Amateur Blogging – a Simple Guide for New Amateur Bloggers
Have you been looking towards starting amateur blogging or sharing your story online with no success? Or have you always wanted to become a blogger but don’t know how to get started?
Well, if that sounds like you, we got your back. Marketers have probably lied to you about how hard it is to get started. Forget it. All of it!
We’ll break it down for you and even help you set up your blog. Stay with us.
What is Amateur Blogging?
Amateur blogging is when a blogger updates and maintains a blog but has less experience. Well, most amateur bloggers rarely make money because their blogs are new and haven’t created a readership yet.
There are various reasons people blog, but primarily, it's to make money. So, where do they get the motivation to keep publishing content? It’s simple; passion.
Your discussions as an amateur blogger should mainly revolve around expressing your point of view on issues. What’s more, inspiration and passion should be the backbone of why you keep posting content about the topic.
You might be asking, when will I start making money as an amateur blogger? Well, the answer may be disappointing, but we will talk about it later. First, focus on gaining experience and followers.
Although it might be challenging at first, issues will unfold as you get more hands-on.
Can I Make Money From Amateur Blogging?
Is there hope that amateur bloggers can monetize their blogs someday? Yes, there is hope. However, the process isn’t immediately after you launch a blog.
Otherwise, if you start monetization just after launching the blog, be ready for a rude shock! You will barely make any passive income. Blogging will discourage you! And, you will give up!
So, when is the right time to monetize?
Let’s clarify a few issues first. Bloggers make money from commissions and selling products they recommend to their readers.
Basically, you won’t make money without receiving any readership? Therefore, your first mission is to have following and constant readers who resonate with your content.
Now that you understand why having a blog readership is important, how will you make money?
Become an affiliate marketer
Some bloggers make money by selling products or services that they have created themselves. But many bloggers earn through affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to earn money from blogging. Affiliate marketers use their blog to sell someone else's product or service.
You write a post recommending a product or service to your readers. In exchange, you get paid a commission if someone buys the product or service based on your recommendation.
The best part about this money-making strategy is that you don't need to create any products yourself.
You can review products, write tutorials or even create videos where you talk about a product's benefits or highlight some of its features. The content depends on the type of products you choose to review.
Sell ad space on your blog
Selling ad space is perhaps one of the most effortless ways bloggers make money. But how does it work anyway? You only need to add AdSense code to your site and let Google take care of everything else.
You might have seen them before on CNBC, CNN, or other news websites. The ads are usually on the side bar but you can place them in any place on your website.
You can use Google Adsense to get a feel for what types of ads will work best for your blog.
While earning through this method can be lucrative, it will only work if you have high visitor traffic. Advertisers won't spend money advertising on a site no one visits.
The amount you can earn varies with the click-through rate of the ads on your website. Other factors that influence how much you make from AdSense include your niche's commission per click and competition.
Generally, the commission per click ranges between $0.28 and $15. The total income solely depends on your site traffic.
Create sponsored content
Sponsored content is when a brand pays you to write an article or post about a topic of their choice. This is different from affiliate links, where you only recommend products and services.
The sponsor must approve the content you craft. Therefore, the sponsored content must be very relevant and effective to their brand for you to make money.
In simple terms, sponsored content is just like a paid ad. The advertiser pays you to insert into on your blog or website. It’s also known as ‘paid for', ‘advertorial’, and ‘sponsored post’.
So what does the advertiser have to get from the sponsored content? Commonly, the advertiser receives a post linking back to their website.
Typically, companies will pay between $100 and $500 per sponsored post. But the pay depends on the size of the blog and its relevance to the sponsor’s product or service.
The links usually have anchor text that helps boost the SEO rankings of your own personal business and that of the sponsor’s site.
Write and sell an ebook
Making money online can be a tricky undertaking, especially when you’re starting. But once you find your niche and build up a large following, you’ll be able to make money.
You can make money selling merchandise like ebooks. To write and sell ebooks, you have two options.
Publish on Kindle. The Kindle store is one of the most popular markets for ebooks and provides you with tons of traffic. Amazon pays royalties on all sales that you make through the platform.
