume. Make sure to include those keywords in the headers. These headers will catch people’s (and Google’s) attention. Make sure to describe what your blog post will be about in your header title. Use subheaders to divide your blog and explain what each subsequent section will be about.
Lastly, make sure to create SEO-friendly blog URLs for each post. These URLs should contain the primary keyword or phrase your blog is about and for what you are trying to rank. Here are some best practices when creating an SEO-friendly URL:
One of the critical parts of creating a successful blog is regularly putting out new posts. The more content you put out, the more traffic you will receive. Additionally, search engines consider how often a website produces new content and how frequently it is updated. Now, there is no such thing as over-blogging, but how much blog content should you create?
When starting out, aim for 1-2 blog posts per week. Once you get the hang of blogging and better understand your niche and your target audience, aim for 3-4 blog posts per week. Ideally, aim for at least 12 blog posts per month. This may seem daunting, but the key is to stay organized.
Once you’re confident that your blog is prepared to launch consistently great content, you’re ready to learn how to make money blogging and truly create an online business. But monetization can be a tricky thing. Don’t worry; we’ve got you! Get started with these five tips to help guide your monetization strategy:
Google AdSense is the 100% free way you can Blogging. You don’t have to spend any money at all. All you have to do is opt in to allow advertising to appear on your website, blog, or YouTube videos. Then, Google will match ads to your site or channel based on your content and audience — making you and Google money, as the advertisers earn clicks and awareness.
These are the third-party ads you encounter on different news websites and blogs, as well as the ads that play before and during YouTube videos. For example, The New York Times shows a large banner ad at the top of its homepage: The best types of websites for Google AdSense have high traffic numbers. The more visitors you have, the more money you can make. Blogs, news sites, free tools or calculators, and online forums are all great candidates for Google AdSense.
With Google AdSense, you are in control of which types of ad formats you show on your website. Horizontal banners, in-line video ads, and right-rail ads are just a few examples of the ads you can show. You can also block ads for certain content (like religion or politics) or for different advertisers (like your competitors). If you run ads on your YouTube channel, you can even turn monetization on or off for certain videos.
Making money with Google AdSense is extremely popular. Over two million creators, businesses, and website owners have already opted in. These websites and YouTube channels make up the Google Display Network.
To get started with Google AdSense on your website, click here. For YouTube, go to your YouTube Creator Studio. Then, navigate to the Channel section on the left and enable Monetization.
How much money you’ll make with Google AdSense depends on the size of your audience (e.g. how much monthly traffic your site brings in, or how many views your YouTube videos receive), as well as your location and niche. If you’d like a rough guess of how much money you might make with Google AdSense, just ask Google’s free calculator
According to the calculator, a website based in North America that focuses on Food & Drink, and attracts a little over 200,000 monthly page views may earn as much as $35,000 per year, while a health website with 450,000 views may earn nearly $95,000 per year:
It’s important to note that this is just an estimate and is not a guarantee of the amount of revenue you’ll make from running Google AdSense on your website or YouTube channel.
2. Make money by running your own Google Ads (the paid way)
There’s one other popular way you can make money with Google Ads: by running your own Google ads. In this scenario, you’ll be bidding for your ads to appear in the Google search results, on YouTube and the Google Play Store, and on the over two million websites that make up the Google Display Network (the ones that have opted in to AdSense). While you have to pay to participate in Google Ads, you only pay when people actually click on your ad. It’s a pay-per-click (PPC) model where you only pay to get results.
There are a variety of ad formats, including text ads, image ads, video ads, Shopping ads, and more. You get to set your own budget, develop your ad creative, and determine which types of ads you want to use.
Google Ads offers a lot of benefits. It’s one of the fastest ways to reach new customers, increase your site traffic, and supercharge your conversions.
Affiliate marketing is one of the most common income streams for professional bloggers. This earning opportunity tasks you with promoting a third party’s products — usually using a link or promo code that’s unique to your blog — in exchange for commission earned on each affiliate product sold.
It’s a great way to earn passive income by providing companies with content marketing services on your blog. Just by writing one blog post, you can continuously earn commission on sales from visitors over time, especially if your post is optimized for Google search, with relevant keywords throughout