If you want to publish your ebooks on Kindle, Amazon will make it easier for you. They provide tools like their free Kindle Previewer.
The previewer allows you to see what your book will look like once it goes live in the store. You can also test the market with your ebook by giving free copies for review before releasing the final version.
Sell ebooks directly from your website(s). This method involves a new blog as a display for your own business’s products and services.
You can either offer your products for sale directly from your website or link them to another website where people can buy them. The advantage of this option is that you won’t share your profits with anyone.
Create and Sell Online Courses
If you’re a professional writer or blogger with a lot of experience under your belt, why not sell your knowledge to other people?
That’s not the only option. You can also sell directly from your amateur blog and unlike hosting on a platform, you keep all the profits. But again, you won’t enjoy the high traffic the platforms offer. You must work your way up and mine enough traffic and followers.
So, how much can you expect? Well, that depends on your readership, but it is not surprising to see these commissions become your passive or primary income. But, don’t quit your job just yet!
What Topics Are Most Appropriate for an Amateur Blog?
There is no “most appropriate topic” in your amateur blogging career; there is no limit to the topics you can focus on. The general rule is to follow your passion and previous experience.
Blog about a topic you can comfortably and confidently write content on. It will save you from a lot of trouble and doing extensive research.
For example, if you have previously worked as a vet, you can blog about pets. Blogging about a topic you have experience in will command authority.
Don’t mistake choosing the wrong niche just because it is trending amongst other bloggers. What works for them won’t necessarily work for you. Copying other blogs will only disappoint you!
Choose a topic you understand a few things about and learn more as you progress. Otherwise, you don’t stand a chance to succeed in blogging while copying!
However, as much as it's about your passion, choose a niche you can easily monetize with affiliate links and other options. A passive income is the best appreciation you get from your blog.
Additionally, the topic should have traffic to guarantee conversion. Otherwise, what’s the point of selling your products in a market without buyers?
How To Become An Amateur Blogger?
Let’s get down to the process; becoming an amateur blogger is easy. Primarily, only two steps are essential.
You need to get your new blog online and begin publishing content immediately. But how do you get your blog online?
New bloggers must have a reliable hosting platform, either free or paid.
Free vs. Paid Blogging Platforms
Let’s be honest; everyone, including many newbie bloggers, loves free things. But before you rush to host your blog on a free platform, let’s expound on the difference between the two.
Free Blogging Platforms
These blogging platforms host your written posts and texts, images, and videos for free. You get a free domain name and hosting plan.
They include Wix, wordpress.com, Weebly, wordpress.org, Joomla, amongst many others. Apart from hosting the blog for free, these blogging platforms have ups and downs.
- It's easy and fast to set up using drag and drop customization.
- Requires no coding skills to manage the blog
- Some allow you to integrate social media
- Offers limited features for blog growth
- Free platforms are not easy to monetize
- Exporting your blog to another platform is a hassle
- The host platform brands and runs ads on your blog
- You have no right to your content.
Paid Blogging Platforms
New bloggers have to purchase the domain name and pay for the hosting. Here’s what you get;
- You have total control of the content.
- The blogger has the power to integrate any software or content management system.
- Newbie bloggers can add various features, including membership.
- You can customize the design to your preference.
- The paid platform is easy to monetize
- You might need some design and development skills.
- Everything is your sole responsibility, including backup and site security.
How To Start a WordPress Blog With Bluehost (Tutorial)
You have probably now weighed your options and settled on starting your first blog.
So, what is WordPress?
WordPress is one of the most popular content management system. It powers 43% of all 1.3 billion websites on the internet. There are other WordPress alternatives, but we’ll focus on WordPress for obvious reasons.
Here is a percentage representation of CMS market share.
But, why is WordPress so popular? The answer lies in the platform's flexibility and scalability due to its open-source nature. It also features free themes and plugins.
Here are the steps to follow to set up a successful blog with Bluehost using wordpress.org as your CMS.
Choose a Plan
Bluehost offers three hosting plans; basic, plus, choice plus, and pro. Amateur bloggers are in the initial stages of their own blog, and therefore, the basic or plus plan would be perfect.
Register Your Domain Name
A domain name is an address to direct web browsers to your blog. Choose and enter the domain name you prefer. Bluehost will notify you if it's taken or available.
Well, if you had the domain name registered already, simply enter it. Depending on your hosting package, you can get a free domain name.
Sign Up, Register, and Pay
Sign up and register your account using google or manually enter the information.
Also, select any extras and add them to the package. Some optional packages include domain name privacy and protection, code guard basic, SEO tools, and site lock security.
Lastly, enter your payment information, agree to the terms and submit.
Bluehost will prompt you to log in and create a password.
Bluehost should install WordPress immediately on your new website. But if it doesn’t, log in to your Bluehost Cpanel account and click the install WordPress button on the website section.
Your website is now live. However, you may need to customize your WordPress blog to match your design and niche.
If you have little knowledge about WordPress customization, you can hire a professional WordPress designer.
Amateur Blogging Tips
You need to learn a few tips to start your amateur blogging journey. It may not be easy at first, especially if you chase perfection.
The information below is enough to get you started blogging, and you will learn more as you progress.
Don’t Give Up and be Consistent
In blogging, consistent and constant posting are key. Blogging is not like other forms of marketing. There is no series of advertisements that push your message out across different mediums.
You have a niche audience that follows you because they know what they will get from reading your posts. Therefore, you must maintain a regular posting schedule.
You can create content on a weekly or monthly basis and increase the fluency as the blog grows. Whether you make money or not, constant posting is vital.
Organize Your Blog Post
Organize your blog posts logically to make them easier for your audience to understand. If you jump from one topic to another, it can confuse and frustrate your readers.
Organizing your blog post will help readers enjoy the blog more and improve their experience.
Try brainstorming ideas in advance, so you'll know what topics to write about. For example, you can choose to focus on pillar pages, listicles, and infographic posts.
Pillar page posts tend to generate better engagement and attention than any other blog post type. The pillar page is the first page, usually longer, and links to other posts and pages.
On the other hand, an infographic blog post visually and provocatively represents data. Infographic posts often receive backlinks, especially if they feature provocative research or data. Here is an example.
Create Unique Content
Keep it simple and write freely. Avoid writing overly complex content for your blog. It is easy for newbie bloggers to get carried away by the subject and showcase every facet of the topic in a single post.
If you want people to read your blog and retain the information, stick to the basics and keep things simple. Start writing on the topics your readers will find interesting and relevant. The more unique the topic and content, the better.
You need to understand a few aspects of content marketing. At the heart of content marketing is the idea of writing a content piece that has some value.
So why do people share? Because it's useful and interesting.
Even if it doesn't make the front page of Reddit or get a retweet from Ellen DeGeneres, choosing interesting topics that people care about makes your content more shareable.
Enrich Content Using Media
Incorporate images in your posts. Pictures can be both effective and engaging, especially if you're able to capture a great moment or action with them.
Incorporate relevant images into your post to engage readers further and boost engagement on social media platforms.
You can also use images and videos as an element of delivering information to the reader.
For example, you can use infographics or data visualization to present data to an audience with time constraints or limited knowledge about certain topics.
Leverage Social Media
Social media is a great way to share your content with people interested in what you have to say. It's also a cost-effective marketing tool.
You don't have to spend too much money to market your content because Facebook and Twitter are free.
Use them as a vehicle for sharing and promoting your content so that people can access it anytime they want. However, you have to know what will interest your followers and what type of content they like.
Engaging, Insightful, SEO-optimized Content is Key for Amateur Bloggers
Engaging, insightful, and SEO-optimized content is at the heart of successful blogging. But why are the three factors important in your amateur blogging journey? Let’s break it down.
Search Engines Optimization
SEO is an extensive topic. We’ll simply guide you through the SEO basics and recommend a few tools for managing your blog in this post.
Search engines use algorithms to determine the best results of who or what is to be discovered online for a query. The search engine will crawl your website and judge how useful it is to the reader.
The more valuable the page, the higher it ranks on the search results page.
Thus, optimization for search engines is about identifying keywords relevant to readers and organizing your content into pages that Google is likely to index.
Keyword research is an important part of SEO because it determines what keywords you should be targeting with your blog posts and how you will rank for those keywords.
You can do keyword research by using Google Trends or Keyword Planner to determine the search volume for specific keywords within your niche. Let’s expound on best SEO practices.
- Keyword research
Keyword research is the process of finding and analyzing actual search terms that people enter into search engines.
The goal of keyword research is to generate many words that are highly relevant. Also, they have to be non-obvious but with good precision and recall.
In Search Engine Optimization (SEO), it is important to use keywords in a page's content to help improve its ranking in search engines.
If you are using keywords effectively, you will be able to get more visitors to your site, which means more potential customers.
Other tools that help determine the search volume for specific keywords within your niche include software such as Ahrefs.
- On-Page SEO
It’s making sure that your website is as search engine friendly as possible. It helps search engines find the content on your website and what it’s about.
It’s important because you will never get any organic traffic if you don’t take care of on-page SEO. Your content might be great, but lacking on-page optimization means that Google and other search engines will struggle to find it – let alone rank it.
So, you need to make sure your site is technically set up for success.
On-page SEO can vary from website to website, depending on the CMS (Content Management System) that you use. For example, a WordPress site is usually easy to optimize for search engines compared to some other platforms.
However, there are some practices that you should keep in mind when doing on-page optimization. They include using a fast web host – Google favors fast-loading websites and will rank them higher than slow ones.
- Link Building
Link Building is the process of acquiring hyperlinks from other websites to your own. A hyperlink (usually just called a link) is a way for users to navigate between pages on the internet.
Search engines use links to crawl the web; they will crawl the links between the individual pages on your website and crawl the links between entire websites.
No-follow backlinks are the usual links that do not pass authority. No-follow backlinks are one of the most important factors influencing Google rankings.
The more do-follow backlinks you have from authoritative domains, the better visibility you have in search engines like Google.
The quality and quantity of backlinks determine how your website ranks in search results for different keywords or phrases.
If many other websites trust a site enough to link to it, that says something about how useful or trustworthy that site must be.
But it's not just any old link that will do. Linking to a spammy, low-quality site can have the opposite effect and hurt your rankings.
Content is the cornerstone of SEO, and, therefore, it promises better SEO performance than any other tactic. Engaging content provides value to readers.
Thus, they will share it with other readers by posting links on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, or Reddit. In the end, attracting more followers.
Engaging your readers will help build your brand as a blogger. It will also allow you to attract more potential customers to your site. These repeat customers are vital in growing your own personal business.
But how do you write engaging content? It should be short, sweet, and relevant to keep the visitors on the site and reading.
The best way to gauge the success of your blog is to compare the recent and previous posts. You’ll find that some of your posts have more search impressions and organic clicks than others.
Your email marketing campaign could also share some insights about your blog’s engagement. If more are signing up, it is a good sign showing you are on the right track to writing engaging content worth reading. Here are some insights and metrics to keep track of.
- Search Presence
Search presence is the sum of all the pages on your site indexed by search engines. This includes pages that rank on search engines and those that do not.
Search presence gives you an idea of how much of your content is available to users and search engines. The more searchable your site pages are, the more opportunities you have for your content to be seen.
- Traffic Performance
Traffic performance is very important because you need to know how well your blog is doing.
Is your blog just generating a few clicks every day, or do you have a loyal readership? Are people reading your content regularly, or are they just one-time visitors?
You can only know these if you check your traffic performance.
As an amateur blogger, traffic is everything. You need to know how well your posts are doing and what kind of people visit your blog.
This will give you an idea of what type of audience you should target for future posts. It's a guide on creating engaging content that satisfies your audience's needs.
You can also use Google Analytics to check the performance of your blog. Once you set up the account, you’ll enjoy other metrics like page views and user engagement.
- Site Authority
Site Authority is the measure of how powerful your site is compared to other sites in your niche. This metric combines many factors, including your site’s reputation, brand, and topical content.
Site authority can be one of the most valuable metrics to keep track of if you are serious with your blog.
A high site authority means that you will have more opportunities to get noticed by other sites. As a result, you have more links, better SEO rankings, and gain traffic.
Here is Founderjar.com’s Moz analytics
Here is founderjar.com’s MajesticSEO analytics
- Readership Engagement
Readership engagement measures how much people are interested in your blog and how well the content you publish appeals to them.
You can measure readership engagement by tracking how many readers interact with your blog, how many readers share your blog posts with others, and how many people subscribe to your blog.
You can track blog engagement by checking the number of comments in your WordPress dashboard.
Also, social media shares and Google analytics can help you analyze reader engagement. The more the shares, the more the engagement.
Getting readers to engage with your blog is crucial. It helps you understand what works and what doesn’t.
High engagement levels indicate that readers appreciate their content. Bloggers can use this information to generate more engagement when creating content in the future.
Low levels of engagement suggest that the content does not resonate with the target audience, so the bloggers need to come up with new ideas for their posts.
Generally, content insights like organic search impressions and organic clicks are useful for other bloggers (if not all). They provide ideal metrics for evaluating the performance of the blog.
Amateur Blogging Mistakes
Amateur blogging can be a great way to make passive income, but it's not as easy as it seems.
You'll need to invest time, spend money, and effort in getting your blog off the ground before you start making money. You will also make dozens of amateur blogging mistakes.
Not all amateur bloggers end up becoming pro bloggers. Here are the most common amateur blogging mistakes; why most bloggers fail.
Using a Free Blogging Platform
Don’t make the same blogging mistake as other bloggers by blogging on a free platform (WordPress, Blogger, and others). You see, a free platform doesn't allow you to monetize your blog or add new features to it.
On the other hand, you can't export it or get rid of it. Thus, you will start from zero in the future if you wish the blog to grow and monetize. Opt for a paid platform from the start and save yourself from all the hassle.
It takes a lot of discipline to work through the ups and downs of your amateur blogging career.
It may be harder especially if you don't have a lot of money to sink into content creation or buy a hosting plan. But stick with it — there are no shortcuts here.
Giving up is one of the most common amateur blogging mistakes. If you lose your motivation to continue writing, you'll soon lose your readership, too.
Copying or Writing Low-Quality Content
If you want to be a successful blogger, you need to avoid this amateur blogging mistake. Create content that your readers will find valuable and engaging.
To achieve this, you need to avoid publishing low-quality content full of grammatical mistakes. Readers want to see real-life experiences and not just published information that they can find somewhere else.
You should avoid plagiarizing other people’s work or copying their style of writing or ideas. Become more creative by mixing your unique style with others’ work approach.
Not Learning SEO
Not learning proper SEO techniques can be frustrating and cost you lots of money. The search engines have made many improvements to their algorithms over the past few years.
As a result, organic search traffic is more valuable than ever. Learning SEO basics will boost your blog's visibility and lead to more conversion.
Not Leveraging Social Media Traffic
There's no question! Social media is the hottest free marketing channel in the world right now. It doesn't matter whether you have a large following already.
However, most amateurs do not leverage social media and, in the end, lose readership and potential customers.
Amateur Blogging FAQ
If you're looking for a way to share your thoughts and engage others in conversations, the answer is “yes”. Amateur blogging is worth it.
What’s better, once you have enough viewers and readers, you can make money through Google AdSense or affiliate marketing.
Yes! Don't get discouraged if you're just starting as an amateur blogger! There's still hope for you.
You can start by improving your skills and creating reputation and authority through blogging, just like a pro does. Focus more on providing your readers with useful and valuable information that guides them rather than money-making clicks alone.
Start Your Amateur Blog
If amateur blogging is a new passion for you but doesn’t know how to do it, this article will surely help you.
Amateur blogs are very simple to create and run. All you need to do is have a passion in your area of interest, set up your blog, and spend time writing posts and publishing content on it.
Once you hit a particular traffic milestone, you can monetize it. Avoid making the same mistake we listed when you start blogging, including setting up a free blogging platform.
Your first step is to know and avoid these common mistakes amateur bloggers make and then focus on writing expert blogs.